I am referring to my next dental appointment. On Friday morning I had the second of my two visits to the dentist for cosmetic surgery. As usual the appointments were running a little late but that is normal. Appointments are generally accepted as guide times and are really put in place to afford some semblance of order and to ensure patients actually turn up!. We all moan about the inconvenience of having to wait that little bit longer don’t we? Well I used to but now I am so laid back about it all it doesn’t bother me. I was in the chair a mere fifteen minutes after my 10.30 appointment and the dentist apologised but I replied that it was alright, and it was. What is the point in thinking otherwise? Fifteen minutes later and I was on my way out with a new appointment scheduled for May 25 next year. Another routine check-up. It pays to have regular check-ups I think. My next intention was to pay a visit to my electrical supplier in order to collect the LED light unit I was promised would be ready for collection late morning. Well it was late morning when I got there but unfortunately I was informed that they had missed the deadline when ordering to have it delivered the next day. It would be delivered on Monday morning. That meant I had to contact my customer and re-arrange my scheduled time of arrival. Now the work will be done on Tuesday morning instead. So much for appointments eh? It was just about twelve noon so I decided to splash out and treat myself to another restaurant meal and drove to a place three miles out-of-town to eat. Later and on my way back home I stopped at a filling station to top-up the van and enjoyed a little banter with people doing likewise. I enjoy making people laugh, it puts everyone in a good mood. My working week was over and I could spend the weekend relaxing…………..maybe! Knowing me I would find something to do.
What a lovely day Thursday was, bright, sunny and just a hint of a breeze. I was hoping I would get the day to myself, at least during the morning as I had to walk into town to deposit money in my bank and also to purchase two items from the pharmacy store, one an anti-fungal cream and the other a lipstick. Yes they sell cosmetics too. The cream was to replenish a tube I had that is almost used up. I have been treating a fungal infection on a couple of my toenails as I don’t want it to spread. I arose early and after breakfast drove half the way into town then walked the rest of the way as I normally do. The town centre is only a mile and a quarter from home but I didn’t want to walk the whole distance thinking I might have to go elsewhere later. It didn’t happen that way but it did happen. I completed my business in town and returned home. There was a message on the house phone. A lady and her husband living a couple of minutes away asked if I could change a couple of light units in their apartment. I could have done one of them immediately had I taken the van but it seemed not worth doing that, I walked there instead. The other unit would have to be purchased as I had recommended they have a long LED unit to meet their needs in the room in which it was to be fitted. It turned out that she was an avid ‘crafter’ just as E has become these last few months. She once made greetings cards as E now does but she stopped producing them some time ago and now makes other things instead. Anyway I walked back home, collected my van and drove to the electrical supplier. I had to place an order for the LED light as they hadn’t one on the shelf but it would be there the following morning. The type I ordered has a flat back and a semi-circled (actually an arc) front but in essence a similar fitting to the one in the picture. I paid for it and I would collect it sometime after my Friday morning dental appointment. I returned to the apartment to arrange a day for doing the work and we arranged for it to be done on Monday morning. It was just after twelve when I returned home. The afternoon would be all mine. After lunch I went into the rear garden to browse around. I went into the greenhouse, then in full sunshine, to see how the strawberry plants I had put in there were doing and if they needed water. They didn’t of course but I wanted to be certain the soil was at least moist. The plants were healthy and ready to start growing. In fact a couple of them have flowers on them already! I walked around the garden and reached the patio. We have a couple of pots on the steps and in front of the patio wall in which E planted tulip and daffodil bulbs two years ago. I had them partially covered to prevent the birds from digging out the loose bark in the pots. I removed the coverings and lo and behold the first signs of growth were exposed. The bulbs have sprouted and are pushing their way upward already. Nothing really stands still, not the plants in the garden nor me!
