So stiff

English: Myalgia after overuse.

Myalgia after overuse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went to bed rather tired after the day I’d had on Saturday working in the garden. After a really good night’s sleep I planned to have a very relaxing Sunday. I wasn’t prepared for the stiffness in my body and the lack of strength in my legs and for a while I wasn’t able to get out of bed. When I did make the move it was painful and I struggled to move. It was difficult just trying to stand erect. Now I expect a little stiffness and a few aches after hard work and it usually happens the next day so in that respect I wasn’t surprised. I did my neck exercises in case I had problems with a trapped nerve again. It wasn’t so long ago I had that problem. However the neck exercises had a limited effect and I put it down to simple muscular pain from working. As the day wore on things did improve eventually. It is so debilitating not being able to just do the simplest of tasks without difficulty. The aches and pains from hard work I am used to and if I have been working that extra bit harder I expect them but it is the trapped nerve which can be more of a problem. The only recourse I have is to exercise my neck and to not place too much strain into whatever I happen to be doing. It could be that I have been working at too fast a pace and not taking things more slowly or that I often don’t take a break now and then. The odd thing is that on Saturday I did take things slowly and at a leisurely pace so perhaps I just over-stretched myself. I know I didn’t take a break as I should have. My main problem is myself, I don’t know how to work slowly! The restrictions caused by age keep knocking at my door but I try my best not to let them get the better of me. You know what they say, use it or lose it and keep moving less you seize-up! It seems I can still seize-up whether or not I adhere to those principles. Doing nothing isn’t an option, in fact that would be disastrous for I probably would turn into a statue if motionless for too long. Exercise is never a bad thing but I suppose too much of anything cannot be good either. Maybe I should do stretching exercises before manual work as I used to do before going for a run? I might give that a try next time, it can’t be a bad thing.

Shirley Anne

And I was worried?


To be really honest I don’t worry about anything although I will be concerned if needs be. What am I talking about? My concern was that I would be bored stiff once I made the decision to retire from my electrical work but I now see that will not be the case. A few years ago my attitude toward gardening was far different from what it is now. Then I would say that I like gardens and the plants they contain but I wouldn’t like working in them save for things like mowing the lawn and raking up the Autumn leaves and only then because it was necessary. The only other option would be to live in the city without a garden. Since those days, and it wasn’t that long ago, my whole attitude to gardening has swung in the opposite direction, I actually enjoy it now! One of the main reasons for that is because E and I have two large gardens which need constant attention else they would become an unsightly eyesore. As I am doing less electrical work these days I end up with time on my hands and as I get bored easily I have to find something to do or go bonkers. Much of my time, especially in these latter years, has been spent on one domestic project or another which has kept me busy. There is always something that can be done in the house or even outside of it and the gardens too. I like to make improvements to my environment which I suppose wards off boredom. I have been doing a lot of work in both the front and rear gardens at home over the last couple of months when I have not been involved in my various domestic projects and that fact has cemented the enjoyment I now get working in them. I like the design element of gardening, planning what to do and seeing it all come about stage by stage. I get great satisfaction in seeing my efforts taking shape from the design I have in my mind. No matter what kind of work I am engaged in I see it completed already in my thoughts and I simply work to that end. Minor adjustments may be made as the work progresses but they are usually confined to detail rather than the overall plan. My latest gardening project has been to remove a couple of plants from the flowerbed adjacent to the patio which had begun to take over the plot. Apart from anything else they had become an eyesore and spoiled the appearance of the flowerbed. With a lot of hard work and determination I completed most of the transformation on Saturday. I had worked on the plot during the week and it was ready for planting so I made a couple of journeys to buy plants and bark chippings. Here is a picture taken on Sunday, the day after. It looks as though I will need to remove a little of the soil around the stone slab which runs to the rear wall as it has covered the stone in places after watering and early morning rain. I hope to spread bark to cover the exposed soil so some of the soil will have to be moved to enable that. Flowerbed Project 5I part-emptied my van of electrical gear and tools and my first trip was to a retail DIY store to purchase the bark, four large bags of it though I might need more later and while there I noticed there was an Oriental Lily plant in a pot which had five stems. That meant there were five bulbs, five plants and all for the price of one so I bought it together with the bark. My second trip was to the local garden centre to purchase the bulk of the plants but they were not all for the flowerbed, three were for planting in the ‘mound’ beneath the plum trees (see posts in June/July 2014) and two were to be planted in the gardens’ long flowerbed which faces the rear of the house. The remaining eight were for the flowerbed I had been working in to supplement the three large plants I had put there a couple of days prior. As for the now five Oriental Lily plants, three went into the mound and the other two went into the flowerbed away from where I had been working. There are still plenty of open spaces in the flowerbeds and the mound which need to be populated to fill them. Maybe that will be my next gardening project? I was a much nicer day for working outside on Saturday, overcast for much of the time but still 22 deg C.

