Posts Tagged ‘Work’
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 13, 2013
Water drop (Photo credit: @Doug88888)
This evidently is my 2000th post according to Word Press. When I started to post on 14 January 2009 I never imagined I would stick to writing at all but here I am still plodding along.
I went to do a small electrical job on Monday morning and whilst there the guy showed me some other work he wanted me to do. Now at one time I would have taken on the work as long as I had the time but I still get annoyed when people get me to their house to do a specific job then begin to pile on the extra work expecting me to do it there and then. I politely told him that I would do it at some other time and left it at that. If he really wants the job doing he will call me again. I try my best to limit what I do in my electrical work for a couple of reasons, my age, my other commitments and I simply don’t need a great volume of work.
E and I are currently involved with renovating and refurbishing the bathroom upstairs in our house but we are only at the preparation stage at the moment. In the afternoon we set about dismantling the woodwork in part of the floor that had been constructed by someone else. The original floor level was seven inches (about 155 mm) below the present level and was seemingly raised for easier access because previously one had to step down into the room. It had been done professionally but for some reason part of the floor had been reconstructed more recently perhaps after water damage just prior to us buying the house but as you can see from the video I posted two days ago it was a botched-up job. We have measured up for new joists and floorboards and in the next few days we will purchase them. In the meantime we stripped out some old skirting board, cut off an old lead gas pipe and a section of lead and copper pipe that used to supply an upstairs kitchen sink with hot water. We stripped out that kitchen together with the many other sink units that were dotted about the upstairs rooms when we first moved in some 25 years ago. We removed a few more floorboards so we could see the layout of the existing pipework under the floor. Whilst taking some of the stripped-out timber downstairs to where we are storing it in the cellar I noticed some of the wood was damp. Fearing the worse I thought the wet room floor was leaking for it is directly above this room. I set the shower to cold water flow and switched it on whilst E watched for leaks. Sure enough there was a slight leak around the hole in the wooden floor around the drain assembly! I took the removable part of the grid out so I could to assess the problem. The drain was full of water as you might expect as it effectively a water trap but that water level is well below where the leak was found so it had to be the grid. Now the outer square of that grid is well sealed to the floor tiles so the leak had to be around the removable circular centre. I spent a few minutes applying some grout on the underside and around the top and hopefully that will cure the problem. So the shower is out of use for 48 hours from the time of writing this on Monday evening. When we first used the shower a few days ago we saw no leaks at all.
Someone telephoned me on my mobile phone asking me why my house phone wasn’t working. I tried to call home from my mobile phone and true enough it wasn’t working. E did the same but she took the phone out of the room and dialed 1471 (which is the number we use to find out the identity of the last caller here in the UK). The phone sprang back to life! Meanwhile my mobile phone started playing up. It does this occasionally for no apparent reason but I think it is because it is essentially a computer and the software is the problem. Anyway, switching it off completely then re-booting it solves the problem. If it isn’t one thing it’s another!
- Working girls (minkyweasel.com)
Posted in Blogs, DIY, House and Home, Work | Tagged: Bathroom, DIY, Leak, Mobile phone, Tile, Water, Work | 6 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 6, 2013
Porridge (Photo credit: qousqous)
Monday started off well, insofar as I’d had a good night’s sleep and felt ready for work after a good breakfast of porridge and fruit juice. I find that porridge keeps me going for hours and it is great for aiding the lowering of cholesterol too. I have porridge most days, even during the summer months. My first job was in another town some 12 miles away and I was converting 10 downlights to LED versions by modifying the existing fittings. As usual I arrive at my work at 9 o’clock and I set off in plenty of time to get there at that time. Isn’t it always the way that things seem to stand in the way of that happening? Slow drivers, drivers pulling out in front of you then dawdling along as if they were the only drivers on the road. I was stopped at a certain set of traffic lights waiting to turn right but there was an endless stream of oncoming traffic preventing me doing so for what felt like many minutes though it was probably only one. I got stuck behind a small builder’s pick-up for a number of miles as we drove down the country lanes with no possibility of overtaking. The speed limit was 50 mph but this driver was intent on only doing 30! So frustrating and all the time the clock was ticking. My journey was much the same for the most part and it being the first day back at school after the mid-term break for many children the traffic at that time in the morning was much heavier. It is just as well that I allow plenty of time else I’d never get to my jobs on time. I arrived with a couple of minutes to spare. The job itself didn’t go smoothly either with about four independent little problems endeavouring to make a fairly straight-forward task much more difficult. I don’t let these things get to me and in fact I relish solving them though sometimes I could do without them. I spent three hours at that house and drove 14 miles to my next appointment, which fortunately was a much easier task and I had it done within a few minutes. My last call was 6 miles away and one of the jobs there was to connect an oven. There were no proper instructions or markings on the terminal box to indicate which cable connected to which terminal and guesswork was out of the question of course! I had to remove a large panel to look at the internal wiring to see which was the live and which was the neutral. The markings on the box was a simple 1 2 3 which turned out as I had thought it would as earth (1), neutral (2) and live (3). Why it wasn’t marked on the box as such beggars belief! It’s these little things which are so annoying. I was glad to get home at 2.30 but before I could get into the house I had to sort out a problem with the automatic garage door. One of the wheels had jumped out of the track and was preventing the door from closing smoothly. E wanted to talk about the wet room but all I wanted to do was get a bite to eat and be able to sit down for a few minutes putting all thoughts of work out of my head. Anyway after my very late lunch I solved the problem E had with the shower when she tried to use it earlier for the first time whilst I was out at work. She hadn’t realised that I had the water supply turned off! I then set about drilling the walls to fit the mirror and the towel rail. The wet room is now complete and can at last be used.
