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Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

No end to the spend

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 11, 2014

Pounds Sterling

Pounds Sterling (Photo credit: 917press)

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

Shirley Anne

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Posted in Dining out, DIY | 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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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 »

Phew! They just keep comin’…

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 8, 2013

English: Now, what type of light fitting were ...

English: Now, what type of light fitting were you looking for? Travellers passing this long established lighting shop on the A3400 may notice the owner’s penchant for colour coding their lampshade display. In readiness for the festive season a distinctly berried choice has been made. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I worked just the two days this past week and earned almost what I would expect to earn in two weeks! On Thursday and Friday it was go, go, go all day long and even then I was getting calls to do more. Already I have jobs booked for the coming week. I have to say I am enjoying it all, well I have to else I wouldn’t be doing it! I’ve not had much time for my bathroom project but there will be times for that, I did a little on Saturday. One of the jobs I had on Friday, in fact the last one of the day, involved replacing a bathroom light fitting. The house was eight miles or so from home and it was late in the afternoon and already dark. The lady of the house had bought a fitting which was completely unsuitable and would have been potentially dangerous to use, especially as it was very near to being directly over the bath. Now I am 5′ 9″ approximately in height and I could touch the ceiling whilst standing on the floor. The bath of course is higher than the floor and the light would be very easy to reach from there. Current regulations concerning bathrooms are very strict with special attention given to electrical safety. There was only one type of light fitting that could be used in this particular situation, a totally enclosed fitting, preferably double-insulated. I suggested to the lady that I could drive to the local store to buy a more suitable fitting as regulations forbade me to install the one she had purchased. I found a suitable fitting and returned to install it. I am amazed that some people don’t bother seeking advice before making such purchases. Often in the past have I had to refuse fitting unsuitable lights for people. Some older houses which have not been rewired within the last 45 years won’t have earthing conductors in the lighting circuits but people still purchase metal fittings that require earthing, even fitting metal switches themselves where no earthing conductor is present to earth them. These kinds of jobs just keep coming. I keep getting asked when I am going to retire to which I reply,’I haven’t the time to retire’.

It appears we finally cured the leaking floor drain in our wet room! We had left the cement to dry for more than a week as recommended and it didn’t leak when we tested it for the first time on Friday evening. Let’s hope it stays that way!

Shirley Anne

 

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Just another busy day

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 2, 2013

English: A picture of a electrical wire (with ...

English: A picture of a electrical wire (with imbedded grounding) commonly used in dwellings. The wire is used to transport 230V alternating current-electricity; which is common for buildings in Europe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the week I had to purchase a new shower and one or two other items at my supplier’s store. I think it was Monday afternoon and I had been working in somebody’s house all morning and simply wanted to get home. As I came out of the store I was approached by a man who works locally and he asked me if I was busy. I replied that I was laden with work just at the moment and a look of despair came upon his face as he said ‘Don’t say that, I was hoping you could do a small electrical job for me. No-one I ask seems to want the job, it is hard getting an electrician none of them appear interested’. I told him that I might be available on Friday but I would have to check my diary to confirm that. Whilst I was placing my purchases in my van he came back to me with his name and address written on a piece of paper. He was very pleased to hear me say that I was available on Friday as his wife would be at home all that day. We arranged for the job to be done that day and he left happy. I duly turned up on Friday morning and was greeted by his wife who was pleased to see me. I had the feeling that she was relieved that I had actually turned up at the door as apparently others had let her down. I am true to my word and if I say I will be there I will. The first problem was that none of the lights on the ground floor were working. I traced the problem to the kitchen fitting but when I came to remove it I was faced with a knot of twelve wires, some disconnected and others bare with no insulation. One or two had welded themselves together too. It took some considerable time to identify and figure out just how these wires should have been connected. Normally that wouldn’t have taken too long to do had the installation been wired in the conventional way or one of the ways that wiring was carried out when the house was built. The house was sixty years old and hadn’t been rewired since it was built which meant rubber cables and no earthing conductors. Completely rewiring the lighting circuit would be the best thing but the cost and upheaval shelves that idea for the time being. The installation, though old, was still serviceable providing safety measures were adhered to. Fortunately the electrical supply was fitted with an RCD unit which goes a long way to protect against electrocution. The rubber had perished in places and circuit cables from two adjacent rooms were also present in the same position which made sorting them out difficult. As I say it took time but eventually I had them repaired and sorted with the lights working again. A new fitting was needed for the kitchen and whilst I was working the lady went to purchase a new one. I told her to make sure she bought one which didn’t require earthing as there wasn’t an earth conductor provided at the ceiling and I explained what symbol to look for on the box. She returned empty-handed because she couldn’t find one and the store staff had no idea what she was talking about. I said that I would go with her and sort out the problem but before I did I replaced the two wall fittings in her conservatory she had asked me to do. When that was done she drove me back to the store and I selected a couple of fittings and asked which one she wanted. There were no identifying marks on the outside of any of the boxes for any of the fittings on sale to indicate if they were ‘double insulated‘, meaning they do not require an earthing conductor but I knew from experience that they were suitable. However, we couldn’t take one out of its sealed box to check it so I asked the assistant if she could take one down from the electrical track (quite a few had been fitted to tracks for display purposes and could be easily removed and replaced) so I could see the connections. Hey presto! No earth required and the relevant ‘double insulated’ label was on the rear of the fitting! Why wasn’t the same label on the outside of the box? The symbol to look for is a small black rectangle within another black rectangle on a white background and is the one used to indicate a double insulated device or fitting and one that does not require earthing. We returned to her house and I fitted it to the kitchen ceiling. I was paid a little extra for my services and as I was leaving she said, ‘You are not getting away quite so easily, I will no doubt have more work for you to do soon and I am going to tell all my friends that I have found an electrician who is female, great at her job and reliable’. How nice is that?

