Minkyweasel World

One Girl's Outlook On Life

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No escape

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 22, 2014

Tha Last Meal

The Last Meal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

E and I dined out on Tuesday just like we often do but before that I had to do an electrical job a couple of miles away. I was supposed to be there at eleven so accordingly I set off to arrive at that time. However just as I had put on my coat I noticed our eldest son opening the gates so that he could park on the driveway. He always chooses the driveway in front of the garage in which I park my van rather than the other drive in front of the garage in which E parks hers. That is because that drive is smaller in width. I motioned to him through the window that I was about to get the van out of the garage so he parked to one side behind our other son’s car which is still parked in front of the house as he hasn’t as yet organised its removal to the auction rooms. After a short hello to him and my lovely granddaughter I drove off to the job. The job itself was very easy but it later paid for our lunch! I was back within forty minutes and found the house empty. E had been in the shower when I left and had evidently gone out but without her car. She had gone shopping with our son for his weekly food supply. His wife was at work. They returned an hour later during which time I had changed ready for dining out. They stayed for a short while before returning home and soon E and I were off down the road for our meal. We chose a place about four miles out-of-town, somewhere we visit often but we hadn’t been there for about two months. When we arrived E noticed a paramedics vehicle in the car park and I quipped that they must be having their lunch but in fact when we went indoors we discovered they were attending to someone who had apparently fainted. It was an older woman who was looking rather poorly and they were carrying out several tests with their portable equipment. Her husband attempted to pay their bill whist she was being looked after but the manager waived the charges which we thought was a lovely gesture. About a half hour later the poor woman left in a wheelchair, off to the hospital it seems.
We saw that the interior of the restaurant had been refurbished slightly. The main area hadn’t changed much but the area in front of the bar had changed dramatically, all for the better we thought. We chose to sit in our favourite spot though and in fact the manager asked on our arrival if we wished to sit at our usual table. She obviously remembers us. We sat down and browsed the menu. I chose the salmon and E chose fish too, cod in batter. She only eats cod, says she doesn’t like any other fish except tinned salmon, ugh! Each to their own though. We ordered drinks and pushing the boat out we shared a garlic flat bread which arrived on a large plate and was smothered in butter and the garlic dressing. Very naughty stuff but delicious. Just before the main course I became aware of a voice at the adjoining table behind the half-screen that separated us. I reached over and tapped the guy on the back and he turned around. I said hello and he replied in kind. He is the manager of the electrical supplier I use and he was sitting with a colleague and also the owner of the  group of electrical outlets he owns amongst other businesses. They were discussing business over a meal. Even on my own time I cannot seem to get away from my work it seems and during the meal I received a call from a prospective client. They left shortly after and we continued with our main course, followed by a dessert. On our way back home E dropped me off at the bank so that I could make a deposit and then we drove on to the doctor’s surgery so that she could sort out matters regarding her prescriptions and whilst we were there I made an appointment to see the doctor regarding a minor problem myself. The rest of the day was spent just doing that, resting!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Dining out, Health | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Birthday to me!

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 21, 2014

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another year gone and an extra number to my age date today. I am 39! No I am not, I am actually……….no I shan’t tell you but I’m old enough to probably know better as I am sometimes told! Funny, I don’t feel any different from how I did yesterday but age creeps upon us slowly doesn’t it? When I was very young age meant nothing at all to me. When I was in my teenage years I still didn’t think about growing old. Old age was something too far into the future to worry about. It was only after I had reached about thirty that I began to think about age and I would occasionally ponder on what my life would be like when I reached fifty and sixty years of age. These days I just wonder how long I have got left. These are the thoughts we really need to bear in mind throughout our lives and live our lives accordingly for we never know what our future holds for us. It is of no use to dwell on the past, what has been is done and it cannot be changed. It is of no use dwelling about the future either for we know not if we will see even the next day. We have to live for today and enjoy it. It is fine to make plans for the future, to have goals and purposes in life but that is all they are. We may achieve them or we may not, we just don’t know. I can look back at my life now and see all the mistakes I have made and there are certainly areas of my life I would have changed at the time had I known then what I know now. There are things I have regretted doing and things I know I should have done had I been more determined. So I say to those following behind, make the most of your life and don’t hold back for one day you may regret it if you don’t. Be the best you can with what abilities you have and try things that challenge you for you will never know your full potential unless you try. There is no such thing as failure except the failure to try. It is my birthday today or I should say the anniversary of my birthday and I will enjoy it as any other day in my life for it isn’t a special day for me, they are all special days!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Age, Future, Happiness, Philosophy | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Bunny Wabbits and Wobots

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 20, 2014

E had gone out for the afternoon to meet with her group and C our youngest son, who had paid us a fleeting visit had also disappeared. Home alone again. I had it in mind to walk to the pub and spend an hour or so there, mainly to meet with people I’ve not seen for a long time. As I no longer drink alcohol pub visits don’t hold the same attraction as they once did though I do like the alcohol-free lager. I ought to go there more often but I seem to be doing other things which prevent me from doing so. An excuse? Probably. I can think of all kinds of things for not going yet whenever I make the effort I am seldom disappointed. I wanted to do a little work on the steps I have constructed in the cellar, filling in some holes and sealing that part of the steps which were bone-dry with a propriety sealant. I set about doing that which took no time at all. E had asked me to unpack the new iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner she had won a few days ago and set it up. Here it is in its docking station ready for use. iRobot  I was going to leave off doing that but changed my mind. Having unpacked it I placed it on its docking station and pushed the ‘Clean’ button in the centre. In fact it was not fully charged as I learned later for I set it in motion and sat back to watch it in action. After some fifteen minutes it became drained of power but didn’t return to its docking station and I had to rescue it. It had become stuck beneath the television table, caught by an electrical cable, which I have since removed. I supposed it was trying to get back to the docking station to recharge itself. The unit became fully charged the second time but it took much longer to do so. I am not sure why it allowed me to use it the first time after such a short charge unless it was designed to do that. When I returned it to the docking station the first time I removed the pan and emptied it. It had removed quite a lot of debris from the carpet! Later when E returned home she set if going again to roam freely this time between rooms. Later she set the timer clock and programmed the unit to operate automatically. It can be set to operate at any time but in fact its dust compartment has to be emptied after each operation or the unit won’t clean properly. It could be set to come on at night and have its dust compartment emptied in the morning. There is no danger of it falling down stairs as it is fitted with sensors to prevent it. There is even a ‘virtual wall’ that can be set up to prevent it entering specific areas by placing a battery-operated unit that emits an electronic beam across a doorway or opening which cannot be closed off. An amazing gadget that actually works well! It is like having a pet roaming around the floor with a brush and shovel! Not quite.

