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And not just Muslims…………

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 24, 2014

No wonder he was selected by Forbes as the most powerful person in the world!!

This is one time our elected leaders should pay attention to the advice of Vladimir Putin. I would suggest that not only our leaders but every citizen of USA should pay attention to this advice. How scary is that? It is a sad day when a Communist makes more sense than our LEADERS but here it is !!!!

Vladimir Putin’s speech – SHORTEST SPEECH EVER.
On August 04, 2013, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the Duma, (Russian Parliament), and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in Russia:

In Russia, live like Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, it should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, and live the life of Muslim’s then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law.
Russia does not need Muslim minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘discrimination’. We will not tolerate disrespect of our Russian culture. We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Muslims are taking over those countries and they will not take over Russia. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of Sharia Law and Muslims.

When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the Russian national interest first, observing that the Muslims Minorities Are Not Russians.
The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a five minute standing ovation.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Alright for some…..

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 24, 2014

I had been out working on Monday morning and on my return E told me that she had received an email from my youngest brother, I talk about my brother in ‘My Journey‘ page above. He is the youngest of my four siblings, two boys and two girls, though of course none of us can be called that way now. I am the eldest, I have a brother about eleven months younger than myself and two sisters younger than he. As I recall the eldest of my brothers retired some time ago but I can not be sure about that as he doesn’t keep in touch. The same applies to my sisters who are both past what would be considered retirement age but they too don’t stay in touch so I cannot be sure if they are retired. E told me that my youngest brother had mentioned in his email that he is about to retire and evidently is looking forward to it. He had contacted her because he had forgotten her birthday date which was on the eleventh of this month and wanted to wish her a belated happy birthday I suppose but I guess he wanted to let her know about his forthcoming retirement too. I must therefore be the odd one out in my family who, by my own admission don’t really wish to retire, at least for the foreseeable future. I am often asked if and when I shall retire but the answer has always been that I have no intention of doing so. The usual reply is that I should continue as long as I am able and as long as I wish to, both of which are true. I wish my brother all the best for his retirement and my other siblings too if they have in fact done the same, it just isn’t for me at the moment. I suppose it is just as well for my youngest brother to stop work and take things a little easier since his unfortunate illness earlier in the year when he suffered a stroke. At least he will not have the same amount of pressure to face each day once he quits work. The title of this post would naturally apply in my brother’s case and maybe for my other siblings too but for me, I prefer the pressure, to a point that is. I find I work better under a little pressure. I am being more sensible about things nowadays and am declining many offers of work that I would normally have taken even recently. I am also refusing to be pressurised into accommodating people when I know I need the rest.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Family | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Something much better

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 23, 2014

Philippians 3

No confidence in the flesh

1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh – though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, 14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s example

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.


  1. Philippians 3:9 Or through the faithfulness of

Are you an enemy of Jesus Christ? Are you putting all your faith in earthly things which cannot save? All that you possess, all that you have in the bank, all your belongings count for nothing once you are dead. Nothing can be taken with you, you will be alone and naked before your Creator. What excuse will you give for your unbelief? No doubt you will say it doesn’t matter because you don’t believe in God, Jesus, Heaven and Hell or in the devil himself but even the devil believes in these things. His fate is sealed, is yours? You have the time to turn your life around and invite Jesus into your heart. You have the time to seal your fate too but only whilst you take in breath. Who knows when their time is up? Don’t wait until it is too late. What have you got to lose? Your possessions? You will lose them anyway. Your life? You will surely die one day. Your future in Heaven has to be decided upon today! Your future in Hell is a definite possibility but why take that chance? Make it an impossibility now, come to Jesus!

Shirley Anne

Posted in God, Gods love, Gods love through Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, Salvation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

There if I want it

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 22, 2014

I've Got That Old Feeling

I’ve Got That Old Feeling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been feeling so much better today, Saturday, than I have felt all week. It looks like I’ve shaken off whatever it was that ailed me. Now I usually do not work in my capacity as an electrician over the weekend but it hasn’t stopped people calling me to do jobs for them. One call I got was from a middle-aged man who explained that he couldn’t do work that entailed working with his hands, DIY projects and such things as in his own words he was useless. He asked tentatively if I could fit a wall bracket together with the television on his kitchen wall. A straightforward job that only required a drill and some hand tools and would probably take a half-hour or so. I said I would do it for him as he lives less than two miles away from me and I could be back home within the hour. I was back home an hour and ten minutes later with some extra cash in my purse! I wanted to replace some more pipe lagging at home so after lunch I set about doing that. E had gone out for the afternoon and our youngest son who had come over for the weekend had also gone out. I like it when I am left alone to get on with things because I work faster that way. The pipes I wanted to recover I succeeded in doing but what a mess to clean up afterwards! The old insulation was so fragile it crumbled as soon as it was touched and it got everywhere. Whilst it was on the pipes it wasn’t a problem and it did provide a decent level of insulation but it really did want replacing. There is still much left to do but gradually the pipes are beginning to look much better. I may decide to splash out and redo all the pipes, not because all the insulation needs replacing, though much of it does, but it will be better all round if I do it anyway. Whilst I was in the cellar working I received several requests for my services, some even asking if I could work for them that day. Like I said, I don’t work weekends! I have taken on some of the work for the week ahead. The work is there if I want it. Must be approaching Christmas! I am now finished for this week both working for others or for myself at home. Tomorrow is Sunday and I shall be doing nothing whatsoever unless it can be done sitting down on the settee.

