Posted by Shirley Anne on August 21, 2014
English: Epsom Lane (B290) looking north The racecourse is just ahead. This road carries a 30 mph speed limit here, but a great many drivers exceed this speed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I always knew that I would be working on Monday morning. My last job was on Friday and I had nothing planned or scheduled after that but as usual the calls kept coming in over the weekend and I had something to do. Two jobs for Monday and one for Thursday so enough at least to pay for my advertisement in the paper. Actually one job is more than sufficient for that as my minimum charge exceeds that of the cost of the advert for one week. Anything more than that is all profit. Whilst at the first job however I received another call for work which I did after I’d finished the first two. It was after one o’clock by the time I’d done all three and I was about twenty miles from home. Having not eaten since seven-thirty I was beginning to feel hungry so I decided to stop at a restaurant/pub on the way home, one that was only a couple of miles away from where I was and one that E and I sometimes visit when dining out. The meal was delicious, lamb’s liver with strips of bacon in a tasty gravy together with mashed potatoes, and three vegetables, broccoli, cabbage and carrots. Only a soft drink with the meal though as one, I no longer drink alcohol and two, I was driving. I paid a visit to the electrical supplier first thing in the morning after which I drove through the country lanes to the first job. Along the way on a stretch of road which passes through a small village I could see in the distance the unmistakable yellow and blue stripes of a police van parked up. The speed limit along the road is 30 mph and naturally I was driving below that speed! They were doing a routine check on speed and most probably trying to catch uninsured drivers. I think uninsured drivers are the lowest of the low, often causing accidents and not being liable for them afterward. Legitimate drivers have to fork out for any repairs that ensue if an uninsured driver causes damage. That is only a part of it as you can understand so I am happy to see the police out doing their job, the more the better. Anyway after my lunch I came across another police van doing the same. I drove into my home town and stopped at a filling station for fuel, alongside a bright yellow Porsche Carrera GT convertible. An old guy was filling her up and he was wearing a bright yellow jacket, by coincidence I learned later. My van is grey in colour and I was wearing a grey coloured top. I mentioned to him that we were both colour co-ordinated with our vehicles and he chuckled. I asked if we might exchange vehicles and he smiled saying, ‘Yours is probably a lot cheaper to run’! LOL. Just as I was driving off I received yet another call for work (I have a hands-free system in the van) but I had to turn it down as it was too far to travel to it. By the time I reached home I’d received another call, also too far for me to travel to. I set a limit as to how far I will travel to do a job especially if they are small jobs, it just isn’t cost-effective. That limit is around twenty miles from home. So I am asking myself where are all the other electricians? Is it only me they are asking? Even over the weekend I was turning jobs down not only because of the distance but also because of the size of the job too. I am simply too old to take on too large a job these days, except at home of course where I can take my time.
Posted in Dining out, Driving, Electrical, Insurance, Work | Tagged: Dining out, Driving, Electrical work, Insurance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 20, 2014
Its windy the corn is blowing in the wind. For June it is quite rough, even more so for mid-August.
There is a battle going on outside between the wind and the sun and we are getting equal measures of both! Trouble is the wind has the greater effect upon us. It blows me sideways when I go outdoors and makes the day much colder than it would otherwise be, probably as much as ten degrees (Celsius) in some places. We were told earlier in the season that we might get more warm, even hot weather at the end of this month. Well that is only a week away and at the moment it doesn’t seem possible. One of the trees on view in the rear garden and which actually stands in the corner of the garden has brown leaves already, not because it is Autumn but because of wind burn! Strange as it may seem though nearby trees are not as affected yet they stand in the wind’s path too and one of them is of the same variety. I suppose we can’t complain about the wind as we live right on the coast. Taken all round we don’t have many wind-free days where we live though for most of the time the wind is not blowing hard. Today it is Sunday and I am happy to be staying indoors, tomorrow however I have to be out and about at least during the morning though that may have changed since I wrote this. I am keen to do some more work in the cellar. I have been mixing the mortar I need for laying bricks in the doorway by hand, by the bucket rather than using the cement mixer. It enables me to spent less time than I would have to on the work if I had a mixer full of mortar to use. More mortar in one go means laying of more bricks to use it up and with this particular job I can’t lay too many bricks in the same place. Nice excuse but in reality perfectly true. My personal life is being blown about somewhat too as E and I are still not talking after three weeks. I won’t go into details but it is symptomatic of my life at home in general as it has been over the last 25 years if the truth be known. Personally I hate the wind, it is the only element of the weather that I don’t like. In the same way the wind that blows in and out of my personal life is similarly despised. The one problem I face, we all face, is that there isn’t much we can do about the wind, except stay out of it!