- Fuel for the day (geordiegiraffe.wordpress.com)
- Overnight Oats (memoriesanddust.com)
Posted in House and Home, Work | Tagged: House and home, Porridge, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 2, 2013
An NHS dentist performing an examination (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had a dental appointment with my new dentist on Wednesday. In former years my dental practitioners were in Liverpool, some 21 miles from my home. A couple of weeks ago I had a filling come out and it needed replacing so I set about finding a dental surgery nearer to home with whom I could register. I found one located about three miles from home and was able to register with them. My first appointment was on Wednesday but other than having an assessment I had no treatment. The dentist will carry out some remedial work on my next two appointments which will be 19 November and 3 December and I was advised the cost would be £214. My registry fee had been £18 but that amount will be deducted from the £214. I shudder to think what the cost would be if I were a private patient. As it is my dentistry is covered by the NHS (National Health Service). After my first brief check-up I returned to the reception to confirm my next appointments and the young woman at the desk remarked ‘He’s dishy isn’t he’? I had to agree, he was! The practice supports five dental surgeons, four male and one female. I guess I drew the longest straw! When I left I had to visit an old lady who wanted me to check out a small electrical problem and make an assessment of another. The first problem I sorted out in ten minutes but I had to inform the old lady that the second request would not be a simple nor inexpensive job to carry out and might not indeed be possible given the nature of the present installation. I don’t think she will pursue with her request. From there I went to look at another job to assess what was required. I did that work yesterday, Friday. I should have done more work in our new wet room but deferred that work until today, Saturday. Instead I decided to replace one of the floodlights at the front of our house which had become faulty. I replaced five of the same at the rear of the house earlier in the year but decided to only replace the three at the front as they became faulty. One of the two remaining floodlights has been working for about 24 years and the other is relatively new having been installed about eighteen months ago. I might buy replacement units and keep them to one side for installation when it becomes necessary. These floodlights cost £45 each because they are LED units but they are guaranteed for three years and are far cheaper in cost to run. They use a mere 15 watts of power but give the equivalent light output of a 300 watt halogen lamp! That’s what I call progress.
- Things to Know About Your Dental Exam (dentistbrampton.wordpress.com)
- Digging deep into Dentistry (irmaenaab.wordpress.com)
- Tooth Decay (abcdental.wordpress.com)
Posted in Activity, DIY, Health | Tagged: Dental surgery, Dentist, Dentistry, DIY, Friday, Health, Home, Liverpool, National Health Service, Tooth, Work | 4 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on October 24, 2013
Apfelstrudel, a Viennese speciality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although I resumed my work on Monday I wasn’t feeling at my best. I had but the one job some four miles from home and completed it within the hour. I just happened to be one of those jobs where nothing seemed to go according to plan, a simple task of fitting an extra power outlet in an adjacent bedroom from the one I had to take a supply. The walls were hollow, that is studded but the building, a prefabricated unit consisted of individual sections all bolted together. This meant that the wall through which I had to install the wiring had multiple separated layers! Nothing straightforward at all. Other niggling problems I could have done without served to make the task harder. Still, I had it done in the hour and soon was returning home. E had just finished her breakfast and was about to bake some more ‘Appel strudel‘ when I got a call to do more work the following day, Tuesday. I had to go and purchase some materials for that job and by the time I had returned for the second time she was about to cook it. Now I wonder what gave her the idea to bake some more strudel? I think she is trying to improve her cooking skills after our recent trip to Vienna, not that she needs to do that for she is quite an accomplished pastry chef! I have to admit I was feeling a little tired after my lunch so I thought I might sit and rest but after an hour or so I simply had to get up and do something. I decided to lay a few more floor tiles in the wet room with a little help from E. I had thought that laying floor tiles was easier than fitting them to a wall but that is far from the case, it is more difficult. The strudel was nice by the way!
Posted in Cooking, DIY, Well-being, Work | Tagged: Floor, Health, Materials and Supplies, Strudel, Tile, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on October 18, 2013
Somethin’s Happening (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is a hive of activity surrounding my life at present. I have not stopped working since we came back from our short break, working on the wet room (where we are now ready to tile the floor at last), doing lots of electrical work and on the 28th of this month we are scheduled to have the cavity wall insulation installed. All the windows we needed fixing have now been done, though there was only three of them to adjust or repair. At least things are getting done and we are not just sitting on our backsides wishing something would happen. I didn’t get where I am today by being lazy and have always set myself goals to aim for. Someone asked me recently when would I retire to which I replied, ‘When I die’. Knowing me, that might just be true though I don’t plan on taking on too large a project once I have the bathroom and the outside toilet jobs out-of-the-way. I have already cut back a lot on my electrical work and seldom now work more than four hours a day or even work every day of the week. There have been one or two exceptions recently but they are rare. My greatest problem is I just cannot relax for too long and get fidgety if I’ve nothing to do. At the moment though I am quite active in one way or another. The work at home is giving E something to do too and she often gets on with some of the work on our projects whilst I am out doing electrical work. So she benefits by keeping active as far as she is able and that can’t be a bad thing. In the next couple of weeks we should be finished working on the wet room and that will allow us to begin working on the upstairs bathroom at our leisure. It will be nice to start on something new for a change!
