27 March 2016

There’s an answer to everything....

It has always been said that where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I’m a firm believer in that. My whole life seems to have been spent solving problems. I don’t mean major ones, just ones that make everyday life a little uncomfortable. The expression ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’ always led me to think up ways and means of making things better or at least easier. I remember many years ago, fixing up a system that lit the way to an outside toilet, one that was not attached to the house. My son was quite small then and scared of the dark so going to an outside loo terrified the pants off him. To overcome that problem and others led to thinking-caps being donned and solutions found.

I can’t remember the exact detail of my effort to light the way but somehow I concocted an unsophisticated system using both electric lamps and torches, all joined together and operational from one switch in the kitchen. There were no trailing wires; instead I managed to run them along the wall, then across to a facing wall like a washing line but high enough so that Jon couldn’t tamper with anything. And it worked. I remember a friend remarking on my ingenuity and quoting ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’. I haven’t changed, my brain is geared to thinking up ways of making life easier, working out systems, etc. However, if you asked for my opinion on world affairs I would run into a corner and plead ignorance.

These days everything is to hand, all amenities are indoors and thank goodness... I would hate to start doing makeshift jobs again. Not at my age! However, since Charlie the cat came to stay I have found myself thinking up ways to deal with certain situations.

My bungalow is brilliant but, as I am finding out, not good for cats. I mean, a cat likes to go out, especially at night. In the early days of Charlie’s occupancy I was the one who had to get out of bed to let him out. I soon realised that couldn’t go on. So (sorry Matt!), it was time to come up with solutions.

There are two doors leading from kitchen to garden, although the space between is under cover. That’s where my washing gets done. 
Laundry room, for want of a better name!
Pic.1. Door to garden
Pic.2. Kitchen door
The garden door (pic.1) is where a cat flap has been fitted, but the door to the kitchen (pic.2) is made up of glass panels. Not only is there a step outside the kitchen door (I think Charlie could cope with that) but experts say it would be impossible to fit a cat flap in a glass panelled door. It was a specialist’s opinion but I wonder if an ordinary DIY guy would have the same opinion. A new door would be the answer but the cost is prohibitive. Since the cat has to negotiate two doors, the kitchen door proved to be a problem. Leaving it ajar was the only way of getting a night’s sleep. Why cats have to be so active at night beats me.

As a makeshift solution I devised a system whereby a strap attached to the door can be hooked on to a cupboard, preventing the door from opening or closing any more than it has to. Bearing in mind that the outer door has a cat flap this means there is little chance of prowlers getting in. It doesn’t stop the cold wind gaining access, though, especially as our winter seems to be continuing. As you can see, it isn’t an ideal situation but apart from giving Charlie the key to the door I can’t see any other way of dealing with it. For once my inventiveness fails me.


  1. Because of storm doors we have not been able to create a dog flap for the pups to get out on their own and I have not been able to get even a little creative. So I get up and down to let them in and out. At least they don't prowl at night.

  2. Oh my Valerie, your clever inventiveness of fixing up a system that lit the way to an outside toilet was SO impressive! You should start a DIY blog and share your tips and advice.

    I know you said that experts say it would be impossible to fit a cat flap in a glass paneled door, but it would seem (to me, anyway) that there has to be some way do that; especially since the size of the glass panels seems to be the perfect size to fit a cat flap.

    "Why cats have to be so active at night beats me."

    I know what you mean. When I had two cats, they would always become wide awake at night and start running through my apartment getting into mischief. Cats are like vampires, they come ALIVE after it gets dark - HA!

    Happy Easter to you and Charlie!


  3. Ron, I had to smile at the idea of being doing a DIY blog. The only advice I could give would be to look around and see what was available to utilise in an emergency, then use the imagination. I agree with you about the glass panels as the size seemed just right. I wonder if I was talking to the wrong people!

  4. kden, thanks for your comment which I accidentally deleted. That's the trouble with ipads the links are so small. Anyway, I appreciate what you said about a DIY job on the required cat flap and will definitely consider it. Thanks for the idea, I'll do anything to keep out the cold and your idea is perfect to do that.

  5. That is pretty darned clever of you Valerie. That's a phrase we always used in our house when I was growing up too.

  6. What creativity and ingenuity! Your cat must surely be grateful.

    Love your laundry room. Mine is in my garage, where discarded treasure hide.

  7. Hi Susan, yes I'm lucky that the previous owners of the bungalow had the bright idea of boxing in the side passage thus creating space for a second kitchen! It was our idea to install sink and cupboards though. We based it on the 'have space, must fill' theory.

  8. When there's a will, there's a way, and I think it is just another example of how amazing and awesome you are Val. I certainly hope Charlie appreciates it. My apologies for the missing video, but all is well and you can witness Little Miss Hayden. Take care.

  9. How's April looking, Val? We are just wrapping up March and I'm looking forward to good things in April.

  10. No April Fool's Val as I decided to finish out the week with another post. Hope all is well.

  11. Hello,

    It is a good thing that you don't get bogged down by problems but always find some solution to overcome them. Many will ask for help from outsiders but you are very resourceful and this is an admirable quality.

    I enjoyed reading your post

  12. Indeed it true. And when young and poor with a growing family I like by that philosophy. No with the normal aches and pains plus vertigo I encouraged my devoted spouse to call the plumber, electrician or whoever can fix what needs to be done while I focus on the prerogatives of my retirement...:)


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