Household chores

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A distraction from chores

A distraction from chores (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I couldn’t get to sleep on Friday night until way after two o’clock despite my nodding off in front of the television before I set off to bed. Maybe the ‘cat naps’ had been enough to keep me awake but I did eventually fall asleep. That meant I ended up sleeping in until nine-thirty and missing breakfast. When I finally got downstairs and carrying laundry I put it into the washing machine then went for a walk. I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t miss not having breakfast. It was another pleasant day, still cloudy but reasonably warm with no wind whatsoever. Soon I was on my way back home to do some household chores, taking out the waste, cleaning the bins, hanging up the washing, vacuuming the carpets, you know, all the mundane stuff in life that has to be done. Once upon a time I didn’t much like doing household chores but in more recent times I find I actually enjoy it! Am I crazy or what? Not really, after all it is work and something therefore I enjoy. When I was very young I was the only one among my siblings who like helping out at home. I would prepare meals, wash and scrub the floors and other things most children shy away from. I won’t say that my brothers and sisters didn’t help out but from what I can remember I was the one who encouraged them to help. That was probably because I was the eldest. They remember me as ‘bossy boots’ and I probably was but I got hings done. So was my Saturday all chores and no rest? No, I am not that crazy! I get restless though and soon find myself looking for things to do but the problem with household chores is that they never seem to end, by the time you think you’ve done everything you have come full circle and have to begin again. When I finally retire from my electrical work (perhaps) I know there will be plenty of work to do around and inside the house to keep me occupied………………but that is life isn’t it?

Shirley Anne

Surrounded by tits

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Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Бесе...

Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Беседа), 51.1 x 61.3 cm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people are very talkative and I am no exception. I enjoy conversation but seldom get a chance to speak with anyone these days except while out at work. I was called to a house on Friday morning to check out a faulty light circuit and secure a switch which had been left dangling by its wires by an ‘electrician’, well according to the lady was supposed to be one. He had made an attempt top solve some of her electrical problems and had she said ‘Blown up the wiring’. I think she was exaggerating a little though she did say that had happened some time ago. On his latest visit he refused to take on the work as it was too dangerous and there were bare wires behind the switch. I was surprised she even allowed him back into the house after his last visit. The fault was indeed a simple thing to put right. One of the wires had been trapped against a fixing screw and had short-circuited, blowing itself in two at the same time, though it was hard to tell that at first glance for the wire’s insulation seemed intact. I had the repair done in no time and would have left immediately but she held me in conversation for quite some time. Eventually I had to break in and end it. After she had paid me I drove to the nearest post office to buy a stamp for a letter I was posting but there was a small queue. A middle-aged lady and a slightly older man were ahead of me in the queue. I broke into conversation, small talk at first which became a more in-depth discussion. I often find strangers are quite willing to converse if I open the conversation, and that is what I do as often as not. I think the world would be a better place if we all spoke to one another! What has all this got to do with the title of this post? Well truthfully, nothing at all but I will come to this. Once I had returned home I made myself a coffee and without removing my coat went out onto the patio to sit and drink it. Friday was a still, dull and cloudy day but it wasn’t very cold. I like to sit outside a lot if the weather allows and this morning it did. I was looking up at the tall Lime tree in my neighbour’s garden, the one I have mentioned in a few of my posts, the one which is always dropping some of its branches and twigs into our garden. It stands there bare of leaves now it is the season though it is covered in ivy.

Tits

Tits (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I looked up I could see tens of tits surrounding its upper branches and darting in and out among them, settling down momentarily to snatch some unsuspecting insect before flitting to another branch. The whole canopy was full of tits all doing the same thing. It was a sight I hadn’t previously experienced and I found myself gawping upward for quite some time. All I can say is there must still be plenty of insects about even at this time of year, which is great for the tits! I collected more apples from the trees before returning indoors to peel and cook them. I wasn’t going to make another pie though, this time the hot partially-cooked apples would be eaten with a topping of cold ice cream………..delicious.