Shirley Anne


Expulsion of Ishmael and His Mother, from Gust...

Expulsion of Ishmael and His Mother, from Gustave Doré’s illustrated Bible of 1866. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Genesis 16

Hagar and Ishmael
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, ‘The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.’

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.’

6 ‘Your slave is in your hands,’ Abram said. ‘Do with her whatever you think best.’ Then Sarai ill-treated Hagar; so she fled from her.

7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, ‘Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?’

‘I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,’ she answered.

9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her.’ 10 The angel added, ‘I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.’

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

‘You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
towards all his brothers.’
13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

In the next chapter we read the following……….

Genesis 17

The covenant of circumcision

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’

3 Abram fell face down, and God said to him, 4 ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.’

9 Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner – those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.’

15 God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.’

17 Abraham fell face down; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’ 18 And Abraham said to God, ‘If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!’

19 Then God said, ‘Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.’ 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

In the new covenant brought about by the grace of God through His only begotten son Jesus, circumcision of the flesh was no longer a requirement but simply the circumcision of the heart. If we believe in God our Father and in the one He sent, Jesus and if we repent of our ways and seek only what God wants of us and putting our faith in the Lord Jesus who has washed away our sins we, by God’s promise will be saved. 

Christians trace their ancestry to Isaac, Moslems trace their ancestry to Ishmael. We are by birthright brothers, our earthly father was Abraham.

Why is there such hostility between (some) Moslems and Christians? The Bible tells us, it was written in Scripture all those years ago.

Shirley Anne

Just about there


After a day or so’s rest from gardening, though I didn’t actually get a rest because I was doing other things, I was able to continue working in the flowerbed in the rear garden. First of all I had to get an electrical job done for someone then on my return home I had to shave away a small section of door frame to allow the newly fitted door at the top of the house to close without force. Although the door had been hung correctly by the joiner and because of the old frame having an ever so slight twist on the opposite side from the hinges at the bottom the door couldn’t sit squarely in the frame when shut and had to be pulled in a little for the catch to lock. All that was needed was a whisker of wood to be removed from the frame and all was fine. It was by now eleven o’clock so I put on a pair of overalls and some working boots and continued the work in the garden. Most of the work involved filtering the remaining soil that hadn’t yet been done and planting the plant I hadn’t the time to do last time.Flowerbed Project 3

Flowerbed Project 4

Smaller plants to fill in the gaps will be purchased soon but this is how it looked when I had finished for the day on Friday. I completed the work by twelve-thirty and had lunch. When I returned after lunch in order to take these photographs I could see ants busy crawling all over the place. Already they are planning where their next nest will be! I am determined to keeping their numbers down next year as I had neglected to do it this year after saying I would. I guess I have been too busy.This is what the flowerbed used to look like………

pics 984

…….and more recently…….extras 042

As always, click on the pictures to enlarge them. Some plants like to take over the garden, the montbretia and that sprawling shrub it grew among. Thank goodness they are now history. For E and I our gardens have been a journey of discovery, knowing which are the best plants to have which don’t need constant pruning back. Over the years we have both put in many hours of hard work to get the gardens where they are now but there is always something else to do as anyone gardening will tell you.

Shirley Anne

Still too hot for me

Probe of a combined temperature and humidity m...