Shirley Anne

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Saturday would be different

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 28, 2013

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

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Floored!

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 26, 2013

Floored

Floored (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I felt really bad on Tuesday afternoon and into the evening. I did some electrical work in the morning and returned home feeling a bit tired but I wanted to dine out with E. We drove to the restaurant/carvery only to discover that the servery had suffered a leak from the roof and part of the ceiling was down as a result. Repairs to the roof were underway but repairs to the ceiling were a few days away. Staff explained the problems to incoming diners telling them that their food would be served by the staff instead of them serving themselves. Some turned on their heels and left but the majority of folk who go there continued to stay, as we did. The meal was fine as usual but after I had eaten I began to feel worse with a headache and general tiredness. We drove home but decided to call in to ‘Homebase‘ to buy more floor tile cement as we had used what we had on Monday. I told E at the time that I just wanted to have the cement to hand in case I felt well enough to work the following day. I didn’t want to be feeling well and be unable to finish laying the floor tiles. I went to bed feeling awful but arose on Wednesday morning feeling great. I am assuming that I had returned to my normal routines too soon after my bout of ‘flu. Anyway on Wednesday afternoon I continued laying the floor tiles in the wet room and finished doing that in a couple of hours. As I write this on Wednesday evening I have still to grout those tiles but that shouldn’t take long and it may be done by the time you read this. I have to say I am glad all the tiling is finally complete and I can now concentrate on fitting the furniture.

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

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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It seemed a waste but it wasn’t

Posted by Shirley Anne on September 12, 2013

Monday Morning too^ On the Job Monday - NARA -...

Monday Morning On the Job

I had nothing planned on Monday, that is any electrical work but I was expecting a call from the guy whom I had worked for recently. He had called the evening before explaining that one of the lighting circuits I had installed was not now working. I had it in mind however to call him on Monday morning but he beat me to it. Naturally I had to put things right for him so off I went to fix the problem. I was there less than fifteen minutes later and set about finding the fault. The fault had been my own as I had omitted to connect a particular wire to a new switch I had fitted which was replacing an existing faulty one. A simple error and it was corrected in minutes. I thought it was odd that the circuit had been working until I replaced that switch which was in fact the last thing I did to complete the job. I guess I must have been distracted at the time. Anyway I was back home twenty minutes later and keen to sand down the ceiling after filling in the gaps and then paint it once more. I did the sanding and then painted it over then set about drilling a series of holes through the wall so that I could knock out the hole for the soil pipe but only on the inside for now. I will knock the hole in the outer brickwork when we are ready to fit the pipe. After lunch and after I had finished creating a mini dust storm E was able to finish painting the door to the room whilst I got on with doing other things not associated with the project. Her sister called to collect some paperwork for her holiday that E had printed out for her, boarding passes and such as she is off to Lanzarote for a holiday with her husband. I think we are about due for a break ourselves but we won’t even consider that whilst we have this project unfinished and it may be that we won’t bother now until the new year. Later I gave the ceiling what I hope will be its final coat of paint. We measured the window so we could buy the glass the following day. Later in the evening I was able to put the lights back into the holes in the ceiling as the paint had been dry by then for quite a few hours. It seemed as if we hadn’t done a great deal of work on Monday but in actual fact we had quite a bit though it wasn’t all in the wet room!