Posted in Activity, DIY, House and Home | Tagged: Cavity wall insulation, House, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on October 13, 2013
Box of chocolates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although I really enjoyed Vienna and would return again if only to go to some more concerts and maybe I will some day, I am just as happy to be back home and working. On Thursday I had a couple of jobs to do. I was sitting having my breakfast just before nine when the doorbell rang. I answered the door and there stood the guy I was expecting to call but not quite so early. He had come to carry out a survey for the company who will be carrying out filling the cavity walls with insulation some time within the next few weeks or sooner as the case may be. He had free access to all areas and for a while the house was chilly with most of the doors being left open in his wake. I left the house once E got out of bed and downstairs which was around a half-hour later. Hopefully the whole procedure will lead to a warmer house and less energy consumption. I was going to add ‘and lower fuel bills’ but having heard the latest news fuel prices are set to escalate again! It is a no win situation for everyone. One consolation is that our Government is footing the bill and for a while at least I shall not have to face paying much more for my fuel. How long that will last is anyone’s guess!
One thing leads to another in my work and the first I had job developed into something bigger so had to be deferred until next week when I will have the time to do it. The second job not only paid well but I was given a box of chocolates too by way of thanking me for the work I had done so promptly, though it could have been because the guy liked giving women presents! Anyway, another satisfied customer. Maybe I will get the chance to finish the wet room soon.
- Ways To Insulate Your Home (simple-green-living.com)
- New to Vienna? No problem! (discovervienna.wordpress.com)
Posted in DIY, House and Home, Work | Tagged: Chocolate, Vienna, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on October 8, 2013
A wall that has had cavity wall insulation installed (after construction), with refilled holes highlighted with arrows. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Wednesday afternoon E and I were just doing some measuring on the floor in the wet room deciding where to cut the hole in the floor for the drain so that when we fit the floor tiles around the drain hole we will have a minimum of tile to cut. We have to take into account where the floor supporting joists are located and how it will affect fitting the drain connection to the sink. It was important therefore to plan an exact position. As it worked out there will be just one corner of one tile to cut for a perfect location and fit. So while we were doing that the house phone rang and the caller was a lady from the organisation who will be installing the cavity wall insulation we have arranged to have installed. She wanted to know if it was convenient for their surveyor to call on Tuesday (which is today) so he could measure the size of the walls, make calculations regarding ventilation and to take some photographs too. At this point they do not know that installing the insulation will not affect the ventilation as the main ventilation bricks are not open to the cavity as in a modern building. I had to tell her that it wasn’t possible for him to come on that day, today, as we will be travelling home from our short break. We made arrangements for him to call on Thursday instead. It looks therefore that in a couple of weeks or less we will have the house surrounded by men busying themselves pumping insulation into the walls. Well that is our hope anyway. I also got a call from a valued customer of mine who wants me to do some more work for her when I return home. I must remember to call her. Now that I have written and posted this I can’t forget can I? Last week I had to turn down some work as I have been too busy to accommodate everyone. One of those requests was from a guy who ran a pub in another town close-by and had me a couple of times last year doing some electrical work there. It appears he is now running what has always been a popular little pub/restaurant and one of the first in Southport with a long history which is only a mile from where I live. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the time to fulfill his request on this occasion but he let me know he will probably call me again in the future. Thanks Mike.
Posted in Activity, Work | Tagged: Cavity wall insulation, House and home, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on September 17, 2013
a cat and a Litter box (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What a week I’ve had and as I write this late on Saturday afternoon I can say I am truly wacked! Not much electrical work this week and what I did get was on Friday and Saturday. I have been working hard at home most days and was prepared to continue on Saturday until I got an invitation to do another electrical job. As my electrical work pays I tend to do that first of course but I limit myself to what I will take on board. Thinking the job on Saturday would be plain sailing I was happy to do it and in fact though it took me a couple of hours I found it easy work. The only reservations I had about the job were the conditions in which I had to do it! The house was dirty and untidy with cats freely roaming and cat hairs all over the place. The major part of the job was in a storeroom or what you might call a laundry room had it been used for that purpose but the floor was full of junk, cat-litter, cat food, mouse droppings, dead flies and anything else that found its way in there. All it needed was a brush and shovel to clean up most of it but the rest of the house hadn’t seen a clean for weeks so there wasn’t much chance for that room getting swept. I had to do it so that I could have a clean space to work in! I cannot understand why people treat their homes that way and in this case there didn’t seem a good reason for it, the woman occupant wasn’t infirm and she wasn’t old in the least, probably a little over thirty years. She obviously didn’t take any pride in her home and was probably just a lazy person! I did the job and returned home thinking I might do a little work in the wet room but after lunch I found myself really tired and worn-out. I guess all the hard work has caught up with me, I had no energy left to do anything. I felt better after a few hours but did nothing else until Monday morning when I had two other small electrical jobs to do.
