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If there’s one thing I hate it’s………

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 17, 2014

English: Bet this phone box doesn't take many ...

English: Bet this phone box doesn’t take many calls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My house phone is very seldom used for outgoing calls and even incoming calls are few unless someone is requesting my services. In the past I received many nuisance calls usually from businesses doing cold calls but that has mostly ceased though the occasional caller gets through. I can tell when the call is from such businesses as soon as I pick up the phone. If I answer then I receive an automated advertising message presumably because the computer sending out the messages recognizes that a voice has spoken. Sometimes there is complete silence before I can hear the background noise often associated with a call centre. In either case the phone is immediately returned to its holder and the call is ended. With my mobile phone it is different. Businesses have resorted to withholding their number in many cases so I have no idea if the caller is genuine, that is they wish to speak to me about a job or engage in a private conversation. Regular callers are added to my contacts list so I can recognize them immediately and in most cases they do not withhold their number anyway. If I answer a call from a withheld number it is often from a business advertising themselves. I can block such callers however with the phone’s security program application, for my phone I use Kaspersky. However, sneaky as these business companies are they now often send a text message which is easily dispatched to the deleted items bin or worse still they leave a recorded message. Because again, I have no idea who sent the message when I retrieve my recorded messages those messages reach my ear. Of course I immediately delete the message. If there is one thing I hate most about modern technology it this persistent pestering by companies wishing to tell me I may be entitled to compensation for miss-sold PPIs or I may be due for compensation after an automobile accident which wasn’t my fault. Aside from the fact that I have neither I think it is such an imposition and a down right nuisance to have to put up with these things especially as I have no interest in them whatsoever. The only way to stop receiving these cold calls is to stop using the phones it seems because legislation if it exists, is as weak as a kitten.

Shirley Anne

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A concerted effort

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 16, 2014

English: Bathroom in 1920s apartment house wit...

English: Bathroom in 1920s apartment house with original light thulian pink and black tile, hexagonal floor tiles, and pedestal sink. Location is Los Angeles, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

E and I have been dragging our heels in regard to the bathroom progress, mostly because I have been otherwise engaged with my electrical work and she is limited to what she is able to do. We need to repaint the ceiling in places because of accidental damage and marks caused by the tiler. Some of the woodwork requires touching up with gloss paint too for the same reason. A few days ago we laid the shower tray permanently in position and sealed around the joint between the tray and the wall tiles using silicone rubber but we ran out of the rubber before we could complete the job. We bought some more a day later but haven’t had the time to resume the work. We were expecting the return of the tiler to do the small amount of unfinished tiling but he didn’t arrive. It isn’t a problem because we can do what is necessary ourselves. We had to make an eighty mile round trip last Tuesday in order to purchase more grout so we have everything we need to finish the small amount of tiling that is to be done. Following that we can then fit the glass panels around the tray and fit a plastic skirt around the wooden base on which the tray sits and then the shower cubicle will be complete. Once that is done we can bring the bath back into the room and do the necessary plumbing for it. When that is done we can box it all in and that will complete all of the work to finish the project apart from re-fitting the door and painting it. The door will need cutting down a couple of centimetres before it can be replaced because of the new floor tiles. Hopefully we can make a concerted effort this week to get most of that work done but as usual we may get diverted. All in all we think we have made great strides on this project considering the amount of work we have had to do, half of it preparatory, remember the work we did just to repair the floor, raising the ceiling and repairing the walls!

Shirley Anne

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Grand tour of the cellar!

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 15, 2014

It stopped working, it was too far from the metering equipment. I am referring to the new power monitor we were given when British Gas installed the new smart meters a few weeks ago. We had it standing in the kitchen but it appears that it was at the limit for the Bluetooth signal to connect with the metering. It had to be repositioned and the only practical place to site it was near the steps leading down to the cellar, however there was only one power point there which is used for a table lamp. I had to install an extra point, preferably out of sight and close by to the intended position. That proved to be a very simple job and I had it done in thirty minutes. Here are the pictures.

Power monitor












Whilst I was taking pictures I thought I would continue down the cellar steps and take some of the rooms we have down there. Here they are shown in an anti-clockwork direction from the bottom of the steps004005. The sixth picture below shows the closed door behind which is simply a storeroom for my electrical bits and pieces along with other things.





















































































The last three pictures show the room we intend to turn into a toilet for access from the rear garden, the two doors will be removed and the spaces bricked up. A new door will hopefully be inserted in the wall at the side of the house for access. Two of the pictures show the access to the garage from one of the rooms. The rooms could do with a little tidying up but hey, they are in the cellar!

