Tag Archives: Shopping

Last day

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English: Newsagent in Waterloo Road, Uxbridge ...

Newsagent in Waterloo Road, Uxbridge On the afternoon of New Year’s Eve the area was very quiet, this shop seemed to be the only sign of life. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I took the opportunity to go into town on early on New Year’s Eve to do some shopping, basically toiletries. I usually keep a large stock of toiletries at home and it was only a week or so ago I bought some but I don’t much like shopping unless it is for clothes so I go infrequently. When I do shop for toiletries I buy quite a lot and find one trip’s worth of goodies can last me up to twelve months if I buy correctly. As is usual for me whenever I shop in town I drive most of the way, park up and then walk the half-mile to the shopping area. I do this because I don’t wish to walk the whole distance back home carrying weighty toiletries. So I parked the vehicle and walked. It’s funny how the mind works when you are doing nothing but walking, hey, or anything for that matter! I passed by some apartment blocks and as I passed by one of them my thoughts turned to a guy I know who lives in that block. We would often chat when in the pub but I haven’t seen him in there for quite some time and that is because he usually goes in the evening whilst I haven’t been there in the evening for quite some time too. Anyway I carried on and did my shopping after which I popped into a coffee shop for a cappuccino before walking back to my vehicle. The town centre was unusually full of people for that time of day, (it was a little after 9.30 when I got there), not like the sceme in the picture above As I walked past the apartment block I happened to glance across the now busy main road to see that same guy walking the opposite way. He had spotted me at the same time and we waved and shouted hello. Now isn’t that so strange? I have been finding that this sort of thing happens to me often lately, I think about things and then see them happen or think about someone then see them. I will have to be careful what I think about won’t I? On my arrival back home a couple of hours after setting out I washed my hair, something I don’t do too often unless my hair gets dirty. I have dry hair and too much washing would prevent my natural oils to protect it. I prefer nature’s way than using man-made hair products if I can but I do use them sometimes. I did nothing for the remainder of the day. I wasn’t going anywhere in the evening to celebrate the New Year later as many people will have done. Tomorrow may be another year but it’s only another day.

Shirley Anne

Down memory lane

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English: Queen Street, Cubbington The centre o...

Queen Street, Cubbington The centre of Cubbington village has several shops including this general stores and a D-I-Y/hardware store a little further on. There are other shops opposite including the post office. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At almost 70 years of age I can remember with nostalgia many things which no longer exist. In the previous post I was hinting at the ways we are placed under pressure by commerce to get us to buy things and how the writers of software in phones and computers are pushing us to either go along with it all or get left behind. We are given choices but further down-line we will have to use what we are presented with. I was watching a programme on television called ‘Flog it’ a couple of days ago and in it we were shown what is called a living museum. For those who live outside of the UK ‘Flog it’ is a programme about antiques, their valuation with a view to those who have their treasures valued to auction them off. As often in these programmes they take side steps from the main content of the programme in order to present the viewer with things maybe of interest in the area in which they are holding a valuation day. In this particular programme we were taken around the streets of a local town rebuilt as they were fifty to a hundred years ago and all under cover. Old fashioned shops and hardware stores, old vehicles standing outside in the cobbled streets and goods on display were as authentic as I remembered them long ago. I remember the real thing and how it was in the high streets of every town and city. Slowly but surely things have changed and I can see in the not too distant future even more changes to come. Some will say for the better but I say not, at least in some things. In those days we couldn’t buy anything unless we had the cash in our hands. Along came hire purchase, loans from the banks or other sources, credit cards and now smart phones. We don’t necessarily have to have cash in our pockets to buy anything on the high street and for shopping online we can’t use cash anyway and that is what will change everything forever. One day I can see a system where we can only buy things electronically. It is very much early days yet but eventually I can see everyone having a chip implant for use in everything we do. That is a road I do not want to go down and probably won’t, this is for the generations to come. I digress. Life was far simpler when I was young and looking at that programme brought back some very nice memories of those days. If I had the choice and the power I would turn the clock back in certain areas of our lives. It isn’t going to happen unfortunately

Shirley Anne

Time for a change

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Dining Room’, circa 1902. A dining room designed by Arturo Issel (1842-1922). Exhibited at The International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art, Turin.

