Lean times

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Strawberry ice cream in a cone.

Strawberry ice cream in a cone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I sat out on the patio after lunch on Wednesday I was beginning to think my working week would be a complete non entity. I was enjoying an ice cream cone when my phone rang. It was a woman for whom I had worked about eight years ago who had at that time cut out my advertisement in case she needed my services again. Why she had done that I am not sure for I usually hand out a business card anyway. I had installed a replacement shower unit for her at that time which evidently was still in working order but this time she simply wanted a light replacing with a more modern one. I have a minimum charge I levy which covers my travelling time, fuel and actually doing the work but even then some people think it is too much, They want it doing for next to nothing, like the guy who called me on Monday wanting me to work late in the day and on a weekend too for it was inconvenient to have me to do the work during the normal working week and who also moaned about the price! I refused the work. So off I went to replace the light for this lady who lives twelve miles distant from my house. As the job was extremely easy I charged her £5 less than I would normally have done. I was happy, she was happy. As I write this on Wednesday evening I am not sure if I will get any more work for the remainder of the week but at least that one job has covered the cost of my weekly advertisement. (By the way I did get more work before the end of the week).  I was going to go to the pub again for my lunch but decided against the idea and rustled up a meal at home. In any case I like cooking so it isn’t an inconvenience for me except if I have been working hard, then I sometimes don’t wish to start cooking and I eat out instead. Had I done that on Wednesday I might have missed the call, especially if I had been inside the pub where the phone signal is so weak due to the roof being totally covered in lead! Connecting to the Internet whilst in the pub isn’t a problem for as with most places these days they have a router installed. It is just the phone signal which is impeded though not all system providers are affected. I just happen to be using one that is!

Shirley Anne

Slightly burnt

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Burnt by the Sun

Burnt by the Sun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the first time this year I have succumbed to the effects of  the Sun’s rays. I failed to cover a more sensitive area of my anatomy from its rays, my upper chest. No doubt I could include the whole of my chest, breasts included but I am not in the habit of exposing those areas, not even in the privacy of my own garden. To say I am slightly burnt though is a bit of an exaggeration, it is more a redness that would certainly become sore if I am not careful. This morning, Wednesday, I applied sunscreen lotion to the said part in case it becomes exposed to the sun whilst I am out and about. In fact that is how my chest became red in the first place. I should have been more careful whilst out walking and I usually am. It is so easy to forget that the Sun’s rays are dangerous and are hazardous to our health if we become over-exposed to them. We need sunshine so that vitamin D can be chemically produced in our skin. There are other sources for the vitamin, namely in oily fish but we seldom eat oily fish too often, or as often as we should, though I did have sea bass for my lunch on Tuesday. I do in fact eat quite a lot of oily fish at home. How do the ‘Inuit’  people get their vitamin D? From oily fish of course for the sun, although it shines up there in the north, is not a real benefit to the people who live there because their skin is covered to protect it from the cold weather. They have to rely on fish for their vitamin D. Getting back to my own skin, I seldom if ever deliberately sit out in the sun these days unless I cover my exposed skin. I have endured the effects of sunburn in the past because of my own stupidity. Let’s face it, I am Caucasian and don’t produce enough Melanin in my skin for natural protection, I have to use lotions and that is what we all should do. It is still only early Spring and the Sun’s rays can only get stronger. When I arose this morning I watched the sunrise from my bedroom window. I didn’t actually get to see the sun until just after 6 o’clock. Yes I was up at that hour! The Sun had risen about 5 minutes earlier but my view is blocked by trees and some low-level buildings in the distance. As it rose its rays shone through the trees and although it was still reddish-orange in colour I could still feel the heat, even through the double glazing! Imagine therefore how much hotter it gets at midday! The Sun needs to be respected for it can really burn you if you don’t take care, something I shall remind myself to do this season when outdoors on a bright and sunny day, even if just on a walkabout.

Shirley Anne

 

Going naked!

