Category Archives: Shopping

How do they cope?

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English: Parking meter at Brocolitia Here in t...

Parking meter at Brocolitia Here in the middle of nowhere, a parking meter to extract pennies from visitors to Brocolitia Roman Fort and Mithraeum Temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got up early on Monday but only to take a trip into town for a few things. Maybe I would get an electrical job too but that didn’t happen. I wonder why (see previous posts)? When I take a trip into town I sometimes take the van to just somewhere out of the parking meter zone and I have a favourite place to do that, then I walk the rest of the way. I never pay at a meter if I can avoid it, motoring is expensive enough and the walking is of benefit. If I know I won’t be working I sometimes walk all the way there and back. So after a quick breakfast I set off by the back roads but on the way I thought I might call into the doctor’s surgery and see if I could get an appointment. For some time now I have been plagued with an itchy rash on the lower part of my back and I kept promising myself I would get it seen to. I had to pass the surgery to get to where I park up when going to the town centre so I stopped and went in. I was very fortunate to get to see the doctor within fifteen minutes and he prescribed an ointment for the complaint which he said was a simple skin infection. The prescription was sent directly to the chemist by The Internet and I collected it on my return home from my shopping trip an hour later. I buy my toiletries in town as they are far cheaper there but on this trip I wanted also to buy a black cardigan. I bought one that I liked and together with my other purchases returned home via the chemist store. I hadn’t really dressed with the intention of doing any work so I was dressed for going out and socialising. Just before noon E went out somewhere and I decided I might dine out but at a later time in the day. I set off on foot around two-thirty but I ended up walking about aimlessly not being able to decide where to go. In Southport that shouldn’t be a problem as there are hundreds of places, quite literally! After almost two hours of walking about in the sunshine and taking in the scenery I found myself back home without having eaten! I am like that, I go out with all the best intentions then give up on the idea because I couldn’t be bothered! I prepared a very light snack and was satisfied with that even though I’d had very little to eat at breakfast eight hours earlier. I made a cup of tea and sat out on the patio but soon found myself watering some of the plants as they looked desperately in need of it. I carried on until the whole garden had been watered and finally I wanted to fill the watering can that is kept in the large greenhouse but the water supply had been cut off. The hose had separated from the hose connection fixed to the tap (faucet). I replaced it but again it came off. How to affect a repair? In the cellar I have a little storeroom filled with all sorts of tools and materials and I searched for something to use that would make the hose connection usable again. I have a box filled with many neoprene ‘O’ rings and using one I was able to repair the connection. I wondered how other people less practical than myself would have coped. Call in someone to help, go out and buy another connector or just give up? My whole life is geared around fixing things for myself wherever I can when things go wrong and it has saved me a small fortune over the years but it is the satisfaction I feel when I find a solution to a problem and the fact that I am able to fix it. I don’t think E would be able to cope in the same way, in fact I know she wouldn’t but help isn’t far away should she ever need it when I am not here.

Shirley Anne

Just the same

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English: Female cosmetics use.

Female cosmetics use. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of my Mondays have been more or less identical lately, no work scheduled. Again, it usually happens that I get calls during the week. One old guy did ask me on Sunday if I could do some work on Monday but called back five minutes later to change the appointment to Tuesday instead. Another guy called late on Sunday asking if I could fix a three-phase switch for him in his restaurant but when I told him that I no longer take on commercial or industrial work but simply do small domestic jobs only he was reluctant to accept the fact. He began explaining that the job was simple but I interrupted him by saying that although that might be the case I would still not be doing it. A couple of days earlier I had received a very similar request to repair a three-phase switch, it had to be the same job and at that time I had also explained that I didn’t want the work. Some people just don’t give up do they? Both guys who had called were either Indian or Pakistani but because I have had so many problems dealing with people who are either one or the other I would have been very reluctant to do the job anyway. I have no problems with their ethnicity but the fact is they always want to barter with you to bring the price down, even after an agreement has been made! I have been stung twice that way before. I have to be selective in what work I will do or I would be inundated with all types of problems I can now do without at my age. I had arisen quite early as I normally do during the week in case I do get offers of work but as none had materialised  I took a walk into town by the back streets as I wanted to purchase a few cosmetics and toiletries. I could have simply taken a shorter trip to the village but the day was lovely and sunny though a little cool in the slight breeze and the added opportunity to exercise couldn’t be passed up. A couple of years ago I wanted to buy a new black cosmetics bag to carry in my handbag but after trying so many outlets I still couldn’t find one. When I purchased the few cosmetic items on this trip the woman at the check-out told me that I was entitled to a free cosmetics bag because I had purchased a certain brand. I had no idea. She walked to another display unit and brought back the bag, a black one! It had been just what I had wanted a couple of years ago. A nice bonus considering I had only spent £6 in this particular store. Soon I was back home and wondering what, if anything, the rest of the day would bring.

