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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

My Priorities and Bounce Back.

I’m a maker/fixer/mender of things (inanimate objects) but when our microwave oven door started to malfunction I had no intention of fixing it, it was still under guarantee. An engineer called. He couldn't fix it. He helpfully said “you can’t just fix a microwave door, it’s too dangerous". It required a new door. We had 2 more engineer appointments. Twice we waited in, twice no one turned up. The problem was there was no replacement door available, there wasn’t even a replacement microwave available.

Now this isn’t just any old microwave oven, it’s a built in combination oven that matches our conventional oven which it sits above.

We were provided with a superior replacement combination oven which is an ok but not perfect match.

Did we want the engineer to replace the oven for us? No thanks I’ll arrange it myself. So the new, more expensive, oven arrived. But I’m a maker/fixer/mender of things. So I carefully dismantled the offending door. I identified the problem, I did my research, I acquired the necessary parts and I fixed the door. We're testing it now. If the repair works we have a brand new unpacked combination oven for sale. Interested?

Was fixing the oven a priority? Yes, I think so.

But how my priorities have changed. Today, as the sun starts to shine into the shed/summer house/pavilion at the top of the garden I’ll root out old tools to advertise for sale. Not really a priority but something I want to get done.

One priority is to see people. It’s the reason I’m planning a birthday event. I’m hoping I’m not biting off more than I can chew. Essentially it’s an excuse for an event. My actual birthday is on the 30th June I’ll probably spend with my immediate tribe. For me that’s a priority. Then because we'll all be busy getting together following the further easing of lockdown I’ll spread the event over 3 days. Pick your time. Friday afternoon, Saturday evening or Sunday morning. But be aware my clock is ticking. I have no idea how well or ill I'll be by then.

But is it a priority to see people? Yes, I think so.

Just at the moment I’m struggling a bit with my “bounce back” experience. Everything's a bit more challenging than I expected it would be. I was hoping to have “bounced back” already but after 8 months of a gruelling drugs regime I may be expecting a bit too much. I've finally finished all my chemo related medication. I’m now down to just 3 pills a day.

What hasn’t changed, it may even be worse, is my levels of fatigue and my bleddy feet. I wake in the mornings and each day my first thought is my feet. This morning they definitely felt as bad as they've ever been. I suppose it justifies my blue badge. My levels of fatigue are also remarkable. On a bad day I can be out of bed for a whole 10 hours.

Because my mornings are my best time we try to get things done then. We go out for coffee at 9.30. Yesterday before my coffee club we went to the butchers. We probably all have a favourite butcher and after avoiding meat for a couple of years I want to know the provenance of the meat I eat. So generally we buy our meat at Philip Warren and Son, Butchers at Launceston. It’s a 66 mile round trip. They open at 8am. An ideal morning adventure. Check out their website

Is it a priority to eat good food? Yes, I think so.

But equally there’s things that aren't priorities any more. I’m not too sure what they are but I know them when they occur. Do I really need new sunglasses? Do I really need any new clothes? Oddly writing this blog was never intended to be a priority but it seems to have become one.

I could be more brutal with my description of priorities but somehow there seems little point.

I can, and probably do prioritise people in my life. Shall I write a list. I’d better not, its a moveable feast anyway.

Look at me. I’m about to reach my 64th birthday it’s going to be my last birthday. 17 birthdays fewer than the national average. Do I think I’ve successfully prioritised things throughout my life? I think I’ve made a good attempt but I know I would have done things differently if I knew how I would end up.

Some of you readers may also get off the bus a bit early. Are you sure you’ve got your priorities right?

Probably worth giving it some serious thought.

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May 22, 2021

Neil the Knackler. I like it!


May 20, 2021

Your description of yourself as a "fixer, mender, maker" of things reminds me of an old word I heard on the Repair Shop on TV a few weeks ago when a chap described his old grandad as a "knackler", - someone who can turn their hand to mending anything. Would suit you Neil!

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