Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A well-known saying but not strictly true. If it were true then I must be one of the most wicked in the land! Remember what I wrote on Monday? This past week I have been very busy indeed, mostly working for other people and sorting out their electrical problems with only a little time spent on working on our own little kitchen project. I expect to be busy at this time of year on the lead-up to Christmas for many folk apparently must have new lighting fittings and other things installed in time for the holiday. It shows where their hearts lie. I don’t mind for it is a money-spinner for me! I am though expected to be at everyone’s beck and call by some people’s attitude. I am far more selective in what I will do nowadays but the pressure is still relentless. I only take on small jobs now but you would be surprised just how many of them I am offered and do. So it has been this past week and it has prevented me from getting much done at home but other events have happened and they too have kept me from working at home. It has been very windy and wet during the last few days but it has finally eased somewhat. It might sound crazy but people do ask me to check faulty floodlights or fit replacement ones when it is wet and windy, naturally I refuse but may offer to do the work once the weather has improved. Even so many will say they will ask someone else! I wonder if they would like working up a ladder in the pouring rain when it is windy too? Well today is Sunday and I am finally not doing anything at all for this week. Maybe the coming week will be a little easier? Maybe I’ve been too wicked and will be run off my feet? Either way doesn’t really matter but I would like to finish the kitchen project sometime this year!
Pass the second working end through the loop knot in the first working end. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had mentioned something about my lack of work in an earlier post and how sometimes my weeks start off with nothing on the books but that invariably towards the end of the week I will have had lots to do. On Monday this week I had nothing booked but on Tuesday I had two jobs to do. As I am writing this on Tuesday I cannot say if the rest of the week will follow suit though I have had some offers. I had taken E out to lunch on Monday after we had both done a little painting in the kitchen. I thought I would be able to continue the work on Tuesday but I was asked if I could do some work for a lady for whom I had worked earlier in the year. I knew the work would take me up to lunchtime and was hoping I could carry on with the kitchen work in the afternoon or at least part of it. However I received another call just as I had finished the first which I felt obliged to do. It was a call for help. A man friend of an old lady I have worked for several times had caused a fault to some power points and a light in her kitchen. He had been degreasing the surrounding tiled area to the cooker. He had sprayed the de-greasing agent onto the tiles and had then used a steam cleaner to wash it away but unfortunately it had penetrated the outlets and the light in the process. The light needed to be replaced in any case as it was damaged in other ways so I disconnected it. I replaced the two power outlets and checked others before reinstating the power supply. It was well after one o’clock by the time I had returned home. I didn’t finish my lunch until after two-thirty by which time it was going dark! The reason for the early darkness was the approaching storm we were told to expect. It would be useless to start painting in the kitchen at that hour as it would have been dark soon anyway. As I mentioned before artificial light is not ideal for painting and there is no immediate need to rush the work. A few days ago I had to take down the flag because the lower eyelet, a loop of nylon rope, had torn away from the flag and needed repairing. I sewed it back onto the flag and hoisted it up again only to find a couple of days later the rope itself had snapped leaving the flag dangling at the top. Once again I lowered the flag and removed it indoors. The nylon rope which is formed into a loop to act as an eyelet with which to attach the flag to the pole fittings had worn through and snapped in half. The flag needed a sturdier piece of rope to form the loop. We robbed a small piece from another flag’s cord and E stitched it onto the flag using nylon twine. It did the job and I hoisted the flag aloft again. On Tuesday however, the day following, I had to lower the flag again and take it indoors because of the forecasted severe weather. The flag is not supposed to be flown in winds exceeding 35 mph and we were to expect anything up to 60! The following days would be more settled and I could once again raise the flag. So it has been a case of up and down with my work, the painting of the kitchen and the raising and lowering of the flag. I know…………..life has its ups and downs!
……I suppose. I meet all sorts of people in my capacity as an electrician. When I first entered the electrical business some fifty-three and a half years ago I was often engaged in domestic installations and repairs as well as industrial and commercial situations too. That work lasted fourteen years when I took a career side-step and entered into the maintenance field for a major bank at their large headquarters. The work was far more diversified than that which I had been used to but it was also far more interesting and I was able to gain experience and qualifications in many other things besides basic electrical installations. I spent a further twenty-one years working for the same company and was also able to gain promotion and a higher level of pay. Though there were many people working at the bank I had but only brief contact with most of them.