Shirley Anne

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Back to it

Posted by Shirley Anne on August 24, 2013

English: Finnish spruce plywood

English: Finnish spruce plywood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week E and I were again reconciled after I instigated a little chat. I have to say I had to do something to break the ice for if I was to wait for E to make the first move I get the feeling we would never speak again. She knows now that she was in the wrong and has accordingly apologised. Naturally I accepted the apology and we have mended the rift. She is beginning to act the way she did when we first met and the change is amazing! I must say I have been taken completely by surprise by her new self and I hope she will remain as nice now as she once was toward me. That is all I ask of her. Anyway all this has prompted me to continue with my previously abandoned home projects, the main one being the wet room I had made preparations for some 80 weeks ago. Late on Wednesday morning we drove to the timber yard to purchase some plywood to lay on the existing wooden floor in that wet room and while we were waiting for them to cut the ply for us we did some shopping and stopped at the local Tesco store for a bite to eat as by now it was 1 o’clock. We had visited the store twenty minutes earlier for fuel thinking we could then go on to get the plywood and return directly home but most of the staff at the yard were on their lunch break and we had to arrange to return an hour later. So there we were in the cafeteria tucking into a rather delicious salad sandwich each. I whispered in E’s ear, ‘Don’t say I don’t take you out for lunch’, she smiled. Actually we go out every week together doing just that and had in fact dined out the day before. We finished our lunch and drove back to the timber yard to collect the plywood which had now been cut and was ready for collection. In that brief outing we spent £100. Money goes nowhere these days does it? I didn’t start the work after returning home as I was still feeling a little weak after my recent illness but I planned to begin the work on Thursday morning. Around six in the evening I received a call from the guy whom I had worked for last week who wanted me to do more work in the same office. That’s the way it goes, my job has to take second place to one the earns me money!

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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Stage two and sunny days

Posted by Shirley Anne on June 7, 2013

...and here is a tapestry I made earlier...lol

…and here is a tapestry I made earlier…lol (Photo credit: andronicusmax)

On Monday morning I set about making some shuttering for the second stage of laying concrete. The first stage was completed last week and if I say so myself, we have made a good job of it. Later in the morning my apprentice and I (LOL) mixed the concrete and we had the second stage completed. Work must stop for a few days whilst we re-stock on building supplies. The weather has been splendid over the last few days and the need to be out and about seems greater than usual. We had spent Sunday mowing the lawn and doing other work in the garden, there is always something to do out there. There is a place in one corner behind the plum trees we have which has been somewhat overgrown for some years. Last year we stripped out much of the shrubbery and tress that were there but we still need to dig out the roots. The problem is the ground is strewn with large natural stone blocks that must have looked good as an intended rockery when they were laid. The whole area needs some attention and we do a little of it when there is nothing else to do. On Tuesday morning I was up and about quite early for I wanted to walk into town and buy a couple of things. It was quite warm even at 8 o’clock as I began the mile and a quarter walk to the centre of town. Some of the shops open at 8.30 so I was able to get what I wanted and return home by 9.30. I bought myself a pair of ‘jeggins’ solely for use when I ride my bicycle and an extra pair of ‘flatties’ (shoes) for much the same reason. When I got home I put on the new items and went for a ride for an hour. Even with the minimum of clothing I returned home feeling rather hot! We sometimes don’t realise how hot we can get whilst we are out exercising. It is only by returning indoors that it hits us. E an I spent the afternoon dining out. She had been working in the garden during the morning whilst I was out and about. After lunch we made arrangements for more building supplies to be delivered. My electrical work has somewhat dried up so I am making the most of the free time and fine weather but at the same time not overdoing it!

