Don’t you just love Mondays? Monday started showery though it was quite mild with little in the way of wind. My scheduled electrical job was to check for an intermittent fault on a distribution board in an out-house (a built-on extension to the main building) and to replace two floodlights on the outside walls of that extension. It was dry when I arrived but soon after opening my toolbox it began to rain. However, because the forecast was for showers I expected the rain to stop after a few minutes, and it did but that was the pattern for the next hour or so. By noon the sun was ‘cracking the flags (paving stones)’ as we say but long before then I had finished the work. The reason for the distribution panel’s RCD tripping intermittently was due to one of the old floodlights which had become detached from the wall. It was hanging by the electrical cable leaving the connection box exposed to the elements. I removed it and fitted the new one which had been supplied by the customer. Her son had purchased two replacement tungsten-halogen fittings and had given them to her. I left setting it up until after the second floodlight had been installed. I set the controls on the first floodlight and it worked perfectly but when I did the same to the second light it wouldn’t switch off. The lady and I waited for quite some time for the light to ‘settle down’ as sometimes they can be quite temperamental when first switched on. This unit just didn’t want to know! The lady asked if I could simply buy a new one instead. She opted for me to purchase an LED version so I drove off to purchase one. The picture shows the same model.I was away from the house for almost a half-hour and on my return I saw that the floodlight had finally switched itself off! As I had set it up for automatic night-time switching the lady asked if I could leave it and see if indeed it was now going to behave itself. She sent me a text message later to let me know everything worked fine. I didn’t bother returning the newly purchased light as either she might find the light is faulty or someone else might want one. With the connection box included the price was under £25 so it will remain as van stock for the time being. I drove off to view another job and whilst doing so a lady I had been to see the previous week regarding replacing her outside wall lantern called to let me know she had purchased the replacement. It was in the next township but as the weather had now turned out for the better I took the opportunity to go and replace it for her. By now it was one-thirty and beyond my lunchtime. I didn’t get lunch until almost two-thirty. It happens quite often. My little run about paid well anyway so I was happy.
Sunset over Southport, UK, in July 2006. Note the interesting cloud formations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Haven’t we been enjoying good weather these last few weeks? Okay I know some have had some cold and windy weather but generally speaking the UK has fared quite well considering it is now Autumn. For a few hours on Sunday we had here in Southport sunshine and blue skies, especially during the afternoon, so much so that I actually sat out in it. The Sun‘s rays were still strong and penetrating and could easily burn unprotected skin if out in it for a long time. There was little in the way of a breeze but when the wind did put in an appearance it was warm. Later in the day clouds rolled in and we had rain, in fact rain was the forecast for the following two days after which it might turn sunny once more. I doubt there will be more opportunities to sit in the sun from now on unless heavier and warmer clothes are worn. Aside from being in the garden or out at work I haven’t been out much lately, not even for walks. Walking is nice but is very unproductive too. I have simply been far too busy to spend time walking and any walking has been done on my treadmill though when I get on that machine I usually end up running! As the weather gets more wet and windy I think I’ll be using the treadmill more often. I have taken my advert out of the newspaper for two weeks so that I might have more time to myself though I won’t be idle if I can help it. I might get to do some of that walking outdoors if the weather permits. As I write this on Sunday evening I have scheduled electrical work to do in the week ahead so I won’t have every day to myself anyway and there’s work to do in the gardens.
