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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

If at First you Don't Succeed!

Sometimes I write a blog post I’m quite pleased with. Sometimes they’re a bit iffy. I’ve just written an OK one but, with a combination of incompetence, maybe changing our router part way through or spreading the writing between my phone, tablet and laptop I’ve conspired to lose it. So frustratingly I'm writing again.

In the scheme of things, it’s not really important, is it? Just a bit ..... frustrating.

So here I go again. It might take some time.

I'm excited to update you on the riddle of my new project. Now, this is a very personal project although I'm relying heavily on family and friends. This activity is a singular activity but there will be opportunities to share with others. Before I start my part of this activity, I need to prepare myself mentally, physically and in terms of PPE. Some of you may ask if I have the correct skill set to continue with this project. I'll say I have. But I need to understand what all this skill set malarkey is all about. I feel I have a load of useful skills I can adapt to most situations. These skills have been accumulated over a serious number of years.

Skills I liken to buttons (skill buttons) that I keep in an imaginary button tin like our mums and grandmothers had. It may take a bit of practice but the skills are there. Some of these skills are those I learnt when I was young, some, obviously I’ve learnt throughout my life. Some I'm learning now (many of my new skills are all about cancer, chemo and my limitations due to my failing health). Establishing what skills I need to have for my new project means I need to rummage around in my skills button tin, select suitable skills buttons, polish them up a bit and sew them on to my project. I've even sourced a new hat in celebration of this new project.

Some of my skills buttons have been very hard to find and they are a bit tarnished. When I’ve been at my most ill and at my most weak in body and mind, I find I've ignored my skills buttons and taken advice that’s been of little use.

If I can tell the difference of good advice and bad advice, I probably don’t need advice at all.

This shows itself at it’s most obvious during practical activities. Since my first diagnosis over 3 years ago we’ve undertaken two biggish projects. A new bathroom (sans bain). And a new kitchen. I recall that during a discussion with a plumber, I mentioned my bathroom project and got on to the subject of towel rails. His “advice" was use a regular radiator for improved efficiency my counter was to suggest using two towel rails. This fell of deaf ears. No one has two heated towel rails in their bathroom. We do! Then there was the shower tray. Let’s dispense with the instructions, fit it the plumbers way. Result a poor draining shower tray. Ok! So I was probably not functioning on all four cylinders. I take the blame for taking the advice.

The kitchen became a battle with a higher end designer. He definitely knew what we needed but he couldn’t grasp what we wanted! Mark, the designer at Howdens, understood what we wanted, couldn’t meet our needs completely but provided all he could.

It took 3 suppliers; “Howdens”, the fabulous “Wood Cut” and “Woolacotts" to meet our needs. Happily I took my own advice. Result; a very satisfactory kitchen with a tangerine coloured fridge/freezer....lovely.

You may notice there are occasionally longer gaps between posts. These gaps are not related to my failing health, they’re more related to my ability to do more. The weather is a blessing. At the moment not too cold, not too windy, not too wet. Perfect for getting on with life and not dwelling too much on other stuff. I'm still here and, by and large, still smiling, unlike Prince Philip who died today.

We’re even taking our Tuesday Morning Coffee Club on tour. Next Tuesday, if I can make the technology do its stuff, we'll be broadcasting from the nation’s centre for alternative therapies; Totnes. Don’t worry

We just need a break. So at the very first opportunity the motorhome’s gonna hit the road.

Not too early mind you I have my 2nd covid jab at 12:40 on Monday, yippee.

Now I’m about to take my own advice.


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