My daughter asked me "Mum, what do you do all day?  Why don't you do this or that?"  Why indeed.  I have been retired for six years and nothing is getting done.  Why don't I just go back to work because then everything was getting done and I had time to do classes in art and aromatherapy and whatever else I decided to do. Now, there is no time for most of these things.

Today I was up at 6.30am and had a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon and a small amount of epsom salts (magnesium - which I am told we all need and which my father used to have every morning and his father as well).  Then I had half an hour meditating.  This was lovely, the house quiet and the world quiet outside.

I move to get coffee and wake my partner who is younger than I am and still works.  It is winter and cold so we stay inside to drink this coffee.  When the days are warmer we have coffee on the front verandah with the sun streaming in and spend  a half an hour there. We know how lucky we are to be able to start our days in this way.  It is a beautiful time of morning with the small birds getting breakfast and flitting around in the garden we have made especially for  them.  They chatter and go about their business noisily. Today, as I said, it was cold.  The sun was up but the frost was white.  We could hear the birds busier than usual, no doubt keeping warm rushing about and with their feathers fluffed up against the cold.

I get breakfast and then the phone rings.  It is my sister calling from Queensland telling me she is sitting out in the sun having a coffee and just thought she would call.  I chat for a little while but tell her I will ring her back as we still haven't had breakfast and himself has to get to work.  Back to the breakfast and then a packed lunch for him.  The dogs are demanding a small treat and then their breakfast as well.  They are old and small but eat like horses

This all done I put on some washing.  The days are short and it takes two days to dry the heavy clothes and flannelette sheets even when we have sun, which hasn't been very often these days.  For the past two winters and this winter also, we have had thick heavy cloud over our little valley instead of the beautiful frosty mornings and sunny days that we were so used to and looked forward to in the winter.  The climate is definitely changing and not for the better.  Although the previous two years had thick cloud, there was no rain but this year we have at least had rain which helps to get into the subsoil so it can cope with the very hot summers we are now also experiencing.  

The thing with the cloud cover is that we get no power into our batteries and we are fully solar so rely on that sun every day.  Once it could be relied on.  However, a day yesterday and half a day today by the looks of things, is all we're going to get this time.  The washing is paramount.  I have a twin tub washing machine as it doesn't take as much poweer or water as an automatic and water is almost as important as power.  We rely on a dam and our six water tanks which catch water from the roof.  It is not wasted.

So, the sheets are done today and the heavy things from yesterday are put out to finish off drying while the other washing is done.  Also at this time the washing up is done in between getting loads out of the washing machine and spinning them and hanging them out on a line which is about 20 metres up the hill as that is where the line gets the most sun and wind to assist the drying.  Okay, these are all done, make quick cup of coffee and ring sister back so that she doesn't think I have forgotten her.  She doesn't answer so decide to ring other sister while I have the coffee.  She has been sick and I ring her pretty regularly to see how she is going.  Ten minutes with her then try first sister again.  She is there this time and we chat for probably another ten minutes.

Then ring vet to make appointment for dogs to have check-up this afternoon at 3.00pm.  Get stick vacuum cleaner down (invaluable) and give the floors a quick going over.  Make the bed with fresh sheets.  Realise the fridge needs cleaning out and so do the cupboards but not today. Windows also need cleaning but again, not today.  Put dead flowers out on compost heap and wash the two vases.  They should have gone out last week!!!  

Had text from himself forwarding text from his sister in Ireland who had had a fall a couple of months ago and is only just home but still not able to put full weight on her leg.  Thank him for that and then send long text to sister in law and hope she will be better soon.  Texts fairly slow but don't know her email or whether she even has one.  Will have to find out but will do that later.

Go down and feed chooks and collect the eggs.  Only one chook laying and she is only laying sporadically as it is winter and she just said she wasn't going to do it now.  "Enough is enough you know and I need a break.  What's wrong with that other old girl over there and the two ducks?  Doesn't anybody pull their weight in this place?  Anyway, I don't have time."  So that's that in that department.  Come spring will have to invest in another couple of young chooks.  Everyone here seems to think that they can just eat and do nothing!!!  Realise the water barrel that supplies them with clean water is almost empty so go into the garden and switch on the tap to fill it.  Put the timer on but make a note to come and check that timer is working otherwise we will lose a tank of water.  

Come back up to the house thinking about all this.  Why aren't I writing this down so my daughter can read it and see just what happens here all day.  Think about my beautiful computer which I was given for my 70th birthday and which I never have time to use except to write a few emails.  I had visions of long hours writing short stories (for starters) and then novels and who knows what else?  I was also going to paint (used to years ago when I worked).  Have been doing a course in colour which is absolutely amazing.  Every Monday I travel 45 minutes there, spend three hours at the course (magic) then, because it is in another town I hardly ever go to because it is out of the way, I take the opportunity to visit a 92 year old aunt  and have a chat to her for a couple of hours.  She doesn't get many visitors and is so pleased to have some input into her life from the outside everyday world that is not doom and gloom as it is from the TV news.  I can't not do that.  She loves me doing this course as she then gets a visit but the course won't go on for that much longer.

That's what happens on a Monday.  By the time I get home at 4.00pm the fire has to be lit or the house will start to cool down.  But today, getting back to today.  Having made the appointment with the vet, will have to leave here by 2.30 as it takes 20 minutes to half an hour to get to town and to the vet's and park and get the dogs in.  They hate the vet.  The vet is usually half an hour late "Had to go out of town and attend to a horse".  Yes, of course.  Why am I always on time?  I hate being late.  They say people who are on time are the loneliest people in the world because they spend their lives waiting for people who are late.  Half an hour in the vet, grab some fresh bread for sandwiches for himself, then half an hour home.  Light the slow combustion stove, get some leek and potato soup going, feed dogs (again - they stuff themselves).  They need to go out immediately as their bladders aren't that good because they are old and the mat could be a good place to wee if we are a bit tardy about letting them out.

Haven't done any art homework.  Had four weeks' break just recently and didn't do any then either.  No time.  It was in my head but didn't get it done.  Weather awful, usually outside to paint.  Had to cram a Book Club book into a short space of time last week because I only had six weeks to read it and chose the last two days.  As I said, the Book Club comes around only once every six weeks and it seems as though it is every week.

Tomorrow I will be playing tennis.  Have to be in there by 9.00 in winter.  Leave here at 8.30!!!  How can I leave here at 8.30?  Get in there at 9.15 frazzled.  11.30 have coffee with other players for an hour, rush off, get hair cut, do some much needed grocery shopping, get home, light fire, could be leek and potato soup again on the menu as that is the quickest.  We like fresh food and grow a lot of it in the garden but haven't been in the garden for a week.

Someone asked me about the jumper I had on the other day, did I knit it.  Knit it? I haven't had time to knit jumpers or anything else for that matter, since I gave up work!!!  The days are filled to capacity with stuff that needs to be done, not necessarily stuff that I want to do, but just stuff.  Should go over and visit a friend who is not well and will try and fit that in when I get back from vet.  Hope he isn't late, there could be a spare half hour in there if he is on time.

But today I have taken an hour or so off to write this and it has done me good.  I will refer my daughter to it and say.  I haven't really done anything but it has taken me all day.