Shirley Anne

Too hot to handle

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Too Hot to Handle (1938 film)

Too Hot to Handle (1938 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gosh my phone was busy on Thursday morning! I had been working in a fairly new development less than a mile from home, actually built on the grounds of the school that once stood there. My two sons attended that school for a few years until we moved them to another later on. The school was what we call a private school here in the UK (and elsewhere), one which levies a fee each term for the private education they provide. Those fees amounted to thousands of pounds (Sterling) each term, money we could ill-afford to pay by ourselves though we did make contribution toward the cost. E’s parents paid the majority of the cost until we decided the children would do better in a State-run school. They did very well, even better, at their new school and both ended up with a degree at their respective universities. Of course we had to support them whilst they were there. Their old school had been completely renovated and turned into luxury apartments and new buildings had been erected in the school grounds too. It was in one of those buildings I went to work on Thursday morning but I’d hardly stepped over the threshold when my phone rang and then continued to do so during the two hours I was there. It was a bit of a nuisance having to down tools to answer the phone each time it rang. Fortunately the lady of the house was sympathetic. This is why I think people should attempt to contact me in the evenings rather than during the day unless they have an emergency. A week or so ago I visited a house some miles north of town to check out a faulty cooker circuit. Maybe my readers will remember that I had to replace a faulty switch and disconnect wiring that shouldn’t have been connected to it? The switch had been positioned in a very awkward place and had been difficult to remove. Anyway the lady of that house was one of the callers on Thursday morning. Evidently her cooker had ceased working. Naturally I arranged to call there once I had completed the work I was engaged in doing when she called. On my arrival an hour or so later I discovered that the ‘fault’ wasn’t a fault at all, she had switched the timer to automatic mode instead of manual mode! Once I corrected that the cooker worked perfectly. She apologised profusely but I knew she was under pressure as an hour later her husband would be on his way to hospital for a major operation to remove a cancerous tumour. I didn’t levy a charge but she insisted I take something anyway. I drove homeward to a relaxing afternoon……………but the phone carried on ringing now and then.

Shirley Anne

Not everyone

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A sedentary person, or "typical couch pot...

A sedentary person, or “typical couch potato” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching the day’s news on television today (Wednesday) and smiled when I heard about an elderly widower who has been advertising for a job vacancy. He is just about 90 years old, his wife died two years ago and he says the boredom of not doing anything each day is driving him crazy. I know many his age who find it difficult to get up from the couch being as they are self-confessed couch potatoes! I admired his pluck and his obvious energy, even at his age, no, especially at his age. The newsreader went on to say that a local restaurant owner has invited the man along for an interview with the prospect of work to follow we assume if he is successful at the interview. I wish him success too. Not everyone wants to stop working as they get older it seems so I am in good company. I find it difficult to sit around doing nothing for any length of time but I don’t wish to spend my time doing useless things either. I like to be productive which means creating improvements in anything I do. It is good to spend time out of course but not for too long or too often. I know people who just flit away the hours going from place to place but actually getting nowhere, their time is spent looking at things or sitting in pubs and restaurants every day which would bore me to tears. Each to their own of course but I want to leave a lasting legacy that hopefully others will be able to enjoy when I’m gone. This is one of the reasons I like working for others or working at home on the house or especially in the gardens. I was looking out of the window in the wet room which overlooks the side of the house where I had been working during the summer, the ‘Plot’. I look at my achievements both there and elsewhere in the garden and am satisfied that what I have done is lasting. Whenever I look out of the windows at home my thoughts centre on what other improvements I can make. I am limited at this time of year as to what I am able to do simply because of the weather but I like making plans, in my head at least, for any future projects I’ve a mind to do. If I reach 90 I hope I will still have that same attitude and not resign myself or consign myself to a life of idleness.

Shirley Anne

Just a thought

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It is November 29 as I write this on a cold but sunny day. It is now mid-afternoon and the sun is hiding behind the houses across the road, soon to disappear below the horizon. I have just finished baking another apple pie. If you will remember I wanted to use a roll of the ready-made pastry that E had purchased some time ago to make the pie rather than make it myself from scratch as I had done yesterday. I had to wait a day for the pastry to defrost.
It begins to get dark around here not long after four o’clock at this time of year but in about three week’s time the daylight hours begin to increase once more. It will be the Winter Solstice and the sun will begin its northward journey as we push on toward Spring.