You can do a lot of things in two hours. You can get in the weekly shopping, see a movie, take a drive somewhere and have a picnic, you can even fly off to another country if it isn’t too far away. Saturday was the day for E to meet up with her group, they meet together as a group on the third Saturday in the month and E sometimes meets with her friend from the group for special trips related to their groups activities. It means I get to stay alone at home unless I’ve anything planned, which is not often the case. In recent days I have been engaged it carrying out many of the little jobs that needed to be done at home now that I am free from doing any major project. I’ve been very busy this year doing major domestic projects and I hadn’t the time for the smaller things. The top room of the house, well one of the three that are up there, had been renovated earlier in the year but I never got around to re-fixing the curtain rail over the window. I decided to do it on Saturday afternoon. The original rail had been fixed to a length of wood which in turn had been screwed to the brick wall above the window but that part of the wall had been weak and the whole assembly had been insecure. Whilst engaged in the refurbishment I carried out repairs to the wall but knew that attempting to re-fix the rail there would still be fraught with difficulties unless I could find a good and solid place to screw it to. That meant finding the brick and not the seam but to do that wasn’t easy especially as the wall is covered with plaster. It’s a common problem with brick walls unless the seams are as hard as the bricks! Fixing the rail should have been straightforward and should have taken me no longer than fifteen minutes or so but it took two hours. Having decided to attempt to fix the two supports for the rail to the same brick wall I drilled the single hole for the first one which took a couple of minutes and screwed it in place. Then I began to drill the second hole and hit a seam. With the right sized screw and plug I thought it wouldn’t be a problem but the plug disappeared down the hole. I fetched another and put it in the hole and it stopped as it hit the first one. I attempted to screw the support but the screw kept on turning. I put a larger plug into the hole and using a larger screw made another attempt. Still no success. I was beginning to get very frustrated. I couldn’t simply move the support along and try again because it would have prevented the curtain from drawing closed. My only alternative was to attach that end of the rail to the adjacent wall which is at right angles to the window and fortunately right next to the window frame. The proper fixing support could not be used on the adjacent wall so instead I had to manufacture one which would support the end of the rail end-on. I needed a block of wood with a 25 mm hole drilled out in which the end of the rail could be pushed then that block could be screwed to the adjacent wall with two smaller screws. It all sounds so simple but at every point along the way I was met with one problem or another, screws too long or too short, drill bits blunt, brick wall too hard (yes the bricks are hard in one or two places around the house) and the fact that I had to take a few trips down to the cellar and back which is four floors below. In the end it took me two hours but I did hang the curtain too, after I had located the plastic curtain hooks and inserted them into the webbing. I also managed to get it all done five minutes before E returned home despite how long it had taken to do.
In the same vein as yesterday’s post I write this one. It is finally the end of the week for my electrical work
but already I have two jobs lined-up for next week with a possible third when they call me. I won’t say I am not sorry it is Friday (as I write this) because the week has been somewhat hectic at times. Yesterday, that is Thursday, the phone never seemed to stop ringing and even today at least in the morning it was just the same. Funny how and why people insist on calling me during the day asking for my services when I’m sure they know I will be at work. In emergencies, yes, I agree they’ve no choice but usually these jobs have been on the caller’s mind for some time and in that case they should call me in the evening. People do what people do but it just takes a little forethought. Three times I made the attempt to connect the first of several lighting
fittings I was installing in someone’s house when my phone rang. One was one of those nuisance calls
but the others could have waited till a more convenient time. It seems to happen more just as I have reached the top of a ladder! I did two jobs on Friday, in the first house it was to simply change a faulty power outlet
and in the second house to install several new lighting fittings. I received another call asking if I could check a ceiling fan
and light combination in a conservatory.
A “Tropical Breeze Delux”[sic] ceiling fan, made by Moss. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I told them I would call there on my way back home. I had driven less than a half-mile from the second house when I was again called by someone asking if I could replace some lighting units on the exterior of their garage. Had they called another minute later I would have by then driven past their road. Such timing, yet had they called me the night before…..well you see what I mean. I went there but arranged to do the work the following week as I was on my way to look at that faulty fan and besides which the customer hadn’t as yet purchased the lights she wanted me to fit. She had been under the impression that I would make the purchase. That is something I would never do unless the person was unable or incapable. People who make such requests don’t realise they wold be paying for my time apart from the fact that I wouldn’t know what their tastes in fittings and fixtures are anyway. I think she had a cheek to ask but there you go. I drove off to the house with the faulty fan/light and discovered that the fan wasn’t at fault but only the lights. They could neither be switched manually nor remotely using the remote control unit. There was obviously a fault in the on-board control unit. As I do not carry out repairs to such things or to any fixed or portable appliance I referred them to someone else. I haven’t the time nor the inclination to source parts for the numerous pieces of equipment I am sometimes asked to repair. Those jobs are done by specialists who have the resources and the time and often have a dedicated workshop. You would be surprised at the amount of people who think my little van is some sort of ‘Tardis
‘ (Dr. Who
fans will know what I mean), far larger on the inside and full of all kinds of stock.