I became self-employed some eighteen years ago and I have since spent all my time working once again in the domestic field meeting different people each day as I did when I first started in the business. Most people are good to work for but I have met some who have not been so. Thankfully they are few and far between. I was called to help an old lady who had placed her freezer on defrost and couldn’t subsequently turn it back on. There was no logical reason for there being a fault and I expected as much when I arrived there. The problem was merely the fact that she had switched on the wrong switch on the twin wall socket so in fact hadn’t switched on the freezer. She had a good excuse though as she was over ninety-two years of age! We chatted for a short time over a coffee and then I had to leave to go to my next job. She asked how much it was for my visit and I refused payment. It didn’t matter, she kept insisting that she pay me something so in the end I felt obliged to accept for fear of insulting her. It wasn’t that she couldn’t afford to pay me, far from it for she seemed quite well off in her well-appointed apartment but she wouldn’t allow me to leave without something. I had done work for her and her husband in the past but he died a couple of years ago. My next job was a bit more involved. I had to re-arrange circuit breakers and fit a main switch in a supply panel/board for another old lady for whom I had worked before. She too was getting on in years and in her mid to late eighties and her husband had also died since I was there last a couple of years ago. She was very interested in what I was doing to solve the problem she was experiencing whenever she switched on her cooker. Essentially it had been supplied through an RCD unit which also supplied other circuits. Cookers are noted for tripping these devices and therefore should not be supplied through one. especially if there are other circuits connected to it. She was very thankful for my services and even more thankful that I had kept the fee as small as I could. Later I was called to replace a ceiling light for a young guy, well younger than me! He was very amiable and helpful too. It is people like these who make my day and my work enjoyable.
Ater a few days of problems with my computers and a lack of work to drag me away from it all I was back in the thick of it on Tuesday, that is back at work. It wasn’t a straightforward day though as it might or should have been. I was on ‘light’ duties as it were but even the simplest of tasks was wrought with problems, mostly due to poorly designed fittings which do nothing to aid their installation. As someone who regularly installs light fittings and units I am well aware of the various problems I get confronted with and how to solve them but that in itself alone is not enough. I need patience and ability but sometimes get so frustrated knowing that most of the problems could easily not be there in the first place. It is usually the smallest details that spoil things, terminal boxes totally unsuitable for the wiring supposed to be connected in them, tiny fixing screws to fasten the unit to its base where longer screws could be supplied, screws almost inaccessible because of their positioning and many more things all supplied or fitted without any real thought for the person carrying out the installation. Designers are not installers but perhaps they should try out their designs before marketing them. Notwithstanding all of this I finally did the work I was asked to do and was duly paid for my services. Naturally the work took me longer than I’d expected. During my stay there I received a call from a lady wanting me to do a couple of jobs but whilst asking her for more details she decided that her husband should call me later instead. The questions I’d asked? One was ‘Do you live in a bungalow or a house’? I wanted to know how high her faulty light had been fitted as she told me it was just beneath the roof. She couldn’t answer the question! Oh come on, it can’t be that difficult a question to answer could it? It would seem so for some people.
I arrived home and prepared lunch. I wanted to call the service department where I had left my computer for repair on Saturday to see what progress had been made. As I have bought another machine in the interim I am in no hurry to get the other one back, nevertheless I needed to know if the problems had been sorted out. Only one telephone number is given for this organisation so I had to dial it only to be informed that the number had been changed. I dialled the new number and that’s when I realised I was about to go nowhere with my query. A pre-recorded family tree unfolded in my ear, if you require this then press 1, if you require this then press 2 and so on and at each stage more branches to follow. The tree must have been enormous. All I wanted was the local depots repair section, simple enough but no it had to be as complicated as they could make it whilst all the time I was paying for the privilege! I hung up and decided they will call me else I will pay them a visit within the next day or so, after all it is only a couple of miles away. not even that far. The world has gone mad, simplicity and logic has just flown out of the window and we are being left with confusion. It has been designed that way.