Shirley Anne

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A nice afternoon

Posted by Shirley Anne on March 24, 2013

A meal at the court of Emperor Ferdinand I,

A meal at the court of Emperor Ferdinand I 

On Tuesday morning I had a ridiculously small job and then nothing for the remainder of the day so I suggested to E that we might dine out somewhere for lunch. I had returned home before 10 o’clock and spend some time on my computer and the Internet and watched a couple of programs on television. It was around 1.45 when I heard a tap, tap on the lounge door and jumped a little for I had dosed off in the chair, one of those ‘cat-naps’ I love to experience. I looked toward the door to see E smiling at me. ‘Well I’m ready’, she piped up. ‘I’ve just washed my hair’, she said. She has the kind of hair that gets greasy rather easily but greasy hair is probably healthier hair as it proves that natural oils are being produced from the scalp protecting and nourishing the hair. Of course too much oil can be a problem and then the hair needs washing more often. E tends to have this problem. My hair on the other hand tends to be dry and would benefit having more natural oil. I tend therefore not to wash my hair as often unless it gets dirty. So I dashed upstairs to change my clothes and fix my make-up and was ready ten minutes later. E drove as she normally does and I didn’t ask where we were going as we headed off down the main road. She turned toward the coastal road so I though she was going to drive north as we normally do when visiting one or two of our favourite places but a couple of  hundred yards (metres) down the road she pulled into the car park of my local pub! There were quite a number of cars there and I thought it would consequently be full inside but we were surprised to see it almost empty. After a quick look at the menu I went to the bar opened a tab and ordered the meals and drinks. We received the best of service as usual and the meals followed soon after. E followed her meal with a dessert but I didn’t. We had a great time together and chatted with the staff as the opportunity arose. When we had finished eating  a couple of people came in and sat a short distance from us and I turn to look. ‘Hello, Shirley Anne’, the woman said and I replied in kind though I couldn’t remember how they knew me or I them, although I did recognise their faces.  It turns out that I had done some work for them back in November. Neither the man nor the woman knew E personally but the woman recognised her as having worked in her local Post Office some years ago. The man told E what a good electrician he had found in me not realising that E is already aware of my capabilities! I thought that was very nice of him to say such things. He went on to tell us that two weeks after I had worked in their house they were burgled! Immediately I asked if they had an alarm to which they said ‘We have now’! Talk about closing the barn door after the horse has bolted! Fortunately not much had been stolen. Soon afterwards E and I prepared to leave for home and they bid us farewell, the woman saying ‘I’ll telephone you’. Looks like they want more work doing……….Is there no rest for the wicked? LOL

Shirley Anne

Posted in Dining out, Enjoyment, General Chat, People, Socialising | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

When would you have liked to live?

Posted by Shirley Anne on January 21, 2013

Elizabeth I of England, the Armada Portrait, W...

Elizabeth I of England, the Armada Portrait, Woburn Abbey (George Gower, ca 1588). Other versions of the Armada portrait are by different artists. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many benefits to living at the present time but if you had the chance to live in another era which would you choose? I have often thought about this and haven’t really decided which I would choose. It is easier to choose from a time gone by rather than one in the future for we cannot know what the future holds as far as living in it is concerned. The past however has already shown us to some extent what conditions were like. With that in mind my thoughts are inclined to choose Elizabethan or Jacobean and also the 1940′s. The first two choices are probably based on romantic ideas about the times but of course they weren’t ideal times for everyone. The third choice is probably more to my heart. It was a time just before the modern renaissance where technology began to take giant strides. It was a time of war however and not so good from that point of view. One of the things which attract me to these times are women’s fashion styles. I simply liked what they wore, especially the 1940′s. I saw a story on television about a couple in their late 50′s perhaps who live their lives as Victorians wearing the clothes of the time. The husband’s duty was to wind-up his wife’s corset for the day which she wore presumably all day long. In fact Victorian women wore theirs all week and were only released to enable them to pass solids, then laced up again! By the 1940′s women still wore corsets but I suppose not all of the time. Steam trains, propeller aeroplanes, hardly any labour saving devices for the masses and a more leisurely lifestyle was a pipe-dream for most. There were many things wrong about the 40′s but things were about to change for the better, maybe! When I was born in 1945 and I remember living in a prefabricated house which had some of the things many folk couldn’t afford to buy for themselves but they were only there because the council supplied them. No-one had a private telephone unless they were well-off financially or were in business. We had a television in 1953, long before we got a telephone. In the 40′s, especially the early 40′s none of these were within reach of the ordinary working man or woman, I think that is probably why I would have liked to live then, as an adult of course, as life was lived at a much slower pace.