Posted in Climate, Domestic Projects, Happiness, Life, Weather | Tagged: Happiness, Weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 19, 2014
….sort of! My Saturday was spent working at home. After breakfast and sorting out my emails and other stuff I began to manufacture a locking mechanism to be used on the outermost door which leads into the cellar beneath the stone steps on the side of the house. You can see the steps in this old picture. (You can also see the preparatory work for the patio’s construction in the same picture). This door opens inward beneath the steps and leads to another door into the cellar room we are converting (when we get round to it) into a toilet. The doorway that I am currently bricking up leads out of that room into the laundry room. In order to brick up the doorway I had to make the outer door secure. It used to be bolted from the inside as did the other door it leads to but as I am blocking access to the room from inside the laundry I had to arrange it so that access could be maintained from the outside which meant fitting a padlock and the necessary furniture to go with it. I had in my possession a really sturdy and robust padlock but I didn’t have the furniture to go with it so rather than purchasing a hasp and staple for the padlock I made something better using some heavy duty metal I have in storage and fitted that to the door. Add metalworking to my portfolio (LOL Actually it was always on my portfolio!). The inner door cannot now be locked or bolted, for obvious reasons. Eventually a new doorway will be knocked out just around the corner in this picture where there is a pathway leading to the rear of the garage on that side of the house. So I spent some time manufacturing the necessary furniture and fitting it and before long it was almost lunchtime. I stopped working for an hour or two, resuming just after E had left for her monthly group meeting. I began mixing mortar and laying a few bricks and managed to lay a few courses in the doorway of the double-bricked wall. I could have continued a bit longer but had to stop work around 4.30 as our youngest son had paid us a visit, though at that time I as alone in the house. It was just as well I suppose as I couldn’t lay more than a few courses of bricks anyway. You have to let the mortar for the laid bricks set hard before anymore weight (courses) is placed on it. I had to clean up in any case and change my clothes. E arrived back home shortly afterward but by that time I was again alone in the house.
Posted in DIY, House and Home | Tagged: Brick, DIY, Door, House and home, Padlock | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 18, 2014
Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church
12 ‘Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 ‘Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 ‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.’
17 The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
20 He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
What do you suppose this verse (highlighted in red) means? As sinners we are kept from Gods presence forever but loving as He is He makes it possible for that rift to be mended. God is righteous and expects His creation to be likewise but mankind separated himself from God by his wrongdoing and still does so today. We are filled with sin from the moment we are born but that sin can be dealt with. If we have dirty clothes we wash them and they become clean again. So it is with sinful man, we repent of our sins and wash them away. Unfortunately we cannot do that as we clean clothes, we cannot forgive ourselves and make ourselves clean once more. There is only one way to have our sins cleansed and that is having them washed in the blood of Christ, figuratively speaking of course. You see Jesus took our sins upon himself so that we might become clean and presentable to God. When we repent of our sins and ask Jesus to be our Saviour then the sacrifice he made for us comes into force. Imagine standing before God in filthy rags, still covered in sin. What do you suppose He would say? You would be cast out of His presence. Our dirty clothes need to be washed clean, our sins need to be washed away by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
Posted in Jesus, Salvation | Tagged: Alpha and Omega, God, Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus, Salvation, Sin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 17, 2014
Excuses messin cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Procrastination is the thief of time as the well-known saying goes. I am not immune to having periods of laziness, or rather lack of motivation. Sometimes I sit and ponder instead of ‘rolling up my sleeves’ (if I had any) and getting on with the job. Finally I come to my senses and get stuck in. The strange thing is I enjoy my little projects as much as I enjoy my professional work and I do not waver when it comes to that work. Currently I am involved in getting a doorway bricked up but as I write this on Thursday I have yet to get the tools out. Usually I prefer to mix mortar in the afternoon, just in case any electrical work comes in but sometimes I will simply take the whole day off if I want my home projects done. I have the choice but not always the inclination. I’ve talked about procrastination before and nothing changes, I still get times when motivation eludes me. I could make excuses by saying I work hard enough and deserve the rest and sometimes that would be true enough but mostly it isn’t. There is nothing worse than looking back and knowing that the things you wanted to get done didn’t get done when you had all the time in the world to do them! There are no real excuses in those cases. Some projects seem daunting and the thought of all the work that might be involved can put us off starting it. One step at a time is the key and little by little you reach that point where everything comes to place and you wonder what all the fuss was about. It is better to do things slowly for several reasons, you make fewer mistakes, you can manage your time in a better way and you don’t fall into the trap of overdoing things to the detriment of your health. Having something to do, whatever it might be, is a good thing, especially if it is constructive. I like to be constructive, I have always enjoyed being involved with building projects and watching each stage as it is completed. There is a real sense of achievement when constructing things using your own hands and skills. By the time you read this no doubt my current project will either be well underway or completed but first I must make the effort.
Posted in DIY, Hobbies, House and Home | Tagged: Procrastination, Time management | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 16, 2014
I had a bit of a lie-in on Wednesday morning though I’d had my five and a half hours sleep but I lay there contemplating what to do once I got out of bed. E had a quick breakfast and was away from the house all through the morning, not arriving back until after one o’clock. It gave me the chance to surprise her and have the freezers ready for use before she returned. No electrical work scheduled but I thought I’d take the opportunity to install a couple of extra power outlets in the laundry room down in the cellar to enable us to use those new chest freezers which had been delivered on Monday. My first task was to install an outlet for the old chest freezer which had been moved from its original position to one across the room where no outlets existed. Soon I had the outlet wired and the freezer sat in its new position whilst I concentrated on the installation of the other outlet on the opposite wall. The beauty of having electrical circuits in the cellar is that everything can be surfaced mounted with the cabling simply clipped to the walls. No need to channel it all into the walls and in any case there is no plaster on any of the walls in the cellar anyway. The second outlet was very simple to do as a junction box was merely a few centimetres above it. There isn’t much food left in the old freezer as we wanted to use the contents to allow it to be defrosted and cleaned out. Now the other freezers can be used we can temporarily transfer its contents to one of them whilst it gets its clean up. One of the new freezers was positioned where the old one sat with plenty of space left alongside it as the old one is longer in length but the extra space is far too small to accommodate its mate. The other freezer had therefore to be positioned partly in front of the door which leads to the room we want to convert into a toilet accessible only from the garden. The doorway needs to be bricked up which brings me to my next point. We had very little sand and cement in storage which meant a trip to the builder’s yard to purchase some. I was soon back home and I unloaded the bags of sand and stored them in the garage whilst I put the cement in the cellar next to the boiler to keep it dry. I dropped it alongside an existing bag of left-over cement which is wrapped in extra plastic bags with a small brick on top to keep it closed to the air. However I didn’t notice that the new bag I’d dropped alongside had been torn by the sharp corner of the brick and when I returned with a plastic bag to put it in I had to be careful that the contents weren’t spilled out onto the floor. I got another plastic bag to put it in and sealed it up until I can get around to using it. Now I have the motivation I am keen to brick up the doorway once and for all. I still have a bit of work left to do around the ‘mound’ in the garden and somehow I shall have to get around to doing that too. By the way, I will be removing that mess in the corner currently parading as a sink unit. Take a look at the stylish pipework supplying it…LOL. Just one of those jobs I never got round to doing but now I have work in the room it has jumped up the waiting to be done list.
