Posts

Fair Weather Living

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During our first lockdown it was a pleasure to drive (so long as you had a reasonable excuse to do so, of course). The roads were empty, and progress could be made unimpeded by other traffic. I was reminded of that feeling of enjoyment this past week when choosing to visit my mother during one of the home teams' group matches in the postponed Euro 2020 football tournament. Clearly I was one of only a handful of people who had not felt obligated to gather around a TV screen to watch the game and once again the road was my own.  As with so many things in retirement, it is always useful to be able to pick and choose the timing of activities. Scheduling a journey to avoid the commuting rush that once I would have been stuck in, at the beginning and end of each working day, always gives me a feeling of satisfaction. Picking the right time to visit our local market town when parking spaces will be plentiful is a delight too. If I can venture further afield and stage it to avoid the cro

Reinvigorated

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  (Image by 955169 from Pixabay ) So 3 days of fitness classes later and I'm still here. Not even a slight twinge of pain as I sit typing. Actually I did wake this morning with discomfort from the obliques on the left side that were put through their paces during a core workout the day before, but an Abs Blast class appears to have sorted those. The endomorphins have been circulating and I feel alive again. If only I could attribute the elevation of spirit to exercising alone but  this would give a  totally wrong impression. Instead my return to the gym has, of course, also restored the capacity for casual conversation, laughter and interaction with so many people (socially distanced, obviously). Being physically active is something I've tried to maintain during lockdown but coupling it now with the chance to connect with others face to face, takes happiness to a new level. It's strange though that in discussing our respective situations, the last 15 months seems to have g

Fatigued

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  (Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay) I was somewhat tickled to log into this blog tonight and realise that my last entry was titled Exhaustion. Seriously? I don't think I knew the meaning of the word when I made that post. I do now. The easing of the coronavirus restrictions and return of the eldest from New Zealand, meant that the Bank Holiday weekend was a suitable opportunity for a family reunion. With the eldest and the youngest both joining us, we realised that it was the first time (because of their respective foreign sojourns)  that we had all been together at home since Christmas 2016. They both brought their partners to the get-together and suddenly our household of 2 became 6. Like the weather, it was wonderful but so tiring. There's something about lolling around in the heat, eating, drinking and chatting constantly that is quite exhausting. Keeping the fridge stocked with provisions for hearty appetites is an effort in itself not to mention preparing the house fo

Exhaustion

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  Who would have thought it?  Yesterday, according to my Fitbit app, I walked more than 5 miles without leaving the house; most of it was between wardrobes and the bed where robe contents were displaced and sorted. Now in the course of  the motivational training sessions, I was warned that one wardrobe and a time limit of 4 hours were desirable. However, when Mister E expressed interest in getting his hanging rails decluttered too, it seemed opportune to keep going. After all when the man who cannot even bear to throw away a cardboard box, admits his closets need a good tidy up and needs help to do this, who could possibly refuse? To be fair, he took to the process with a great deal more realism and less sentimentality than I did. In the end the hangers on his rails move freely whereas mine are still a trifle squeezed. Looking at the number of empty coat hangers we produced, I'm ashamed to say we must have jettisoned at least a hundred items between us, most of which were old work

Planning for the Big Day

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 Saturday is the big day. It's been a long time coming but after participating in an online hub on decluttering this week, the weekend is when I seek to address my wardrobe. To be honest I couldn't see what all the fuss was about when I signed in on Monday. It was a timely challenge in that after redecorating and repurposing the built in wardrobe/cupboard outside our bathroom, I have any number of items now strewn on a spare bed that require hanger space somewhere. With wardrobes full to the gunwales a serious declutter is necessary. Naively, therefore, I thought I'd be filling charity and rag bags by Tuesday morning but that is not how these things work. It's been back to the old preparation, preparation, preparation with the motivational message of "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." Anyway it transpires that opening the wardrobe door and simply jettisoning everything that falls on your head or you take an instant dislike to, is not how these things

Grateful for a Good Week

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  Altogether it's been a good week. Transformative even, one might say. Not only did I finish painting a cupboard outside the bathroom, amongst other places, but we also made it to IKEA for the storage boxes I wanted to go into it. Best of all, I managed to construct them without any assistance from Mister E. Creativity comes in many forms, be it screwing together pieces of wood or arranging the finished product on shelves. Brutal simplicity is the best description for the effect achieved, I think, and I confess I still can't pass that particular cupboard without a little peek inside to marvel at the conversion. Also, I got the result of the antigen test I'd submitted for research purposes into Covid-19. "Antibodies clearly detectable," it says. I guess I'd have been seriously perturbed if it had revealed anything else, but it's still good to know that the vaccine has done the trick, for the moment anyway. With a second dose since, I am reassured as to

At Your Own Pace

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    Well it took me so long to get started on this decorating lark, you might think I'd be attacking it as I would the 100 metre dash. You are possibly correct in that respect, except these days my sprint would be more akin to walking pace and that's the speed the painting is going too.  I'm intermingling it with tasks in the garden, as well as taking to heart that the key to a good result is preparation, preparation and yet more preparation. The great thing about retirement, of course, is that you have as much time as you want to throw at these assignments. You are not being paid, so pick the hours to suit and spend as many as you want on the job in hand. Freed from the workplace mantra that time is money, you can be as much of a perfectionist as you choose. Love it or loathe it. If the former why not indulge yourself with a few extra hours of enjoyment? If the latter, why bother at all? Obviously my intention is to maintain the impulse to move things along. I'm aware,