Shirley Anne

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We must be bonkers

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 14, 2014

English: Walk-behind lawn mower

English: Walk-behind lawn mower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few years ago now we acquired a fairly large petrol-driven lawnmower almost identical to the one shown on the right but when it became impossible to purchase leaded fuel we ceased using it. We had been informed that the mower would have to be serviced to allow unleaded petrol to be used and we never got round to doing it, promising ourselves that we would at some point. A couple of weeks ago I mowed the lawn for the first time this year as the grass was beginning to get out of hand. We have been using an electric mower for a few years and it takes about an hour to mow the lawn with it, providing the grass is dry. Much of the lawn remains in the shade during the winter months and indeed for part of the Spring and Autumn. It is only during the early morning and evening that the sun can shine on the entire lawn at each end of the day. In the height of Summer much more grass is exposed to the sun during the day but close to the house no sunshine falls on the grass at all  except in the morning or evening. This is because the house faces SSW. and the rear garden which has the lawn is on the north side. At this time of year the grass is often wet or damp, especially in the centre of the lawn and it make mowing it difficult for anything other than a hover mower or a high-powered machine. Well our electric mower doesn’t fall into the category unfortunately and when I used it a couple of weeks ago it was hard work I can tell you. Often I would have to drag the machine along rather than push it and crazy as it may seem the grass still gets cut but it takes an age, almost two hours last time! I’d had enough of faffing about so I asked E when she was out shopping for fuel (her car runs on petrol) to buy an extra few litres in a can for use with the petrol mower which has been in one of the garages gathering dust for the last few years. I was determined to see if it was still in working order. On Friday I spent all morning on an electrical job out-of-town and was pretty tired on returning home but after a light lunch decided to give the mower an airing and see what problems I might encounter. There weren’t any, it started first time though I have to admit to forgetting to put some oil in the tank with the petrol to lubricate the cylinders. I corrected that mistake afterwards. It took a mere twenty minutes to mow the damp grass. I had to make an adjustment to the height of the blades as the cuttings started to clog-up the works and the machine cut out a couple of times but once that was done it was plain-sailing. To think we had a machine that could make short work of the task yet we kept on struggling with the electric mower. We must have been bonkers!


Shirley Anne


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It’s in there somewhere

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 13, 2014

Brain Problems

Brain Problems (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I forget recent things. I think I am forgetting recent things a lot more as the years pass and yet I have an excellent long-term memory, even remembering exactly words in a conversation. I almost never forget faces but names I have tremendous difficulty in remembering unless I know the person extremely well or they are related to me. If I don’t see a person for a reasonably long period I am apt to forget their name even if I know them or have known them for quite some time. As an example I do not remember most of the people I knew in the church in which I was a member up and until 1998 though I had been a member there for ten years. Much information is gathered and stored in my brain yet access to it much depends on how long it has been stored there, if a long time I will recall it, if only a short time I am likely to forget it. Some things however I will never forget whether it has been stored away for a long time or a little time. In a lifetime we must gather an enormous amount of data and it is all stored away in our brains. It really is amazing isn’t it? The human brain can store so much information, far more than computers can store. It can access stored information and process it almost immediately under normal circumstances without the need for special algorithms, formulas or programs. Yet for all that capability the brain is reliant on it not degenerating. Unfortunately our brains, like the rest of our bodies, do degenerate with age but for some that degeneration can be severe and for others less so. I do not think we lose the information that is stored but we can lose the capability to retrieve it or not be able to process it if we do. I sometimes go upstairs for instance and once there forget why I went there in the first place. It might be that I went to get something and forgot what it was I wanted yet minutes or even hours later it will come to me. I want to say something to somebody and it slips my mind. Later I will remember what it was I wanted to say but the opportunity may have passed me by. So the information is in my brain somewhere but that doesn’t always mean I can access it immediately. It is as though there is a barrier preventing access that requires a trigger of some sort to release it, you could say a password but that would be wrong as any number of things can trigger a recall. I sometimes find that not thinking about something I am trying to remember will eventually allow me to remember. Concentrating does not always result in remembering something so it appears that the brain is often best left to work things out in the background but just how it does that may not be understood. I forget things and trust that I can remember them somewhere along the line. I don’t really have a choice!

See also my post on August 19 last year.

Shirley Anne

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The law of God

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 12, 2014


Bible (Photo credit: Light from Light)

These laws given by God still stand today despite what some people would say. God loves the sinner but hates the sin. Continuing in sin is self-condemnation. Are you guilty of this?

Leviticus 18

New International Version (NIV)

Unlawful Sexual Relations

18 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.

“‘No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.

“‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

10 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonor you.

11 “‘Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.

12 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.

13 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.

14 “‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

15 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.

16 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother.

17 “‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

18 “‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

19 “‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

20 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.

21 “‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

23 “‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

24 “‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

29 “‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. 30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.’”