 

Shirley Anne

 

Of frozen foods and shopping

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Frozen foods at the Real Canadian Superstore i...

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

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

Shirley Anne

Finding the time

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A Striped Lawn

A Striped Lawn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday was one of those days with nothing planned which enabled me to get a couple of things done for myself. I expected I might get a couple of calls though and indeed that happened during the morning but first I got up quite early with the idea of walking into town in order to buy myself a new bag for everyday use. I carry a handbag during the day so that I can keep paraphernalia to do with my business in it. The one I have been using recently was passed it’s best with the zips finally giving way. I couldn’t close it. There is an indoor market in Southport and a stall there specialises in the sale of bags, purses and the like at very reasonable prices. I had very little to eat for breakfast, a banana and a fruit drink because I planned to eat out later. So I left the house at 8.30 and headed into town. I was a little early for the market to open so I went to a coffee house for a cappuccino and returned twenty minutes later. Almost the first bag I saw was the one I wanted and at £12 for a leather bag I bought it. I didn’t give in to the temptation to stay in town but walked back home for I wanted to mow the lawn. The following couple of days, Saturday and Sunday promised to be very wet and windy and Friday was therefore the best day for mowing the lawn. I might not have had much of an opportunity to mow the lawn during the coming week and it needed mowing. It would be the first cut of the season. Soon I was back home with the lawnmower taken out of storage. I checked that there was enough fuel in the tank and tried to get it started. It took me some time to start but eventually it was ready. The grass was still damp as it was only mid-morning so I raised the wheels for the first pass. Normally during the warmer months I can keep the wheels low for a close cut but when the grass is damp I need to make two passes, lowering the wheels for the second cut if I want it close. I was about halfway through the second cut when my phone rang. It was a request for my electrical services but I couldn’t accommodate. A couple of minutes later I received another call, to connect a new cooker. I accepted that job and told them I would be there about a half-hour later when I had finished cutting the lawn. I drove to the house and discovered that the existing old cooker had been wired directly into a socket circuit, which should never be done but not only that, it had been connected with a cable only suitable for a lighting circuit! The cable would only be capable of carrying a 10 ampere current. An average cooker can use up to 25 amperes at least. That would mean the small cable could burst into flames. There was no dedicated cooker circuit as I had been led to believe and that is what was required. I told the tenant of the house that I wouldn’t be doing that as I don’t usually do such work now if I can avoid it. There are plenty of other electricians in the neighbourhood who can oblige. It is sometimes nice to be able to pick and choose what I do and at my age it is sometimes wise to do so. I returned home and sat it out for an hour or two before walking to the pub for another nice meal there. The food is excellent and very reasonably priced so is it any wonder the place is as popular as it is? This past week I have been there four times! I don’t always get the chance to dine there but lately I have been able to find the time more often. If I have been working hard during the morning and sometimes into the afternoon I don’t much feel like cooking at home and the pub is so handy at such times.

Shirley Anne

So what did I do?

