The Israelites were noted for it. God had promised them so many things and all they had to do was follow His instruction but time after time they failed. From the beginning mankind has been rebellious because of a stubborn heart. So often we choose the easy way out or we choose to do things our way when in our hearts we know it is wrong. When I took my children to church they learned the right way in life but sadly now they have grown they seem not to continue with Christian instruction in some areas of their lives. They are still believers in Christ, it’s just they make compromises where perhaps they shouldn’t. Hey, listen, I am in no way perfect either though I strive to do the proper thing in my Christian walk. It is fortunate therefore that Jesus has done it all for me because at my best I fail to reach the standard. On Wednesday late in the afternoon I received a visit from my eldest son, his wife and their young daughter who had called to collect something of theirs we have in storage at our house. They didn’t stay long, they never do, there is always some other pressing engagement they have to attend upon. In conversation the subject of Halloween crept up with my little granddaughter getting excited at the prospect of her Halloween celebrations. Children do not understand and neither do many or even most adults! When at the church I used to attend the teaching was that Halloween is centred around pagan rituals and nothing about it was good. The parents were encouraged to bring their children to alternative Halloween celebrations at the church and were discouraged from promoting the secular version. Does God frown upon the secular version? Of course He does. The Israelites were not averse to consulting mediums and spiritualists, the very people He instructed them not to consult. God makes the rules for our benefit but we often ignore Him. My eldest son’s wife, a Christian herself has chosen not to follow instruction and openly encourages their daughter to enjoy Halloween whilst my son rather than making a stand against what he knows about the truth behind the celebration has chosen the easy way out just to keep the peace. I can say nothing of course, why argue with stubborn hearts? I understand that not everyone will agree with my beliefs because they are not believers in God or if they are they do not think it wrong to ignore Him. In the end it is a personal choice we all have to make.
It appears that not having my advertisement published makes little difference to my receiving requests for my electrical services. To be honest though those requests have been few and I have refused more than I have accepted. To say I don’t mind would be truthful, as long as those requests are few, the occasional job breaks the boredom if I’ve nothing else to do. The weather has been a blessing, allowing me to be able to work at home outdoors but of course that won’t last. I write this on Wednesday afternoon after doing an electrical job this morning. I want to get into the garden again if not to work but at least to see if there is anything I would like to do as a project. I already have one or two things in mind which will cost me some money to do them but will keep me occupied for a little time at least. I guess I could spend a very long time out in the gardens doing something even if it is only maintenance! I wonder sometimes what makes some people tick. Here I am, almost 71 years of age still working and more especially wanting to whilst some do as little as possible, avoiding work at all costs and only wishing to collect their unemployment benefits, something I and others like me are paying for! If it were me in charge I would insist that all who are able-bodied be employed by local authorities doing anything that needs to be done before they could claim their benefits. There are many things that could be done, removing graffiti, cleaning rubbish from our streets, helping the disabled and many labour intensive duties not covered by those in full-time employment. Society it seems would rather spend our money by wasting it or just giving it away. The problem with all of this is we have too many rules and regulations which thwart efforts to use our unemployed workforce doing useful things for the society in which they live.
After breakfast on Tuesday I went into the garage and mixed the concrete I would be using to fill in between the newly positioned stone surround in the little plot and then I set about doing it. It took less than an hour…. Compare with yesterday’s picture. I use a smooth concrete mix when I fill in the gaps between natural stone used in these circumstances as it is more solid. I have found that a mortar mix is too soft. I use sand, granite dust and cement to make the ‘smooth’ concrete, the same mixture I use when laying a pathway or filling in larger areas as I had done when doing the work in the Plot a few weeks ago. There was a little of the mix remaining so I used it to reset a brick in the bottom of the buttress which was completely loose. You can see it centre-right in the picture near the wheel on the wheelie bin. The buttress itself needs repairing as I mentioned in yesterday’s post but I had almost no cement left. I intend to render the lower part, which is where the repairs need to be done, using the same concrete mix. I have the sand and the granite dust but I need a bag of cement to do it. In any case I will need to move the large white bag which stands on the path immediately to the right of the buttress so that the right-hand-side of the buttress can be rendered too. That bag has around a ton of soil in it! I may have to resort to moving the soil within the bag a little, just enough to access the wall. I certainly don’t want to move it all in the knowledge that it would have to be returned to the same place later. I would like to fit a stone edging to the long flowerbed which runs in front of the two greenhouses and in which stands the apple trees. At the far end of the bed stands a large holly tree too. The only thing preventing me from doing that job is the lack of stone! Despite the amount of stone we had rescued from burial in The Mound a couple of years ago there isn’t enough of a suitable size left, though much still remains. I will have to see what I can do, if anything, with what is left, maybe adding to it or buying something completely different.