For quite some time now E and I have been considering a re-build of part of the long perimeter brick wall which over the years had become unstable. Part of the problem was the mound of soil, stone, bricks and builder’s rubble that had been buried beneath it. The top of that mound reached almost halfway up the wall from our side and over the years had pushed the wall from the vertical by a few centimetres and forcing a gap between the wall and the wall it was joined to. Many of the top bricks could be moved and removed by hand and there were plants growing through it, in fact there were a couple of large roots from a bramble coming from deep inside. Something had to be done especially after seeing the extent of the damage when we levelled the area last year and constructed a pathway and new mound away from the wall. Over the last couple of weeks I have been involved in the construction of the flowerbeds on the patio as my readers will know. The floor of the patio was never completely level and puddles of water would remain on the surface in some areas. The main area for this happening was where I built the large flowerbed and that was automatically resolved when the bed was constructed as it stood over the area but not all of the area was covered. Added to that problem was that fact that part of the floor surface had become rough through erosion. I have been skimming the affected areas during the past week or so and on Wednesday I finished that work first thing in the morning and sealing the surface the following day. I spent an hour laying some stone at the end of the pathway around the mound where it joins the concrete path. It should have been done months ago but it wasn’t urgent and I had been busy doing other things. Just as I was finishing that work E joined me and together we set about dismantling the rear brick wall, cleaning the bricks and storing them. E’s nephew or one of his crew will be rebuilding the wall hopefully within the next few weeks. E’s nephew is a bricklayer/builder so we know the work will be done professionally. Anyway by the time we had finished for the day it was six o’clock. I had started work at nine-thirty and was now very tired. At the time of writing this on Thursday morning there are still a few courses of bricks left to remove but today, Thursday we are taking the day off. Here are the pictures
In the last picture you can see the jungle that is part of our neighbour’s garden. It shows only a very small part but in this mess are brambles (blackberry bushes), ivy (it is everywhere) and worse of all Japanese Knotweed. Having told our neighbour last year about the necessity of removing the Knotweed they have done almost nothing about it. Knotweed is a very invasive and destructive plant and has to be removed by specialists. It is a notifiable problem and as such E has been in contact with our local authority who will pursue the matter. There is a large plot of land about two miles from our house which stands close-by the regional hospital and where a new housing estate was to be built. It has been cordoned off because Knotweed has been discovered there. No-one knows as yet what the authorities have planned to do about clearing the area. We hope our neighbour will see sense and do something about their garden as it could prove financially crippling for them otherwise. He might be forced to take action if he doesn’t respond.
A “Tropical Breeze Delux”[sic] ceiling fan, made by Moss. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It might have been a sunny day but it was windy with it. I had to dismantle and remove a ceiling fan and light combination from a conservatory ceiling at nine o’clock for an old lady living just the other side of the town centre. I was at her house last in February to replace her old fuse boards for up to date versions fitted with circuit breakers and RCD units. I may have mentioned it in a post around about that time. It didn’t take long to do and we sat down for a chat over a coffee when I had finished. On my previous visit we had talked about her smoking habit and also about my faith. This time she was keen to tell me she had given up cigarettes. However she was now using those electronic-cigarettes instead which to me are not much better as she still is left craving the nicotine. I doubt she is ready to give them up just now. As far as her moving forward with a belief in God is concerned she asks questions but so far she remains skeptical. Maybe on my next visit she will have had a change of heart who knows? Obviously I never try to persuade but simply witness. I was home again by ten-thirty having had to go to the bank first to deposit the cheque she had given me saying she hadn’t the cash to hand. It is such a pain having to visit the bank to deposit a cheque when I usually save the cash until it mounts up to a reasonable amount and go just the once every week or so. Anyway I wasn’t at home long when I got another call for help. This time the lady explained that she had lost power to her lighting circuits. Off I went and sorted out the problem and was back home again within the hour. This time I was paid in cash and was given more than I had asked. I was also asked to return at a later date to repair several recessed ceiling lights in her kitchen as most of them were not working. I was glad that I had the opportunity to earn something from these two jobs as I’d had only one other during the week which although paid well wasn’t by itself enough to cover my expenses and give me a wage for the week too. I am happy if I get two or three jobs on average each week for then it makes it worthwhile continuing to work. Not having too much electrical work allows me the opportunity to work at home or do other things though, which is nice. It was a sunny Thursday so I spent some time out on the patio enjoying it, out of the wind of course!
