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Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

I just couldn’t be bothered!

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 7, 2014

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

Posted in Nature, Shopping, Rest and relaxation, Business | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It will all work out in the end

Posted by Shirley Anne on February 12, 2014

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

Posted by Shirley Anne on February 3, 2014

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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Posted in Dining out, DIY, House and Home, Rest and relaxation, Shopping | 4 Comments »

My heart wasn’t in it

Posted by Shirley Anne on January 29, 2014

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!

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 14, 2013

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

Posted in DIY, House and Home, Plumbing, Shopping | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Saturday would be different

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 28, 2013


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

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Did I or didn’t I?

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 3, 2013

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

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Nice Tuesday

Posted by Shirley Anne on September 19, 2013


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

Posted in Dining out, DIY, Electrical, House and Home, Rest and relaxation, Shopping | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Isn’t it just the way?

Posted by Shirley Anne on September 13, 2013

Never on Tuesday

Never on Tuesday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No work on Tuesday. I had determined that the day should be spent not working. In fact E and I wanted to do some shopping for materials. We wanted to buy a pane of glass, beading and silicone rubber for the various small jobs we have to do. Later we were to dine out as we usually do on Tuesdays (and some other days too when we feel like it) and just relax for the day. Just prior to our leaving the house to buy what we wanted I received two calls asking if I could do some electrical work. I turned both offers down explaining that I wasn’t at work that day and that I had some work already scheduled for the following day, that is Wednesday but that I may be free on Thursday. That didn’t suit the inquirers as they wanted the work done immediately! Some cheek! I get annoyed with people who wait until the last-minute before calling out an electrician, especially as in both these cases they knew well in advance that they needed the services of one. A call a few days earlier might have gotten me to fulfill their wishes. There is no way that I will change my plans to accommodate such people. Emergencies are another matter and if it is that urgent I will make every effort to accommodate. One of the callers lives outside of my catchment area anyway. I won’t work too far away from home as it isn’t cost-effective to myself or to those seeking my services. We drove out to buy the materials and returned home for an hour or so before driving to our restaurant of choice and spending another lovely afternoon there. Normal service returns as and when I feel it should. Semi-retirement seems to suit me as it allows me more time to do those things I want to do or not to do as the case may be!

Shirley Anne

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Lots going on

Posted by Shirley Anne on July 8, 2013

Dining out, shopping for plants, shopping for building materials, getting a couple of windows adjusted, a little gardening,  discussing the Knotweed problem with a neighbour (who promises to get something done about it), doing more work behind the garage – concrete – bricklaying and such, eating out on the patio, relaxing in the afternoon in the lovely sunshine and the many other things one gets up to in a house are all more than enough to fill our days. I like it that way, I even get to go and work for others occasionally but that seems to have dried up somewhat over the last few weeks. I guess that is because of the season. Although I get work it isn’t as much as it has been of late. The barbecue is out of mothballs again and we hope to put it to good use soon. One thing I hate is being idle for too long. Much as I like to relax and need to, I much prefer to be actively doing something. When I take time from working I like to exercise on the treadmill and bicycle but I’ve not had much chance to do a lot on them these past two weeks. The main problem I have is with the temperature when I am working, I don’t like it to be too warm and I don’t really like it to be too warm at any other time either, unless I am swimming! Sad thing is I haven’t been for a swim for a number of years. I used to be able to swim long distances in the sea, less so in the swimming baths or in rivers and lakes. That of course is due to the difference in buoyancy between salt water and non-salty water. The urge to go swimming has all but disappeared as with many of my former interests but one never forgets how to swim, especially if one’s life depends upon it! Four of the five plants we bought for the patio are in this photo below..74 So what’s next? Well it changes from day-to-day, just the way I like it…….

Shirley Anne

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Posted by Shirley Anne on May 23, 2013

A portable cement mixer in action. It has whee...

A portable cement mixer in action. It has wheels so it can be moved around by hand, and it’s rotation is powered by mains electricity.