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

Romans 1

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

What may be considered right and proper in today’s society, same-sex marriages, fornication, debauchery, pornography and other degrading things does not mean it is right in the eyes of God. Repent and turn away from such things, your eternal salvation may depend upon it. Heaven or Hell? Which will you choose?

Shirley Anne

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No end to the spend

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 11, 2014

Pounds Sterling

Pounds Sterling (Photo credit: 917press)

I love Tuesdays because we dine out a lot on that day. Sometimes I will be out working in the morning but usual try to defer jobs to another day if possible. Last Tuesday I had nothing planned at all and decided to take the whole day off, not even working at home. As it happened we needed to purchase a little more grout for the bathroom as there are one or two small tiling jobs still outstanding but because the grout colour wasn’t plain white we couldn’t purchase it from an outlet nearer to home. The local store didn’t stock the colour we had used which is called ‘gunmetal’, a light fawn colour. That meant a trip of some 40 miles or so to purchase it from the place we had bought everything else for the bathroom, ‘Better Bathrooms’. It would be a nice drive and we could take our time and have a meal on the way back home. Whilst in the showroom we saw a towel rail we liked, one that could sit on the wall adjacent to the vanity unit so I purchased that at the same time too. Both items cost me almost £50. We journeyed on from there to where our youngest son is currently living whilst waiting to move into the house he and his partner are purchasing. We wanted to deliver some mail by hand so that he didn’t need to wait until the weekend to collect it himself. He often comes home to collect his mail. It isn’t worth having his mail redirected and when he moves into the house he can arrange his mail to be delivered there. So we ended up even further from home and by now it was after 1.30. We turned to come back home and found a great restaurant when we were still 20 miles or more away. It was almost 3 o’clock by the time we had finished our meal but it was certainly worth it. That cost me £28 with a tip for the lovely waitress included. We’d each had two courses but only water to drink, something we tend to do these days. Now E’s car is getting a little past its best at twelve years old and I would dearly like to purchase a new one for her but for the moment I’m biding my time. She has been complaining that the wipers need replacing and the adapter she uses for the satnav and the dashboard camera I purchased for her doesn’t work. So after our meal we drove back home and when back in Southport I asked her to call into a shop that sells stuff for cars and had the wipers replaced and a new adapter bought which will even allow her to plug-in her mobile phone too at the same time. Another £17. We drove onward to purchase some milk as we had only a small amount in the house. Well, we like to have our Cappuccinos! The milk only cost me £1.80….LOL. We did forget to visit the plumber’s merchant to purchase a 22mm stopcock but will have to do soon if I am to do the plumbing for the bath water supplies.

Shirley Anne

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More done on Monday

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 10, 2014

I had but one electrical job on Monday morning in an apartment a mere quarter of a mile down the main road from where I live. A simple task of removing a socket outlet and repositioning the one it was supplied from. Electrically simple but the work took time to do nevertheless. The apartment block is what we call purpose-built as opposed to one which perhaps is located in an old house and there are plenty of those about. This meant its ceilings and floors were constructed of concrete but the floors themselves were overlaid with tongue and groove boards with a two-inch (5-6cm) space beneath them. This made it possible to pass the wiring  under the floor once one of the boards had been lifted. The difficult part was the knocking out of the plaster and brickwork to accommodate the metal box for the new socket. The ‘plaster’ was actually more like cement, rock hard and the bricks beneath even harder. I managed as I always do and though a little tired after the two and a half hours my plan was to return home and carry on working there. It was almost time for lunch by the time I got back so I put off starting anything until I had eaten. After lunch and a half hour of relaxing in front of the television I decided to get something done in the bathroom. E was keen to do something too so the pair of us set about preparing and fitting the shower tray. Though I had allowed plenty of space beneath the platform to accommodate the flexible drain pipe it was still an awkward fit. We had to fit the drain to the tray before we could lay it flat and ensure it didn’t leak which we did by pouring copious amounts of water on the tray and checking beneath through the inspection hole. Next we mixed the floor tile cement and whilst I applied a generous coat to the wooden platform E held the tray at an angle above. Carefully we laid the tray flat ensuring the drain pipe went down into the void beneath without getting trapped. Once the tray was in position we poured more water on it and checked it again for any leaks. All seems fine. Bathroom 84Bathroom 85The first picture is taken from a normal angle and the second through the large mirror on the opposite wall. Click once or twice on them to magnify. We phoned Mick the tiler who said he would come and assist with the tray as he has a small amount of unfinished work to do here but he won’t be able to do that for some days as he is presently working on a large project in London. He will be happy that he won’t have to help with the tray at least and we won’t tell him until he comes to do the other work. It will be something of a surprise for him. Now the tray is fitted we can bring the bath back into the room and work on the hot and cold  water supplies. The drain is already done and ready to connect. There is still some painting to be done so we may put off bringing the bath into the room as it will only be in the way. We also have the glass screens to fit around the shower tray and a plastic skirt to fit around the base of the platform. We are so used to seeing the room this way it is hard remembering what it was like beforehand.