I am trying to make the most of a: the fine weather and b: the fact that I’ve taken a two-week break but it seems I work too fast! I don’t think I do. I just plod on regardless, never looking at my watch because I don’t have one but just relying on what my tummy is telling me and sometimes my bladder too! I made a start on my current little project on Monday morning but I doubt it will be ‘current’ for very long. I write this on Monday afternoon and I think the little project will be complete by tomorrow. The little plot was in dire need of some care and attention and really needed a small retaining wall in place as well as you will have seen in yesterday’s post. After only two hours work on Monday morning I had gotten this farAll the stones were first shifted and stored on the raised concrete area behind the garage, a very useful place to store things temporarily for short-term or long-term. Over the years all kinds of things have rested there before moving them for use. Anyway as you can see I managed to dig out around the bed removing a few edging tiles from the right-hand-side before placing the large natural stone slabs along the three sides. I took a break at this point to go indoors and prepare some lunch just after twelve. E was at the top of the house doing some craft work (making greetings cards) and wouldn’t be down for lunch until nearer two o’clock. She gets up later than I most days and therefore has a late breakfast. I like to be up and about early most of the time. After lunch I continued with the work which was mostly digging out the weeds, filtering the soil and generally cleaning the site before washing everywhere with the hose.
All that remains to be done is to fill in the spaces and gaps with a smooth concrete mix which shouldn’t take long. To the right of the green wheelie bin you may see the buttress which had been built before we moved into the house back in 1989. It is in need of attention as there are a couple of loose bricks and missing mortar near the base. I have an idea I will render the lower half of the buttress using a smooth concrete mix too. What will be next?
It is Sunday and I am bored stiff! I had gotten out of bed very late in the morning and didn’t get downstairs until after eleven o’clock. Most unusual for me to have slept in so late but there was a reason. Firstly I didn’t get to bed until very late and I’d had a restless night, never getting more than short breaks of sleep until at six o’clock after a visit to the toilet I eventually dozed off for more than four hours. I obviously wasn’t tired enough the evening before! It meant I skipped breakfast and had lunch at twelve o’clock instead. I need to be doing something to get me tired enough for sleep and I haven’t been doing as much work of late. I have taken a two-week break from my electrical work so I expect few calls during that time, though I have still been getting them by word-of-mouth, recommendations from others. I even received a call from someone who had seen my advertisement or recommendation on a website listing me as a good and reliable electrician. I don’t advertise on the web. Anyway the long and short of it is that whilst I am officially unavailable I have to find other things to do at home or remain bored stiff! I don’t work on a Sunday anyway but I had been out in the garden a couple of times during the afternoon enjoying the sunshine for the most part but all the time thinking about things I could do, weather permitting, to ease the boredom. Most of the work in the garden this year has been centred on projects like redesigning three flowerbeds, restructuring and designing the area behind one of the garages we have labelled the Plot and installing extra lighting but there is one area which has been neglected because of a lack of time or what to do with it, that is the area behind the other garage and the first thing we see when we enter the garden from the cellar door, the preferred route we take.
As you can see it needs some attention. Now there are still plenty of the natural stone blocks lying about which we dug out of the Mound a couple of years ago, they will come in handy when, as I plan to do, and start work to tidy it all up. Of course I will nave to dispose of or hide away the old house bricks temporarily lying there too. If the weather stays dry I will make a start.
Christmas is not far away, a few weeks is all. Soon people will be thinking about presents,what to buy and for whom. Greetings cards will be sought and bought too. E herself is making greetings cards at home as part of her newfound hobby of crafting. I mentioned something about this a few posts ago. None of the cards she has made reflect the true reason for Christmas and nice as they are none have Nativity scenes on them or any reference to Christ Jesus which is kind of pointless. Most shops don’t sell cards with references to Jesus on them either. The reason for this is that the celebration of Christmas as the birth of our Saviour has been hijacked by the secular world and people who subscribe to secularism are only interested in the festivities which are now associated with the holiday (Holy Day). You see God has been left out of the equation in today’s society by all except those who are believers. People it seems would rather go with the majority than have anything to do with God. Father Christmas (Santa Claus) rules instead. Their celebrations centre around self-indulgence, alcohol, chocolate, roast dinners, puddings, mince pies and all the other things which are common in most homes at Christmas.