Growing old has its advantages. Oh yes, it has its disadvantages too but we won’t dwell on the negatives, we should always look on the bright side of life, as the song goes. Now I am in my 68th year I have much to be pleased about. First of all I am enjoying good health for many people of my age do suffer with ill-health. I try my best to stay healthy by eating sensibly and taking plenty of exercise, that is between my work schedule! Speaking about work, I have begun to take things easy now in respect of the type of work I will take on and also the number of hours I am prepared to work each day and week. This has become easier to do these days as there seems to be less work available anyway! In essence I work part-time and choose what I will do. This allows me plenty of time for myself, to do what I wish and whenever I wish to do it. On Tuesday E and I took the afternoon off and dined out again and during our meal we discussed a number of things regarding what I have in mind to do about the house, the various projects I would like to get under way. The beauty about working on home projects is that there are no deadlines to meet, no need to worry about how long they will take because there is no real pressure other than the personal desire to finish them. My projects are as follows, replacing all the electrical distribution boards (there are four large ones and two small ones!), start on the proposed wet room, carry out redoing the concrete steps behind one of the garages and constructing a ramp behind the other garage. I also have it in mind to build an internal toilet that can only be accessed directly from the garden and for this project there is a small internal room within the cellar that is in the right place and near to the soil pipe and natural water drain. The present access from inside the house can easily be blocked by a building a brick wall. It is simply a store-room for some garden equipment at the moment and is not used for anything else. That equipment , what there is of it, can be stored in the one of the garages where there is plenty of room for it. When not in use the toilet would be left permanently locked. This project is one I would like to start immediately but the others will take preference as they are more important. There will be no excuse for me having nothing to do in my spare time. After our late lunch we decided to drive to the east side of town to the shopping precinct and builders merchant to assess the cost of purchasing a good cement mixer and some sand, cement and granite chippings because I want to make a start on that work first. I have thought about buying a cement mixer for quite some time as I prefer to own one rather than having to hire one each time there is building work to do. There is also the advantage of being able to lend it to others should they need one at any time. There always seems to be jobs at our house that require the use of a mixer and using one is far easier than mixing by hand! We first tried a builders merchant but found they didn’t sell them but only let them out to hire. If they were to order one it would have cost around £350. We then visited B&Q where we had seen one for sale in the past. They had three for sale, one of which was on display. Now I have seen many mixers in my lifetime and these ones were up to the mark on quality and robustness and were powered by electricity with a suitably high rating motor, a machine any respectable builder would be proud to own but what made it even more special was its price, £208! I purchased one (not too dissimilar to the one in the picture but mounted on a raised frame making it easier in use) together with a large quantity of sand, cement and granite chippings all for a discounted price of £228 with free delivery on 28th of this month, next Tuesday. The reason for the discount, which was 10%, was the fact that I have a B&Q diamond discount card because I am a senior citizen. Incidentally the builders merchant’s quoted price was for a similar machine but one that operated at 110 volts. This meant a transformer would be needed  in its use at a further cost of around £150! No wonder the merchant drives around in a Rolls Royce……LOL. Looks like I am going to be busy for some time but I do have a good apprentice…..E!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Construction, Dining out, Health, House and Home, Occupation, Shopping, Work | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What an odd morning!

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 8, 2012

English: Tuesday afternoon shoppers, Macclesfi...