Shirley Anne

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


Posted by Shirley Anne on October 21, 2014

The Hunters at Rest 1871

The Hunters at Rest 1871 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Friday morning I went to do a small job for an old lady living locally thereafter paying a visit to my electrical supplier before returning home. E was in the shower when I got home and I fixed myself a cup of coffee. I sat at my computer to check emails and visit a few sites but after a short time E came in and asked if I wished to fit some more lagging to the heating pipes in the cellar. I said, ‘No, I just want to sit and relax thank you’.  The previous evening before bed-time I had taken a ‘Beecham’s Powder’ to counter the effects of what I thought I was suffering with, a cold. Although I was feeling alright after a good night’s sleep I was feeling a little tired and especially after doing that job. I simply needed a little respite from work. I sometimes feel E thinks I am a machine until that machine breaks down. I haven’t been at my best these last few weeks with one thing or another affecting my well-being and with the weather turning more Autumnal there is a drain on my energy levels. It is a passing phase and I know all will be fine soon enough but I don’t wish to overdo things especially if I am not feeling completely at my best, that would be silly. As my dad used to say, the work will still be there tomorrow and he was right. My problem is I often want to do everything all at once giving myself little time just to do nothing and simply rest. I have to deliberately make the decision not to work sometimes as opposed to procrastinating when I know I should be working! It is now almost Friday afternoon and I am determined to rest for the remainder of the day. Fitting the lagging can wait until Saturday morning.
We are still waiting for a visit from the surveyors who wish to inspect our drainage systems around the house. They did call earlier in the week but by the time either of us could get to the door they had moved on. I have made plans for re-arranging our sink and bath drains but some of that work may be unnecessary depending on what they say. They have paid a visit to my next-door neighbour and it appears they are satisfied with her installation. I don’t understand that because, according to the literature we received from them, certain pipe connections were not allowed. Some of my neighbour’s pipes seem to contradict that rule. So I am keen to know what they will say about some of the pipes in our installation which are connected in the same way. Without that information I cannot proceed with my project. That might be a good thing at the moment, I need the rest!

Shirley Anne

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

Busy but ……

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 20, 2014

I have found that my electrical services have been in great demand this week after a spell of getting few requests. I didn’t mind getting little work lately as I haven’t been well enough to do much anyway. Today, that is Thursday, I  had a job to do in the afternoon and everything went well enough until that is I got back home. I felt awful and had to take a couple of headache pills. At this moment I must be still under the influence of some bug, a cold maybe and don’t feel I am 100%  with it. It will pass though and I am taking work as it comes along. One of the tasks I had at work today was to replace a single power socket with a twin version which meant digging out the wall to accommodate the larger box for it to screw to. I attempted to isolate the power supply before beginning the work. I removed what should have been the right fuse (it was an old board not fitted with circuit breakers) but the circuit remained live. Replacing that fuse and removing another made no difference, the circuit remained live. I removed the only remaining fuse that could possibly supply the circuit and still the circuit remained live! Someone had split the power circuit wiring in the fuse board so that two fuses were controlling the one circuit. Dangerous! I corrected the problem and finally I could isolate the circuit with just the one fuse, as it should be. I have come across this kind of fault on a couple of occasions in the past and I shudder to think that there must be other households with the same problem unbeknown to the householder. I had that job done quite quickly and did a couple of other things before I left to drive the ten miles back home. So my working day was over and I was trying to relax at home nursing my headache when checking my mobile phone for any messages I discovered I had missed a call though I know for certain my phone hadn’t rung at the time when the caller had called. They left a message though and I was able to call them back. It was too late to do the job I was asked to do and I made arrangements to do it the following morning. I seem to get this problem fairly often with my mobile service, people call me and have to resort to leaving a message because my phone didn’t ring when they made the call. Obviously my phone is unable to connect with the system in each and every location I find myself in and I miss calls requesting my services that I could easily accommodate. I sometimes wonder why I pay for a service that isn’t 100% available. Fortunately my customers do leave messages or call me later on my house phone.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Electrical | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Lagging behind?

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 19, 2014

English: Copper pipes with and without insulat...

Copper pipes with and without insulation, above ceiling tile.

A few weeks ago I purchased a box of insulation material with which to re-lag as much of the pipework in the cellar, most of which is suspended from the ceiling or near to the ceiling but on the walls. I haven’t had the time to use it since then until now. The box contained 48 lengths of pipe lagging each one metre in length which would be enough to re-lag that part of the insulation that was practically falling off through deterioration. Last year I managed to replace much of the old insulation with some lagging I had acquired years ago that I had stored away for use in the future. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough to do every pipe in the cellar so I had to purchase some. I did want to purchase two boxes and replace everything but one box alone cost me over £100 and at the time I couldn’t afford to buy two. I usually use my disposable income when buying things for the home but I had spent quite a lot during the weeks prior. Anyway I was at a bit of a loose end on Wednesday having no scheduled electrical work so I asked E if she wanted to assist me in fitting some new pipe insulation in the room we call the laundry though there are three chest freezers in there besides the washing machine! The circulation pipes which heat the water cylinder in the bathroom run through that room on the ceiling and two other pipes associated with and part of the central heating system also run through the room at ceiling height. All the insulation on these pipes required replacing. The hardest part in some places was that of removing the old insulation but fitting the new insulation was difficult in places as the pipes are located too close to one another. We spent about two and a half hours before the job was done but that is only one room, five other rooms need attention, two of them have a lot of pipes to re-lag and three not as much. This is one of those jobs that always seem to take a back seat in the pecking order of jobs to be done with me but when E is there to help we get them out-of-the-way. After we had finished what needed to be done in that room I gave the carpet a treat and vacuumed it! It isn’t often the carpets in the cellar get vacuumed. Only two rooms and the hallway down there are carpeted. The boiler room and the workshop room have bare floors. We will get around to re-lagging the rest of the pipes in the next couple of weeks, time permitting, though I may have to purchase another box first.