Shirley Anne

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When it becomes an obsession

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 17, 2012

Astronomy For Beginners

Astronomy For Beginners (Photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos)

For most of my life I have had an avid interest in Astronomy and in my early years it occupied most of my time, even into my late teens. Whilst I still take an interest it takes up far less of my time these days. Music has always played a large part of my life one way or another too. From about the age I could reason and no doubt even before then I was interested in music. Curiously I have never liked listening to music whilst I was working, something most of my contemporaries being the opposite. From simply listening to music I eventually became interested in playing an instrument. That was partly due to the fact that I was engaged in children’s work at church and they really needed live music to sing along to. The other reason was I had always wanted to play but never seemed to get around to it. Most of my time was spent doing other things. Soon after picking up the guitar I found an aptitude for writing songs, most of which are Christian. For many years previously I had written poems, some good, some not so good but I always felt that I should write everything down whether good or bad. After I got married I took to photography, nothing adventurous but I simply liked taking pictures, mostly scenic in nature as I love the beauty of Nature and its wild places. I soon got bored with all that though and memories of places visited were confined to the brain rather than a photographic album. Nowadays photographs are stored as digital images to be recalled anywhere at any time if so desired. I gave up on photography many years ago although back in 2003 I took some lovely shots around my town one bright and early Sunday morning when hardly a soul was about (They are shown on the Southport page above) and of course there have been the occasional pictures taken in and around my house for the purposes of this blog but other than that, nothing. None of these things are an obsession with me in that I do not spend hours on end indulging in them. I do spend an hour or so almost every day playing my guitar, partly for practice but always out of enjoyment. I do many things in life but none of them have such a grip upon me that they take up all of my time at the expense of everything else. An interest, a hobby should remain that I feel, otherwise we might miss out on something else we might take a fancy to.

English: Showing beauty through nature

English: Showing beauty through nature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shirley Anne

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It’s driving me mad, it’s driving me mad, it’s driving me mad……

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 5, 2012

If you don’t like The Beatles music (I do) this song might begin to drive you mad in the latter half. It seems as if it is never going to end, and then it does quite abruptly. I have always liked The Beatles and have all their records on vinyl. Are you old enough to remember vinyl records? Much as I would like to chat about music it isn’t the subject of this post. Whenever something drives me mad this particular song enters my thoughts. I was just thinking about the mad rush people bog themselves down with on the approach to Christmas, a mad frenzy of people buying presents, food and all the other trimmings they think they need when mostly they don’t. It’s all about tradition and doing what everyone else does but this isn’t the subject of my post either. The subject is advertisements and the pressure put on us all to buy something. At this time of year, well for me any time of year, adverts drive me mad, I cannot use my phone, listen to the radio (unless it is a BBC broadcast), watch television or use my computer without being bombarded from all directions with adverts. A really annoying trend are those adverts which are placed in front of a video clip, a news item of some sort you may be keen to see but have to wait until an advert runs its thirty-second course. Rather than sit listening to and watching an advert I close the video. I miss whatever it is I wanted to see but would rather do that than have my brain filled with rubbish I do not want. The same old adverts or similar ones sprout up each year, you know them, some ‘celebrity’ has a new line in perfume or some artiste you’ve never heard of has suddenly produced a record that we all want to buy and listen to over the Christmas break, as if. Watching the adverts is bad enough but having to listen to the dribble and all those silly jingles and catchphrases does my head in. You may call me cynical and you would be correct but I simply cannot stand advertisements. Some may be funny and well thought out and I suppose they are worthy in that respect but I have to say it, they don’t make the slightest difference to my spending habits. Cold calling texts, emails and phone calls drive me nuts too. It feels like I am swimming in a giant pool of alphabet soup and radio waves sometimes. What joy it is to be able to  switch things off and go for a quiet walk somewhere without any means for people to contact me or to go to sleep and escape from the reality of a modern world I think I shouldn’t be a part of but need to be! It’s driving me mad, it’s driving me mad, it’s driving me……………….

Shirley Anne

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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

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 »

 
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