Out shopping

On Wednesday morning In had it in mind to do some shopping for toiletries, something I do but twice per year at most. I buy enough products to last at least six months and they often last far longer than that. I could never understand why anyone should like to do this kind of shopping on a regular basis, once or maybe twice per year for me is by far enough. E and I had dined out on Tuesday afternoon and I was cordially dropped off later at my local pub to spend an hour or so there, which I did, not staying there all evening but returning just after eight. If I go to the pub in the evening I am prone to stop there all evening but only if I haven’t spent time elsewhere beforehand. I had a pleasant time chatting to a few people so it was worth the trip. I had been promising myself that i would do some shopping but kept putting it off so I was determined to get it over with and just do it. Whilst I was in the first store buying toothpaste, pant liners, moisturising creams and other toiletries I received a phone call from a lady some ten miles away who wanted me to fix a light fitting for her so I took the message and arranged to visit her later in the morning. Now I am the sort of person who can quickly forget place names or any names for that matter so I needed to write down the address. Alas I had paper but no pen, the paper being the one with the list on it for my shopping spree. A kindly assistant working in the store found me a pen so I was able to write the address down. I carried on shopping but couldn’t find some of the items I wanted. The kindly assistant once again coming to the rescue. I asked her if she would like to be my guide for the morning and we both laughed about that. I finished in that store and proceeded to the next, ‘Boots the chemists‘, now of course more than a store that sells medications. I was purchasing make-up products, lipstick, powder, mascara and such and I also needed some dispersible aspirin tablets. They had just installed new equipment at the check-out and the girl was having some difficulty in getting to grips with it but she managed eventually and I was free to go! Both of these stores sell ‘Alice bands’ but not of the type I wanted for I needed to buy a couple of them so i went to a specialist shop which sells them and I was able to find what I wanted there. One more shop to visit then off to deposit a little cash at the bank. The bank didn’t open until 9.30 so I did the shopping first. Having been given a smart phone a couple of weeks ago when my old phone ceased working I discovered that it lacked a decent memory size and that was preventing me from downloading some security software so I had to upgrade it. Crafty business this technology, I didn’t really want a smart phone but it appears the ‘normal’ phones are becoming less available now. I have a contract so I didn’t need to buy the phone but if I was to use it as extensively as they would like I could end up spending a fortune on it what with all the available ‘apps’ there are! That’s what I mean about crafty! The girl in the store obtained what she thought was the memory card but she couldn’t get the bar-code reader to read the code. She eventually called the manager who took one look and told her that the memory cards on display were all imitations put there to stop theft! The poor girl must have felt a little embarrassed but to be fair the imitation looked very convincing. Finally after fitting the card I trotted off to the bank to make my deposit. I was greeted by a lovely cashier who called me by name. We had met previously somewhere else other than in the bank but I had forgotten, although I did remember her face. It was so nice of her to remember me. Everything done so I walked the half-mile or more back to where I’d parked my vehicle only to be stopped along the way by another phone call. I answered but got no reply so I tried to disconnect. However the phone ‘locked up’ and I had to power it down completely and re-boot it from scratch. After what seemed and age everything was back to normal. I had a feeling that the party who had called hadn’t disconnected properly and were thus permanently connected to my phone. They must have called me in error as they didn’t call again. I finally made it to my van and prepared for the ten-mile journey to fix that light. As I had been out shopping I did not have the bag I normally use during the day at work so I wasn’t in possession of a map to find the location of the address. Had it been a major road or one that I was familiar with it wouldn’t have mattered but it was a road I wasn’t familiar with so I had no idea where it was. Fortunately I have a sat-nav in my van but as it isn’t used very often the battery had drained of power. I had to wait a few minutes whilst it booted the maps from scratch and then I had to set the language before I could get it to accept a request. Perhaps I should leave it connected more often in order to prevent the battery from draining but it’s like everything else, it gets forgotten! When I got to the address I was warmly greeted by a lady who was well into her nineties and as fit as a fiddle. The job took about three minutes to do and I didn’t have the heart to charge her the price I would normally expect for a call-out so she had a massive discount. I arrived back home before eleven and spent the rest of the day at home collecting appointments for jobs to follow. At least I won’t need to go shopping for toiletries for another six months or more. I can’t say the same thing about work but at least I don’t mind that.

Shirley Anne


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Why oh why?