Shirley Anne

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

One down but a few more to come……

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 18, 2014


Laughter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday morning I went to look at a job but when there I discovered it was far more involved than what I was led to believe, I turned it down. In reality I could see the problems I would have had, the time it would have taken and the price the customer was prepared to pay and it just wasn’t worth the effort. The problem was a lack of power outlets in a very small kitchen crammed with appliances which had not been catered for when the kitchen was refurbished a few years ago. There was a boiler which didn’t have a dedicated supply and was plugged into one of the only two twin sockets in the room. The cooker hood was plugged into the other half of the twin socket. The other twin socket across the room had a multi-outlet socket plugged into one half and an extension lead plugged into the other half! Then there was the washing machine which although had been plugged into a socket beneath the units that socket was wired with an underrated flexible cable that had to be plugged into the first twin socket by removing the cooker hood plug. Whoever had wired the kitchen hadn’t a clue as to the amount of power outlets that should have been provided. The room walls were tiled of course so any additional circuitry would necessitate their removal in places, that is if access to the walls was possible. Built-in units prevented access beneath the worktops and much of the walls above were covered with cupboards too. Adding to the problems of course were a laminated floor covering and a bathroom in the room above which made it almost impossible to install extra wiring. It isn’t easy being an electrician working in a domestic situation sometimes and this electrician wasn’t prepared to get involved. Even for a young person the job wasn’t easy, let alone someone of my age who is supposed to be semi-retired. Now you know why I only take on small jobs. It meant I had to return home as I had no other work scheduled for the day. The day wasn’t wasted though and after a cup of coffee and a chat with E I set about doing one of the small jobs at home that had been niggling me to get out-of-the-way for some weeks. That was duly dispatched within an hour or so and then it was time for lunch. I took the rest of the day off. Whilst preparing my ‘late’ lunch our next-door neighbour telephoned and asked this question, ‘Have you had yours done yet’? I immediately responded with, ‘Yes, I had mine done twelve years ago’. It was all she could do but break down with laughter. She even hung up accidentally because she was in stitches laughing. She called back a minute later and explained the reason for the question. She was referring to the survey we are expecting by the local authority with regards to our domestic waste water. They are checking that our (and everyone’s) pipe system is connected to the correct drains. We have been expecting a visit but they seem not to be in any hurry about it. I am always making Pam, our neighbour, laugh. Little did she know that I was referring to my gender surgery which I had exactly to the day twelve years ago when I answered her question. I did subsequently mention that no, we hadn’t had the survey done when she called. There’s never a dull moment in our house. I am now thinking about the other jobs that need doing.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Domestic Projects, Electrical, Laughter, Safety | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beginning of a better week

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 17, 2014

An extension lead/multiplug.

An extension lead/multiplug. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well after last week’s episode this week is beginning to look far better. It is late Monday afternoon as I write this and I have not long returned home after finishing work for the day. I had two jobs the first of which was a part-rewiring of an extension to the side of a house. It was one of those jobs which had been done by someone who had a very basic understanding of electrical circuitry and safety. Lights and extension sockets wired in flexible cables not suited for the job. It was a case of ‘we’ll run an extension lead to supply another outlet out of which we’ll plug-in another lead’. It all had to come out and be wired correctly. The job took about three and a half hours all told. I then had to drive a few miles into the countryside to a little village in order to replace a lighting fitting in a kitchen and found that the switch controlling it required replacing too. It didn’t take me too long to complete those jobs after which it was then time to return home for a snack that would tide me over until our evening meal. Fortunately I do have a decent breakfast, most often of porridge and fruit which keeps me going throughout the day. I often miss lunch when out working so it is well that I eat a breakfast. No sooner had I arrived home when I received another offer of work. This job was to re-site an under unit power outlet for a washing machine. Evidently the existing one is liable to or has been subject to water spillage recently and consequently is dangerous to use. I shall know more in the morning when I go there. After my recent dry spell of work and I beginning to get more. As long as the jobs are not too involved and I can find time for myself I will be happy. At this point I am not sure what the rest of the week will have in store for me but at least I now feel fit enough to cope with it. There are some minor tasks I wish to get out-of-the-way at home too, the little things that will play on my mind if I don’t do them soon. Once those are out-of-the-way I will be ready to restart work on the bigger projects, a little at a time of course and some of that work is good weather dependent so it may take some time to do! There is nothing worse for me than knowing that jobs need to be done and not being in a fit state to do them because I am ill. Thankfully I don’t fall ill too often.

Shirley Anne

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

End of a bad week

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 16, 2014

Last week was bad and only got better at the end. Regular readers will have read my previous posts as to the reasons why so I won’t repeat it here. On Friday afternoon I had to make the journey into Liverpool again, this time to have my sutures removed. The plan was to have that done and then go to a favourite place in the city to have a late lunch. E drove me there, which is just as well for I was taking her out to lunch too! The nurse arrived at 2 o’clock, about ten minutes after we had gotten there. It took her some time to remove the sutures for there were more than forty of them! Now you know why I was glad to have them go because they had made combing my hair somewhat difficult. It also meant that we left the clinic a little later than we had expected. We were finally able to leave just after 3 o’clock and we drove through town to our destination not far from the Pier Head and the river.

The Three Graces, Liverpool as seen from the M...

The Three Graces, Liverpool as seen from the Mersey Ferry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

E hadn’t dined in this particular pub/restaurant previously and I guess she was looking forward to it, however, by the time we got there they had stopped serving meals. We learned that we had only missed their closing time by a few minutes. The staff apologised but showed us the location of another eatery close-by so we walked the short distance and entered a completely different kind of establishment altogether, one very much more basic. Both are located a short distance behind the famous buildings in this picture and about a mile from the clinic beyond and to the right of this picture. As we were by this time rather hungry we decided to stay anyway and eat. The place was full though I have to say and many were eating. It was obviously popular. The menu was surprisingly very good  and whilst E found us a table I placed the order at the bar, We had both chosen sirloin steaks. We waited but fifteen minutes and the food was served. It was delicious. I wouldn’t normally have chosen this place to dine in and probably won’t visit again. Our place of choice is a far nicer establishment. After finishing our meal we went to a local coffee-house to have a Cappuccino as we had plenty of time left on the parking meter. We could have had a coffee in the pub but E wanted somewhere quieter. The pub had been rather noisy but not overly so. We stopped for fuel on the way home but E had chosen a station only a few miles out of Liverpool where the fuel prices were much lower than nearer home. It didn’t much matter for when it came to pay I gave her my debit card. The day had been nice despite everything. Now if my readers will remember that on the previous Saturday I was going to install the replacement hot water pump and extend the existing wiring for the tank thermostat to control it. E and I did both on Saturday, that is I installed it all and she helped me here and there. At last then things are getting back to normal and maybe I will be able to get some of the other projects completed soon. There is no hurry to do any of them and I won’t be overdoing it when I resume working on them. This weekend has been much better than the previous one.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Dining out, Domestic Projects, Health, Plumbing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by Shirley Anne on October 15, 2014

‘I saw a mouse — where? There on the stair
Where on the stair? Right there
A little mouse with clogs on — well, I declare
Going clip-clippety-clop on the stair – oh yeah’