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A New Morning, Changing Weather

A New Morning, Changing Weather (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I spoke about the rough weather we had on Monday morning and the fact that I wanted to go into town to buy some things. During my average week I cannot get into town in the morning for I am usually at work so when a day comes along where I have no work I like to take the opportunity. However, I didn’t much fancy going out in the rough weather but did so late in the morning because the forecast was for sunshine and by the time I left the house it had indeed started to get brighter. I didn’t wish to walk the whole distance there and back as on my return journey I would be carrying more weight so I decided to take the van and park it in my usual place just outside the parking metre zone. It still meant I would have to walk about half a mile but that is far better than the mile and a quarter it would have been (one way) if I was carrying bags of shopping. By the time I had parked the van the sun was out though it was still very windy. I had walked a matter of 200 yards and hailstones began to fall in the high driving wind. I took shelter at a bus stop and waited for it to subside. About five minutes later it had stopped but the wind was relentless. Fortunately the wind was blowing in the same direction I was walking but I knew I would have to walk into it on the way back. At last I was in the shopping precinct and in the warmth of the shops. Soon I had all my shopping done and I set off back to the van. The wind was biting and full on in my face. I was well wrapped up for walking but there is no protection against the wind on your face unless you wear a mask! I saw a young man wearing exactly that. It took the form of a skull and looked a bit spooky but I guess he couldn’t care less, his face must have been warm. Finally I reached the van and was glad to get out of the wind. The sun was ‘cracking the flags’ as they say but the wind took away any warmth the sun was providing. I just threw everything on the passenger seat and drove off but not for home, not just yet. I made a detour to the pub and had a hot meal. I had skipped breakfast for I had it in mind anyway to eat out somewhere. Once home again I packed away my shopping and had a restful afternoon but later decided to do a spot of baking as we were out of fresh home-baked scones.

Shirley Anne

 

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

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Nothing planned but I was sitting with my laptop after my late breakfast and my mobile phone rang. I had an inkling that would happen but though I had resigned myself to doing no more electrical this week I was in a way pleased. I’d rather have something to do than not. I could have set myself the task of working in the garden as I had mentioned previously but the weather was rather windy. I had to journey some 10 miles to replace a faulty three-gang light switch but it was worth the effort for £40, my minimum charge. I was back home a little more than an hour later. E was going shopping with her mum after lunch and I decided to do some baking whilst she was away. I mixed two separate recipes, one was for a rich fruit cake (though mine wasn’t topped like the one below) and the other a coconut cake.
 
I did the coconut cake first as it would take at least an hour and three-quarters to bake. The fruit cake takes an hour and a half. Normally I would bake just the one but E doesn’t like coconut in any shape or form. I have to do something with my time don’t I? Had the weather been better I might have gone for a walk but I will probably get another opportunity for that sometime in the week. I got that opportunity on Tuesday. E and I often dine out on a Tuesday but this week things went differently. I wanted to visit the bank to deposit money in my current account and at the same time arrange to see the manager about adding E to my account. We once shared a joint account many years ago but this time I want to arrange for E to be included on all my bank accounts. She will be a ‘silent’ account holder on my accounts which means she will not be making many deposits or withdrawals. The purpose of doing this is to ensure she will have no problems regarding our household financial matters and she will have access to savings should I die before she does. By my doing this she will also avoid any inheritance taxes or any other problems to do with finance as any monies will automatically be hers by default. She need not reciprocate by giving me the same privileges with her accounts for I would remain self-sufficient should she die first. Neither of us plan to depart just yet but who can say what the future holds? Whilst she was having her shower I received a request to do a small electrical job a couple of miles away but was back within the hour then off we went to the first bank. We had some trouble finding a parking space but eventually we did. I made the deposit then asked about including E on my account. Unfortunately the manager had left for lunch so we made an appointment for Wednesday morning. E had to go into town to do a little shopping and again we found it difficult to find anywhere to park. We allowed ourselves two hours on the meter and off we went on foot. Now I hate the crowded shopping experience, always have, and I make it my business to avoid shopping when I know the streets and shops will be packed with people. I like to move in quickly, buy what I want then get out as soon as I can. I know what I want and the places I need to visit to get them and I plan my route beforehand. However when I am with someone else I have to go at their pace and wherever they go I have to go. E cannot get about quickly because of her ailment and though she might have a plan in mind we always seem to dart from one place to the next in no particular order. That’s why we hardly ever shop together. I did buy one item for the house, a new cake tin! E had bought a flexible cake ‘tin’ not made of metal but a heat-proof rubber substance. I wanted a round metal one that produced straight-sided circular cakes instead of the rectangular ones I have been forced to bake lately. The sides are seldom vertical and straight with the flexible container. We were too late to go for a meal and although we could have found somewhere in town we knew everywhere would most likely be crowded. In any case we had no time left on the meter. One thing I never do when by myself is to pay for parking unless it is unavoidable. This time I was with E and she has to park reasonably close to her destination. It was after three o’clock before we finally got back home, too late for lunch, too early for dinner, so we each had a coffee and a slice of home-baked cake. The following morning, Wednesday I was up and about early despite the opportunity to stay in bed longer. I find it hard to simply lie there once I am awake. E and I were going to visit one of the banks I have an account with in order to arrange for her to be included on my account. It would then be a joint account. The appointment was for eleven and we didn’t leave the bank until twelve-fifteen. We drove off home so E could collect some things before going to collect her mum and do some more shopping. I remained at home and had some lunch. I had wished we might have gone out for a meal until she told me she was going shopping. Ah well there’s always another time. I was greeted by a telephone message indicator but the caller hadn’t actually left a message. I didn’t call back. I assumed they were asking for my electrical services.
Shirley Anne
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I just couldn’t be bothered!

