Thursday, 30 April 2015

What are you waiting for........

Hello. I try not to wish my life away, knowing that I am way past the halfway stage, and probably in the last quarter of it. I stopped saying, 'I can't wait until....bladeblah happens,' when thinking about some plans for the future. I hate that term of phrase. I am not putting my life on hold and hopping from one pleasurable experience to the next, with nothing to fill the long gaps in between.

Yes it's nice to have some plans, something to look forward to, but shutting down and plodding from one day to the next, with just dreams to keep me going, is a waste of the time I have left.

When I was working I was happy most of the time, so I never said, 'I can't wait until', because I could. I didn't put life on hold because I had special outing which was planned to happen in six months time. When I started losing interest in the job I wasn't like a zombie, going through the motions and waiting for the weekend. I worked at making the job more pleasurable, filling the gaps between Monday and Friday.

For the long hours of solitary confinement in the cab, talking books were a Godsend. When I had no books I listened to Radio 4, always something to keep the grey matter ticking over there. When I was out of the cab I talked to everyone I met. Other truck drivers, fork lift drivers who were unloading my trailer, smiling at the security gate staff, and passing the time of day with anyone who had a few minutes to spare. Traffic jams were a bit of an inconvenience, and a hindrance to getting on with the job, but even so, looking down at other people in their cars was very entertaining, ha ha.

I can't ever recall having that, 'Monday morning feeling'. By keeping my mind occupied I hardly noticed what day it was. That was until I reached my mid fifties, then I realized that there was so much more I wanted to do and time was passing me by. Then I decided to make changes, ease up on the driving, and free up the time to do other things.

I still don't say, 'I can't wait until.......' because I don't want time to go more quickly than it already does, and it does seem to whizz by the older you get. I try and slow it down by only thinking about what I'm going to do in the next hour, or for the rest of the day, or tomorrow, or at the very most, next week. My life as a lorry driver gave me a sense of worth, I was doing something useful, delivering the goods. Filling my time with something productive, or something useful, or something that will give my life a sense of meaning and worth, is what I still do now.

This is not to say I am on the go every minute of every day, it's good to take time out to reflect, stop for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, gather thoughts, make plans for the next hour. Right now I need to wash the pots, I have started on the picture again, it's cold so I'll stay indoors for a while until it warms up, then go outside. I need to go shopping, maybe later. I have no idea what I will be doing next month, it's my birthday so I will be doing something, will decide later, but in the meantime I am not putting things on hold waiting for May 16th. It will come in it's own good time.

Must dash, something to do. What's your next job? How will you fill the next 24 hours? Come on. tell.
Toodle pip.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Don't answer the door

Hello campers, Hi de Hi. Bit by bit, the Summer House is coming together. It's a learning curve, I make it up as I go along. So far the structure has two full sides, three doors on each. Yesterday I added this pallet to take it round the corner. I had to strengthen the pallet first because I had used it for something else before, and it was not complete, so a few extra pieces of wood were added. As you can see the ground is not level, so I am using broken pieces of paving slabs to wedge it up so it's square with the other one. The pallet is half the height of the door it will support, but not to worry, with plenty of screws everything will be solid and stay in place. 
It rained yesterday so everything is a bit wet. View from the outside looking in. Heidi is finding all this activity quite interesting.

This was the state of play at the end of yesterday. I had painted the white doors with white emulsion paint, glass as well, while it was sunny. Not a good idea. Unfortunately they will need doing again, with gloss paint. I will be asking around my friends for donations of any unwanted gloss paint, I want to paint them all.

Today another door has been added, on one side I used the hinges that were already on to screw it to the door next to it. The yellow post is actually two posts together, they just fit in the gap between the top and bottom slats of the pallet. Down at the bottom I have hammered two meta pins into the ground and screwed the posts to them. It's amazing how I am finding useful bits in my shed. 
Sorry cats, but you are not going to be able to get through the cat flap.

Paint splattered everywhere, including me, ha ha. These two were the first ones I collected from the glazing company. They are taller than the rest. I wish now that I had waited and collected more doors before I started to fit them, but me being impatient I wanted to get on with the job. It would be too messy to take them out now at this stage, so I'm going to have to build up the other doors to the same height.  
I've already started doing it, layering strips of wood on top of each other.

