Wednesday proved to be a really nice and sunny day for a change. The weather hasn’t been that good for weeks so it was pleasant to have lasting sunshine. I went to do a job in the morning, as it turned out it wasn’t a big job but I was told they would need my services again within a few days once they have purchased the replacement lighting units they will want me to install. It turns out that the guy of the house is a friend of the manager of my local pub who had recommended me. I was also told that having worked in his sister’s house and her friend’s house too they both had recommended me. I suppose even the infamous can get recommendations! Ha-ha. I guess I must be doing something right. When it came to payment the guy insisted I take more than I had asked, which was a bit of an unexpected bonus. Whilst I had been working at the house I realised that one of my screwdrivers was missing and I then remembered where I had left it. On Monday afternoon I had installed a replacement outdoor light adjacent to the front porch and had placed the screwdriver on the low roof momentarily. I had forgotten all about it. I drove to the house which was only a couple of miles away and caught the guy just about to leave to do some shopping. He had seen the screwdriver and had taken it indoors. I should have phoned ahead so I was fortunate to have caught him at home. I thanked him but didn’t ask him why he hadn’t phoned me to let me know he had found it. Had I forgotten where I had left it I suppose he might never have told me. This has happened to me a couple of times in the past and I have lost one or two tools as a result. It proves not all people are as honest as they would have you believe.
Anyway the year has started off well and I am pacing myself as I said I would. Normally I would have returned home after a morning at work and then begin to work at home, a project or some gardening, both of which I have in my mind to do if I am able but they can wait a tad longer. As I am getting back into the swing as it were I will make a start on the things I have in mind to do, a bedroom refurbishment and of course the gardening! Just before I wrote this I called a guy to have the bedroom emptied of all the stuff that has accumulated in it whilst it has not been in use over the last few years as I would have to hire a skip (dumpster) if I was to do it myself but some of the items are far too large for me to move them myself. At least the room will then be ready for working in and hopefully I shall be too.
Come Monday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So now we are in the first Monday of the new year and I am off to do some electrical work with other work in the pipeline. Although I hadn’t advertised over the holiday it made no difference, I still got calls from people from whom I had worked before. Well it’s nice to know people do keep my cards or details for it also means they liked my work. It has seemed strange over the last couple of weeks not being involved in my usual routine and every day has felt like a weekend, in fact I have never been sure which day it was on occasion. I had been expecting some action toward the roof repairs last week for I had been promised the work would commence on Tuesday or Wednesday, at least as far as erecting the scaffolding was concerned. Alas, nobody turned up but I had half-expected that with it being so near to the new year. Had the scaffolding been erected on Tuesday I doubt any repairs would have followed the next day because the weather had made a turn for the worse again and it didn’t cease raining. As I write this on new year’s day I very much doubt we will see anything happening before Monday and if it is raining I doubt it will start then. As it is now Monday I am expecting at least a call. I shall be working for a couple of hours and perhaps longer if I get another call so I may not be available should anyone call to the house. E will have to take charge as it were but she is equally as capable of making coffee as I am for that is all that will be required and probably all my involvement if I was there. I resisted the temptation to do any gardening as I thought I might do over the two-week break and in any case the weather hasn’t been that favourable except for one or two days. I even thought I might get something done on Christmas day and would have done had it not turned out so wet and windy. It is to be expected I suppose at this time of the year. At least the electrical work will be indoors but if it isn’t even that will have to be rescheduled until the weather improves. I can’t believe the cheek of some people who really do expect me to carry out repairs outdoors when it is raining. One lady called me on New Year’s Eve asking if I could do some work for her, repairs to lighting and replacing lights in the evening because she worked during the day! I put her straight about that one and now she is arranging for someone to be at home at nine o’clock in the morning when and if I do the work. The only time I would work in the evening is if it was an emergency. Nothing changes does it?
Workload (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well last week I was run off my feet with my workload which was only possible because all but one of the jobs were small and easily manageable. During the year I seldom work more than four hours in any day but in the approach to Christmas I seem to be working more hours each day. On Monday this week for instance I had but one job scheduled for the day and that was to be done later in the afternoon. I had disconnected a cooker for someone on Saturday and I had to reconnect it on the Monday at their new address. I couldn’t have done it early in the day for there would be no-one at home. In cases like this I have to be flexible but normally any work would be done early in the day. I had arisen early in case anyone called. After my breakfast I sat reading in the lounge for an hour or so and contemplating what I was going to do about the installation of the intercom unit I had bought last week and had every intention of continuing with the work until I received a call for help. Another small job request but it was well worth doing so off I went and was back home before lunchtime. It had been a problem with an air extract fan in a bathroom ceiling which runs whenever the lights are switched on and continues to run on for a short time after the lights are switched off. The timer circuit controlling this function was at fault and required replacing. Usually these timer circuits are not readily available but as the fans themselves are very inexpensive to buy changing the whole unit is simpler. However as it happened I had a spare timer circuit which I had removed from another fan some months ago. The fan had been purchased in error by the customer who didn’t want the timer fitted but didn’t wish to waste time exchanging it. Result? I obtained the timer circuit never thinking that in a couple of months it would come in handy. Once home I cooked my lunch and had again sat down to read afterwards. This time I managed to remain seated for fifteen minutes before I received another request for my services. The strange but fortunate thing was that this caller’s address was a mere two hundred metres away from the apartment where I would be reconnecting that cooker. How convenient was that? Both jobs were done and I finally returned home for the day when it was almost time to eat again. This is the way many of my days turn out and that is why I have to shelve any ideas of working at home. Well no sooner I had eaten my evening meal when my phone rang again. That job was placed in my rota for Friday morning. Having started the week with very little to do my spare time was soon gobbled-up once again.
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?
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.