Thinking Space

 

1-2Thinking Space.
Sometimes I need some thinking space,
Peace and quiet in this place.
To understand what we’ve been through.
Behaviour changes me and you.
A place from where we do not shout,
Where I can let it all come out.
We do not even have to speak,
When I am feeling oh so weak.
But quiet places where we talk,
No hustle and bustle for a walk.
It seems that as we rearrange,
Going forward time for change.
Emotions put away inside,
Dark and sad, we try to hide.
But there’s a place we go to rest,
When we do not feel our best
It’s where we think of when we’re still,
Peace and quiet upon the hill.

via Daily Prompt: Aware

Days like These and Remaining Independent

 

11062706_10154122837704517_7428223558496551676_nThere’s something about days like these, being in a rural location that makes you feel cold to the bone. It’s damp in our house and in a stone cottage where on this trip we have brought with us an oil fired heater which was keeping the chill off, we were feeling rather pleased that it was working.  On a freezing cold night, we are now able to keep warm in two rooms.  I am also extremely grateful that I have the gas cooker in the caravan.  It’s a really old caravan and it leaks and is damp, but it has its’ cosy moments.

Today there is something wrong with the electric. It has been on less than half speed since we awoke there must be a problem up in the fields somewhere. The caravan fused last night, which meant that we had an impromptu candlelit dinner in there.  I was just pleased that there was power left in the house, but today nothing was running right. 20 minutes to boil a kettle and despite the heater being left on all day, the room was still cold and chilly. We wondered if any other homes were suffering but the neighbour is not around so we cannot ask him. So as I prepped dinner tonight, a Thai Chicken Curry to warm us up, suddenly the cavalry arrive here, lights ablaze on their team of vehicles, called by our neighbour who returned home to a cold house. We both have very dim lights.  At first we thought that the bulbs might be on their way out, but since they are the old incandescent ones, they either work or they don’t.

So Scottish Power arrived at about 9pm, to head over the hills to investigate a cabling problem, we were all at half speed so it seemed.

Grateful for the logs, gas bottles and candles I have in the house along with the bottled drinking water and our washing water.  Yes we are basic here, but pretty self sufficient for a night at least. The guys worked through the night, cutting all power to our homes from 11pm. Back on by 7am they let us know before heading back down the hill. We were very relieved that we could get the oil fire back on again to warm it up.

chainsaw-kit

So today we are back to normal again and since I only brought the electric chainsaw with us on this trip, I am relieved as I will have to cut wood again in a couple of days, to actually fit on the fire. Our logs were hastily cut from trees which had fallen in storms in the past couple of years, all sections are about a foot high and anything up to 2 feet across and were not logged at the time.  They have dried in large pieces and now need to be split.  We tried a small hand splitter, a large axe, a small hand axe and we only have the small chainsaw left here to try.  My partner tried it the other day, but his old injuries along with the new ones have been playing him up and have left him sore. So it will finally be my turn to try, I have the kit for working outside, chainsaw helmet, muffs, gloves, trousers and rigger boots.  I am sure that with his guidance I’ll be able to do it.  When I get the hang of using the small one, then I can move onto the big one next time.  But for now this will have to do for us.

Something occurred to me yesterday morning though, if all the big strong men up here get their logs delivered and pose with their axes for their women, then there is probably a reason or two why.  I will leave you to come to your own conclusions there.

Our neighbour has a bandsaw and a huge pile of perfectly sawn logs.  They are outside ready for winter and he has moved them outside his back door for ease of use when needed.  When the power was down, my partner commented that it must be lovely and warm in there with his new log burner going. He was a little bit shocked when he was informed that despite having it fitted over a year ago, that the man still has not yet used it. That “it was a very messy business using this one, and all the instructions are in Italian.”  As my partner says, that was three reasons.  Remembering the other neighbour with his wood delivery my response was My God, is it all for show up here?

How difficult is it to light a fire for goodness sake?

I guess some people are not blessed with either common sense or practicality.

I don’t know why the mess of a log fire should bother him, he is a wealthy man who has people to clean and pick up after him.

So when there was not enough power to pump his oil fired heating around his house rather than put on a coat to come outside and speak to the men from the power company, he stood in the icy cold in his sweater. He did not figure out how to use his log burner and would rather sit indoors moaning that it was cold.

“He’d cut off his nose to spite his face” as my grandparents used to say…

We did have some light it was so dim that it was little more than candlelight and it wouldn’t even power the fan heater, or the electric blanket on the bed. We put on extra layers, extra logs on the fire and can boil a kettle on the gas in the caravan if need be. Although everything took twice the time to achieve it didn’t much matter to us, we were not on a schedule, however for the folk who are, it must have driven them crazy.

Up on the Roof, Thinking Space

I recently read a wonderful page which mentioned being up on the roof. and in a flash of inspiration I returned for a moment to my favourite place in our second childhood home.

When I was ten years old we moved away from school and the friends that I had come to know and travelled to a new place. I was full of hope, finally getting away from the children that had terrorised me up until then. This would be the chance for a whole new existence. As the youngest child at the time, I was happy to have the smaller bedroom, it overlooked most of the garden, had a nice window and I used to climb out of the window and sit on the bathroom roof. It had a small brick ridge to the pitch where it joined the house next door and it was just big enough to perch along it. I loved sitting out there, when things had all got too much, after arguments with my brother or friends at school, or my parents. It was my thinking space and I loved to take time out to be there. I always was told off if my parents found out that I had been up there, but I took the risk on so many occasions. It was slightly less dangerous once they had the new roof fitted after which I could see no real reason why I shouldn’t go there. Falling was never considered since I was always careful.

A couple of years later, my sister arrived and I very reluctantly had to move into the larger bedroom, having previously had the small box room for the first ten years of my life I always preferred the smaller room. Years later, when my brother was away, I asked to borrow his room and regularly ventured out up on the roof, much to the surprise of the new neighbours when they moved next door. From up there you could see both up and down the road in the gardens, I could also wave at my friend down the road, from his roof windows, when he was home.

I liked the height and the inaccessibility of a roof, most people I knew would not venture out there and as I grew older I later chose homes which were high up wherever possible. I felt somehow safer there. The balcony flats where I lived for 13 years, were fantastic for the views and I feel truly at home living up high, it also kept unwanted visitors out and I could enjoy the view, looking out over the rooftops and letting the imagination run wild once again.