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 18, 2012


Lumber (Photo credit: °Florian)

I don’t often go shopping with E which is just as well, she confuses me sometimes. On the rare occasions we find ourselves shopping for food I am told, ‘you don’t need that’ or ‘we have some at home’ and if I do pick something I want as a treat to myself she shows that she does not approve. It doesn’t matter whether I am paying for it or not either. I think she partly resents me being with her when she is shopping for food and that I am incapable of making decisions on what to buy. If I select something she might say, ‘that’s too expensive’, even though I am prepared to pay the price! The strange thing is she often buys things in the weekly shop that we don’t really need. Now shopping for clothes is a completely new ball game. I have taken her with me on occasion when buying clothes, partly for her opinion and partly because I might be treating her to some new clothes which I have done a few times in the past. Asking E her opinion is a little pointless for we do not share the same tastes in clothes. Not to be unkind to her I think I have a better dress sense but sometimes I just want a second opinion. On Monday afternoon I decided to buy the materials I will need to fill in the void above the new roller-shutter door that was fitted a few weeks ago. I drew out a plan on paper and measured the space to be filled then decided how much timber I would need to do the job. E came with me to the builders merchant. Now I had it in mind what dimensions of wood I would need but unfortunately the width I wanted is now no longer supplied which meant two pieces would be needed on one section to make up the dimension required which was 300 mm. We settled on one at 200 mm and the other at 100 mm width to make up the 300 mm required. I also needed another length at 200 mm along with timber to make battens to connect everything together. The guy serving us was very patient and he measured the timber and cut it to length for us. However, E in her usual way started to question why I had asked for two lengths of timber at 200 mm but when I reminded her why it was needed she maintained that I was wrong and the guy was left standing waiting for a decision. Even after I had explained things to her it still didn’t sink in. In the confusion the guy ended up cutting two pieces of 100 mm width timber too when I really only wanted one at that width! I bought it anyway so as not to confuse the poor guy any further as the cost was minimal. I don’t know why I take E with me when purchasing anything as she often causes unnecessary confusion and contradicts what I say but then my trips out would be a lot more boring wouldn’t they? I love her to bits but she drives me nuts sometimes!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Behaviour, DIY, Fun, Relationships, Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

I could scream

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 2, 2012

Scream and Scream Again

Scream and Scream Again (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know about you but I have always been the sort of person who, if I am in need of a service that someone provides I make enquiries accordingly. If I am out shopping I like to browse before I make any decision to buy. So my feathers become somewhat ruffled if I am approached without my asking. I am sick and tired of hearing the phrase ‘You could be eligible for reimbursement from a miss-sold PPI (payment protection insurance)’, more especially as I have never taken one out! My mobile phone constantly receives messages from companies willing to get me any compensation that is due to me. If I reply with a ‘STOP’ it makes no difference, the next company along the line makes the same claim and I get another message. The problem is that there are hundreds of these companies all seeking a piece of the action and no doubt I will still be receiving unwanted and unmerited messages for the next ten years! I could scream!
I hate it when out shopping I get pestered by pushy sales persons who ask ‘Can I be of assistance’? ‘Well no you can’t, I just want to see what is on offer all by myself thank you very much’, is what I am thinking but have to reply with a ‘No thank you, I am just browsing’. They may be on commission but they will never get me to buy something I do not want or persuade me that something else might be suitable when I am told they haven’t got what I want. If I cannot see what I want I ask, simple! I don’t wish to but a substitute thank you very much!
In today’s world we are bombarded with sales talk, sales pitch, leaflet drops, junk mail, unwanted phone calls and text messages, television adverts, even radio adverts. I cannot use the Internet without coming across an advert. One of the most annoying traits by advertisers these days is to have dynamic adverts flashing away to one side of the screen whilst emails are being read. Another favourite of theirs is to have an advert preceding a short video you have clicked on to watch and you are obliged to watch it before you can watch the content you clicked to see. They usually last around thirty seconds so I look away until the advert is finished. Don’t like adverts, never have, they don’t influence me one bit. If I want a product I will buy it after checking it out myself. Adverts tell lies anyway. How many of you have seen the adverts for face creams all claiming to reduce ‘the effect’ of ageing in older women and then show younger women with flawless skin as if they had been using it! They obviously don’t need it in the first place. The best adverts for me are the ones I cannot see or hear!
It is pressure from all sides. It seems we are unable to live our lives without the support of a ‘smart phone’ these days. They can do all sorts of wonderful things using the applications they have installed in them, many of the ‘better’ ones of course come with a price-tag. The phones themselves often cost a small fortune too. Now I use my mobile phone but infrequently, usually to answer voice calls or messages for work and little else. I don’t wish to spend my whole life looking at a screen with my fingers frantically pushing little buttons. I was in the pub the other day and quite a few folk in there were doing just that. Well I went there for a few drinks and company, you know, actually speaking with people! I could scream. I know people who don’t use the Internet, haven’t even got a computer, don’t have the latest phone but carry a simple one ‘in case of emergencies’. I would think that is sensible. However people are gradually being coerced into having computers and one day none of us will be able to conduct business of any kind unless we do it through the Internet. It’s happening already. I heard recently that people wishing to pay their gas or electricity bill by any other method than by ‘Direct Debit‘ are charged more for the privilege. Furthermore if they have to set up a Direct Debit they have to do it over the Internet because they are restricted from doing it over the phone with an actual human being! It doesn’t come as a surprise to me though because this is intimated in Scripture along with so many other things that the ‘blind’ cannot see. I could do without it all. Give me the quiet life any day. Do you suppose there is a reason for people to say that if they came into a lot of money they would go and live on a tropical island away from it all?