Posted in Work | Tagged: Cat, Pets, Work | 10 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on September 5, 2013
A touchless car wash, which uses high pressure jets of water and detergent to clean with. This typical example was part of a gas station located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Category:Images of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I got up early on Monday morning in order to have the paint repaired on my van. E followed after me some twenty minutes later to take me back home. The van would be ready to collect after 4 o’clock so we had all day to work on the project and work we certainly did! Plaster was patched up, ceiling gaps caulked, windows and door painted with a primer, 15 metres of trunking fitted and the heavy-duty cables for the showers and water heater run inside it, board fitted behind where the shower in the wet room is to be installed, board to mount switches on fitted. These switches are to be located on the outside of the wet room wall at the top of the steps leading down to the cellar as they cannot be fitted inside the room for electrical safety reasons of course. We had to shop for paint and to buy some door furniture at the same time so we did that before lunch and continued with the work as soon as we had eaten. Whilst we were out shopping I noticed just how dirty E’s car was. She cannot wash it as she once was able to so she takes it through a car wash unless I or one of our sons has the time to do it for her. I told her to drive to a car wash and have it done at my expense and she chose to go to a hand-wash depot. They had it washed and waxed in minutes and the change was truly remarkable, it looks almost new! After lunch we didn’t stop again until 4 o’clock when E took me to collect the van, Whilst I was collecting the van she collected the under-the-unit water heater we had ordered on Friday from the electrical supplier across from the repair shop. Once I had the van I went to the other electrical supplier to buy more materials for the job. We were both back home at 5 o’clock and continued to work until 7 o’clock before cooking our evening meal and taking the rest of the evening relaxing. It is surprising just how much work is involved when undertaking a project such as this and much of the work so far has been preparation. There is plenty more work to be done yet before the room is completed but we are getting there. We have already begun to plan what we might do with the family bathroom but that project is months away and the room is larger than the one we are currently working on and will naturally take longer to complete. Maybe we will take that holiday E has won before we start that job, we will surely need it! By way of a bonus my ban had been washed and waxed by the company who carried out the paint repairs on it. Now my van looks brand new too, not that it looks its age anyway but a wash does make it look better.
Posted in House and Home, Work | Tagged: Carwash, Friday, House and home, Paint, Water heating, Work | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 24, 2013
English: Finnish spruce plywood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last week E and I were again reconciled after I instigated a little chat. I have to say I had to do something to break the ice for if I was to wait for E to make the first move I get the feeling we would never speak again. She knows now that she was in the wrong and has accordingly apologised. Naturally I accepted the apology and we have mended the rift. She is beginning to act the way she did when we first met and the change is amazing! I must say I have been taken completely by surprise by her new self and I hope she will remain as nice now as she once was toward me. That is all I ask of her. Anyway all this has prompted me to continue with my previously abandoned home projects, the main one being the wet room I had made preparations for some 80 weeks ago. Late on Wednesday morning we drove to the timber yard to purchase some plywood to lay on the existing wooden floor in that wet room and while we were waiting for them to cut the ply for us we did some shopping and stopped at the local Tesco store for a bite to eat as by now it was 1 o’clock. We had visited the store twenty minutes earlier for fuel thinking we could then go on to get the plywood and return directly home but most of the staff at the yard were on their lunch break and we had to arrange to return an hour later. So there we were in the cafeteria tucking into a rather delicious salad sandwich each. I whispered in E’s ear, ‘Don’t say I don’t take you out for lunch’, she smiled. Actually we go out every week together doing just that and had in fact dined out the day before. We finished our lunch and drove back to the timber yard to collect the plywood which had now been cut and was ready for collection. In that brief outing we spent £100. Money goes nowhere these days does it? I didn’t start the work after returning home as I was still feeling a little weak after my recent illness but I planned to begin the work on Thursday morning. Around six in the evening I received a call from the guy whom I had worked for last week who wanted me to do more work in the same office. That’s the way it goes, my job has to take second place to one the earns me money!