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Thoughts are probably now turned to beaches and topless ladies flaunting their assets but no, I am not talking about that. The weather has been so good lately and the prospect of it not returning to low temperatures is high. I made the decision to go bare-legged for the first time in the year. My regular readers might remember that during the cooler months I wear stockings (and a belt) every day but there comes a time when wearing such things become unbearable unless perhaps when they are worn in the cooler evenings. I love wearing stockings I will admit but I also like the freedom that going bare-legged gives me on warm days. So as from today, Tuesday as I write this, I am going naked. It is also the time to begin wearing lighter clothing too but one has to be careful so early in the season. When going to work in the mornings I have to wear a coat at the moment but find I often have to discard it by late morning because it is so warm. If I go for a walk wearing a coat, even a lightweight one, at this time of the year I find I have to remove it or leave it unbuttoned and open after a while. Even as I write this I hear the weather is to become slightly cooler, wetter and windier by the end of the week. We cannot rely on it being continuously warm and dry but at least it is warm enough to go naked, on my legs at least!

Shirley Anne

Of frozen foods and shopping

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Frozen foods at the Real Canadian Superstore i...

Frozen foods at the Real Canadian Superstore in Winkler, Manitoba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll wager you will be thinking when reading this post that it is all about shopping but although the subject is a part of the post the post is actually about a dream I had in the small hours of Monday morning. For the first time in quite a long time I found myself out shopping with E and we were loading up a shopping trolley with frozen foods of all types but mainly confectionery and bread. As we tried to leave the store we discovered more ‘special offers’ on sale and added these to the trolley. E wanted to stand around and chat but I was impatient and just wanted to get the goods safely in our vehicle and drive home to store it before it began to thaw. Finally we were both outside but it was dark as though it was in the middle of the night. I know some stores are open for twenty-four hours so it wasn’t surprising to find ourselves out shopping at that hour, even so it was unusual. It was a warm night too and therefore all the more important we didn’t hang about. For some reason the car park wasn’t outside the store, it was a car park surrounding an establishment where I once worked! I couldn’t figure out why that was. I couldn’t figure out why our vehicle wasn’t actually ours but that belonging to our eldest son who handed us the keys as we came to load the food in the boot (trunk). Although it was a large vehicle, one you might expect to have a large rear compartment, it didn’t, in fact the opening to the small boot was small too and we found it difficult to get the trays into it. I couldn’t understand why the food was on trays, especially the confectionery but that didn’t matter to E who just squeezed everything in, squashing everything in the process. However, we couldn’t close the lid and I was getting more and more irritated by E’s lack of concern or interest. I am not sure what the outcome was in all of this for at that time I woke up.

Shirley Anne

Oh come on!

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English: Shrub Hill Station clock (not working...

Shrub Hill Station clock (not working) Clock “not in use”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have often mentioned the attitudes of people who ask for my electrical services in my posts. On Sunday around noon I received a call from a woman living in the next nearest town, Ormskirk. She first of all apologised for calling me on Sunday (though in actual fact that is probably the best time to call me so that I can schedule work for the week) saying she saw my advertisement in the paper and wondering when I would be available to fit a couple of new lights for her. I replied by saying I could do them the next day as at that time I was free on Monday morning. ‘Oh’, she said, ‘that is awkward for me as I am at work. I am free at five o’clock’. This meant that if I took on the work I would have to do it after five o’clock. If I had no other work for the day that would mean I would be starting my working day at five o’clock and I wouldn’t be able to do other things I might want to do! I very rarely start my day after twelve noon anyway and schedule any work that comes in the afternoon for the following day unless I am already at work and am able to do it immediately. I asked her if she couldn’t get some time off or perhaps have someone there on her behalf. She said she couldn’t then asked if I could do it at the weekend! Am I not to have my weekends free to myself? Am I expected to give in to the whims of others because they cannot be bothered to arrange their schedules to accommodate their needs? Had the work been closer to home I might, I say MIGHT have accommodated her but I usually only do that in special cases. Emergency calls are another matter and I will accommodate in those circumstances if I am able.  What was her reply? ‘I’ll call back’. Yeah, sure, in a pig’s ear you will. She will have probably phoned around until she got someone else to do the work, someone who doesn’t mind working at five o’clock. I cannot be bothered with people who expect me to be at their beck and call because they can’t find the time. I don’t need the work but what I do I do it on my terms, I think I’ve earned that privilege at sixty-nine, don’t you? Mostly I will try to accommodate if I can. An elderly lady called me on Saturday morning asking if I could help her. Her lights weren’t working. I didn’t realise at the time that she was referring to two bedside lamps only, not the whole lighting circuit. Her husband had died three weeks ago and she still sounded a little distressed over the phone. She lives less than a half-mile from me so I drove there and sorted out her problem, fuses missing from the plugs! She was more than pleased that I had called at such short notice. What else was I to do?

