More than I could chew?

Chew-Chew Baby

Chew-Chew Baby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not really……I had but a relatively small and easy job to do on Tuesday morning as I planned to dine out with E during the afternoon. The job was in a house about seven miles away and it entailed replacing some ordinary plastic power outlets and lighting switches for gold-effect metal ones, probably about an hour and a half’s work at most. When I arrived the lady of the house apologised for the fact that her central heating wasn’t working and thus the house wasn’t too comfortable to be in. I found it a little cool but certainly not cold and uncomfortable but of course I would be moving about whilst working which would keep me warm enough. She had called out the maintenance engineer but he wouldn’t arrive for at least another hour or so. I offered a quick glance at the heating set-up but no fault was immediately obvious. The problem was that the boiler wouldn’t fire up even though everything electrical was calling for heat. Naturally I didn’t investigate any further as it wasn’t my place to do so. I learned later from the engineer that although I could hear the water pump operating inside the boiler (the boiler requires water flowing before it will fire-up) there was a water flow problem elsewhere, evidently up in the loft area as that is where the engineer spent most of his time. I had other things to do but just as I had finished my work the lady asked if it was possible to install an extra power outlet in the front porch area. I had a quick look and gave her a revised price to do it there and then. She accepted my quote and so I got on with the work. It took a mere half hour. The extra work wasn’t expected but of course most welcome. It paid for our meal later, tip included! I was back at home before noon. E asked where we were going to dine and as usual I replied that we would dine at the venue of her choice but first of all she wanted to make a detour to see the office she had to visit on Friday. She has to be interviewed in regard to her application for what is known in this country as a ‘blue badge‘. Having a blue badge displayed inside a vehicle allows the driver some privileged parking and is designed for use by those who have a physical disability of some sort. I hope she is successful in her application as she really needs it. We drove onward to her chosen destination and had our meal though I have to say I was a little disappointed with the whole experience. Sometimes things go that way. Small things can spoil an otherwise enjoyable experience can’t they? I cannot grumble so I don’t…….ahem! The heating had been switched off but was soon restored once I pointed it out. Now there’s a coincidence! My chosen meal could have been better but at least it was all paid for by working that extra half-hour.

Shirley Anne

The beginning of the end?


I have included all of chapter 13 for the sake of clarity…..It is wise not to take Scripture out of context. The Book of Revelation is essentially prophetic, a vision of future times was given to John whilst he was on the island of Patmos (Rev 1:9). He was shown what will happen to all of mankind when God‘s wrath is levelled at all those who refuse to put their faith in Him. It will be a time of destruction and of woes of all different kinds. There will be signs pointing toward these events so that there will be no excuses when they come about. It is a warning, God always warns His people before taking action giving the opportunity to repent and be saved. He would rather everyone repent and be saved but being a just God He allows us to make the decisions ourselves.

I saw an item of news on television last night which caught my attention. It appears that office workers in some organisation in the UK have had electronic chips inserted beneath the skin on their right hand. This authorises them access to various areas and to make use of equipment by placing their hand close to it. It also allows them access to their cafeteria and I presume make payment for the food. When I first saw animals being ‘chipped’ I thought to myself it is only one small step to do the same for human beings. Now it seems that day has come and like anything let out of Pandora’s box, it cannot be put back again. Mark my words this system will be extended until everyone is obliged to be chipped. I can see our health records programmed onto a chip  and inserted beneath our skin which will make treatment much easier in the event of accidents or ill-health. I can see a time when goods will be paid for in this way, in fact the precursor to this has been the implementation of credit and debit cards followed by ‘smart apps’ on mobile phones. Once that happens we will be slaves to a system that will know everything about us and even where we are or where we’ve been. Do you really think all of this is harmless? Think again. It may not all happen in your lifetime but it will certainly come about in the lives of those who follow………..and it is all written in Scripture…..

English: Fresco illustrating the Aocalypse (Bo...