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The Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) ...

The Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) is an example of wildlife. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am going through one of my phases lately and I know the real reason for it. I had been working all day on Wednesday and was feeling well and truly tired by the time I had come back home. After my evening meal and some quiet time I was feeling quite refreshed though when I finally did get to bed I found it no problem in getting to sleep. I had decided not to take on board any work for Thursday so that I could have some respite from it all. At the beginning of October I had arranged for the purchase of another thirteen weeks of advertising space in my local newspaper and was informed at the time that there would be an annual increase in the charge for that service applied on the first Wednesday in the month of November, five weeks later. I explained that the excess amount I would have to pay could be taken through my credit card as they have my details on record. The extra amount would be in the region of £14 or so for the eight weeks which fall under the new pricing. This Wednesday I received a call from the girl looking after advertising sales reminding me that she would be debiting my account for the extra charges. On Thursday evening I discovered that my credit card had been debited by £62. Obviously a mistake. I had to go shopping on Thursday morning for electrical materials for van stock and toiletries and undergarments for myself so after breakfast I drove to the newspaper offices to sort out the problem with my account. It had indeed been a simple mistake as the debit should only have been £14. They would credit my account for the £48 overpayments. It is just as well that I keep a watchful eye on my banks accounting and card accounts for I could easily have missed the overpayment. I left their offices and drove on to the electrical supplier to purchase what I needed. I left my van there and walked back into the town about a half-mile away to do my other shopping. Before returning to my vehicle I spent some time in a coffee-house over a large Cappuccino. It was almost lunchtime by the time I had returned home. After chatting with E about my morning she showed me a couple of movies she had taken of the rear garden from inside the house through the window. She had noticed a squirrel foraging for bedding materials and food and decided to catch it on her iPad. We have seen it a few times recently and it appears to have made a home for itself in the huge ivy-covered tree on the other side of the wall in a neighbour’s garden. We have a small oak tree which has been producing acorns for a couple of years so I am guessing the squirrels have noticed that. There is a plant pot or two in the corner of our garden which hold long-leafed plants that have died back for the winter. The dead leaves were being taken for bedding. Soon we were having lunch after which E went to do the weekly shopping with her mum. During lunch I mentioned that I was feeling bored and E looked at me as if to say ‘Don’t be thinking about working, you are supposed to be resting’. She didn’t say anything but I know she was thinking it! When she had left the house I went into the garden and swept over the newly laid path at the rear of the mound for something to do (you’ll have to read about the mound in my summertime posts). I then opened the back of my van to do some tidying up in there and to sort out all the materials I have acquired over the last few days. When I returned indoors I was still restless but ended up playing the guitar for a time to relieve the boredom. Trouble was that didn’t work! I find I get so bored doing nothing or next to nothing that I have to do something. I just cannot be bothered sitting about watching television or reading a book and even going shopping is a bore sometimes. All I really want to do is work at something at the moment. Well, the squirrel is busy why can’t I be? The calls still keep coming in.