I am not sure why the Solstice is called the Winter Solstice seeing as it marks the beginning of the season. In these last few weeks of Autumn the weather has become noticeably colder and we’ve already had a couple of days of deep frosts, for most of the country anyway. As I live on the western coast it tends not to get quite as cold as it does inland, a good thing for the plants in my garden, that is the ones which normally grow in warmer climes. We have a few growing in the less exposed part of the garden where it tends to be slightly warmer out of the wind. Even so, some of those plants can tolerate temperatures down to -8 deg C. I wouldn’t survive long in those temperatures unless well-wrapped up. When I went to work this morning everywhere was covered in frost except where the sun shone and it was around 1 deg C. An hour ago it had reached 3 or 4 deg C, the maximum for the day though the frost remained on the lawn where the sun wasn’t shining upon it. Most of the lawn is in the shadow of the house at this time of year and never sees the sun at all. It will be April before all of the lawn is in sunshine at some point in the day, though not all at the same time. I have just been watching someone installing a floodlight above the front door of a neighbour’s house across the way and wondering why my neighbour hadn’t asked me to do it. I am not sure he actually knows that I am an electrician as we seldom speak. He is an elderly gentleman in his mid to late eighties who now lives alone since his wife died many years ago, probably approaching or around twenty years ago as I remember. He employs many guys on a regular basis who look after the maintenance of his house, one is an electrician who specializes in fire protection. It will be he who was installing the light. I didn’t pay too much attention. At the second of the two jobs I did earlier the lady watched my every move and sometimes I find that a little unnerving. She was pleasant enough and was simply interested in what was involved. I try not to interfere when someone is doing a job for me but if I do watch I do it discretely. It is beginning to get dark now as I finish writing these thoughts down….four o’clock….. right on time!

Shirley Anne

A day of two halves

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Shortcrust pastry recipe, step 6

 

I actually woke up long before the alarm would ring as I normally do but had not done for the preceding few days. I was ready for work. I had but the one job a couple of miles away which turned out far easier than I thought it might. Nice to have easy jobs at any time but especially on Mondays! I was paid a little extra for the work which was also nice. I had to pay a visit to the electrical supplier in order to collect the LED light unit that hadn’t arrived on Friday as expected. I was hoping it would now be there for me to collect as it was only a little after ten o’clock. Deliveries usually arrive any time between nine-thirty and eleven-thirty but I needn’t have been concerned as it had arrived early. I made another purchase for my van stock whilst I was there. I would be installing the light unit on Tuesday morning as arranged and as I had no other work I returned home. I made E and myself a cup of coffee but had to take hers to the top of the house where she was working in her new workshop. I returned downstairs but chose to sit out on the patio to drink my coffee. When I had finished I walked around the garden for a while but stopped by the apple trees. There were a lot of apples on the two trees but many of them were too small to bother with. Even so I decided to pick some of the largest ones and put them in a basket. I didn’t count them but I estimated I had picked thirty to forty. A similar amount still hang on the branches but I doubt we’ll be picking them. They are eating apples, that is they are sweet enough to eat straight from the tree but we usually put them in pies.

Smulpaj med äpple.

Before lunch then I began peeling apples and cutting them, placing them into a pot filled with water until I was ready to use them. My next job was to make some short crust pastry which I then put into a plastic bag before putting it into the fridge until after lunch. After lunch I made a couple of pies and popped them in the oven. I hadn’t made enough pastry for use with all the apples as E had purchased some ready-made pastry many months ago and had stored it in the freezer. I wanted to use that pastry for the other pies I would be making but I wouldn’t be able to it until it had thawed, which would be the next day. The cooked pies can be frozen of course so that we do not have to eat apples pies every day!

Shirley Anne

How lost

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Furniture

Furniture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I cannot escape it. Whenever the television is switched on and tuned-in to an independent broadcasting station I am bombarded with advertisements. I expect this of course but at this time of year the advertisements are aggressive and are so repetitive as to be annoying. As my readers I’m sure will know by now I detest advertising of this nature, in fact any dynamic and thrusting advertising but I do realise their necessity in the great scheme of things. As we are approaching Christmas the pressure to buy or invest in something is relentlessly pushed into our faces via the television screens. I often wonder how positive or negative the reaction to them is. For a few months now furniture manufacturers have constantly advertised their goods and the fact that they can deliver them before Christmas day. They subtly suggest how would-be buyers would benefit from having new furniture both to take advantage of their ‘special offers’ and to be able to accommodate their guests on the big day. We are made to think that we cannot do without new furniture. Aside from the fact that most people do not need new furniture the offers are at a reduced price to persuade us otherwise. I wonder how much profit these companies make if they can offer goods at half-price and still be in pocket! It’s not just furniture it is perfume, alcohol, seasonal foods, clothing, watches, electronic equipment and one of the most annoying to me anyway, Internet and television media suppliers. If I’ve seen each one every day I have seen them twenty or more times. Where did ‘Black Friday‘ come from? They must be desperate for our custom. The mute button on my remote control unit gets pressed often!
It is all to do with life in a modern society but the sad thing is that most people are influenced and taken-in by all the hype and many end up with so much debt it is frightening. People need to realise they are not sheep, they do not have to jump on the band-wagon so eagerly because their friends or family have done. This is the secular world, driven and kept well-oiled by commercialism which can only end when it runs out of steam. That energy is sapped out of all those who allow it but the people are blind. The people are comfortable with it all but don’t realise they are being manipulated. I took a step back from the false security that is secularism. It has no future, it is heading nowhere. I fell in love with my Creator and placed all my hope in Him. I fell in love with Jesus and have a future not based upon the secular life and all the material blessings I might gain from it. In the end they perish and have to be left behind one day. Can you see why I look at the ways of the world the way I do? Can you see what an empty future you have if you put your trust in worthless things, the things the secular world offers? Don’t take the advertisements too seriously. Take the offer your Creator God offers, the FREE gift of life everlasting in Jesus Christ.