 Fresco illustrating the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) Osogovo Monastery, Macedonia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Revelation 13 New International Version – UK

The beast out of the sea

1 The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. 4 People worshipped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshipped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?’

5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling-place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world

9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.

10 ‘If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity they will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
with the sword they will be killed.’
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.

The beast out of the earth

11 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.


Shirley Anne

I wished she’d call

English: Old rotary light switch in Czech Repu...

Old rotary light switch in Czech Republic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I was sitting eating my evening meal on Sunday a woman called me on the house phone asking if I could fix a problem with her bathroom light switch which had stuck in the off position and when I could do it. The switch was a pull-cord type of course as it was located inside the bathroom so I told her it would need replacing as these switches cannot usually be repaired. After asking how much it would cost she asked if at the same time I could replace her bathroom light fitting. She hadn’t as yet purchased the new light so I told her to call me again once she had it. I would supply the switch from my van stock. I told her I would most likely be available on Monday but I had other work scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday so wouldn’t be available then until Thursday. She said that it would have to be in the afternoon. Evidently she had the keys to her friend’s apartment in the same building and had to oversee some work her friend was having done whilst she was on holiday in Spain. That meant she wouldn’t be able to purchase the new light until that job was completed and assumed that would be soon after lunch. I told her to call me on my mobile phone in case I wasn’t at home to receive the call. She said she would phone the house phone first just in case I was at home. I don’t know why some people have an aversion to calling a mobile number but I agreed that was sensible. As it happened I was at home all day long because I had nothing scheduled and no other calls came in. I waited for her call throughout Monday but it wasn’t until after five o’clock when she called. ‘I suppose it is a little late in the day to ask you to come and do the work’ she said timidly. Well I wasn’t about to start work at that hour having not been at work all day. She asked if I could come on Thursday (today) morning instead and that is what we agreed. The reason she didn’t wish to ask someone else to do the work is because she said she doesn’t trust men. She felt more secure having a woman in her apartment and was thankful there was one available. I find I get that explanation for calling me out quite often though I do feel that is unfair to the guys. Many also say that they think a woman would be more reliable. I cannot speak for other women but I know it applies to me.

Shirley Anne

A warm Winter’s day

English: Trees and Bushes

 Trees and Bushes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although it was bright and sunny on Saturday it was still quite cold. Sunday was the opposite. It was sunny in the morning but later became overcast, nevertheless it was far warmer than the previous day had been. I had been waiting for an opportunity to do some more work in the gardens so I decided to get out there after breakfast. Even so it was after eleven before I went into the rear garden to prune back the remaining four gooseberry bushes. E had pruned some of them together with the seven or eight bushes we have between the patio and the garage, the ones I took the time to reposition some weeks ago. I had planted some Laurel bushes next to the patio wall behind them early last year and they needed moving. I had to wait until the Autumn before I could move them. Anyway events overtook us and the last remaining bushes didn’t get pruned until I decided to do it on Sunday. I spent some time clearing away more leaves and dead branches and twigs which seem forever to drop off our neighbour’s tree on the other side of the wall. That tree is rather large and whenever it gets windy some of the branches and twigs break off and fall into our garden. As I write this there are at least three very large branches which have snapped off but are caught in the canopy. It will take some time for them to rot away and finally drop to the ground. A couple of seasons ago we had some of the overhanging branches cut off after informing our neighbours of our intentions of course. They seem disinterested in maintaining their garden for most of it has become overgrown and overrun with brambles and ivy. They also have Japanese Knot-weed  growing profusely in places. After doing what was necessary in the rear garden both E and I went into the front garden and did some heavy pruning out there too. In the next few weeks I would like to get out in the front garden and dig out some unwelcome ivy which threatens to choke everything else. There is also a Fuchsia which could do with moving if possible. When I get the opportunity I will make the most of it. With gardens there is always something to do.