Bunny greek

Bunny

Speaking of pets, just to change the subject, I was sitting on the toilet in the wet room with nothing to look at but the wall tiles and I saw a rabbit in the pattern on one of the tiles. I hadn’t noticed it before and what is more extraordinary is the fact that once I saw the first rabbit, there were plenty more of them appearing before my eyes! Now I suppose you’ll be thinking they are coming to take me away in their little white coats but rest assured I am not going loopy, besides which I already am! It struck me that we see only what we wish to see and things which are not really there except in our mind’s eye. There are no rabbits on the tiles at all, simply marks and patterns that if looked at in a certain way could appear to be anything I wish. I just happened to see bunny wabbits. I suppose now I will dream about rabbits being chased by robotic vacuum cleaners sometime this week, maybe down at the pub!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Cleaning, Domestic Chores, Visions | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Ostrich

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 19, 2014

English: Ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope, S...

Ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a saying that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when danger looms but that is not true. We use the expression to show how others hide from things they either don’t wish to face or see, impending problems and things like that. The truth of any matter can be presented yet the recipient simply refuses to accept it and we say they are hiding their heads in the sand just like the ostrich. The fact is that ostriches are seldom seen in sandy places but we are, figuratively speaking from time to time. Sand isn’t a good material on which to build a house as it can shift about. Having said that my own house is built on very compacted sand but that sand fills its foundations as well as surrounding them which makes the building very stable and those foundations are deep. It has been standing since 1877 and shows no signs of falling down! We need foundations in life too, things that we can build upon knowing that when those foundations are strong we need not worry about anything. When the foundations are weak, we are weak, when they are unstable we are unstable and if there are no foundations at all we fall down, just as a house would. We can build solid foundations in life by placing our trust in those things we know will not let us down but like everything in life there is never a guarantee. So what can we place our trust in? Gold? Possessions? People? These can let us down too. Gold loses its value sometimes, possessions can be sold but once they are gone there is nothing left and people? Well I am sure we know that in times of crisis people can let us down too. We can also let ourselves down by choosing the wrong things in life, things that eventually lead to death! Of course material things can take the form of alcohol or drugs and too much food leads to obesity all of which can destroy us but what of our spirit? That can be destroyed too and forever! All it takes is being on the wrong path, the path that leads away from God rather than the one that leads to Him. God is our Rock, a solid foundation on which we can place all of our trust. If we have wandered from Him He is merciful to us when we return and we all have wandered away at some point. Some have never approached God and thereby leave their eternal future in the balance. Some deliberately ignore their sins and expect that nothing will result. We have only to read what God did to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to know that if He did not spare those cities He will not spare those who reject Him. Follow this link to read the truth about Sodom and Gomorrah….it is a little long but well worth the visit http://www.str.org/articles/what-was-the-sin-of-sodom-and-gomorrah#.VGibXsmVv-s Now think about what is happening in our world today and compare the two, follow this link and see what I mean  http://www.visitbrighton.com/gay-brighton/ . Are you building your life on a solid foundation or is it being built on loose sand? Don’t be like the ostrich, face the facts and then do something about it.

Shirley Anne

 

Posted in Salvation, Sin | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Mucking about

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 18, 2014

English: Mucking Flats. The flood defence wall...

English: Mucking Flats. The flood defence wall at Mucking Flats with the River Thames at high tide. The arable farmland to the left is at least a metre lower than the water level. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My readers may have noticed that I have changed a few things on this blog such as the colour of highlighted text which is now purple rather than blue. I think the change makes the presentation more alive. Readers may also note that my pages bars above have been rationalised, some pages have been removed as they have been inactive, that is no-one seems to be looking at them. Those which are left have been reorganised a little and have lost their numbering or lettering except the first six which are still numbered one to six. When I first started this blog I had so many pages up above that I had to number them if I wanted them to be in a specific order and I discovered that when number eleven was reached it ended up in position number two, twelve would be in position three and so on. This is because the software doesn’t recognise that number two should be in the second position. It is using the binary system. To get around the problem I had to number from one to nine and then change to letters if I wanted more pages in the order I wanted then on the page. It was far too cumbersome and didn’t really make the presentation easy on the eye. I remember WordPress indicating that the problem of not being able to place pages in the order wished without them being jumbled up would be sorted out one day. Well that day never came as far as I know. As an example, ‘My Story‘ would be displaced by another page if it that page was entitled  ‘Gallery’ as ‘G’ precedes ‘M’ in the alphabet. I might not want the pages displayed in that order. I had to number the pages or affix a preceding letter to get around the problem. Over the last couple of years I have rid the pages bars of excess baggage and today, Saturday I have reduced the pages to a more suitable minimum. Unfortunately the first six pages remain numbered in order to keep them in the order I wish to present them. I hope the small colour change doesn’t distract my readers anyhow. Mentioning readers, I notice they come from all around the world and from many diverse places. Some countries represented have only one reader as yet but some have quite a number, places like the USA and Canada for instance, not to mention my own country, the UK. I had no idea I was so popular! I thank them all and especially you who are reading this right now, thank you. Now I must stop writing and get on with some domestic chores. Such is life.

