A problem of control

Tuesday September 27, 2005

A stop at home day, recovering from yesterday’s arthritic low. I woke to find the pain had subsided to normal background level—the level that can be largely ignored. Respected, but ignored. I don’t reckon it’s a good idea to make too much fuss of a little pain when there’s nothing to be done about it.

Even so, my poor old body seemed to be awash with toxins, mostly left-overs from the pain-killers but also from the joint inflamation and pain itself. This condition corrects itself over the course of a couple of days but, being impatient, I deal with this in a standard fashion—an extra diuretic pill after my post-lunch nap, and plain water instead of all those mugs of coffee. Lots of plain water. Except for the morning start-up coffee, of course. Come the end of the world I shall do without my morning start-up coffee but, until then…

In spite of everything, I find that my energy levels have remained nicely topped up by the holiday. I spent the larger part of the day catching up with house cleaning, and went out in the mid-afternoon to cut the grass.

My respect for the little electric “lady’s mower” grows each time I use it. Today I thought I’d try the first bit on the normal low cutting setting and it sailed along, happy as happy. Sure, I had to empty the hopper rather more frequently, and ended up with two sacks of cuttings rather than one, but the mower handled the job of cutting two week’s growth without a murmur. The secret seems to be to choose the most powerful motor you can find.

When Graham comes home he’ll pick up the grass cutting job, I suspect, reverting to the big petrol mower. I shall get him to fit a new blade to the little electric mower, though, so it’s ready to take up the task should it become necessary in the future.

About six-thirty, my body started sending me urgent ‘I need to rest’ messages, so I scoffed a couple of slices of hot buttered toast, washed it down with a mug of java, and took myself off for what I thought would be just a little nap. Hah! I staggered into wakefulness at 11:45 when Graham rang to say good night. I’d had a splendid sleep and, of course, by the time we’d finished talking, I was wide awake and fit to take on the world. Except the world was asleep.

Hey ho. There goes my regular sleeping pattern once more.

Reviewing my Somerset photographs, I do rather regret that I didn’t try harder. In particular, I’d have loved to get a decent shot of Dolly enjoying her holiday. All I found on the card, though, was a slightly muzzy shot of her sitting on the dining table in the caravan on our first full day, surveying her new, temporary quarters. She seemed to approve. Certainly she seemed to enjoy the holiday at least as much as we did. She’s spent a period in a caravan on the West Somerset cliffs before, of course, so it could be she knew what it was all about and that some kind of normal life would follow.

Knowing that some kind of normal life will resume is important to me, too. The next couple of months, tripping back and forth to Somerset, will be fine, though, because we’ll all three of us be together.

On the house sale, I fear we must be prepared for a really long wait. Even with a new, vastly more dynamic agent, there’s no way of manufacturing a buyer when the market is at dead slow. Some houses are selling, and it could be that we’ll be one of the lucky few to secure a sale. If we’re still stuck in the doldrums after Christmas we’ll have a big family conference and decide what to do.

If pressed for an opinion on the likely time it’ll take for the housing market to turn around, I’d say it will be another two years before normality is resumed. If we were all three of us living and working here I’d prefer to take the house off the market and wait for better times. That’s not really an option for us now, though, with Graham working down in Somerset.

One solution would be to let this house through a good local agent, and rent one in Somerset. I’m not keen on this, though. A rented house generally deteriorates rather dramatically and, at the end of the period, we’d be faced with the job of turfing the tenants out and refurbishing this one all over again before it could be sold—an expensive and depressing prospect, seems to me. Alternatively, we could drop the price now to a level where it’ll sell, possibly at auction. That’d mean finding a house down in Somerset that’d be smaller and, like as not, in a poor state of repair.

Ah well. We’ll cross that bridge when we’ve built it.

Meantime, I’ve made my list of the tasks I want to complete before Graham returns in thirteen days time. That’ll keep me happy, and I refuse to sit around worrying about things over which I have no control. All said and done, it comes down to a problem of control in the end.


So, this is Kansas, is it?



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