Shirley Anne

Not again

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Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits

Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I knew it. I said so and so it was. More leaves to sweep up. Monday would be the last day in the year for the collection of green waste so I wanted to be sure I swept up as many of the fallen leaves as I could. Over the last few weeks that is what I have been doing, filling the two bins for emptying every fortnight. There was only one tree left with any leaves left on it by Saturday morning, a sycamore on a neighbour’s land but only a few remained. The rest had fallen and many on our side of the intervening wall. I had slept in yet again and didn’t get downstairs until almost eleven o’clock. I had a snack which served both as breakfast and lunch and after checking my mailbox I donned some warm clothing and went into the rear garden with brush and shovel in hand. Everywhere was covered in a thick frost including the new mat of fallen leaves. I began to sweep them up and place them in the wheelie bin but many of them were actually stuck to the pathway because of the frost. I had to use the shovel to loosen them. I found it easy to use the shovel to remove many of them that had fallen on the grass too. I went all around the garden and the bin was by now almost filled to the brim. Time to take it into the front garden and continue there though there were far fewer leaves to sweep up in the front garden. Both wheelie bins were now filled to the brim and ready to be put into the street late on Sunday evening. There may well be a few more leaves to sweep up in the weeks ahead but they will be very few. Much as I love Autumn having to sweep up the leaves can be very tedious. It was after two o’clock before I was able to return indoors and soon after it became foggy and damp outside. I relaxed with a cup of coffee in the warmth of my lounge. E however had just gone out for the afternoon to go shopping with her mom.

Shirley Anne

That’s it ’till May

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Dentist on the Job

Dentist on the Job (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am referring to my next dental appointment. On Friday morning I had the second of my two visits to the dentist for cosmetic surgery. As usual the appointments were running a little late but that is normal. Appointments are generally accepted as guide times and are really put in place to afford some semblance of order and to ensure patients actually turn up!. We all moan about the inconvenience of having to wait that little bit longer don’t we? Well I used to but now I am so laid back about it all it doesn’t bother me. I was in the chair a mere fifteen minutes after my 10.30 appointment and the dentist apologised but I replied that it was alright, and it was. What is the point in thinking otherwise? Fifteen minutes later and I was on my way out with a new appointment scheduled for May 25 next year. Another routine check-up. It pays to have regular check-ups I think. My next intention was to pay a visit to my electrical supplier in order to collect the LED light unit I was promised would be ready for collection late morning. Well it was late morning when I got there but unfortunately I was informed that they had missed the deadline when ordering to have it delivered the next day. It would be delivered on Monday morning. That meant I had to contact my customer and re-arrange my scheduled time of arrival. Now the work will be done on Tuesday morning instead. So much for appointments eh? It was just about twelve noon so I decided to splash out and treat myself to another restaurant meal and drove to a place three miles out-of-town to eat. Later and on my way back home I stopped at a filling station to top-up the van and enjoyed a little banter with people doing likewise. I enjoy making people laugh, it puts everyone in a good mood. My working week was over and I could spend the weekend relaxing…………..maybe! Knowing me I would find something to do.