Shirley Anne

So tired

"I Am Tired" - NARA - 558861

“I Am Tired” – NARA – 558861 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hadn’t worked particularly hard on Friday but I had been quite busy during the week with my electrical work. Nevertheless I was very tired on Friday and though I had been up at around five o’clock in the morning it was after midnight before I went to bed. Needless to say I had a very good night’s sleep. I usually find that tiredness catches up with me a day or so after working hard and not necessarily the day after. The same seems to apply to aching limbs. With nothing planned to do on Saturday it was going to be another day for rest and relaxation. In any case I didn’t think I would be able to do much on Saturday because my hands were swollen by early evening on Friday, especially my left hand. If you remember I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis a few weeks ago and my hands swell up sometimes and are painful. After applying my prescribed gel the swelling is reduced after a few hours, indeed if I am using my hands I don’t seem to suffer much with swelling or pain. As it happened my hands were perfectly all right on Saturday, as well as they could be anyway. It was just as well for with the morning’s post I received the new Union flag and I wished to fly it. The day was blessed with a little wind so if I were to hoist the flag it wouldn’t be in vain. I had been flying the flag of St George during the latter half of the week after the more extreme winds had ceased. Previously we had been flying a Union flag that unfortunately wasn’t up to the task and had begun to shred. The new flag is much more robust. So I lowered the flag of St George and hoisted the new Union flag in its place however I had to lower it again to make adjustments to the loop that holds the lower corner around the flagpole (see previous recent posts) for it had tightened around the pole. That in itself was a problem for it took quite some time to lower the flag as a result. Finally I got things sorted out with a little help from E. That was it, nothing else but rest and relaxation. I have been able to play my guitar despite the problems with my hands though I have to exercise my fingers by playing simple chords for a few minutes beforehand.

English: F major chord for guitar using D shap...

F major chord for guitar using D shape barre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In some ways my condition has helped my playing for I am encouraged to play alternative chord shapes more often, especially barre chords. I never tire of playing my guitar though after so long at the instrument I am forced to stop anyway or wear my fingers to the bone!

And today, forty-three years ago, though at that time the date fell on a Saturday, I met E for the first time. That’s got to be a great excuse for dining out and hopefully we will be doing just that this afternoon for the first time since early December.


Shirley Anne

God’s ‘mother’


John 1

The Word became flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, ‘This is the one I spoke about when I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.


I finished my working week on Friday morning chatting to an old lady in whose house I shall be working on Wednesday. I had been working in another house a half-hour earlier and was ready to work in her house but she was going out with her daughter later in the morning. It turned out that she had been born in Liverpool as I had and we chatted about that. She knew all the places that I mentioned whilst telling her where I had lived. We had a good laugh together during the time I was there making an assessment of the work she wanted me to do which was to supply and fit lighting beneath the wall units in her kitchen. After I had left her house I went to the electrical supplier and purchased what was necessary. I don’t remember how the subject arose but she mentioned something about God. I asked her if she believed in God and in Jesus and she said that ever since she was a young girl she had believed. I told her that I was a Christian believer. Then she said something that took me by surprise. She said that when she prayed she prayed first of all to God’s mother. In reply I said God doesn’t have a mother. She was referring to Mary of course and immediately I knew she was a Catholic. I quoted the first two lines of John’s Gospel as above. The opening verses are self-explanatory but for those who miss the point they are saying that from the beginning of all time Jesus (the Word) was with God (The Father) and that he was (is) God. Now look at these verses…


The beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.


The Scutum Fidei, a diagram frequently used by...

The Scutum Fidei, a diagram frequently used by Christian apologists to explain the Trinity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are saying that the Holy Spirit was also there at the beginning. So we have God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and God the Holy Spirit, all God. No-one else existed for the material world only came into existence through Jesus Christ (verse 9 above). This means that Mary wasn’t there either! If we say that Mary is the mother of God as the Catholics maintain, then Mary must be God BUT SHE ISN’T. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I asked the lady that if it was her birthday and I was to present her with a gift would it be hers for I had also asked if she claimed to be a Christian? She told me that she had been a church-goer all her life but that was the point, had she taken the gift that is offered by God so freely, forgiveness and salvation through Jesus? I got no answer which told me she hadn’t. I explained that the (theoretical) gift I was presenting would not be hers until she took hold of it. I said that we have to invite Jesus to be our Saviour, for that is what Scripture tells us we must do. God’s gift isn’t ours unless we take hold of it. Salvation isn’t an automatic right. I had to leave at that point and although I will be returning I will make no further mention about what we had discussed unless she brings up the subject of course but I pray she will consider what I was saying.