Probe of a combined temperature and humidity meter (rotronic hygroscope DV-2), with the unscrewed protection cap. The humidity is measured by means of a capacitive sensor and the temperature by means of a silicon diode. The diameter of the slab is 25 mm. The capacitive sensor (the long white strip) has an area of 5 mm x 20 mm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To be honest it is the high humidity which gets me down rather than the temperature though it can still be too hot even when the humidity is low. The more humid the more discomfort and the more difficult for any form of manual labour. As the week progressed the temperature dropped but the humidity remained high. I had been working in the garden earlier in the week but on Thursday morning and again on Friday morning I had electrical work to do which in a way was beneficial for it kept me from burning myself out with the gardening work. I had to be at home at one o’clock as the joiner was fitting the new door. He arrived right on time but it took him longer than he had expected to do the work. That might have been due to the warm weather though I could be wrong. It took him until four-thirty to complete the job which would be around three hours actually doing the work. Anyway I could do little work myself within the house and working out in the garden was not viable for three reasons, I was too tired in the heat, I would have to dress for gardening work which meant I couldn’t respond quickly if the guy needed me for something as it would mean having to remove my boots and other dirt gathering garments to walk about in the house. The third reason was that I didn’t feel like starting the gardening so late in the day. As it was I had to clean the room after he had gone and once again vacuum the stairwell from top to bottom as I had done on Monday after the carpet had been laid. I wonder how some people can make such a mess when doing a job, ahem. Well you cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg or two! By the time I had cleaned the three landings and three flights of stairs I was exhausted and very wet with perspiration. E hadn’t yet returned home with the groceries so I went into the rear garden to water the plants and to cool off in the slight breeze. Before I returned indoors I took the washing off the line that E had hung out earlier. Whilst I was doing that E arrived home.  We had a late dinner and I did little else before bed time.

Shirley Anne

I’ve got the bug


Another warm and sunny day on Wednesday though there was thunder and lightning early in the morning. We had a brief downfall of rain then hailstones then more rain but by ten o’clock it had all blown over. I sat outside on the bench I had put in the front of the house yesterday. Where the bench is sited it remains in the shade until around ten-thirty at this time of year and then remains in the light of the sun until early evening. It was nice to just sit in the cool of the shade for a while knowing it would get much warmer as the day wore on. Yesterday the temperature rose to 30 deg C in the rear garden in the shade but today, Wednesday it was to reach a maximum of 27 deg C. Clouds began to roll back in and half of the sky turned very dark as they covered the sun. I had spent a little time in the morning on Tuesday pulling out the montbretia stems and bulbs from the flowerbed adjacent to the patio (to the left in the first picture) while it was cool enough to do so. I decided I would continue cutting back and finally dig out the sprawling shrub through which they had been growing while the temperature was still quite low. It took a couple of hours to get it out and all its offshoots and chop them up so they could be placed in the green waste bin. The next job was to move slightly to its left the fan palm  I had planted in the same bed for it would have more room now that the shrub had gone. I had to be careful not to disturb it too much so what I did was to dig a space to one side of it then using the back of the spade dug into the soil on the opposite side and gently pushed it sideways. I only wanted to move it about ten centimetres. Flowerbed Project 2That done I began to dig out the soil and filter it until I had done enough to be able to lay a long slab of natural stone which will become a small path. I laid that in place. It will enable easier access to the rear of the bed  for maintenance later. It was time for lunch and after I had eaten I drove to the garden centre and purchased the three large plants I had in mind to put into the bed. I will purchase the smaller plants to populate the remaining spaces when the bulk of the work is done. I managed to place two of the large plants in the bed where I had already filtered the soil. They are the two against the wall on the left in the above picture, the other will be planted later and is shown in the lower picture. Click on pictures to magnify.Flowerbed ProjectI am undecided at this time whether to leave the fern but it will add some softness to the area if I keep it. We have a few ferns in the rear garden. I love them but unfortunately they are deciduous and die back for the winter. The fan palm is shown against the wall in the picture second from the right. The long slab of stone is unfortunately covered by filtered soil in the picture but it lies between the wall and the large stone slab nearest the centre in the foreground. By now it was four o’clock! My mobile phone rang and it was someone asking for my electrical services. I arranged to do the work on Thursday morning for I had to be back home at one. The joiner had informed me that the door he had ordered for our top room was now available and he would call at one o’clock to fit it. As E would be out shopping with her mom I had to become available instead. It meant I would probably go no further with the gardening work until Friday at the earliest. A day off might be just what I needed but it might mean that some of the electrical work would have to be done on Friday too. Even though my advert wasn’t published this Wednesday I still got some work!