Shirley Anne



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Getting on a bit

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 9, 2014

Cramp Twins logo

Cramp Twins logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With all the work that I do it is hardly surprising that once in a while I feel really tired and out of the game. Naturally as I get older I suppose that will increase or I will find myself doing far less than I do now. I already do less than I once did in any one day but still find things to do to fill my time. I suffer little with my health but every now and then things happen which are disconcerting and leave me feeling a bit concerned. As an example, on Sunday morning I woke up rather abruptly with a severe cramp in the calf muscles of my left leg. The pain was agonising and long-lived, so long it lasted throughout the day to a lesser degree. As one does with cramp I tried to massage the leg but it made little difference and was awkward to do in any case. After what seemed like many minutes, though probably less than thirty seconds, the pain eased off enough to be just about bearable. I was sat on the side of the bed by this time but something else was affecting me which I am sure was unconnected to the cramp, though I may be wrong about that. I was sweating, a sort of cold sweat. I felt somewhat nauseous and thought I was going to faint. My breathing was shallow as if the ailment was causing it, which it probably was and I felt really bad for a couple of minutes. Once the cramp had subsided to a manageable level I was able to lie down and relax again. An hour or so later it felt as though nothing had happened though the pain in the leg remained with me. Over the last couple of years I have noticed an increase in foot cramp occurrences affecting either the toes, usually the big toe, or other parts of the foot such as the instep and the side of the foot. Nobody really knows what causes these cramps so I am led to believe but they may have something to do with the ageing process. Although I wasn’t feeling my best on Sunday I had enough energy to do some walking though only on the treadmill, for two reasons, one, the weather wasn’t particularly pleasant and two, I could monitor myself whilst on the treadmill. I can check pulse rates and know exactly the speed I am travelling. I can also alter the conditions, the speed, the gradient and the duration. Going out for a walk, though better, doesn’t usually permit monitoring and much of it is guesswork. Should I feel that something is wrong whilst exercising I am in the right place at home. By early evening I was feeling as right as rain, back to my old self and ready for the next day. Tiredness, ageing, lack of respite all take their toll I am sure but I’m not ready to just sit on my butt all day long, not yet.

Shirley Anne

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Closer to the finishing line

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 8, 2014

On Saturday it cannot have escaped most people’s notice that the world-famous Grand National horse race was run at Aintree, Liverpool. That course is about sixteen miles from where I live though at one time I lived much closer than that, about three or four miles away. The only time I ever visited the course was in the mid to late sixties in a professional capacity. I was a stand-by emergency electrician there only to reinstate the electricity supply for the television cameras and equipment. I was never interested in the races themselves and I suppose that was a consideration in my being selected for the position, I could be trusted not to wander too far from my station. Many people gamble on the race but the thought has always been far from my mind to follow suit. I entered in a raffle one year at work but only because I was under pressure to do so as there was only one ticket left. I reluctantly accepted and to my surprise but probably much more so the surprise of the organiser, I won. The horse’s name was Aldaniti ridden by Bob Champion who I am sure many of you will remember. I won the princely sum of £48 for my £1 ticket. I watch the race each year though on television but only that race, no others. I had the chance to sit down and watch the live broadcast late in the afternoon having spent the morning doing some work in the bathroom, I got the radiator working and can only assume it still had an air lock preventing it working properly before. I fitted the replacement air vent plug at the same time. I also fitted the wall mirror which covers the inspection panel at the rear of the shower unit and I laid the shower tray temporarily in position to establish what work if any had to be done before it is fitted permanently. Here are some more pictures….Bathroom 80Bathroom 82











Bathroom 83Bathroom 81













Shirley Anne

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Light duties

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 7, 2014

English: A selection of commercially available...

English: A selection of commercially available LED lamps (“light bulbs”) with Edison (screw-type) base/ Photo by Geoffrey A. Landis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