Shirley Anne

Posted in Advertising, Communication, Computer, Information, Insurance, Life, Philosophy, Shopping, Socialising, Society, Values | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A different day

Posted by Shirley Anne on August 13, 2012

On Saturday I had plans. I was to get up early, which I did incidentally, and then I was to have a session on my treadmill. After this a trip to ‘Halfords‘ to buy myself a bicycle. Before my transition, ten years ago now, I used to do a lot of cycling as well as running and I still have the old bike in my garage. However that bicycle was designed for a man to ride and I wanted one suitable for a woman. I fulfilled my plans. I did my session on the treadmill, after bathing and dressing I had my breakfast then headed out in my van to the shopping centre two miles out-of-town. I went directly to ‘Halfords’ and browsed the bicycles they had on display and it didn’t take me long to decide on the model I wanted, very feminine in pink! I chose a road machine with full suspension on both front and rear, essential if one wants a comfortable ride! I then browsed for accessories and left everything in the hands of the salesman who arranged to have all the accessories fitted and for the bicycle to be ready for the road. I paid for everything in cash and with all the discounts they had it all came to just less than £220, about the price I had in mind. Whilst they were fitting all the accessories and getting the bicycle ready for the road I meandered to another store in the same shopping arena just to browse around and kill some time. This other store sells all sorts of things for the home and readers in the UK will know it as ‘Homebase‘. They have a corner in the store where they display discounted goods and I found myself looking at an aluminium two-piece extension ladder giving a possible reach of  over 5 metres and on sale for £50, about half of what it would sell for normally. I have quite a few ladders at home, one giving a reach of over 10 metres, one a folding ladder giving a reach of around 5 or 6 metres but made of steel and rather heavy to move about and of course a couple of step-ladders one giving a reach of around 4, maybe 5 metres and the other around 3 or 4. This particular ladder would be very useful in my capacity as an electrician so I bought it. I know I am cutting down on my electrical work but there have been many incidents where a ladder of this type and size would have been very handy indeed. At the end of the day, when I finally retire from my electrical work, the ladder will still be useful to have around the house. I will be able to offset the cost by claiming it as a business expense so I shan’t be taxed on its cost. I returned to Halfords to collect my new bicycle which just happened to fit in the van. I had removed the small step-ladder I carry inside the van in advance. The larger step-ladder together with the now new extension ladder are kept permanently on the van’s roof-rack. I drove back home for a small late lunch and then took my new bicycle out for a test run. A test run? I ended up doing around 6 or 7 miles, riding along the seafront and returning the same way. I now realise just how much I missed cycling. It is such a lovely way to both exercise and to get out in the fresh air. When I returned home a couple of hours later E was working in the rear garden but I sat out in the patio finishing off the bottle of red wine I’d opened a couple of days ago. Well it had to be drunk else it might have gone ‘off’! Actually I use a vacuum pump on unfinished wine so that it can be kept for a day or two without it going ‘off’. So all in all it was a very different but very enjoyable day. Here is the bicycle….I didn’t think you’d be interested in the ladder!










