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Time is an illusion, retirement a myth :)

June 8, 2015

I have frequently hear people say that they won’t know what to do with themselves after they retire; personally I have no idea of how I found time to go to work! There is always something going on and we seem to be constantly customising our home to meet our specific tastes and needs no matter where we live. Consequently we have been constantly busy since we moved here and it shows no sign of slowing down.

No sooner did we complete the spare room/office that we started on the central hallway. This is in a sorry state decoration-wise, there is no filler or caulking around any of the (10!) door frames and the skirting boards are worse; in fact in two places they are just plain pieces of wood – hardboard as it turned out. The ceiling is one of the ugliest artex patterned types I have ever seen and has a large, badly repaired, crack in it. We discussed the renovation with the handy man and he quoted for doing most of the work but not the ceiling. He found us a plasterer whom I contacted and obtained a quote – acceptable but disturbing as he would only communicate via text messaging. Anyway we agreed to his quote and set the date – when he arrived the text issue became clear; I think he was about seventeen years old. He was really good though and completely repaired and re-plastered the ceiling in about four hours; it looks great. As far as the skirting is concerned I decided to replace it rather than waste time trying to patch it up so I have ordered some modern MDF pre-primed to be delivered on Monday when the handy man arrives.

Work outside has also progressed, the greenhouse is complete and I have also just finished wiring up the lights and power sockets. This might not sound much but turned out to be quite time-consuming not helped by the strange positioning of the conduit put into the bases by the original guys when they erected the shed. I needed to make up a mounting plate for the power socket and run some more conduit down to the floor area. In recognition of the great art-form known as “kuminandy” I found my irrigation pipe cutters in the bottom of a tool box, just the job for plastic conduit. Never discard tools!

I am always frustrated by UK electrics, most of the fittings have tiny little grub screws securing the wires and usually need three hands; to hold the fitting, hold the wire in place and turn the screwdriver. This is minor compared with the strange choice of wiring colours (not that the US is any better though) – in the good old days we had red for live, black for neutral and green for earth (ground). Now we have brown for live, blue for neutral and green/yellow for earth; not intuitive. I also experienced some confusion when the main breakers tripped; I thought I had reset them but nothing worked until I figured out that red means on and green means off – again not intuitive as I‘ve always associated green with GO and red with STOP. There was one last little problem; having completed all the shed/greenhouse wiring I plugged in the mower and pressed go – it didn’t and the breaker tripped. After very close examination of the two breakers one was marked B6 and the other B16 – that was absolutely the only difference in miniscule print but is significant as it indicates the amperage. Couldn’t they have been labelled large as 16A or 6A? Anyway, Sod’s Law dictated I got them wrong and had wired the power sockets to the six amp breaker; simple enough to change so lets hope that’s the end of it. I hate electrics!

We have been discussing for some time what to do about the lack of wardrobe space in the main bedroom and were faced with the basic choice between replacing all our existing country pine furniture with new custom-built fitted units made of MDF or make the room bigger. After obtaining quotes for new units and building work, naturally we have decided to make the room bigger but this isn’t going to happen until about November. We have selected the builder and started the planning process. Selecting builders was interesting – two never responded to phone calls, one got lost and went to the wrong house and the final (successful) candidate was professionalism personified; not a difficult choice.

Bird feeding has tailed off as there is enough natural food about but we still put a bit out so we can observe the various birds. All the various deterrents for the large birds appear to be working but it turns out that some of those crows were rooks. I had omitted the test for the different species – if you see one rook on it’s own it’s a crow, but a number of crows together are rooks. We also saw jackdaws in the past couple of weeks. Gardening has started in a small way (lack of time) and June has been busy weeding the front borders. The plants in the back are growing rapidly and now are clearly overcrowded so as soon as the current decoration and construction is done we’ll be out there and re-planning it all.

The weather is turning nicer by the day; I can feel some BBQ’s coming on 🙂



David & June

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2015 13:17

    Hi there – you two never stop! How about some photos of your house and the birds!
    Stay well enjoy summer bbqing. Jo

    • June 13, 2015 13:29

      Hi Jo, Yes I must post some photos but bbqing is so far not happening – it’s 12C and raining!

  2. June 25, 2015 09:54

    completely understand what you mean by not knowing how you had the time to go to work, we’re very early retired but would never have the time or energy to hold down a full time office type job again enjoy the BBQ’s 🙂

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