Shirley Anne

 

At the ready

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What a lovely day Thursday was, bright, sunny and just a hint of a breeze. I was hoping I would get the day to myself, at least during the morning as I had to walk into town to deposit money in my bank and also to purchase two items from the pharmacy store, one an anti-fungal cream and the other a lipstick. Yes they sell cosmetics too.Foot care The cream was to replenish a tube I had that is almost used up. I have been treating a fungal infection on a couple of my toenails as I don’t want it to spread. I arose early and after breakfast drove half the way into town then walked the rest of the way as I normally do. The town centre is only a mile and a quarter from home but I didn’t want to walk the whole distance thinking I might have to go elsewhere later. It didn’t happen that way but it did happen. I completed my business in town and returned home. There was a message on the house phone. A lady and her husband living a couple of minutes away asked if I could change a couple of light units in their apartment. I could have done one of them immediately had I taken the van but it seemed not worth doing that, I walked there instead. The other unit would have to be purchased as I had recommended they have a long LED unit to meet their needs in the room in which it was to be fitted. It turned out that she was an avid ‘crafter’ just as E has become these last few months. She once made greetings cards as E now does but she stopped producing them some time ago and now makes other things instead. Anyway I walked back home, collected my van and drove to the electrical supplier. I had to place an order for the LED light as they hadn’t one on the shelf but it would be there the following morning. The type I ordered has a flat back and a semi-circled (actually an arc) front but in essence a similar fitting to the one in the picture.LED Extrusion I paid for it and I would collect it sometime after my Friday morning dental appointment. I returned to the apartment to arrange a day for doing the work and we arranged for it to be done on Monday morning. It was just after twelve when I returned home. The afternoon would be all mine. After lunch I went into the rear garden to browse around. I went into the greenhouse, then in full sunshine, to see how the strawberry plants I had put in there were doing and if they needed water. They didn’t of course but I wanted to be certain the soil was at least moist. The plants were healthy and ready to start growing. In fact a couple of them have flowers on them already! I walked around the garden and reached the patio. We have a couple of pots on the steps and in front of the patio wall in which E planted tulip and daffodil bulbs two years ago. I had them partially covered to prevent the birds from digging out the loose bark in the pots. I removed the coverings and lo and behold the first signs of growth were exposed. The bulbs have sprouted and are pushing their way upward already. Nothing really stands still, not the plants in the garden nor me!

Shirley Anne

Sometimes

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75px-jinxed_posterSometimes things go well in my work and other times not so well. I go to a house and from beginning to end I am faced with problem after problem as if the house itself were jinxed. We use that term flippantly but I think there is an element of truth in it. As a believer in God I also believe in the devil or if you prefer evil spirits and that being the case if such evil spirits are about, havoc can ensue. Despite what some people say, houses can be inhabited by the forces of evil as can some people. Exorcisms are real events, I have attended one myself. I digress a little however. Little things happen in my work which serve to annoy me, for example, I am installing a replacement light unit only to find some internal part is missing. I effect a repair then discover something else is wrong too. I manage to fix that and move on to the next task and find executing it is difficult in one way or another, limited access, wiring problems and a host of minor irritations are sometimes part of the course. Now I expect problems in my line of work but sometimes certain jobs are replete with them just as if an invisible force is working against me.

English: Warding off Evil Spirits A brief spla...

Warding off Evil Spirits A brief splash of “disinfectant” to ward off foot and mouth. Fortunately the outbreak was distant, at the other end of a neighbouring country – the risk all but non existent. At time of writing the outbreak seemed to be under control – fingers crossed (about as effective as the illustrated activity which had something medieval about it) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I manage to overcome them, I have to else the work would have to be abandoned. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I have called out to God to help me with a problem and in seconds I have it sorted. Maybe you are now thinking she’s lost the plot and it is simply coincidence but I tell you it happens often. If an unseen evil force was working against me it would be incumbent of me to seek assistance from the only one who could help now wouldn’t it? Be that as it may I pray anyway just in case. Earlier in the week, and it is only Wednesday as I write this, I was inundated with work and it all went smoothly. I was tired though. On Wednesday I was rested, full of energy and rearing to go. I had work to do, replace four light units, re-position one of them and add a fifth elsewhere. Lots of things went wrong just like I described above but eventually I had it all done. It was well after one o’clock when I finished so I decided to dine out at a local pub, one of a number of great places to eat hereabouts. Just as I was placing my order my phone rang. I had left an item of equipment at the house, something I have done on two other occasions lately. I cannot place the blame on evil spirits for this, just me getting forgetful! I returned after my lunch to collect it. Fortunately the house was only a half-mile away and more or less on my way home.