Words from an old song called ‘A windmill in old Amsterdam‘. I did see a mouse, two of them but they weren’t on the stair or even in the house, they were disturbed when we were digging in the garden removing the mound earlier this year. (Search ‘mound’ to find post). We had discovered evidence of there having been a mouse in the cellar though and the event prompted me to construct an electric mouse trap. Actually it was designed to kill any rodent quickly and humanely if they entered it. As it turned out we never had further problems and the trap was never triggered. Since then other work I have done prevents any mice from being able to enter the house. That work was blocking the old doorway with bricks a few weeks ago, work that is part of the garden toilet project I hope to complete one day! This post though is not about mice but about spiders, spiders that are almost as big as mice! I was sitting quietly at home one evening this past week watching the television and I notice out of the corner of my eye what appeared to be a shadow moving along the floor in front of fireplace and disappearing beneath the television glass table. At first I thought it was a mouse but on investigation it turned out to be a huge spider. Now our house is full of spiders, especially in the cellar and though we see them from time to time in the upstairs rooms they are never usually very large. This one however bucked that trend. I called E into the room to see it hiding under the television table. Catching it would be awkward but catching it was preferable to killing it for we normally catch them if we can and put them outside the house. The cellar ones don’t get that consideration and are dispatched quickly if we see them. I had to resort to using the vacuum cleaner to get it and when I opened the cleaner I discovered it hadn’t survived the experience. It wasn’t the largest spider I have encountered in this house but the prize has to go to one that appeared in our former home which really was something to see. It could have filled and covered my hand if I had have been that way inclined to let it. During certain times in the year we are constantly having to remove webs from furniture and walls but we never seem to see the spiders weaving them. I guess they do it during the night. Recent news reports state that we may expect an invasion of foreign spiders who, not like most of our native varieties, are able to bite and cause injury if cornered. Not if I can get them first!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Arachnids | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Wanna larf ?

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 14, 2014

The best Ryanair complaint letter we’ve ever seen

on in Travel

Because having a relaxing holiday doesn’t have to cost the Earth…

Ryanair Complaint Letter

It’s no secret that we think Michael O’Leary is a complete tool. And we know we spend a lot of time harping on at you to  ditch the plane and take the train instead. But this hilarious letter from James Lockley to Ryanair really does sum up how frustrating and stressful taking a flight can be. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing for the attention of your customer experience team. I am definitely a customer, and believe me, you didn’t fail in providing us with an experience.

My wife and I had booked to fly from Stansted on the Thursday 17th April, evening flight to Bratislava. After 2 hours of fun, fun, fun, stuck on the M25 doing 20 mph, we arrived at Stansted check-in with just one hour until the flight. Knowing the strict Ryan Air policy on ‘check-in closes 40 mins before the flight’ as you are the Low Fare Taxi of The Skies, we went straight to the Ryan Air assistant and explained our plight. She said we were still within the time and all would be fine but we had to make the attendant at check in aware and he would assist from there.

We approached the attendant as instructed and explained. Unfortunately, in the main part, due to him being a child, and forgetting to bring his mother to work, he heard only half of the words before his brain fell apart like a wet cake. He led us to the line for closing gates, advised we should wait and all would be ok. We stood patiently in the line for 20 minutes. We got to the front of the line and the lady, who we shall from this point refer to as Vacant, explained that she had literally just that second closed the flight and we had missed it. We complained that we had done as instructed and she said it was the child’s fault because he should have advised her that we were trying to board a closing flight and that because he hadn’t told her it was therefore our fault we had missed the plane.

Confused by this process of blame apportioning, another check-in clerk, who we shall refer to as Not That Bright, tried to blame us for not responding to the last call for the flight as we should have made ourselves known. I argued that the last call had not been made. Not That Bright then questioned Vacant on whether she had done a final call. Vacant did what she does best and looked, well,…… After establishing that the child had not informed Vacant we were here, and Vacant had forgotten to do a last call and that all of this was irreversible, and my fault, Not That Bright and Vacant conferred to agree this was not a problem they wished to deal with and told us to get in a very, very long line of very, very unhappy people at the quite wrongly titled ‘Customer Services Counter’ as it was in fact a Customer Shouting Desk. We complained and requested the attention of a manager.

Out came Colin, a man so angry all his hair had literally fallen out. He was so aggressive I can only assume he had accidentally inserted something sharp into somewhere private and been unable to remove it before he came to work. He was definitely a middle Gimp. I know this as Vacant and Not That Bright were clearly quite scared of him, and he can’t have been a Big Cheese as he was talking directly to customers and we all know from the papers that no-one in Big Cheese management at Ryan Air has ever seen, let alone spoken to an actual customer.

Middle Gimp had clearly listened hard at Ryan Air Middle Gimp school as he managed to take two perfectly calm and sane adults and in a matter of seconds reduce them to angry people considering violence.

‘Check-in opens 3 hours before the flight’ he barked repeatedly as if it was the answer to every question in life. We tried to ask Middle Gimp direct questions about why it was necessary for us to miss the flight because the Child had forgotten to do his job, and Vacant had forgotten to do hers.

‘Why is this our fault, and why should we miss the flight because Ryan Air staff have admitted they made errors?.

‘Check-in opens three hours before the flight’

‘Do you acknowledge we have just cause for complaint as we tried to do the right thing and the only reason we are not on the plane is because of communication failures with Ryan Air Staff?’

‘Check-in opens three hours before the flight’

‘What colour are my trousers?’

‘Check-in opens three hours before the flight’

‘Do you think economic sanctions on Russia will diffuse the escalating situation in Ukraine?’

‘Check-in opens three hours before the flight’

‘Were Man Utd right to fire David Moyes?’

‘Check-in opens three hours before the flight’

‘My tinkle is hurting, could you take a look if I promise not to tell anyone?’

‘Check-in opens three hours before the flight’

Middle Gimp then conferred with Vacant and Not That Bright, and agreed that this was all our fault as we should have noticed that Child had made an error and we should have called the flight ourselves to assist Vacant in doing her job because she was clearly busy being, well,…… Middle Gimp then insisted we go to customer the Customer Shouting Desk, as he was definitely not going to do anything else. This was handy as the queue was very long so that by the time we would reach the front the plane would be half way to Bratislava and the problem would be solved.