A few weeks ago E and I were talking about giving the kitchen a small make-over, colouring the walls with a different colour and lowering the cooker hood a couple of centimetres. The duel fuel cooker is now around twenty years old and has one or two problems which require repairing but I have been loathed to do them myself because what I really wanted to do was to purchase a new one. What was once the kitchen was changed to a breakfast and dining room of sorts but it is what you might call a ‘family’ room and not a formal place in which to entertain guests or to have solely as a dining room. In short it is lived in! The small adjoining room was converted into a kitchen around twenty years ago when at the same time we bought the cooker. Now the cooker itself is what is called a range cooker, that is it has two ovens and a separate grill, all-electric with eight rings on the gas hob so it is quite wide. The cooker hood above is the same width at 100cm. The cooker and hood are both green in colour. On Sunday afternoon I decided to browse the Internet for a replacement cooker and hood. The present hood isn’t faulty but because I was changing the colour of the cooker to black it needed to be the same colour so I had to browse for another hood too. As it happened I found the same model of hood on sale in black so I added it to my basket and browsed for a cooker. After a short time I found a suitable cooker so I added that to the basket and then proceeded to the check-out.s_10135915 The model is shown on the right. I had some problems with my cards being accepted but I had forgotten that whenever I make costly on-line purchases I have to confirm the transaction is being done by myself. A text message is sent to my mobile phone to which I have to respond before the transaction can be completed. It is all about security but is a little frustrating nevertheless. I had to choose black as the colour of choice for the cooker and the hood because green units were not available but I wanted a change in any case and black was more suited to blend in with what is already in the kitchen. So in nine days time (from Sunday as I write) we will be taking delivery of the new fittings. I have not told E as I want it to be a surprise but I am sure she will be pleased. I know I will be. However, it will be me fitting them.

Shirley Anne

Got my wish

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A Sunday roast consisting of roast beef, roast...

A Sunday roast consisting of roast beef, roast potatoes, vegetables, and yorkshire pudding (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was talking about my working week in a previous post and how much I was looking forward to having three days free to myself for a change. I got my wish, well so far that is as I am writing this on Friday evening. Friday would be the most likely day whereby I might get work but I had other ideas and was determined to avoid it for I knew I would most definitely not be working on Saturday or Sunday and if I could do the same on Friday it would be mission accomplished. I had to go to the clinic to have a blood sample taken first thing in the morning and on my return home I made a detour to the village so that I could buy some blueberries and also deposit some money in the bank. E does the weekly shopping on a Thursday but hadn’t been able to buy some blueberries where she usually does her shopping and wouldn’t have visited the village to try to purchase them. There are four places in the village that sell fruit and vegetables and I checked them out to find the best deal before buying some whilst I waited for the bank to open. I had accumulated a lot of cash and needed to get it out of my purse. In three week’s time that particular branch of the bank will be closing down and I will have to travel into town in future to make deposits. On my way back to the van I stepped into the chemist store to see if the prescription the doctor had forwarded on Tuesday morning had been processed. Usually we are told to wait four days to collect any prescriptions unless there is an immediate need for treatment but I was lucky, the prescription was ready for collection. I drove home to have some breakfast and it was still only 9.15. My blood sample required a fast of at least twelve hours before it could be taken and consequently I had not eaten for fourteen hours. The rest of the morning I simply relaxed and did very little. It was around two-thirty I decided to drive somewhere for a late lunch. I drove to my local pub which has had a little refurbishment carried out in recent weeks to accommodate more dining tables for I wanted to see what they had done and have a meal in the process. Unfortunately there was little free space, unusual for the time of day, so I left and drove off to another eatery a few miles away. This place is much larger and caters for those wanting something from the menu or something from the help-yourself carvery. I chose the carvery but as I approached the servery a large family of people got there before me and I had to wait quite some time before getting served. I was in no hurry of course. The chef was very surprised that I had asked for only one small slice of turkey and no Yorkshire Pudding but only wanted mainly vegetables. Many choose to have a pudding or two and several slices of the various meats on offer as well as a heap of vegetables! I am not so greedy. The vegetables were absolutely delicious, especially the carrots but I didn’t choose any potatoes to go with them. I chose only to have a soda water with my meal and when I had finished the waitress came over and asked if I was going to order a dessert. I wasn’t. I paid the bill and left for home. It had been a change from having to cook the meal myself as I hadn’t dined out for several weeks so it was by way of a treat too. The last time had been with E but this time I dined alone. I much prefer to dine with company but at the moment that isn’t possible. During the meal someone phoned me and asked if I was available to do an urgent job but I told them I wasn’t available until Monday, besides I was still eating my vegetables!

Shirley Anne

And now less done than I’d thought!

