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!
Strawberry ice cream in a cone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I sat out on the patio after lunch on Wednesday I was beginning to think my working week would be a complete non entity. I was enjoying an ice cream cone when my phone rang. It was a woman for whom I had worked about eight years ago who had at that time cut out my advertisement in case she needed my services again. Why she had done that I am not sure for I usually hand out a business card anyway. I had installed a replacement shower unit for her at that time which evidently was still in working order but this time she simply wanted a light replacing with a more modern one. I have a minimum charge I levy which covers my travelling time, fuel and actually doing the work but even then some people think it is too much, They want it doing for next to nothing, like the guy who called me on Monday wanting me to work late in the day and on a weekend too for it was inconvenient to have me to do the work during the normal working week and who also moaned about the price! I refused the work. So off I went to replace the light for this lady who lives twelve miles distant from my house. As the job was extremely easy I charged her £5 less than I would normally have done. I was happy, she was happy. As I write this on Wednesday evening I am not sure if I will get any more work for the remainder of the week but at least that one job has covered the cost of my weekly advertisement. (By the way I did get more work before the end of the week). I was going to go to the pub again for my lunch but decided against the idea and rustled up a meal at home. In any case I like cooking so it isn’t an inconvenience for me except if I have been working hard, then I sometimes don’t wish to start cooking and I eat out instead. Had I done that on Wednesday I might have missed the call, especially if I had been inside the pub where the phone signal is so weak due to the roof being totally covered in lead! Connecting to the Internet whilst in the pub isn’t a problem for as with most places these days they have a router installed. It is just the phone signal which is impeded though not all system providers are affected. I just happen to be using one that is!
Weather with You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We waited patiently for the onset of Spring and it looked at last as if the days could only get warmer but this is the UK and our weather patterns are never always reliable. On Wednesday at least the country was more or less split in half regarding the weather. Those in the south were enjoying temperatures and sunshine more typical for the month of June or even July whereas those up north had to put up with cloudy skies and low temperatures and even rain in some places too. Temperatures in the south were in the low twenties and even as high as twenty-five degrees Celsius in places but in the north it was more like eleven degrees with a slight wind. As far as conditions are concerned the weather in the north was more typical for the season whereas in the south conditions were more unseasonal. The day was a one-off though for the main problem was the passing of a cold front making its way slowly southward. For such a small country there can be quite a difference in weather patterns between the most northerly point to the most southerly at almost any time of the year. On a more personal note, the weather was just fine for me. I was half expecting to get more job requests for the day but had just the one and that one a very small one indeed, to connect a cooker to its isolating switch. I was happy about that for it meant I would have most of the day to myself but I couldn’t do it until the cooker had been delivered at eleven o’clock. It was almost lunch time as I drove home but I decided to go for another pub/restaurant meal beforehand as I had only fruit for my breakfast some hours earlier. Just as I had put the van in the garage, for I had no intentions of taking anymore work for the day, my phone rang, but it wasn’t a job request this time. I advertise in a local free newspaper, one of two operating in the area. The call was from the other newspaper group trying to secure my business! They had been trawling their competitor’s newspaper looking for more business. I wondered if the group I advertise with do the same. I explained that as I only work part-time (more or less) and as I am also 69 years of age to boot, I didn’t want the volume of work and was quite happy with my current newspaper running my advert. I locked the garage and went indoors.
