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Posts Tagged ‘Time’

Odd times

Posted by Shirley Anne on January 26, 2014

Cavity wall construction

Cavity wall construction (Photo credit: HEA Engineering Subject Centre)

Over the years I have noticed just how much my life has changed. I have more time to myself than I ever had before but also my working life has changed much too. By this I mean my working patterns. On Thursday for instance I had the morning free as the small electrical job I had been scheduled for 11.30. Normally I try to start my working day at 9 o’clock but these days, because I don’t get the volume of work I once did or now desire sometimes I have to accept jobs at other times which means my day becomes sliced into sections whereby I cannot commit myself to anything that is needed to be done at home if the tasks are large. It wasn’t worth starting work at home before that appointment and I had no idea how long away from home I would be to suggest in my mind what I might do afterwards. As things turned out I arrived back home at 2.15 and after a belated lunch I set about filling a hole in the internal brickwork beneath the bathroom floor where we had replaced the drain pipe a couple of days ago. We were both reminded of the hole’s existence because the temporary curtain we have over the doorway began to move due to the windy weather we have been experiencing over the last couple of days. The wind gets into the cavity wall if there are holes in the internal wall allowing it to flow through. A sealed-up cavity prevents that happening but of course the outside wall needs ventilation bricks in it to prevent the cavity from becoming damp. The cavity wall insulation of course is loose enough to allow the cavity to ‘breathe’ but dense enough to effectively insulate the wall. It all sounds very technical but obviously it works. So I was able to seal up the hole and stop the air coming into the house. The main problem I faced in doing that small job was the fact that there was a joist running parallel to the wall and only 100mm (4 inches) from it which made access very difficult but I managed! At the time of writing this on Thursday afternoon I still haven’t found the time to start laying that plywood which was delivered on Tuesday and E won’t be at home throughout Friday to assist me. It looks therefore that we won’t get that work done until Saturday. I have to fit things in as time allows but at least we are moving forward.

Shirley Anne

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A window of opportunity

Posted by Shirley Anne on January 25, 2014

English: A Window of Opportunity, Birmingham I...

English: A Window of Opportunity, Birmingham If you like 1960′s monster architecture, you’ll love Birmingham!This is the upper part of the House of Fraser building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was expecting to do some work at home on Wednesday morning but was told that we were going to be visited by our son and his two-year-old daughter around ten o’clock. His wife had been dropped off in the neighbourhood for a meeting she had so rather than make the trip back home our son and his daughter came to stay for an hour or so. It was nice to see them both of course for most of their visits I have to say have been infrequent and short-lived to date. There are good reasons for that of course as our son is the only one with a car and he is often at work as a policeman. We chatted and he explained that his wife’s mum had been taken ill last Friday with a suspected mini heart attack, in fact several of them, and she was rushed to our local hospital. She was later transferred to a specialist unit in a hospital in Liverpool where she received a stent implant in one of her arteries. She is a healthy and fit lady, eats sensibly and exercises but it is believed that her condition is hereditary. My son was concerned that the ‘defective’ gene might have been passed down to his wife and subsequently their daughter. We hope of course it hasn’t and it is not conclusive that it might. Sadly their visit was curtailed when his wife phoned to be picked up from her meeting and they left around midday. It was too early for lunch so I was looking for something to get started on in the bathroom. My first intention was to cut and lay the plywood that had arrived the previous day but when the weather changed for the better I thought about fitting that part of the new drain pipe system we have installed beneath the floor which exits the building and is connected to the main clean water downspout. We had left that short piece of old pipework still connected as it meant leaving a hole in the wall until we could fit the replacement. In order to do that a ladder was required and it had to be dry weather with little or no wind as the work was all at high level. A window of opportunity was needed both for the weather and for the right moment in my work schedule as I have been concentrating on other things. With a little help from E I set about making that change and we had it done in a little over an hour with the brickwork sealed around the pipe with mortar. I will complete the connection to the drain pipes I have already installed when that mortar is set hard and I have decided on where the drain for the wash basin is to be located. That may well be done by the time you read this. The only remaining high level work outside in connection with the bathroom project is that of installing the soil pipe to the new position for the toilet waste but that can be left until most of the other work is done and indeed even after the floor has been laid. That also requires a window of opportunity as far as the weather is concerned. It was too late to do much more in the afternoon once we’d had lunch and as I am working away from home on Thursday it may be a few days before much else gets done. Yet another window of opportunity eh?