E and I live in a rather large detached house that was built in 1877. When people ask about our house I tell them that it isn’t that large but we’ve already lost three butlers and four maids who seemingly have gotten lost in the place. Joking apart though it is large for just two people but once, a few years ago there were seven living here. It is classed as a seven bedroom house, four bedrooms on the third level and three on the level above. There are three main lounges, a family room which serves as a dining room and a small kitchen. Other rooms include an en-suite bathroom, a family bathroom and a wet room. there are four main rooms in the cellar together with three small rooms/stores and a hallway. Three more hallways/landings are on the three other floors. Attached to either side of the house are two garages. Quite a lot of space to hide away in and quite a lot of space to fill too! On Friday E and I went out shopping for some LED light bulbs (or lamps). Both the newly built wet room and the main/family bathroom (undergoing refurbishment at the moment) have between them 16 LED down-lights (recessed into the ceiling) and we want as many of the other light fittings in the house to have LED lamps in them. Some of the rooms are fitted with fluorescent fittings as the main source of lighting, some in the cellar, some at the top of the house and of course the garages. Some rooms have large chandeliers which have six to 10 lamps in them others have less. Some of the rooms have wall lights too, each with two lamps in them. We purchased enough lamps for three chandeliers and six wall lights which amounted to 27 lamps of three different types and all of them LED’s. They cost us a little over £170. Ouch! As an exercise and to determine just how many light fittings there are in and about the house I counted them all both inside and out and discovered that there are 124 lamps of different types and sizes. Some are large fluorescent tubes, some are LED floodlights, some are chandeliers with many lamps in them and the total number of actual light fittings amounted to 84! Phew! We reckon we will need to spend quite a few hundred pounds more yet to replace all those that can be replaced with LED lamps. Even the fluorescent tubes can have LED tubes fitted. That is a lot of money to spend out in order to cut down on running costs and the payback period will be measured in years however, the LED lamps are supposed to have a 30,000 to 50,000 hour lifespan under normal usage which works out to be quite a few years too. There will be a saving on power usage of course which means less to fork out for electricity and less demand on the electricity supply system.

Shirley Anne

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I thought I’d seen it all

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 6, 2014

I hadn’t much electrical work to do until Thursday and spent most of my time at home working there. One of the tasks I had other than that work E and I have been doing in the bathroom was to carry out repairs to the central heating reservoir tank up in the loft area. In the event I had to change the ball valve assembly replacing it with one I had in out cellar storeroom because I didn’t have a replacement washer for the old one. I had to revisit the loft again the next day as I had installed the replacement valve at a slight angle from the vertical which caused the ball to catch the side of the tank.

I Thought I'd Seen Everything

I Thought I’d Seen Everything (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This meant that it wasn’t closing the valve properly allowing the tank to fill up beyond the overflow pipe. Such are the trials of doing my own repairs, not that I am incapable, I am not but once in a while I make mistakes like everyone else. I had been to a job late in the morning but spent most of the time there chatting with the woman about make-up and other girly things. I got back home about 1.30 and had lunch with E who soon afterward went to do the weekly shop with her mum. That is when I discovered the overflow pipe was still dripping out the odd spot of water and was when I revisited the repair. Hopefully all that is now history, well until the washer wants replacing again years down line. By then I’ll probably get someone else to do it if I am still here! I received a call to do an emergency job for somebody living about three miles away but I was expecting E to return home and didn’t really want the work as it was early in the evening being 6.30. I don’t usually do emergency call-out work but have been known to take on the work occasionally. Just then E returned home and she said that I should go if I wished. She’s good with those kinds of suggestions! Apparently, according to the father of the woman in whose house the emergency was supposed to be, there was all sorts of exposed wiring behind the washing machine when he pulled it out ready for a new one to be installed. He didn’t want to touch it in case he caused more problems or was electrocuted in the process. He explained over the phone that his son-in-law had abandoned his daughter and their two children and he had been responsible for the bad wiring. I agreed to go there and try to set things right. There were no exposed cables but simply a connector box which though too small was connecting the washing machine’s flex directly to the circuit cables. I removed it and fitted a socket outlet in a more accessible position. That made that part of the circuit safe but there was another underlying problem. The cable to which I had fixed the socket was apparently connected to a multi-way socket beneath the oven which in turn was plugged into a socket above the worktop. That in itself required to be looked into but further than that the cooker hob which has four heating rings was also plugged into the same multi-way socket! The oven was connected to the cooker circuit provided for that purpose. The hob should be connected to that same supply! I will be returning there at their convenience to put right those faults but in the meantime I left the woman with instructions not to use the hob whilst the washing machine is in use. How anyone could just leave home and leave things in such a dangerous condition without regard for the safety of their estranged family is beyond me. I returned home to a late dinner which E had just prepared. The phone rang again. Someone else wanted my services the following day. I thought I’d seen it all…………..