By the way the picture has nothing to do with the post, except for the connection in the title.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Blogs, Social Networking | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Always the way

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 17, 2014

Two (The Calling album)

Two (The Calling album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been yet another busy week in my capacity as an electrician. It is late Friday afternoon now and I have just returned from the last job of the week, at least I am thinking it will be for last weekend proved me wrong when I was called out in an emergency. I will usually respond to those calls if the caller has lost all power. No sooner had I arrived back from the job when someone else called me saying they had just returned from a holiday to discover a light fitting wasn’t working. Their house was along the same route I had been to a little earlier! Typical of what happens. Anyway the man calling told me that it wasn’t urgent but asked when could I do it. As I had work already scheduled for Monday I told him it would have to be Tuesday before I could do it. He then changed tack explaining that he would rather have the job done immediately rather than wait until Tuesday. I suspected he was simply disappointed in the fact that I wasn’t prepared to do the job for him that afternoon. I will not be persuaded to give up all of my time just to please someone who cannot be bothered to wait and especially where the job isn’t an emergency. He did say that if he couldn’t find anyone else to do it before Tuesday he would call back. I will not be holding my breath waiting for that call. During the week I have turned down more offers for work that I have accepted, some because I no longer work in the particular field I have been asked to work in or the work has been too much for me to take on board, things like rewiring a house for instance. Although I advertise for small jobs it doesn’t seem to sink into the minds of those calling me who ask me to do much more. One gentleman, whom I could tell was not native to the UK by his voice, first of all asked if I operated a call-out charge (which I don’t but do have a minimum charge) and then proceeded to tell me that the job was very easy and almost suggested what I should be charging to do it! It didn’t matter that he lived many miles away and that it would take me time to get there, time he apparently didn’t think he would have to pay for! That’s why I operate a minimum charge. I am guessing he is the kind of person who would begin to barter about my charge after I had done the work and even after I had given him a price for doing it beforehand. I had one of those a few years ago when the man I was working for wanted to renege on our agreement! This sort of behaviour spoils the day for me as do those who get the work done then tell me they’ve no cash with which to pay me and they have to go off to an ATM to get it. Often I end up taking them there too. You would think people would have the means to pay to hand before they call anyone in to do their work. I am hopefully going to forget electrical work for the weekend……………………

Shirley Anne

Posted in Electrical, People, Rest and relaxation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

In one hand and out the other

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 16, 2014

Today, Thursday, I went to a house in another town nearby to sort out a problem they had with half the lights not working. The problem I felt lay in the rear of one of the kitchen fittings from where I thought the supply to the upstairs lights which were not working, was taken. I was right and soon traced the fault and had it repaired in minutes. I was back on my way home but called into a filling station for diesel. My tank was down to about one-third full and I usually don’t let it drop below that. If you let the fuel drop too far there is the risk of sucking any debris that might be in the bottom of the tank into the engine, in a diesel, the injection nozzles and in some cars the carburettor. The worse case scenario for a diesel would be allowing the pipes to run dry and then having to prime the whole circuit. Anyway I pulled into the filling station and spent most of the cash I had just earned. To save the mathematicians from trying to work out the spend, it was £44. I had been paid £50.

All it meant was that I didn’t have to take the cash from my current account at the bank. Despite the knowledge that I had earned the money it felt as though I had been out for an hour for £6. I am old enough to remember being paid that amount for a week’s work! How times have changed. I like to have the cash in my hand but know that is impractical, at least for large amounts. Having cash to hand is beneficial in an emergency so I try to keep a couple of hundred pounds all of the time in my purse or somewhere I can get at it easily. Over the months this year I have been spending rather a lot of my home projects and it wasn’t worth putting any cash I’d earned  in the bank knowing that I would need it to buy materials. Usually though my cash flow is literal, in one hand and out of the other. Steadily as time goes by I am spending less on the house and more on me!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Money, Work | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

A nice lunch

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 15, 2014

Sample ploughman's lunch

Sample ploughman’s lunch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For quite some time E and I have been dining out together on Tuesday afternoons but not always just on a Tuesday. It all depends on my commitments and of course disposable income, neither of which are really a problem as much as our inclinations. Tuesday morning I got dressed in my ‘no intention’ clothes, those for going out rather than for going to work as I had no intentions of working that day. I had been working hard for most of Monday and I wanted a rest from it. However, that didn’t prevent the calls coming in! I had risen a little later than usual and had a simple breakfast of melon and fruit juice so I wouldn’t spoil my appetite for lunch. Usually I have porridge, fruit and juice and that normally would see me through my working day as I often miss lunch anyway whilst out working. We like to drive off somewhere out-of-town for lunch most of the time but this time I suggested we might go to our local pub which is only just over a half-mile away. As usual for us it was around 2 o’clock and the car park was relatively empty so there was plenty of free tables to sit at but we chose one located in the bar area. E finds the seating easier for her and we get to see everyone coming and going too. ‘Hello Shirley Anne, nice to see you’, were the first words I heard when I went to order our meals. I haven’t been to my local for a couple of months so it is nice to be greeted that way whenever I go there. E likes the pub too, though she doesn’t say so. I think it is because of the reception she gets when going there too. It was the landlady who served us and when she came to the table we chatted a little about her new house which is located just around the corner at the top of our road, a couple of hundred metres away. We have been watching the progress in the house’s refurbishment during the spring and summer and we had been wondering when she and her husband would be moving in. In fact they finally did move in a couple of months ago so we were asking how they were settling in and is everything finished now. It appears they have finished the house itself but they say they would like more work to be done in the rear garden in the Spring. I suggested she deserved to have a nice new car to stand on her driveway in keeping with the nice house they now have. She told me that in fact she and her husband have bought a new one for her old car is now 14 years old and is just about holding itself together. Nice one. She left us to enjoy our meals. The food they serve is excellent and very reasonably priced and we enjoyed it. As we were sitting in the bar area we did see some people we know come in and say hello.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Dining out | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Size matters

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 14, 2014

I am not talking sexual matters, engineering matters or any of the things that might just be in your thoughts right now. We as human beings think we are something special in the scheme of things and for those who believe in God indeed we are. Even if we don’t believe that God loves us all, He does. Let us look at things in perspective. We are creatures living on a large ball of matter orbiting a star, our Sun. The Sun is many times the size of the Earth of course and very far away from us else we wouldn’t be here! We gaze at the night sky and wonder at the universe that we see. However we are not really looking at the Universe but only the stars that are part of our Galaxy and even then only a microscopic portion of them. If we could see our galaxy it would look similar to a pair of back-to-back fried eggs or a Catherine Wheel but we would have to be very far outside of it to see it all. In the great scheme of things then we are but dust. Take a couple of minutes to look at these videos and see what I mean……………..