Shirley Anne

Got through okay

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Days Have Gone By

Days Have Gone By (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I managed to get through last week with only three days at work. I was hoping for an easier time and got it. My work days were Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I did nothing electrical on Thursday but I had a little something to do on Friday morning. However, I wasn’t lazy on Thursday, I took the opportunity to do some much needed housework and then I mowed the lawn for the second time this season. Whilst outside I got stuck into doing a little gardening too. Earlier in the week I had connected a new oven for a lady and when I had done that I ended up repairing the sink waste pipe leaks for her too as a favour. I wasn’t paid for the plumbing as I did it free of charge. I received a call on Thursday evening from the lady’s father who has been instrumental in helping his daughter since her husband left her a couple of years ago. He phoned to thank me once again for the work I had done but explained that they were having problems with the new oven. It was nothing to do with my work, it was a mechanical fault, the support for one of the heating elements was faulty and couldn’t be repaired. He asked if  I could disconnect the oven and connect its replacement on Friday. I offered to do it free of charge but he insisted he would cover my expenses and would not take no for an answer. I called at 10 o’clock on Friday morning as arranged and disconnected the faulty oven. I told them I would wait for them to return with its replacement, which I did. I basically had nothing to do whilst they were gone so I decided to see if I could find out what was wrong with the kitchen cabinet lighting. That end of the kitchen was only lit by the wall light I had replaced for them on my last visit. I wasn’t asked to fix the cabinet lights nor the problems they still have with the power outlet circuit (read earlier post) simply because they cannot afford the cost. All that was wrong with the lights was a faulty low-voltage transformer. I had a spare one in my van but it was only suitable for one light and there were two. I replaced the transformer and got one of the two lights working. It will be a simple job to add another transformer for the second light at a future date if and when she asks me to fix the other wiring problems. As I was given something to cover my expenses I fixed the light free of charge but in fact I was not going to charge her anyway. I had the rest of the day off.

Shirley Anne

Now hear this….

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Remember this song from 1968? Read the lyrics below and have a guess at what the song is really about. I have to admit I never made the connection until now. I don’t know why the song came into my thoughts especially as it was from so many years ago. I couldn’t stop ‘listening’ to it in my thoughts so I decided there must be a reason for that. I do believe we receive messages from God that way for I have heard things like this before. Make up your own mind about such things. So I looked the song up on YouTube and discovered the lyrics were available there too. I have copied and pasted them here along with the song.

This is the captain of your ship
Your heart speaking
We’ve run into a little storm
The boat’s leaking
And if you haven’t guessed
This is an SOS
If you still love her, answer: yes (yes)
You’re going to lose a good thing

You got to let him know that you need him
You got to let him know that you read him
You got to let him know that you love him now

You got to let him know that you need him
You got to let him know that you read him
You got to let him know that you love him now

This is the captain of your ship
Your soul calling
You’d better turn yourself around
There’s no stalling
You’re running off your course
You’ve got your signals crossed
And now the compass points to love (love)
You’re going to lose a good thing

You got to let him know that you need him
You got to let him know that you read him
You got to let him know that you love him now
You got to let him know that you need him
You got to let him know that you read him
You got to let him know that you love him now
(Come on now baby)

You got to let him know that you need him
You got to let him know that you read him
You got to let him know that you love him now
You got to let him know that you need him
You got to let him know that you read him
You got to let him know that you love him now

Music
Captain of Your Ship” by Reparata & The Delrons (Google PlayiTunes)
Artist
Reparata & the Delrons
Category
Music
License
Standard YouTube License

Okay the song is directed to a young girl’s heart regarding the love of her life but when I heard it again for the first time in years I heard different words. Essentially I was hearing the message that this world is sinking and is in need of saving. The ‘Captain’ of this ship, the world, is crying out to you to come about, turn around in repentance to Him who gave you life. You have got to tell Him that you love Him. You have got to tell Him that you need Him and you have to do it right now, tomorrow it may be too late, tomorrow your boat may sink completely. Your compass needs to turn to love, the love He has for you, the love of Jesus. You are losing a good thing if you don’t.
Shirley Anne

Losing it?

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Make a Sound

Make a Sound (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a little rubber room
I play in every day,
I’d have a chair to sit on
But they carted it away.
I sit on polystyrene
My bed is made of sponge,
The food I get is wobbly
Just like a cold blancmange.
I used to have some clothing
I used to have some shoes,
They used to come and speak with me
And tell me all the news.
One day I’ll get my freedom
One day they’ll let me free,
Then we can be two nuts together
You and crazy me.