Shirley Anne

Posted in Activity, Enjoyment, Exercise, Happiness, Health, Interests, Lifestyle, Shopping, Sport | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Well so far so good

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 9, 2012

Flymo hover lawn mower

Flymo hover lawn mower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I woke up yesterday morning quite late. I had not taken myself to bed the previous night, Friday, as I simply wasn’t tired and stayed up throughout until dawn and had a rather boring day. I am still not feeling too good and so it was that I wasn’t all that surprised in discovering a couple of cold sores around my lips. Even though I arose late I still had another good night’s sleep which is I suppose a bonus. My sleep still gets broken however but I awake refreshed. This whole weekend has been a washout as far as the weather goes but at last we have gotten the rain we badly needed. In my current state of health though some sunshine would have been nice but like my parents always used to say, ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it’. I must get around to purchasing that hover mower I talked about a few posts ago for I can see my other mowers again struggling to cut what will be often wet grass which is already starting to grow tall again and me totally wacked too! Maybe that’s what caused me to end up  weak and exposed to the cold? At least the weather has gotten a tad warmer this week after last week’s cold dip following the previous unusually hot spell. I said the British climate was crazy at times. So far I have no plans for the week but whatever is on the cards I will try to enjoy it. I must get around to do some shopping too as I am fast running out of toiletries and one or two items of make-up. I usually buy my toiletries and make-up in bulk with much of it lasting more than six months. In fact I have a lot of make-up that will last for years. It is all sealed as new of course so it should be as good as new when opened. It is the more often used things that need replenishing, lip-stick, foundation, some eye make-up, moisturising cream and other such things for instance toothpaste, soaps, hair shampoo that get used more quickly. I hate shopping for just the odd item, it seems a waste of time going to the shops and returning with one or two things when I can return with plenty.

Shirley Anne

Posted in General Chat, Health, Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

And that’s what we did.

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 30, 2011

English: BhS Store, Southport Most of the nati...

Image via Wikipedia

I got up early today so that I could do that shopping I thought I might do but it was mid-morning before E was finally ready. She and I drove into town and headed for one of the open parking areas but we had to wait a few minutes for a space to become available. It seems many people were out shopping too. I already knew what I wanted to buy and we headed for the M & S store and upstairs to buy some underwear. I bought a couple of bras and some panties. E didn’t want anything from this section so we went back downstairs to the women’s section. Why they keep the two sections on different floors I will never know. I wanted some long-sleeved lightweight jumpers so we headed to where they were on display. The shop was crowded with women and one or two guys accompanying their wives or girlfriends. Most of the items were in the sale and I thought I would find it difficult to get anything I liked but the pair of us soon discovered some and I managed to buy three. We left that store and went to BHS across the way where we looked for more jumpers but we saw none that I liked. Now I had it in mind to buy a pair of low-heeled or flat-heeled shoes for day wear so we went to see what was on offer. Now I was in this store a few weeks ago but found nothing I wanted then but this time there was much more to choose from. I bought a pair of flat-heeled shoes and then E showed me a pair of mid-heeled shoes with a bar and in my size. I loved them as soon as I saw them and tried them on. Perfect, so I bought both pairs, which happened to be at a very reduced price. Throughout our expedition I kept asking if there was anything that E wanted and she told me that she was only looking for a pair of shoes for everyday wear. We found a pair that she liked so I bought those for her. Now there was one other item I wanted to buy if I could find one that I liked and that was a handbag. Just alongside the shoe displays we found the handbag displays. How convenient! It didn’t take me very long to choose the one I wanted and at that point we headed for the check-out. We hit lucky this time and we were served almost immediately. We headed back to the car park and on the way E received a phone call from our eldest and his heavily pregnant wife and I thought we were going to be told that the baby was on its way but they only wanted to store a couple of things in our house. We were back home ten minutes later. Well I know one thing for certain, I shan’t be doing anymore shopping this year!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Shopping | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Time to go shopping

