Saturday, 14 September 2019

I Need a List


Autumn and everywhere you look there are tractors ploughing or cultivating, this is right beside the house

Last year I made a list of ideas for getting through my first  Autumn and Winter alone. I got lots of the things sorted and got through OK. Some dark days but I managed.
For some reason I feel very worried about the coming 6 months, last year was a new experience but now I have to get through all over again and just to make me feel really unsettled I'm wondering if I should stay here much longer after all,  there are so many things that might need fixing...........

When the chimney sweep came last year he said there were cracks in the fire bricks in the wood-burner,  he said if I got new bricks before this year he would fit them in. He gave me the measurements and I wrote everything down on a bit of paper which then sat in my purse forgotten until it was time for the chimney to be swept again. Then I discovered that the local wood burning place didn't supply firebricks for my stove so I ordered some online, now they are here they don't look anything like whats inside the wood-burner. The sweep isn't coming  until early October........ So that's Problem #1 will they fit, if not why did he give me those measurements? Can I use the woodburner?

Problem #2 is the boiler which is really old and seems to be OK but I'm worried that when they come to service it next week they will find something wrong and a new boiler can't be put in the same place because of new rules, which would be a big upheaval with pipework.

 Of course I might be worrying about nothing and no one to tell me I'm worrying about nothing just makes it more difficult.

I need a list to keep me going.......... or perhaps two lists...........

List 1 had better be things to help me get through the autumn and winter again and List 2 the pros and cons of moving somewhere easier to look after.

Right.............Things to do get through my second winter alone, half of these are the same as last year.
  • Clear the garden 
  • Clear the greenhouse and wash down
  • Wash all the used pots 
  • Clear the patio pots of summer stuff and then
  • Plant up some pots for winter colour
  • Keep swimming
  • Make Limoncello for the Christmas Hampers 
  • Think of more things for  hampers.
  • Visit more churches in Suffolk further afield
  • Go back to helping at the Home Start charity shop for the winter but in Eye rather than Stowmarket? 
  • Read (goes without saying!)
  • Sort all the big folder of paperwork that came with the house and chuck things like out of date guarantees.
  • Sort boxes of old papers and stuff regarding the smallholding and self employment.
  • Sort more craft stuff, clear out things I know I will never get round to doing. I have a phone number of a lady who might buy it, she gave me her number after I sold her some bits at the boot-sale I did.
  • Finish a cross stitch card started a year ago
  • Go through books again to see if there are any to send to Ziffit
  • Take some books to charity shop
  • Do more sorting and clearing in the workshop
  • Get some paint to do the skirting boards in the kitchen, waiting to be done since the kitchen man finished last December.
  • Chop kindling and pick up twigs for fire lighting.


By the time all that list was written I couldn't be bothered to work out the pros and cons for moving or staying! and anyway I'm just about to have some gates put up to stop everyone driving in and round and out again - and to make it safer for grandchildren, so I'd better stay and get the benefit of them......the gates, not the grandchildren although they make me happy too.

This week I'm grateful for.............
Good weather to begin the veg garden autumn clearance
More raspberries from the garden

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. It's Heritage Open Days weekend, the chance to visit a place not usually open to the public and the weather forecast is good, although I've felt shattered this week so may not go anywhere.....I'll see .

Back Monday
Sue




40 comments:

  1. I love the way you're so practical and pragmatic about things, Sue - you foresee possible problems and put things in place to deal with them. Even the emotional stuff. You inspire me, I just hope I can have the same pragmatism if the worst happened to me (with my health problems I might be the one who dies first anyhow! or I might get run over by a tractor). Where you live, both the house and area, looks so beautiful I wouldn't want to leave it at all, but can understand that it might be difficult to stay in the future. Being practical again!

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    1. It's a very unpractical place to live, with everything at least a 4 mile drive away but so lovely and quiet that I don't really want to move yet

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  2. If you can still see the firebricks in place but with just one or two bits off,say, then they are fine. Just avoid stacking fire up against a missing bit, if indeed there is a missing bit. Probably isnt.

    You are over thinking the boiler. When the service man comes he will clean the nozzles etc. He would not be able to say when or if it will break down. Just think positive and get rid of negative thoughts.