Not so I’m afraid. A girl who works for my local newspaper and with whom I arrange for my advertisement to be published called to ask if I was going to purchase some more advertising space. I was buying thirteen weeks of space but recently changed that to ten weeks instead. As I write this I am in my final week of the last ten but I had planned not to renew until the beginning of November when the price increases in order to make accounting easier but also because I wanted a couple of weeks rest. No doubt that won’t happen though, the rest I mean because usually I still get a few calls. If they are but a few I will do them. I am now faced with a lovely weekend free from electrical work………….the garden awaits……………
I had quite a busy day on Thursday. I drove to the next township to change two ceiling lights in somebody’s kitchen. The replacement fittings were a peculiar affair, a straight bar about a half-metre in length each end of which were affixed another half-metre in length of bar which could be bent at the joint to form any desired shape on the ceiling….thus
The centre section was where the connections were made in the ‘rose’ and the two ‘arms’ were attached to the ceiling on small rods once the desired shape was decided upon. Each arm had two lamps making a total of six on each of the two fittings (fixtures). The lady of the house ‘allowed’ her husband to choose the fittings but she wasn’t that keen on them. I agreed with her. I thought they looked ungainly and out-of-place in the small kitchen/diner. I did the work and all was well but a half-hour after I had left there had been a problem and part of the house circuitry had switched off. I returned immediately to locate a possible fault in what I had done but found none. I did discover faults with the power circuit in the kitchen though and corrected them then all was restored. I stayed a while to ensure the power remained on. As I was leaving I received a request to investigate a faulty power outlet in someone else’s house near to home so I called there to check it out. The ‘fault’ lay in the fact that a wire had become loose in the terminal but in fact it should not have been there in the first place. The single supply cable feeding the twin power outlet was in the first place too small and the loose wire was supplying an adjacent switch for the gas boiler. Added to that problem was the fact that three plugs were lying close-by which were on the flexible leads to the washing machine, the tumble-dryer and a further washing machine. The power outlet was incapable to accommodate them all, especially as the cable supplying it was too small. The whole installation required a re-wire. The lady told me that the wiring was done over forty years ago but I pointed out that although it might have sufficed at the time she had been acquiring many modern appliances since then and there were simply not enough outlets for them now. I made the outlet safe for use in the interim, it was all I could do. I referred her to another electrician who will carry out the rewire. I was about to eat lunch and the phone rang. It was an offer of more work from an old customer. I ate lunch and again received a call asking for my services. That was Friday and Monday taken care of. Aha! I had further calls in the evening too. It’s nice to feel wanted……but not all at once! It reminded me of what it was like all those years ago, job after job after job……………nothing much has changed has it? Well yes it has, I don’t work half as hard as I used to!
I can relax a little now that all the major projects I had set myself to do this year have been accomplished. I will not remain idle though for even now I can think of things I can do to keep me occupied. On Wednesday morning after breakfast I undertook to finish the small project I had started the previous day which involved alterations to floodlights at the rear and one side of the house. Basically all I had left myself to do was to fix a new floodlight and a connection box then terminate the wiring after which I painted the remaining section of the main cable I had been unable to do the day before.