To worship anyone else but God is wrong, it is idolatry. To put anyone else above God is wrong.

1 Timothy 2:5

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,


This is why we pray though Jesus and no-one else.

No, God doesn’t have a mother as many have been led to believe.

Shirley Anne

Never ending



I was bemoaning the fact that I had little to do the other day. I should have kept quiet I suppose as Thursday turned out very busy for me. It was also one of those days were things didn’t always run smoothly. My first stop was to purchase materials and goods then drive to a house some twelve miles away for my first job of the day, in fact at that point it was the only job of the day. One task was to replace a faulty twin-lamped fluorescent fitting with a new one. That went reasonably well except that one of the new lamps refused to work. I didn’t wish to drive back the ten or eleven miles to the supplier for a replacement lamp so I had to purchase one locally at twice the price. A bit of a rip-off I thought but it would have cost me more in fuel and time otherwise. The second job at the same address was to replace a faulty light switch but having seen it I had to change the switch to a completely different type as it had been incorrectly wired from a power outlet and required a fuse in circuit. Obviously done by the previous householder as a DIY project and totally against the regulations. The present householder being a 74-year-old woman knew nothing about it. Whilst working there I received a call from a woman who wanted some work doing the following Tuesday, that is this coming Tuesday morning. I was driving back home but had to stop at the electrical supplier to be reimbursed for the faulty tube but on the way there I received two more calls. After calling at the suppliers I went along to look at the first job but having seen what was required I declined the work. It was simply too large a job. I was about to drive to the second job when I got yet another request not far from home. I went to the second job and discovered they had no power at all because they had switched off the supply. There was a fault in the main isolation switch, a switch provided by the electricity provider and their responsibility. However because they needed the supply back on immediately I disconnected the faulty switch and using mains connecting blocks reconnected the supply as a temporary measure. They will have to contact the supply authority to have a new isolating switch fitted. Finally I was able to get to the last job near to home. That job though simple in principle was a bit of a pain to do. I was able to drive home for a very late lunch. Immediately after that light lunch I was called again asking if I could do a small job and at the same time quote for a complete rewire of the house! I explained that I no longer take on rewiring of houses and the reason why, my age! I was asked though to carry out the minor repairs on Friday morning, which I did. As a couple of my customers have pointed out, I shouldn’t be so popular!

Shirley Anne

No wind today

St George's Cross - the flag of England.

St George’s Cross – the flag of England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Funny how things go sometimes. I was talking about flying the flag or rather not flying the flag a few days ago because of the very high winds we had been experiencing. I had to lower the flag and remove it for a few days until the wind subsided. The recommended upper speed limit of the wind when flying the flag is 35 mph and it has been far windier than that lately. A couple of days ago I resumed flying the flag, well the one we have that isn’t damaged for we had to take down the Union flag because it was showing signs of wear. It had been of lesser quality than we had expected and not as good as the other flag which is the cross of St George but not like the one shown in this picture! Anyway to cut a long story short I decided to purchase a new and better quality Union flag which should have arrived by the time this is posted. It cost a little under £65 inclusive of tax and postage. Having decided to fly the flag again the weather has now turned quite mild with little wind, just typical. Not only has there been little in the way of wind there has been no snow either. Some parts of the country have been less fortunate though to see the smiles upon the children’s faces they are happy about it. I don’t like snow or wind myself. I’ve not been too busy lately and I am in grave danger of getting used to that. I hope my electrical work picks up a bit as I am not receiving many requests just at the moment. Nature of the beast, sometimes I am swamped with work and at other times barely get any. It’s a bit like the wind, it comes and it goes and at the moment neither is in abundance.