Shirley Anne

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The small things

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 5, 2014


Tiler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple of weeks ago E and I were scratching around looking for things to do in the bathroom then suddenly over the last week or so we have had plenty of work to get stuck into, fitting the vanity unit, toilet, radiator, shower unit but at the time of writing this on Wednesday we still have the bath, the bath water supplies and the shower tray to install as well as the glass screen. We were waiting for the plumber who looked at the radiator problem (it wouldn’t heat up despite it being installed correctly) and Mick, the tiler to return to help with laying the tray so that he can finish some minor work which can only be done when the tray is fitted. This meant we could do as many of the small jobs that needed doing. One of the two window frames in the main part of the room required some beading fitted around its edges as that frame is slightly further back making the wall tiles flush with the wood whereas the other frame is slightly proud of the tiles as it should be. Fitting a thin beading around the frame will rectify that problem. Another similar problem was revealed when the tiled wall on which the shower is located resulted in the tiles being flush with the surrounding wood. A couple of lengths of architrave solves that problem. I set about measuring and cutting the necessary pieces of wood and took them all down into the cellar workroom so that E could apply an undercoat of paint prior to them being fitted a day or two later. E has done all the painting jobs except the ceilings which I did. Remember, she is slightly incapacitated. Whilst she was painting the wood I set about connecting the main cable for the shower in the distribution panel circuit breaker and the cable supplying the shaver unit circuit into an existing power circuit. I then went into the bathroom and tested the operation of the shower and shaver units, leaving the shower circuit isolated after testing in case anyone should accidentally switch it on before the tray and screens are fitted! There is only a dew days work left to do in the bathroom now but it may be a week or more before all the work is done. At the beginning of this project I did say that it would take months rather than weeks to bring it all together and it has worked out as I said. My thoughts have been focusing on the next project, the garden toilet! When that will start I am not sure but it won’t be this side of Easter.

Shirley Anne

Update: I had another try at solving the radiator problem and was about to fit a temporary pipe to the radiator to see if supplying it from the top would make any difference. I had bled off some water to ensure there was no air in the system and I adjusted the lock-shield valves to see if there was an improvement. I had to turn up the heating controls as the central heating had just switched off. I waited a few minutes and hey presto, it worked! At last I could move on. This morning we received the replacement air bleed-off plug for the faulty one that had been supplied. I will fit that this afternoon. No need for the plumber. Funny thing is I was reading our local freebie newspaper, the one I advertise in, and there was a new girl plumber on the block advertising on the same page. I wonder if she is any good?

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God’s Plan of Salvation

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 4, 2014

Click on the link beneath the cartoon on the right

Copyright http://www.chick.com/information/general/salvation.asp

The Bible says there is only one way to Heaven

Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)

Good works cannot save you.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Trust Jesus Christ today! Here’s what you must do:

  1. Admit you are a sinner.“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12)“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10)
  2. Be willing to turn from sin (repent).Jesus said: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30)
  3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead.For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners. Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
  4. Through prayer, invite Jesus into your life to become your personal Saviour.“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10)“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
What to pray:Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour, as a Christian you should:

  1. Read your Bible every day to get to know Christ better.“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105)
  2. Talk to God in prayer every day.“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)
  3. Be baptized, worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where Christ is preached and the Bible is the final authority.“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matthew 28:19)“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)
  4. Tell others about Christ.“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16)“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)


Jack Chick's famous cartoon salvation message.

People actually thank me when I witness to them!
I’ve found the secret.Free online tracts
Embed them on your webpage, MySpace, Blogs, etc.It doesn’t have to be this hard
Witnessing ideas from well-known speaker Mark Cahill.

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Choose your section…

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Shirley Anne

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Posted by Shirley Anne on April 3, 2014

On Tuesday morning I set about installing the shower and connecting it to the water and electrical supplies and apart from one or two niggling little things which I almost always experience with showers everything went as smooth as silk. Here is the shower……….Bathroom 79

Nothing like the experience the day before when after completing the task it didn’t work. I’ll come to that in a minute. Tuesday afternoon is usually a time when E and I dine out but the day before E received a phone call from our eldest son who hadn’t been able to visit on Sunday due to work commitments but wanted to call in to see us. E had forgotten that we usually dine out on Tuesday afternoon and made arrangements for him to come. However on Tuesday morning I reminded her of our dinner date and could she postpone his visit. He finds it difficult to find the time to come and visit because of his shift work (he is a policeman) and balancing that with the needs of his wife and child though sometimes we feel it is more that it is his wife who puts obstacles in the way. Though they live only three to four miles away we hardly ever see them and if we do it is for only the briefest of times. Everything it seems centres around their daughter. Personally I think they just make excuses. They now tell us that the next time they can visit is probably going to be up to two weeks hence. No doubt that will only be for an hour. E and I dined out. We need the break, we deserve it after all the work we have been doing at home. Anyway the day before, that is Monday, we decided to fit the heated towel rail/radiator and though the plumbing involved some intricate routing everything went right first time without any leaks! Here is the result (the plumbing is located in the airing cupboard behind it)…Bathroom 78