Shirley Anne

Too hot to tango


Tuesday was going to be the hottest day of the year so far according to the weather forecast. Well it sure lived up to that. Between three and four in the afternoon, that is at the height of the day for temperature readouts I checked the temperature on the patio but in a shaded spot using a mercury thermometer. Actually two thermometers in one which shows maximum and minimum temperatures side by side. It showed 29 deg C but shortly after that reading it reached 30 deg C. Obviously it was hotter in the sunshine, probably by a few more degrees. For me it was unbearable, not because I couldn’t get used to it if I had to but because having these temperatures for just a couple of days isn’t long enough to get used to it. Days two and three of holidays in hot climates and we begin to get accustomed don’t we? If these temperatures were normal for us we are used to them. However as I am always saying, I am an Anglo-Saxon and for me it is too hot to tango! I spent a some time in the rear garden in the morning whilst it was a little cooler, pulling out armfuls of montbretia in the flowerbed adjacent to the patio which had sprouted within a low-lying shrub which itself has gotten out of hand. Now that we can actually see that shrub we can prune it back but I fancy I will be digging it out later when it is a bit cooler and replacing it with one or two others. I have an idea what I would like in there but E might think differently though she didn’t bother when I dug out and repopulated the larger of the two flowerbeds we had worked on in the front garden recently.No 2 Flowerbed 11  I then spent a little time relaxing on the patio but couldn’t sit there too long. I decided to pull out the second of the two garden benches which had been stored in the large greenhouse beneath the wooden table now being used as a worktop in there. The wooden furniture we once used on the patio and in the garden, it comprises the table, two benches and four chairs. The four chairs are stored in the cellar and only the two benches are actually outside and being outside they need a coat of garden furniture oil/varnish applying every so often. I took the second bench out and hosed it down before transporting it out to the front garden. After lunch and when it was dry I got to work and applied the oil/varnish coat and then went into the rear garden where the other one sits in front of the patio and gave that a coat too. This one didn’t need a second coat as it was already in good condition having been coated earlier in the year but the second one required another coat which I applied an hour or so later.


The lower picture was taken last Autumn and it shows the bench in front of the patio on which some of the old wooden furniture can still be seen. It wouldn’t have been long after that picture was taken that I moved the furniture under cover aside from the bench.


E did a little hoeing and weeding during the day but we spent much of the time in the afternoon just lounging on the patio. She was sunbathing but I sat under the parasol out of direct sunlight. At that time of day it was really too hot to do much else.

Shirley Anne

Following yesterday’s post


Monday was a very hot day. very humid at first but less so later in the afternoon. The carpet fitter arrived in the morning and finished before noon as I mentioned in a previous post. I had no electrical work as I had half-expected and probably won’t for another week because I withdrew my advert for some time off. Well the first thing I did whilst the carpet was being laid was to give the gardens a thorough watering knowing that it was going to be very hot. Starting in the front garden and then going into the rear garden later. Whilst watering the rear garden the fitter appeared and asked if the carpet he was about to lay was the one I had purchased. It was, but I wondered why he hadn’t asked that question when he first arrived and I was in the front garden where he had parked his van on the driveway. He told me that it would take him a further twenty minutes to lay it which just about allowed me to finish watering the garden. I packed the hose away and went to the top of the house to see he still had a few minutes of work to finish. Here is one of the pictures I posted two days ago..Top room carpet 2