Whenever I am feeling tired this song plays in my mind. Hardly surprising I suppose. I think my lifestyle is catching up on me though, the work I mean. Over the last couple of days I have felt drained and not wanting to do anything that means getting out of an armchair yet at the same time I am ready to work and go out of my way to do it. The strange thing is that when I am working I feel great. It is only when I stop do I feel tired. I am at my best when doing some work. Over the weekend just passed I had done next to nothing, the only exception was the planting of some flowers in the new flowerbed and in fact E did half the work anyway. It must have taken us a whole ten minutes! So on Monday morning I was glad that I had an electrical job to do about a mile from home. Actually it was a few small jobs rather than just the one. They didn’t take me long to do and I spent more time chatting with the lady than what I had spent doing the work. It pretty much took up the morning and I was home for lunch. A few weeks ago whilst sitting on the throne in the new bathroom upstairs I noticed that one of the lights flickered when first turned on and I forgot all about it until last Monday and as I had some spare time I investigated the matter. I found that the cable connections could be tightened and I think that was the problem for the light seems okay now after my tightening them up. That took a whole five minutes too. I was bored. I am waiting for an improvement in the weather so that I can construct the other two flowerbeds on the patio. I am waiting for an opportunity to start refurbishing one of the bedrooms but until my two sons let me know what of their possessions stored in there do they actually want to keep! We need a small skip (dumpster) to dump some of it, beds, chairs, cases, all sorts of rubbish no longer required. So I have things to do but cannot do them and in the meantime…………………….
Women Employed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
……early to rise, makes a man (or woman) healthy, wealthy and wise. Do you remember this snippet of wisdom taught to you when you were young? I used to think it applied to others and not myself but then I got wise. Staying up till the late hours and then sleeping in the following day has never been a way of life for me ever since I began my working life. Of course there were days when I did stay up late and did sleep in the following morning but they have been few. Being as I am self-employed and that since 1997, the saying has more of a meaning than it once did. When working for someone else or an organisation the tendency is often to do only that asked of you and no more. That principle doesn’t apply to everyone for there are those who give their all irrespective of whether they are self-employed or not and that is a good thing, Speaking as a Christian it is right and proper to put 100% effort and interest in your work, especially if it is for and on behalf of your employer. Now if that employer happens to be yourself you can see the reason for this approach for if you are lazy you will be the one to suffer. Even before I became a Christian I applied this principle to my approach to work. I took pride in my work and was rewarded for it by way of promotion and better prospects. Since becoming self-employed, which incidentally was only eight years after I became a Christian, it was natural for me to continue to give my all. It is a biblical teaching too. So from the first tentative days of being self-employed to the present day I can say that I have become (more) healthy, wealthy and certainly more wise! I have been telling everyone that I am now working part-time, have become semi-retired but in reality I am finding my income remains almost as it was a few years ago and I am better off than ever. I try not to work too hard but occasionally I find myself putting in more hours than I had intended though nothing like I used to, after all I am approaching seventy years of age! I meet other people of a similar age and find that those who seem to be more agile and hard-working into their old age fare much better than those who don’t. They too retire early and rise early ready to catch the proverbial worm. Laziness is the seed which produces poverty and poor health.
Zombie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I must point out that I don’t believe in zombies in the literal sense but sometimes I feel how a fictional being like a zombie might feel and that is usually when I have had little sleep. Such was the case on Sunday night. I must have arisen five times during the night and although it wasn’t specifically to visit the bathroom I did so anyway. I just couldn’t get more than an hour’s sleep before waking up and from what I remember I tossed and turned countless times. Now some might suggest that either I wasn’t tired, which wasn’t the case, or that I had things on my mind, which was probably the case. I was tired, very tired but it made no difference. I was caught up in my thoughts, events in my life, my home life, my job, my family, you name it and I was thinking about it. The more I tried the more I failed until finally at around 5.15 I made the move to get up. I had to be up and out quite early for the first and only job for the day. I was to arrive before 8 o’clock and fortunately I didn’t have to leave the house until five minutes before as the apartment I was to work in was only a mile away in the town centre. The job itself was straightforward though a little awkward in part but by the time I arrived I was feeling so tired I thought I’d never get it done. Once I started however my tiredness left me. One good thing about it though was that the lady insisted on paying me far more than I had asked. I was back home before 10 o’clock and sorting out some problems with my computer yet again! That now has been sorted, at least for the time being and everything seems to be working fine. Before I went to work I got out the hose in the rear garden and watered the plants as the forecast was dry and sunny weather ahead. Even though I had watered them the night before I felt it necessary to keep them well watered by doing it again. A day or two earlier I noticed some of the plants had begun to wilt due to the heat and a lack of water. During the warmer and dry days I tend to water the garden frequently, unfortunately it waters the weeds too! I need not have bothered watering them this time for whilst I was out at work it rained heavily for a short time. No matter, at least I knew the ground would stay moist longer. The afternoon was wall-to-wall sunshine and I was able to relax on the patio watching the weeds growing! The cuttings I took from a shrub a couple of days ago have met with partial success in that two of the three cuttings don’t appear to be showing any signs of dying off but the third one might not be as fortunate. It may be that they will all take or all die. I will just have to wait and see, that is if I can stay awake!