 

Shirley Anne

Posted in Universe | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

I tried to get home

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 13, 2014

 

Find Your Own Way Home

Find Your Own Way Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On Sunday afternoon I was asked if I could visit a house where I had worked in back in March. I first went there to install two new light fittings and that led to more work a few days later when I returned to install a new electrical distribution board with circuit breakers and RCD (trip switch) protection to replace the old fuseboard. I was told by the client that they had lost part of their power supply but that all the circuit breakers and the RCD unit were still switched on. I called there fifteen minutes later and I found a disconnected wire behind one of the power sockets. Now that would have been the end of the matter but whilst testing I discovered that the RCD test button wasn’t working which meant the RCD might not trip the power in the event of a leakage current. That leakage current might be someone being electrocuted! It had to be replaced and on Monday morning I purchased a new one and went to the house to fit it. I was paid for the two visits and then I returned home but before I could remove my coat and have a little time for myself I received a call from another client I had worked for earlier in the year who wanted to know if I could fit three time switches to control the three towel radiators which were in her bathrooms, yes, she had three of those too! I went along to her house to see what was required and then I drove to the local supplier to purchase what was necessary but I took her along with me so she could get some cash from an ATM. The job itself was electrically simple but the first switch was located inside a fitted wardrobe which had obviously been put there long after the switch had. It took me easily two hours to do that one time switch. The second was a little easier taking only forty minutes and the third was easier still, taking a mere twenty-five minutes. During my stay there my phone rang several times with people looking for my services. It even rang whilst we were driving to the supplier. Good thing I have a hands-free system in the van. It is nice to feel wanted but by the time I’d finished that job I was getting tired of it. I left there at three o’clock but had to call to another house on the way home. A fluorescent light fitting not working. I had to wait a half-hour for someone to turn up. I had it fixed in ten minutes and at last could go home. I was feeling somewhat hungry as I had missed lunch again! I don’t mind missing lunch whilst I am working. E had things to show me when I got home. Recently she won a Blu-Ray player/recorder which she is giving to our eldest son to go with the 40″ television she won and gave to him some months ago. However that wasn’t the main thing she wanted me to see. She had just won an iRobot vacuum cleaner (supposedly worth £350 – £450) that can be left to its own devices to clean the floor. It travels about the room avoiding obstacles and steps and when it is finished it returns to its docking station wherever that may be placed. A little like me returning home from work!

 

Shirley Anne

 

Posted in Home | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Facebook? Don’t think so!

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 12, 2014

A sort of follow-on from my recent post about manipulation. I have several email addresses which I have gathered over the years and the original idea was to have each one for a specific use. One I use in connection with my electrical business but it seldom gets used as people prefer the telephone, though I have had email requests for the less urgent jobs. My first email address was superceded by a newer version and I let my subscription lapse and a friend helped me set up a new address with a different provider because at that time I was unsure how to do it. Yes I know, silly isn’t it? I still have that address and it gets used occasionally. Another address I have is associated with this Blog. I recently subscribed to a new address in the hope that my existing contacts might follow me there but none have taken up the offer so far. It is a new provider who provides a totally secure service (Unseen.is if anyone is interested) based in Iceland but I am not here to advertise. My main email address is with AOL and it is the one most widely used in my everyday life. Well getting to the point of the post, two of the email providers also have their own news and current affairs pages together with other items of interest. Today, Sunday, after I had finished reading my mail on AOL I browsed their front page as I normally do for a little while and I came across an invitation to partake in little guessing game. The idea was for me to answer a few questions and they would guess my occupation. Needless to say that having answered their questions they got it totally wrong. They maintain that I have retired! I don’t know why it is assumed that everyone works in an office, for most of the questions were oriented that way but in the end it was only a little game. Now I suppose you will be wondering why all this has anything to do with Facebook. Partakers of this little game were invited to make a comment about their results in the quiz but could only do that using Facebook or Twitter. I have accounts with neither of them and never will. Why is it assumed that everyone has and why are these sites promoted everywhere you go on the Internet? Now I know of folk who have had a Facebook account or another similar account and they have since unsubscribed because of issues of privacy or security they had experienced with them. The problem with these sites is that they want to know too much about us. This is the main reason I have for not having an account with them. The thing is this, if we don’t place information about ourselves on such sites it is pointless using them. Here on this Blog I can connect with people without revealing too much information about myself. I can select what I choose to reveal because I am not using the site as I would if it were Facebook. It is getting so that we are being coerced into using these sites or be left out of things in a similar way to what I wrote about in my other post. I guess I am not a child of the system, the subscriber to places that want to know every detail about me. It is said that at some point there will be no such thing as privacy and I can well believe it. I have only to go out into the world and be followed by Big Brother’s eyes, the cameras that have popped up everywhere in the last twenty years.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Privacy, Social Networking, Society | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Step up to the mark