Shirley Anne

It will all work out in the end

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I am sitting here just before noon on Sunday with the sunshine streaming in through the window behind me. If it wasn’t for the wind it would be a very pleasant day to be outdoors but I am staying put where I am warm! We were expecting a delivery of goods from ‘Better Bathrooms’ today but as I mentioned in a previous post that has now been changed to this coming Sunday instead. We had ordered an extra item, one we had omitted when we purchased the bathroom furniture last November and this meant a rescheduling to allow them the time to amend the order. As is usual with companies such as these there are often bargains to be had and they let you know by email if you have registered with them and agreed to receiving them. I agreed to receive such mail shots, at least for the time being, for I thought I could always ignore reading them if I so wished. One mail they sent recently advertised bathroom mirrors on special offer. We wanted a small mirror near to the wash basin unit that would double to serve as a cover to hide the small inspection panel which will cover the water and electrical supplies for and behind the shower unit. You can see its location alongside a shaver unit already installed in a picture I placed in another post (Jan 31). You can scroll down from here to see. One mirror we really liked was on offer for £26.95 a massive reduction from its recommended retail price of £126 and here it is…… The mirrorWe phoned them today (Sunday) to purchase it with the possibility of collecting it in person but they said it wouldn’t be available to collect a such short notice as we had only just placed the order so we asked them to add it to the list of goods we are to receive this coming Sunday.They returned my call a few minutes later and informed me that they had made the arrangements but added that there would be a delivery fee of £10 and asked if that was acceptable. Naturally I told them it was not and the reason for it, that we already had a delivery scheduled which was free of charge because of its size and that we were only adding one extra item to it. The guy queried the issue with his supervisor and after a few minutes of deliberation returned to the phone and told me there would be no extra charge. Well I knew there wouldn’t be. It appeared that I had two accounts with them for some unknown reason or at least that was what he told me. Somehow I didn’t believe it for one minute. So come Sunday next we hope we will be in receipt of everything we ordered in readiness to recommence the work.

Shirley Anne

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Three times in one week

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Nuovo Showroom 2013 - 2°piano

Nuovo Showroom 2013 – 2°piano (Photo credit: Termoadriatica)

I have been working quite hard this past week and found myself not wishing to do much work if any on Friday. E and I had discussed visiting a showroom to look at wall and floor tile combinations for the bathroom project. I had one small electrical job to do at 9 o’clock which took me away from home for a little over an hour. On my return I suggested we take the rest of the day off and visit that showroom and dine out afterwards so she got dressed and I changed out of my working clothes. We had to measure out the bathroom which took us about a half hour and then we drove off to the showrooms 23 miles away in another town. For those living in the UK the showrooms we visited were ‘Better Bathrooms’ and the one they have in Wigan and is the same company from whom we purchased the bathroom furniture. The journey was somewhat dull and miserable because of the foul weather but once inside the showroom we soon forgot about that. They have many tiles on display and such a huge variety we were spoilt for choice, however we soon decided on what we wanted with the help of a member of staff whereupon we sat down and ironed out all the details, quantities and requirements and arrived at the total cost, which at this time offered a 20% discount with free delivery within 3 to 5 days! The price was approximately £806 and I was paying by credit card. One slight problem which may otherwise have prevented the purchase was the fact that I had momentarily forgotten the pin number! The staff member took it all in his stride and arranged that the payment was being made via telephone and as such the pin number wasn’t required. He could do it that way because we were not taking the goods away ourselves but having them delivered. Whilst we were purchasing the tiles and the cement we also purchased the towel rail/radiator with its accessories, a tall and slim unit measuring 500 x 1700 mm as that is the only size which will fit the space where we have decided it must be fitted. The weather was still wet and windy as we left the showroom to drive back home. At a point about half way home we stopped off at a restaurant, one we have visited a few times and had a lovely two-course lunch, the third one that week! By the time we left the restaurant the weather had improved, by that I mean it had stopped raining! It was still cold and windy.