Beads From a Petal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
…and on to Wednesday, a much warmer and sunny day. Although it had been sunny on Tuesday it had remained on the cool side but not Wednesday, Wednesday was much warmer. I had but the one job to do in another town and I arrived there, as I usually do, right on time. Replacing two ceiling light fittings and repositioning a power outlet all got done within two hours even though there was much chatting and drinking coffee in the meantime. It turned out that the couple, an elderly retired plumber aged 84 and his wife who never revealed her age but must have been in her mid-seventies, were both born in Liverpool and had lived there for some years. We chatted about living in Liverpool and I was asked many things regarding where I had lived there. I have come across and worked for quite a number of ex-pat. Liverpudlians during my travels. They are a very sociable and welcoming people. I say that because they are and I am one of them! Anyway the work was completed quickly and they were well pleased with what I had done. I noticed that beads of perspiration were forming on my forehead as I worked on replacing the lights, not because the work was hard, it wasn’t but it was quite warm up at ceiling level. It can only get warmer as the months go by. I found myself driving back to my home town at 11 o’clock. I wanted to dine out again but it was too early for lunch. However, the traffic was a little heavier than I had anticipated and as I approached the outskirts of town I found I was in diverted traffic from one of the main roads in the area that was undergoing some major works. Coupled with that on the main route I was on there had been temporary traffic controls put into place because of road works there too and those things slowed the traffic to a crawl. By the time I got into town it was nearly 12 o’clock so I diverted toward the pub arriving there five minutes before opening time. I was in no hurry of course but there were already people sitting on the benches outside waiting to get inside. I sat in my van and watched their antics which I found rather amusing. Most all of them were elderly folk which have become the mainstay of the business since its last reformation a couple of years ago when it was basically a pub that served food. Now it is more a restaurant that has a bar! It has become more popular as a result. I sat and watched one very elderly couple approach the side door, the one most people use as it leads out to the outdoor seating area and the car park. They each in turn tried the handle on the door but it was obviously closed and would remain so until the staff opened it from the inside. I watched as they tried again and again to open the door whilst others simply sat there and waited patiently. I was surprised at the couple’s impatience thinking to myself that they should know better at their age. They were acting like two senile delinquents. Finally the door was opened a couple of minutes after noon and a great cheer resounded from the small group that had gathered. I followed them inside after a minute or so and was served immediately, that is my order was taken as soon as I entered. The elderly folk were still sorting out where to sit! I had to laugh.
Gardener Gardening (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon before I was able to eat anything substantial. I had eaten a half of a small melon for breakfast knowing that I intended to eat out later. Usually I would have eaten porridge with fruit and a fruit drink but sometimes porridge weighs heavily in my tummy and causes reflux whenever I am doing anything strenuous or working hard afterwards. If I miss eating porridge in the morning I might have some later in the day if I’ve a mind to do so. My first job of the day was to install a waterproof power outlet outdoors at an address quite close to home. The lady of the house, a widow, got on very well with me and during my work she was talking about her garden and asking me about mine. I am not a gardener but I do like to take an interest in plants. I asked the lady if she would like to see my garden as my house was not much more than a half-mile away. She liked the idea so when I had finished the job I drove her there and back home later. I had an hour to spare before I could go to my next job for the day anyway. I gave her a mini-tour of the gardens and lower floors of the house so that she could see the things we had been talking about earlier. She knew much about the plants we have as gardening is somewhat of a hobby of hers. I also showed her our wet room and main bathroom as I had told her that we had built the wet room entirely by ourselves and had done most of the work in the bathroom ourselves too. She didn’t want to leave the bathroom, saying it was such a lovely room. I took her back home after a half-hour and then drove back home for a short while before going to my next job. Our eldest son had called to the house with someone from the church and they were offloading two pews for storage in our cellar. He told me he wanted them for future use when he buys a house. I can’t imagine why but hadn’t the time to ask. I left them to it. When I returned home late in the afternoon I had to move them for he had stored them in such a way that they were obstructing access to our electrical and gas supplies and preventing use of the workbench we have down there. Though they were very heavy I managed to move them to one side and out-of-the-way. I don’t think they had thought about access problems when they dumped them there. I was already tired after my day at work. My second job involved repairs to bathroom lights and a switch replacement but I could only assess the work when I first went there. I needed to purchase a switch to match the faulty one but had to go to my third job beforehand. That job was some miles out-of-town and involved installing wiring to an extract wall fan. I returned to the second job to complete the work there. Now it was 3.40 in the afternoon and I was hungry and a little tired. I drove to my local pub and had a meal there but it didn’t arrive at my table until 4.20. I didn’t linger there once I had eaten but drove home for a well-earned rest, after I had moved the pews of course! My next job would take me to another town the following day. Tuesday started cool and very misty but late in the morning the sun broke out and it remained warm and sunny all day long. We are promised the same for a few more days before it gets wetter and cooler once more. I love England!