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 11, 2014

Another busy time last week. After doing two jobs on Monday and Tuesday I thought that would be the end of my electrical work for the week and indeed I had earned enough to be satisfied by then. However things changed and I found I had two more jobs come my way on Friday which I naturally took on board. I had plenty of time on Wednesday and Thursday as well as Saturday (as I write this) to carry on with work at home. Currently I have been altering the steps in the boiler room by the door which leads out to the garden. I had completed the other step which leads out of the room to the cellar hallway a few days previous. The two steps leading out into the garden are being converted into three steps to make the risers less high and therefore easier to use especially for E who has to use a walking stick most of the time. The first thing I had to do, which I did some days ago, was to construct another step using bricks as a wall and filling the space with rubble and concrete. On Thursday morning I made a wood frame to surround that step and poured or rather trowelled a screed mix (concrete but using granite chippings in place of stones which make the mix smoother) onto and around the step. I removed the wood frame on Friday afternoon to allow the screed to dry out completely so that I could carry out the same procedure on the step above, the original step that was too high, to make it longer and to top it off. This would make the dimensions of both steps the same. The final step is the threshold itself which didn’t need altering.Steps You can see in the picture the now dried out step at the base and the top step levelled out with still wet screed inside the wooden shuttering. I have used bricks and stones to keep the shuttering in place as there isn’t a great deal of pressure on it from the cement screed. For larger works I would have screwed battens to the walls and floor to contain the wooden shuttering and in fact whilst I was constructing the round step across the room I held the screed in place with stiff plastic that had been held in place with battens at each end. This work is very simple to do, the hardest bit is mixing the concrete or screed by hand! When I constructed the round step I had to use a lot of concrete and screed so I employed the use of the mixer but for this smaller set of steps that wasn’t worth doing. You can see the concrete step that forms the threshold under the door. That simply needs facing off in places to fill some holes that are there, especially near the bottom but I can’t do that until the screed is set hard, which will be tomorrow, Sunday afternoon as I write this. E wants to paint the steps when I have finished. I have yet to make up my mind about what I am going to do with some of the drain pipes but I think I will be choosing the easier option! My next major project is to level the floor in the room we hope to convert into a garden toilet but I have to remove half of the existing floor tiles first. They are laid directly onto compressed sand. I have already done some of that work some weeks ago but as you know other things have taken precedence. No rush though.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Construction, DIY, Domestic Chores | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Some people

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 10, 2014

Driving in My Car

Driving in My Car (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whilst out driving recently E told me a really funny but true story concerning her late father. We had been talking about driving conditions and I had mentioned an experience I’d had a day earlier when driving eastward from home to a job earlier in the morning. The morning sun was full in my face which made driving difficult and dangerous too. She told me about the time her father had been driving in thick fog in the depths of winter and how at every turn he seemed to have a tail of vehicles following his. All of those followers peeled off to go elsewhere except for one who persisted in following him. Eventually her father stopped his vehicle, got out and walked back to the car which had followed him for miles in the fog. As he approached a window was wound down and the lady driver inside asked him why he had stopped where he had. He replied, ‘I live here’! She had followed him all the way home and even onto his driveway! Well I couldn’t stop laughing at that. Keeping with her family I was reminded of the time many years ago when her mother was out driving in the fog too. She had come upon a large roundabout and according to her passenger had driven around it several times in the wrong direction trying to find the exit! You’ve got to laugh about it but it was a very dangerous thing to have done. It is bad enough driving in the fog but to do it driving in the opposing direction to all other road users could be disastrous. Fortunately on this occasion every other driver had stayed indoors! The first of these two short stories was more funny that it was dangerous but the second was more dangerous than it was funny I am thinking. They were only ‘one offs’ so to speak but many people I imagine drive like that all of the time.

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Manipulated masses

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 9, 2014

Sidur's monument Victims of Coercion in Kassel

Sidur’s monument Victims of Coercion in Kassel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite some time ago I wrote about coercion or I seem to recollect having written something about it at least. Having since done a search of this Blog I located a post I had written on 8th Dec 2011, almost three years ago if you care to view it. I talked about the possible coercion and manipulation that goes on in Society to get us to buy into certain things. We may think we have free choice but in fact it can be shown that we don’t, at least when it comes to living in a modern society. We are swimming in an ocean filled with all sorts of things that we are encouraged to buy, the latest gizmo or gadget and no sooner we’ve done that when the next thing comes along. That is all very well if you actually want these things or feel the need to keep up with everyone else and not be left behind in the Dark Ages. The thing is though that unless we do buy into this pushy system we will be left behind. Here’s an example, unless we buy the latest mobile phone there will be many things we will not be able to do which is fine as long as we don’t need to do those things but there will come a time when some of those things can only be done with the phone. There is a hidden agenda which perhaps many will not realise. Using the mobile phone to do the shopping will eventually do away with the need to carry money and slowly the high street shops are being equipped with the hardware to make it possible. It all sounds like a good idea at first and for a while it will be until we realise that without conforming to the plan we will be unable to buy anything, (End Time Prophecies, mark of the Beast and all that). Those with eyes to see and ears to listen will know exactly what I am talking about. Anyway little by little our freedom of choice is being eroded away right under our noses. Watch the advertisers doing their best to persuade us to buy this, that or the other during the run-up to Christmas or any other yearly event for that matter. We are informed of ‘must have’ technology, toys, furniture, holidays and a host of other things. Our children simply have to have the latest toy, computer, mobile phone or whatever because every other child has one or because we don’t wish our children to feel left out. One of these days someone is going to realise that children will get over the fact that you haven’t bought them what everyone else is telling us they need. If we really love our children we will show it in the right way and not in the artificial ways of the world which is all driven by money. I am of the opinion anyway that Christmas should not be celebrated unless it is celebrated for the right reason and that is the birth of our Saviour. It is certainly not to buy into the false celebrations that are the ways of the world. That aside, it is obvious to me at least, that we are slowly being manipulated into a compliance which will just seem natural to those following behind us but by then it will be too late for them to turn back the clock.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Politics, Society, Tribulation | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

So now it is Tuesday afternoon….

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 8, 2014

English: Parbold. Looking north on the main st...