    Back to shorts weather again.

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    1. The side bricks are both cracked right across,don't think any bits have fallen out yet. I'm sure we kept using the woodburner at the smallholding when it had a crack in the brick but back then Col swept the chimney and we didn't have a sweep issuing certificates and warnings!
      You are right about over thinking. My "Be Prepared" mind sometimes doesn't work for "Peace of Mind"
      Yes shorts here too - long may it last

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    2. I am not a worrier so don't get overtaken by things like this. Just take the sensible approach and don't pile the fire up against the cracks.

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  3. RP above has given good advice. I tend to go out more in the evenings in the winter but I realise not everyone enjoys driving at night, it is the long evenings I don’t like. Is there a walking group near you, if I spend all day out walking with a group it’s lifts the spirits for me.

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    1. I just drive to WI twice a month in the evenings, would like to go to a history society - another reason to move back into a village - I could just walk there.

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  4. Hello Sue. Maybe this will help to avoid future worries. Write down what you are worrying about, what you are afraid off will happen. Then write behind it what really did happen. Maintain this list. You will see, in due course, usually al things worked out well and sometimes something happens what you did not think of (thus no time to worry).

    “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo F. Buscaglia

    And I must/should do this myself as well :-)

    Have a nice weekend, Wendy

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    1. That's a good quote, I must try to worry less about things ahead

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  5. Yep, I agree with Rachel - you are overthinking these problems, it's a natural thing to do when you have no-one to 'bounce' them off. In a week or two you'll have forgotten them when the firebricks have been fitted and the boiler serviced. I have lived alone for a long time now and mostly got used to this, but it takes time. The worst time is 3.00 am when trivial things appear like mountains, I have trained myself to ignore any thoughts at that time and review them in the morning! Your list is good but I think you should add some more 'fun' stuff - cinema, or just visiting grandchildren?

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    1. Visiting the family is a definite so doesn't need to be on the list to remind me, as for the cinema I keep looking but nothing I want to see has been on

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  6. I'm a worrier too and far too quick to catastrophise. I try to think, 'What's the worst that could happen'? Lists are good, though, so long as you enjoy ticking things off when you've done them and don't beat yourself up if you haven't. Wise words from one who should follow her own advice!

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    1. I like a good list to focus and remind me when I drift

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  7. I love Autumn and the battening down of the hatches before Winter sets in, "Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness" and all that, but it can give me a feeling of being daunted too sometimes. I get a feeling of being unsettled as though waiting for something to happen and this year it's the imminent house move. It's hard not to worry about things especially when you are doing it on your own. You are a very practical person, Sue, so I know you will get things sorted in your own time. We both need to stop overthinking things! Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the bit of sun xx

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    1. Lots of long dark evenings - not my favourite thing. I really do need to stop thinking about everything sometimes

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  8. With your Autumn/Winter to do list and your regular activities, you will be well occupied throughout these seasons. You have done amazingly well since being on your own, something to be proud of. Yes, things will need doing around the house that wear out etc. , but they won't happen all at once. Our boiler of 26 years had to be replaced, but the new one is in the same place and it's the same type (I didn't want a combi, I love my airing cupboard too much!) I use lists so much. It helps you to focus when your mind might otherwise be working overtime on not such useful thoughts.

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    1. Love a good list and I like having lots of things on the list so I can choose which to do

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  9. I used a log burner for over a year with cracked firebricks until I could get new ones of the right size, so don't worry too much about it. They only protect the body of the log burner from the most intense heat of the fire and keep the outside at a steady temperature.

    Wait and see what happens with the boiler, no need to worry until there's something to worry about. And most likely if there is something wrong with it the guy doing the servicing will be able to give you the best advice.

    I've given up worrying about most things now, it gets you nowhere except 'stressville'

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    1. I shouldn't need much of a fire before the chimney is swept so it should be OK

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  10. In my experience, old boilers are much more reliable and easier to fix than new ones, you just need an good engineer! Also, there are always some things that need doing on houses, even new ones - or maybe, espcially new ones! I think it should come down to location as to whether you want to stay put. Your home and garden do look lovely!