Posted in Activity, Relationships, Work | Tagged: Construction and Maintenance, Dining out, Plywood, Relationship, Shopping, Tesco, Work | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 18, 2013
PCB with testpads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I didn’t really want the work but the guy kept on pestering me saying that what he wanted doing wasn’t all that much. Eventually I gave in and offered to go and see what all the fuss was about. He is renting out the ground floor of what used to be an office of some sort for around the walls was fitted a trunking system which had power outlets and computer LAN connection points in it to accommodate many computers. He runs a business which manufactures specialist audio equipment and sells products to the public who can listen to music through it before purchasing. Now although there were many power outlets available he want a few dedicated outlets supplied through an independent power board. These would be used to supply isolation transformers to eliminate ‘noise’ from the mains circuits when he installs his audio circuits at a later date. Sounds a little over the top but they want to produce as pure a sound reproduction as possible. So on Wednesday morning I arrived on site to assess the work. I decided to go ahead with the work immediately and off I went to purchase the materials. After a few hours I had everything done, new circuit board, socket outlets wired, sub meter and connection block all ready but before I could make the final connections I had to isolate the whole building from the electrical supply. The upstairs area was occupied by a firm of solicitors but they allowed me to carry on with the work later in the afternoon. Their electrical supply was fed from their own isolator but the wiring was burnt and overheating. This would be corrected when I re-arranged the wiring to accommodate the new installation. Had the work not been done there was a real risk of a fire developing from the burnt wiring and connection block and that would have entailed far more work! My client returned in the afternoon and was surprised that I had almost completed the work saying ‘You don’t waste much time do you’? Well I don’t! He was well pleased with what I had done anyway and he asked me if I would repair some lighting circuitry in his kitchen at home which was only two minutes away so off we went to his house and I did the work for him there. He asked how much he owed me for all the work and went to the cash point to get the money, returning ten minutes later whilst I sat waiting with a coffee in my hand. I had no idea what the time was as I don’t wear a watch but once in my van and driving home I found it was almost five-thirty. I was back home just before six and felt rather tired! I knew I would sleep well that night. The previous night saw me restless and unable to get more than a couple of hours sleep without waking all the time. Although I had been busy working on Monday I had only one small job on Tuesday and I guess that is why I had a restless night I obviously wasn’t as tired as I thought but I know that when I have been working hard I get a good night’s sleep.
Posted in Sleep, Uncategorized | Tagged: AC power plugs and sockets, Audio Equipment, Electrical wiring, Isolation transformer, Printed circuit board, Sleep, Sound recording and reproduction, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on August 15, 2013
A. Nenartovich Asphalt laying woman. 1961 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
During our recent hot and stuffy weather I never felt much like doing anything but I disciplined myself so I could complete the much-needed work I had to do with the able assistance of E who makes a good builder’s mate! Two women laying foundations that were not part of our make-up regime but for the laying of concrete and the building of walls which we also did would have raised some eyebrows in earlier times. Even in today’s world to see a woman doing the work normally attributed to the off-times dubious capabilities of the average male is still considered the exception and a novelty. There are many women capable of doing such things but I think the reason they don’t is often down to inclination. Anyway I think E and I have done remarkably well, though we have had previous experience. It helped a lot that we purchased a concrete mixer for if we hadn’t we probably would still be doing the work even now and it would be a long way off being completed. I had a spell of rest after most of that work was completed but I can say the electrical work is building up again now and keeping me gainfully employed. The weather has cooled down too which for me is a plus and my van once more is getting wet in the rain. I did three jobs in different towns on Monday morning. None of them were previous clients but all were very pleased with my work. I was again complimented on my ‘youthful looks’ as one girl remarked. She thought I was about fifty years of age but after I told her the truth she was having difficulty believing me, nice to receive such compliments though I have to say. I laughingly told her that I plug myself into the power socket every night! Many people think I have only been an electrician for maybe ten years and when I tell them I have been in the business for fifty-one they are truly amazed. This is because here in the UK in the past it was never heard of that a female would train to be an electrician, though some actually did. I personally know of a couple, one of them older than I am! Would I train to be an electrician today if I was fresh out of school? Probably not…. it is often or has been hard going at times. I am not sure what I would like to do if I were young again.
Posted in Ability, Activity, Work | Tagged: Ability, Activity, Concrete mixer, Construction and Maintenance, Electrician, Work | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on July 27, 2013
Real Love (Mary J. Blige song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The previous two posts majored on the relationships I have with my customers and how much I have been appreciated in what I have done for them. Today, Wednesday as I write this, it happened yet again. I went to a nearby town to do some work for a couple about the same age as myself who lived in the top floor of a ‘maisonette‘. The apartments themselves cover two floors and are surprisingly spacious inside and attractive to look at from the outside, though the gardens need some attention. The work took about three hours and I was paid more than I’d asked with an invitation to return later to do more work. This seems to be the trend for me lately, extra remuneration and more work. When I’d completed the job I had to visit the supplier for some van stock materials as I like to keep basic items in my van for impromptu requests. I offered to take the lady to the supplier and bring her back home as she wanted to purchase some things for herself. She thanked me and came along. When I dropped her off I received a big hug and a kiss on the cheek for being so nice and doing a good job. The following day, Thursday, was just the same. I was replacing an electric shower, not as straightforward as you might think, in fact it was the opposite. It is difficult to fit a new unit in exactly the same place as the old one where the plumbing and the electric cable are set in a tiled wall! I did it though and the lady was well-pleased. I received a bonus there too! It sounds as if I am blowing my own trumpet here but that is far from my thoughts. It is just nice to be appreciated and to let others know how I feel. On the home front however things are not going well because E and I are still not talking. I am taken for granted at home, I know I am but what I do for E has never been for selfish reasons. It hurts me to know that she cannot bring herself to apologise for the things she sometimes says and the attitude she often portrays toward me. All it takes is an admission of thoughtlessness and the three words , ‘I am sorry’ but they never come. E would cut off her own nose to spite her face before saying those words. Over the years I have learned to live with it but it is getting a little tiresome, I love her and she knows that, she’s told me so enough times but she has always found it difficult to reciprocate. That doesn’t matter to me for I don’t expect anything in return when I offer my love. It isn’t about love though, it is about respect and consideration. Her greatest problem is her stubborn heart and in that respect she is very much like her dad was when he was alive, though he was a generous man to his family, me included. So in the meantime I am treading water and keeping a low profile at home and very little is getting done.