Parbold. Looking north on the main street at Parbold to the bridge over the Leeds-Liverpool canal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

….E and I did go for that afternoon meal to a place i haven’t been to for well over twelve months though E goes there usually once every month. It is the venue her group uses for their monthly meeting. They serve good food and we have never been disappointed. This time they had an open fire burning coal and logs in the room we chose to dine and whilst they have more than one fireplace I didn’t know if they had all been lit. We realised however that after a while the room was beginning to smell rather smokey and it didn’t improve though by the time we were served our dessert it had become more of a nuisance. The problem was, and we told the staff the reason was due to a lack of ventilation, indicating that they should open a window or a door to let in some fresh air and to aid and encourage a good draught up the chimney but they didn’t take the advice. Still it was a pleasant afternoon and a fine meal. We chose not to return home by the more direct route knowing that there would be delays at the north end of the town due to some major road works going on for the next couple of weeks. We drove down the motorway to make a detour through Parbold, a village in and around the highest hill in the area giving views over vast areas of the countryside. Southport, Liverpool and the hills and mountains of North Wales can easily be seen from its peak, where many stop to admire it. The road passes over it. The view by night is akin to that seen from an aircraft at low altitude and quite amazing. Some of the drivers using the motorway must have a death wish as many of them were driving far too close to the vehicle in front of them for the speed at which they were driving. I said to E that they must think they have only a minute left to live and adding that driving as they were perhaps they would have only a minute left! Anyway we drove to the other side and on to Burscough (pronounced Bursco) and on toward Southport but that part of the journey was fraught with danger caused by the poor driving standards of other motorists along the way. One driver pulled so far out of a side road we had to stop for there was no way to drive around him due to oncoming traffic, then there was another driver who also pulled out of a side road and continued to the left ahead of us which caused E to slam on her brakes. These people must think they are the only ones on the road! At one point E had to slam on the brakes again because of a dog which threatened to run out in front of us. Its owner appeared from around the small bend in the road with another dog on a leash and stared at us as if to say ‘What’s the problem’? Isn’t there something in the Highway Code that says all dogs should be kept under control at all times, especially near traffic? Obviously the rules don’t apply to that guy. A little further on found us behind a female learner driver and for a while she was doing well, until we reached a small roundabout where she seemingly had problems with her clutch control causing her to stay put for some time. When gaps appeared in the traffic coming from the right (we drive on the left here) she missed the opportunity to move on but eventually she got there and we were able to continue too. As we approached the next roundabout a driver on our left was driving so fast we didn’t think he would stop in time as we turned right but fortunately he did. The road ahead was now restricted to 20 mph and we duly kept to that speed. A few hundred metres along we saw three police vehicles and an ambulance parked at the side of the road and the police appeared to be holding several young children for questioning. We didn’t know why but suspected there may have been an accident. Finally we reached home in one piece. The setting sun was shining in our faces for much of the journey home which made driving more difficult and potentially dangerous. I feel certain that as Winter approaches we will hear reports of more accidents involving drivers not taking more care. If we have encountered bad driving when conditions are good what is it going to be like when conditions deteriorate?

Shirley Anne

Posted in Dining out, Driving | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Could have been different

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 7, 2014

I was quite tired on Tuesday morning after the previous day’s work. It is usually the case that I feel tired twenty-four hours after doing a lot of work yet certain tasks affect me less. I don’t know why that should be. Anyhow it was change the sheets day, a day for replacing the bed linen. I had a basket part-filled with soiled clothing I wear for work too so I had to get those washed. After breakfast I changed the bed linen and took everything down to the cellar to be washed. However E wanted to wash some clothes too so I had to leave off washing the bed linen until her wash was done. She went for her shower whilst my clothes were being washed but said to me that perhaps we should have an extra washing line put up in the boiler room as the two lines we had were sometimes not sufficient for hanging all of the washing. I had wanted to do some more work on the steps I have been altering but decided instead to see if I could put up another line. Unfortunately I didn’t have two large hooks to screw into the walls similar to the four that exist but I found a bag containing the coat hooks we had removed from the downstairs toilet before we converted it into a wet room last year. It is quite amazing what I find stored in the cellar. So coat hooks aren’t exactly designed for the job but they work! I fetched my tools and drill from the van and had them up in a matter of a few minutes. There was just enough length of washing line to span the room once more but first I had to remove it from the existing hooks where the excess had been wrapped. Just as I had finished the work the washing machine had completed the first wash and I was able to hang it up to dry. E had finished her shower and had come downstairs to place her clothes in the machine. There was plenty of space now for her to hang it up when it had been washed. We returned upstairs and she made us both a cup of coffee. I wasn’t by now in the mood for doing anymore work for we planned to take the afternoon off and dine out somewhere. The day could have been so different had I not decided to put up an extra line or if I had worked on the steps instead and I did receive an offer of work some miles away from home though I turned it down. Sometimes I just cannot be bothered.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Clothes, Domestic Chores | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Nice people to work for

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 6, 2014

I wrote about a couple for whom I did some work a few days ago who were such lovely people it was a pleasure to work for them. A couple of days later, last Friday afternoon in fact, I received a call from a guy who seemingly had lost all power to the outlets upstairs. I told him I wasn’t available until the Monday just passed but he told me that it didn’t matter for they, he and his wife, had power downstairs and could manage for a couple of days. He was more concerned that I would show up but I assured him that I would. Their house is situated about fifteen miles or so out into the country in a small township, more like a large village really, called Mawdesley, a typical rural location in these parts. I drove there early on Monday morning but had to drive into the bright sunshine almost all of the way as it is eastward from where I live. The early morning sunshine at this time of year can be quite annoying for drivers and hazardous too especially if the roads are wet. The sunshine is reflected off the wet road surface and can blind the driver. I was wearing sunglasses and had the visor down but still was dazzled some of the time. It got so bad at one point I had to stop as I couldn’t see the bend in the road ahead. Anyway I managed to get to my destination right on time and after introducing myself proceeded with the work in hand. My first objective was to disconnect the offending circuits wiring so that I could test it.