Posted in House and Home | Tagged: Chest Freezer, House and home | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 15, 2014
Former National Provincial Bank
I worked incredibly hard on Monday and having no further work scheduled I thought I would take the opportunity to get to the bank to deposit some cash. I tend to let the cash build up before making a deposit as the bank I save with has only one branch which is in town. I can and have done in the past, deposited money in another bank I use, which provides my main current account and which is closer to home in the village nearby. If I deposit cash there I can then transfer it to the other bank using my Internet account but this time I thought I would take the extra time to visit the branch in town in person enabling me to do a spot of shopping at the same time. I took care of my banking and then started my shopping and during that time I received a call from an old guy asking it I could do two small electrical jobs for him and his wife. They live in an apartment block not far from where I live. I explained that I was out shopping but that I would call in later. He then asked, ‘To look at the job’? ‘No’ I replied, ‘To do it for you’! He was taken aback but was so pleased that I was going to do the work immediately. I arrived about an hour or so later and did the work. Whilst there the couple made me sit down for a coffee and we chatted a little. They were keen to know a little of my history as an electrician and I told them something about my work experiences. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let too much information out of the bag for I learned later that they were the parents of someone I once knew in a place I where I once worked. In fact I knew him fairly well but that was over seventeen years ago, long before my transition to womanhood. I didn’t let on that I knew him. I never speak about my transition under normal circumstances for there is no reason to do that. No doubt their son, if told, will be wondering who I am, this person they are talking about. I discovered that he no longer works as an engineer except in an advisory capacity when assessing work for others and that he lives in the next township eight miles away. So I finished the work and the money received more than covered my shopping spree. At the moment of writing this around lunchtime I am undecided as to whether to do a little work in the cellar at home or not. The work entails wiring and installing a couple of extra power points for the new freezers. I may leave it until later.
Posted in Banking, Money, Savings, Shopping, Transsexual, Work | Tagged: Bank, Cash, Deposit account, Transition, Transsexualism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 14, 2014
English: The flag of Sweden during a windy day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was such a windy day on Sunday so much so that I had to lower the flag and take it indoors. The manufacturers of the pole recommend that during high winds, that is anything over say 35 mph the flag should not be flown. The wind had died down somewhat by Monday morning so I raised the flag again, however it was still very windy and it stayed that way all day. Fortunately I was able to remain indoors for most of the time. I had received a text message on Sunday evening reminding me that the freezers would be delivered between the hours of three and six the following day which suited me fine and enabled me to take on the morning’s work I had scheduled. The job itself was pretty much straightforward and I completed it around 10.40and was able to pay a visit to the electrical supplier to purchase cable and power sockets to replenish my stock. When I arose around seven though I received another text informing me that the revised time of delivery had been put forward to between the hours of twelve and one o’clock. I still had the time to do the work I had scheduled, however just as I’d finished the work I received a phone call to let me know that they would be delivering the freezers at eleven! I informed them that I wasn’t at home, which was true, and that they had told me the time would be between twelve and one. They relented and said they would call at twelve. I arrived home around eleven twenty but whilst I was in the electrical supplier’s store I received a phone call from an elderly lady who asked if I could repair the many faulty recessed ceiling lights she had in her toilet and kitchen. She lived not far from the job I had just left! I do wish folk would call me the evening before so that I can schedule my work for the day. I had to tell her that I had to be at home to receive delivery of my freezers but that I would call to see her after lunch. The two freezers were duly delivered at twelve then I had some lunch. it took a couple of hours to do the lady’s job then I spent some time chatting with her afterward. She was fascinated at having a female do her electrical repairs. Whilst I was at her house I received a call from a woman who was keen to have a female electrician look at a faulty cooker that kept tripping out the main supply. I informed her that I do not repair appliances (not because I can’t but because I choose not to and I would have to carry a lot more spares in any case) and advised her to call an appliance repair specialist of which there are a few in the area. She pleaded with me to at least check the circuit. I explained that I would have to invoice her for at least £40 and if the cooker was indeed at fault (rather than the wiring to it) she would still have to call a repair specialist and pay him too. I mentioned that the specialist would automatically check the wiring in any case for the same cost. Then she told me that she was a tenant and that the cooker belonged to her landlord so it was his responsibility to get it repaired. She had phoned him only to be told that his electrician wouldn’t be available until the following day. Well it was around three-thirty and was hardly likely to get someone to call so late in the day for something that wasn’t really an emergency. In any case electricians do have scheduled commitments as a rule! She then moaned saying that she wouldn’t be able to cook a meal that evening unless the cooker was repaired! Oh, what a shame, what a terrible inconvenience! Most normal folk would dine out or have something delivered if they hadn’t a microwave oven to cook with. In other words she wanted me to drop what I was doing ( I had informed her that I was in the middle of a job at someone’s house and couldn’t go anyway) and see to her problem. What a cheek! The lady for whom I was working said that she was a selfish bitch. I think I might agree with her. As I write this on Monday evening I am working out plans to rearrange the equipment in the laundry and install some extra power outlets in the room tomorrow morning, which I will do unless a call comes in.