Copyright Shirley Anne 29 Feb 2004

The other day I was sitting quietly at home watching television but not really taking an interest in the program being broadcast. I was waiting for the following program. However I sat and listened to the guy who was speaking as he described in great detail the building in which he stood as he presented the program. He was speaking quietly and I couldn’t understand why. After a minute or so I became irritated at the sound of his voice and turned off the sound. Immediately I had done so I became calm again. This wasn’t the first time I had experienced such a reaction to the sound of someone else’s voice, it has happened a few times recently. I simply have to turn off the sound. I get bored when watching many televised programs, even movies, though I seldom do so when it is a documentary. It isn’t the watching of television per se that I dislike but I do get irritated at the sound of some of the voices I hear. I am beginning to get the same feelings when in the company of others too, I feel as though I just want to get out of the room to a quiet place. Am I going mad? Am I losing it?

Come and visit me in my rubber room sometime and we will discuss it, if I can stand the sound of your voice that is!

Shirley Anne

Wot went wong?

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Weather with You

Weather with You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We waited patiently for the onset of Spring and it looked at last as if  the days could only get warmer but this is the UK and our weather patterns are never always reliable. On Wednesday at least the country was more or less split in half regarding the weather. Those in the south were enjoying temperatures and sunshine more typical for the month of June or even July whereas those up north had to put up with cloudy skies and low temperatures and even rain in some places too. Temperatures in the south were in the low twenties and even as high as twenty-five degrees Celsius in places but in the north it was more like eleven degrees with a slight wind. As far as conditions are concerned the weather in the north was more typical for the season whereas in the south conditions were more unseasonal. The day was a one-off though for the main problem was the passing of a cold front making its way slowly southward. For such a small country there can be quite a difference in weather patterns between the most northerly point to the most southerly at almost any time of the year. On a more personal note, the weather was just fine for me. I was half expecting to get more job requests for the day but had just the one and that one a very small one indeed, to connect a cooker to its isolating switch. I was happy about that for it meant I would have most of the day to myself but I couldn’t do it until the cooker had been delivered at eleven o’clock. It was almost lunch time as I drove home but I decided to go for another pub/restaurant meal beforehand as I had only fruit for my breakfast some hours earlier. Just as I had put the van in the garage, for I had no intentions of  taking anymore work for the day, my phone rang, but it wasn’t a job request this time. I advertise in a local free newspaper, one of two operating in the area. The call was from the other newspaper group trying to secure my business! They had been trawling their competitor’s newspaper looking for more business. I wondered if the group I advertise with do the same. I explained that as I only work part-time (more or less) and as I am also 69 years of age to boot, I didn’t want the volume of work and was quite happy with my current newspaper running my advert. I locked the garage and went indoors.

Shirley Anne

More or less?

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I’ve been posting a lot about my electrical work lately but as it occupies much of my time it isn’t surprising really is it? Over the last year or two I have thought often about retiring completely but each time I think to myself that maybe it is better that I continue to work though less often, part-time if you will. So that is exactly what I decided to do, well try to do. Most of the time I manage to succeed in that but I seem to be so much of a soft-touch I end up taking on work that I don’t really need. If the truth be known I suppose I don’t need any work at all, I could manage living on my pensions alone. Whilst I am able I prefer to work and anything I earn from it becomes a cushion, something for a rainy day, something to fall back on if finances were to become a struggle.