Shirley Anne

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My heart wasn’t in it

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English: Dental Office

English: Dental Office (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a dental appointment for cosmetic repairs again on Monday (today as I write) at 11.45 which meant my day was effectively cut into two! I couldn’t do any work at home during the morning as I had slept in until 9.15. Maybe it was the night out on Sunday and staying up until one in the morning writing a little about it that kept me in bed but I must have been tired enough to do it! After my appointment, which was the final one this time around, I had to go shopping both for electrical materials and personal things and consequently didn’t arrive back home until after one o’clock. I had missed breakfast as I didn’t wish to eat before visiting the dentist, though there was enough time if I had wished, so I was feeling quite hungry on my return. I was dressed in what I call my ‘no intention gear’, that is clothes not suitable for working in. I therefore had it in mind to dine out instead of getting changed and having lunch at home as by that time there would be little time left to do more work in the bathroom. My heart was simply not in it. There would always be another day. So I invited E out and we drove out-of-town a few miles to a restaurant we know and had a hearty two-course meal and a soft drink (soda water)for the princely sum of £20.36! Now Tuesdays are usually kept for dining out but that is not written in stone. We may go out again on Tuesday or not as we feel but if we do it might well mean that it will be a few days before we can resume work at home for on Wednesday and Thursday mornings I will be working away from home and on Wednesday afternoon we are having a visit from the team who installed our cavity wall insulation. It appears that they hadn’t filled in certain parts of the building’s cavities after a recent inspection. When I was replacing the drain pipe a few days ago I discovered a missing brick in the interior wall beneath the floor which I subsequently repaired. Whilst doing that I noticed that there was no evidence of insulation having been pumped into the bathroom floor as would normally be expected with a hole in the inside wall. It meant that part of the wall hadn’t been filled. That isn’t the reason for having the contractor return but I will certainly point out the error when they do. The walls which have been omitted are those around the cellar rooms at the rear of the house. Perhaps their hearts weren’t in doing the job right the first time! I wasn’t having a cavity filling at the dentist but hope that if I ever did he would fill it all the first time!

Shirley Anne

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The clothes came out spotty!

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Your WASHING MACHINE...Helps Keep Clothes Clea...

Your WASHING MACHINE…Helps Keep Clothes Clean…Make Your Equipment Last. – NARA – 514669 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think it was last week that E told me about a strange noise coming from the washing machine and when I went to investigate I thought immediately that the drum bearing had failed. The bearings are usually very reliable so I thought it odd that after only six years we were having trouble. The machine wasn’t a cheap one and I remember buying it along with many other things and spending around three thousand pounds at the time. Then E told me that she suspected one of the wires from her under-wired bra had somehow gotten inside the drum as it was missing. Well it had to be that and indeed it was but the noise abated a couple of days later and I gave it no further though, probably because I have had other things on my mind. On Tuesday and again on Wednesday, E mentioned something about black spots on some of her clothes and I was reminded about the wire inside the drum lining. It appears that the wire has damaged the water seal melting the neoprene rubber in the process. I made some inquiries regarding repairs but was advised that the cost was prohibitive and it would be better to buy a new machine. Once upon a time I would have carried out the repairs myself as it was one of the things I did in my younger days when I worked for the electricity board, though the machines in those days were less sophisticated than they are today. Nevertheless the repairs would be time consuming and not easy to do as it means stripping down the machine to get the drum out. It was late in the afternoon on Wednesday and we had been working in the bathroom for a few hours removing redundant copper pipes and plastic drain pipes from beneath the floor and inside the airing cupboard and were ready for a rest. We had unpacked the shower tray, a rather heavy affair that needed careful handling to avoid damage because of the material it is constructed with and we laid it on the floor temporarily to get an idea of where the new drain would need to be for it to connect to. We have decided we will raise that above the floor level as we will be doing with the bath so that we can gain access to the drains later should there be a problem. Anyway, tired as we were, we drove out to the retail park,to Curry’s, to look at the washing machines with a view to buy one there and then. They have quite a selection and one of the guys there spoke with me asking if he could help. I told him the story and he suggested we not buy a new machine but invest in a maintenance scheme which would cost £119 or £149 for a year’s cover for the whole machine. If they find they cannot do the repair the money is returned and we are none the worse off. I know the cost would be something like £300 to have the job done by a specialist repairer as I had spoken with one of them earlier so this deal sounded better. We took them up on the offer and if all goes well the total cost will be the £149 we chose to pay for the extra twelve months cover. We had to arrange that once we had returned home for we hadn’t the details of our machine when we visited the shop, after all we weren’t going there to have it repaired as we didn’t know they offered that service. We did not leave the shop empty-handed though as whilst we were waiting we were looking at the coffee machines and ended up buying one! The machines ranged from about £59 for the cheapest to over £700 for the more expensive though as we were told even they were not the top of the range where the prices are around £3000 or more! We selected one priced at £169 and bought it. I had a nice Cappuccino later after we had figured out how it worked. Now I am training to be a Barista!

