All calls with trunking (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Throughout Monday I received but four phone calls asking me to do some electrical jobs. However I accepted none of them for they were either too large, too far away for the job to be cost-effective or asking me to repair specialist equipment in hairdressing establishments and houses. I hadn’t any work at all to do on Monday and only one job in the pipeline at that time which was scheduled for Wednesday. I was contacted about that job and was asked if I could reschedule the work for the following Wednesday instead. Very little work could be done on the bedroom project except applying the top coat of gloss paint to the woodwork but E wouldn’t hear of it as she wants to do that work herself; she has after all done all the preparation and undercoating of the woodwork so is entitled to have first choice. The only other work left to do besides perhaps changing the radiator control valve which requires a drain-down or partial drain-down of the system in order to do it, is screwing down the loose floorboards. That will only take an hour at most so as far as the project is concerned for me it is finished until the furniture has been constructed in a few week’s time. The weather has been wet and windy, though not as bad as it has been in the south of the country but nevertheless not nice for working outside. There are one or two jobs I would like to get done in the garden before the onset of Spring, pruning back some of the trees and digging out a few plants or resiting them. The weather is too poor at the moment so I have to wait. Things haven’t worked out as I had planned last year in one or two areas and had they done so I would have something to do in my at-home spare time, things like the outside toilet project which as yet has not really been started. The only thing preventing that work from getting underway is having a new opening for a door to be knocked out and an original doorway blocked up. That work could have been done in the Summer had E’s nephew found the time to do it for us. Maybe this year it will get done if all goes well and of course we have the funds to do it. At this moment all I want is four calls for work which I am happy to undertake. I have the rest of the week for it to happen!
It Doesn’t Matter (Wyclef Jean song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m crazy so people tell me but what do they know? I actually like work! Why is that? It is all about being occupied, about not wanting the boredom that comes from having nothing to do. Now I suppose I could travel here and there and spend my time filling my life with meaningless pastimes.The problem with that is I get no pleasure in wasting time that can be spent working. The things that held my interest in years gone by have done just that, gone by. My outlook on life has changed quite a lot, especially within the last couple of years. Much of that is due to my religious beliefs for I now see just how pointless are the many things people see as being important in their lives. What does it really matter if we surround ourselves with material things or not? Does it matter if we spend all of our time travelling about or staying at home, dining out or eating in? The answer is absolutely nothing! ‘ 15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.’ (Ecclesiastes 8) So it all depends upon what we like to do for no matter what that might be it makes no difference. We all end up in the grave, that is our flesh of course. This being the case I fill my time working in one way or another, though naturally not all of the time. I have been eager to get into the gardens, especially the rear garden where more has to be maintained in order to do some pruning and clearing away of yet more leaves. Yes, although the leaves have ceased falling I haven’t been able to get into the garden to clear them away but they are in places where they are unlikely to move any further. I also want to dig out a few plants and one or two small trees that are over-populating one section of the border they are in. The main reason for not having done any of this work has been the terrible weather over the last week or more, high winds and rain, lots of both. As I write this on Sunday evening the weather has finally changed for the better and I may be able to do some of the work in the week ahead. E hasn’t as yet finished applying gloss paint to all the woodwork in the kitchen and therefore I haven’t been able to do any touching-up of the emulsion on the walls. That will take minutes rather than hours though and the kitchen will be finished. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow, maybe not but it doesn’t matter does it?