Shirley Anne

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Half-way through already

Posted by Shirley Anne on June 21, 2013

Time is a Tickin'

Time is a Tickin’ 

We are half-way through the year already, today being the Summer Solstice when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky in the northern hemisphere. On this day there are more daylight hours than any other day in the year after which they begin to get less reaching the minimum on or around December 21. It doesn’t seem that long ago it was New Year’s Day but I guess that’s an age thing! I remember as a young child that the days seemed to last far longer than they do now. Well obviously that cannot be due to the fact that the days were actually longer in those times but my conception of time and the passage of time has changed. As we get older we may often say to ourselves, ‘Just where has all the time gone?’ or ‘My, my, doesn’t time fly by quickly?’. Because we are so engrossed in whatever it is we are doing we don’t notice the passing of time. Life is short they say but 70 years is quite a long period of time. In the grand scheme of things though 70 years is really a tiny fraction, a mere blinking of the eye. Time itself is a difficult thing to understand. We measure the passage of time by the ticking of a clock and our lives are governed by the same thing but is time itself such a simple thing? How would we cope if we didn’t have such a thing as time to live by? The fact is, we couldn’t! Scientists talk about the bending of time and the stopping time by travelling faster than the speed of light. Does this mean we cease to function when time stops? All I know is one season follows on after another and life, short as it may be, is all we really have whilst we are in time but one day that will all change. Anyway we are half-way through the year already.

Shirley Anne

 

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The Future

Posted by Shirley Anne on February 5, 2013

No Future No Hope

No Future No Hope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all have one of course. I wonder how many of us thought in the past that our future would turn out the way it did? I wonder how many people imagine what their future now holds for them? We can all make plans and think they will be as we hope but they never always fulfil our dreams do they? Something or someone may thwart anything we have planned and it all goes awry. How far into the future do we imagine we will go? Does it end at the grave or does it go beyond? Life itself is always in balance and the slightest thing can upset it. We never know what to expect even if we have lived many years. We may gain much knowledge, wisdom and experience which we may use to make an educated guess as to what is coming but it will be a guess and very much a gamble as to whether we get it right. Because we always catch the same bus at 0830 doesn’t mean the next time we wait at the stop it is going to arrive! Some of what happens to us in the future may be determined by ourselves and what we do but not everything. It’s a bit like blindly crawling through a large novel toward its conclusion in the hope that we find the butler actually did it and then discovering it was someone else! The truth of the matter is we do not know what our future holds for us, at least in the flesh. We only know that we will eventually die but not necessarily our circumstances before that day arrives. We can know our future beyond that day if we have the faith but not all do or they consider something different happens. The future is an open book of blank pages waiting to be written by us, by others and by an authority who holds the key. All we can do is live for today, even tomorrow is in the future and may no be as we expect.

Shirley Anne

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Another slow start

Posted by Shirley Anne on February 4, 2013

hello, weekend.

Hello, weekend.

Last week got off to a very slow start and I didn’t get any work until Wednesday but the last three days made up for it. I am supposed to be working part-time and although that is true it can be hard upon me when the work comes in all at once. Consequently I can be idle for days and then be rushed off my feet for the remainder of the week! This week was no exception and on Friday I went to bed quite tired and had a good night’s sleep, so much so that I got an extra lie-in on Saturday morning. Eventually though that was disrupted by early telephone calls to my phones. I have a house extension phone and my mobile phone which gets charged overnight and they are both next to my bed. I received three calls between 9 and 10 o’clock but I answered none of them. I like my weekends free but others seem to think I am available seven days a week! Most of the time they are non-urgent requests and could be deferred until a more respectable hour or even day! Some people call my house phone during the working week expecting me to be there. Sometimes I am but it should be normal to make requests for work during normal working hours and through my mobile phone, especially as it is indicated on my advert. Self-employed people are not expected to have a life of their own it seems. The beauty of being self-employed though is that I can decide to answer or not., though I seldom do unless it is at the weekend and I am having a lie-in! Anyway I got out of bed and after prayer time I got dressed and ready to go for a short bike ride. It was a gloriously sunny day and I was determined to get some fresh air and exercise. I had been for a very short ride one day last month but the weather has been awful since then and neither had I the opportunity to go for a ride. The wind was blowing from the north-west and was quite chilly and the going was hard on the outward journey but much better on the return. I was a little out of practice I have to say but I managed the four mile ride.  When I returned home I removed my outer clothing and got on the treadmill for twenty minutes or so. I hadn’t eaten on getting up so I just settled for a late lunch once I’d cooled off and changed my clothes. Another slow start on my bike but the treadmill exercise was at a better pace as I have been using it continuously since I bought it, in fact I went faster than I usually do.