Although it looks as though it is blue it is in fact grey overall, combining coloured spots of black, white and grey. E had Robbie (robot cleaner) clean the carpet whilst she had lunch. After lunch I decided to go for a walk but just before doing so I called the young builder called Ben who had been employed by E’s nephew to do the work on the roof a couple of months ago. He and a friend (who is now living in Australia) had done all of the brickwork when we had a lot of work being done on the outside of the house back in 2010. They had rebuilt our perimeter walls at the front and other walls within the front and rear gardens at the time. He is a good worker and really just a nice guy to have working for you. Anyhow I couldn’t speak to him directly and had to leave a message instead. I wanted some work doing on the garage brickwork where it has been leaking and alterations to the felt covering too.. I went for my walk and in doing so decided to go in another direction from the one I might usually take. I walked up to the top of the road and then turned left toward the village. I had walked only a short distance in that direction and I saw a pick-up truck parked at the kerb. I seemed to remember having seen the vehicle before and as I approached and to my left there was a guy on his knees and pointing away from my direction. He was doing some work on the paving slabs in the gardens of the apartment block there. I was about to continue past then realized he looked like Ben. I called out his name and he turned around. It was Ben! I couldn’t believe it, what a coincidence or was it fate? Sometimes I think we are led to do certain things rather than that they are chance happenings. He would call around on Tuesday evening to look at the job. I continued on my walk changing half-intended directions a few times. I ‘bumped’ into an acquaintance, a guy I had not seen for some time who strange as it was had been doing the same as myself, going for a walk. I mentioned a couple of days ago that this happens quite often when I go out walking. When out I walked along one of my favourite roads hereabouts, Rotten Row. It is laid with flowerbeds throughout it’s length but sadly these days only on one side of the road, a case of the local authority crying poverty. The diversity of plants are amazing, there is even a banana plant growing in the shelter of a hedge backdrop and surrounded by other plants. No bananas though! I didn’t think they could grow here unless under cover. Banana in Rotten Row

Shirley Anne

Took it’s time


When I awoke on Sunday morning it was still only a little after five o’clock so having done what I needed to I returned to bed for a while. Trouble was I remained awake until I finally got out of bed an hour later. It was going to be the day for changing the bed linen I decided so off came the sheets and duvet and pillow covers and on went the clean linen. As it was around six o’clock it was light outside and had been for a couple of hours but the sky was overcast. I remember seeing the weather forecast the day before which promised warmer and sunnier times. Would it change as the day wore on? I took a shower and returned to my room to dress before getting downstairs just before eight o’clock for breakfast. It was still overcast but the sun was making an attempt to push through the clouds. I ventured outside after I had placed the soiled bedclothes into the washing machine to see how warm it was. Well it wasn’t that warm and the breeze made it seem even cooler. I wanted to go for a walk but decided to wait a while hoping the weather would improve. HorizonsI have often found that if I go out for a walk in the summer early in the day by the time I get back home it is far warmer than when I left. I might therefore have to remove the cardigan or lightweight coat because it has gotten too uncomfortable in the heat! It was after two o’clock and after lunch before I finally went for the walk, needing only a lightweight top, much more pleasant that way. The weather had finally improved as promised, the sky was beginning to lose its clouds and it was getting warmer in the bright sunshine. A slight breeze still blew but it made the afternoon even more pleasant. I hadn’t expected to meet anyone on my travels but as is often the case I did. Now one of my next-door neighbours, a single middle-aged guy, I hardly ever see. My other next-door neighbour, an older lady than myself and her son, I see and speak with quite often. Well who should I see but the guy from next-door out walking with his dog. We were going in opposite directions but he said hello and asked how I was before continuing on his way. A little later I met a young guy I know from visiting the pub and that is where he was going but he did stop to chat with me for a few minutes. It is almost impossible for me to go anywhere local and expect not to bump into somebody I know. By the time I had returned home there were almost no clouds to be seen, just full sunshine. I spent an hour or so out on the patio to take advantage whilst I could.