Young Phoenix Canariensis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The weather changed rather suddenly on Sunday. The morning was bright and sunny for the most part then the afternoon became cool and cloudy. The wind had increased too. Ideal conditions for working outdoors but not for me being as it was Sunday. To be perfectly honest I was feeling a little tired from the work I had done on Saturday. I might add though that my toothache had gone because the anti-biotics are doing their work. The brickwork and the concrete had all set solid overnight so later in the day, that is Sunday, I hosed the area to see how and if the water would drain properly. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post it is difficult to build a sloping surface with wet concrete. I would have to apply more concrete to make it better. That I hope will be done by the time you are reading this. The plan is to do more work on Monday, weather and electrical work permitting. As long as it doesn’t rain i should be able to do more. One of the Phoenix Canariensis plants is trying to push its way out of its container, an indication of root growth I think meaning a healthy plant. The sooner I can complete the flowerbed construction the sooner I can re-plant the two of the largest plants. I propose to construct two separate smaller beds to accommodate the other two plants but at this point I am not sure when I will do that. I have also been thinking about over-winter protection for all of the Phoenix Canariensis plants and what to do about it. There is plenty of time at the moment to sort that problem out. The weather might change quickly but time doesn’t thank goodness. Thinking about time though I often find that it seems to go nowhere. I wonder where my days have all gone, one minute it is Spring and then it is Autumn but that is an age thing. I remember as a child the seemingly endless days of Summer but of course children don’t have the same concept of time as we do. Speaking for myself I see the urgency in getting things done before I am overtaken by time and not being able to complete them. So far, as I write this I have nothing else scheduled and nothing to stand in the way of getting on with my project. Let’s hope there are no sudden changes for the worse in the weather in the meantime.
Revolving earth at winter solstice on the northern hemisphere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today marks the time of the Summer Solstice, the point in the Earth’s annual orbit around the Sun when we in the Northern Hemisphere of our planet experience the longest daylight hours in the day. Naturally those living in the Southern Hemisphere will be experiencing their shortest number of daylight hours in the day. After today we begin once again to drift back to Winter and for those in the south, Summer. We mark time using our calendars but did you ever wonder how we ended up with the calendar, the months, the seasons, how in fact we measure time and for what purpose? We mark time because we need uniformity in our lives and to be able to conduct business and social engagements with each other. In our day-to-day routines we don’t necessarily need to have absolute accuracy in our time keeping but just enough to make things work. Below is an extract from a website dedicated to Calendars. The link to the site is shown below this extract. It is filled with some very interesting facts about our calendar…….
‘Our units of temporal measurement, from seconds on up to months, are so complicated, asymmetrical and disjunctive so as to make coherent mental reckoning in time all but impossible. Indeed, had some tyrannical god contrived to enslave our minds to time, to make it all but impossible for us to escape subjection to sodden routines and unpleasant surprises, he could hardly have done better than handing down our present system. It is like a set of trapezoidal building blocks, with no vertical or horizontal surfaces, like a language in which the simplest thought demands ornate constructions, useless particles and lengthy circumlocutions. Unlike the more successful patterns of language and science, which enable us to face experience boldly or at least level-headedly, our system of temporal calculation silently and persistently encourages our terror of time.
“It is as though architects had to measure length in feet, width in meters and height in ells; as though basic instruction manuals demanded a knowledge of five different languages. It is no wonder then that we often look into our own immediate past or future, last Tuesday or a week from Sunday, with feelings of helpless confusion.’
Robert Grudin, `Time and the Art of Living’
Result improperly joined aluminum and copper wires in old USSR apartments, done by qualified electrician (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well I pottered about on Tuesday with nothing to do but come Wednesday some work came my way. The first job was to refit a fan unit in someone’s sun-bed. Now I had already told the customer over the phone that I do not carry out repairs to appliances as a rule (I once did) but because her description of the fault made it sound such a simple task I said I would call in and have a look. A little after the phone call someone else phoned for my services, someone for whom I had worked previously on a couple of occasions. Most of their household lighting was out of action through a fault. I told them I would call after I had done that first small job. Now when I arrived at that first job I remembered that I had been there previously too, a couple of years ago when they had moved in and wanted some outside power outlets and other things fitted. I looked at the faulty fan and discovered it was unserviceable, the fan blades were broken and the fan bearing had worn dramatically because of that. Instead of getting the fan repaired immediately they had continued to use it making the fault even worse. A replacement fan should be easy enough to order over The Internet and I offered to fit it once they had bought the replacement unit, though