Tuesday was set to be an easy day as I was to simply install a couple of new lighting fittings. That however couldn’t be done until two o’clock in the afternoon as the caller would be at work until then. I got up early to shower, dress and have breakfast all before eight o’clock after which I spent a little time in the garden before returning indoors to enjoy a cup of coffee. I had just sat down with the coffee when the house phone rang. It was a call from a customer I had worked for some years ago who asked if I was still working. Half of the lights in his house were not working and in fact kept tripping out the supply if they were switched on. I explained that I was still working but that I had a job to go to at two o’clock. It would allow me to spend some time trying to sort out his problem beforehand. I took a sip of my coffee, disposed of the rest then drove to his house a few miles away. The first thing I had to do once there was to refit a light that had come away from the ceiling and which had some of the wiring loose or disconnected. It was one of those little jobs that should have taken only a few minutes but in fact took me about half an hour due to the problems associated with it.
The fault still remained so now it was a case of a process of elimination by gradually working through the wiring system until the location of the fault could be found. That took me about three hours for part of the circuitry had been unconventionally installed but finally I found the fault location to be somewhere in the bathroom wiring, the last section of the lighting circuit! I left that part of the circuit disconnected from the previous light fitting as I didn’t have enough time to proceed any further. I only had enough time to replace the several switches which had to be removed whilst checking for the fault. By now it was well after one o’clock and my next appointment was at two. I couldn’t have gone any further with the bathroom fault anyway because I needed the loft area above the bathroom clearing of all the items stored up there and that would take some time. The guy told me he would clear it all away and then I could return the following morning to hopefully locate and repair the fault. On arrival at the second job I again expected it to be simple and straightforward. Now why would I think that? Everything was against me and every minor hitch became a problem, for instance short wires, poor fixings in the ceiling, new light fittings which needed adjustments and shortening of flexes and chains. To make matters worse there were three lights to fit and not two and immovable beds in the way! I plodded on and got everything done but by now it was after three-thirty and I was hungry, breakfast had been seven and a half hours ago. I drove to my local pub and had lunch there but didn’t get it until well after four o’clock. Whilst I waited I chatted with some friends I hadn’t seen for ages and they along with other family members were slowly getting inebriated whilst celebrating their daughter’s twenty-sixth birthday. After a while they left in a cab to go into the town to continue with their ‘celebrations’ and then my lunch was served. Lunch tastes so much nicer when waiting so long to be able to eat it!
Claw hammer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just as I thought the day was going to be boring with nothing for me to do it all changed with a phone call. I had been up and about for almost four hours on Monday morning and it was still only nine o’clock. I have gotten into the habit of retiring early and getting up early too but I am not sure how long that will last. Anyway I had eaten breakfast by a quarter to six and had spent some time reading The Bible. I decided to re-read the whole Bible again from beginning to end earlier in the year and have now reached the last few books and am in the book of Hebrews. This I think is the 34th or 35th reading and I never tire of it, in fact I learn something new each time I read it! That’s one in the eye for those who love to dispute Scripture most of whom maybe have read it once or not all of it. It takes years to fully understand the whole of Scripture but I make no boasts regarding my knowledge of it. Even after so many readings there are still questions. I digress. As a matter of fact I was out on the patio and had just closed my Bible after having read quite a lot and was just admiring some of the flowers close-up when my phone rang. It was a call from a local man for whom I had done some work previously and he was asking me if I could check out a faulty power outlet that supplied his washing machine. I was there fifteen minutes later sorting out the problem. In fact the outlet was indeed faulty and the neutral half of the supply was disconnected because of a burned terminal I learned after I had removed it. It was one of those jobs seemingly set up originally to be awkward to work on. I am right-handed (though I can work with either hand) and the outlet was hard against the left-hand side of the space where it was located. It was also positioned behind where the machine sat. The outlets fixing screws were seized and could not be unscrewed because the steel box sunk into the concrete rendered wall, yes concrete, had severely rusted up. Some time ago there had been a water leak and the wall had gotten wet. Now you would think the power outlet would have been checked at the time but alas it seems not. I had to use a claw hammer in order to remove the outlet so that I could disconnect the wiring and reposition a new outlet this time inside the adjacent kitchen unit to the machine. Working in confined spaces is an art only perfected by years of struggling in similar situations and I have had plenty of those. Experience only counts when considering how best to approach a problem and it helps more than a little in its execution! The problems are still the same no matter how experienced we are. Knowing Percival Veerance and Patience Strong helps a lot! It took me a little less than an hour and a half and I was finished. I actually like these little jobs for they pay very well and can be quite challenging. Recently I have been taking stock and remembering all the different things I have been involved with in my life’s work. Much of my working life has involved maintenance in one form or another and that means plenty of experience in fault-finding and finding solutions to problems. So I take pride in the knowledge that I can provide solutions for the problems people ask me to resolve for them, even those such as the one I had on Monday morning.