Shirley Anne

A little brighter


The sun may be cracking the flags just now but the change only started on Saturday morning after a few days of dull, overcast and occasional rain. I think the main culprit was the position of the so-called Jet Stream which by all accounts has now shifted a little in our favour. I had made arrangements for the engineer to check out the fridge/freezer and had prepaid the sum of £114 for the privilege. It took some time to eventually get the appointment due to the poor access to the manufacturer. Their telephone service was one of the worst I have ever encountered, menu-driven and often I was misdirected or cut off. I needed to speak with someone but eventually gave up. Their online presence was just as poor but I did get connected to their repair agency otherwise the work would never have been done. I had checked out the system myself as did a local engineer but neither of us could find a fault. stock-photo-young-plumber-writing-on-clipboard-in-front-of-refrigerator-appliance-in-kitchen-room-The engineer who came on Saturday had it sorted in fifteen minutes. It appeared that a sensor (thermistor, a resistive device which changes values with temperature) had become loose! Naturally I was going to claim a partial refund, £114 for fifteen minutes is a little over the top, that’s a whopping £456 per hour! I believe that a lower charge is levied (£45) if the fault, or lack of one as in this case, was minimal. Rather than attempt to contact the company by phone (almost impossible) or on-line I chose to write them a letter of which I made a copy indicating my concerns regarding the price and the poor connectivity to their services. I thanked them for the prompt and efficient service provided by their engineer however who by the way gave me a receipt showing the total amount of time he had spent at my house…..15 minutes. I will have to wait and see what their response will be. Anyway I took the walk to the post box and posted the letter. It was warm and beginning to get sunny. In yesterday’s post I wrote about my escapades installing the new towel rail.radiator in the wet room and the visit from the joiner who will replace the door I had mentioned. I didn’t mention however that I had struggled a little trying to remove the door and it’s hinges and the having to take it down more than three flights of stairs before hauling it out to the garage until I decide what to do with it. Gosh it was heavy, they certainly don’t make them like that these days, not for general use anyway. It must have been one of the original doors fitted back in 1877. Actually all the doors in the house are the original ones fitted. So I had Saturday off except that I mowed the lawn, vacuumed  the carpet on the stairs and landings whilst ‘Robbie’ (our robotic vacuum cleaner) did my bedroom, nailed down any loose floorboards in the top room in readiness for the carpet to be laid and I did some cooking and washing too! I find it hard just sitting on my bottom and doing nothing. Sunday though would  not be the same, it would be a day of rest. Monday, well this is what happened on Monday…the carpet fitter arrived mid-morning and finished the job before noon.

Top room carpet 2

Top room carpet 1

Top room carpet 3

The door has not yet been replaced as you can see in the last picture taken through the doorway from the landing. You can also see that E has quite a number of machines and boxes of materials for her crafting hobby. I suspect she will turn it into a small business considering the specialist equipment she has purchased.

Shirley Anne

On the move


As I write this on Friday afternoon I have had no more requests for my electrical services since Monday which has enabled me to get on with tasks at home. This week’s advert is not being published at my own request so that I can have a break. It may be however that I will get offers of work between now (Friday) and the middle of this week (Wednesday) when the weekly newspaper is distributed. The advertisement is printed in each Wednesday’s paper. Anyhow the way I am feeling just at the moment I think a break will be nice. Again as I write this on Friday I have not long completed the installation of a new towel radiator in the wet room downstairs…..(click on images to magnify)

Wet room towel radiator 1


Wet room towel radiator 2

I confess it may look as though little work has been done but much of the work was carried out in the little room in the cellar which is directly below the wet room. If my readers will remember that during this past week or so I drained down the heating system in order to fit new radiator valves in various rooms in the house and at the same time I altered a pipe supplying the towel rail/radiator in the main bathroom (fitting a valve to aid in venting off any air trapped in one section of pipe). I also was able to fit two gate valves in the pipework in the room beneath the wet room so that I wouldn’t need to drain the system again to install the above radiator. The radiator does have its own valves too and they are located at each side at the bottom just above floor level. The work took me four hours this morning (Friday) as I was working at a leisurely pace. During that time the joiner (carpenter) I had asked to supply and fit a new door to the top room called to see what was involved, (See yesterday’s post). He hopes to do the job early this week, probably today, Tuesday, if all goes well. In the meantime the fridge/freezer will hopefully have been repaired as the engineer was due to call on Saturday and the carpet should have been fitted yesterday too. I’ll let you know if everything was done in tomorrow’s post. After I had replaced the valves and refilled the heating system a few days ago the towel rail in the main bathroom didn’t get hot or even warm when I tested the system. When it was first installed we had the same problem and I put it down to air in the pipes. Eventually we got it working at that time and we’ve had no further problems since then until this drain down session which is why I installed the valve to vent any air manually in one particular section of pipe where it was likely to be. During the test I had most of the house radiators opened wide so I am thinking the bathroom radiator was being starved of pressure. Some time in the near future I will check it again as I should have plenty of time on my hands. At this very moment all I want to do is nothing!

Shirley Anne

I gave up!