The light which used to be where the black connection box is just around the corner (top-middle) has now been re-positioned where you see it on the right of the kitchen window. A cable now runs from the connection box to a new position beneath the other kitchen window here in this picture …It now shines directly upon the Plot when activated and will better illuminate the area and especially the passageway beneath it. The faulty floodlight will be partly dismantled and tested and if it is only the sensor that is faulty and not the LED lamp I will keep hold of it and use it elsewhere. It didn’t take long to dismantle the tower and store it away until it is needed again. It was almost lunchtime but I waited an hour before indulging. After lunch I had set myself a little plumbing job to do. If any of my readers will remember, I drained down the central heating system radiators and pipework a couple of months ago while it was still Summer in order to fit new radiator valves where I could get at them, though not all of them needed replacing. That meant air in the system when I refilled it of course, most of which I vented off manually. However, the bathroom towel rail heater remained air locked even though I had made alterations to the pipes in the airing cupboard to enable me to release any trapped air. I needed to get to grips with the situation but what with all the other work I had been doing I never really had the time. I attached a previously made length of hose pipe with a connecting pipe and fitting to the valve I had installed when the system was empty of water and allowed the water to gush out and into the bathtub. Surprisingly there was no air but just a little sludge, enough to stem the flow of water when in use. Thankfully the towel rail heated up and I was able to pack everything away.
I like being my age, most of the time that is! Age brings with it many problems for some people though some will sail through their latter days with hardly a problem at all. You might say it was a matter of luck or good fortune and you would be partly right. Much of our health and susceptibility to illnesses can be attributed to our genes but not for everyone. We have to do our best to stay healthy and hope that will be enough. Remaining active into old age is beneficial to our health and well-being and it is one of the reasons I have kept working beyond the age I would normally have retired. The other reasons for working are that I enjoy it and if I am working for someone else it pays too! The beauty of working for one’s self is that there is no real pressure, you can work as much as you want to. Since becoming self-employed over nineteen years ago I have found that to be true. I can take work on board or not and take time for myself when it suits me. On Tuesday last I had a call from a guy for whom I had worked in the past and he was asking for my electrical services to solve a couple of problems he was having with his installation. My intention has been to work at home on a mini-project concerning the floodlights at the rear of the house but as there was no pressure to do it I agreed to respond to his request. It was nine o’clock when I arrived at his house and eleven-thirty when I left. It was financially beneficial to me of course and well worth the time I had spent there. When I returned home I prepared a vegetable and chicken stew, mostly vegetables, the way I prefer it being made. I used onions, bell peppers, garlic cloves, carrots and peas on this occasion together with pre-cooked diced chicken. I made enough for two or three meals as often I don’t have the time or inclination to stand in the kitchen cooking, much as I like cooking. I had some of the stew for my lunch as by then it was one o’clock. Soon after lunch I put on my overalls and started working in the garden. First job was to move the small concrete slabs, natural stone slabs and a couple of bricks that I had temporarily left in the passageway between the side of the house and the ‘Plot’ where I had been working lately. I then began to erect two sections of the scaffolding tower to allow me to reach the floodlights on that side and end of the house. There are five floodlights on the rear and side walls of the house. The one nearest the patio and facing the lawn had been faulty for some weeks so I planned to remove it and replace it with the one just around the corner which faced the Plot. It is the light just to the right of the window at bottom right in this picture, though the picture was taken a few years ago before I changed them to LED floodlights…… I would then extend the wiring from where I had removed that floodlight and install a new floodlight further along the wall but at a lower height and better position to illuminate the Plot and the passageway to the rear of the garage. Re-positioning that floodlight would also prevent false triggering of the floodlight’s sensor caused by the laurel bushes at the side of the patio which move in the wind. I got most of the work done by five o’clock when it began to get too dark. I had to put everything away but of course I left the tower erected as I hadn’t finished the work. Another hour or so would see it completed and I planned to do that the next day.
The Meaning of Life (Tankard album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ever wonder what the meaning of life is? Are we here by accident, the result of eons of development through evolution or are we here by design? What is life after all? Throughout our lives we are always seeking after something. Stop and think about that for a moment. We seek peace, prosperity, good health, good relationships, happiness, a good time, financial security, physical security, acceptance in society and other individuals and these are only a few. Whenever we reach a goal we are often still not satisfied having achieved it, we want more, we strive for things that in the end are of no real benefit, in fact anything we gain in our lives doesn’t really benefit us at all and we have to give them up with our last breath. So what is the point?
Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon points out the futility of life. He walks down several paths as he looks for meaning in life—pleasure, wealth, wisdom, work. Not many of us will ever possess the time or the resources to do the kind of searching that Solomon did, so this book gives us the benefit of his experience and allows us to peek at the end of the story. His conclusion? No matter how hard we try to manufacture meaning in life, time passes and we all die.
But don’t despair! Solomon directs us to the ultimate source for finding meaning in life: knowing and living with God.
Think of unanswered questions as doors that slam in our faces. With gut-wrenching accuracy, Solomon forces us to look at our lives and recognize that these obstacles exist. But instead of trying to supply us with keys to open those doors by ourselves, Solomon points us to God, the Locksmith who promises to help us find a way. Ultimately, true meaning in life can be found only in a relationship with God—a relationship that is the “duty of all mankind” (verse 13).
Taken from NIV The Journey Bible
October’s first couple of weeks have been really nice, sunshine with little wind and hardly a drop of rain. I had therefore to get the hose pipe out a few times so that the garden plants didn’t wilt. You can always tell if you are not watering them frequently enough during dry spells, their leaves begin to droop. Some plants can withstand a bout of dry weather more so than others. I notice especially that the plants we have in the ‘Mound’ dry out more quickly than those on more level ground. This is the Mound for those new to my blog
There are three Rhododendron shrubs in it now and the one you can see near the top centre gives a good indication when the soil is getting too dry. By the way the potted plants you see along the front were mostly planted in the Mound the day after this picture was taken earlier in the year. On Sunday morning I drove to the local garden centre to purchase three more small shrubs which I subsequently planted in the flowerbed on the left which is out of sight in the picture. It is the flowerbed which is adjacent to the Patio on its right-hand-side. The picture below shows it when I was still in the process of redesigning it. More plants have been put there since. The intention is to fill in some of the open spaces with shrubs which in turn will offer more protection to the more sensitive of the plants during the colder months, basically acting as wind-breaks. We have some semi-tropical plants in the flowerbed which although can withstand a degree of cold they suffer in biting cold winds. So after lunch on Sunday I took advantage of the still bright and sunny day and sat a while on the patio. As there was little wind the patio was a sun trap and it was remarkably warm and pleasant to sit there. At this time of year we have to wait until around twelve-thirty before the sun shines again on the left of the house and for the area alongside the house on that side it is the first time in the day the sun can shine there. During the Summer the sun’s rays can reach the area from the rear of the house early in the day though for a brief spell around lunch time the area is in the shadow of the house. The house faces south south-west.Anyway clouds began to drift across the sky and after an hour it was too cool to sit outside in what I was wearing as the sun now was hidden. I decided to give in and go indoors. I also put on some warmer clothing which will be the norm now for a few months. During the warmer months I go bare-legged but last week saw me wearing my stockings for the first time since Spring. On Saturday I took a look at the lawn and it was completely covered in fallen leaves. E has a mains-powered leaf vacuum cleaner/shredder and I decided to get it out of its box and try it out. However, I noticed another vacuum cleaner in an open box above it so that is the one I used. I am not sure whether the two machines belong to E or if one belongs to my son. She has all sorts of equipment I know nothing about unless she tells me. I remember struggling to cut some timber for a picture rail in the bedroom we refurbished a few months ago when she finally let me know she had a power-driven saw for the job! The problem with the leaf vacuum is that it is powerful (1500 watts) and it tends to pull its suction tube to the ground when in use. I think a small wheel on either side of the large tube would be an excellent way to hold the tube just enough from the ground to allow the leaves in without it trying to suck in the ground too! It would make using the tool far easier too as it could be pulled along without effort. I don’t know why the designers haven’t thought of it, though in this picture of another model they have them on its transporter truck.
I think I was wasting my time for by Sunday the leaf clutter was back and there was more of them. I shall put off doing a complete clean-up until there are no more leaves left to drop. I usually wait until the wind has blown most of them away but that won’t be until late November.