Now the live conductors were easy enough to remove from the circuit breaker but the neutral conductors were unreachable. What had happened is that the electricians who fitted the new electrical board had located it high on the wood panel and the fitters who installed the new kitchen furniture in front of it had to cut away a portion of the cabinet to allow the electrical board’s cover to be removed. Unfortunately that still didn’t allow the earthing and neutral conductor terminals to be reached. Fortunately I was able to unscrew the fixing screws which held the board in place and relocate the board a couple of centimetres lower thus enabling access to the terminals. I have seen worse! I tested the circuit and as expected discovered the nature of the fault. Now I had to go upstairs and split the circuit to ascertain which part of the wiring was at fault. The idea is to continue to split the faulty section until the faults location is found, testing the circuit wiring at each stage. It can take a few hours or a few minutes to locate the fault, it all depends on the size of the installation. It was a couple of hours before I managed to find the problem. Now the guy had told me that he had employed some electricians to rewire the house but he said they weren’t much good, ‘cowboys’ he called them but later he let slip that he had been responsible for installing the wiring, at least in the rooms he had constructed up in the attic. That is where the fault lay. He had wired a light directly from the power circuits without installing an intervening fused spur unit to protect the smaller lighting conductors. I corrected that error later when I was reinstating the power. The fault lay inside the fluorescent light unit but as the two lights were very old he decided to purchase two new ones which yours truly fitted for him. Once I had re-fixed all the power sockets I had removed and reconnected the conductors in the main electrical board I switched the circuit one and all was fine. It was at that point I discovered that in fact all of the house power sockets apart from those in the kitchen were on the same circuit. They had no power at all to run their television or even their boiler (which was located upstairs) for the whole weekend! They had the good sense to run extension leads from the kitchen as a temporary measure but the boiler was hard-wired into the circuit and could not be supplied. Why they didn’t tell me that on Friday I will never know for had they done so I would certainly have done their job on Saturday morning instead. They were a lovely couple to work for though and it was indeed a pleasure working for them. I even got paid more than I’d asked for. I had been away from home for seven hours. So much for part-time working!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Electrical, People | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Out on a limb

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 5, 2014

The Ladder of Divine Ascent is an important ic...

The Ladder of Divine Ascent is an important icon kept and exhibited at Saint Catherine’s Monastery, situated the base of Mount Sinai in Egypt. The gold background is typical of icons such as this, which was manufactured in the 12th century after a manuscript written by the 6th century monk John Climacus who based it on the biblical description of Jacob’s ladder. It depicts the ascent to Heaven by monks, some of which fall and are dragged away by black demons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are born, we live out our lives and then we die and that is the end of it. Well actually, no it isn’t. It will be the end of our life here, it will be an end to our physical being and if we don’t get cremated all that will remain is our bones. The chemical components which make our body will dissipate and get used elsewhere. Nothing is wasted. However we, that is the real ‘us’ is not composed of anything physical, it is spirit. Now many of you reading this far will begin to disagree because you don’t believe in such things, you have no conception perhaps of the spiritual realm which prevents you from understanding that there is one. Many will believe in ghosts and the supernatural without really understanding anything but the idea unless they have personal experience of encounters with ghosts, spirits or whatever they wish to call them. Because we don’t have experiences of such things does not mean they do not exist now does it? I find it very odd that some people believe in the spirit world yet do not believe in God who is spirit. We read in Scripture that God is spirit and that He created the spirit within each of us. It is to God that our spirit returns as it says. So then why do people claim to have seen ghosts or spirits for surely those spirits would be in God’s presence and not left freely to roam about the Earth as ‘lost souls’. You see, these spirits are not actually the spirits of the departed, they are counterfeit, they are of Satan. What many do not understand is that the ruler of this world, he who was given temporary authority, the devil himself, is intent on turning everyone away from the truth. He does if by deceit, by lies and false persuasion. He promotes confusion and does his best to turn people away from discovering their salvation in Christ Jesus. He turns our attention to false religion, false ideologies, anything to stop us knowing our Creator God. He will keep us hooked on drugs, alcohol, material things, selfish attitudes and anything that will keep us from God. Well are not these things pleasurable to our physical being? Yes they are, for a season but therein lies the danger because what will keep us occupied and addicted to will keep us from salvation and an eternal life with our Maker, the very thing Satan wishes. Scoff if you will but reason it out, which is better a short life in the flesh filled with the pleasures of the flesh or a life eternal filled with pleasures beyond our human imagination? You decide but think on these words

Matthew 16:26       What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Shirley Anne