Shirley Anne

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All my life but it changes

Posted by Shirley Anne on February 1, 2013

Book Cover

Book Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From a very early age we get into a routine, going to and from school at set times, having breakfast, lunch and evening meals at set times and of course going to bed and arising in the morning by the clock. Most of these habits follow us throughout our lives but it is only as we get older do we find the routines changing to suit our different circumstances and we find ourselves doing things out of habit because we are having to work to a schedule. Our schedules may change but our habits may not. Schedules are necessary if we are to conduct our lives in an orderly fashion. In our work it is imperative that we are at our station, whatever it is, at set times else everything becomes chaotic. If everyone working for a large or even a small organisation decided to ignore the schedule the business of that organisation would be almost impossible to conduct. There has to be a schedule. When self-employed there is still the necessity to conduct the business in the same way. With habits outside of any schedule it is a different matter although in certain circumstances bad habits can be just as detrimental to an otherwise efficient working system. Habitually getting up too late for work is one example as is not arriving on time for appointments. My own schedules have changed many times during my life to accommodate the different working situations I have found myself in. The good habits I have include getting into the new routine and quickly adjusting to it, another is being reliable. Routines become habitual and good habits are essential for any schedule to run smoothly. Our schedules run our lives but our habits, if bad, can ruin it all. When we retire from our working life we don’t need a schedule but we still do things out of habit.  Now however, we can change our habits to suit ourselves and not worry about any knock-on effects to any schedule.

Shirley Anne

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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

Posted in Life, Time | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Thank God it’s the weekend.

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 2, 2012

Parked up for the weekend

Parked up for the weekend (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the last couple of weeks I have worked my socks off as the saying goes and have earned a pretty penny doing so. I class myself as working only part-time now and generally don’t work for more than four hours each day if I get the work of course. This week has been the best this year as far as income is concerned, closely followed by the previous week. I have earned similar amounts throughout the year too so I have no complaints. I had thought I’d finished for the week on Friday when just after lunch I got another call. It turned out to be very easy to do and I was back home within the hour having made a nice profit. Although it is nice to get work especially when so many are finding it difficult to get work anywhere I am glad to get a couple of days free. I gave been able to find time for some exercise and hope to do more over the weekend. On Thursday I spent a lot of time on the treadmill and on Friday after I had done a small job in the morning and before I had my lunch I found time to go for a five-mile walk. When I returned home my cheeks were glowing a little. I have no plans for this weekend, I seldom go anywhere far at the weekend preferring to make time to do that during the week. The weather looks promising this weekend, cold but sunny and dry so I may spend some time on my bicycle providing there is no ice on the road. I don’t want to end up falling off a bike! One thing I have to deal with is getting up each morning during the week long before the central heating comes on which is around 8.15. I often have to get up at 6, 6.30 or 7 O’clock depending on where I will be working. During the warmer months I hardly notice the temperature but as it gets colder it is more noticeable. The strange thing is that I find myself not rushing to get dressed even though it is quite cool. In real terms the temperature in my bedroom  never drops below about 12 degrees. I know the temperature because I have a thermometer on my dressing table. I have good blood circulation so my body soon gets acclimatised to temperature changes but I do feel severe cold in my nose, fingers and toes. Thankfully it doesn’t get that cold indoors! At the weekend I can lie-in until after the heating comes on, which is something of a luxury for me. Thank God for weekends.