On Friday I had a little work scheduled to do in the next little township, Formby, just a few miles away from home. I thought the work would take two or maybe three hours and I would then have the rest of the day to myself but as sometimes happens it didn’t work out that way. Replacing light fittings and a few power outlets unearthed a can of worms. There were incorrectly wired lights and power outlets which had to be tackled before I could do the work I had been asked to do. The couple with their twenty year-old son had recently moved in to the property and had not really had the chance to settle in because of the work that had to be done first. That is a common thing though in acquiring a new home. So my work took me until four in the afternoon to complete not only because of the problems but also because they had asked me to do other work too. One job I refused to do concerned the garage and greenhouse wiring installation. The lighting circuits especially were in a potentially dangerous condition and there was a problem with the power circuits too. I did do some work there but only to make it safer than it was. It would be too large a project for me to consider to rewire the garage and the greenhouse now that I have made the decision to cut back on my electrical work. I suggested they seek the services of a younger electrician! Anyway they were pleased with what I had done and they will call me again they say when there are other small jobs to do. Saturday was a completely different day. I made an inventory of my electrical van stock and decided to visit the supplier to renew my stock of switches, power outlets, and boxes. Whilst there I purchased another LED floodlight for our rear garden. One of the five had become faulty so I plan to change it with the one that overlooks the Plot I have been working in recently just to maintain the symmetry on the rear wall of the house. The new one will be positioned further along the side wall from where the supply is now. I will do that work in the next week or so when I feel like doing it. I also asked if they had sourced the part-night photo cell I had asked of them a week or so ago but they were having the same difficulty as I’d had in obtaining one. I left there to visit the other supplier I had also asked and they gave me a more positive answer. It seems that these photo cells are usually supplied in large quantities but to supply just one doesn’t interest them. This supplier though tells me that they can certainly supply one and will inform me in a day or so when they have one for me. At least I know I will finally get one. I drove home, stopping on the way to buy a couple of grocery items. The rest of the day would be spent relaxing.
Reading Post (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To date I have posted almost 3100 posts on this blog. I don’t suppose many of my readers will have read them all or that many browse older posts either. I was browsing some of my old postings just for something to do. I had and have been doing much work at home lately as well as carrying out electrical work for others and it does take its toll. I do enjoy my work however but it is nice to be able to sit and relax afterward. I am not one who likes to read fiction, it was never an interest to me but give me literature about practical subjects and I am happy. With me, if I am reading something of interest it leads me to other things. When I am searching a word in a dictionary I often find myself drifting off and searching related words and their meanings too. Before I know it I find myself way off target if I am not careful. Life’s a bit like that for many of us, we aim for something but get sidetracked and we end up somewhere else, somewhere we never thought we would be. The funny thing is we end up preferring our unintended destination. When I first started with this blog I never thought I would ever have reached so many posts but I did. That is 3100 posts in almost as many days. On one or two occasions I have posted twice on the same day but that hasn’t been often. Sometimes I wonder if I will continue and if so for how long? I have been tempted on a couple of occasions recently to simply stop. A blog is basically a personal log for many, an insight into the often mundane things we get up to in our daily lives though some people use the platform for other reasons, and there will be many. So I was re-reading some of my old posts and they brought back to mind memories of when they were written and the things I had been doing at the time. I wondered how I managed to do some of them when I remember what was involved and that is the point, we often do not realise our own potential when faced with a seemingly difficult and daunting task. It just takes a little confidence. Almost 3100 postings since the middle of January 2009 proves a point to me anyway.
I had a mini lie-in on Thursday morning after a quite restless night. I had enough sleep but it was in stages, two hours at a time and in between lying there wondering if I would ever wake up refreshed. I did however but it was a bit later than I had expected. I hadn’t set the alarm because I only do that if I have electrical work to do for others. My main desire for the day was to fit the newly acquired plaque and I had allowed myself all day to concentrate on that. Other work had been rescheduled to other days. Thursday started off fairly cool with a breeze but as the day wore on it got warmer, sunnier and less breezy. My feet touched the floor at nine o’clock and as they did someone called asking me to do an electrical job for them. I agreed with them to do it on Monday morning as I already had a job to do on Friday. I got dressed and ate breakfast and then I set to work.It was just after ten o’clock when I put on my overalls and went into the garage to take out the tower parts and begin to assemble them at the front of the house. I had to erect the full seven metres of it in order to reach the spot on the wall where I wanted to fit the plaque. However, it took me over two hours to get it all set up for I had no-one to help me, no-one to pass each section up to me which meant I had to climb up and down the tower many times as it rose higher. I went indoors for a moment to use the toilet and discovered it was almost twelve-thirty! It wasn’t worth returning outside before lunch so I made a quick snack and ate it. I returned outside before one-thirty and resumed working. My first task was to drill the holes in the brickwork using the template I had made and then I had to haul up the plaque using a large industrial bag and a rope. A far safer way than taking it up by hand as I could easily have dropped it. Using long brass screws I secured it to the wall.
