Some Sunday Musings

Unlike my frequent ‘Thinking Aloud On A Sunday’ posts, this is more by way of a collection of things I have been thinking about over the past week.

I have had to face the fact that I can no longer do many jobs around the house and garden. What with Vertigo, muscle weakness caused by Statins destroying my arm muscles, and the general onset of old age, I have let things go, to say the least.

I finally bit the bullet, and arranged for contractors to come and give estimates for clearing the shabby front driveway, and relaying the gravel that once covered the car parking area. With space to park up to four cars, depending how big they are, this is a considerable job. When I look back at old photos taken when I was regularly weeding and tidying the area, I hate that it now looks like nobody has bothered for a few years.

The first man who came was very local, living just a few streets away. He gave a fair price, and offered to start very soon. But when he was contacted to accept the quote, he wanted half the money up front.

This is a warning flag for home owners. NEVER pay any money up front for any work on your property, especially to someone you have never met before. He was told “Thanks but no thanks”, and the second man was contacted.

Fortunately, he was completely professional, and our attitude to him was helped by the fact that he had done some garden landscaping work for a neighbour earlier this year. Not only did he provide a fair (albeit more expensive) quote, he made us feel very confident with his grasp of what was required. In addition, his company can tackle other jobs we need doing next year, like sorting out the wonky patio at the back, fixing a fence and gate, and paving over some parts of the lawn.

Hopefully, we should have a fresh and smart driveway before Christmas, and arrangements in place to have the back garden sorted next Spring.

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A few houses in the village already have Christmas lights illuminated on their houses. Is it just me, or are people celebrating things earlier and earlier every year? We haven’t even got past Halloween, and some are beginning to celebrate Christmas in late October. My own opinion is that this actually diminishes the traditional enjoyment of any celebratory festivities, and I fully expect to be seeing Christmas lights in August soon.

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It has been nice to see Ollie chasing deer again this week. As he has been getting old so visibly, and not enjoying very long walks anymore, his sudden bursts of enthusiasm to chase random deer in the woodland are a delight. Of course, he has no hope of catching them, and he pays for it later with much longer sleeps, and stiff front legs by late evening. But I want him to enjoy life, even though he really is too old for such hunting exploits.

Sometimes, I think about life without Ollie, if he goes before me. I try to cut those thoughts short, as life without my constant companion and best friend is not something I enjoy contemplating.

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Covid-19 is still very much in the news. Despite all the government self-congratulation, infections are back on the rise, and deaths attributed to the virus account for around 100 reported every day. That means that 3,100 people in England will have died of Covid-19 by the end of October. Imagine the catastrophic impact on all those families.

Yet more and more people refuse to be vaccinated, and continue to assert that it is all just a conspiracy.

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Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Best wishes, Pete.

66 thoughts on “Some Sunday Musings

  1. I like to think that we are helping the overall economy by the money transfer from us to workers. But then we really have no choice! Here it is expected to pay half up front. But we only use licensed bonded insured contractors and have never had a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting Pete, we hiring more help these days with our household chores too. As we age up we’re not able to do the really strenuous stuff. My sweet dog is slowing down, I had to chase dismal thoughts away this weekend when he developed a limp. We think he needs more help getting in and out of the car as his joints age. I pray Ollie lives a very long life! And as for COVID I’m so done! We’re coming up on the holidays and there’s bound to be a surge again! Ugg! On a lighter note it finally rained in California! 💕C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ollie’s legs have been better since he has a daily pain-killer for the arthritis. But he sometimes still hesitates getting out of the car. Why not buy a folding dog-ramp for your dog? Then he can walk in and out of the car. This is from the US Amazon site.