Shirley Anne

 

Posted in Exercise, Lifestyle, Well-being, Work | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It’s slowly creeping back across the floor

Posted by Shirley Anne on August 20, 2012

Weathered

Weathered (Photo credit: JEBourk)

These past few weeks have been rather good as far as the weather is concerned. Yes we have had rainy days but hey, this is the UK and in my case England. Throughout the month of June and early July we began to wonder if the weather was ever going to improve but finally it did. Apart from one or two occasions the weather held for the Olympic Games and has been warm, even hot since. OK it rained rather heavily on Wednesday and it is forecast to rain for the next couple of days as I write this on Saturday. Saturday was dull but warm during the morning but in the afternoon it was wall-to-wall blue sky and bright sunshine right through to sunset! I had gotten up around nine and spent some time on the treadmill and basically chilled out after that. E went out for her monthly meeting and I decided to go for a ride on my new bicycle. When I returned home I noticed that the sun was shining onto the coffee table in the middle of the room. It was only two months ago it barely shone onto the floor in the afternoon because the sun was so high in the sky. In a couple of months it will be almost shining onto the wall facing the window. In Winter if it is sunny, the sun can shine half-way up that wall in the middle of the afternoon. If I was that way inclined I could mark the position of the sun each month on the floor or furniture but it does remind me of the progress of time and how precious a commodity it is. I sometimes feel that I am just going through the motions if you understand what I am saying, life seems to have lost its purpose for me lately. I don’t get excited as I used to anymore. I never get depressed as such but I do occasionally feel down. Is it the people in my life that make me feel this way, is it the lack of company and companionship, is it the lack of friendship, the lack of love? Perhaps, but sometimes it is none of these things, sometimes I just cannot be bothered! Maybe I am just a weathered soul in the scheme of things. Whatever I do, whatever I feel, wherever I go, the sun marks time as it slowly creeps across the floor.

Shirley Anne

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The thief

Posted by Shirley Anne on July 24, 2012

Procrastination.

Procrastination. (Photo credit: Tysh)

Procrastination is the thief of time so the saying goes. Don’t put off till tomorrow what can be done today is easy to say but not always possible to do I have often found. My intentions might be spot on and my ability enough for the task but my inclination may not be synchronised. Too often other things get in the way and all good intentions are left on the shelf and sometimes forgotten about. Time is the precious commodity common to all of us. What we do with our time is entirely our own responsibility, we can either make the most of it or waste it but we don’t get another shot at it, once gone that’s it!

The Bible tells us that there is a time for everything and everything has a time. In the Book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3 we see….

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and
a time for war and a time for peace.

There is time for getting things done too. A few years ago my life changed in a special way when I came to understand God and accept His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. It took me 43 years or so to reach that conclusion and do something about it. We all like to think we know all the answers but none of us do. There was a time, a special time for me to turn around my life and follow Jesus. Other people have their own special times for things to happen in their lives too. The small things in life I believe have their time too. Take for instance my bedroom. Ten years ago, well almost ten years ago (Late November 2002) I returned home from Thailand after undergoing gender re-assignment surgery and when I did I moved into the bedroom in question. The bedroom was once shared with my spouse when we were married but for many years I hadn’t slept in there. Some movements within the family resulted in our eldest son using the room for a few years but whilst I was away the room had been decorated and he had switched to another room in the house. I took the room for my own use and personalised it. Although the room had been nicely decorated it still needed a new carpet and a new bed. At the time I had other considerations to think about and I left off doing anything about it for a couple of years. About three years ago I finally decided to buy a new carpet and have it fitted. I already had a couple of new beds together with a lot of other furniture stored in the house because I had planned to buy a place of my own when we sold the house but that never materialised and I have remained living here instead. One thing that used to annoy me was the curtain (drapes) rail which used a pulley system to open and close the curtains but it had been broken for some years and the curtains had to be moved separately. It wasn’t a problem but I promised myself that one day I would replace the rail. On Friday last week the curtains pulled free of the rail and were damaged slightly in the process. I slept on it and on Saturday morning decided to buy a new rail and fittings. I got up early so that I could use the treadmill and it was mid-morning before I drove to the store and return with the new rail. After lunch I carried out the repairs to the curtains. They needed some stitching and I had them done in no time. I removed the old rail and brackets but had to carry out some repairs to the woodwork before I could fit the new rail. It took me around two hours to complete the work and now finally my bedroom is completed. I could have done the job years ago and should have done so instead of putting it off. Things have a habit of coming back at you. Old sayings like a stitch in time saves nine show us that leaving things undone can be our own undoing. We can end up doing more than we would have done had we done it sooner. Our time is then wasted. We may lose many things in life but the most precious of commodities is the time given to us and none of us know how much time has been given to us. Procrastination will thieve us of that time if we let it.

Shirley Anne

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I’m my worse enemy!