Shirley Anne

Flying the flag day


I got up late on Tuesday morning, something of a rarity for me. I had no work scheduled though there is always something to do at home. My problem with home projects is that I am happy doing the major aspects of the work but tire easily at the thought of doing the ‘fiddly bits’. I wasn’t much in the mood to do any work at all if the truth be known and once lunch was over I felt even less inclined. I missed breakfast of course as I didn’t get downstairs until eleven-thirty! I asked E if she would like a coffee as I was about to make one for myself. I took mine outside with me into the front garden for I had decided to re-attach the flag and hoist it. If you remember I had taken it down because of the high winds we have been experiencing lately. When I purchased the pole and flags last year I couldn’t figure out how to set it up.The Flag At the lower part of the pole is a locked plastic lid which fits over a base in which are two holes. The rope is supposed to pass through one of them and onward to the top of the pole emerging over a roller and down to the flag. The lower end of the flag however has to be connected to a rope too and on poles where the ropes are exposed there will be two ropes or rather the same one going upward and returning down the pole. The system I have isn’t the same, the idea is that the rope goes to the top as I described above and the bottom part of the flag is fitted to a loop of rope which encircles the pole. That loop of rope though must have some weight to it in order to keep the flag hanging taut and also to enable it to be lowered because of the weight. The flag itself is not really heavy enough to allow it to drop down from the top when it needs to be lowered or removed. The rope inside the pole is heavy enough to counterbalance the flag unless some form of a weight can be placed at the lower part of the flag were it is attached to the loop around the pole. One of my flags has a length of rope attached at one corner and has a brass ring fitted in the corner above it whilst the second flag is fitted with two rings. Evidently the flags are designed to be attached to the ropes in a different way. Initially I made a small alteration to the arrangement which allowed the rope to enter the pole inside and emerge at the top and drop down to the bottom in a continuous loop but it caused problems when the wind changed direction as the flag became wrapped around the pole sometimes. On Tuesday I decided to arrange the rope as I think it was meant to be, totally inside the pole with the flag attached only at one point and the lower end of the flag attached to a separate loop of rope around the pole with an extra weight attached to enable it to be lowered easily. Without the weight it would be difficult to lower. There were no instructions with the pole when it arrived so I have had to work it out for myself. The extra weight I have used is an old handle that used to be on a curtain (drapes) rope. It was pulled in order to close the curtain. On it was a short length of waxed rope, ideal for use outside and the weight, whatever it is made of is covered in white plastic. So now the flag is flying again though when I purchase a replacement for the other flag (see post a few weeks ago) I may have to alter the arrangement I have at the lower end of the flag to enable the flags to be switched from one to the other with ease. That was basically my day! I did little else for a change.

If you click twice on the picture you will see the arrangement I had used previously with the rope but now that rope is not seen on the outside until the flag is lowered.

Shirley Anne

Not that way for all

I Accuse My Parents

I Accuse My Parents (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘We played many different games as children much as they do now., hide and seek, hopscotch, tag, football and cricket, rounders, skipping and a few others. During the summer months mum and dad took us out on weekly day trips, usually to the seaside and it was such fun getting things ready for the day out. We would make sandwiches with all different fillings, take a cake and biscuits some lemonade and a few items of fruit. We had to be certain we’d packed our swimsuits too! Half the excitement was in the preparation and getting to the destination. If it showed any signs of possible rain dad would tell us that the trip was off but most of the time he was just teasing us. Unless it was pouring down with rain and unlikely to stop we would make the trip. Often on the journey home we would tuck in to the remainder of the sandwiches and we would all be very tired after the day’s events. Those days were some of the most enjoyable times in my life and were only made so because our parents loved us so much. I thank them both.’ (Extract from ‘My Story’ above)