We waited patiently in line as customer after customer stood at the desk to hear the same song;

‘No, no, I can’t do that, no, there are no Middle Gimps available, no, no, sorry, no, give me all your money’

We got to the Customer Shouting Desk and explained our plight to the lady there (who was actually very nice and clearly should not be working for Ryan Air as a result). She apologised but explained that Middle Gimp had finished being angry for the day and had returned to his padded cage and there were no other Middle Gimps around. We would have to book in to the flight for the next day and we would have to pay £110 each to change the ticket. When she tried to re-book the flight she said that the flight we had tried to get was actually delayed by 1 hour and still at the air port and that what we should do is run to the gate with all our luggage, she would call through and they would check our bags into the hold at the gate. We ran as fast as we could, which is not very fast because I am fat, to security to do as instructed. Security advised us that because our flight should have left, even though it hadn’t, the ticket machine would not open the barrier for us and we would need to return to the Customer Shouting Desk.

We waited patiently in the very long queue yet again for about 40 minutes to discover the nice lady had also gone home now so we had to explain the whole thing again to a new lady that looked like all the joy had been removed from her life at birth. She recited the Ryan Air customer services song with a sterling level of apathy and dreariness, I am surprised she could muster the will just to breathe and stay alive.

‘No, no, I can’t do that, no, there are no Middle Gimps available, no, no, sorry, no, give me all your money’

She recited it with perfection, Middle Gimps across the world would have been in awe and the effectiveness of the techniques taught in Middle Gimp School. Seeing no other option but to hand over all our cash and come back the next morning we happily paid and got new flights.

As the new flight was at 6.25am in the morning we decided to get a hotel, we paid £79 for a room and got a taxi.

So, our customer experience was insightful and liberating. From the incompetent Child with a brain so full of girls and Vauxhall Corsa modifications he couldn’t actually listen or speak, through Vacant and Not That Bright who decided on reflection that anything they did wrong was our fault for not pointing it out to them, right through Middle Gimp who made a Tasmanian Devil look calm and Zen like, and the sad one, oh so sad, having every last drop of life sucked out of her by her chosen career at the Ryan Air Customer Shouting Desk. I very nearly jumped over the desk just to give her a cuddle and tell her everything would be alright if she could just muster the will to leave the Ryan Air Customer Shouting Desk and find a more fulfilling job, like starting the very first Israeli pork pie factory, or being a parking attendant in Tower Hamlets, or in fact just resigning herself to a slow and uncomfortable death would have been indistinguishable from the current position and would require much less effort.

The net result of this ‘experience’ was;

New Flights – £220
Hotel £79
Taxi x 2 £50 
Worlds most expensive sandwich in the only hotel we could get £35

1 x significant breach of Tort Law (2008 as quoted by Lord Atkin) by Ryan Air, Google it, it’s a cracking read. I will leave you to decide the monetary value of this.

1 x very angry and upset wife, in particular with Middle Gimp for being so unbelievably rude.

1 x Missed wedding reception for our Slovakian family (sorry, forgot to mention this nugget earlier) who all turned up from all over the country to see us for an event we were forced to miss, because Child and Vacant are clueless at best and Middle Gimp has anger management issues.

So, thank you Ryan Air for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. I have watched a program called the news so I fully expect this to land on the desk of the customer services team underneath the empty bottles and sandwich wrappers that you also file there. You treated us badly, you cost us money and made us miss our wedding reception through a display of incompetence I have not seen since Greece was allowed to have money and a cheque book.

I sincerely doubt you will do anything about this, compensate us, apologise, or even respond according to the news, so I have sent this recorded and sign for delivery to absolutely confirm my opinion of Ryan Air and that it is not just ‘lost in the post’


You bunch of…………….

DJ Lockley

P.S. Maybe Middle Gimp in particular, but Child, Not That Bright, and Vacant should purchase one of your reasonable priced tickets and go to Slovakia (assuming they were actually allowed on the plane. The Ryan Air employees there are smart, clever, bilingual, helpful, and polite and they should in my opinion experience an example of how they should do their job. The Slovak staff could explain it to them, but they wouldn’t be able to understand it, so it may be a waste of time after all.

End of article

The mind boggles though I have to add E and I have had similar experiences but nothing anywhere near to these. I am sure many others will have had some too.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Behaviour | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Life after death

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 13, 2014

Is There Life After Death? Study Suggests

Consciousness Continues After Heartbeat Stops

Posted: 08/10/2014 11:27 BST Updated: 5 hours ago

Is there such a thing as life after death?

While this was once a question pondered by philosophers and religious groups, scientists are now seriously considering the possibility that consciousness can continue after a person has been clinically diagnosed as dead.

A large-scale study involving 2,060 patients from 15 hospitals in the UK, USA and Austria has found that patients experience real events for up to a three-minute period after their heart has stopped beating.

Dr Sam Parnia, assistant professor of critical care medicine and director of resuscitation research at the State University of New York and a former research fellow at the University of Southampton, said it was previously thought only hallucinatory events were experienced in these circumstances.

These are normally described as out-of-body experiences (OBEs) or near-death experiences (NDEs).

The Awareness during Resuscitation (Aware) study, sponsored by the University of Southampton, used objective markers to establish whether the experiences were real or hallucinatory.

The results showed that 39% of patients who survived cardiac arrest described a perception of awareness but did not have explicit recall.

A total of 46% experienced a broad range of mental recollections, 9% had experiences compatible with NDEs and 2% exhibited full awareness compatible with OBEs with explicit recall of “seeing” and “hearing” events.

One man in particular, a 57-year-old social worker from Southampton, was reported to have given a “very credible” account of what was happening in the room during the three minutes that he was “clinically dead”.

The man could describe the movements of the doctors and nurses in the room with uncanny accuracy. He told the researchers he felt he was standing in the corner of the room, observing the medical staff resuscitate him.

Dr Parnia said: “This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions, occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted, but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating.

“In this case, consciousness and awareness appeared to occur during a three-minute period when there was no heartbeat.

“This is paradoxical, since the brain typically ceases functioning within 20-30 seconds of the heart stopping and doesn’t resume again until the heart has been restarted.

“Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events.

“Thus, while it was not possible to absolutely prove the reality or meaning of patients’ experiences and claims of awareness, (due to the very low incidence – 2% – of explicit recall of visual awareness or so-called OBEs), it was impossible to disclaim them either and more work is needed in this area.