There's a vertical gap here, I need to fill that in.

I need another pallet on this side, before I can fit two more doors. There will be three sides with three doors on each, and I'm undecided about the fourth side. I would like part of it open to the garden, but how wide to leave the opening I'm not sure. I'll think of something when the time comes. 
 Dinner tonight was wonderful. The last few mushrooms cooked in olive spread, garlic powder, lemon juice,  and Danish Blue cheese, on top of a very large microwaved spud. Two tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, and a cooked beetroot. Love this dinner.
Food stocks getting low, I've just had some Tesco vouchers so I might do the yellow sticker dash this week. Bye for now.
Toodle pip.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Where do you get your nuts?

Good morning. I have just eaten this delicious mid morning snack, known as my elevenses. One banana in a bowl, topped with a couple of desert spoons of Trail Mix, topped with plain yogurt. Very nice, and healthy too. It will help to hold off the hunger pangs till lunchtime. 
The Trail Mix has in it, raisins, dried and sweetened banana, chopped apricots, brazil nuts, papaya, and coconut chips. I love this stuff but I can't eat it straight out of the packet, far too hard for my teeth to cope with. 
This little gadget is proving to be very useful. I can now chop up all kinds of hard to chew healthy foods, and I am using it nearly every day. This morning I had porridge with chopped mixed seeds added. 
Now I have discovered this mini chopper I can add all kinds of healthy foods to my diet. I can experiment with different tastes, change the combinations of foods, it's opened up all kinds of possibilities. I can still use the large version of the machine and make peanut butter to store in the fridge, and soups to store in the freezer. No need at all to buy convenience foods. Nuts can be quite expensive, so that is one more item on the shopping list that I have to search for the best prices. At the moment it's split between Aldi and the Asian shop, but now I am drawn towards the fruit and nut shelves and the baking shelves in the supermarkets. I find Holland and Barrett a bit more expensive. Where do you get your nuts from? Let me know.

The weather is changeable today. I have a line of washing out, but it's flippin cold.  Should be dry soon, but I could do with some sunshine so I can get out and work in the garden.

I'll get on. Catch you tomorrow. Toodle pip.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Give a little whistle.

I couldn't quite believe this. As reported in a national daily newspaper, there is a young lady aged 23, living in Worcester, who has reported workers at a building site to the Police, for sexual harassment. What did they do to cause her so much distress? They wolf whistled at her. She recorded it on her phone, one solitary whistle. She said it made her walk to work an awful experience. Really. The Police have investigated the complaint and took no further action.

She is a very attractive young lady, going by the selfies she has posted, ample bosom on display, eyes wide open and heavily made up, and that silly pout that is so popular these days. The article is here.

When I was her age I was as pleased as punch to get whistled at, I would still like to get a whistle now, but sadly that doesn't happen any more. Mind you, when I was on a long walk last year, a cyclist passed me walking through a village. He wobbled a bit when he turned round and shouted, 'Nice legs'. I was chuffed to little mintballs.

Wolf whistles? A harmless bit of fun as far as I'm concerned. I wonder where that building site is? If anyone wants to practice wolf whistling, this is how you do it.

Toodle pip

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The joys of camping in the car

Hello. Woke up to brilliant sunshine this morning, typical, could have done with this yesterday. Anyway, the camping story. We found a pitch on a camp site near Whitby on Friday night. I decided not to put the tent up because it was windy, all the tents around were flapping madly. We stayed in the comfort of the car, and watched others put up their tents. A group of bikers arrived and had theirs up in no time, but a couple opposite were struggling with theirs, in took them nearly an hour. I haven't seen a tent like that before, the wind kept blowing it along the ground before they had chance to peg it down. As it got dark we bedded down in the back, plenty of room with all the paraphernalia stored in the front seats. Goodnight Rocky. 
It started as soon as we closed our eyes, the clicking noise and the hazard lights flashing. It stopped and it started again a few minutes later. The lights went off, then they came on. I worked it out that there was a sensor detecting movement inside the car. Oh bugger, I will have to lie still all night long, an impossibility on a hard surface, I will need to change positions. The flashing lights stopped for a while, but came on again as I turned over. In the meantime I was pressing the buttons on the key to stop it, that didn't work. Then I reckoned that the keys need to be outside the car, so I tied them on a piece of string and lowered them to the ground through an open window. That seemed to work, but still I kept my movements to a minimum. I eventually got some sleep but kept waking up several times to check there were no lights on. I didn't want to disturb my fellow campers. This is something I will have to look into if I sleep in it again. When I turn the ignition off and take the key out a notice comes on the screen that the interior electronic scanning is on. There is an option of turning it off, so I will have to refer to the manual to find out how to do that.

