Impatience, Ars moriendi, L.179
Impatience, Ars moriendi, L.179 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For anyone who knows Shirley Anne they will know she tends to get impatient and she hates waiting around for things to happen. Maybe that is a bad thing but it is who she is. I am writing this on my older laptop on Monday afternoon and it has been playing up a little. Oh how I hate computers! The weather outside (where else would it be?) is lousy though at this very moment the sun is beginning to break through the overladen sky. It has been raining a little during the last few hours but that has ceased. The wind however has become stronger in the wake of the latest storm to hit these shores. Storm Katie has reeked havoc in the southern and eastern parts of the country, bringing down power lines and trees and ripping off roofs. We have been fortunate here and have suffered no ill-effects because the storm was too far south of us but it is still managing to induce high winds across the whole country from west to east at our latitude. Whatever the reasons for the high number of storms we have experienced over the last couple of years there is little we can do about it. This morning E and I set about fixing squeaking floorboards in the bedroom in readiness for the carpet to be laid, tomorrow as you read this. We had left doing that until everything else was done in the room. All I can say is I am thankful for battery-driven drills for we had to screw quite a number of boards down to the joists. Old houses often have squeaky boards as the wood has gradually shrunk and the traffic upon them loosened the nails. It is almost impossible to eliminate all imperfections but I can say the floor sounds a lot better now than it did. E decided to over-paint a couple of old wooden chairs that had been standing in the room before we began refurbishing it. The room as it stands at the moment without a floor covering makes it the ideal place for painting them. They will be moved further upstairs in storage once they are dry.

Swiss Army knife, photo taken in Sweden
Swiss Army knife, photo taken in Sweden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before we ate lunch E drove me to a house I had been working in on Thursday where I had left the Swiss army knife I use for my electrical work. I hadn’t noticed it missing until I wanted something else from the tool box. I can usually tell in an instant when one of the tools is missing. Anyway and fortunately the house wasn’t far away. I will be needing it tomorrow (Tuesday) as I will be at work in the morning. Now the sun is shining brightly and the sky is turning blue but the wind persists. I am at a loose end and am impatient to get something done, trouble is, there isn’t much I can do!

Shirley Anne


Quickest carpet buy

Swatches of carpet of tufted construction
Swatches of carpet of tufted construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the years we have purchased many carpets but on Saturday we drove off to our local floor covering specialist to purchase a new carpet for the bedroom we have refurbished. They cater for all types of floor coverings and not just carpets though I suspect carpets are their main trade. We took along one of our curtains to be sure of getting a suitable colour match and we were only in the shop a minute when the salesman offered us a sample piece of carpet which met our requirements. It is similar to the colour of the fourth swatch from the left on the top line in the picture shown. Even though I was completely satisfied with the match E wanted to see if there was anything else that might also be suitable. It was a no-brainer, the first one was the right one and we went ahead with the purchase having given the salesman the dimensions of the room. He asked for a deposit but we chose to pay the whole amount up-front. We will have to pay the carpet fitter separately when he comes to fit it. The fitter will arrive this Friday afternoon to lay it. Whilst we were there we made enquiries regarding the price to supply and fit artificial grass on the patio. We will have to take measurements to see what we will need when we decide to have it done, hopefully in the not too distant future. We left the shop a mere twelve minutes after we arrived. E still has to find someone to fit a lining to the curtains though I am sure we could do it ourselves if we set our minds to. It isn’t that difficult and we do possess a sewing machine. Perhaps it is easier to have someone else do it I suppose. I had taken the van out of the garage earlier in the morning to gave it a wash, actually the first of the year believe it or not. As I don’t do many miles it doesn’t get too dirty unless it has been raining, though this time it really did need a clean. I wanted to wash it because the weather forecast had indicated we were in for windy and wet days over the weekend and I might not have had the time later. Saturday morning was supposed to start off that way but it wasn’t until noon before it actually began to rain. After our lunch I received a phone call regarding the faulty television I’d had taken away for repairs. The guy told me it was unrepairable because the parts necessary to repair it were no longer available. The television is more than ten years old, one of the first flat screen televisions generally available then with a 42″ screen. I had an idea it would need replacing and was prepared for that. So with that in mind E and I decided to go and buy a new set and off we went to the retail park. It didn’t take us long, or rather me long to choose the set I wanted. Initially we looked at some 55″ screens but then I saw a few 65″ screens and thought I might buy one of those instead. The lounge it is going in is big enough for a larger screen. I saw one that I liked and it was on offer at a reduced price and as we would be paying more than £1000 there was a further discount of 10%. That clinched the deal though I also opted to buy a three-year no quibble insurance to cover any mechanical or software problems that may ensue. There is only one drawback and that is the set is too wide to fit onto my glass table but I will overcome that problem by buying another piece of toughened glass to sit upon the table. Hopefully the set will arrive this coming Sunday. We left the store and walked a couple of metres into the furniture store next door and within twenty minutes we had left having purchased the bed for the refurbished bedroom. More spends! My flexible friends took care of payment once again. The bed will arrive next Thursday, that is on the 7th. The carpet we purchased earlier will be laid as I said this Friday with any hope. We drove home and the plan was to remain at home until after the Easter weekend with nothing to do but relax. I am not sure I can last that long without having something to do but we’ll see.