in fact it could be done by themselves it is that easy. In some respects my journey there was a waste of time though I could end up returning there at a later date. That job, or non-job, was more or less en-route to the second, though the second job was twelve miles distant so although it had been, if you like, a waste of time, it wasn’t an inconvenience. Tracing a fault in a lighting circuit is far more of a challenge, especially where the circuits were installed some time ago when under the floor junction boxes were used. Fortunately this house wiring had been installed in more recent times so that all the connections could be found inside the ceiling roses or behind the ceiling light fittings. No need to lift floorboards. That was just as well for they had laid new oak flooring over the old floorboards in most of the rooms! I discovered a faulty cable inside one of the roses and disconnected it. I was then able to switch on the power. To my amazement all the lights worked despite my disconnecting that cable. Evidently someone had installed a replacement cable from the distribution board to the lights as the original one had been faulty perhaps because a nail had been driven through it. Unfortunately when the new cable was installed they had forgotten to disconnect the faulty one! How it had managed to continue to work is a wonder in itself. Perhaps the original fault had temporarily disappeared only to reappear again later. If the fault was caused by a nail in the floorboards for instance, walking on the boards might cause an intermittent recurrence of that fault. It had to be disconnected completely. In this instance it appears not to have been. I was paid well at this job which more than compensated for the first where I wasn’t paid at all, though I wouldn’t have accepted a payment in any case. I joked about my fee which didn’t include a basic lesson in electricity generation and distribution for they had asked why we now have in this country, brown and blue wiring. I had to explain some of the history behind it too. Actually (for those who are not electricians) there are three ‘live’ conductors or supplies, brown, grey and black and a blue neutral. Those colours used to be red, yellow and blue with a neutral in black. For domestic simplicity and safety the basic colours chosen within a house would be red and black (with a green earth) in the old system but brown and blue (with a green or green and yellow earth) in the new system. Electrical generation and distribution is far more complicated that this of course and I cannot expound any more here. I arrived back home and had put the van in the garage around two o’clock. A message awaited me on the house phone (why people insist on calling me on the house phone during working hours is beyond me), it was from an old lady who lives about three-quarters of a mile from my house and for whom I have done several jobs in the past, though I hadn’t been there for two years. During that absence her husband had developed cancer of the bladder and had died. One of her grandchildren had been playing inside a cupboard where an electrical cable was exposed and she wanted it disconnecting thinking it was still ‘live’. I decided to go there immediately but found that it had actually been out of use for many years and in fact had already been disconnected at source. I made the ends safe just in case and pushed the cable beneath the floor out of harm’s way. Whilst there I saw her deceased husband’s collection of cast metal toy vehicles, cars, buses and other things all inside display cabinets. They were all in pristine condition and she told me that their original cardboard boxes were stored away and were also in pristine condition. Furthermore he had a large collection of silver teaspoons in display cabinets also in pristine condition. In total there must be many thousands of pounds worth of collectables in the house. She told me they were insured to a value of £20,000. That is probably a conservative estimate considering what these things sell for at auction. I advised her to have them evaluated so that she can sell them at a fair price. She intends to do just that.I am sure her departed husband would encourage her to sell them rather than just have them taking up wall space. That would be a waste of time and money!
Christmas Dawn The sun rises late in midwinter this far north. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well not actually a couple of days, more like five but after then the days begin to get longer once more. Trouble is the weather will get worse before it gets better, worse that is if you don’t like it cold, wet and windy! That’s how it will be here where I live anyhow. I almost hate this time of year knowing what is to come in that respect. Our house faces, that is the front of it faces south-west and if the sun is out after mid-day it shines directly into the rooms. At this time of year it lights-up the wall facing the window and illuminates half of its height upwards from the floor. As the seasons progress it begins to shine on the floor only and by the time it is midsummer it is so high as to only shine on a narrow strip of the floor close to the window. In a couple more days after midwinter’s day it will be Christmas day of course. Actually I don’t know why it is called midwinter as in fact it marks the beginning and not the middle of it! In a couple of days, in fact Christmas Eve I will be hanging up my electrical ‘hat’ for a couple of weeks, unless….well you know how it goes. The way things are going at the moment I may have to cease my electrical work anyway. I am told that I have the early stages of osteoarthritis. I can’t see the condition improving in my hands but who knows? I have found that whilst I am working or even just up and about there is no stiffness in my hands. That probably won’t last forever though. I have to take each day as it comes. In the meantime my work is still keeping me that busy I am turning down more offers almost every day. In a couple of days or so I will be able to rest from it all for a while.