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English: Girl have a dental treatment

Girl has dental treatment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday was one of those days filled with intentions and trying to make the most of the time that was left from that put to one side for others. I arose early for two reasons or maybe three. The first was to put out the waste collection bins though I often don’t know why I bother putting them out so early as they invariably empty them sometime after lunch! The second reason was to be available for the representative of the window installation company who was supposed to call sometime between eight-thirty and nine o’clock to check on a couple of faults we have but didn’t turn up! The last reason I suppose was the fact that I usually get up early anyway. Such is life. There was little I could do early on whilst I waited so I sat and played some songs on my guitar. I didn’t call the window company immediately, in fact I didn’t call them at all. E said she would call them whilst I was at the dentist’s surgery and did in fact do so. They arranged to call on Saturday afternoon. I left the house sometime around ten thirty-five to arrive around eleven for my appointment at eleven-fifteen. Of course appointment times at the dentist’s surgery are never kept are they? I was in the chair around eleven-thirty and left around noon. E and I had made plans to go shopping for more materials and extra plants to populate the two new flowerbeds I had finished building on Thursday. I say finished but the stone for capping the walls hadn’t been laid because that was one of the things we planned to purchase. I paid £51 for my dental treatment but need to return on October 2nd for more treatment. E and I had a quick snack for lunch then off we went shopping but before we could do that I had to empty out half of the things I have in my van to accommodate whatever we purchased. We drove to the new garden centre where a week or so previously I had purchased wood bark chippings, some stone chippings and the stone capping for the large flowerbed wall. I purchased more stone capping but it needs cutting in half lengthwise. We also bought some topsoil in bags and ten potted flowering plants. I don’t know what we were thinking but the amount of soil we bought was far below that which we needed. On the way home we stopped alongside a guy working at the kerb side. He was there with another guy and a youngster around fourteen or fifteen years of age. They were in the process of laying a cobbled forecourt of a house on a street less than a half-mile from our house. I asked him if he could do a small job for me and naturally I would pay him if he could. He called his mate over and asked him if he could cut the stones that I had asked to be cut. Now I have a ‘whizzer’ at home, that is a small hand-held grinding tool but it is only suitable for small jobs. These guys had access to a larger professional water assisted cutter or ‘whizzer’ as they say so he said he would do them, there are three, on the following Tuesday. All he said he wanted in payment was some German beer! E and I drove on home and emptied the van. We made a start on filling the beds but soon discovered that we hadn’t enough soil, even with that which was left over from filling the large bed. I wasn’t prepared to buy some more small bags so off we went again to the builder’s merchant to arrange delivery of another ton of it to be delivered the following Tuesday also. Whilst we were out we decided to visit the B&Q store to purchase four large bags of wood bark chippings and two more potted plants. From there we went to another store and bought some beer and cola for guess who? Finally we returned home and stayed there! Some of the bark we spread out between the plants in the large flowerbed then tidied up and went indoors around five o’clock. I took stock of my purchases and it all came to £150. Total outlay for the day £200 and nothing much got done. Until the arrival of the soil my work in the garden would be on hold for the weekend.

Shirley Anne

How do they cope?

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

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

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

Shirley Anne

Of frozen foods and shopping

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Frozen foods at the Real Canadian Superstore i...

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

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

Shirley Anne

Finding the time

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A Striped Lawn

A Striped Lawn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Shirley Anne

So what did I do?

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A New Morning, Changing Weather

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

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

Shirley Anne

 

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

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

One down and one to go

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I was up quite early on Saturday but I had to wait for E to arise so that we could go shopping. She had to collect a parcel or two from the Post Office as neither of us were at home when they called and I wanted to buy an axe. We have quite a collection of garden tools and implements but one thing we didn’t have was an axe. It was some time after 10.15 before we left the house and the first stop was the ‘Tool Station’ located about three miles away. I had never visited one of their outlets before so I didn’t know that they operate exactly as ‘Argos‘ do, you look in a catalogue then fill in a form and collect the goods at the counter. As it happened on this occasion the young girl at the counter fetched an axe for us to see and as it was exactly what we wanted we didn’t need to fill out the form. As E had been there previously the girl simply asked for our address for their records and then took our payment. We left there and on the way to the Post Office E called into a filling station for fuel. I paid as I often do if I am in her vehicle. We then drove off to collect her parcels. On the way back home she asked if I still wanted some gardening gloves as the pair I had been using now had holes in them which sort of defeats the object of wearing them for protection. We called into the large garden centre (Dobbies) and whilst I was visiting the toilet she wandered off to look for some gloves and some plant spray-on treatment for pest control. I suggested we stop for a coffee in their large dining area and we each had a cappuccino and a cake. Their cafeteria is as good, if not better than some places that are dedicated eateries. Soon we were back home but it was now after 12.30. We skipped lunch as the cakes had curbed our appetite and we made ourselves ready to work in the garden. For working on the mound I wear ‘toe-tector’ (Steel toe protector caps) wellies and thick socks and whilst out in the sun a long-sleeved top if I am not wearing overalls. The main task for the afternoon was to remove one of the two shrubs I spoke about yesterday and that is why I purchased the axe! Here is the offending article after we had spent about three hours getting it out. That is three hours for the day but we had spent about another three hours digging around it the day before.The Mound 013