Posted by Shirley Anne on July 20, 2012

English: The Forgetful Professor

English: The Forgetful Professor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday I had an appointment to carry out some work about twelve miles away. Arrangements were made for me to get there at 12.30 last week when the lady of the house called me. Evidently she would be at work until then as she works a shift pattern. On Monday evening she sent me a text message to my phone to let me know that she had the necessary parts for me to install. They had been placed on order and were scheduled to be delivered on Monday. I got to the house in plenty of time, about fifteen minutes early, so I expected to have to wait. She didn’t turn up at 12.30 but I waited, I had nowhere else to go. She arrived at 1.15. I asked if she had been delayed and she said no. I wondered then why she was late arriving until she reminded me that the appointment was for 1.15! When she sent me the message confirming that she had received the parts for me to install she had included in the message an adjustment to the time I was to arrive and had asked if it was alright. Thinking she meant that I would be coming as originally planned I simply replied with a ‘yes’, not noticing the rescheduling of the appointment time! Well it was my own fault and I should be more careful in such things. No harm done, it simply made me have to wait that little bit longer. One problem with that though was that I began to feel the urge to visit the ‘ladies room’! Thinking she may not even turn up because she hadn’t arrived on time I began to wonder if I could hold it in! As it happened all turned out alright. I do some daft thing at times but they are usually only minor irritations. I think I am just an absent-minded professor but some say I’m just a silly old sod!  I missed out on lunch that day, too early to eat before I set out and too late after I had returned home. At least it made my evening meal more enjoyable as I was quite hungry by then.

Tuesday also marked the anniversary of my starting work exactly fifty years ago. I have now been in the electrical business for fifty years!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Behaviour, Electrical, Work | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Nothing special happening

Posted by Shirley Anne on June 7, 2012

I get excited by astronomical events, like the transit of Venus yesterday, although I wasn’t in a place where I could see it, wrong country, wrong time. Oh well there are another pair of transits in 2117 and 2125, maybe I’ll see them….LOL! Not much chance of that is there? Looking at the Universe around us makes me realise how short a period of time we have at our disposal in our brief existence. All the more reason to fill that time well I would have thought but it is quite surprising how much time we actually waste in our lives. Take this past weekend for instance, I did nothing special other than relax at home doing pretty much nothing of importance or noteworthy. That might seem as though I am letting my life slip by but most of the time I am up to something of one sort or another, mostly work in one form or another, exercising, walks and such or playing guitar, writing poems and songs, writing blogs, emails, reading, watching television, going to the pub, going shopping, preparing meals and a host of other things too. Somewhere amongst all of that I find time to sleep too! I suppose looking at it that way my time is pretty much filled each day and yet I still get bored and have times where I simply do very little, as with this past weekend. There has to be a time to do nothing, a time given just for ourselves, a time when nothing is that important it snatches our moments of peace and solitude.
Ecclesiastes 3
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

So nothing special to report except that life goes on as usual. I have found though that there always seems to be a time for work in my life…LOL

Shirley Anne

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Far different

Posted by Shirley Anne on May 19, 2012

Fred Neher's Life's Like That

Fred Neher’s Life’s Like That (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past week has been far different from the previous one for me in quite a few ways. I am out of the ‘couldn’t care less attitude’ I had, I have been out socialising more, I have met new people and I have been kept quite busy working too! Life’s good as they say but I’ve known that for quite some time. All in all I cannot complain and I plan to enjoy myself even more in the future whilst I am still able. Most of the news I’ve heard this past week has been quite depressing, much like it has been for some time. I hear sad things and have to try to not let it bother me but for a time I find that impossible. A recent example was the family of six children meeting their deaths through smoke inhalation after what now appears to have been an arson attack on their home. I don’t understand how anyone could do such a thing but of course there is much evil in this world. Many good things have happened too I’m sure but it is usually the bad things that we remember isn’t it? The weather has improved too, although it is still colder than it traditionally has been at this time of year and there is talk of June being equally as cold! Perhaps this year is going to be another one with a cool summer but that really doesn’t bother me too much. It won’t change any plans I might make. On a more personal note E and I are still estranged as far as communication is concerned. It has now been almost thirteen weeks since we spoke. I have all but given up on her ever apologising for her behaviour which is very sad indeed. I have to get on with my life and not let it bother me too much although I think about it often during the day. I continue to pray for her. I think about my life and how it has changed over the years like chapters in a novel with each chapter different from the others and how I have had to cope with those changes. It’s all about being adaptable I suppose and making the most of each set of circumstances I find myself in. My life now is far different to what it was even a few years ago. Whether I consider it better, well I’m not sure I’ll answer that question.

