It was the first of the two long weekend breaks we have in May. The first and the last Mondays are both considered a national day off work for those who are not self-employed. In that respect it didn’t affect me whilst I was self-employed and even less so now I am retired. Each day is pretty much the same as the next throughout the year. I do take breaks at the weekend and occasionally at other times depending on how I am feeling and that is usually during my busier working days. My current project is one such case where a lot of the initial work has been strenuous. Digging up the floor and reconstructing it in concrete and replacing the ceiling panelling for instance is strenuous work when one has no labourer other than one’s self! So on this weekend (4 th – 6 th May) I didn’t work on the project on Saturday and may leave off the work until Tuesday morning. It all depends on how I feel. I did however get some gardening duties out of the way today (Saturday). There were some shrubs that required pruning back as they had become overgrown to the detriment of other plants nearby and of course there was the perpetual removal of weeds great and small which grow at phenominal rates if left too long. I could spend all day just weeding then have to return the next day for those I missed! I tend to pluck them out as I come across them.It was after lunch I decided to mow the lawn and at last I have gotten used to the controls on this my third use of the new machine. It is partly work and partly pleasure riding on the mower instead of having to push one along. In the afternoon I spent a couple of hours on the patio in the bright sunshine. It was only spoiled by a wind blowing from the north though I was almost completely shielded from it and it wasn’t that strong anyway. It did however temper the temperature and kept it at 11 deg C. In the shelter from the wind and in full sunshine it was much warmer.Before returning indoors I gave the garden plants a good watering especially those in the long border (shown on the left in an old picture) sheltered beneath that huge tree in my neighbour’s garden which can miss getting rained upon once the tree is in leaf and the wind isn’t favourable……………Shirley Anne
Going to bed at almost ten in the evening had been a very unusual habit of mine this past year. It was especially so on Friday evening 5 Jan as I had arisen at one-thirty in the morning, over twenty hours earlier. It didn’t take long to nod off to sleep therefore and when I first awoke it was almost six o’clock. Having answered the call of nature I returned to bed. I had slept for around seven hours. I dropped off to sleep again and didn’t awake for a further four hours! It was just after ten o’clock and nearer eleven o’clock by the time I went downstairs. I certainly wasn’t in the mood for work but with a little encouragement and help from E I did manage to do a little retouching of paint here and there. She helped by retouching the white door paint on a couple of the doors and elsewhere. After lunch I forced myself to collect the middle-sized step ladder from the garage and fill in some gaps in the ceiling at the top of the stone steps in the cellar. That would get painted once the filler had dried but not on Saturday, I wanted to give it all a rest. The following week I knew I would be sorting out the cellar hallway floor and preparing for it to be painted. The project was coming to the end at last and I could concentrate then on other things. On Friday I made up my mind to dig out the long-playing vinyl records I own together with the USB turntable which had both been stored in the rear lounge.
Even those with the keenest eyesight will not be able to see that the record on the table is ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ by the Beatles. I own all their UK released albums and singles. I own albums by other artistes too of course, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Beefheart and many others all from the sixties and seventies. Problem was I hadn’t a turntable on which to play them. A few years ago I decided to purchase a turntable but thought rather than buy just a player I would purchase a USB turntable with which I could actually record the music too. I purchased what you see in the picture. However when I replaced the computer on which I had the converter program I lost that program and my machine got stored away. On Saturday I downloaded a new program with which I can now copy the albums and store them on the computer ready for playing at any time.
On the evening of Monday 17 th Dec. E received a call from her brother letting her know that once again her mom was in hospital. She left the house to visit the hospital but I remained at home. I had been working most of the day as you may have read in my post and was rather tired. I stayed up for as long as I could to wait for her return but finally had to succumb to sleep. I went to bed at ten-thirty and fell asleep in minutes. E returned home after midnight. I was so tired I slept in until after eight o’clock and arrived downstairs just before nine-thirty. E had just finished her breakfast and I asked about her mom. It appeared she had been sent home after a little treatment and thankfully was now fit and well.