There is one small snag……….it doesn’t work! There shouldn’t be a problem as the pipework now supplying it is the same as that which supplied the radiator that used to sit beneath the large mirror in the picture. The pipes were simply extended to reach into the airing cupboard. At the top of the new radiator on the right-hand-side is or was located the air bleed-off screw. We loosened off the screw to allow the radiator to fill with water, which was hot at the time, then we screwed it back to shut it. However, it wouldn’t shut completely and the water kept on spurting out of the bleed hole. We closed the two supply valves, removed the blanking nut in which the bleed screw was fitted and replaced it temporarily with a small manually operated valve until we can get a replacement for the bleed screw. If you click on the picture it will magnify the image. By late afternoon or early evening we’d had just about enough for the day and left worrying about it until the following day, Tuesday. We got in touch with the supplier who asked for us to send them a picture of the faulty part by email, so I did…..Air vent plugHere it is on the left. Meanwhile, back at the ranch as they say, E and I had returned from our outing to the restaurant and who should be sitting in a van about 50 metres from our house but a plumber. E asked if we should ask him to have a look at the radiator so she reversed her car and I got out and approached him. I asked if he could spare a few minutes to check it out and I would pay for his time. He was happy to be of service and said, ‘No problem my love, I’ll check it for you’. How nice. I walked up to the house whilst he turned his vehicle around to park outside. Soon he was inside checking things out. Well I have to tell you, he was not sure why it wasn’t working either! He made a suggestion to supply the radiator from the top  on one side and leave the other end supplied from the bottom as it is now. I personally cannot see what difference it would make and even he isn’t sure. What he did say was that he will call back in a couple of days when he has more time and sort if out. He even said that he would have to consult his manuals on this one. Why can’t things just work first time? I did mention that I hate plumbing….LOL At least we are moving forward and as each working day passes the room gets closer to completion.

Shirley Anne.

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Saturday and Sunday

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 2, 2014

English: Snow scene - pedestrians only. Lookin...

Snow scene – pedestrians only. Looking east up the hill one snowy Sunday lunchtime in March. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saturday and Sunday saw a real trend towards warmer times, especially Sunday as temperatures reached 17 C hereabouts. In some parts of the country I believe it reached 20 C. Not bad for the end of March. I remember the old saying about March, it comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well traditionally I suppose that has been true but considering the way climate has changed during the last few years it no longer is sometimes. In my youth I remember it snowing on my birthday, November 21 and of course by the time it was Christmas we could expect everywhere to be covered in snow. Gradually over the years in my lifetime that snow has appeared later each year or early in the following year. I don’t think we’ve had more than a dusting of it this year, that is 2014 and when we did it was only for a day or two. It is true to say that where I live at least there hasn’t been much snow at all for quite a few years even when other parts of the country  were knee-deep in it. We have had snow but it was only for brief spells. A couple of years ago we had a couple of days of snow which compacted to ice. That remained on the ground for two weeks before it all dispersed. It has been cold of course but not as cold as it has been historically. The seasons themselves seem to be edging forward as each year passes and although that really is happening because of planetary motion over thousands of years what we are seeing cannot be attributed to that. We are probably seeing climate changes and shifts due to other forces, perhaps partly or totally because of human activity. That of course is currently under investigation and we are having to make ongoing adjustments to the way we, the human race, treat our environment. It is pleasant to enjoy a warm climate but not at the expense of the environment. So here we are again at the beginning of Spring in real terms and once again we will be spending more time outdoors as it gets warmer. The forecast for the first few days of the week were for it to be similarly warm and sunny.

Shirley Anne

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Did I mention I don’t like plumbing?

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 1, 2014

E had a day out over in Manchester on Saturday with a friend who lives up in Preston. They go scrounging for freebies that can be raffled for the various charities their group support. They do competitions and win prizes. I have lost count of the prizes E has won over the last few years ranging from small gifts on up to holidays for four people. Anyway she was out early in the morning returning early evening. That left me alone and free to do what I like which at the moment is working on the bathroom project. However, I received a call to do an electrical job in the morning and I had no idea how long I would be away. When I arrived at the job I found that my services were not really required as they could do it themselves. I gave the two guys doing the job a little advice and returned home. I didn’t mind the journey as it was only a three-mile round trip. I was back home just after ten. What was I going to do? Well bathroom projects require much plumbing don’t they? On Friday I spent most of the day fitting the vanity unit as you can see from the previous post so I decided the toilet would be next to install. Here is the finished job except for blanking off the visible plumbing with a cover and filling everything around with grout…..Bathroom 78

Did I mention I don’t much like plumbing? LOL. Plumbing has come a long way since the early days and fittings are easier, well to fix! However access can be somewhat of a problem. The soil-pipe which takes the waste away and connects to the rear of the basin is almost completely hidden on the unit above and an accurate measurement has to be made of the distance between the pipe in the wall and the spout on the toilet basin else everything doesn’t fit. The connecting pipes and fittings also have to be exactly the same height off the floor, something which must be planned well in advance, even before the floor coverings are laid. Fortunately those things were done and everything lined-up. It is a little unnerving having to push everything together from the front in the hope it all fits first time and doesn’t leak. The water supply pipe is located on the left but I decided to connect to the inlet on the right which made it easier for fitting the flexible pipe. There was one minor leak on one of the supply pipe compression joints but that was due to fiddling about with it whilst connecting it all together. Normally the seat is fitted last of all but in this case it was supposed to be fitted before the toilet was screwed to the wall and floor. I had to undo them after realising I’d done it the other way. Ten minutes later it was all done. It was now three o’clock.