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Caption reads: Disney XD’s ‘Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero’
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Over the last two years at least I have put a lot of the extra income towards financing my domestic projects of which there have been many. I have written much about them on this site. Last week I was run off my feet as they say and was somewhat relieved to see Friday evening and some respite. I swore to myself that this week would be different, I would limit the work I do but as many of you will know, that doesn’t always happen. I wrote about yesterday’s (Monday) escapades and was looking forward to an easier Tuesday. So on Tuesday I went to install an extra power outlet for a lady living not too far away and had it done in less than an hour, forty minutes to be precise. I expected it to be as easy as it was from the description I was given over the phone the day before. It still paid a handsome £55 for a £5 outlay, not bad at all and I would have been content with that and have the rest of the day to myself. However, when I had completed the work I drove to my supplier to purchase more materials for my van stock, cable and accessories and whilst there I received a call from a guy telling me that he was looking for an electrician. I told him he’d found one! He seemingly was having problems with his lights at home which kept going off in use. As his house was less than a mile away from the supplier I offered to call there to take a look. He was in the process of restructuring some upstairs walls and ceilings. Dangling from one of the beams was a large but broken lidless junction box into and out of which were numerous lighting cables, so much so that it looked like a plate of spaghetti! Two of the lights were being controlled by three switches but he only wanted one of them controlled that way whilst the second would be controlled by two switches. It meant re-arranging the wiring and creating a new switch position incorporating a double switch. He looked at me hoping that I could help and I told him that I really didn’t want to be there. He expected me to leave but of course I didn’t. I explained to him what needed to be done and I began sorting it all out. I switched off the supply and removed the broken junction box, cutting back all the excess wiring. I told him it would be easier to start again from scratch. Between us we identified each cable and I reconnected everything using new boxes. I installed the extra wires to the new switch box I had provided and that he had recessed into the wall. He stood back and watched me connect everything. I asked him to reinstate the supply. I wasn’t sure at that stage if he thought everything would work…..but it did of course! I was there less than two hours and earned an extra £80 for a £7 outlay. Is it any wonder I continue to work? It was now still only 2 o’clock so I drove to my local pub and had a meal. Wednesday would be a much more lazy day wouldn’t it?

Shirley Anne

Easy Peasy

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Two light switches in one box. The switch on t...

Two light switches in one box. The switch on the right is a dimmer switch. The switch box is covered by a decorative plate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am always a little apprehensive when it comes to the start of another working week. I am never sure what the first day will bring, how difficult it may be or how the customer will be. My first and only job of the week scheduled for Monday morning turned out quite well and I should have had no reservations or concerns at all. Whilst I was at the house I received a call for another job somewhere else which I scheduled for the next day. I find this happens a lot, I start the week with next to nothing and end with the week filled with work. Getting back to Monday, I entered the house and it felt like I was stepping into the past. The decor, carpets, furnishings and the atmosphere of the place made it feel I was stepping into a cross between the 1940’s and the 1970’s. The husband and wife seemed to be living in the past by the way they spoke and acted too. One thing I did notice was the excessive fuss they were making instead of just allowing me to get on with things. I have to be very patient with people but it can be a little frustrating at times. For instance, on this occasion I was invited in by the lady of the house and shown the work I was to do, replacing two wall lights, securing two others (which meant removing them and re-fixing) and to replace an existing dimmer switch. All very simple. Then the husband came down the stairs, introduced himself and then proceeded to repeat everything his wife had told me. She began to empty the cupboard beneath the stairs to allow access to the mains distribution panel despite my saying I didn’t think it was necessary. All the articles she removed now stood in the hallway and more to the point in my way! Replacing the wall lights in the hallway was very easy and straightforward but the two lights in the front room that needed securing were a little more difficult but still easy for me to do. When it came to replacing the dimmer switch I discovered that the metal box in the wall was too shallow to accept the fitting of the new switch. That, I find, is a quite regular problem and simply resolved by fitting a deeper box. However, that requires digging out the brickwork and is best done before any decisions are made regarding decorating. They had the room decorated a few days earlier. The old switch therefore remained in situ. That was it, easy-peasy and I left for home after being paid. I intended to do no more electrical work that day but as I began to wonder what the next job might be like another call came in around 1 o’clock and hoping it was going to be just as easy I decided to do it immediately. The job was to connect a new oven unit. Now the father of the woman in whose house I was to connect the new cooker had phoned on Sunday to ask about my availability to do the work as at that time the cooker hadn’t been collected. I told him that I would need little notice so when he called on Monday I wasn’t surprised. I remember visiting the house last year in order to fit an under-the-unit power point for the woman but whilst doing so discovered many things wrong with the installation. I told them it would need attention at some point as it could become a hazard. I went along and connected the oven and the hob units together, providing the proper connection point for the job and making the previous poor installation now safe. Whilst there I assessed what was required in more detail to put the power circuit right that I had discovered incorrectly wired on my last visit. I reached the point where I could tell them roughly what would need to be done. That job has again been shelved for the moment. I had finished the work I had been asked to do and the woman asked if I knew anything about plumbing!