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Scream and scream again

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 4, 2014

Distillery District, Toronto

Distillery District, Toronto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a day! On Thursday morning directly after breakfast I went down into the cellar to see what extra materials I would need in order to continue with constructing the steps in the boiler room. E had just returned upstairs to have a shower and wash her hair. She generally has breakfast before getting dressed. I on the other hand am washed and dressed before breakfast. I went into the garage and unloaded a few items from my van so that I could buy some sand and granite chippings and have it placed in the van rather than have it delivered. It was such a small quantity it wasn’t worth having it delivered, besides which they would charge me £10 for doing so and I wouldn’t get it delivered until the following day. Unless I am buying large quantities I tend to fetch it myself. Anyway I got the two bags of sand and the one bag of what I thought was chippings out of the van and onto the garage floor. The bag I thought was chippings was in fact grit and the bag had partially opened because the guys had thrown the bags into the van whilst I was at the counter paying for it. I had deliberately left a clear space for the bags to lie flat but they threw them over an extension lead drum and cable I had stored in there instead. I immediately returned to the builders yard with the grit and complained to the guy at the desk who apologised on behalf of  the other two guys and replaced the grit with a bag of chippings laying it flat in the space I had made. Finally I was back home for the second time and made myself ready to do some work. E was still in the bathroom and didn’t appear until much later. I was a little annoyed with her for not even asking if I wanted any help with the work. She can only do a limited amount but even that much is of great benefit and assistance to me. She usually does help whenever she can. It meant I had to do everything, get the mixer out and position it on its stand, empty out the wheelbarrow so I could pour the mixed screed into it and thereafter shovel it into a bucket to carry it into the cellar. Of course I had to move the bags of materials outside and shovel the necessary amounts into the mixer and mix them, adding water until it was ready for use. That was the easy part, I had to tip it onto the step I was constructing and level it all out. I had to fill the mixer twice and then had to shovel it all into a bucket several times to relay it indoors to the job. Whilst I was levelling the mix to form the final screed coat of the new step I had to ensure the mixer was filled with water and left rotating, the wheelbarrow was filled with water and any cement covered tools were left in water until I could clean them all. E would normally have done the cleaning using the hose pipe and attended on the minor things that needed to be done allowing myself to concentrate on actually doing the job. Afterwards of course I had to return everything back into storage and whist doing so received an invitation to do an electrical job. I made arrangements to do it the following day. It had been a warm and humid day and I was feeling it whilst working. The job was indoors in the boiler room so it was warm in there and I was wearing overalls too! I had to wash my feet before I could return into the house via the front door as I couldn’t return via the cellar. Before I left the boiler room and after everything had been cleared away I filled in the new step by the outside door in the room with some hard-core material ready for it to be concreted over as with the step I had just completed across the room. I will probably do that on Saturday and at the same time remove the temporary support from around the new step. After a late lunch E went out to do the shopping with her mum and I wrestled with my computer. I have been experiencing a problem with the Firefox browser during the last twenty-four hours in that it keeps stopping whenever I am on this site (Minkyweasel) but is ok otherwise. I have had to resort to using Chrome to write this in the meantime. Maybe it is an issue with WordPress. Whilst writing I got a call from an old lady living some miles away who wanted her kitchen fluorescent lights replacing but insisted on telling me the whole story about her escapades in trying to get replacement tubes which didn’t fit and about her local stockist and what they had told her. She didn’t stop there either and she began nattering on about things totally unrelated to her electrical problems. I could not get a word in edgewise for she just wouldn’t stop talking. I asked a few simply questions to ascertain what I would need if I went there to do the job and it took me about ten minutes to get a reply. I was glad I wasn’t paying for the call. Eventually she decided she would call me next week as it was her birthday and she didn’t know what her daughter had planned for her. What that had to do with the job I have no idea. I don’t expect she will ring again, especially after I had told her how much it would cost. I think she thinks we are still living in the 1960′s. About ten minutes later someone asked if I could wire his three-phase walk-in fridge for him. I straight away asked him if it was a commercial premises and knowing he would say yes he duly said so. I told him that I only take on small domestic jobs these days. My advertisement reads, DOMESTIC  ELECTRICAL SERVICES, small job specialist! Are they blind? A few years ago I would have taken on the work but no more, I am after all working part-time and I am semi-retired. In any case I do not have the necessary equipment I might need for such work as it may involve installing steel conduits and fittings. I have never owned such things even though I have worked in industrial situations many time in the past. I worked for companies who supplied the tools so didn’t need to have my own. Had I been free-lance from the beginning it would have been a different story, I would have had to purchase these things. Almost immediately after that call someone else called asking if I would wire his new boiler. It wasn’t however a simply case of connecting it to the mains but he wanted me to wire and connect pumps, zone valves, thermostats and controllers too. No thank you. Too involved, too time consuming and all for little remuneration. I can pick and choose so I do. The previous evening a lady called me to ask if I would work at the weekend for her and when she told me she worked full-time all week I replied, ‘So do I, that’s why I don’t work the weekends’. Aside from the fact she lived way outside my catchment area, I could tell by the Liverpool telephone number, I think she had a cheek asking. Why couldn’t she take time off to have work done?  The phone continued to ring all Thursday afternoon. Some of them were ‘cold’ calls and I was getting a little annoyed with being pestered by the telephone all the time. I just wanted to escape, I’d had enough for one day!

Shirley Anne

Posted in DIY, Domestic Projects, Electrical, People, Work | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nothing changes

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 3, 2014

I had a golden opportunity to do some work at home on Wednesday, not having any electrical work to do. I had paid a visit to the bank the previous day and made a deposit which left me with just enough spare cash to take E out to lunch. This time I had to do the driving because she was still in pain after the previous day’s incident. Anyway I had no further spare cash at my disposal and I wanted to mix some mortar and screed to continue with the small project I have going in the boiler room, constructing some steps. As it happened we did have some sand, grit, and granite chippings in the garage and cement in the boiler room to keep it dry so I was able to continue with the work. First of all I laid some bricks as part of an extra step I am constructing next to the existing steps which lead out into the garden. 37The space created will be filled in with hard-core material as before then cemented over but there is more work to be done to the existing steps too. Once that job was done I searched in the workshop room for something suitable for placing around the already constructed step leading into the room which I started on last week. I found an old fluorescent light fitting diffuser and cut it to length then placing it behind a couple of wood battens I had fixed to the wall to keep it in place together with some bricks and stones to prevent it springing out. I then mixed some screed using sand, grit and cement and filled in the space behind it to cover the face of the bricks I had laid when constructing the step. When that has set I can mix more screed to cover the rough concrete that forms the step which will also cover the screed I have just laid. Hopefully when the ‘diffuser’ is removed later all we will see is a smooth step! We’ll see……………

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After E and I had cleaned the mixer and put it back in the garage I receive a call to do a small electrical job some ten miles away. I offered to do it the following morning but the guy insisted it be done immediately if it was possible as he couldn’t guarantee anyone being at home thereafter for a few days. I agreed to do it after I had eaten my lunch. I was glad I went along as he paid me more than I had asked and he and his wife were such pleasant people to work for. Not everyone is. It appeared she had ‘burnt’ her eyes by accidentally replacing her contact lenses which had been cleaned with a chemical she had forgotten to rinse off with water. She nearly lost her sight but the medical staff at the hospital assured her no permanent damage had been done. E was going to take her mum to the shops so that she could return a pair of shoes but she couldn’t leave the house because we were expecting the delivery of the battery I had bought for our son’s car. I didn’t get back home until three o’clock and apparently the battery had arrived twenty minutes prior. E still had the time to go to the shops with her mum albeit a little later than she had wanted. So another busy day for me but at least I had some spare cash to spend on the materials I will need for my projects. Speaking of projects, I haven’t forgotten the garden toilet project which has been on hold whilst I was waiting for that survey to be done. I wrote about this a few days ago. I will continue with that in due course.

Shirley Anne

Posted in DIY, Domestic Projects | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

 
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