Shirley Anne

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Is this you?

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 27, 2012

Devoid

Devoid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m too busy right now to see you,

I’ve too much to do today,

If only each day had more hours,

I might have some time left to play.

How is it that each precious moment

Is filled with our own selfish things

Not wishing to spend time with others,

Pursuing our own empty dreams?

For what is a life that is lonely

Bereft of companions and friends?

A schedule whose pages are empty,

Devoid of all meaning, it ends.

So make time and space for each other,

Defer things that stand in your way,

Live life to the fullest and savour,

Those friendships before it’s too late!

Copyright Shirley Anne 4 Dec 2002 Poem listed in My Poems 5 above

It isn’t my attitude to life but it does seem to be for others I know. Living in a community, amongst family and friends, if we have any, can be difficult at times. Everyone has an agenda or an excuse. Sometimes we don’t see the need others might have for us or maybe we think they get in the way of our plans. I mean what plans are so important that we don’t have time for others? Scripture tells us and we are told only too often by others that we should love our neighbour. That doesn’t just mean those living next-door but everyone else on this planet is our neighbour, anyone we come across in life is our neighbour. If we have no time for anyone else what are we living for? There are matters to which we must attend to obviously but they don’t take up our complete life do they? Take time for one another, bear each other’s burdens if we can. I speak as a Christian but the truth of the matter remains the same for everyone.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Humanity, Life, Love, People, Philosophy, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It’s an age thing

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 13, 2012

Children playing card game, Vietnam

Children playing card game, Vietnam (Photo credit: UW Digital Collections)

I overheard a couple of teenagers talking about how things were with them a few years ago, how their games machines have improved to what they used to be. I smiled. When I was their age there was no such thing as a games machine, we had to play board games or playing-card games. It was either this or playing physical games like hide-and-seek, hopscotch, skipping, football and other ball games. I seem to remember wanting to be outdoors most of the time and reluctantly having to remain indoors whenever the weather was bad. This meant that the indoor games we had available never became boring. I was born in an age when refrigerators were only just beginning to become popular and available. No-one I knew had a telephone and any calls we might like to make had to be done in a public telephone kiosk. How things have changed as the years rolled by. The humble telephone has now become a portable computer, television, games machine, application administrator for all sorts of tasks. These days we can even navigate using the telephone, the mobile telephone that is but even the house-bound variety is beginning to catch up in some areas. Possibly there will be no such thing as a land-line telephone system in future, who knows? It seems an age since the first household computers became readily available, in fact about thirty or so years ago. How primitive they were too! Lacking computing power they were almost toys but the technology didn’t stand still. Immense progress has been made in the development of computers so much so as there are now very few areas in modern life that have not involved the use of a computer of some sort or another. When asked about computers most people immediately think of a laptop these days or perhaps a screen sitting on top of a desk together with a separate keyboard. The actual computer is sitting in the box beneath the desk or as in the case of a laptop is hidden beneath the keyboard. Computers have shrunk in size whilst growing in capability. Mainframe computers run industry and banks and they don’t look anything like the household variety but the principle is the same for both. Industrial computers do not require screens other than for inputting information, running processes or interrogation. Most of the time they are not even manned. It is the same for computers in cars and other similar things. They have no screen or keyboard and they happily beaver away behind the scenes. With such power computers have radically changed the way we play some games. They have enabled us to be actively engaged in the games that we are playing. A far cry from the simple computer games of the eighties. Each generation is born into a new age of technological achievement and advancement quite often forgetting how things used to be. It is all history to them, it is a history that is catching up rapidly. Once, long ago, things moved at a sedate pace and history was something remembered from many years, even centuries before whereas now things that happened last year are ready to be classed as history. Everything that is passed is history of course but developments are so fast today that many things have become ‘old hat’ before the warranty has expired. I remember when………

Shirley Anne

Posted in Evolution, Technology, Time | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