- Very generous (minkyweasel.com)
Posted in People, Relationships, Work | Tagged: Apartment, Cheek kissing, Family, Home, People, Relationships, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on July 26, 2013
Satisfaction Guaranteed (manga) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although I have placed my advert on hold for two weeks I am still receiving requests and I seem to be more busy now in my electrical work than I have been recently. The compliments keep coming too so I must be doing something right. A lady called me on Tuesday and she seemed a little under pressure so much so she had difficulty in expressing her need over the phone. She only wanted a couple of little jobs doing but seemed worried about how to get things back to normal. One of those jobs was to replace a bathroom light. She lived ten minutes away through town traffic, about three miles at most. I told her that I would take her to the retail park and help her select a suitable fitting and ten minutes later I was parked outside her house. We went to purchase the fitting and were soon back at the house. She was more relaxed with me in person and I could tell she had problems at home. Her partner had recently suffered a stroke and from what I could tell was giving her a bit of a hard time. Anyway I had the light up in minutes and set about the other task which I soon had remedied. When I presented her with the bill she was overcome with delight and she felt the need to give me a big hug. She wore a big smile as she went to get some money. She couldn’t thank me enough but I was pleased to be of assistance. I got more pleasure in knowing that my services were appreciated and that I had provided complete satisfaction. I enjoy making people happy and fixing their electrical problems more than the remuneration I receive, I feel good inside. This is why I love my work, it is something I am good at and I get satisfaction in serving others. Added to that, it is different every day. I have done many things in my working life as I mentioned a few posts ago and I enjoy the challenges each new task brings, even in my private projects. I don’t think there is much I haven’t tackled throughout my life but as they say if you don’t try you will never know your limitations. I feel sorry for those who endure their work rather than enjoy it. Nothing is impossible except the impossible!
Posted in Ability, Happiness, Life, Well-being, Work | Tagged: Ability, Capability, Happiness, Philosophy, Work | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on July 25, 2013
The Generous Mr. Lovewell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Occasionally I do electrical work! It used to be that most of my time was doing electrical work for others and sometimes for myself at home. It’s funny, electrical work at home has always taken second place to my professional work or the other things I might be doing. When I first moved into this house with its four floor levels, I immediately set about rewiring it although some circuits did not need rewiring but simply needed extras added such as power outlets. Since then of course I have made numerous alterations and additions both to the power circuits and the lighting circuits and more recently I have fitted new distribution boards meeting current regulations and standards. As I am getting older I find I don’t want too much work outside of my home but generally speaking at present I have little choice because there are not many requests coming my way anyway! In one way it gives me more time for myself but it also gives me no excuse for not doing other work at home and this is why I have been very busy doing those jobs I keep putting to one side. When I get offers for work I don’t dismiss them if I feel it isn’t too much for me to take on board or wish to do. Mostly I concentrate on the smaller domestic work which suits me very well. I received a request to do such a job about two weeks ago and the lady visited my house with my remuneration and was generous in that I received £20 more than I’d asked for less than three hours work. She called again on Monday morning asking if I would do another small job which I duly did for her. I was paid twice what I had asked for my labour and she insisted I take the extra as I am ‘efficient and reliable’, to use her words. She said as much the last time she overpaid me. Some folk are simply generous by nature. Later that day someone else asked what I would charge to fit a replacement light and when I told her she said that she might call me back once she had phoned around to see if she could get it done for less. No problem but in fact my prices are indeed low anyway! Some people want things doing for nothing. It wasn’t as if she lived locally either, she lived miles away. In the evening my youngest son ‘borrowed’ £400 for his half of the £800 he and his girlfriend require as a deposit one their new apartment. Did I say I work for nothing?
Posted in DIY, Electrical, House and Home, People, Work | Tagged: Generosity, People, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on July 13, 2013
After my Monday escapades my mind and my body wanted a rest so on Tuesday neither E nor I did any work in the morning and we dined out in the afternoon. We intended to continue with our work on Wednesday however and this we did but Wednesday was a rather warm and humid day. The air felt ‘heavy’ due to the moisture content and any activity caused tiredness. My sweat glands work overtime at the best of times but when the air is already full of moisture there is nowhere for the sweat to evaporate so it stayed on my skin and I stayed hot! Well of course working in the heat is difficult at any time but especially if there is high humidity. Nevertheless we plodded on with the work in hand and the first task was to lay the final concrete paving slabs in the vegetable patch…….
I was certainly tired after manipulating those top three slabs though I wouldn’t normally be but it wasn’t just the slabs it was the shifting of the soil too apart from the setting up of the mixer and other things. My arms were aching and I felt somewhat weaker than normal and I put it down to the humid weather as much as a general tiredness considering how much work we’ve done over the last few weeks.
I did some other work too like relaying some bricks that a bricklayer had laid two years ago which had become loosened from the wall. Who called the bricklayer a bricklayer? LOL. After those jobs it was time to do some gardening which E had been doing for most of the day after she had initially been helping me. I had to more or less drag her indoors at 6 o’clock because she doesn’t know when to stop!