Shirley Anne

The list of love

A list of love

E, Derek, Marie, Carol, Allan, Jennifer, John, David, Tracy, Alan, Lyn, Lucy, John, Chrissie, Tina, Emily, Caroline, Sara, Claire, Jane, Amanda, Jillian, Lotte, Pam, Craig, Chris, Terry, Denise, Paul, George, Pam, Jill, Toby, Deborah, Pam, Liz, Sue, Jane

These people, as far as I am aware that is, and many others, either do not believe in God and Jesus Christ or have not called upon Jesus to be their Saviour. I pray for them all each and every day that God will open their hearts to His Word and that they may repent and turn to Him through His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Others I know who have made that commitment I also pray for, my brothers and sisters in Christ, that they will be filled with wisdom and be given a deeper understanding to grow in their faith. Some are members of my own family, my sons and friends. These too are in my list of love.

Embed from Getty Images

Why do I say a list of love? What do I gain by praying for them? The answer is that I love them all and want those who need salvation to be saved and those who are saved to draw closer to God. I pray for people for it is incumbent upon me to do so but also because I want to. Once I didn’t pray for anyone but since God’s Holy Spirit came into my heart I cannot resist. The pleasure I get is in the knowledge that I am doing my Father’s will, not because I am under pressure but because I am persuaded out of love. For so many years I lived in spiritual darkness without the love of God in my heart and then one day Jesus came into my life and I was changed forever (read My Faith page above). When I found this treasure immediately I wanted to tell everyone what they were missing. It often fell on deaf ears and it still does for many resist the Good News with fervour, actually as I did before I believed. It is hard sometimes when trying to explain to people that there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain. Hell is a real place reserved for those who reject salvation through Jesus Christ. It is our sins which separate us from a loving God but it is only through Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, that we can be saved. If we ask Jesus to be our Saviour he will take the burden of our sins upon himself and they will be wiped away forever. When God looks upon us He will not see sin, He will see His Son in us. Why would anyone not take hold of such a love as this, one that ensures everlasting life in Heaven?

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

So I pray for those I love

Shirley Anne

Good Friday

I could never figure out why Good Friday is so-called until I became a Christian. It is good in the sense that we as sinners in the sight of God can be forgiven and reconciled because of what Jesus did. His death and subsequent resurrection made it possible for us to follow and be resurrected to eternal life too. Without Christ Jesus therefore we would perish. Good Friday precedes Easter Day naturally but it is really Easter Day which is the more important for without Jesus rising from the dead none of this would be possible.

Embed from Getty Images

After he had risen he was seen by many people to be alive before he ascended to heaven. The secular world’s take on Easter is that it is a holiday and a time for people to take a break from their routine in whichever way the feel. Many give not a second thought to Easter’s real meaning, oh yes, isn’t it about Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies? They refuse to believe. My own Good Friday was spent applying the finishing touches to the paint work in the bedroom and after lunch spending a little time out on the patio whilst the sun still shone. It was whilst I was out there and with E who had just joined me that we heard the sound of voices seemingly from our neighbour’s garden but there was nobody there. We walked across the lawn to the far garage and there above us was a guy up on the scaffolding. In fact three guys had turned up to finish off the work on the roof. The original fault we had discovered was a leak behind the front chimney stack but since then a leak had developed on the opposite side of the roof. We had asked E’s nephew the builder to undertake repairs and during this past week we have seen the entire roof’s ridge tiles removed and refitted. There was only one more job to do and that was this original fault, a small leak behind the stack. The problem was the weather and Good Friday was the only dry day we could expect for a few days. The scaffolding was on hire and in a day or two was scheduled for disassembly unless I paid more money to keep it there. The work they did behind the stack only took around thirty minutes to complete. They had laid a new sheet of lead beneath the damaged area as that was all that was required. Hopefully I can now say that the roof repairs have been finished and that finally I can have the scaffolding removed. I know when that happens I will have to get on top of the garages to sweep up the debris that has fallen on them. I also have to check with E’s nephew that the gutters are free from debris too. Easter is a time to relax with family and friends and perhaps, on Good Friday at least, getting a little work done but let us not forget that Easter is about salvation, about the reconciliation we can have with our Creator through what Jesus did on that cross.