Posted in People, Work | Tagged: Electrical contractor, Electrician, Home appliance, Maintenance repair and operations, People | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 13, 2014
Laundry equipment within a room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Sunday afternoon as I write this the rain is falling heavily as the country gets bombarded with the aftermath of the tropical storm ‘Bertha’ which has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean over the last week. As it happens we on the northwest coast here in Southport are on the outer edge of the eye as it passes north and eastward on its journey but nevertheless there is still plenty of wind and rain. Apparently as it moves toward Scotland it is getting more active. I am resting after my lunch as I write this but this morning I decided to do a spot of tidying up and cleaning out of the passageway and one of the rooms in the cellar ready for when our chest freezers arrive, hopefully this week. A number of things cluttered the passageway or hallway, tea chests, cardboard boxes, a couple of large mirrors (we seem to have lots of mirrors down in the cellar) and among other things a fire-surround or mantlepiece. I’m not sure where that was planned to be installed but no doubt there will be a use for it somewhere. A couple more things were taken out of the hallway and stored in one of the other rooms. The ‘laundry’ room as we call it has a washing machine in it together with a small spin-dryer, a small freezer and of course the large chest freezer we have been having problems with, which is why we purchased two slightly smaller chest freezers to replace it. (See recent post). There were many more things in the room which needed storing properly and some things which needed removing altogether. I rearranged things to create the space for the new freezers and in the process moved the old chest freezer away from the wall. As I did that the unit became noisy again, just as we found it a couple of weeks ago but then the noise stopped. I had a feeling then that perhaps it was only the motor/compressor’s mountings that were the problem. I think I was right for since moving the unit all the noise has ceased. I am therefore convinced that there is little wrong with it so when the new ones arrive I will tell the delivery guys not to bother taking the old one away. No doubt they will be grateful for that. It means however that we will have three large chest freezers now! Providing of course that the old one continues to operate. It must be around forty years old now but fridges and freezers should last that long and the reason for that? Well the motor is immersed in oil and the unit, if not leaking, remains sealed from the atmosphere. Usually though with modern units things seem to go wrong earlier, thermostat, refrigerant leaks are the main culprits. Now that we’ll have three units and a small one down there we are going to have to plan exactly where to put them which will mean my having to install extra power outlets as the existing ones are all in the same place. As it happens this is one of the rooms we have carpeted but we may decide to remove it in favour of the sandstone blocks beneath which lie in all the other rooms bar one which was screeded over when we moved in years ago because it was so uneven. That room became a storage room for dry-packaged and tinned foodstuffs and is where we rebuilt the old kitchen units having refurbished the kitchen years ago too. The laundry room is also fitted with a sink unit, one that I am determined to replace as it is falling apart, not literally, just looks that way! It is a mess and it needs replacing. There is also what passes as a wall-mounted storage unit which needs attention or removal too. There is plenty of work down there to keep me occupied for weeks, remembering too that the room we wish to turn into a toilet accessible only from the garden is presently accessed through the laundry. Once that doorway is bricked up there will be more available wall space in the laundry itself. I will endeavour to make that a priority as soon as I am free to do the work. For the time being the laundry looks far better than it did a couple of hours ago, maybe not as nice as in the picture but it may be one day.
Posted in Cleaning, Domestic Projects | Tagged: Cleaning, Clearing out, House and home, Laundry room | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 12, 2014
It’s been a while since I went for a walk about Southport town centre but on Saturday morning I decided I would make the most of the fine weather and do so. I do go for walks now and then but not always to town. I have never been a person who likes walking about in crowded places. Give me thousands of people sitting down and I can handle that. It’s not the numbers, it’s the jostling, the bumps, the sudden stops right in front of me, the emergence from the store entrances without looking to see if there is anyone there are the things which annoy me. People out and about in towns are a different breed. I took the main road into the centre so the pavement was practically empty all along the route. There seems to be a definite barrier between crowded places and empty ones as if people are magnetically drawn to the one place. It was only 10.15 and I was already in the town centre and the streets were already full of people, not as in the picture I took (in Lord Street, the main through road in the town) some ten years ago in late Spring on a Sunday morning around about the same time of day. I managed to get through the heaving mass of those going in the opposite direction, often four or five abreast leaving little choice but to circumnavigate my way around them or just simply plough through and hope for the best. I always choose the latter. Usually I only go into town if I am on a shopping spree and I suppose I could have just done that, however I had deliberately left my purse (wallet) at home to avoid buying anything, though I did have a small purse in which I keep coins. There was little over £14 in it, enough for a coffee and even a meal if I’d wanted them but I didn’t, the purpose of my visit was to get out of the house for a while and get some exercise at the same time. I found myself taking an unusual route on my return from the town which took me along a road I usually take in the van when I visit my electrical supplier(s). I remembered that I needed some switches for my van stock and was going to purchase them when out and about on Monday but I thought to myself, why not get them now? I took the small detour which brought me behind the main shopping area in that part of town and to where the suppliers were. I made the quick purchase and then set off homeward. I was going to retrace my steps and go back the way I’d come but I took another detour which took me over the railway footbridge to the nearest residential area on the east side of the centre of town. I continued along the way through the out-of-the-way places of the old part of town until I reached home. When I was about a half-mile from home I nearly witnessed a nasty traffic accident, only averted by a quick-thinking motorist. I was waiting to cross a junction controlled by traffic lights when the light switched in my favour and those of the traffic going in the same direction. I was about to walk across when a small van approaching from my right continued through the lights in front of me. The lights were against the driver and the other traffic had begun to move across the junction. The leading vehicle’s driver had to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision and I would have been a key witness to it all. Thankfully the accident had been avoided and no-one was hurt. It brought it home to me that we never can tell what any day might bring or if we will live to see the end of it. I was soon back home with my feet up drinking a nice cup of coffee.