There is still plenty to do though but it would be better if the weather were a little cooler. I don’t like sunbathing but I am still a bit sunburned on exposed skin. In fact I have a heat rash on my forearms even though I’ve been using factor 25 sun blocker! Sitting in the patio is fine as long as I can sit under the canopy but I’ve not had too much time to do that, at least during the day.
Posted in Activity, Construction, Garden, House and Home, Work | Tagged: Activity, Bricklayer, Home and Garden, Humidity, Sweat gland, Temperature, Work | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on July 11, 2013
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
Monday morning saw me with nothing to do other than continue working at home, even though the weather is so hot. I’d had a long soak in the bath on Sunday evening to help me to relax, not that I needed to relax, I knew I would fall straight into a deep sleep anyway because I was feeling very tired. Lying there quietly I could hear the water tank refilling as they do of course when running off a lot of water. It seemed to be taking longer than usual to stop but the thought soon passed from my thoughts. I could still hear what seemed like water flowing through the pipes when I had finished bathing but couldn’t pinpoint the source and in any case it was late, 11.45 and I was tired. I arose around 6 o’clock and had my breakfast so I could start making preparations for continuing the work in the garden. When I approached the rear of the garage I could hear water splashing and discovered the overflow pipe from the storage tank supplying the bathroom was gushing out water and it looked as if it had been doing so right through the night. This must have been the sound I heard the night before. A change of plan then, out with some tools and a ladder to investigate the problem. It was of course the sealing disc in the supply pipe valve. I managed to turn off the water supply to the tank to stop the overflow but as I was doing that I received a call from a lady I’ve done work for before on numerous occasions who wanted me to do two small jobs for her. The flow seemed to have stopped from the overflow for the time being but I knew that wouldn’t last and I’d have to strip out the valve disc and replace it at some point. The access to this tank is through a very small opening measuring something like 300 x 450 mm and was constructed by the previous owner of the house when the bathroom was at that time undergoing a make-over (it needs another one) and I found it extremely difficult gaining access but managed. The ceiling ‘trap’ (access hole) is alongside the wall and the water pipes make it even more difficult as they restrict movement. I closed the trap and went off to tackle the lady’s jobs stopping on the way to collect my medications from the chemist (drug store) which I should have collected on Friday but simply forgot. The jobs took longer than expected and I didn’t return home until after 12.30. I took the lady to buy an electric wall heater to replace another she had so that she could decide on the model she liked but on the way back to her house we stopped at my house so she could see something of it as she had been asking me about it. As it wasn’t far off route I obliged and showed her around the rear garden and the work we’d been doing there. She was very impressed and complimented us on what we’d achieved. We stayed but a short time and then returned to her house to do the remaining work. Her house belongs to her daughter but she lives with her and as her daughter was at work she organised everything for her. That meant I would have to wait until the evening to receive payment when her daughter would drop by our house with the money. It was around 2.30 in the afternoon when I suggested to E that we should do something in the garden making use of the fine weather and she was eager to do so. We managed to move a mound of soil and level the ground a little ready to lay some paving slabs there later and I moved the four remaining slabs from where I’d stored them up onto the plot of ground before we could lay that last slab which now completes the set of steps we’d been constructing. Out came the cement mixer and we mixed some mortar and laid down the final step. The remaining three slabs will be laid on a membrane directly over the compacted soil. The ground is contained within brick walls and is therefore naturally compacted. It isn’t necessary to lay a foundation for these slabs as long as we make sure the ground is fully compacted and is level. By now it was after 4 o’clock and E pointed out that the overflow pipe was again pushing out water. I thought it might somehow! Tools and ladder out again and upstairs to do the job. Fortunately I carry plumbing materials in my van with the electrical materials so I didn’t have to purchase anything. This time I made the effort to climb completely into the ceiling space which was quite difficult but had to be done in order to gain proper access to the valve. Soon I had the valve stripped down and the replacement washer/valve seating disc was fitted and then we returned to the garden to tidy up but before I went downstairs I got washed and I changed my clothes which by now were covered in dust. I hadn’t bothered with overalls this time as the clothes were already somewhat soiled from my earlier work. It was now just after 6 o’clock and we received a visit from the lady and her daughter with the payment for my work. The lady is 80 years old, though you wouldn’t know it and her daughter a little over 50. I invited them into the garden so the daughter could see it too. I was handed a sealed envelope containing a card and cash but I didn’t open it until later when back indoors for our evening meal. I had been given twenty pounds more than I’d asked! What a nice gesture and especially so after the day’s problems. The daughter has always been generous when paying me for the work I do because as she says ‘You are prompt and efficient’………..She forgot to add ‘and wacked too’! And then I wrote this.