“Clearly, the recalled experience surrounding death now merits further genuine investigation without prejudice.”

Research psychologist at Nottingham Trent University Dr David Wilde, is currently gathering data on out-of-body experiences in an attempt to discover a pattern.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: “Most studies look retrospectively, 10 or 20 years ago, but the researchers went out looking for examples and used a really large sample size, so this gives the work a lot of validity.

“There is some very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died.

“We just don’t know what is going on. We are still very much in the dark about what happens when you die and hopefully this study will help shine a scientific lens onto that.”

The study was published in the journal Resuscitation.

End of article……………..

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The problem I find with this argument is that it speaks about the conscious mind and nothing is said about the spirit which is the essence of the being. Conscience and spirit are two separate things. Conscience is linked to the physical whilst spirit is not. There can be no definitive proof of life after death unless somebody rises from death to live again as Jesus did and was visible proof to thousands who saw him after he had arisen. Anything connected with the brain dies when the brain dies but the spirit within the body, the person, rises for it cannot be destroyed by physical death. Only one person can destroy the spirit and that is He who made it, our heavenly Father. I firmly believe this to be true and was discussing this very thing with someone recently. My argument is this, if I am wrong I have lost nothing but if I am right I have gained more than I can imagine. However if someone doesn’t agree that I am right they too have lost nothing if I am wrong but have lost their soul, their spirit and are condemned for eternity if they discover that I was right. Some choice isn’t it? Some choice it may be but certainly one that should be seriously considered whilst the opportunity to do so is still possible.

Shirley Anne


Posted in Belief, Death and mortality, Faith, God, Gods love through Jesus, Heaven, Hell, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, Life, Salvation | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s taking time

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 12, 2014

One of the 1st washing machines of Constructa

One of the 1st washing machines of Constructa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve talked about enforced retirement often in the past and it seems to be something I am experiencing too often these days. Having suffered with some form of debilitating ‘bug’ which apart from causing me much pain had also left me feeling very weak this past week. As I write this on Wednesday morning I am feeling much better though by no means fully recovered yet. It can only get better. For once in my life I had forgotten about all the tasks I have to do at home, the projects I have been working on or are in the pipeline, one of them literally but now as I am beginning to return to normality these things are beginning to re-enter my thoughts. That can only mean one thing to me, I must be on the mend! I am starting to eat normally again too, another sign I am on the mend. It is only my health that determines my ability to work or not to work, nothing else will keep me from doing those things I enjoy. I have only just been able to pick up my guitar after four days of complete disinterest due to my condition. I will not be making inroads into my work though, I am still far too weak at the moment. In fact, as I write this on Wednesday I do not plan to do any work until next Monday. The calls keep coming in though most of them I am unable to do as they are outside of my normal workload, things like repairs to washing machines and dishwashers. I once worked on such things but as I got older I began to specialist on certain aspects of electrical work. I have been doing the washing this week though! Most electricians specialise in one field or another as it is impractical do try to cover everything unless you are part of a large organisation but even then they will employ specialists in each department. So I find myself sitting by the phone, actually it is sitting next to me, waiting for it to ring and no doubt it will but I won’t be making any appointments for the remainder of this week if I get the work.

Shirley Anne

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

Day three

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 11, 2014

Boiled eggs

Boiled eggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is now Tuesday afternoon and things at Hassle Castle are slowly improving. I am beginning to feel human once more though E has had a problem with her back whilst taking a shower. I have asked her not to lock the bathroom door in future so that in the event she needs help whilst I am at home I will be available to render her assistance. We can hang a sign on the door showing the room is occupied to prevent casual entry. I worry about her using the upstairs shower for there is a step to get into it and no handrail to assist. The wet room shower has no such problem and there is even a shower seat that can be used if required. Using the bathroom shower though is a far more enjoyable experience so it is understandable we both prefer using it. Sunday I was a complete wreck, in constant pain and unable to do anything, Monday was a better day but I was still very much in pain. Today, Tuesday as I write, most of the pain has subsided though my headaches persist. My skull is still numb at the rear after my surgery two weeks ago but I am told that will subside slowly over time. It has still been somewhat of a concern to me despite all the reassurances. My current illness brought with it headaches too and at first I wasn’t sure which was the more responsible. I am probably only about 60% or 70% of being fully healthy at the moment and am resting as much as I can. I took no food for 39 hours when the illness struck and was only able to eat some dry toast and boiled eggs yesterday. Today I have had a good bowl of soup and some bread though this morning I couldn’t face any food and had some hot milk laced with honey which seemed to settle my stomach. Hopefully in the next day or two I shall be feeling near to my best, God willing. I am supposed to be in Liverpool early Friday afternoon to have the sutures removed and I fancy I will be asking E to drive me there and back. It is her birthday on Saturday (today as you read this) so I might treat her to a late lunch by way of a celebration. I can’t wait to have the sutures removed because combing my hair has been very difficult since they were put in. It will be nice to be able to run the comb through my hair properly once more. I received a call from a guy called Colin who opened the conversation with a plea for help and could I go there and sort out the problem. Evidently he had chopped through a couple of cables in his hose whilst working there. Well I was taken aback for I couldn’t remember anyone by that name whom I knew though he told me I had worked for him before. Hey, I have difficulty in remembering what happened yesterday never mind things that happened months ago. I have a good long-term memory but that is reckoned in years. Once he allowed me to speak I informed him that unfortunately I wasn’t available due to ill-health and I don’t think he believed me at first. Having realised that I wasn’t well he asked if I knew someone else who could do the work. Well I know plenty of people but they are all easily reachable by phone. He bade me good health and hung up. Even when I am not available it seems I am supposed to be according to some people.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Health, Illness, Well-being | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

The good the bad and crikey, no more please!