      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. Pete, do me a favor and try and disconnect and unplug all electronics – especially at night. It causes EMF pollution and affects our health. I thought I had vertigo but it was EMF/WIFI and causes terrible dizziness. Just give it a try, OK?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the tip, Lara. I will have to discuss turning off the wi-fi with my wife though. 🙂
      I saw two doctors who both diagnised Positional Vertigo that mainly occurs when I am looking up or looking down at the ground for long periods. One tried the manoeuvre to cure it (Eply) with no success. When it was really bad, Stemetil tablets (prochlorperazine) used to help, but I can’t take those all the time.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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  4. Well done for learning to live with your limitations, Pete. I live by ‘Ring the bells that still can ring’…trying not to get too miserable about what I can’t do now (a lot)…. Apropos Covid, I just wish people would get vaccinated, wear masks and distance where necessary,,,,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yes, it really seems people are always in need to celebreate something. You could already buy gingerbread here at the beginning of September. ;-( This really distroys my annual feelings. Getting older is a honour these days. I think the best days of our civilisation in Europe (geographical) is over. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s hard to admit to our limitations as we get older but it’s good that you have accepted yours and as for Ollie just enjoy his company and don’t dwell on what if… he is well looked after, loved and must have a few good years in him yet…Take care and have a lovely week, Pete 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s hard to admit when our bodies start to let us down. I’m much more likely to hire others to do the work I used to do. You are right not to put a large downpayment down, especially with someone you don’t know. It’s hard to find reliable contractors that will show up when they’re supposed to as well. It’s curious how they think customer service doesn’t apply to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are quite lucky here with them showing up. We live in a rural area where recommendation is usually the only way they can get repeat business. My wife gives them good reviews on Facebook forums when they do well.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. FR posted a a photo of Halloween decorations (A giant black spider) on a house with a Christmas wreath on the door! Perhaps people are mixing their holidays now. About Covid. I noticed yesterday all the people driving as if the traffic rules mattered. Too bad they did not heed the Covid rules.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We get a fellow in to do some work in the garden. Makes a huge difference. So sorry to see how Covid is still sweeping across the UK. Canberra has been so good. To date, 95%+ (ages 12 and up) have had the first jab and 86% are fully vaccinated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The amazing statistic from Australia is the fact that the C-19 death rate is so low. I know there is a lot of criticism of the government there, but they must have done something right, to have lost so few lives.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Pete, I am glad you have found someone to help put your garden and outside area to rights. My dad has also had to step back from some activities he’s always done and it’s been hard for him too. I am looking for someone to come and clean our pool every week as I don’t fancy taking another thing on.

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  11. It’s good to get people in to do the heavy work, you’ve done enough of it in your life. Glad that Ollie is still up for a romp, and yes, Christmas is stupidly early in some houses and shops, but I suppose it’s better than setting fire to places. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  12. An interesting collection of thoughts Pete…I once hired a “local” to come and do some outside cleaning…after one visit there was always an excuse not to come back and finish…very annoying to say the least – you dodged a bullet with your smart intuition!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. (1) Willy Wonky tore up his patio in order to build a small chocolate factory.
    (2) “Age is a state of mind.” (The Scarecrow)
    (3) I have Vertigo, too. It’s one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart films.
    (4) There’s a rumor that Ebenezer Scrooge is behind the global supply chain shortage that threatens to dampen the holiday spirit.
    (5) The aquifer that feeds the Fountain of Youth was pumped dry the Methuselah Wishing Well Ltd.

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  14. Don’t go there with Ollie, Pete. Block those thoughts. What good does it do ruminating about it? My Chaka is 11 now. She has cataracts and is graying around he mouth. She’s slowed down some, and she sleeps more than she use to. Of course I notice these things, but I chase negative thoughts about her from my mind. Live in the present. Moment to moment; it gives us strength, courage and grace to cross bridges when we get to them.
    –Pam

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    1. Thanks, Pam. As much as I don’t want to lose Ollie, I also don’t want him to outlive me. He is so completely bonded to me now, I think he would be so unhappy if I wasn’t around.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Glad to hear Ollie is back to chasing critters….good advice about contractors and never give them the last payment until you are satisfied with the work….Hell we even have Xmas displays in the retail stores…..not even Halloween….that is just pathetic. chuq

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This resonates with me Pete. There are so many things I would like to do but simply can’t any longer. Occasionally I try but I always pay afterwards. Unfortunately where I live there isn’t a lot of help to be had. I understand how you feel about Ollie too. Watching a beloved pet age is so hard. But on the other hand I have a cat that is quite likely to outlive me and I worry about that too. She will have a home but I would hate her to think I abandoned her. People will say we anthropomorphize and maybe that’s true, but it’s how my mind works. I guess we just have to work on acceptance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t actually want Ollie to outlive me, Carolyn. I genuinely feel he would miss me too much, and pine. Cats are more independent, but I understand why you are concerned about your cat’s future.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pete, so much of what you wrote resonates with me. Getting the physical therapy for vertigo is something I simply regret not doing earlier. Now I have much more ability to do things around the house. Hubby takes care of the outside, but it is getting more challenging as we age.