Posted in Activity, Leisure, People | Tagged: Leisure, People, Southport, Town centre | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 11, 2014
Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
….sometimes. I got around to installing that floodlight for the Irish lady, you know the one that kept asking questions and changing her mind. Her problem was that she had difficulty in understanding my answers to her questions even though I gave them in the simplest of ways several times. She doesn’t listen else there is nothing preventing my words from exiting her head having passed through her ears! She is a nice woman to be sure but I’d go crazy if I had to deal with her every day. During the installation I received a call from another client to do a small job for her and the Irish lady asked if was another job for me. I told her it was and that I’d be doing it once her job was finished. Ten minutes later she asked if I had anymore work scheduled for the day! As I was about to finish her job she asked if I would do another small thing, replace an outdoor Victorian-style wall lantern with a new one. I obliged and raised my fee accordingly. I drove homeward stopping along the way to do the other job, a minor problem I had sorted in minutes. I then returned home. We have been expecting the follow-up team to the National Grid Gas engineers who have been installing new gas pipes in the street. They were to replace the flagstone and repair some concrete which had been removed in our garden. I had spoken with the engineers on several occasions to make sure the repairs were going to be done properly for they had replaced the flagstone temporarily without removing some of the old mortar filling. That needed removing in order to put in fresh mortar that would seal the joints. I hadn’t noticed that the work had been done in my absence during the morning but I chanced to see their temporary barrier had been taken away and went to investigate. The old mortar hadn’t been removed and there were gaps around the flagstone which if not filled would allow weeds to take a hold later. It would have been so easy to have done the job properly but it seems some people are just too lazy. I did the repairs myself and if I get to see the engineers I will give them a piece of my mind. No doubt there will be a questionnaire at some point asking what we thought of the project and if we were satisfied with the service. I think you will know what I shall say.
Posted in Quality | Tagged: Laziness, Quality, Workmanship | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 10, 2014
This video runs for just over two hours so unless you have that spare time all in one go I suggest only part is watched at a time. I make no excuses for its content and but do not necessarily agree with everything in it. It certainly opened my eyes regarding one or two things. As a Christian I have to take care of what is being presented and rely on The Holy Spirit for guidance and for those who are not Christians or believers in God the video is still something which can open our hearts and minds to what is actually going on in this world in secret. You may consider it contrived nonsense and ignore it altogether. That will always be your choice but ask yourself why things happen the way they do, why this world is seemingly headed in one direction, one that any sane person would wish not to. But do take the time to watch it at least. It is called Dragons Deception and can be found at the link below. Be patient with the ‘musak’, I personally found it a little distracting toward the end but persevere.
Posted in End Times, God, Religion, Religion and Spirituality | Tagged: End Times, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 9, 2014
Well I have to admit to have been a little down in the dumps yesterday (Tuesday as I write this on Wednesday) but am back up there with the best of them again. Why? Simple really, I had lots to do. Now I know people are only doing their job when I come across a problem that needs sorting and am getting the wrong response. Sometimes though I could avoid certain situations if I spent more time reasoning things out. An example of this presented itself this morning (Wed) when a lady for whom I’d fitted a replacement shower unit back in June rang me to say it had sprung a leak and in fact was now impossible to use. Naturally I take these calls seriously for if I have made a mistake I wish to rectify it immediately if I can and at no charge of course to the customer. However, if the fault is not my own or the fitting, whatever it may be turns out to be at fault it will be replaced free of charge except that my time spent exchanging it must be paid for. As I had nothing else to do I called there straight away and when I had removed the cover to the shower I discovered it had a large hole in the internal water heating tank. It was a manufacturing fault. I removed the unit and took it to my supplier together with the invoice I had dug out of my records only to be told that they couldn’t replace it. The reason? The manufacturer replaces faulty equipment under guarantee. Now I should have known that except that as far as I knew only one or two manufacturers traditionally carried out their own repairs/replacements. Now I know many more are doing the same I will make sure I check before removing any equipment. No real harm done though but it simply wasted a little of my time. I was eventually successful in contacting the manufacturer on behalf of the lady though she would have had to do that herself had she known the procedure too. A young man finally answered after I had to endure the usual menu-driven options and boring music getting connected. He took all the details and I mentioned that I had removed the faulty unit thinking I could replace it and saying it wasn’t worth putting it back as it was faulty. Now this is what wound me up, he was insisting that it be put back so that their engineer could check it out and test it! Crikey, it had a whopping great hole in the water tank. No engineer worth his salt would object to it having been removed but this ‘jobsworth’ of a young man stuck to his guns. I asked if I could speak with their engineering department to which he replied, ‘We use a contractor’. So what he was saying is that they do not have engineers but use sub-contractors to do their work. In other words, I could have done the job for them if they wanted to sub-contract the job out to me! I probably will know the contractor if he is a local man. Anyhow I respected the young man’s request and refitted the faulty unit as I had found it. A totally pointless exercise but there you go. The upside to all of this was that the lady wouldn’t be charged for the unit’s replacement whereas she would have had to pay me to do it. Naturally I didn’t charge her a penny for my wasted efforts. I had left the house without my mobile phone so when I returned I put off parking the van in the garage thinking I might have to go out again. I wasn’t disappointed, a call had come in my absence. I called the number and the woman who answered wanted to know if I could do a job for