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 30, 2011

English: Herbert and Paula shopping shoes

Image via Wikipedia

With nothing much to do today my thoughts are beginning to turn to do some shopping no not for groceries, for clothes. I haven’t been shopping for clothes for quite some time and there are one or two things I could do with, mostly tops and underwear but I am always open to buying other things too. Usually, when I go shopping, I already have it in mind what I want to buy and buy those things first but if I see something I like I am often tempted to buy them. My main weakness is shoes but the only shoes I really need just now are those for everyday wear so I will make every effort to buy only those if I do go shopping, besides, I do not want to spend a lot of money at the moment. I do shop using the Internet sometimes but I much prefer to see items of clothing and perhaps try them on before I make a purchase and so I use the high street for that. You cannot feel the material and see if potential purchases are suitable unless you visit a store and it is far quicker too! Although I like to shop for clothes I don’t relish spending a great deal of time doing that. The longer I am roaming about the shops the greater the temptation to buy things when I don’t really need them. Whether I go shopping today will depend on other things but if I decide to leave it for another time it will be during the working week as I do not like shopping at the weekend. Places are so much more crowded at weekends I find and I hate crowds of people.

Shirley Anne

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Temptation was strong

Posted by Shirley Anne on September 8, 2011

A high-heeled ladies shoe.

Image via Wikipedia

On Monday I had a small job to do just out-of-town which didn’t take me long to do. The route back home took me partly into town so I decided to go all the way and do some shopping. Parking up just outside the towns parking meter zone I took the five-minute walk back to the main shopping centre. Every few months I go shopping for toiletries and anything else I have a mind to buy but this time it was for just the toiletries, so I thought! Having bought what I needed I did some browsing and found one of those nasal/ear/eyebrow hair trimmers that seem to be popular so I decided to buy one for £15 which is the top end price or thereabouts for this item. Like everyone else I have hair growth in my ears and nose and plucking them out can be painful. This tool efficiently removes unwanted hair almost painlessly. It is also handy for trimming the eyebrow hairs and keeping them short but I still have to pluck them for shaping which fortunately isn’t that painful! Leaving the shop where I bought the last few items I began to walk back to my vehicle but of course en-route there are shoe shops! A weakness of mine is to buy shoes when I don’t really need to because I have a wardrobe full of them. I was thinking along the lines of a pair of low heeled or even flat shoes for going to work and although I am not desperate at the moment I had to go inside a couple of shoe shops to see what they had. I saw two pairs of shoes that were suitable but I resisted all temptation to buy them. No doubt I will buy something on my next trip in November or December. The thing is, I had already bought another pair of shoes over the Internet on Sunday! I simply couldn’t resist the special offer. On Saturday I had been browsing the web site of a shoe shop which I have in my favourites cache in my browser and I saw some lovely shoes which were on offer at a much reduced price. I closed down my computer but the following day, Sunday I just had to go peek again and succumbed to temptation and bought them at £30, half the original price. It pays to wait for bargains! I will have to wait a few days before they arrive though. These shoes though are not for work they are stilettos with 10cm heels (4″)! Four-inch (or 10 cm) is my preferred height for heels but I do have higher ones (5 1/2″)! So resistance is futile with me sometimes when it is to do with buying shoes! It will soon be my season for wearing stockings again and these shoes really need to be complimented with nylon!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Shopping, Temptation | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off


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