I can only do so much

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 3, 2011

Exercising with Good Housekeeping

Image by kevin dooley via Flickr

I am quite an active person, when there are things to do I get on with them. These days my electrical work comes and goes and I find myself either with nothing to do on some days and at other times I am fully occupied. Now I am not getting any younger, like everyone else, so I cannot do as much now as I was once able to do but even so I do far more than most people I know of the same age. I get tired of course I do but strangely enough I don’t seem to be able to sleep for longer periods than 4 or 5 hours at a time. On Wednesday morning I planned to get up early and have a stint on my treadmill as I had no scheduled work. I went to bed at 11.30 the night before but watched television until around 1 am. I woke up around 6 but that is an estimate, I don’t have a clock in the room and I couldn’t be bothered to check the time on my mobile phone. I could tell approximately that is was 6 o’clock by the amount of light coming through the chink in the curtains. I closed my eyes again and went back to sleep. I didn’t wake up until 10.30. I really must have been tired. That happens sometimes when I need that extra sleep. It can be a bit awkward as we get older, not needing much sleep and therefore having more time awake but less to do in it! Physically I can only do so much but whilst I am still able I do what I can. The important thing is to find something to keep me interested. I spent almost half an hour on the treadmill before returning upstairs to bathe and dress and had the rest of the day to myself. Most of it was spent doing household chores and pursuing my hobbies. The exercising does help by the way!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Activity, Hobbies, House and Home, Lifestyle, Rest and sleep | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Another hour

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 31, 2011

World map with temperate zones highlighted in red

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday morning at 2 o’clock we turned our clocks back an hour to compensate for the shortening daylight hours. It is really only a token gesture though for an hour gained in the morning is soon lost in the afternoon as far as daylight goes. It simply means the sun will rise an hour earlier and set an hour earlier by the clock. We can set the clock to any time we wish of course but we are creatures of habit and are used to being active during the daylight hours and not so much during the night. Talk about extending that one hour shift to two hours has been going on for years but no decisions have yet been made and in fact more recently it has been suggested we move the clock an hour forward permanently and not shift it back in Spring. It is all relative in my estimation. Take for example the reasons for shifting the clock. Originally it was to provide farmers with more daylight hours according to the clock, to be able to do their work and for children to be able to attend school, going to it and coming from it in as much daylight time as possible. Farmers of course don’t need to work to the clock. The daylight hours don’t change in quantity because of a move on a dial. Society though runs on a schedule and rather than have everyone’s schedule shifted to accommodate the fewer daylight hours it was deemed easier to simply alter the clock. It makes sense. However an extra hour in the day might be easy to swallow up and one less hour at the other end of the year catered for but two hours would be more difficult to make adjustments to. Some countries have overcome this problem by bringing about the two-hour shift in two stages, perhaps two months apart so that one hour is added (or subtracted) a month or two later than the first. This would extend the amount of daylight hours available or rather make more use of the hours we get. The further north we are on the globe though, the less effective the system becomes and if inside the Arctic Circle it is academic for the sun doesn’t rise at all for much of the time. Conditions nearer the equator remain similarly unaffected by such amendments of the clock as the changes in daylight hours are smaller. Here in the temperate zone the advantages of shifting the clock can be beneficial, not least for the extra hour in bed! Don’t remind me though that I get one hour less in Spring!

Shirley Anne

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I get these feelings sometimes

Posted by Shirley Anne on August 13, 2011

Que Sera Sera

Image by CodeCutter via Flickr

Reading other people’s blogs is one of my pastimes when online and I read a few but not too many of them, I have too many other things to do. I find what others write about very revealing and their posts often provoke me to comment. Hopefully I do that tactfully. I often find that I can offer some advice having been through similar experiences to theirs and I hope too that any advice I give is helpful and supportive. Many of the things people write about concern their everyday lives and problems, especially those who, like me have transitioned or are going through transition. They write about things like acceptance, homophobia and transphobia in particular, love, relationships and a host of other things too. Sometimes I avoid responding to some posts especially where I have strong feelings on the subject opposing what is written. One of these subjects is religion. It is hard for someone like myself who, after many years as an atheist, became a Christian who reads about the moral issues and habits of non-Christians. I have to try to tread carefully so as not to upset people with any response but at the same time wanting to witness to them. Well everyone is different of course and I sometimes feel that Que Sera, Sera will inevitably rule. I read about the problems others like myself have when facing the world with the animosity and homophobia rearing their ugly heads from time to time. When I first transitioned I was fairly often picked upon by some people who had obviously ‘clocked’ me. Not a pleasant thing to endure but endure them we must. These days only very rarely does anyone look at me twice. It is hard for people like myself to get back in the queue of life having stepped out along the way. There should be no problem getting back in line because the space we left for a spell can only be filled by ourselves, the person didn’t leave the planet, just changed appearance! In my personal thoughts I sometimes feel that I don’t quite fit in, haven’t been fully accepted, am only tolerated, I am pitied. None of these thoughts are rational for in reality I have fitted back into the slot I once left whilst making the detour. When I visited the USA a couple of years ago there was a special reason, best known to the officials at the airport in New York for separating males from females. The men were allowed through the checkpoint and the women were made to stand there like dolls in a window with all and sundry gawping at them as they passed through. It was a very uncomfortable feeling having to stand there with my sisters, on show, fully exposed and with nowhere to turn. A case for testing one’s confidence if ever there was one! I had no problem of course but I did feel a little uneasy, half expecting someone to point the finger at me. Thankfully that didn’t happen and I had no problems at all during my whole stay in that country. It is nice to know that you fit in, that you are accepted as the person you are and the gender you are and not just simply tolerated. A lifetime of dysphoria coupled with bullying results in a lack of confidence that is hard to redeem. I was once in that boat and although now a land-lubber still have pangs of anxiousness now and then. I get these feelings sometimes.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Happiness, Life, Transgender, Transsexual | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Time on my hands