Sometimes things go well in my work and other times not so well. I go to a house and from beginning to end I am faced with problem after problem as if the house itself were jinxed. We use that term flippantly but I think there is an element of truth in it. As a believer in God I also believe in the devil or if you prefer evil spirits and that being the case if such evil spirits are about, havoc can ensue. Despite what some people say, houses can be inhabited by the forces of evil as can some people. Exorcisms are real events, I have attended one myself. I digress a little however. Little things happen in my work which serve to annoy me, for example, I am installing a replacement light unit only to find some internal part is missing. I effect a repair then discover something else is wrong too. I manage to fix that and move on to the next task and find executing it is difficult in one way or another, limited access, wiring problems and a host of minor irritations are sometimes part of the course. Now I expect problems in my line of work but sometimes certain jobs are replete with them just as if an invisible force is working against me.
I manage to overcome them, I have to else the work would have to be abandoned. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I have called out to God to help me with a problem and in seconds I have it sorted. Maybe you are now thinking she’s lost the plot and it is simply coincidence but I tell you it happens often. If an unseen evil force was working against me it would be incumbent of me to seek assistance from the only one who could help now wouldn’t it? Be that as it may I pray anyway just in case. Earlier in the week, and it is only Wednesday as I write this, I was inundated with work and it all went smoothly. I was tired though. On Wednesday I was rested, full of energy and rearing to go. I had work to do, replace four light units, re-position one of them and add a fifth elsewhere. Lots of things went wrong just like I described above but eventually I had it all done. It was well after one o’clock when I finished so I decided to dine out at a local pub, one of a number of great places to eat hereabouts. Just as I was placing my order my phone rang. I had left an item of equipment at the house, something I have done on two other occasions lately. I cannot place the blame on evil spirits for this, just me getting forgetful! I returned after my lunch to collect it. Fortunately the house was only a half-mile away and more or less on my way home.
Monday morning was a bit of a waste of time. I wrote about it in yesterday's post. I had just about finished eating my lunch, the remains of the chicken and vegetable stew which I had made on Saturday when I received a call asking for help regarding a faulty electrical cooker or cooker circuit.
Strange as it was I had to drive past the house I had visited in the morning but much further beyond to a small village another three or four miles along the road. The couple were glad that I had even bothered to call as they had been let down by others. The guy was a fit 78-year-old who looked much younger than his years but he and his wife had just returned from the hospital where a problem he had could be investigated so he remained in the lounge resting whilst his wife saw to my needs. Evidently the hospital medics had discovered a cancerous growth inside the guy’s abdomen but assured him that once removed all should be alright. I wished him well. In the meantime I investigated the fault. The fault lay inside the local isolating switch but that switch was located in the most awkward place you could think of, beneath the adjacent kitchenunit. It was also located behind the rear panel of that unit and sunk into the wall as far to the left and as high as it was possible beneath the worktop. Totally impossible to disconnect from the short cables behind it. Before I could do anything I first had to remove articles on the shelf and the shelf itself and then the rear panel to gain access to the switch. I had to cut the cables from the switch to remove it. It was then I discovered that three of the kitchen power sockets were connected to the cooker circuit which is totally against the electrical regulations. The one beneath the worktop became disconnected when I severed the cables from the switch but the other two had to be left in circuit as the wiring was concealed behind tiled walls. I extended the supply cable and the cable to the oven/grill unit and connected them into a new switch I surfaced-mounted within the kitchen unit. I was able to supply the cooker hood (air filtration unit) and the gas hob ignition plugs using a small extension lead plugged into the new switch unit which had a power outlet in it. Of course I pointed out the non-conforming wiring to the customer so that she can exercise caution when using the wrongly connected outlets together with the cooker when it is in use. The circuit breaker will trip anyway if too much power is demanded. I was informed that in the Spring they plan to have a new kitchen installed anyway so the electrical installation can be sorted out at the same time. The couple have only been resident in the house for two years and are only just now discovering electrical problems. This is always a problem when moving into a previously used older property. You can never tell what condition the wiring is in beforehand. Tests do not always reveal poor wiring unless the tests are done thoroughly.