I have always had a steady flow of work since becoming self-employed back in September 1997. Prior to that time I worked for others and in my last job doing that the workload had become minimal and the routine checks I had to make on equipment became tedious and boring. My colleague and I were well on top of things and little needed to be done to maintain things. I left that employment at just the right time it seems. What actually happened was my employer was streamlining the industry (asset stripping) and encouraging those who were of suitable age and thereby could retire voluntarily to do so. I was of suitable age and because the terms were so favourable I chose to take early voluntary retirement on a full pension with the added bonus of a ‘golden handshake‘, a tidy lump sum. That lump sum and the fact that I was ensured a monthly income from my pension with immediate effect meant that I could continue working as a self-employed person. I have never looked back since that day and in fact my fortunes took a turn for the better. Over the years since then my workload has been steady and often too much at times for me to handle. Gradually I have wound things down and no longer take on projects I consider too much for me to do at my age.
The strange thing is there still is plenty of work I am able to do, small jobs that no-one else seems to be able to fit into their schedule or perhaps are not interested in doing. I did one such job on Thursday morning. I had to disconnect and remove a hard-wired bell circuit and replace it with a wireless type. Next, I had to replace a light unit on an outside wall and finally replace the base box (called a pattress) beneath a power outlet in the garage as it had been broken. Simple little jobs yes but nevertheless financially rewarding. I also discovered that a plug-in type of RCD unit they had been using whenever they used their electric lawnmower was faulty. They told me that they had used it for years and I asked if they ever tested it before use. It appears they hadn’t even though printed on the unit are instructions to do so. The test simply involves pushing the device’s test button! I thought to myself why have a safety device and never test it to see if it is working? As for the work I do, the way I look at it is this, if I am continuing to work I might as well get paid for it! Whilst at the house I received phone calls asking for my services. So despite there being no work on some days there is enough to keep me going, to tide me over as it were.
Loft (2005 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This past week has been very similar to the week before in that the work I have done has been concentrated at the latter end of the week leaving me nothing to do for the first few days. It isn’t often you will see me crawling about in someone’s loft but on Wednesday I did exactly that. Naturally I put on a pair of overalls (coveralls) before doing so in order to keep my clothes clean and to protect them from damage. Some lofts are surprisingly reasonably clean but whilst that is so most are not. Most loft areas now are fitted with layers of insulation material which hides the timber construct of the ceilings below and so there is always the danger of accidentally stepping on the fragile ceiling and putting a foot through it. In all my years as an electrician I have never had that misfortune. Other hazards in loft spaces include the roof beams and rafters and the many cardboard boxes or other stored items people have put up there. Having peeled back the insulation I was able to gain access to the lighting cables on this occasion for my task was to reposition and at the same time replace a ceiling light and remove another together with the pull-cord switch controlling it. Having done what was necessary in the loft I was soon able to close the hatch and continue the work in the bedroom below. Another problem I was faced with was the huge bed beneath where the new light (a chandelier) would be fitted and which couldn’t be moved. Have you ever tried balancing on a wobbly bed whilst trying to fit a heavy light above it? With a little help from the lady of the house who supported the light whilst I connected and fitted it I soon had it done. Of course the bed had been covered with a sheet to collect any dust and always there is! The lady asked me all sorts of questions regarding why I decided to become an electrician and how long I have been working as such. She was very much impressed when I gave her a brief description of the things I have done over the (almost) 53 years I have been in the business. She then asked if I enjoyed my work! I could only reply with a ‘yes’ for how could anyone stick at a job so long and not enjoy it unless they were completely bonkers? Maybe I am a little bonkers but I do enjoy my work.