English: Under Slab Leak Repair

Under Slab Leak Repair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well I told her that although I have done a lot of plumbing in my life I don’t carry out such work for others. A little history is required here: the woman had been deserted by her husband about two years ago leaving her to bring up their two children and at the same time leaving the house in an awful state, especially some of the electrics. The essence of what I am saying is she has been struggling financially and her father has been doing all he can to help out. I asked her about her plumbing problem, a leaking drain pipe beneath the kitchen sink. I checked it out and discovered one of the silicone rubber seals missing on one of the connection points. She and her father went out to buy a new drain assembly and I told her that I would hang around until their return. When they returned I fitted the new unit but a leak developed and it took some time to secure it. Finally it was complete and I went home. I refused payment for the plumbing work but was given a little extra for the electrical work. I was happy, they were happy and that was enough for me. I had missed lunch in the process though!

 

Shirley Anne

 

Completely lazy day for a change

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Bathroom 94The work I did on Friday wasn’t particularly difficult either technically or practically but then I am an electrician and have the experience. Even so I shouldn’t have been as tired as I was at the end of the day but I was. I put that down to being in an active state more or less continually since Tuesday and not necessarily all because of my work. It is a combination of my activity and my age of course, I will admit that. I cannot expect to be as fit into old age as I once was when young. I think I do pretty well being as active as I am and I would recommend anyone staying as active as they can in whatever capacity open to them. I once saw a T-shirt logo on a guy in my local pub which stated ‘Look busy Jesus is coming’. My thoughts on that one are that we should all be busy anyway, for our health’s sake. Those who only want to look busy when under the eye of others are a bit like those who slow down on approaching speed control cameras then speed up once they’ve passed them, they are not kidding anyone. I know when I have been busy, I get tired! So it was on Friday evening I decided to have a soak in the bathtub before bed. I find this helps me get to sleep much easier even if I am not overly tired. I needed the soak in the bath to ease the aches and pains in my muscles and it really works. I work in many homes and sometimes find only a shower in the bathroom, which makes it not a bathroom at all but a shower room. I usually see this in apartments where there is a shortage of space. I would hate not to have a bathtub and not be able to have a long soak in the hot water once in a while. Mostly I use the shower but showering doesn’t ease muscular aches does it? It may be a week or more between my having a good soak in the bathtub and it is always something to look forward to when I am in need of it. I am old enough to remember the times when all we had at home was a bathtub. A shower in the bathroom was practically unheard of so we had to bathe every day whether we preferred it or not. The shower is great for someone in a hurry but the bathtub is great when we’ve all the time to relax and enjoy it. I woke up later than I normally do and felt really refreshed, not an ache or pain to be felt anywhere and I kept it that way all day.

Shirley Anne

 

Very thankful it’s Friday

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This past week, that is my working week which is Monday to Friday under normal circumstances, has been a busy time for me.  Even though the week was only four days long because Monday was a national holiday I feel as though I have worked harder than I would have done for a full week! So much for part-time working. On Friday I went to a house in a small township, more a large village really, about eight miles from home. The couple had moved in only three days prior so much of their possessions and furniture had not yet been sorted out. They were beginning to find out that some of the electrical power outlets were insufficient for their requirements or in places non-existent. My task was to replace some single outlets with twin units and to install a couple of extra ones where non existed. I had to disconnect and remove some old central heating switches and controls too. The work took me the whole morning but I was well looked after by the woman who had taken a shine to me and who was quite amazed that a woman could handle the work. She told me later that she didn’t trust men as tradespeople. When I had completed the work she and her husband (who had kept out-of-the-way whilst I was working) discussed further work that they would like me to do for them in a few week’s time. I will be only too pleased to return again. During the morning I had received a phone call but had missed it so I called the number to ask if I could be of service. A lady answered and explained that she was having electrical problems with some wall lights and would like also to have new ones installed elsewhere. I arranged to call there on Monday. I had been expecting the music shop staff to call as they said they would and tell me that the new guitar case I had bought was there to be collected but I received no call. I called them instead and discovered that yes it had been delivered earlier. I drove there to collect it. Have you ever been in desperate need of a toilet whilst out driving? I am sure you have. It was around eight or nine miles to the shop and the plan was to collect the case then return home via the pub for a late lunch. I got all the way back into town only to be stopped at a level crossing for what seemed like an age before a train passed through. The barriers remained down.

English: Level crossing - Chertsey - England -...