Posted by Shirley Anne on February 7, 2011

This last weekend saw me with plenty of time on my hands. It has been a very wet and windy couple of days, the kind of days nobody like being outside in. I was stuck indoors hoping for some dry weather so I could carry on with the work in the garden but I suppose it was better that I rested. I wasn’t really feeling good but I usually try to work those feelings out of my system by getting involved in something. As it happened I did next to nothing, even playing my guitar didn’t change my mood like it usually does. At least today I have some electrical work to keep me occupied for a couple of hours. I can only hope that the week will improve. The weekend wasn’t completely wasted as I gave some thought to what I plan to do in other areas of the garden once I have finished the present project. Having all this time on my hands has seen me looking out of the window a lot and something I realised whilst doing that was the fact that we haven’t seen our two squirrels lately darting up and down the huge tree and into the garden. Either they are keeping a low profile while they rear their offspring or else they have abandoned their home. I am not sure when squirrels breed or when they give birth so it could be that the female is still pregnant and keeping out of sight. It is the season for owls though because I hear them in the night when they sing out with that distinctive hoot. Perhaps the squirrels have become owl food, who knows?

Shirley Anne

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Don’t speak too soon

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 15, 2010

I was lamenting the fact that my workload has dropped lately when the phone rang. Always seems to happen that way. I am not complaining about the lack of work as I am enjoying more free time for myself. I don’t feel under pressure as much as I did in the past. My age has something to do with it of course, it’s only natural to want to wind down a tad as we get older. There is no urgency to get things done nowadays. I dare not say that I work part-time, even though I do; once I admit to that one the following week finds me up to my ears in work. Everyone’s job is urgent to them of course and I often get sob stories about that. ‘If I don’t get the electrics done I can’t have the builders in’ or something along those lines is quoted. Recently one old guy had an urgent job for me to do and he called me on a Saturday morning. Well Saturday is my day off so I explained that unless it was very urgent I would call on Sunday or Monday. I went on Monday at his request. The ‘urgent’ job was simply that two upstairs lights were not working! There were table lights available for use so he wasn’t without lights. Urgent to me would be a total loss of power or a dangerous situation that needed immediate attention. I always ask questions over the phone to make sure I am not being put upon. Traditionally, the run-up to Christmas has always been a busy time of the year for me and in a way I am glad things are less so this year. The beauty about working for one’s self is that I can choose to take breaks whenever I want and this I do quite often. The calls keep coming in though! On Monday just passed, I was half-way to my dentist when the phone rang. It was another of those ‘urgent’ jobs. Although I was driving I took the call through my hands-free system and explained what I was doing but I told the client I would call in about two hours. It was a very simple job and she is a valued client so I obliged her and did it; mind you I wasn’t dressed for work because E and I were going out for lunch. The job only required the use of a small screwdriver; five minutes and it was done. Never say never and never speak too soon, you never know what is going to happen. Yesterday morning I did another small job and then spent the rest of the day at home. I have been planning several jobs around the house and garden and have started the ball rolling on those. I have outstanding orders for equipment and materials  for those jobs which prevent me proceeding further but what’s the bet that when I get them something else will prevent me doing that? I have all the time in the world…………..maybe!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Activity, Time | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

 
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