Finally! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Things have been sluggish for me lately but I think I am beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. Exactly one week after my last electrical job I received a request to do a small job on Thursday in another town twelve miles away. Having quoted my minimum price, which was accepted, I went along to do the job the following day as asked. That one job is just enough to pay the cost of my advertisement for the one week. At least I am not running at a loss! In reality my previous weeks of profitable gain would in any case allow me to take a few weeks off before I would start to make a loss. It meant though that I had a week free to myself. I am happy to see that work is once again beginning to trickle in if only to relieve the boredom. There is work to do in and around the house but at this moment in time I am reluctant to do anything at home until E changes her attitude. It has been difficult to take an interest in anything at home lately so I have been getting away from the house more and more. I have spent therefore more time dining out and going for walks or shopping but what I really want to do is what I enjoy the most and that is my work at home or in my electrical job. The weather hasn’t been too good for getting out and about but it is finally but slowly improving. My bank accounts are healthy once more, not that they were anything otherwise but it has at last been possible to save more now my main annual expenditure has ceased and with the prospect of more electrical work that should continue to improve. Hopefully with the coming of Spring there will be improvements all round on the home front. If nothing else the sunshine will produce a sense of well-being! I am looking forward to it. I know in that in the coming weeks I will be dusting off the lawnmower for use again and soon after then maybe I can begin to wear lighter clothing again just like the girl in the picture!
Update: that single job changed into three at different locations! You wait ages for a bus to come along then three arrive all at once!
Winter sun on farmland. Open farmland with winter sun shining down on the road to Henllan from Bont Newydd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So here we are almost two-thirds of the way through the calendar of Winter and the weather is beginning to get warmer again. Now I have written that you can be sure we haven’t done with lower temperatures just yet. The sun is shining as I write this on Monday afternoon having been out working during the morning. I had to pay a visit to my main bank in order to deposit a large sum of money. Usually I take the cash to my nearest bank, my main current account provider and transfer the cash or the bulk of it to another bank using the Internet. I had no work scheduled when I arose but as I was getting dressed someone called and asked if I could do a couple of small electrical jobs for them. The caller was what you might call one of my regular customers for I have been to the house many times over the last couple of years. I explained that I had planned to go into town to do some banking and also a little shopping but that I would do the jobs later in the morning. I didn’t have a breakfast as such, simply a banana as it was almost nine o’clock and I wanted to get out as soon as possible. I drove to town but parked outside the meter zone as I usually do and walked the half-mile or so to where I needed to be. An hour later I was back in my vehicle driving off to do the job. I had scheduled another job for Wednesday but as it was on the same route I thought I would call at that address first to see if I could do that job too. Fortunately the folk were in and were in favour of getting the job done there and then if it was possible. It took me about a half-hour and soon I was off to the main job for the day. Even so that job didn’t take me much longer than an hour or so before I found myself driving homeward again. It wasn’t yet twelve o’clock and I’d pocketed £100 having spent nothing! My next two jobs would be the following day, Tuesday, after which nothing else had been planned. I wanted to get out into the garden for an hour or two whilst the sun was shining but I gave up on the idea in preference to a rest instead. No doubt there will be other days in the near future for gardening and no doubt they will be a necessity rather than a desire as the warmer weather brings out the weeds!
See You Next Tuesday (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
How different this week has been to last week. I talked about this in yesterday’s post and since Tuesday I have received more requests for work. I returned on Wednesday morning to the house I had been working in on Tuesday to replace the second of the electrical panels. I didn’t expect the second one to be as awkward as the first one was but even so it wasn’t as straightforward as I had hoped. I soldiered on of course and had it completed in a couple of hours. However, there were a couple of things I had to check out before I could finish but was unable to do so until the lady of the house had returned home from her shopping trip. I needed access to a locked area in which the boiler was situated outside and I also needed to inspect the garage installation to ensure it had been wired from the panel or board I had fitted which had the RCD unit. As it happened it had been wired to the board I had replaced with the RCD unit fitted. There had been no markings on the original fuse board. Alas inside the area in which the boiler had been installed was a separate power outlet that had been supplied from the other fuse board. I hadn’t replaced that board with one fitted with an RCD as it wasn’t deemed necessary. The power outlet was faulty in any case and wasn’t in use so I disconnected it. Now I was finished. As I was driving home, for I had no other work, I got more calls for work but turned them down. They were too remote and out of my catchment area. Once home I got more calls and these I put on my schedule, one of which I am doing next Tuesday morning. I seem to get a lot of work on a Tuesday!