her. It was to replace recessed ceiling lights in a bathroom and some under-unit lights in the kitchen. I drove the twelve miles to her house to assess the work then drove to the supplier to purchase the new fittings. When I returned to her house I discovered to my horror that one of the (boxed) units was different from the rest so I had to return to the supplier to have it replaced. It wasn’t a wasted journey for on my return the woman asked if I could purchase a floodlight to replace a faulty one in their garden. I did all the work in a couple of hours and was paid more than handsomely for being as she put it, ‘very efficient and prompt’. What can I say? When I finally got home there was no-one there for E had gone out. It was around three-fifteen and I was doing the paperwork before having something to eat. Our neighbour called me on the phone and apologised for all the noise that had been going on during the day. She has been having new paving stones laid and a couple of large trees felled and cut. I said, ‘What noise love? I have been out all day but thank you for the apology though it wasn’t required’. Finally I was able to get a bite to eat having missed out on lunch again. Later I received yet another call from the Irish lady I am installing a flood light for on Friday (see previous recent post). This time she asked if I could purchase a floodlight that didn’t have a motion detector fitted. I explained that I’d already purchased one with a detector fitted but that if it was being used as intended, to deter prowlers, the detector was essential. We had already gone over this twice before. I pointed out again that the running costs for these new floodlights (LED) are extremely low, which seems to be her greatest concern. Some people just do not listen. Hopefully she won’t call again before I do the job.
Posted in Activity, Electrical, Plumbing, Work | Tagged: Electrical lighting, People | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 8, 2014
Hear No, See No, Speak No
I did next to nothing on Tuesday neither electrical work or work at home though I could have spent some time in the garden. The reason I didn’t was because I am at a low ebb. E and I are not speaking again. Basically she refused to answer a question I had put to her even though the question had been initially asked in innocence and without intent. It wasn’t so much that she wouldn’t speak on the subject but more the way I was blanked and given no explanation at all. I should know better than to ask certain things having known her for more than forty years. Her refusal to simply chat about any subject and engage in an intelligent conversation has always been beyond her and over the years we were married that left me with no-one to speak with. She wouldn’t speak to me if the television was on or her favourite program was scheduled and during the latter half of the marriage it drove me crazy because she wouldn’t speak about the issues we had with the marriage and it drove us apart. I ended up in a loveless marriage and was lonely for many years. I digress. Most of this is already recorded in my pages above and it doesn’t serve to keep going over what is past but just to give a broad insight to new readers I mention it. The crux of the matter is I am simply keeping out of her way for the time being. I don’t suffer from depression because I am not clinically affected but neither do I dwell on things also. I just feel at a low ebb, not wanting to be bothered with anything other than my work until things return to some semblance of normality. No dining out then and a temporary cessation of anything to do with home, work-wise that is. It is a sad state of affairs I know but I’ve been through it all many times over the last few years and don’t expect it to last. At least the day gave me the opportunity to rest after the full day I had on Monday though I would have much preferred to have been at work.
Posted in Relationships | Tagged: Relationship | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 7, 2014
Contactor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I keep getting asked if and when I plan to retire by those employing me once they discover my age (39 of course…..LOL) but I answer with this, ‘I’ll probably die on the job!’ My intentions of late are to just keep plodding along, continuing to work as long as I am able but only on a part-time basis, that is a couple of hours a day presuming the work is coming in. I had a job to do on Monday morning which entailed removing four power outlets in a bedroom and making good the circuit. I was to install a new outlet in the same room on another wall. That was part one of the task. The second part was to install three new outlets in another room and to replace an existing one in the same room. The job took almost four hours after which I was asked to ‘look at another small problem’. A contactor ( a four-pole automatic switch for those who are not electricians or engineers) controlling the supply to a large water heating system had burned out and required replacing. I carried out a temporary repair to allow the continued use and supply of hot water as I knew the replacement would probably need ordering. Later, when I was finally able to get to the supplier, I found that it would indeed be a week or so before the part could be collected. It didn’t matter and I will return to the house once it arrives. In the meantime I had a call to go to the next town to fit a couple of wall (mounted) lights. By now it was well after one o’clock and as I was doing that job another call came in from someone in yet another town asking if I could sort out a problem the person had found himself presented with after attempting to replace a ceiling light himself. I wish people who don’t know anything about electrical circuitry would leave it to the professionals. Anyway I drove across and sorted out the problem. By now it was around three-thirty and I had yet to visit the supplier to order the new contactor and purchase some materials for my van stock. It took me twenty minutes to get back to my own town and twenty minutes to drive down one of the small streets in town which is only 150 metres in length! The traffic was heavy, probably because it was such a sunny day and being summer the town was packed with people. It didn’t help being behind some dilatory drivers who failed to get across the junction before the lights turned against them. The lights changed several times on my approach to the junction but finally I got through and soon arrived at the suppliers. By the time I had left there it was way past four o’clock. One more thing to do was to bank the cheque for £30 I had received from the National Grid. It was recompense for being without a gas supply longer than twenty-four hours whilst they were replacing the gas mains in the street and houses. I arrived home about four forty-five and I had still not eaten since breakfast at seven. I could have postponed the two extra jobs but as I was far from home it was better to do them the same day. Sometimes it is best to just go with the flow. Retire? I wouldn’t have as much fun! LOL.