    I like to keep holidays in their season, although I really love Christmas I don’t do any decorating until Thanksgiving is done. I have done shopping earlier this year because of the shipping and delivery delays.

    We were just approved for Covid boosters which we will get, but unless more people get vaccinated, this thing will never subside.

    I just saw Elizabeth’s picture of her new puppy. I miss having a pet but not enough to get a puppy at my age. Ollie is such a great companion. I hope he is with you for a long, long time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Maggie. I can understand not getting a pet now. I think I timed it just right with Ollie.
      My wife had already had her booster. She got it early, because she works in the Health Service. Mine should be due in November.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m happy to say, I’m not falling on my face since starting the shot therapy. Not too long ago, if I lost the least bit of balance, getting up or sitting down on the floor, I just continued on over with no strenght to catch myself.

    I am reminded of a song, “I ain’t as good, as I once was. But I’ll be good once, as I ever was”. I was doing great, till that aFib episode not long ago, and the doctors put me on all kinds of heart medicine, even though they find nothing wrong with my heart. Now I have days when I feel 150 years old, and then days when I feel great.

    Give Ollie a treat, I love my “Max” and he is with me every waking step.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My friends always says, growing old is not for wimps! You are accepting it all very well and making good decisions. Let´s not even think about Ollie not being there. He is doing so well. Good for him to be able to still chase a deer from time to time. Give him a cuddle for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, GP. I am not that bad compared to many people my age. I have just had to learn to live with my limitations. Ollie just needs a lot more rest these days. He is sleeping soundly next to me as I type this. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Dear Pete,
    yes, unfortunately that is the way things are.
    I noticed on vacation that my partner couldn’t go that far. He also no longer has the strength and stamina that he had have years before. You have to try to come to terms with that. But you probably have the right attitude.

    I wish you all the best and that Ollie holds out for a long time.
    Best wishes, Irene

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I sympathise with you, Pete; my problem is not so much any physical failings [or none that I want to acknowledge, anyway 😉 ] but a general disinterest in physical work. I still have all my trade tools [mostly carpentry & joinery] but I just can’t face the thought of getting them all together, packing them in the back of the car [I never had a ‘work’ van], unpacking them at the customer’s house, then doing it all in reverse when I’ve finished. I’m loathe to get rid of them, of course, but no-one would give me anything for them, and there is just the chance that I might raise the enthusiasm for a job I could do at home. I never charged top prices anyway, and I can just about manage without the income, so I’d rather just enjoy what time I have left doing what I enjoy. As for Christmas, I never bother for myself, because I always found the anticlimax afterwards when all the ‘trimmings’ came down rather depressing; I’ll enjoy spending time with my daughters when possible, though. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Your experiences are so in tune with ours it is uncanny.I think one more year and the garden will be so bad we will have to employ a gardener. However, I can’t tell hubby that, as having lost our dog , he would feel completely useless.I hope Ollie lasts for a long time as we are going through a really miserable time, trying to get a new dog at our age. The rescue centres are so strict and still inundated with folk searching for new pets.
    I belong to a writing group and have written a short piece about how we have to make do with feeding the birds. We had fifty years of dog ownership and there is a massive hole in our lives at present.
    We understand we can’t have sick or large dogs or puppies but keep hoping we will soon find a dog that will last for a few more years without a lot of medication.
    The rescue centres say our garden is too small or the dog we apply for is too strong. I think they just consider us too old and if we leave it much longer we may start to agree with them!
    We are getting so lazy we keep falling asleep in the daytime.
    Good luck with your changes.
    It gives one a lift when you can see an improvement in your surroundings, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My wife is much younger than me, but she has arthritis that stops her being able to take over those jobs. It will be nice to not feel ashamed of the front of the house, and to be able to enjoy sitting at the back without noticing all the things that need doing. 🙂
      I don’t think I could get another dog if we lose Ollie. He has been so unique, it would be almost impossible to ever replace him.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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