Shirley Anne

Last day

Apart from changing the radiator valves and some minor touching up of paint work E and I have no more to do in the bedroom as far as decorating is concerned. As I had no electrical work scheduled on Thursday I took the opportunity to finish what little work that was left to do and especially in the afternoon whilst E was out at the shops. The room could have been completed  much sooner but as there was no reason to get it done quickly and as I hold down an electrical service business I haven’t always been available. Added to that we have had building repairs going on too and have had to cater to the guys doing that work. By Wednesday evening most of the work was completed but there remains for some leadwork repairs to be done as I write this on Thursday evening. It may get done on Friday but knowing E’s nephew it isn’t likely, we’ll see. All the ridge tiles have been removed and re-bedded with new mortar and that took some time to do for the tiles are massive. They are Y-shaped and are fitted upside down. I am guessing they weigh at least 5 or 6 kilograms apiece, maybe more and there are a lot of them up there. Anyway nobody arrived on Thursday because of the intermittent rain.

Here are some more pictures of the bedroom……  Bedroom 20Radiator













Bedroom 18







In the last picture you can see where I have painted the coving in the same colour as the lower part of the walls. All we need now is the carpet and bed and the room will be ready for use.

Shirley Anne

You’ve got to be joking

English: No Swimming Allowed They've got to be...
No Swimming Allowed They’ve got to be joking! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been quite busy this week with my small electrical jobs. They may be small compared to what I used to do but the remuneration makes them worthwhile doing. Of course now that I am in my seventy-first year on this planet I don’t wish to take on board more involved work even though I know I am still able. There is no need to wear myself out besides which I have plenty of things to do at home! I had two jobs to do on Wednesday morning, that is at different houses and I managed to do everything before lunch. At the second house I was asked to go next door and speak with the lady there about a job she would like me to do after the Easter break. In fact it was she who had referred me to her neighbour for whom I had just finished working. I often get recommended for work which is a good thing. I must be doing something right, I was on my way home when I got a call from a lady for whom I had worked earlier in the year. She had a burned-out power outlet and wanted it checking. It was a simple matter to replace it and made the detour. Soon I was back on the road homeward. It was by now approaching one-thirty but I didn’t need to cook a meal, I had prepared the meal the day before and it only needed heating up. After lunch I decided to do some more baking and made another Rich Fruit Cake and popped it in the oven. It would take around four and a half hours before it was done, something like eight in the evening! I had just finished cleaning the kitchen and E asked if I was going to do some painting in the bedroom. She had painted the radiator whilst I was out during the morning and had touched-up some of the gloss paint where it was needed on the woodwork she had painted a couple of weeks ago. ‘You must be joking’, I said in reply to her question, ‘I think I have done enough for one day don’t you agree’? I sometimes get the feeling she thinks I am a robot and often tell her that I am glad she isn’t my taskmaster. She would certainly make a good one! I would have more than enough time over the Easter break to do what little painting there was left to do.

Shirley Anne

Easing back a little

Ventil eines Heizkörpers
Worn radiator valve with thermostatic control head missing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have been making good progress on the bedroom project and most of the work that remains and which we can do is finishing the painting. The radiator lies on the floor waiting to be painted but although it can now be fixed to the wall brackets it will remain disconnected from the pipework until I drain down the system. I will be replacing several radiator valves throughout the house which I hope to do in a few week’s time if all goes well. It is therefore not worth reconnecting the radiator until I replace all the radiator valves. Once the curtains have been lined they will be hung and then we can have a carpet laid or vice-versa. We will most probably get the carpet laid first. I have had electrical work this week which has kept me from working too much at home. This is a blessing in disguise for it gives me a chance to ease back and rest more. As I write this on Tuesday afternoon a couple of guys have just taken one of the televisions away for repair, it ceased working on Saturday and there is a guy walking about on the roof, some forty feet up (thirteen metres), cementing the ridge tiles. It is an excuse for my not carrying on with the painting of the coving which I had started yesterday. I have had to cater for his needs a few times already so it just isn’t worth doing the painting. E has taken her mom out for lunch otherwise I would be painting upstairs but there again it is a chance to take things easy for a change. I have more electrical work on Wednesday too. Fortunately the weather has been favourable for the roof repairs to be done though on Wednesday we were promised rain and my concern was that there would be enough time for it to set before it rained. I wouldn’t mind but the scaffolding has been up for three and a half weeks and for most of that time it has been dry. I wondered why our builder didn’t get on with it sooner. This time next week but hopefully earlier I am expecting the scaffolding to be dismantled and then we can get back to normal.