Posted in Ability, Activity, House and Home, Work | Tagged: Home and Garden, Plumbing, Valve, Water, Water pipe, Water supply, Work | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on June 22, 2013
I have been plodding on with my current project of reconstructing the steps and part of the pathway from the rear of one of the garages but there have been many interruptions, weather, electrical work, dining out, rest days and so on. It is a wonder that i have completed as much as I have, or rather we have, for E has been doing her share of the work too. Added to these interruptions I have been deliberately limiting my working hours each day so that I can rest and do other things. I have noticed many times in my life where I have been interrupted from doing something I really wanted to get on with. Sometimes the interruptions have been welcome but mostly they have not. I hate being interrupted when I am working at something as it breaks my concentration and often makes the task more difficult as a result. I was doing a little electrical job for an elderly couple a short while ago, partly by way of a favour, though I was paid my usual rate. The request was at short notice but as their house lay more or less on the route back home from where I had been working I agreed to do their job immediately. Having shown me the three jobs they wanted doing the man left me to get on with them but all the woman wanted to do was chat. Two of the three jobs where in the adjacent room to where she was sitting, the other was upstairs in one of the bedrooms. She had some form of lung disease, probably emphysema as she was connected to a pumped oxygen pipeline. I didn’t ask about her condition as I thought it was probably something she would rather not speak about. I have seen quite a few people in the places I have worked over the years who have been using an oxygen supply because of lung problems so it was nothing new to me. She seemed cheerful enough when I spoke with her but she insisted on continuing to chat whilst I was trying to do the work. Now I find that very annoying but of course I have to be polite and not show it! I had to wait for her to stop speaking before I could use my electric drill which meant the job had to stop until she’d finished. Finally she realised that I couldn’t hear what she was saying whilst the drill was running but continued after it had stopped! These interruptions come with the territory though and I take them in my stride but they can be irritating especially if I am working on live equipment.
Posted in Work | Tagged: Emphysema, Interruptions, Respiratory disease, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on June 18, 2013
Saturday was almost a repeat of Friday but E didn’t leave the house until almost one o’clock this time. She was meeting her friends again for their monthly get-together at a pub/restaurant in a nearby town. They always meet on the third Saturday unless that falls on a special holiday, like Christmas for instance. She usually spends about three or four hours away but this time she didn’t return home until after seven as she had other things to attend to beforehand. I wanted to do some work on my project in the garden but felt obliged to stay indoors until my son came to collect the cat we had looked after overnight. He didn’t arrive until after three o’clock. I received an update about the cat. It appears that she hadn’t been looked after by its previous owner who apparently was hardly ever at home and who left others to feed the animal. My son had arranged for a new owner to take charge but she evidently couldn’t take the cat until Saturday afternoon. It seems she had been to Spain and was coming back home. I believe the cat will now be well looked after by this young woman. I felt sorry for the poor mite, now thirteen years old and not properly settled yet. Her picture is below. Anyway my son took her away and I took the opportunity to do a little work. By now it was almost four o’clock but it was now sunny and dry. I set about demolishing part of the wall I talked about in yesterday’s post ready to start constructing the steps that will lead up to the vegetable patch behind the garage. More bricks came away than had been planned but they can easily be put back later. Next I started to dig out the ground behind the wall and I must have shifted a half-ton! Digging and moving soil really takes it out of you, I know, I’ve done it many times and recently too! After laying down some hard-core material ready for the concrete I tidied up the area and returned indoors. I had only been outside for about two hours but I got all that I wanted to do done. I had other things to do indoors, washing some clothes, hanging other laundry that had been washed, cleaning around the kitchen after the cat, she had been almost everywhere, on the worktops and table! I prepared our evening meal expecting E to be home now that it was after seven but she didn’t arrive home until around eight. I dined alone not knowing when she’d arrive. No sooner had I finished eating when she finally arrived. After E had eaten I prepared a Chilli-con Carne for the following day. It takes far better when it is allowed to stand for a few hours. I took my day of rest on Sunday and did no work that day.
Posted in Animals, House and Home, Work | Tagged: Cat, Christmas, Clock, Friday, Home and Garden, Pets, Recreation, Saturday, Spain, Work | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on June 16, 2013
During the past week E and I have been busy mixing and laying more concrete on and off as the weather and my free time allowed. The ramp to the rear of one of the garages was completed at the end of the previous week and we have been concentrating our efforts this week on working toward completing the steps behind the other garage. There is still much to do there as one cannot make all the steps in one go and each step has to be done in two stages too. Other work near to the steps needs to be completed before the final part of the steps can be finished. We have a rain water-butt whose overflow pipe currently spills out on to the pathway and we are diverting it to a clean water drain instead but that means laying the pipe beneath the final step we will be laying soon. A small wall presently exists part of which we will be demolishing in order to construct a couple of more steps for safe access to the vegetable plot we have behind the garage. In this photo taken a couple of years ago and especially the following one taken sometime last year you can see the old steps, the overflow pipe sloping at an angle on the wall of the garage and the drain to the left of the passageway. The pipe will be diverted to that drain grid across the path and will be covered by the last concrete step. The small section of wall where the upturned green coloured garden pot is in the first picture and showing beneath the pipe in the second picture is the one to be demolished in order to construct a step or two recessed from the pathway and leading up to the ground on the right behind the garage. When the work is complete I will post an up-to-date picture.
In the meantime we are plodding along slowly but surely as there are other things we have to do too, like mowing the lawn and digging out the ground behind the plum trees! I have been unusually busy with my electrical work this past week too and if that continues I will have less time to do other things.
- It begins (minkyweasel.com)
- An idiot at home….LOL (minkyweasel.com)
Posted in House and Home | Tagged: Activity, Concrete, Home, Home and Garden, Site Construction, Work | Leave a Comment »