It was cold and windy the next morning. I had a makeshift breakfast, Rocky got his normal food which comes in pouches. Now why don't they make a human breakfast in a pouch which can be eaten without warming it up, ha ha. After a chat with my camping neighbours I decided that I had seen enough of Whitby and didn't need to go back, so we set off down the coast to call in at Scarborough. I followed the signs for North Bay and parked on the sea front. The sea was a tad rough, and it was a bit nippy. These hardy people were having a surfing lesson. You wouldn't get me jumping about in a cold rough sea.

The sky was a bit overcast and I was shooting into the sun which was struggling to make an appearance.

 Twenty minutes later as we were walking up the beach, the sun eventually broke through. Look at the difference, there's blue sky here. Howzabout one of these Beach Chalet's, fancy one? Don't they look fab.

You can rent one for £40 a day, or £210 for a week, or you can buy one, but I think you need to make an enquiry before they tell you the price. 
Double Deckers here, if you fancy one upstairs.

The sales office is now open. No this isn't a sponsored post, I get nowt for telling you this.

Rocky likes walking along the beach, and having a paddle. 
Our one hour parking time was up so we set off again. I thought we might have a look at Filey, but when we got there the weather turned a bit chilly, and there didn't seem much point in walking along another Promenade. Maybe a separate trip is needed for that. There was rain about so it was sensible to carry on. We stopped at the Country Park on the North Bank of the Humber Bridge for a walk. No sooner had I turned the ignition off than the black clouds came over and it chucked it down. Oh well best carry on. It seemed a bit brighter on the South Bank so we went to Barton for a walk, and I had a look at the art exhibitions at The Ropewark. Nothing very exciting there.

Back to normal today, working in the garden. I gave the lawns the first cut of the season, left it for as long as I dare, other people cut theirs weeks ago. Lady dog is here for the afternoon as her owner has gone on a coach trip and will be back from his ramble later than usual. I'll take her home in a minute.

Hope you have had a good weekend, thanks for popping in. Catch you tomorrow.
Toodle pip

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Mingling with the Whitby Goths

Hello. Shame the weather has gone a bit grotty, but there you go, some you win, some you lose. It was a nice day yesterday in sunny Whitby. Me and my four legged friend took an amble on up there to North Yorkshire. I parked the car on West Bank and off we went. Lovely day for a bracing walk by the sea. 
Across the bay on the other side is The Abbey, and below it the little red roof cottages. To the right of the Abbey is the Youth Hostel which I have stayed at before.

The Pier was very popular for a Friday morning stroll. There were a lot more people around on this particular weekend.

'Hey, can we go over there, I want to see that old castle?'  'No not today Rocky, there's no way I'm dragging your wheels up all those steps, and it's not a castle, it's an Abbey.' 
I've been meaning to come to Whitby Goth Weekend for ages, usually something else gets in the way of it, so this weekend I made an effort. There are plenty of shops selling everything Goth. If you want to look the part you need a pair of these boots.

I love all the dressing up, there are some weird and wonderful costumes, some of them must have cost a fortune. So much effort has been put into perfecting their chosen look. There was a lot of posing and photograph taking going on, I joined in. Some of them were happy to chat to me and answer my questions. Everyone was enjoying the moment.

Meeting up with your mates at the pub.

It's not just Goths that join in, there are Punks, Steampunks, Bikers, and fans of all genres of the alternative lifestyles who turn up. I saw a few cross dressers, big muscle men in short frocks and towering high heels. Some had wigs on, some didn't. People had whole face masks on, lots of lace and feathers, lots of purple, red, and black attire. One young lady wore an eye popping outfit. She was tall already without her ten inch heels. A buxom young lass with a tight lace up corset and frilly tutu, but all eyes were on the chesticles. They  were like a jelly not quite set, which was about to spill over with every step she took. It must have been quite uncomfortable trussed up like that.