Not entirely but I did give up. No electrical work again on Thursday but I was at home and waiting for a call from the fridge engineer or the company he is working for (Hotpoint). Around lunchtime I got the call from the organisation to tell me that the engineer would not be available to do the work on our faulty fridge/freezer on Friday as arranged but would be able to do the work on Saturday instead. No matter, I agreed though it did mean another day without that extra cooling space. It might seem a bit ridiculous for two people needing two fridge/freezers in and around the kitchen but they do get filled and the fridge contents are used each week. The contents of the freezers get used less often but each day something is taken from them and used. Our bulk storage is down in a room in the cellar inside the three large chest freezers. It saves having to buy most of the  frozen food we use each week. It was Thursday and E would be doing the weekly shopping with her mom and most of the food she buys in is fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and such. I decided to go out to purchase some materials I needed for my home projects and I wanted to surprise her so I didn’t tell her what I was going out for. First stop was to the flooring specialist to select and purchase a carpet and some underlay for the room at the top of the house we had been decorating a few weeks ago, now her craft and creation workshop. Second call was to a builder’s yard to buy some door furniture, a lock and handles then on to a retail store to purchase a towel radiator for the wet room. On the way back home I stopped off at a plumbers merchant to purchase some extra pipe fittings. When I finally got back home E had already left the house. CurvedRailI took the radiator (similar to the one shown above) and other purchases into the house and decided to fit the door lock which meant carting my tools, drill and bits and pieces to the top of the house. The door is old and has been worked on a few times in the past, in fact I had to do some repair work on it because of that history. After a while I had the lock in the door and the handles on. It then took some time to fit the parts in the door frame and all was finished but there was a catch, the door was too weak where I had fitted the lock and had split when I was trying to get everything to operate properly. Too much work had been done on the door in the past and the wood simply wasn’t strong enough. It wasn’t worth attempting to mend it, it would be easier and better to call it a day and purchase a new door. I felt a little annoyed having struggled a little to finish the work. I’d simply had enough and gave up on the idea of buying a new door then having to start again from scratch, cutting it to length and width, fitting the hinges and the locks so I packed away my tools and called upon the services of a local joiner! The door will be replaced. I know at least the work will be done professionally even though I am quite capable of doing it myself having done fourteen other doors at home and others elsewhere in the past. As it is I have work to do on fitting the new radiator and other household projects so it will ease the burden getting someone in to do the door. The carpet was scheduled to be fitted today, Monday, so hopefully it will be done by this afternoon. I am not sure if the radiator will be finished as you read this but it may be.

Shirley Anne

Not the same


Not the same, not as good, not made to last, they don’t make things like they once did, everything is designed to be thrown away after a short time. We’ve all heard those sayings especially those of us who are members of the older generations. We can all remember the days when things were made to last but today it seems that robustness no longer exists for many manufactured things. At home we have three large chest freezers, one small freezer and two small fridges down in our cellar rooms and upstairs in the kitchen we have two fridge/freezers. The largest of the chest freezers was purchased at a church auction as I recall in the mid-eighties around about 1985 so shall we say 30 years ago? At that time the freezer was already 20 years old, maybe older. That is around 50 years and it is still working! They certainly don’t make them like that anymore. FridgeFreezersOne of the two fridge/freezers we have began to have problems some time ago. It was producing too much cold air and ice began to form inside the freezer compartment when it should not have done. That could have been caused by a couple of things, defrost heater fault, blocked drain, faulty control panel, faulty sensors/thermostats. I had tried all the obvious things to no avail so I thought I would call in a specialist to check it out. It’s not that I haven’t worked on refrigerators (or freezers), I have, in fact the machines I have worked on ranged from the small air conditioning units to units as large a double-decked bus! I have not worked on domestic fridges so much, in fact very little and that was around 45 years ago when they were built differently. The same principles apply to fridges/freezers/heat pumps no matter their size. It is the method of control and the components which differ. Whilst I was waiting for the guy to show I decided to strip down the unit and check out what I could. I found a huge block of ice on the evaporator which should not have been there. A blocked drain could allow the build-up of ice so I cleared out the drain pipe though nothing much was stuck in there. I checked the circulation fan (a newer development not found on very old units) and saw that it was working. I put everything back together but still the compressor didn’t start. The compressor is the main component in any recycling refrigeration system no matter what its size, basically a motor which compresses the refrigerant and pumps it around the system. I left the unit switched off for a time and restarted it later. By now it was seven-thirty in the evening and I didn’t expect the guy (and his father) to call at that hour but they did! They wanted to see what was wrong with the unit for themselves and having checked it over couldn’t find a problem either. The guy suggested that I had already cured the problem myself and to leave it switched on for a couple of hours to see if everything returned to normal. He phoned back an hour or so later to ask if it was operating. I hadn’t yet checked it but went straight to the kitchen and discovered that it was getting colder inside. I thought the problem had now been sorted. It wasn’t, three hours later it was still struggling to lower the temperature, only reaching down to +10 deg C. I switched it off and the following morning trawled the Internet to find a local engineer. The first guy admitted that if the system required recharging with refrigerant he couldn’t do it and I suspected that could have been the problem. I would have to wait and see. I arranged for the repairs to be done on Friday for a fixed price. So much for modern standards of manufacture, an appliance which goes faulty within two years doesn’t bode well does it?