Level crossing – Chertsey – England – Photo by Tagishsimon – 270404 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another train was due but that took an age too. Finally I could continue to the shop and collect the case. On my return guess what? The barriers were down once more and again I had to wait a few minutes. I still needed the toilet by the way. At last the barriers lifted and I was on my way. Have you also noticed that when we are in a hurry to get somewhere there always seems to be all sorts of obstacles placed in our way? At last I was outside the pub. The car park was only half-filled so I parked the van and went inside to you know where! I ordered my meal and sat down waiting for it to be served. Nearby sat five people, four women and a young man. They were enjoying a meal too but one or two of them loved the sound of their own voices for when they spoke they were loud. You know the type, have to be heard above everyone else and there was no need for it, their companions were not deaf! I had thought of moving elsewhere to eat but I was so tired I couldn’t be bothered. My meal arrived but once again I didn’t linger after eating it. I was back home by three o’clock sitting in a comfy armchair and glad the working week was over.

 

Shirley Anne

 

Nothing to do?

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Nothing was planned work-wise for Thursday but even so I arose quite early at the same time I would normally do if I had a job to go to. I had a good night’s sleep so didn’t feel the need to extend my time in bed. I find it hard to lie there doing nothing anyway and have to get up. What was I going to do all day? A year or two ago my youngest son persuaded me to let him have an acoustic guitar of mine, not the one which is my favourite, the one I play almost every day but a quality instrument nevertheless. It was bought for the tidy sum of £250 in or around 1992, a lot of money at that time and I had bought it at the time when I played in the church music group. I bought my present instrument (shown here), a Fender, later.Fender Capistrano I had a hard guitar case in which to carry either instrument in if I was taking one of them away from home. My son persuaded me to let him have the case too! Well to be fair he was short of spare cash at the time and couldn’t afford to buy a guitar or indeed a case. He had a Spanish guitar which he used to practice with but the one I gave him is far superior. So that left me without a case for my guitar and I couldn’t safely transport the instrument anywhere if I had wanted to. I had been thinking of purchasing another case at some point so after breakfast I visited the large music shop we have in town to see what they had on offer, taking my guitar along with me. I had wrapped the instrument in a sheet to prevent it getting damaged. I needed to take it along so that I could buy one of suitable size for there are quite a number of sizes and shapes in guitar cases. Unfortunately they hadn’t one of the right depth for my guitar but I chose the style from what they had in stock and ordered one, paying for it at the same time, a penny short of £80. It would be in the shop the following day, Friday. I would call and collect it after my work commitments. I drove off to buy some materials for my business before returning home. On taking my guitar out of the van I noticed that the plectrum I usually leave beneath the strings was missing, not a major incident I have to say as they only cost a few pence each to buy. I do have spares. Whilst I was paying the salesman for the case his assistant, a young American girl took an interest in the guitar and I asked if she played too. She did, so I offered her the opportunity to play it whilst I was attending to business. She played very well. Anyway by the time I had returned home it was still only 10.30. I had just made myself a coffee when my phone rang. It was a job but it was located just a little further than where I had just been shopping! If only people would call me earlier or the night before! I went along and did the job which went a long way to offset the purchase of the guitar case. Again it was such a lovely and warm sunny day on Thursday and in the afternoon I spent an hour or so out on the patio playing the said instrument whilst E had gone out to do the weekly shop with her mom. It has been many months since I was able to sit out on the patio.

Shirley Anne

Think you are clever?

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Three wise monkeys at Toshogu, Nikko, Tochigi ...

Three wise monkeys at Toshogu, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are some very clever people in this world, that is a fact but how clever is clever? It is one thing to be clever but a different one to be wise. The two are not necessarily linked. Would you rather be clever or wise? The probable answer to that will be ‘both’ and why not? However wisdom is the greater and to be sought above all things. How does one obtain wisdom? With age? Not necessarily for wisdom can be gained without having to grow old and gain experience. It depends on the individual. It tells us in Scripture that

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

And if you want wisdom………

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Wisdom is mentioned 219 times in The Bible. We are meant to seek it for ourselves. There is however something to be observed……..we should not think that we are wise because we are wise or intelligent because we are intelligent, clever because we may be that. In all things we should be and remain humble for Scripture also tells us………..

1 Corinthians 1:18-20

Christ crucified is God’s power and wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Real wisdom is found in the knowledge of God. Real intelligence is found in the act of seeking Him and just thinking that you are clever comes to nothing in the end. You are not as clever as you think you are.

Shirley Anne