Another costly day!

Shirley Anne

Saturday would be different

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Grouting

Grouting (Photo credit: xJason.Rogersx)

I promised myself that Saturday was going to be different and it was. Having been ill for most of the week I had set my mind on doing next to nothing over the weekend. On Friday E got on her knees and finished off grouting in the floor tiles, that is she did the 75% I had left undone so that I could concentrate on fitting circuit breakers and connecting cables into the distribution panels for the various new appliances in the wet room. I then mixed some mortar and filled in the various holes that needed filling in the brickwork outsider and in the cellar room beneath the wet room. We couldn’t continue to fit the wet room furniture on Saturday because the floor tile grout had to be left for a couple of days to set hard according to the manufacturers instructions. We hadn’t yet decided on what we were going to do with the threshold beneath the door, how to blend in the tiles with the carpeted area outside the room but we had it in mind to fit some sort of edging tiles. So after breakfast on Saturday morning we drove to the local superstore to see what was available and found something suitable there. We purchased a few other items too and then drove into the town centre and parked the vehicle for an hour or so whilst we spent some time in a coffee lounge supping on giant-sized Cappuccinos and a slice of cake. By now it was after one o’clock and we headed off home but on the way I asked E to pull into our local pub for an impromptu lunch. As usual I was greeted by a few people in there who know me. I have to admit to not having been there for quite a few weeks so it takes some by surprise whenever I go there after being absent. I go through phases where the pub is concerned, some weeks going there three or four times and then disappearing for weeks on end without going there at all. It just depends on how I am feeling. The meals there are nice and always freshly cooked and sometimes I will eat there during a busy week at work so that I don’t have to cook at home but it all depends on what E is doing of course. We returned home and E was keen on laying the edging tiles so that is what she did, after I had cut some plywood to lay under them and shaped the end tiles to fit in with the door frame. The room is now an empty shell waiting for me to fit the toilet and the basin vanity unit in the coming week, providing I have the time of course for today, Monday, we are expecting the contractors to arrive to fill the cavity walls with insulation and I might be needed to assist here and there. I am hoping the weather is favourable for the work to be done as the forecast wasn’t promising.

Shirley Anne

Did I or didn’t I?

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English: Southport Merseyside. The Liverpool t...

