That saying 'time on my hands is interesting'.
To have "time on your hands" is an idiom that means simply you have time in which to do anything you like. Time, of course, cannot be held in the hands, so the word hands is a metaphor which means to have, or to possess. An equivalent expression would be. "I have plenty of free time." - from Stack Exchange.com
I think THE MUNDANE CURMUDGEON could investigate and elaborate on that for your edification.
Anyway, I wrote this post back in February and it looked promising as I've met a lot of nice people but it attracted a lot of negative comments - many of them from me- see here:
I think the concept is worthwhile but I'll keep away from religious people this time.
THE NICEST PEOPLE I'VE KNOWN' - PART 3
When we moved to Christchurch in 1995 (as part of my work) we didn't know anyone. I have relatives in the South Island but they were in South Canterbury and Marlborough, not Christchurch. We lived briefly in Merivale in an old brick villa we rented for a couple of months I think. I remember the first weekend there we experienced a fairly severe earthquake. The walls were moving and we thought the roof would fall in on us. This was a bit of a surprise to us as we were unaware that Christchurch was an active earthquake zone - we certainly had that notion destroyed 16 years later.
One Friday evening when I was waiting for my fish and chips at the local chippie I spied an ideal property to buy in the real estate window next door. As we were going to Blenheim the next morning I rang the real estate agent that night and said we were interested. The property was ideal, we viewed the next week, put an offer in and bought and moved in a few weeks later. It was a great property next to Riccarton race course , was a 1930's 2-storey bungalow and had nearly an acre of established gardens, lawns and trees. We enjoyed our ownership of this and kept it even after we returned to Auckland in 2000, only selling it in 2005.
Working in Christchurch was very enjoyable and I discovered that most people didn't work weekends as I'd become used to in Auckland where everyone I knew seemed to duck into work on a Saturday or Sunday to 'catch up' on things. In Christchurch weekend sports, gardening and relaxing was sacred (oops - a religious expression).
I learned the pleasure of mowing lawns, trimming trees, cutting firewood and generally enjoying the property. The Old Girl set up many different gardens at various points. We had a long meandering driveway, a fishpond, council-registered protected trees, an unusual South American plant that flowered once every two years and to which the Christchurch horticultural society members would come to visit, and, as mentioned we had garden 'islands' scattered about.
Not long after we'd moved in there was a knock on the door and an elderly chap introduced himself as our neighbour Wes. He was in his 80s but was still fit and active and was looking for things to do. He and his wife Mary kept a magnificent garden in their property next door but he was well on top of that. He pointed out a large uncultivated area next to our garages and asked if I minded if he put a vegetable garden in. As I'm not much of a gardner and had no thoughts of using that patch I told him sure, go for it. I assumed that Wes was looking to have a vegetable garden for himself.
During the week while we were at work Wes would toil away, digging, fertilising, seeding and cultivating this garden. It was a show piece with all sorts of seasonal vegetables growing nicely.
One day he brought us some cauliflower or other winter vegetable and I thanked him. He explained that he'd staggered the planting of all the varieties so that we could pick and use when they were ready. At that point the penny dropped - he'd put the vegetable garden in for us. I told him that he should use as much as he wanted but he laughed and took me to his property and showed me his own vegetable garden behind the house that I hadn't seen before even though we'd visited for afternoon or morning tea several times.
Wes and his wife Mary were great neighbours. They were quiet, friendly and helpful. Sadly Wes, for all his fitness was diagnosed with a nasty form of cancer in 1999 and died very quickly. Mary, who was only a few years younger than Wes was still living in their house when we left but has most likely passed on by now.
In this Post I make a mention of Wes and Mary and their Saturday night ritual of listening to music and dancing - the only times that we heard any noise from their property.
Wes and Mary, you are both living in our memories.