Shirley Anne

The other half of the day

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Monday morning was a bit of a waste of time. I wrote about it in yesterday's post. I had just about finished eating my lunch, the remains of the chicken and vegetable stew which I had made on Saturday when I received a call asking for help regarding a faulty electrical cooker or cooker circuit.
faulty-switch
Strange as it was I had to drive past the house I had visited in the morning but much further beyond to a small village another three or four miles along the road. The couple were glad that I had even bothered to call as they had been let down by others. The guy was a fit 78-year-old who looked much younger than his years but he and his wife had just returned from the hospital where a problem he had could be investigated so he remained in the lounge resting whilst his wife saw to my needs. Evidently the hospital medics had discovered a cancerous growth inside the guy’s abdomen but assured him that once removed all should be alright. I wished him well. In the meantime I investigated the fault. The fault lay inside the local isolating switch but that switch was located in the most awkward place you could think of, beneath the adjacent kitchen unit. It was also located behind the rear panel of that unit and sunk into the wall as far to the left and as high as it was possible beneath the worktop. Totally impossible to disconnect from the short cables behind it. Before I could do anything I first had to remove articles on the shelf and the shelf itself  and then the rear panel to gain access to the switch. I had to cut the cables from the switch to remove it. It was then I discovered that three of the kitchen power sockets were connected to the cooker circuit which is totally against the electrical regulations. The one beneath the worktop became disconnected when I severed the cables from the switch but the other two had to be left in circuit as the wiring was concealed behind tiled walls. I extended the supply cable and the cable to the oven/grill unit and connected them into a new switch I surfaced-mounted within the kitchen unit. I was able to supply the cooker hood (air filtration unit) and the gas hob ignition plugs using a small extension lead plugged into the new switch unit which had a power outlet in it. Of course I pointed out the non-conforming wiring to the customer so that she can exercise caution when using the wrongly connected outlets together with the cooker when it is in use. The circuit breaker will trip anyway if too much power is demanded. I was informed that in the Spring they plan to have a new kitchen installed anyway so the electrical installation can be sorted out at the same time. The couple have only been resident in the house for two years and are only just now discovering electrical problems. This is always a problem when moving into a previously used older property. You can never tell what condition the wiring is in beforehand. Tests do not always reveal poor wiring unless the tests are done thoroughly.

Shirley Anne

Now and then

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REPORT FAULTY WIRING - ELECTRICAL FIRES ARE HA...

REPORT FAULTY WIRING – ELECTRICAL FIRES ARE HARD TO CONTROL – NARA – 515301 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had one job to do on Monday morning. A lady had called me on Sunday to ask me to check out a few small problems with her electrical installation, faulty or missing lights and fittings and one or two switches. Basically minor repairs. I made arrangements to turn up the following morning to not only assess what needed to be done but to do it at the same time. That was the understanding for I almost never drive to a job just to look at it because that is a waste of my time. I usually discuss on the phone and then give a rough estimate as to the likely cost. Most people are happy with that arrangement because they know that one, I will turn up as promised and two, I will do the work on the same visit. If they request me to call on a specific day I am usually able to oblige so that everyone is happy with the arrangement. Some people however, though they are few, will insist I visit and give estimates then they use another electrician having wasted my time in the process. I am experienced enough to give reasonably accurate telephone estimates. Now this lady knew I was going to arrive as we had agreed but then as I arrived and on time things began to change. First of all she began by explaining why she wanted the work doing. She had been away from home for three or four months and had let the house to her niece and her husband. The house was untidy and as I walked over some of the mess she explained that the police had broken into the house because her niece had been trapped in there. Some cover story if ever I heard one. Probably the police were there to arrest someone would be a more plausible explanation but I said nothing. As we moved toward the staircase to go upstairs she turned and said that she didn’t expect the work to be done immediately and could I arrange to do it at some other time? She had gotten me there under false pretenses after we had arranged that I would assess and do the work at the same time. I understand that some folk cannot afford to have the work done straight away but they shouldn’t agree then change their minds once I get there. I decided to walk away from the work and I told the lady that I wasn’t going to have people wasting my time as she was doing. I am not desperate for work that I should be at the beck and call of time-wasters. Nice start to the week. Fortunately I had only travelled less than three miles to get there. I telephoned my local pharmacy to see if they had my prescription ready for collection so that I could collect them on my way back home. They were ready for collection. I hadn’t expected them to be ready until Tuesday so that meant the morning hadn’t been a complete waste of time after all.