Posted in Work | Tagged: Contactor, Work | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 6, 2014
A return stroke, cloud-to-ground lightning strike. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
During Saturday afternoon we had a thunderstorm which lasted no more than twenty minutes. It wasn’t the first we’ve had this year though the previous one was merely a couple of rumbles heard in the distance rather than a full-blown one overhead. At this time of year we can expect thunderstorms more often but they are not always limited to the season. Thunderstorms are discharges of static electricity which build up in the atmosphere, sometimes low in the atmosphere and sometimes high. My mum was frightened of thunder more so than lightning and I could never get it across to her that it was the lightning which is the dangerous element, the thunder only being the resultant sound produced by the discharge. Having said that, the noise of a thunderstorm can be loud in the extreme and can set up such a shock wave in the air that windows can be blown out as they do when bombs are set off. I remember my mum always insisting we open a couple of windows in order to prevent a build up of pressure in the house and we were told to stay away from them. Personally I like thunderstorms but I wouldn’t deliberately go outside to watch one. The lightning displays can be very entertaining though quite unpredictable. I know the storms we experience in this part of the world are small in comparison to those experienced in other parts but nevertheless they can be just as dangerous. Maybe we’ll have more of them before the summer is over. I read somewhere long ago that at any one time there are about three hundred storms in progress around the world. I love the freshness we get after a storm. I believe that ‘freshness’ is due to the ozone which is produced by the electrical discharges and which lingers near to the ground for a little while before dissipating. The air wasn’t particularly ‘heavy’ on Saturday as you would get with a high humidity, in fact it was rather cool compared to what it has been recently so a thunderstorm was unexpected. Soon afterward the sky cleared and it remained sunny for the rest of the evening. According to the forecast Sunday promises to be bright and sunny too; we’ll see.
Posted in Weather | Tagged: Atmosphere, Electric charge, Lightning, Lightning strike, Thunderstorm | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 5, 2014
English: A cast-iron City of Birmingham Water Department stop-cock cover, embedded in the pavement in Great Barr, Birmingham, England. (probably 1903s) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We have been graced by the presence of gas engineers and have had to endure a bit of upheaval in the road whilst they have been installing the new plastic (polythene) pipes over the last two weeks. Almost all of the work has been completed as I write this on Saturday morning however, they have still to refit a paving slab in our front garden. Hopefully that will be seen to during the next couple of days. Last week when the weather was very warm the lads doing the heavy manual work were suffering because of that heat but they persevered despite the discomfort. I suppose they have a schedule to stick to, within reason. E and I have been looking after their needs whilst they have been in our vicinity, providing drinks as well as other things such as an ‘Allen’ key they needed to fit and change hole saws they were using to cut holes in the cast iron pipes. I am assuming those holes were for temporary use until the pipes were replaced with plastic ones. We also provided them with a length of pipe to use as extra leverage when they found their wrenches too short in length to be effective. Yesterday the doorbell rang and one of the engineers asked if he could use the metalworking vice we have on a bench in the cellar. He remembered seeing it there a week or so ago when he was changing the pipes feeding our meter in the same room. He couldn’t separate two small pieces of cast unions without the use of a vice. Naturally I allowed him the use of the vice but I couldn’t help wondering why they don’t have access to a vice (and other mechanical things) on one of the many large vehicles they use whilst doing their work. It would be a simple matter to have one part of one of those vans fitted out with a small bench, a vice, a drill and such things, ‘Allen’ keys too! This morning two of the guys were driving up the road collecting all the temporary plastic barriers, signs and cones that had been used to redirect pedestrian and other traffic around the various small works that were dotted along the pavements. Whereas before there was no access the gas main supplying our house, or any house in the street, without having to dig a hole, now there are access points in the pavement outside of each house. The supply can now be isolated using a long-reach key should ever the need arise in the same way that the water supply can be isolated as in the picture above. I am wondering if and when the pavement will be lifted again perhaps to lay sown fibre-optic cables for at the moment the telephone lines I think are still copper. Fibre-optic cables lie under the pavement on the main road just a short distance away but I don’t think the branch lines have been changed yet because the line into our house is copper and is fed from beneath the pavement. It would be typical for the authorities to now schedule the laying of new telephone lines! For the moment though everything is back to normal.
Posted in Community | Tagged: National Grid, Pipes, Services | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 4, 2014
Poster for It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Let me ask you a question. Do you believe in an afterlife or do you believe this life is all there is? No doubt if you believe in only this life you will not be afraid of death. Is that true of yourself? Are you frightened of dying? Many will be unsure about what happens after death and may be too frightened to even think about it. There are some who just don’t give it a thought. There are many religious beliefs in the world and probably all of them have a take on the subject of an afterlife and more especially how to get there, what you have to do yourself to get there. It may be that you believe in re-incarnation and that when you die you come back as a different person or even a different creature! Only the Christian faith tells us that we cannot earn a place in Heaven and that we don’t have to do much either to get into hell! Our afterlife as a Christian is determined by whether we accept the gift that our Creator God offers to us. Of course if one is a Christian that gift has already been accepted. The Bible tells us that we cannot earn the right no matter how ‘good’ we are in this life for if we could get to Heaven under our own steam I suppose there wouldn’t be a person living who would not make the effort. The truth is none of us have the ability for the gift is only by God’s grace and the sacrifice of Jesus who died that we may live, live in His presence for all eternity. Death has lost its sting for those who are in Christ Jesus, our debts have all been paid and we have been set free as prisoners who have served their time for their wrongdoing. Jesus took upon himself the punishment we ought to pay for our wrongdoing , if we believe and repent of them. What could be easier, what could be simpler? We may think we deserve a life hereafter in Heaven but unless our sins, our wrongdoings are paid for beforehand we will pay the price for them in hell. Jesus is the answer, He alone is our salvation, He alone can cleanse us from our wrongdoing and present us clean and holy before God. If you believe otherwise then ask yourself this question, ‘Can I really know that what I believe will be enough? When I die, what really happens to me and will it be too late once I am dead’? It would be a horrible thing not to have accepted Jesus then find out you were wrong. If believers are wrong they have lost nothing but if unbelievers are wrong they have lost an eternity in Paradise. Death, where is thy sting?
