Normal living

Wednesday July 12, 2006

I am discontent with myself today. Sometimes the lack of energy and diminished levels of physical achievement that come with age leave me feeling feeble and of little worth. Oh, alright, I’m being unfair and far too hard on myself. But, fair or not, that’s the way I feel when I come to review my day today.

On the positive side, the gas man came and I handled him and the situation rather well. The boiler and the pressurised hot water tank system got inspected and serviced thoroughly, and I managed to extract from him the care and maintenance information I need to brain-dump onto Graham before I forget it. To me, it’s a mark of competence when an expert can explain these things to the layman in language that I can understand completely.

As to the rest, I had to force myself to pitch into the job of cleaning walls in the nasty red living room. I was working on the narrow strip of wall in the corner, behind the door, and the effect of being trapped in a dark red cubicle sapped my energy before I even started. They’d used some adhesive other than normal wallpaper paste to fix the paper dado strip over the hot water radiator, and it was the very devil to remove the ugly thing, requiring repeated dowsings with detergent and careful application of the stripping knife to clean it down to the original surface without too much damage to the plaster underneath. I did it, eventually, but it’s going to need a bit of Graham’s magic with the filling paste and knife to restore the surface ready for painting.

I determined that I’d finish the four or five feet of wall in that corner before I gave up for the day, and I did so. I’d hoped to be able to go on to clean the next section of wall but it wasn’t to be. By the time I’d cleared up the mess of tiny paper pieces on the dust sheet I’d taped to the skirting board I’d run out of energy, absolutely and completely.

So, I gave up, closed and locked the house and motored back to the caravan feeling tired and discouraged. The discouragement faded fast but the tiredness kept on creeping back. Graham was just stirring from his afternoon nap and getting ready for another long evening in the bar. Normally we’d fill this time with chat but when I sat down with a mug of coffee my eyes started to droop and despite my best efforts to sparkle I kept dropping off in mid-sentence.

I curled up on the sofa as Graham left, and slept like a log for close on ninety minutes. Felt better for that, and settled down with Dolly to enjoy the evening. I gave her a gentle but thorough brushing and extracted two handsful of loose under coat, to her great appreciation. You know Dolly’s in trouble with a moult when she shows appreciation for your attention.

Earlier in the day, trying once more to sort out the changes I need to make to continue with my daily journal upload, I came to realise that this period of imperfect Internet connection has caught up with me. I’ve been obliged to suspend maintenance activity, including updates to Windows XP and the Norton security software, and now the system is in dire need of detailed attention, including several large downloads. Can’t be done until I’m connected properly once more and can spend a lot of time online without needing a mortgage to pay for it.

Tomorrow is the day, so I’m informed, when I can arrange for broadband service. If there’s a snag, or it appears that the time before connection will be unduly long, I shall go for a short-term dial-up connection and take the laptop computer over to the house to chunter away doing downloads and updates while I’m scraping and washing walls. Either way it’ll be a few days before I can resume normal daily uploads.

I’ll email the notify group tomorrow, and post an explanatory comment to the last accessible entry but, for the time being, all I can do is continue creating daily entries offline against the time when I can upload them in one large chunk and get back to my daily routine.

The conflict is one of priorities of course. I have to give first call on my time and energies to the task of getting the house ready, and Internettery gets what’s left over. On days like today, there simply ain’t enough left to get complicated computer jobs done properly.

Ah well. At the very worst it’ll be only a very few weeks before I’m established in the house, and working in my new study. I’m doing fine but I’m beginning to feel a deep need to get back to normal living.



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