Just as I was about to fix the plaque to the wall my eldest son arrived to help me dismantle the tower as he had promised. He had just finished work and was on his way home. It was a blessing for it took us only about ten minutes to dismantle it. He left soon after and I carried on putting everything away as you can see in the second picture. I finished everything completely by four o’clock and went indoors for a well-earned rest.
Medieval dentist removing tooth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had a dental appointment mid-morning on Wednesday which pretty much prevented me from doing any work, if I had any that is. The appointment seemed a little pointless to me because all the dentist did was to assess what he needed to do at my next visit. My teeth needed a little cosmetic treatment which according to my dentist wouldn’t take long to do but it just meant I would have to return at another time. The receptionist gave me an appointment near lunch time on 2 November! That’s almost a month away! The dentist, that is the surgery, must be in great demand for me to end up with another appointment so far off. I needed to pay a visit to my banks in order to deposit some cash but I had to drive home first to change my shoes. The reason for that is because I had been wearing shoes with a small heel. Let me explain. I never park my vehicle in the town centre because of the parking fees and the problems I would have in finding a parking space anyway so I park outside the zone and walk in. Although I could have walked in my heels walking any distance in them can be painful especially as I have problems with my left knee-joint. Apart from anything else high heels wear out faster than flat-heeled shoes. When I go walking I don’t wear heels. So a quick visit home and then I walked to the banks and made the deposits. While I was in town I decided to buy some cosmetics and on my way back to my vehicle I stopped off at a florist’s shop and bought a potted orchid as a surprise for E. It arrived late in the afternoon. After lunch I was just catching up on my emails when the house phone rang. It was the lady from the lawnmower shop telling me that the plaque I had ordered was now ready for collection. I drove off to collect it and on my return home I made a template to use when drilling the wall which is far easier and safer than using the plaque itself. I hoped to fit it the following day, Thursday. I will post a picture when it is fitted. Finally I made a cup of coffee and went outside to sit on the patio in the glorious sunshine. Considering it is early October we are experiencing some fine, warm and sunny weather of late. There was one snag. One of our neighbours had a gardener mowing his lawn, which is larger than ours so it takes longer to do. Well he had to cut the grass sometime just as I do. However just as he had finished someone else further along the road decided to start cutting theirs too. Oh well, so much for a quiet time on the patio. The noise abated after a while so could I relax? No I couldn’t. Another neighbour living close-by and in fact whose garden adjoins ours has two small dogs who like to bark, and from the moment I went out until way after the lawnmowers had ceased cutting, they barked continuously! After what must have been an hour they finally stopped barking. They are a pest but to be fair to the dogs it is their owners who allow them free rein. The dogs seem not to have been trained. The man of the house is a veterinary surgeon and you would think he would have trained them. It appears though that his wife puts them out into the garden sometimes when she goes shopping. She doesn’t have to sit and listen to them and it doesn’t occur to her that the dogs are causing a nuisance, though E and I have spoken with her about this in the past. I am surprised some of our other neighbours haven’t complained. Maybe they are all deaf!