Shirley Anne

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Found on AOL today…………….hahahaha

Posted by Shirley Anne on March 31, 2014

Who said we English don’t have a sense of humour?

Shirley Anne

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What an awkward job!

Posted by Shirley Anne on March 31, 2014

No electrical work on Friday meant that I could work at home. The plan was to fit and connect the vanity unit in the bathroom. After breakfast and around 9.30 I made a start whilst E got dressed. She almost never gets dressed before breakfast, not like me who does the opposite. When she was ready she began to clean all the wall tiles, windows and frames whilst I sorted out the unit. In a recent post I mentioned that the floor in that part of the room where the unit was to be fitted isn’t level and consequently I had to make alterations to the base of the unit to compensate. After much positioning, putting the unit in and taking it out a few times it was time to measure and cut the drain pipe and the hot and cold water pipes. It was then that I realised I needed the adapters for connecting the flexible pipes supplied with the tap (faucet) so I drove to the supplier and bought five of them, two each for the bath supplies and hand basin and one for the toilet cistern. I also bought a flexible drain connecting pipe for use with the basin rather than trying to make a solid connection as I had done when I connected the basin in the wet room. Because the drain pipes are of the welded joints variety I would have to be very accurate in welding the final piece that connects to the basin water trap. I decided to use a flexible connection this time. Having drained the hot and cold water pipes I cut them down, re-fitted the isolating valves and fitted the adapters. I was now ready to place the unit in position and fix it to the wall using screws. Fitting the tap to the basin was easy as was fitting the drain. Bathroom 77The basin is quite heavy because it is wide and lifting it into position proved challenging as there is little spare room either side to manoeuvre. Finally it was in position on top of the unit and ready for connecting the pipes. The water pipes proved to be no problem but the waste pipe consistently leaked despite several attempts to seal it. I must have fitted it and removed it four times until finally deciding to use ‘Plumbers Mait’ with the neoprene gaskets. At last it was water-tight with no further leaks. That waste pipe took me more than an hour to get right and should have taken a mere ten minutes. Just one of those awkward tasks that accompany some DIY jobs. I don’t think I have ever had a completely leak-free installation in all the plumbing work I have done through the years. Thankfully they are few. One down and five to go, the shower, the glass screens, the toilet, the bath and the towel radiator plus all the extras.

I especially like the tap where the water exits like a waterfall. I had to turn the cold water supply down to prevent the water overshooting the basin! This is because the cold water is connected directly to the water main (and drinkable) whereas the hot water is fed from the storage tank and therefore at a lower pressure. The plug operates by pressing it to open and close. Click on the picture twice for a close-up.

Shirley Anne

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Up in the air!

Posted by Shirley Anne on March 30, 2014

Moss closeup on abandoned manmade materials

Another free day from my electrical work, at least until late afternoon. The weather forecast was for rain later in the day but dry and reasonably calm until then. I had finished using the scaffolding tower on Monday but had left it where it was at the side of the house knowing that at some point during the week I might get the chance to wheel it round to the rear and clean the sloping roof beneath my bedroom window as it was covered in moss. A golden opportunity then to clear the moss whilst I had the time. Despite the tower being 7 metres tall it only just reaches past the roof line at that point. I was hoping it might have been a little higher. The gutter was at chest height and I could have raised the platform to the next rung to give me the extra height but that wouldn’t have left much margin for safety so I worked with it at the height I had left it. It took some time to get rid of the moss because the roof tiles have a rough surface giving the moss something to get its roots into and I know I haven’t been able to remove  every last piece. I shall probably have to purchase some proprietary remover to destroy the spores. Caustic solutions could be used but they are not totally successful in removing everything and can be hazardous to use. I have a product in mind to purchase and I can apply it through my bedroom windows without having to rebuild the tower which E and I have dismantled and stored in the garage. I couldn’t have removed the bulk of the moss through the windows and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to clean out the gutter either. Whilst the tower was in that position I was able to do some filling in on the brickwork where the mortar had either worn away or had been damaged when other work was being carried out during the last few years. The tower has proved useful thus far and I’m sure it will be worth the money I spent buying it. We had a late lunch before E went out to do the weekly shopping with her mum. I was going to fit the vanity unit and connect it to the water pipes and drain but I received a call to do a small electrical job and by the time I had returned it was late afternoon. I didn’t feel much like starting work in the bathroom at such a time so I left it for another day, probably tomorrow!

Shirley Anne

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