The axe is about a metre in length. The ball of roots is almost impossible to cut even with the axe but the axe enabled us to chop off the larger roots and shoots with some ease. Even when we got it out of the ground there still remained more roots to dig out but now we could get at them with the spade and fork. So, a spade, a large fork, a small fork, a small trowel, large cutting tool, a bow saw, an axe and lots of hard work eventually got it out of the ground. Now we are faced with another one but we think the second one will be much easier to remove as it is located away from any other tree’s roots and possible obstacles. We are hoping it is simply in soil but we will not know for certain until we get closer to it. We may find a lot more of the builder’s rubble and stones we came across in that corner! Late in the afternoon we brushed aside the cobwebs and dug out the barbecue for a well-earned meal before retiring indoors.

Shirley Anne

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Ouch!

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Human Feet - female - bruised

Human Feet – female – bruised (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having worked so hard on Monday I was thankful to get to bed and rest. Being as I am a lady of shall we say, some years, I am prone to night-time visits to sit on the throne at least once during the night. I duly arose around three in the morning and off I went but when I reached the steps at the end of the landing I stumbled and caught the little toe on my right foot on the architrave surrounding the bathroom door which hurt a lot. Once I had finished with sitting down I bathed my foot in very cold water which eased the pain a little. I returned to bed but found I had to sleep with my right foot uncovered to keep it cool for comfort. When I finally arose for the day my little toe felt really painful and I found it difficult to walk without discomfort. Fortunately I had nothing planned to do for the day away from home and I hadn’t planned on working in the garden just for the morning as E and I were going to dine out in the afternoon. I was therefore able to remain seated for most of the morning thus keeping my foot at rest. When it was time to get changed for the afternoon’s outing I found it difficult to walk upstairs to my bedroom but once there I managed to find a pair of shoes that I could walk in without too much pain. I got changed and soon we were off out-of-town to a place we have grown quite fond of. I didn’t have to walk far once E had parked her car and soon was able to sit down at the table. E was kind enough to place the order and tend to our needs allowing me to stay off my feet. After a rather filling meal, for they serve very generous portions there, we drove home but stopped at the shopping precinct by the sea front. She knew I wanted to buy a pair of slippers (soft house slippers) for myself as for quite some time I have been without a pair. Whilst we were there I looked for another pair of flat-heeled shoes for day wear and she browsed the shelves looking for something for herself. I found a really comfortable pair of slippers and flat-heeled shoes but E couldn’t decide on anything for herself. I would have bought whatever she wanted but she passed up on the offer this time. My little toe was still hurting but the pain eased a bit once I put on the slippers. How can such a small part of the body hurt so much I thought? Hopefully as I write this on Tuesday evening the pain will have disappeared by the morning.

Shirley Anne

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Busy holiday period

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E and I have worked every day since Friday except for Sunday when neither of us did anything. Our aim was to get as much done on the bathroom project as we could during the seasonal break. We managed to fit the glass screens around the shower because our youngest son was at home some of the time and without him I doubt I would have been able to carry the one glass panel we had stored in the cellar up to the first floor of the house. The other of the two largest panels had been left on the landing outside the bathroom a few weeks ago but somehow I managed alone to move that into position and fit it in place on Saturday. It weighed something like 25Kg. The other panel, the largest of the three weighed in at 37Kg and needed two people to move it. That panel had been stored in the spare bedroom a few months ago when it was purchased. The other panel had been purchased more recently when we discovered it wasn’t included in our original purchases. I had been out at work when it was delivered and E had it stored in the garage. With help from C our youngest the large panel was moved into position on Monday morning but it was left for me to fix it by myself. That wasn’t a problem, the main problem was getting it into the bathroom and placing it on the shower tray, that required two of us. He went out for the day and E and I got on with the work. You can see the result in the pictures below. The next job was to prepare and fix the tap column in position ready for connecting it to the water supplies later. Once that is done all that there will remain left to do will be boxing in the pipework to hide it and refitting the main door to the room.

Bathroom 90Bathroom 91

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bathroom 92Bathroom 93

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last two pictures show the tap column presently only secured at the base until the pipes are boxed-in when the column will be secured and supported further up from the base. The square collar that can be seen halfway up the column is not fixed and will be slid down to rest on the finished box. An updated picture will follow when it is finished. After the day’s work E and I drove to a superstore to purchase a metal and glass tray for use in the wet room, which I fixed to the wall later, a free-standing toilet roll holder and new chrome finished furniture for the door to the bathroom.

Shirley Anne

 

 

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No end to the spend

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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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