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 10, 2014

English: Mechanism of a household thermostat

Mechanism of a household thermostat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been concentrating on writing about my health and misfortunes lately as there is little else to write about to be quite frank. I was beginning to feel much better by the end of the last working week which for me is normally Monday to Friday and then only part-time. Feeling so well I decided to do a little work at home, nothing strenuous and all of it in the cellar where in our house it is warm. Our hot water pump had failed and I had bought a replacement along with some plumbing fittings a couple of days previously but was in no hurry to fit them earlier in the week as I wasn’t feeling well enough. We have never had a tank thermostat to control the pump, that is one attached to the hot water cylinder as the system has always relied on the temperature of the return water to the boiler and has been controlled by the thermostat on the boiler itself. I have never thought that to be a good idea for no matter how low we set the boiler thermostat the water in the cylinder always seemed too hot. A local thermostat would be able to control things far better. Of course the boiler thermostat would remain as a back-up or limit. Whilst the pump was out of action, and still is as I write this, I thought I would purchase a tank thermostat and install it at the same time as fitting the new pump. During the refurbishment of the upstairs bathroom earlier in the year installed circuits for the immersion heater and the possible fitting of a tank thermostat in the future. The immersion heater circuit was partly replaced as the rest of it was alright and I installed a new immersion heater in case it was needed. Well as you have found out it was needed and is in use whilst I am waiting to replace the pump. The gas boiler will take over the task of heating the water once the pump is installed. The wiring for the tank thermostat was to be enough to reach the cellar where it would finally continue on to the pump wiring near the boiler. On Thursday last week I installed the tank thermostat and was going to install the rest of the circuit on Friday but I had jobs to do for others so I left it until Saturday morning. On Saturday morning I went to purchase the cable but I was offered a small job which I thought would be easy. You read about that in two days ago if you have been following my ramblings. That was a bad day for me and still I didn’t have the time to work at home. On Sunday I awoke with severe abdominal and stomach pains which I wrote about yesterday. Sunday turned out to be a far worse day for me but Monday wasn’t much better either. As I write this on Monday evening I feel quite awful, headaches and body pains still hold me captive. I have been able to eat a little after I forced myself into a fast. I didn’t wish to feed the bugs that have been causing my problems. I managed to stop eating for 39 hours. I am not sure how long it will be before I get the chance to do anything but I know I’ll have to stay the course.

Shirley Anne

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

What will number three be?

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 9, 2014

Feel the Pain

Feel the Pain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They say that not only do misfortunes never come singly but rather they often come in threes. I had that unfortunate episode on Saturday and on Sunday morning soon after I arose at seven to visit the toilet with every intention of returning to bed for an hour but I changed my mind and had a shower instead. Soon after my shower I started to feel severe pains in my stomach. I do seem to suffer with my stomach more often than I’d like, if I could say I liked the suffering, which obviously I don’t! The pain was one I am well familiar with, that caused by trapped wind. It is a very unpleasant condition and the pain often lasts unceasingly for hours. No matter what position I take up to ease the pain it changes nothing. I take to sipping warm water if I am able to swallow it and it does help to shift the wind but it takes a long time. This time however my condition became worse as the morning passed. I knew it wasn’t just a matter of trapped wind, though that was partly responsible, it either had to be food poisoning or I’d caught a nasty stomach bug. So I had a two-fold problem and the pain was excruciating all the way through to one o’clock. Sometimes I’d feel nauseous and want to vomit and indeed I did do that twice but there was nothing to expel other than bile. I even spent almost two hours sitting on the throne in the wet room which seemed to help. At one point whilst in there I broke out in a sweat and had to remove all my clothing, even the hair band I was wearing had to be removed too. After fifteen minutes of that I started to feel cold and had to switch on the fan heater in the room.I called out to E who was showing some concern for me but knew there was little she could do. I asked her to fetch my bathrobe from my bedroom so that I could wear that instead of my day clothes. It was almost two o’clock before I emerged having been in there since eleven o’clock. Although the pain had subsided a little and I was feeling much better it still remained with me during the rest of the day. By late afternoon it had progressed to my intestines and I waited patiently for the inevitable outcome, if you’ll forgive the pun. I won’t go into further detail at this point. Needless to say I hadn’t eaten throughout the day for that would have been foolish and would only have aggravated the situation. I only sipped on warm water. So there you have it, a rather bad weekend with two misfortunes and I am wondering if and when there will be a third.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Health, Pain, Well-being | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Do it for nothing revisited

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 8, 2014

Saturday Morning Apocalypse

Saturday Morning Apocalypse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got to thinking yesterday
That things were going not my way
The many plans I had in store
Grew wings and flew out of the door!
It seems to happen frequently
As if my life was jinxed for me
But other times it goes quite well
Then pleasant stories I can tell.
So life does have its ups and downs
And I must never wear a frown
I’ll take each moment as it comes
And praise The Lord for what He’s done.

Copyright Shirley Anne 15 Sept 2004


Two days ago I wrote about people who seem to think I will do their jobs for next to nothing, I don’t but I do sometimes lower the price under certain circumstances, not my own but those for whom I am working. That however doesn’t happen often. Very rarely will I charge absolutely nothing for the work I have done. Surprisingly this past week I have earned more than I thought I would because few had called for my services. It goes that way sometimes. I haven’t been at my best health-wise as I explained in previous posts but I am beginning to return to normal so I was glad about that by the end of the week and the fact that I have been able to get back to work too. On Saturday morning I was driving to my electrical supplier in order to purchase some cable I needed for a job I am doing at home when I received a call from someone living in a nearby town asking if I could do some work. I don’t normally work for others at the weekend but I asked what the job entailed. The lady told me she had bought a replacement oven but the supplier told her that the circuit needed a power outlet as the old oven had been hard-wired to the supply without a switch. It sounded a reasonably easy task so I offered to do it for her as soon as I’d been to the supplier. I arrived there forty minutes later. I needed to remove the old oven to get access to the wiring which was easy enough but I discovered that it had been connected to the supply behind the built-in refrigerator. I inched out the fridge to see the connection box but it was buried in the plaster. I noticed what I thought was the cable supplying it and thought it best to simply cut it off (rather than have the problem of trying to remove the fridge) and redirect it to where I was to fit the switch whilst at the same time disconnecting the oven cable by cutting that off too.. I fitted the switch and made the connections but here was no supply when I switched it back on. To my horror I discovered I’d made a terrible mistake by cutting what I’d thought was the supply cable but it was in fact supplying a hidden power outlet and had been connected to the same box behind the fridge. I therefore had to remove the fridge in order to get at the connection box to undo my mistake. In any event I had to remove the fridge anyway in order to add another power outlet for the new oven as the original cable on the oven would not have been long enough to use to wire the new power outlet where it had to be sited. Still with me? It all sounds simple but in fact it was a bit of a nightmare after I’d gotten the fridge out of the way. Firstly it was well and truly wedged in place and had been fitted on a small piece of timber to raise it off the floor and then screwed in place. I finally managed to get it out and was then able to get at the connection point that also needed replacing. It had been plastered into the wall and was broken so it needed replacing anyway and that was another reason the fridge had to be removed. All this work to connect an oven that hadn’t yet been delivered! I soon had the electrical part of the work done once that fridge had been removed but when it came to putting it back it became a problem. First of all it was jam-packed with that much food it weighed heavily. Secondly it needed two people to replace it. Fortunately assistance came from a neighbour for the man of the house couldn’t help me as he had only recently come home from hospital after he had suffered a heart attack. It took us more than an hour to get the fridge back under the worktop and the guy helping me was a little frustrated because it had been so awkward. I was just grateful for his help. It was then I discovered that the floor covering had been damaged during the process of removing it. On reflection I perhaps should have placed something on the floor but it would have had to have been plywood, not something likely to be on hand. That was the last straw for I had been there almost four hours doing a job that normally would have taken a little over one hour and to be frank I’d just about had enough! Naturally I will be billed for a replacement floor covering but fortunately the floor area is small. It should be covered by my public liability insurance so it won’t come out of my own pocket unless there is a clause where I have to pay the first couple of hundred pounds. I have had the insurance since I started working for myself and have never yet had a reason to make a claim, neither has anyone else but accidents can happen at any time. I felt awful nevertheless having inconvenienced those I had been working for and for damaging their floor covering. Hopefully at least they will have their new oven soon and a new covering for the floor. I didn’t bother doing any work at home after that episode, it was far too late in the day.
Some days you know you should have stayed in bed!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Electrical, Insurance | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rejecting offers