I had been reasonably busy on Monday, especially in the morning as I had been removing many light fittings and replacing them with basic roses and pendants. The lady of the house had sold the property and wished to take the lights with her to her new property in Hampshire. It is a requirement that electrical circuits in a property must be in working order with all fixtures and fittings in place or as in this case replacements fitted. I don’t know why some electricians insist on wiring some circuits the way they do when it leaves too many cables at the light ceiling roses. The maximum should never really be more than four cables, that is twelve conductors. The minimum of course would be one or two cables, that is three or six conductors. Ceiling roses can accommodate these levels though I have to say the more conductors the more difficult it is to connect them neatly. Another thing I find with some electricians is the lack of slack they leave in the roses or switches which makes alterations and repairs almost impossible in some cases. These are the problems I had at this house so it inevitably took me longer than normal to do the work. Anyway, Tuesday started quite differently as I had no scheduled work but there was one job I wanted to do at home which was to fill-in the three small spots on the Plot with concrete where they couldn’t be done when the original work was carried out a couple of weeks ago. It was less than an hour’s work and I was soon back indoors with nothing to do. I was waiting for a call from the place I had ordered the wall plaque a few days earlier and also from an electrical wholesaler who was sourcing the part-night photo cell I have been attempting to acquire to control the garden lamp-post. It was mid-morning when my phone rang but it was an invitation to work at a house less than a half-mile away. I was more than happy to oblige as I was beginning to get bored. He had a couple of track lights, the track of which appeared faulty but after testing I discovered it was the lights themselves that were faulty and would need replacing if he wished to keep the track system. He wouldn’t need me or any other electrician to fit the replacements. I returned home with the prospect of little to do for a couple of days. There seems to be therefore a bit of a lull in activity and until I receive the plaque and the sensor I will be searching for things to occupy my time. I had one job scheduled for Thursday but it was rescheduled to be done on Friday instead which meant Wednesday and Thursday would be free though I did have a dental appointment on Wednesday morning. I really looked forward to that!
Door furniture, old and new The hinge and lock say craftsman, the padlock, B&Q. Detail on the old door in a church outbuilding. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What a lovely day Sunday was, warm, dry and sunny practically all day long. There was only the slightest of a breeze, more a zephyr most of the time. I spent quite a few hours outside enjoying it. The only part of the garden that was damp was the grass and that only because of dew. The artificial grass on the patio was naturally also damp too. Almost two weeks ago saw the Equinox marking the beginning of Autumn but Autumn proper seemed far off on Sunday. It felt more like Summer. The week ahead looked promising too but I knew at this time of year it can suddenly turned wet, windy and cold. I still had some work to do outdoors if the weather could remain dry for me to do it. I had three small areas around the paving slabs I had laid on the Plot which needed filling in with a fine concrete mix and perhaps do some cosmetic work around the base of the new lamp-post using natural stones. There was also one other job I might be able to do sometime during the week but that would need the tower erecting at the front of the building. I had hinted at the possibility of doing this unusual job many months ago but didn’t get around to doing it. On Friday I had paid a visit to a local establishment which services and sells lawnmowers. It is noted for the lawnmower museum they have there ( http://www.lawnmowerworld.co.uk/gallery.php?location=0 ) but apart from their lawnmower business they are also master locksmiths. Part of their shop is dedicated to that trade and they sell all kinds of things to do with locks and door furniture. They also program vehicle keys and lock systems which is why I was there. Recently I’d had a replacement control unit fitted around the steering column of my van and later it was discovered that the key no longer controlled the automatic door locking system though it still works manually. Neither the auto electrician nor the locksmith could resolve the problem which still exists. I can live with operating it manually and I will leave it that way unless I come across a solution. Anyway whilst at the store waiting to see if the locksmith could set things right I noticed that they also sold natural stone (slate) plaques with signage. I made inquiries regarding cost to have one made to size for my needs. It would cost £150 I was told so I agreed to have one made. They told me it would be ready to collect a couple of days hence, perhaps Monday. Now I know you will be wondering what the plaque was for and what was to be written on it. It will read…’Hassle Castle…..1877′ and it is to be fixed to the wall at the front of the house at high level. The house was built in 1877. I mentioned the purchase to my neighbour who thinks the idea highly amusing but liked it. I think the same. I may be able to attach a picture before this is scheduled to be posted but if not I will post one later.