Rocky wants to go fishing. It wasn't only me taking photo's of Rocky, he gained a lot of fans as he posed for their pictures. 
The bridge between the two sides of Whitby. It will open if a boat wants to go through.

Boat trips were on offer, but not many takers.

Anyone for a ride in this? A few did make the trip out of the harbour.

After a very enjoyable afternoon, with quite a lot of physical exertion on my part, we went off to a camp site a mile or so out of town. I had been chatting to a photographer who told me about it. It was a smallish site on a farm, I paid the £7 and found a pitch alongside a fence in between other tents. The wind had got up by that time, it was an exposed site, so I decided not to put the tent up, and sleep in the car. More about that on the next post, but for now, it's Toodle pip, while I enjoy a glass of wine. Catch you tomorrow.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

When is a door not a door? When it's ajar.

Hiya peeps. One door closes and another one opens, ha ha, only these doors are not opening. I picked up four more doors this morning from the same place, two of them have been added to the construction. The brown one is screwed down, and one of the patio doors next to it isn't  I just leaned it there to see what it looked like.
 There is a new white one, half glazed, in the corner.

Starting to look a bit good now. the slabs don't quite fit but I'll leave the floor till last. I am not going to be able to fit a door which opens and closes, because I won't have a frame to support it. I shall just leave an opening. I need another large pallet now to add the next side. I went into a place today to ask if I could have a couple which I spotted in their yard. It was a no.

I picked this up today, it is not a full door, but the plastic middle of one. I'm not sure what I will do with it as it's smaller than the rest, and the centre is full of polystyrene. Not good for screwing and won't be weather resistant unless I seal the edges with paint. I like the coloured flowers in the glass panels, though it isn't the sort of front door that I would choose for my house. 
There was four pieces of secondary glazing up for grabs, so I nabbed them. I will think of a use for them.

This door is waiting to be fitted when I get more pallets, it's got a cat flap in it, or rather it did have one. The flap is missing.

Here is Mayze supervising the workforce, er me. Her favourite spot in the sunshine.  
I'm taking a couple of days off from this, me and the pooch are off on a jaunt, so I'll be off air till Saturday night. Not taking the computer, we might be camping, or kipping in the car if the weather is not very good. I'll bring some photo's back with me. By the way, the pooch is a permanent fixture round here now, thought you might like to know that.
Off to throw a few things in the car, catch you soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

3 - 1 = 2

Hiya. It's been another outdoor day today. In between the dog walking I've demolished one raised bed to give me more room for the 'bespoke' summer house. Ha ha, I like that, a name given to it by Sandie's Patch. 
Some of the wood is a bit rotten, not surprising as I built them six years ago. The plan was to spread the spare compost around the other beds, but I had to move the compost away from the end of this one to make a repair. The two kitchen wall cupboard doors from my old kitchen fit just right in here. Once this was in place I was able to move some of the compost into here.

The wood dividing the two remaining beds was alright, but at the other end again it was rotten. I was able to salvage two of the sides, and I used this top of an old dressing table to line it.

All done, and planted up with seed potatoes. You don't need to buy wood to make raised beds, mine were free. 
More room now. I need two more doors for that side.

These are the other two doors I got on Tuesday, they are patio doors and in pretty good nick. Got the hinges and door handles still on them. I think I'll keep them for the side that looks out over the garden. 
Couldn't be bothered to cook tonight, so I bunged a spud in the microwave and warmed up half a tin of chopped tomatoes with a shake of garlic powder added. Still felt a bit peckish after I ate that so I had a slice of  cheese on toast.

I'll go on the hunt for more doors tomorrow. Mum asked how I transported them home. Easy peasy, in my car. There was no one to help me load them up so I just got on with it, being very careful. Moving them is all about balance. They are stood upright against a wall, so it's easy to 'walk' them to the back of the car, then very carefully lower one end down so it's resting on the back of the open car, lift the other end and slide it in. They stick out of the back and the tailgate won't close, but I fastened it down with a piece of rope and a bungee elastic. Had to put up with the warning ping ping ping all the way home telling me the luggage compartment was not closed. My friend Barry helped me get them out of the car and we carried them up the drive to the back garden. I learnt a lot about lifting when I was a lorry driver, ha ha.

Thanks for popping in. I'll catch you tomorrow.
Toodle pip