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 7, 2014

A typical home air conditioning unit.

A typical home air conditioning unit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time when I would accept any work offered to me but as I got older I began to refuse certain requests. I began my working career in the electrical supply industry, probably the best place to start, at the source as it were. I spent just over fourteen years carrying out all kinds of electrical work until I moved on and undertook an engineering maintenance role. I spent another twenty-one years in that field where I received training in many other disciplines, refrigeration, air-conditioning, heating and ventilation, electronic and computer control equipment and many other diverse things. I certainly had a comprehensive electrical engineering education having probably worked in every imaginable situation with all kinds of equipment. Suffice to say it would be easier to mention those things I haven’t worked on or with or faulted in industry or elsewhere but some seventeen years ago I decided to start afresh and work for myself instead. I had been fortunate in receiving enough financial security in the form of a pension and a generous lump-sum of cash to make it easier. At first I took on a maintenance contract working part-time for a single organisation and spending the rest of the time working in the domestic scene, people’s homes. I would do anything and everything concerning domestic installations but as time went by I stopped taking on the larger tasks such as house rewiring or even part-rewiring and only taking on smaller jobs. Now you might think that small jobs wouldn’t be worth the while doing but in fact I have found the opposite to be true. Most contracting electricians only want to take on large contracts and that is understandable for that will be their main income. Consequently the smaller jobs are often left or refused which is better for me, especially now as I am getting older and don’t want the heavier work. I made the decision to work only part-time a couple of years ago but I have found that sometimes there is so much work available I put in more hours than I intended. There will be a time when I will not be able to do that I am sure so I take on the work if I feel I have the time and the energy until that time comes. Recently I have been recovering from cosmetic surgery and have been unable to do as much as I would have liked and coupled with that I have been feeling generally drained probably because of having a cold. However I haven’t been lazy and I have taken on some work but I have also rejected quite a few offers too, mostly larger jobs which I have passed on for others to do. I’ve probably refused more work than I’ve taken on these past few weeks but that will probably change knowing me. Even if I wanted the work I am not at this moment feeling up to it anyway! Gradually things are getting better though and I have been able to take on some work as it comes in.

Shirley Anne

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

Do it for nothing

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 6, 2014

Lost Weekend (EP)

Lost Weekend (EP) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an electrician I get many calls from people who want me to do a small job for them. Now I generally charge a minimum amount for any work that I do partly to pay for my time and running costs and partly to dissuade people from asking me to change a plug or some other very small thing that they could probably do themselves, especially if they live some distance from me. Oh yes, I get calls to do such things from people who live fifteen miles away or further yet they expect me to charge very little for the privilege. I have basic costs I have to cover and part of those is my time travelling to and from places. I warn people that I operate a minimum charge so they know beforehand and are not taken by surprise. I try to be fair though and if I can will always err on the lowest price I can do any work depending on the person’s situation, age and ability to pay. Some people are taken aback when I quote my charges thinking that they wouldn’t be paying so much. They seem to think I can do the work for next to nothing. I don’t know what is going on in their minds and how they assume anyone can earn a living by under-charging just to suit their needs. Often, after I tell them over the phone what they will be paying and no more for if I give them a price I stick to it, they say something along the lines of ‘I’ll speak with my husband’ or ‘I’ll see when I can get time off work for you to come’ but they never call back. They want the job doing for nothing! Speaking about getting time off, many will ask if I would do their job at the weekend. This is because they are unprepared to take time out from their own work. That to me is very cheeky for if they aren’t prepared to make a sacrifice why should I sacrifice my weekend off to accommodate them? One such woman asked that of me recently and I politely asked her if she would work a weekend after working all week. She said no. Enough said. She then asked if I worked evenings! I sometimes think I am supposed to accommodate any request in order to make it easier for them. I take exception to such attitudes but I will and sometimes do make exceptions in some circumstances. For instance if the customer is working a shift pattern such as they do if they are nurses or if they are teachers who simply cannot take time off during term times. There are other incidences whereby I will make exceptions to for instance in emergency situations but other than these I am afraid I am not available in my own spare time. Occasionally I get calls from people who, when I answer the call, start talking about their problems and how soon I can get there? I had such a call a couple of weeks ago whilst travelling into Liverpool on the train! I even get the same calls whilst dining out. Obviously I will take down the details but I am not about to drop everything in order to fit the work into someone else’s inflexible schedule. Am I supposed to be available at everyone’s beck and call? I think not and I am certainly not available to those not prepared to pay for my services.

Shirley Anne

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


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