With the amount of work I am offered it is difficult to think about retirement and it isn’t hard work, that is strenuous, so as long as I can do it I carry on. I try not to do too much though. I am the type of person who simply finds it difficult to sit down too long. I often think I am going to wear myself out but it doesn’t seem to happen. People ask me how I manage to continue and I tell them that I am afraid I will seize-up if I stop! There’s a lot of truth in that you know, I have heard many people tell me their experiences once they stopped work and how much it affected them. I cannot go on forever I know but I will always remain active one way or another if I can.
(Plain) Flour and (lite) milk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I write this on Thursday afternoon I have had no electrical job offers that I am willing to take on-board since last Thursday and no work therefore since last Friday. Swings and roundabouts of course and I may yet get requests before this week is out. One good thing to come out of this, or maybe two good things would be the nice long break and a chance to really rest from my labours and to know what it would be like to be fully retired. I am not interested in the latter as such and I know that whilst I am fit and healthy I shan’t be idle once I do decide to retire from my formal occupation. For someone who doesn’t much care for travel and going places just because they are there or spending my whole later life roaming about like a hedonistic modern-day gypsy, I need to be doing something else instead. As I like working with my hands I know there will always be something for me to do, as long as I am fit and able. Besides I am more or less done with roaming for the sake of it except for taking the occasional break should I feel the need. Thankfully now the weather is slowly improving, the sun has been shining a lot over the past week raising my mood as it does. Funny how sunshine promotes activity, of any kind. More opportunities for outdoor pursuits or work, whichever of those I choose to do will keep me occupied. I have been offered work though but they have either been not cost-effective to do or they have been too far afield or too large for someone of my age. I tire of life sometimes, not the living of it but the things we all are expected to do living in a modern society. Jumping off the merry-go-round, the treadmill or getting out of the rat race would suit me fine but alas I am stuck with it. Once in the system, always in the system. The less of that system’s effect on my life the better as far as I’m concerned. For the time being I am expecting to get through this week work free…………….maybe. So what else did I do on Thursday afternoon? I cleaned the windows at the front of the house from the outside. They can be cleaned from the inside as they open inwards but reaching the fixed windows above, at least downstairs, are best done from the outside. They needed a hose pipe and a squeegee for they were heavily soiled and the higher ones had to be reached from a ladder. The sun was drying them as fast as I could wet them! Soon I was back indoors and baking some more scones having to use baking powder in the mix having discovered we had no self-raising flour but only plain flour. Adding a little baking powder to a self-raising flour mix makes them rise even more. E had been out shopping with her mum and can always tell when I have been baking in her absence, the house is filled with a lovely aroma.
St George’s Cross – the flag of England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Funny how things go sometimes. I was talking about flying the flag or rather not flying the flag a few days ago because of the very high winds we had been experiencing. I had to lower the flag and remove it for a few days until the wind subsided. The recommended upper speed limit of the wind when flying the flag is 35 mph and it has been far windier than that lately. A couple of days ago I resumed flying the flag, well the one we have that isn’t damaged for we had to take down the Union flag because it was showing signs of wear. It had been of lesser quality than we had expected and not as good as the other flag which is the cross of St George but not like the one shown in this picture! Anyway to cut a long story short I decided to purchase a new and better quality Union flag which should have arrived by the time this is posted. It cost a little under £65 inclusive of tax and postage. Having decided to fly the flag again the weather has now turned quite mild with little wind, just typical. Not only has there been little in the way of wind there has been no snow either. Some parts of the country have been less fortunate though to see the smiles upon the children’s faces they are happy about it. I don’t like snow or wind myself. I’ve not been too busy lately and I am in grave danger of getting used to that. I hope my electrical work picks up a bit as I am not receiving many requests just at the moment. Nature of the beast, sometimes I am swamped with work and at other times barely get any. It’s a bit like the wind, it comes and it goes and at the moment neither is in abundance.