Shirley Anne

Who’s Jesus you ask?


sunsetNever Heard About Jesus?

That question is often asked whenever I and most other Christians who witness to people. It is assumed that God condemns everyone if they are not Christian believers yet at the same time tells us that the only way to be saved is through Jesus Christ, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Those not actually having heard about this God’s plan for salvation through His son will still be judged. No-one can escape the fact that God has revealed Himself through His creation so there is no excuse for not seeing that in their hearts…………so

What About Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus? (Acts 4:12)

Jesus was clear about the rules for receiving salvation when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6). And when speaking about Jesus, the apostle Peter said in this passage, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Further, all people have to answer to God whether or not they have “heard” about him (see Heb 9:27). The Bible states that God has clearly revealed himself in creation (see Ro 1:19–20) and that he has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecc 3:11). This means that people see all around them the evidence of God and sense within themselves the truth that they are meant for more than this world. God is not the problem; humankind is. Because of sin, people reject this knowledge of God and rebel against his will (see Ro 1:21–23). It is only because of God’s grace (see Eph 2:8–9) that he saves people from their own sinful desires (see Ro 1:24–32).

How God works out his plan is mysterious and complicated. We have our ideas of what it means for Jesus to be “the way,” but he is not bound by our understanding. God works to accomplish his goals in ways that we will never see or comprehend. The wideness of God’s mercy and the tenacity of his love is beyond our intellectual capacity.

Jesus is central in the redemption story. But God rewards those who seek him (see Heb 11:6). It is our mission to help those who seek him and make sure that those who have yet to answer God’s call hear and understand the gospel (see Mt 28:19–20; Ac 1:8). God always acts justly; he never acts unfairly or wrongly (see Dt 32:4). We might be surprised at the final roll call of heaven. Fortunately, it is God—not us—who will sort out the details in each person’s case.

Taken from NIV Essentials Study Bible

So what’s your excuse?

Shirley Anne

Back to it……….


……at least for one day! Who knows, I might get more? My last electrical work was on the first day of the month but on Monday I had another. Because most of my electrical work is small jobs the work comes and goes. Long gone are the large contracts which can run for days, even weeks or months, my current (sorry about the pun) work is usually done within a few hours or less. It suits me for I don’t wish to or even need to work for long periods to earn vast amounts of money. It is especially harder to find work or have people ask for my services at this time of year because many people are more concerned with vacations and spending their cash on that. In other words my line of work can be very much seasonal. I may get weeks where I have that much to do there is little time left for anything else and then get weeks, like the last one, where I get no offers at all. It all evens out financially. If I didn’t make a reasonable and worthwhile profit I wouldn’t be doing it.

Royalty-Free Stock Photography by Rubberball

Royalty-Free Stock Photography by Rubberball

Anyway I went to do a job in a house in the next township for an older couple and it was such a pleasure working for them I didn’t much wish to leave. They were well pleased with my work and paid me a little more than I’d asked, which isn’t often the case but sometimes is. They want me to return at a later date to do more work for them. I spent four hours there, just about right for one day I thought. I discovered that the guy had worked as an electrician’s mate (requiring no formal qualifications) before his retirement eight years ago but that he had to stop working because he had developed the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. He explained that this was the reason he had to call someone else to do the work. He told me that he had really enjoyed his job before he had to give it up, a little like me in that respect I suppose. It was nice to get back to it even after a short time away.

Shirley Anne