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    1. They boiler service bloke usually says everything is fine as it's a well made make of old boiler but he usually finds something to change

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  11. It's oh, so easy to over-think things that could become problems. Like you, I like to feel prepared and it can cause worries - usually does, in fact.

    I love the new banner photo. So autumnal.
    xx

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    1. Thought it was time for a change of header photo again

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  12. The DP tells me not to worry about stuff I can do nothing about. I still worry! Some good advice here from the comments. I will do better!

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    1. I would like to worry less - not easy to change

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  13. This resonates with me too. I have had two very happy marriages and both to men who shouldered the responsibility for things like this - I had my teaching job, the putting of meals on the table and the organising of the finances to worry about and that was all. A clear division of labour. Now suddenly it all lands on one and sometimes, especially in a week when one is feeling a bit under the weather, it almost overwhelms.

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  14. I hope you enjoy the heritage open days. I was wishing I could see the Broom Hill Swimming Pool as I've heard the site is open this weekend. I have lots of lovely memories I spent there as a child.

    While on the list making - try to think about all the pros and cons of moving. I think (reading the blog) you missed the country a lot while you were in Ipswich the other year. Is there any way you could maybe barter or hire some help to help with some of the tougher jobs?

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    1. I went to Broomhill pool on the open days last year so didn't bother this year. It should be re-opening in 2021

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  15. I don't really have any advice Sue as we are pondering our future at the moment and where it will be best for us to live. My sister moved to a lovely village a few years ago from the outskirts of a housing estate and what a difference to her life. Before she only saw the immediate neighbours, sometimes, but now she is has been roped in to the annual pantomime with her husband too and helps to man the community shop one day a week. They also go out to the local pub to meet the other villages and are asked to numerous parties - it is a very tight knit community that helps each other and would suit me well. There is plenty of time to reach a decision about where you want to be in the future and you can start moving towards this bit by bit by getting your house ready to sell and looking around the kind of villages you might want to move to, meanwhile just enjoy your time where you are now.

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    1. I know where I will be moving too when the time comes and there I'll be able to walk and cycle again

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  16. I daren't make a list of jobs that need doing, it would go on and on and on. Whoever comes to live here next will want to rip it all out and start again. It can stay as it is, I'm not spending money on it.

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    1. I know I will be moving at some time and have children to leave things to so like to keep the house in best condition as that's what we've always done in all our homes

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  17. Your list is perfect and I am sure will help you get through the months ahead. Grief will hit you when you least expect it, but I know you will get through it once again.

    God bless.

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    1. Yes. I keep getting through the sad days...thank goodness

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  18. It sounds as though you're feeling rather overwhelmed at the moment. I get like that too sometimes. My daughter says I'm too hard on myself! I have found this 2nd year of being a widow rather hard. The first year was a challenge, but like you say, the 2nd year there's this awareness of going through it all over again. I'm sure it will get better! In the main, people too seem to recover and I'm sure we will too!
    I'm trying to just deal with one thing at a time (not always succeeding!!) so sometimes a list doesn't help as I'D too tempted to look ahead at everything else.

    Maybe a list of nice things to do would be better.

    By the way, I find your idea of thinking of what you are grateful for very inspiring. I have started to write something down each night before I go to sleep. Thanks for the idea!

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    1. Thank you for understanding. I thought I was odd thinking the second winter feels as if it might be harder. We will get through, I just have to remember to ignore the list which seems overwhelming sometimes and have a day off thinking!

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  19. This is a very interesting post and one that must resonate with so many of us. To stay because you love the location; to go somewhere nearer facilities because it’ll be handier?
    Clutter and “stuff” I find easier to make a decision about. Just imagine your exhausted offspring/relatives having to clear it when you’re no longer here; I find that motivates me to do it now so they won’t have to.

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    1. I need to do a pros and cons list but not yet and have no problem getting rid of stuff and don't let clutter in - it's books that are difficult

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  20. We have just come back from a week away and one thing I've got from it is, how lovely our home is.. we've spent a lot on making it comfortable and to suit us. Yes we have list of things to do but also in our list is time tabled 'days off' when we enjoy things we like to do rather than what needs to be done. I wobbled about living here at the beginning of the year but going away has made me appreciate that we have a lovely home.

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