Approaching autumn. A few days past the autumnal equinox and the bramble leaves are turning. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Now it is three days into the Autumn by the clock, as we passed through the Equinox around the 23 rd of the month, and the weather has been surprisingly warm. I always wondered why my parents married at the Equinox for it marked their wedding anniversary when they were alive. Thinking about times and dates my youngest brother has his birthday anniversary on 23 rd of April which not only marks the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birthday but also the day he died. It is also St George’s Day, the patron saint of England. It is easy to remember special days when they coincide with other special or noteworthy days and dates. Many folk celebrate the days of the Equinox in Winter to Spring and Summer to Autumn as well as the Solstices in June and December. I have no idea why they would want to do that even though they will have a reason or will have manufactured one. Most people I think make a special effort to celebrate certain days of the year such as New Year‘s eve and Christmas Day but not necessarily days held sacred or special to others. Days such as the Autumnal Equinox will have passed unnoticed by many people. We are three days into Autumn noted by myself if not by those around me. I remember the days like I remember my multiplication tables but not for any special reason, I don’t make a fuss or feel the need for a celebration for any of them. To me every second counts as the one before, every day is the same as the one preceding it. What is more important I feel is that each new day should bring with it enlightenment and a desire to make it better than the last. I am looking forward to Autumn without neglecting the present and I will certainly remember anything special that might happen on any day though probably not the day or date itself unless the event was exceptionally notable.
Days Have Gone By (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Memory is a strange thing. I can remember many things in great detail, events, people, words spoken to me, conversations and so on from years ago but not the days on which they happened and I am apt to forget things that happened only yesterday, again unless they happen to be exceptional or they are of some importance to me. It is different for everyone I am sure. The next most memorable dates for me will be 11 th and 14 th October as they are birthday anniversaries for those in my family with the second date an anniversary of sorts for me too, a day I cannot forget for it marks one of a number of very special events in my life.
Pressure Gauge (Photo credit: wwarby)
When I was much younger I took the pressures of my working life in my stride, in fact I relished in it for the sense of achievement I attained in coping with it all. As I grew older the enthusiasm didn’t fade and the work was just as plentiful and demanding but again I took it all in my stride though I would end up tired at the end of a busy day. Nowadays however my workload has diminished, mostly because I have engineered it that way. I simply do not want or need too much pressure in my working life now for the simple reason that I cannot undertake the same volume of work I once could manage quite easily. I still like the pressure often involved in my work and the challenges it presents so often but I have the sense to keep my work to a minimum. Occasionally though I sometimes feel the floodgates have been opened wide and I am faced with a deluge of requests. This past week has been one of those times, the work, though small jobs, have been coming in thick and fast. The work I have been doing in the garden has been spasmodic because of this and of course the weather but this weekend, Friday E and I will be hiring a large van for the second time so that we can return our youngest sons’ furniture to Manchester and into his and his girlfriends’ newly bought house. They of course will be shifting the furniture with us. After much hassle and legal frustrations surrounding the purchase of their property they were able to gain possession on Monday. Already I have been asked to check over some of their electrical equipment and wiring! I will take a toolbox with me on Friday just in case there is something that needs immediate attention. Even as I write this on Tuesday evening I have received three calls for my services and people ask me when I am going to retire! I remember the film called ‘Predator’ where one of the characters, nicknamed Blain I believe, was wounded and was bleeding. One of the others told him that he was bleeding to which he replied ‘I don’t have time to bleed’. That’s a bit like my position, I don’t have time to retire!
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.
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?
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.
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.
- The Future (chelseahmichelle.wordpress.com)
- Repair the Future (christsreflections.wordpress.com)
- Hopes Not Hurts (hope4usnow.wordpress.com)
- The Paradox of Past, Present, and Future: Dreams (sincerelyourstruly.wordpress.com)
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.
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.
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.