There is nothing wrong in people enjoying themselves of course but at Christmas they do it for all the wrong reasons. Jesus Christ is the reason for the celebration or should be but that falls on many deaf ears. God has been left out of many people’s lives but when they need Him they cry out. I just pray He will answer. God in fact does answer if we are sincere. We just have to believe, the unbeliever has to believe. Many pay God lip service, they do as they please whilst thinking God doesn’t notice, they lack understanding because they refuse to seek the truth. They even question the truth when it is presented before them. What kind of equation is balanced when only one-sided? We need a relationship with God and He wants a relationship with us so don’t leave Him out of the equation or your life will be totally one-sided and truly out of balance.
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Well not entirely. I have always been an active person, that is one who is either exercising or working most of the time. As a child I, like many children then and even now, was involved in some sport or exercise of one kind or another. In my late teens I purchased a bicycle and rode for miles every day I could but then in my early twenties I learned to drive and after I purchased my first car my bicycling days became less frequent. I did ride occasionally however but took an interest in my mid-thirties in running. From that time until around ten years ago I continued to go for a run. I would never run less than four miles and more often it would be eight. I also ran sixteen miles regularly too. I never ran a marathon though but did runs up to twenty miles. I liked running more than any other form of exercise, even swimming which I loved too. The furthest I have ever swum in one go was about a half-mile. All these exercises did wonders for my legs, in shaping them and strengthening them, so much so that many people used to compliment me on my legs! Many women I meet tell me they are jealous of my legs but men have only ogled them! I suppose wearing heels helps too. My working life at this moment is slowing down and currently I am attempting to have a two-week break from it. Not publishing my advert for two weeks should help me but there is never a guarantee I won’t receive requests. We are again enjoying some fine, dry and sunny weather at the moment so on Friday (as I write this) I went for a short walk of around three miles. I hadn’t been out walking for several weeks because of a knee problem, my left knee to be precise which has always been weak relative to the other. I had been so busy working I didn’t much feel like going for walks anyway which helped me to rest the knee. The walk took me down Rotten Row (Southport) past the long flowerbeds which run the length of the road. I have taken to admiring plants and their varieties over the last couple of years as I have been getting more involved with gardening at home. I now do most of the gardening at home and E does very little because of her condition. It means more exercise for me which is always welcome and will be more so as my electrical work drops away. I have no plans to stop that work just yet but will wait and see what happens. I didn’t meet anyone I know whilst on my walk until I was almost back home when a younger woman approaching me from the opposite direction spoke as she we drew closer. She is around forty years of age, has long blonde hair and invariably wears black clothes with jewelry. I only know this as I have seen her at other times when out. She smiled to me and said, ‘You’ve got a lovely pair of legs. I wish I had them, they are so shapely’. I didn’t know what to say at first but quipped, ‘Yes and they go all the way up to the top’. She smiled again and carried on walking. Now I don’t know the woman though I do recall having spoken with her once before. I continued on my way back home a couple of hundred metres away and thinking to myself, ‘What an odd thing for a stranger and especially another woman to say such a thing but what a nice comment too’. By the way those legs above are not mine though I think my legs are quite shapely too, especially when I am wearing heels. When out walking I wear flat-heeled shoes. My legs are shapely I think probably because of all those leg-exercising activities in my life.
On Monday I had arranged to call at a customer’s house some 12 miles from home on Thursday and as usual I duly arrived on time. I have worked in her house many times in the past and when her husband was alive. He passed away around three years ago I think, I lose track of time sometimes. Anyhow, she often calls upon me to do little jobs for her, some of which are not electrical jobs. Thursday’s work involved replacing under-unit lights, replacing a few light bulbs, disconnecting unwanted garden lighting, moving a lighting switch in a bedroom to a position outside of the room because she was having the door hinged on the opposite side which would have hidden the switch, re-positioning a small wall-mounted ornate shelf between two single beds in the same room and re-fixing a wooden ‘blind’ next to a window which had become loose. When all that work was done she wanted to chat with me even though she had been doing that all morning! It wasn’t because she is lonely, she isn’t as she has a full social life. No, she just doesn’t know how to say goodbye. It was now after one o’clock and all I wanted to do was get home, have a quick lunch and then install the newly acquired photo cell to control the lamp-post (see previous posts).