Shirley Anne

Birthday eve

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The Birthday Eve

The Birthday Eve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, which will be Monday 21st as I write this on Sunday, will mark the 71st anniversary of my birth. For quite a few years now I haven’t celebrated the event because I personally see it as pointless. To me it is just another day. You may be wondering why I think that way so I will tell you, it is not scriptural. What? I mean the practice of celebrating a birthday is not recorded in Scripture, The Bible, and if I am to live by God’s Word I should not celebrate birthdays either. It is a personal choice however for I know Christians who don’t hold the same view. I really do see it as pointless irrespective of biblical teaching. Why do people celebrate their birthday, to be precise the anniversary of it? What are they celebrating if indeed they are celebrating anything? The anniversary belongs to their parents if the truth be known. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, or would be if those celebrating it had that in their hearts, most don’t. Jesus didn’t have ‘birthdays’ and neither did anyone else at that time. Christmas and ‘birthdays’ are an invention of man. So it was Sunday, the day before the day that marked the anniversary of my birth. I would be working the day after but Sunday itself was a day for relaxing, well relaxing as I do it. I was up quite early and after breakfast I wanted to go for a walk but it was a cold day. I waited a while until it was sunnier then went for the walk. It was indeed a cold day. I was wrapped up for it though but my outward journey was into a biting wind, not a strong wind but enough to make you feel it. I noticed hailstones trapped in the grass in places along the way yet it hadn’t been falling since the day before and everywhere else was dry. I thought that strange as there were unfrozen puddles of water everywhere. On my return journey the wind followed and it felt far less cold. Soon I was back home in the warmth but I didn’t stay indoors long. I went out into the garden to sweep up leaves once more. I knew there would be more to sweep up but now the trees are almost totally bare there shouldn’t be any more to sweep. Maybe. The last collection of green waste for the year will be on 28th of the month so I must make the most of cleaning up before then. WhenI had finished sweeping up leaves I went into the large greenhouse and placed the strawberry plants I had put into large pots last week onto upturned old pots to keep them off the floor and hopefully keep the woodlice at bay. I didn’t do much after lunch except a few household chores and watch some tv. I was looking forward to Monday, not because it was my birthday, because I would have work to do.

Shirley Anne

Wintry weather

Standard

I was going through one of my phases of not being bothered or interested in anything and it led me to lie in bed for hours on Saturday morning. I simply didn’t want to get out of bed. I wasn’t tired, I’d had a good night’s sleep and had actually woken by eight. It was almost twelve-thirty by the time I arrived downstairs. So that was breakfast missed. I didn’t much feel like eating anything but I had to eat something. I decided to prepare a chicken and vegetable stew, one of my favourite meals as it is very healthy and tasty too. When I make it I do it in quantity and can get three meals out of it, four if I have a smaller portion but it is the kind of meal I call ‘moreish’, a small portion just doesn’t cut it. As I was preparing the food I couldn’t help but notice the sound of hail on the windows and for a while everywhere began to turn white…first-sign first-sign-2-jpgIt didn’t stay that way as the hail turned to rain after a short time. I wondered if this was the first sign of a colder winter ahead. I was thankful to be indoors in the warmth but I needed something to occupy myself. First of all I had some of the stew for my meal. It was by now two-thirty. E had gone to her monthly meeting and would be away for hours. I have been checking for any air in the radiators on a regular basis now that the heating is switched on. E’s workshop is at the top of the house so any air in the system naturally migrates up there which means the radiator in the room doesn’t get warm if I don’t bleed out the air. It needed bleeding which took minutes to do. The radiator in the bedroom we refurbished early in the year had been left valved-off as the room isn’t in use but I usually allow a little water to pass through just to keep the chill out of the room though it doesn’t get too cold because of its southerly aspect. I discovered it wasn’t warm in the least even after I had checked for trapped air. I opened the valves fully and still the radiator remained cold. I will need to address that problem when I get the opportunity though I think that may be next year if it is more than simply an air-lock in the pipes. I went downstairs and decided to do some baking, one of my other favourite ‘hobbies’. This time it was a fruit cake.Rich Fruit Cake Whilst it was baking I prepared a scone mix and baked the scones an hour later when the cake was done. E returned home after five o’clock and knew instantly that I had been baking. I love the smell of baking in a house, it makes it feel more homely. Just nice when it is cold and wintry outside.

Shirley Anne