I told E I didn’t much want to work in the cellar though I had planned to paint the small store room floor. As she wanted to do some work herself in the utility room I wasn’t able to paint the floor anyway because of the noxious fumes it gives off. There was a small job I could do and which I did but it was very little. There were other jobs more important but my heart wasn’t in it. I wanted to dine out for a change and asked E if she would like to do the same. It was then that I remembered my van stocked full of old carpet, underlay and vinyl which had to be taken to the dump. So off I drove whilst E finished off her work. It was around one o’clock when we drove off for a meal. She suggested a specific eatery, a place called The Thatch and Thistle where we have dined often before. Strange as it may seem I was thinking of going there anyway. Our thoughts often agree but I guess that is because we have lived together for a long time. The meal was exceptionally good as it usually is in that place and we had a nice time. On our way back home E was able to buy some presents and carry out some business. The day turned out completely different to what I had planned the previous afternoon and I was grateful for that change. It would be a case of getting back to work on the Wednesday.
My day yesterday (29 th) wasn’t pleasant at all as those who read my post will know. Although I had been a bit poorly I had to take the opportunity when there was a lull in the bad weather to take down the tunnel I had previously erected over the longer patio flowerbed. I took this picture through the kitchen window the following morning. It shows the bamboo canes I placed over the two Phoenix Canariensis Plants there which will need the frost protection.
You can also see two of the other three plants of the same variety covered over with plastic bubble-wrap. The fourth is out of sight to the left of the picture. On reflection erecting the tunnel had proved to be a bad idea though only because it had been too exposed to the high winds we had been experiencing. In a more sheltered spot it would have been a different story. Lesson learned. Today as I write I hope to be able to wrap the two ‘wigwams’ with bubble wrap which won’t take long as the wind dies down a little. Though it had been windy during the week it had been quite warm over the last couple of days so there was no hurry to wrap the plants. If the weather was going to be reasonably fine I thought I might finish the lawn feature by filling it with the pebbles which had finally been delivered. The work in the small store was on temporary hold until I purchased more materials and of course made steps to cure that floor leak from the wet room above. Having said all that I was prepared to take more rest instead, at least for that day.
I really felt terrible on Friday, weary, tired and a little fed-up with things but it was basically caused by fatigue, overwork, all work and no play if you prefer. I went to bed early on Friday and had some quality sleep. I woke up feeling completely different from the way I had done the previous day. I had determined that the weekend was going to be work-free and indeed on Saturday morning I couldn’t do any work anyway, in the garden that is, as it was raining. It was ceaseless and lasted the whole morning. Great if you are a duck and we often see ducks in our neighbour’s pond but none were about on Saturday. Around one-thirty the sun began to poke through the clouds and the weather improved minute by minute until around two-thirty when it could improve no more! The afternoon became bright and sunny in complete contrast to the morning. I wanted to get out into the garden and relax but it didn’t happen. I took the van to Dobbies and purchased ten more trees and shrubs, I say trees but three are actually tall shrubs I suppose rather than trees. Anyway I returned home and planted them out, one in the Plot area, two in the west wall bed and the remaining seven in various places in the long flowerbed. I was then able to sit on the patio for a short time until I saw another bluebell appearing in The Mound! I had to remove it……them and then I began to see others in different places which I set about removing. What annoyed me more than having again to dig them out was that one group were growing beneath a shrub I had planted in The Mound eighteen months ago. I had to gently remove the shrub to get at them. The sad part is that I know there will be more to remove yet. In one or two places I have not been able to remove the bulbs because they are so deep beneath tree roots. In those cases all I can do is pluck them back to prevent them growing above the soil. The grass needed cutting again but that would have to wait until at least Sunday as it was too wet to cut on Saturday and I’d had enough!