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 51st week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Wednesday evening I was in bed around ten-thirty and although my eyes were closed I could see the bright flash of lightning illuminating the room. I got out of bed and opened the window so that I could watch Nature‘s wonderful display and I wasn’t disappointed. Sheet lightning lit up the clouds from the inside every few seconds then streaks flashed from one end of the sky to the other almost in slow-motion as I gazed at the wonderful display. Occasionally I would see streaks between the sky and the ground. Slowly the storm moved northward but just as I thought it was all over another small storm blew over the house. Eventually all was calm but it was now raining and I was glad about that. I love thunderstorms and could watch them for hours. I had watered the gardens earlier in the evening and it didn’t seem enough, especially for the lawn, for it had been quite a hot and humid day. It wasn’t as hot as the weather girl had claimed for we had been told that Wednesday had been the hottest day of the current heat wave and certainly of the year but in fact Tuesday had been warmer and very humid too. Now the gardens would be fully watered and I wouldn’t need to do it in the morning as I had been doing lately. I woke up on Thursday morning to bright sunshine but it was cloudy too and noticeably cooler I discovered later. I had no work scheduled and was expecting or hoping for some to turn up but no-one called until later. The first call was from the couple I in whose house I had worked in on Tuesday telling me that they had lost all their electrical power so I talked them through some checks they could do themselves to see if they could reset the supply. However from what they told me the fault lay outside their home so I asked them to check with their neighbours to see if their supplies were okay. It seems they too were having problems. It turned out that the electrical storm of the previous evening had outed a high-voltage piece of equipment in a local sub-station. I could not help them. The second caller was asking me to do work I am no longer involved in doing so I declined her invitation. The rest of the day was spent at home doing very little and as the day progressed it became wetter outside so I couldn’t even sit out on the patio. As it was Thursday E spent most of the afternoon out shopping for food. Friday was promised to be a better day as far as the weather was concerned but as for work, well as I write this on Thursday evening I have none, however that might change. I had been tempted to dine-out yet again on the day but I resisted and cooked at home. I can always dine out tomorrow, that is if I am not working!
Unsettled (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yesterday I wrote about things grinding to a halt or at least slowing right down but today was another day. It is Thursday afternoon as I write this and the sun is shining once again. If you remember it had been rather a dull day yesterday. The month of June should be more settled than it has become for we are not promised wall-to-wall sunshine in the next few days and it has been that way for much of the months so far. It was however quite warm and sunny last week. No point in complaining about something over which we have no control now is there? My work pattern is pretty much the same, unsettled. On Sunday E told me about the trouble she was having in opening and closing the roller door on the garage she uses. I managed to get it working again but I needed more information regarding the control circuit if I was to make an adjustment myself. I decided to call the guy who installed the door and who carries out repairs but he wasn’t available on Sunday. I didn’t expect him to be but I just wanted to leave him a message, which I did do. Unfortunately he hadn’t responded by Thursday (today as I write) morning so I called him again. He apologised for forgetting about the message I’d left and we made arrangements for him to call sometime in the afternoon. It meant I would have to remain at home during the afternoon, something I wanted to do anyway so that I could receive instructions on which adjustments I needed to do if the problem arose again. E would be out shopping with her mom in the afternoon. I decided to take the small step-ladder from my van parked in the other garage and place it in the garage ready for use later but just as I was about to do that I received a call from someone asking me to do a small job for them. I agreed to go as I wouldn’t be away from home more than an hour and I would be back at noon. The lady wanted a light replacing and when I arrived she looked surprised as I was dressed in some nice and bright summer clothes. She asked how long I had been an electrician and when I told her she couldn’t believe it. As I mentioned I had been in the business for 53 years to the month it followed that I must be around 70 years old. Now she really was amazed for I do not look as old as my years. I told her I was 69 and that ‘my secret’ is that I plug myself into the mains every night to recharge my batteries! She couldn’t stop laughing. She left me to finish the job as she was about to go to work but her teenaged son was at home. Five minutes later I was leaving the house myself. So everything changes and now I am waiting for the next request and at this very moment the guy to attend on the garage door.