It should have been a quick and simple task but as is often the case with electrical work it wasn’t. Silly little things like the masonry drill clogging up with the moist brick-dust sticking in the flutes and having to constantly remove it. Discovering that the connection box access hole for the cable gland had a poor thread making it difficult to screw into it and one or two other minor irritations all serve to annoy and slow things down. Once I had everything done I replaced the existing automatic lamp in the post with an ordinary LED lamp. The work was complete by four o’clock so I had a couple of hours to wait before the lamp lit. The grey box contains a fused switched spur unit. The black box is a waterproof connecting box and the part night photo cell is on the left. The wall faces northward making it the ideal place for the photo cell. The adjoining wall is on the west of the garden.
After an early rise and following breakfast on Wednesday morning I noticed that the leaves that had completely covered the lawn were now piled-up in two or three places. The wind had changed direction and was now coming from the west as opposed to the east as it had been over the last few days. When the wind blows from the west or north-west any leaves lying about tend to end up in one of a few isolated spots around the garden for instance on the path behind the larger greenhouse, on the path behind the ‘Mound’ or in the area outside the cellar door which leads out into the garden. When I opened that door I was confronted by a large bed of leaves about a half metre in height! Having them all in neat piles makes it easier to sweep them up but even so it takes time for there are so many of them! I love Autumn.I had nothing else to do so I set about sweeping up the leaves. I filled two wheelie bins which doesn’t seem a lot but I had to keep compressing them to get them in. There will be more leaves to sweep up over the next couple of weeks as the trees have plenty more to drop yet. Just as I was finishing that work my phone rang and it was a customer in whose house I had installed two new light fittings six days earlier. It seems he didn’t like those fittings which had cost him £170 to buy, and he wanted me to remove them and fit two LED long fittings instead. The two new fittings cost him £98. He wanted to return the first set but the store wouldn’t accept them as he had disposed of the packaging! I drove the eight miles to his house whilst he went to purchase the new fittings. I got there ten minutes before he returned but his wife was home and she let me in. Soon I had the two new fittings installed, much to their satisfaction and after they had paid my fee I drove back home just in time to cook lunch. Wednesday was a gloriously sunny day and I was able to sit out on the patio for a couple of hours relaxing. I went indoors some time after three and my phone rang again, it was from the electrical supplier who had sourced the part-night photo cell I had difficulty in obtaining these last couple of weeks. If my readers will remember I wanted the photo cell to control the lamp post I installed a few weeks ago in my rear garden. Presently the light stays on throughout the night but this new photo cell switches the supply off for a few hours during the night for economic reasons. I drove to the supplier to collect it and when there I purchased a couple of extra items too. As I write this on Wednesday evening I plan to install the photo cell on Thursday and will post a picture once it is done.
Well Tuesday lived up to the forecast it was given, wet, windy and cooler, a typical Autumn day. The season begins in earnest but I’ve an inkling the weather won’t stay that way for already the weather people are saying it will get milder for a while. It makes no difference to me, unless I wish to work outdoors but even then it would depend on what I wanted to do. I had no work for the day but had to go out anyway to make deposits and donations and to buy fuel for the van. I had intended to slip in a little shopping but I changed my mind and left that for another day. When I got back home I spent some time on the computer shuffling money about between accounts and at the same time I logged in to my credit card provider account to see how much I had spent. As I have a direct debit set up to make the payment I have to ensure money is available in the relevant current account when the card provider wants paying. Usually the procedure is straightforward but on this occasion I made one error when filling in a piece of information on the log-in page and immediately my access was denied. Now I am all for on-line security, it is absolutely necessary in these evil times but I wasn’t given the opportunity to re-submit the details. I had to make a telephone call to arrange for the account to be unblocked. That took some time but it was a frustrating few minutes trying to understand what they wanted of me but I finally got there. I don’t know how they have the patience! In essence I was given a new customer number and I had to input a new password number and verify it though I had to use the telephone I was using to connect with them to do that. They think of everything when it comes to possible fraud. Once that was done I had to erase old signing-in information and save the new information on my automatic data input site account. All that for making one small error when signing in. It was lunchtime but before I could have lunch the house phone rang. The call was from an elderly lady I had worked for in the past and she was calling to ask if I would do a small job for her. I arranged to go in the afternoon and after lunch.