How much do you remember about your childhood? Was it a happy time? Were your parents or parent, attentive, loving, generous? Did they have time for you? Many of the problems we have today could be attributed to a lack of involvement by parents. Parents who do not guide their children, do not show their love often end up driving them to become anti-social and unloving or caring themselves. The problems are passed down through the generations. Is it possible that those who take drugs or end up in jail for criminal activity may not be as they are had their parents been more involved, more loving? It isn’t a guarantee of course that anyone’s children grow up to be upright citizens but it surely must be a possibility that if their upbringing  lacked a loving environment they would be more likely to end up as they are. In Scripture we are instructed to bring up our children in the ways they should go for it is their formative years that influence how they will live and behave as adults. I am so happy that my childhood was a pleasant time for me, at home at least. It wasn’t that way for me outside of my home. You can read something  about that in my pages above. Alas, for many children though their lives are not filled with love, affection and attentive parents.

Shirley Anne

Easier than I thought


Sometimes I worry a little about the jobs I am asked to do for people. I've run through the job long before I go there and when I arrive I find it not as I thought. For instance, a man called me on Saturday morning asking if I could help him with a problem to do with the lights in his house, half of them were not working. He was in no hurry to have them sorted and I was in no hurry to do the job seeing as it was the weekend. I told him that I would go immediately if he thought it was an emergency, however, knowing that it wasn't he said Monday morning would be fine. I duly arrived there on Monday morning at nine o'clock as arranged. I pondered in my mind as to what the problem could be, a loose connection, a disconnected wire inadvertently dislodged by other works or one that had been inadvertently cut. When I arrived it took me about ten seconds to discover the problem. The man had not been living in the house very long and he told me that the previous occupier had taken two of the light fittings with them to their new home. They had replaced them with two basic units, a rose and a pendant on a flex.

I suspected that he had himself removed at least one of the lights for it was left dangling from the house wiring, not screwed to the ceiling. Because of the way the house lighting had been wired, which incidentally is the standard method these days, one loose wire in a fitting could result in all the following lights not working. In this case he had somehow connected the incoming neutral wire to an isolated connector in the ceiling rose thereby isolating all the other lights from the neutral. That could be a very potential hazard to anyone touching the other neutral wire that it should have been connected to if any of the remaining lights were switched on as it would have made that 'neutral' wire live! I was there but ten minutes or so then left for my next job. Far easier than I had imagined it might have been. My next job, in the same town, was to replace two ceiling lights with modern units.The first went up very easily but the second took twice as long. Even so I was driving back homeward at eleven o'clock having completed my work for the day. An hour's driving and two hours at work cannot be bad!

Shirley Anne

Nice gestures

Sound the Alarm (The Dawn album)