It Ain’t My Fault (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Looks like my weekends now run from Sunday to Monday with extra days free thereafter because my weekly work schedule is beginning to morph into a set late routine, no work at the beginning of the week then everyone wants my services from Thursday onwards! If I knew it would stay that way I could arrange to do other things on my ‘days off’ but it doesn’t work that way does it? Often I will get calls from people who know they want some electrical work doing but end up sitting on it then calling me late in the day or the week, and expect me to be available immediately. That happened on Thursday evening when I received an unexpected call from a regular customer who told me that one of his household circuits had been tripping out for days. Why didn’t he call me earlier when I had no work? As it happened I was returning to a house I’d been working in last week by arrangement the following morning and I was unable to accommodate him immediately. I found that I could have gone to his job in the afternoon on Friday as I had finished what I had to do at the first job but as things turned out I am glad I didn’t. The morning’s work had left me a little tired and when I got home for a late lunch something had arrived through the post which needed immediate attention so I had to go out again. By the time I finally got home it was getting late in the afternoon and I needed something to eat. As for the guy with the faulty circuit I had explained over the phone what steps he should take to try to reinstate the circuit and then call me again if the fault hadn’t been located. I suspected it might simply have been a faulty appliance and not the circuit itself. I told him that if the fault remained then I might be able to get there later the next day but as I have just explained, that wasn’t possible. He did leave a message on my house phone explaining that he had done what I had suggested but the fault remained. I called him to make arrangements to go there the following morning, Saturday. Up and until Thursday afternoon I had no electrical work scheduled though I had plenty of requests. Unfortunately those jobs were far too big for me to take on. The job I did late on Thursday afternoon involved locating a fault in someone’s garage circuit, which turned out to be a partially bare live conductor touching an earthed box. A simple repair solved that problem but I did find that the whole set-up needed bringing up to date with a new supply cable and control board. The present layout is far from being satisfactory and no protection is provided against possible electrocution. One really dangerous discovery was the ‘male’ half of a power point, that is the half fitted with protruding pins, had been connected to the electrical supply and the pins were exposed to the touch. It is the ‘female’ half of the assembly, the part with concealed receptacles, which should have been connected to the supply. I pointed this out to the guy, who by the way had installed it himself, that he should not leave it in such a dangerous state. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing indeed and I often see the results of those doing it themselves who by doing so place themselves in great danger of electrocution. In this case I have a feeling that I will be offered the job of updating the installation some time in the future.
Isn’t Life Terrible? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It all started on Saturday, though that day presented us with bright sunshine all day long. However it was also very windy as was the following day, which was also wet at times. They told us the temperature was about average for the time of year but because of the wind it felt quite cold. I stayed indoors over the weekend. The whole of this week promised to be little different, not a bit like Spring at all. As I write this on Sunday evening I have no electrical work scheduled but if my readers will remember my saying that is often the case at the beginning of the week. Pottering about in the garden or going for walks is less attractive a pastime when it is wet, windy and cool so if the lack of work continues away from home I shall be very bored indeed! Because of my unfortunate circumstances at home I have reluctantly ceased continuing with my domestic projects. I feel I am just being taken for granted so the work has stopped for the present at least. I don’t wish to be housebound though despite the bad weather so I will have to venture out sometimes won’t I? I make it sound like being in a prison and in fact it sometimes feels that way. Perhaps I need an interest outside of my home but I’m not sure what that could be. The problem is that I am still available for electrical work so I have to be free to do it. I have either to retire completely and be available to do something else if that is what I desire but I cannot see the point in that idea. So I bide my time and simply wait to see what develops and hope the weather gets better in the meantime!