Posted in Bible, Death and mortality, God, Gods love through Jesus, Jesus, Salvation | Tagged: Afterlife, Christianity, Death, God, Heaven, Jesus | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 3, 2014
Hohner Super Chromonica, a typical 12-hole chromatic harmonica, sometimes called a mouth organ, which Smith gave to Lennon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I get to meet all kinds of people in my work as an electrician. I meet rich, poor, in between, generous, mean, pleasant and unpleasant people too, everyone is different. A few days ago I visited an Irish woman who wanted me to install a floodlight to light up her rear garden. After much discussion and me trying to explain what was involved together with the approximate cost she eventually agreed for me to do the job this coming Friday. I have done work for her and her husband on a couple of occasions in the past so they know my standard of work. On this visit I spoke only with her as her husband was in bed because of the shift-work he does. Although she is a very pleasant woman I feel she has difficulty in understanding even the basic things about the job I will be doing. I found I had to repeat myself often each time I answered her questions. I like to give a brief explanation of any work that I am doing for anyone so they will be in no doubt as to what is involved. Many people have very little understanding of what is involved when they ask me to do work for them and are often surprised once the work starts. Anyway this lady seemed happy enough with my proposal and I left. I had just returned home on Thursday after working in someone else’s apartment when the house phone rang and it was the Irish woman calling to ask a question regarding the light fitting I had been asked to install. Evidently her neighbour has four similar fittings which, according to him, are all faulty having only been installed for twelve months. I reassured her that the light I will be fitting comes with a three-year guarantee but like anything else we purchase there is no guarantee that it will last as long as we expect. Many things last far longer than we expect too. She is worrying unnecessarily but that is the way she is. I am to go ahead with the work as planned. Now the apartment I had been working in on Thursday morning was occupied by a husband and wife and they were also as pleasant as could be. I was to remove two ceiling lights replacing them with a fan and light combination, one in the lounge and the other in the bedroom. He had become blind a couple of years ago soon after retiring from work but was keen and eager to render any assistance I might need. His wife also wanted to lend a helping hand if needed. I gave him the job of fitting the metal brackets to the fan blades which he found no difficulty in doing. He even held the heavy fan unit in place whilst I made the electrical connections though he didn’t have to. Of course most of the work I could do by myself, even all of it but I didn’t want to disappoint him by refusing his help and her help too! When he wasn’t helping me he played his banjo and his mouth organ (harmonica). He also had a guitar which he was learning to play along with the banjo but the mouth organ he had been playing for forty years. When I had completed the work we sat down with a coffee and chatted, then I asked if I could try his guitar and they were eager for me to do that. I began playing a couple of songs and he joined in with his mouth organ. Soon the three of us were making merry and singing along with the instruments! Sometimes when I meet people like these I get invited to return just for a coffee and a chat and so it was with this couple. I told them I might just do that and bring along my guitar too. It appears that the guy is trying to get some other folk who live in the same apartments to meet up with their instruments and have a jam session on a Friday morning each week. Sounds like a great idea to me. Funny isn’t it that some people are so introverted and others the complete opposite. Everyone is different.
Posted in Life, Lifestyle, Music, People | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 2, 2014
It’s Raining (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well it has to rain at some point! Over the last couple of weeks we have been enjoying (some of us, not necessarily me) warm, even hot weather. Unfortunately we have also had to endure humid weather too which really makes things uncomfortable. Consequently as I have mentioned previously it has kept me from finishing the outdoor work in the garden. I have been fortunate in having quite a lot of electrical work lately which is good but it has prevented me working in the garden too when it has been cool enough. Now we have rain. Enough said. One day, soon I hope, I will get back in the garden. I have never been one who likes the weather being too hot and too humid. I have always preferred it to be cooler. I don’t mind the rain as long as it isn’t preventing me from doing something I need to do, like working in the garden. It’s a sobering thought that things don’t always go to plan. A few months ago I had things set out and planned, I was going to remove the mound in the garden, doing some landscaping there and laying a natural stone path with the stone we had dug out and had no idea was there. Then I was planning on rebuilding part of the garden wall and beginning work on the garden toilet project. So far only the landscaping and laying of the path have been achieved and all due to unforeseen circumstances and conditions. We have also been let down by those people we were going to employ to do some of the building work. In other words it has been raining on my parade as well as everywhere else! It is just as well that nothing is set in stone and there is no deadline to meet. We can take our time over doing things and not worry about the weather getting in the way. In the meantime we will sit back and enjoy the cooling rain, rain, rain!
Posted in Weather | Tagged: Humidity, Rain, Weather | Leave a Comment »