Sound the Alarm (The Dawn album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite often I get calls from people with electrical problems but sometimes I resist going to see what the problem is. Instead I will offer advise or talk them through their situation in order for them to resolve it themselves. Naturally these particular jobs do not really warrant a visit especially if they are far from home. I have to charge for my time and in some cases I deem it unfair to charge my minimum fee for something that can easily be resolved by the caller. In any case many would simply refuse to pay me what I would have to charge. Much of the time the faults are loss of power because the circuit breaker has tripped or a faulty appliance has caused the RCD (safety trip switch) to trip thereby removing power to other circuits. If the caller follows my instructions and successfully reinstates the power I have saved them the cost of calling me out and they are usually most grateful. It sometimes pays to offer help in this way for it could lead to work at a later date. People remember good deeds. On Friday I received a call for assistance from an elderly couple living about three miles or so away. They wanted to know if I could call in order to trace the source of  an unusual sound which they thought might be the result of an electrical fault. The gentleman even held the telephone toward the sound so that I could hear it. It sounded much like a child’s toy but obviously couldn’t be that. I asked about their smoke alarms which according to them were working as they should. Their burglar alarm had been disconnected so it couldn’t be that. I asked if they had a carbon monoxide detector as the sound could be an indication that the battery required changing. At that point the gentleman said that in fact they did have such an alarm unit but it wasn’t in use, it was stored in a box in the room from where the sound was emanating. He told me he would call back once he had recovered the alarm. A couple of minutes later he called back to tell me that in fact it was the carbon monoxide alarm unit. It had been stored away without removing the battery beforehand. The battery was almost drained which set off a warning signal. I wondered why the alarm wasn’t in use but perhaps their home was all-electric and the alarm wasn’t necessary. They thanked me for being so helpful and honest with them especially as I could have charged them had I gone there. The gentleman asked if he could pay me something but of course I refused payment. Evidently his wife was insistent that I should accept a little something and asked for my address. I gave in and thought no more about it. The following day, Saturday, just after lunch  the doorbell rang and I answered the door. It was a delivery of a large cardboard box addressed to me. However I didn’t open it for I thought that it was intended for E who receives parcels almost every day! She had told me a day or so earlier that my name had been entered in one of her competitions in order to give her more chances of winning. Any ‘winnings’ would naturally be addressed to me. She had been out during the afternoon for her monthly meeting with her group and didn’t arrive back home until after five o’clock. She asked why I hadn’t opened the box and I told her. She hadn’t been expecting a parcel so in fact it was for me after all. I opened it to find a large bouquet of flowers in a special container and a note inside thanking me for the help I’d offered. It was from the elderly couple. Wasn’t that a nice gesture?


Christmas Flower Pictures

Shirley Anne

Everything went differently



I had no electrical work to do on Friday. I had arisen reasonably early so after breakfast I thought I might carry out a repair on the smaller greenhouse where a panel had been partially blown out of the frame because of the recent high winds we had experienced. I had placed the green (garden waste) wheelie bin alongside the panel the previous evening after discovering the damage and in order to prevent further damage.Behind the old one! The small greenhouse is fitted with plastic panels rather than glass. However it began to rain and the wind had picked up again before I got the opportunity to do anything so I decided just to leave it until the weather improved. I did other things indoors instead, like re-registering online with my main current account provider after they had finally sent me the new password and security details. Even so the process wasn’t at all easy and it took E and I a fair amount of time to do it. The bank’s security measures are certainly robust to the point of being over the top. At last I could do some online housekeeping and moving about of my spare funds after three weeks not being able to. Of all the good things about using the Internet, online banking is near the top of my list. We have certainly come a long way since the days of standing in a queue waiting for a teller. E mentioned that our eldest son would be paying us a visit just after lunch and had asked if I had an electric multimeter he could use whilst working on his car.

This image shows a digital multimeter.

This image shows a digital multimeter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a few meters of course, what electrician hasn’t? We had just finished lunch when he arrived with his young three year-old daughter. He had wanted a meter in order to find a suitable supply for the newly installed ‘dash cam’ he had bought and fitted himself. I rendered my assistance whilst he successfully located a suitable supply. It took us some time to connect a couple of  wires to the car’s fuseboard for it is located below the dashboard in the passenger foot well area. The supply had to be one that was switched on when the ignition was switched on so that the camera was not switched on permanently. Once the work was done he drove off to purchase a cigar lighter socket which would be connected to the two wires we had installed. The camera lead cable would plug into it out of view beneath the dashboard. There was no option but to connect the camera this way as there was a special voltage control circuit inside the camera’s lead plug which had to remain in circuit. Anyway everything worked in that the supply was at the camera when the ignition was switched on but unfortunately the camera itself wouldn’t automatically switch on, which is what it is supposed to do. It could be switched on manually at the camera and it would switch off when the ignition was switched off. It was by now getting dark and so we left the car and went indoors for an hour before he and his daughter left for home. E had been entertaining her granddaughter whilst we were working on the car but now it was my turn. We don’t get too many opportunities to see our granddaughter (who calls me Aunty Shirley) so it was nice to be able to spend some time with her. Our son will investigate why the camera doesn’t operate as it should and perhaps it is only a simple matter of programming the device. He will of course return the camera if it still refuses to work properly. The camera itself is very small and hides behind the interior rear-view mirror so effectively you wouldn’t know it was there. Once they had gone home E and I had to prepare the evening meal so the day had been spent doing something completely different from that which was planned.