English: Southport Merseyside. The Liverpool train. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did! In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I might go shopping for an evening gown, well I did. I took the whole day off on Monday and together with E went out to do some shopping. We left the house around 10 o’clock and our first port of call was to the local plumbers merchant but having got there I remembered that I had forgotten to bring the floor drain so that we could tell the merchant our requirements. As the place is only a half-mile away it was no hardship to return home to collect it. They are very helpful in the plumbers merchant and we soon had everything we will need to install the furniture and drains for the wet room. Rather than drive around with lengths of plastic pipe on the roof of the van we took it home and placed it in the garage then drove out again to visit the electrical supplier for the materials I needed for a job the following morning. They are a little further away from home, just over two miles but what I needed was all small enough to be placed in side the van which allowed us to park up somewhere and go shopping for clothes! I dropped E off and drove off to park the van and walked back into town to meet her in our first shop of choice. I had only walked inside a couple of steps when I heard her calling me to join her amongst the handbag shelves. She had been browsing and found herself a lovely handbag which she then bought with her credit card. I wanted to buy it for her as I know she hasn’t much money to spare but I said nothing at that time. I did however give her the cash later in the day where we ended up just after lunchtime. We were both looking for full length evening gowns and found the only suitable one in the whole store. It was aquamarine in colour with a low neckline, which I love, with a wrap around bodice. Trouble was we both wanted it. I had to try it on and it was a perfect fit! I bought it for myself and felt a little guilty that E liked it and would have had it for herself. I knew however that we would find something for her later. After a while we left that store and visited two more. In the next store I purchased another knee-length black skirt for everyday wear as I needed one more. We didn’t find anything suitable for E in that store so we moved on to the next one and spent some time in there but again found nothing suitable. By now it was past noon and we were close to the railway station so we decided to take a trip into Liverpool and shop in the new Liverpool 1 shopping precinct. We left the train and walked the half-mile toward the precinct but decided to stop at Nero’s for coffee. E was hungry and had a sandwich and a small piece of cake whilst I settled for just the coffee. It was now about 1.30 so we continued on to the shops. We browsed in one or two shops before going to our intended destination where we knew we would find what we wanted. We weren’t disappointed, E found three full-length gowns that she really liked so off we went to the fitting room to try them on. Each of them looked good but it was a choice between two of them that she decided upon. She selected the one we both thought was the better and I bought it for her.  One more thing to buy and that was a shawl for myself, E has a few of them already so didn’t want another, in fact she is lending one to me for one evening but I wanted one for myself too. It only took a couple of minutes to find the right one and soon we were back outside on our way to the train station headed home. When we arrived back in Southport we popped into M & S to purchase some Euros as their rates were more favourable than elsewhere. Outside the store we separated. As E cannot walk too far because of her back problem she headed to the main road to sit on a bench whilst I walked the half-mile or more to where I had left the van. I was soon back to collect her and we left for home. During our trip into Liverpool I received a phone call, another job request which I arranged to do on Wednesday as Tuesday morning was already fully booked! Remember, Tuesday afternoon is dining out time!

Shirley Anne

Nice Tuesday

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Tuesday

Tuesday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesdays it has become our want to dine out at our favourite place some eight miles from home. This Tuesday was no exception but long before we went there at 2 o’clock there were things to do. I had a bit of a restless nights sleep finally getting just over three hours without waking up every half hour but it meant that I didn’t get downstairs until a quarter to nine. I wasn’t particularly hungry but although I usually have something to eat I didn’t bother. I wanted to go out to do some errands, things I keep promising to do but somehow forgetting. I had three places to visit, the chemist, the Salvation Army Citadel (no I am not a member of that fellowship but I might consider it one day as I am currently not in a fellowship) and the local plumbers merchant for some materials. I was back home about an hour later when I grabbed a banana and a cup of coffee before measuring, cutting and fitting a few more tiles on the walls of the wet room. I was interrupted by a call from a woman who it seems is wheelchair bound as she explained that her home help had been hanging some pictures for her in her apartment and had inadvertently driven a nail through the main cable supplying the apartment. She wanted to know if I could attend and repair the damage. Unfortunately an effective repair cannot be made to a cable of that size and it would have to be replaced. That is a rather large job to do and fairly expensive so I explained that unfortunately I couldn’t take it on at the moment and she would have to call another electrician instead. It seems everyone wants a female electrician to do their jobs lately but I cannot accommodate everyone. E had to visit the doctor for a quick check-up and by the time she had returned I was half-way through what I wanted to complete before getting changed to dine out. As usual we had a great time at our restaurant before we left at 4.30 to do some shopping. I had ordered some electrical fittings for a job I have scheduled and was only waiting for a phone call to say they had arrived so I could do the job. On the way to the restaurant I received a call from my client asking when I would be doing her job and thinking perhaps that I had forgotten. I explained that I hadn’t forgotten and was simply waiting for the materials. A half-hour later I received a call from my supplier letting me know that those very materials had arrived. So after lunch E and I drove to the supplier to collect those materials and some extra things whilst we were there. We then drove off to our original intended destination ostensibly to view bathroom displays to get some ideas for the refurbishment of our upstairs bathroom and to possibly buy some things for the wet room at the same time. £100 later we left with some goodies for the wet room! Over the past few months I have spent a small fortune on this project and as an exercise I have asked E if she would like to gather all the receipts together and find out just what has been spent so far, when she has the time. During the meal I received yet another call to do some work which I am doing on Thursday. One day I will be able to finish my own jobs!

Shirley Anne