Shirley Anne

Balancing act

Balancing Acts
Balancing Acts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Excel Dry Cleaners - New Road Side
Excel Dry Cleaners – New Road Side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple of days ago I wrote that it might be a couple of days before I could do any more work on the bedroom project. As I write this on Monday evening I think I was right however I did manage to spend an hour or two earlier. I had an electrical job to do during the morning and when I returned home I found that the guys had returned to continue work on the west end of the roof. I asked if the work had been done and they told me it had. They then inspected the eastern side of the roof to assess what work needed doing there and told me they would be back the next day to do it. Hopefully they will. By the time they had left it was lunchtime so I ate a light lunch and watched a little tv whilst doing so. After lunch I decided to give the walls in the bedroom another coat of paint which didn’t take too long as the total area of exposed wall below the new picture rail represents less than a third of what would be visible had the wardrobes and other furniture not been installed and of course one wall is more window than brick! When I had finished that part I started to paint the coving in the same colour as the lower part of the walls. A photo will be posted when that work is finished. In the meantime E had been out to collect the curtains for the room which we had left with the dry cleaners.

They need to have linings fitted to them as for some reason they have none at the moment. During the afternoon I received more requests for electrical work so for the next two days at least I will be busy doing those jobs at least during the mornings. I may not feel like working at home in the afternoons. The extra work will relieve the burden from my purse! I hope to have the time this weekend in which to relax. The weather we have been informed does not look promising for the weekend, rain and wind look set to spoil it.

Shirley Anne

Easter message

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Stuart Townsend

Copyright Kingsway’s Thank You Music 1995

This is a beautiful song written by Stuart Townsend back in 1995. A fitting song as we approach Easter which serves as a reminder to those of us who are Christian believers just how much God loves us. How deep the love our God has for us which is so vast it cannot be measured. So much so that He gave His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as an atoning sacrifice for us, wretched sinners. The pain was too much for The Father to look upon as His chosen one suffered in agony on the cross bearing all our sins upon himself. God The Father cannot look upon sin and that is why our sins separate us from Him. Jesus’ sacrifice brings many to glory, those who repent of their ways and come to God through His Son. Many know the story of Easter, how Jesus suffered on a cross for us all, yet knowing this many still mock and sneer. The meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice falls on deaf ears and blind eyes yet it was their sins which held him there. Because he died upon the cross our sins can be forgiven, we can have life everlasting in his name. In fact it is only through Jesus Christ that any of us can be saved. Those who have the Son have life. We can boast about the things we have in this life but they are all worthless compared to the love God has shown us through Jesus. If we believe in Christ Jesus we have something to boast about for we have something which cannot perish. Why should God love us so much that He gave His Son for us? Whilst we live and breathe we cannot say but we have that hope in our hearts that we will see our Saviour face to face when we die and will be with him in glory forever.

Shirley Anne

A little bit more

My sleep patterns are all over the place of late. On Thursday I woke up late but on the following two days I woke up very early. Saturday morning whilst getting dressed I looked out of my bedroom window and noticed that the gutter at the front of the sloping roof beneath my windows was particularly full and in need of cleaning out. The lounge beneath my bedroom is larger than my bedroom and the small roof covers that extended part. You can see the bedroom, lounge and the lounge roof in this picture taken some years ago when we were having extensive work done on the property.My bedroom above the three rear lounge windows

The seven metre aluminium tower we have just about reaches the gutter, however, I made a tool, a long length of wood with a short piece of wood fixed at an angle which enables me to push debris along the gutter and then tip it out onto the ground below. I went downstairs to fetch it and reached out of the window and cleared the gutter. During the summer the tower is erected and I can clean out the gutter more thoroughly. Because this gutter is at a relatively lower height it gets filled with leaves and the moss which accumulates on that sloping roof. After breakfast I made the decision to drain and remove the radiator in the bedroom as I wanted to continue with the painting of the wall with the first coat of emulsion. E lent a hand and we soon had the radiator on the floor ready for when we paint it. I had to refit one of the top radiator brackets to the wall as it had become loose over the years. I decided I would fit a reflecting plate on the wall behind where the radiator is sited. This helps to reflect the heat back into the room instead of it heating up the wall. I drove off to purchase it. E was going out to her monthly meeting and I carried on with the work, fitting the bracket, the reflector and painting the walls. I did stop for a late lunch but worked on until late in the afternoon. E didn’t return home until early evening by which time I was having a snack. It would be a couple of days before I could find the time to do any more work at home.

Shirley Anne