Shirley Anne



Scared I might leave

English: A reed switch operated by a magnet/ma...

A reed switch operated by a magnet/magnetic field and used as a magnetic proximity detector. Also used for sensing speed, home security automation, position detection etc (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday the weather had become far more settled than it had been and though I knew it wouldn’t last it was an opportunity to get out into the garden to clean up the leaves and to do other things. However, E had mentioned that the light in the garage she uses didn’t always switch on automatically when it was dark. I wired the system a couple of years ago and it incorporates a light level detector fitted outside, a reed switch on the garage door (roller door) which operates when the magnet attached to it activates the electronic circuit to switch on the light. The light can also be operated manually as normal. The problem needed sorting and so that was the first job I did. I adjusted the position of the reed switch to be closer to the magnet when the door was opened. Problem solved though I did carry out a further adjustment the following day. I discovered that the door’s lateral motion sometimes resulted in the space between the reed switch and the magnet being occasionally too wide. Anyway I got to clear away the leaves but by now it was almost lunchtime and I received a request to install a new security light to replace two smaller units that were inadequate. That job took me a couple of hours so when I arrived back home it was around three-thirty. I was hungry having had my breakfast seven hours earlier so I had a belated lunch. Come time for an evening meal I couldn’t eat one but simply had a couple of items of fruit instead. Most of the time I do without lunch if I have missed it and that often happens when I am out at work. I had received a message on the house phone to call the newspaper office in which my advertisement is published. I wondered why because I wasn’t due to purchase more space having had a couple of weeks of paid space in hand. It appeared that the girl was about to take some leave and wished to ensure my needs would be looked after whilst she was away. I wasn’t surprised at this because I would have called one week later to arrange the purchase of a further thirteen weeks of advertising space anyway. I told her that I had been taking stock of my situation and had been thinking about retirement. She was surprised and scared that I might be leaving the paper to advertise elsewhere. I reassured her that I wasn’t and for the time being was continuing to work. She sounded relieved and wished me luck for the future. I have been advertising with the newspaper now for seventeen and a half years. I wonder if I will reach twenty? We’ll have to wait and see.

Shirley Anne

Blame it on religion

Religion Inc.

Religion Inc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whenever we hear of the killing of innocent people in the name of one religion or another we blame that religion and label all religion as the cause of mankind’s problems. Well many people do but for those who reason things out, who don’t jump to conclusions, religion has nothing to do with it. People who kill in the name of their religion are following the wrong religion else their own evil interpretation of it. I claim to have no religion but a relationship with my Maker. My Maker is a loving God who in no way would advocate the evil practices of those who claim to follow the truth as they perceive it to be in their religion. My God is a God of love, peace, mercy, grace, faithfulness, righteousness and holiness. He is a God who wants no-one to perish but to come into a relationship with Him by accepting that they are sinners who need to be saved. It is the sins in the hearts of people that destroy them and keep them from really knowing God’s love. As a parent I always wanted the best for my children and I still do. God’s love for His children is just the same, He wants the best for His children too and we are all His children. There are those who reject His love, reject Him and choose to follow their own hearts and ways. No matter how much we try to reach them they will not listen. They have chosen to remain in the dark. God still loves them and still offers them the same way back to Him as others who have chosen to listen. God has prepared the way through His Son Jesus Christ. Without Jesus there is no way back to God.


John 14:6
Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.


Not through Mohammed, not through Buddha, not through Krishna, not through Nature, not through religion or your interpretation of it………..only through His Son Jesus Christ. God wants the best for you. Do you want the best for yourself? You know what you must do…………….Invite God into your life, ask Jesus to save you……………..and you shall be saved.


Shirley Anne