Frankly, I don't feel I've done much here in 2017. I did accomplish the previously reported refurbishment of the two remaining large sash windows - both hard work but very satisfying to see (and feel the benefit of reduced draughts). I also managed to repair the corner of a back wall where many stones were loose - I was worried that if my neighbour's side was as bad then the wall might collapse but, fortunately, his side was better anyway. The rest of the list from earlier this year is still outstanding.
There also been a lot of clearing out in the second bedroom where I had made a wardrobe. This clearing task was made much easier after August as our daughter's wonderful wedding dress was used for its intended purpose and now lives at her house. Otherwise my shed is now full of stuff from my Dad's house that I would like to use, restore or sell - that last task seems to be a lot more work than one might think. I have not done much in the garden except to keep it tidy; I was really annoyed when the people at the back started to cut the ivy on my back wall - I asked them to leave as much as they could as it breaks up the appearance of the wall and adds some privacy, as well as giving food for birds.When they finished, it looked the same on my side, but on their side they had given the bit on top of the wall a short back and sides - the vertical wall was totally clear and so all the ivy on top had been cut off from its roots! Sigh.
It might be considered that I must have been lying around doing nothing this year, but this is definitely not the case. Leisure wise, I have bought a one-tenth share in a small aeroplane which is older than I am, and refreshed my private pilot's licence, so there is a bit of flying to look forward to in 2018.
At the church, we have done a £250k job on the exterior, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. In the course of this work we suffered some vandalism when some little sod got up the partially completed scaffolding before the alarm was fitted and literally kicked a couple of stained glass windows to pieces - this repair should be complete at last in early January. You can hardly imagine how much work is caused by an incident like that, and most of it fell on my shoulders.
That reminds me of something that I need to pass on about the erection of scaffolding. It appears to be customary trade practice not to fit a scaffolding alarm until the erection of the scaffolding is finished. Now, I can understand why that should be the case for scaffolding around a house, as the alarm will get in the way of the next day's erection work. However, when you are putting up 13 lifts of scaffolding around a church tower, the job will take several days so I cannot understand why the alarm cannot be fitted once you have done the first three or four lifts, as all subsequent work will be above the alarm. If I was the insurers I would be insisting on a change to the current practice, but fortunately they are paying (apart from our excess)...
At one stage recently, one of the two temporary plastic sheets fell out of the window and made everyone very cold for one weekend. To fix this, I hired a 7.2 metre double width scaffold tower which was erected and dismantled by me and two men of similar age. To my surprise, I found that the double width tower was no more difficult to erect
This year we have had a cruise from Jordan to Malaga through the Suez Canal, seeing Petra in Jordan and calling at Crete, Malta, Palma and Gibraltar; we also spent a week in Sicily in September, so we have done OK for holidays. (NB From our cruise we flew back from Malaga and had the most dreadful airport experience of our lives - don't go there! If it's a bad as that on a Sunday in early April, what was it like in August?)
We have become used to being in each other's company for most of the day, almost every day, now that we are both properly retired, and I expect to end my six years as Churchwarden in May 2018, so I will then have even more time on my hands.