I had one job to do on Monday morning. A lady had called me on Sunday to ask me to check out a few small problems with her electrical installation, faulty or missing lights and fittings and one or two switches. Basically minor repairs. I made arrangements to turn up the following morning to not only assess what needed to be done but to do it at the same time. That was the understanding for I almost never drive to a job just to look at it because that is a waste of my time. I usually discuss on the phone and then give a rough estimate as to the likely cost. Most people are happy with that arrangement because they know that one, I will turn up as promised and two, I will do the work on the same visit. If they request me to call on a specific day I am usually able to oblige so that everyone is happy with the arrangement. Some people however, though they are few, will insist I visit and give estimates then they use another electrician having wasted my time in the process. I am experienced enough to give reasonably accurate telephone estimates. Now this lady knew I was going to arrive as we had agreed but then as I arrived and on time things began to change. First of all she began by explaining why she wanted the work doing. She had been away from home for three or four months and had let the house to her niece and her husband. The house was untidy and as I walked over some of the mess she explained that the police had broken into the house because her niece had been trapped in there. Some cover story if ever I heard one. Probably the police were there to arrest someone would be a more plausible explanation but I said nothing. As we moved toward the staircase to go upstairs she turned and said that she didn’t expect the work to be done immediately and could I arrange to do it at some other time? She had gotten me there under false pretenses after we had arranged that I would assess and do the work at the same time. I understand that some folk cannot afford to have the work done straight away but they shouldn’t agree then change their minds once I get there. I decided to walk away from the work and I told the lady that I wasn’t going to have people wasting my time as she was doing. I am not desperate for work that I should be at the beck and call of time-wasters. Nice start to the week. Fortunately I had only travelled less than three miles to get there. I telephoned my local pharmacy to see if they had my prescription ready for collection so that I could collect them on my way back home. They were ready for collection. I hadn’t expected them to be ready until Tuesday so that meant the morning hadn’t been a complete waste of time after all.
Tomorrow, which will be Monday 21st as I write this on Sunday, will mark the 71st anniversary of my birth. For quite a few years now I haven’t celebrated the event because I personally see it as pointless. To me it is just another day. You may be wondering why I think that way so I will tell you, it is not scriptural. What? I mean the practice of celebrating a birthday is not recorded in Scripture, The Bible, and if I am to live by God’s Word I should not celebrate birthdays either. It is a personal choice however for I know Christians who don’t hold the same view. I really do see it as pointless irrespective of biblical teaching. Why do people celebrate their birthday, to be precise the anniversary of it? What are they celebrating if indeed they are celebrating anything? The anniversary belongs to their parents if the truth be known. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, or would be if those celebrating it had that in their hearts, most don’t. Jesus didn’t have ‘birthdays’ and neither did anyone else at that time. Christmas and ‘birthdays’ are an invention of man. So it was Sunday, the day before the day that marked the anniversary of my birth. I would be working the day after but Sunday itself was a day for relaxing, well relaxing as I do it. I was up quite early and after breakfast I wanted to go for a walk but it was a cold day. I waited a while until it was sunnier then went for the walk. It was indeed a cold day. I was wrapped up for it though but my outward journey was into a biting wind, not a strong wind but enough to make you feel it. I noticed hailstones trapped in the grass in places along the way yet it hadn’t been falling since the day before and everywhere else was dry. I thought that strange as there were unfrozen puddles of water everywhere. On my return journey the wind followed and it felt far less cold. Soon I was back home in the warmth but I didn’t stay indoors long. I went out into the garden to sweep up leaves once more. I knew there would be more to sweep up but now the trees are almost totally bare there shouldn’t be any more to sweep. Maybe. The last collection of green waste for the year will be on 28th of the month so I must make the most of cleaning up before then. When I had finished sweeping up leaves I went into the large greenhouse and placed the strawberry plants I had put into large pots last week onto upturned old pots to keep them off the floor and hopefully keep the woodlice at bay. I didn’t do much after lunch except a few household chores and watch some tv. I was looking forward to Monday, not because it was my birthday, because I would have work to do.
I was going through one of my phases of not being bothered or interested in anything and it led me to lie in bed for hours on Saturday morning. I simply didn’t want to get out of bed. I wasn’t tired, I’d had a good night’s sleep and had actually woken by eight. It was almost twelve-thirty by the time I arrived downstairs. So that was breakfast missed. I didn’t much feel like eating anything but I had to eat something. I decided to prepare a chicken and vegetable stew, one of my favourite meals as it is very healthy and tasty too. When I make it I do it in quantity and can get three meals out of it, four if I have a smaller portion but it is the kind of meal I call ‘moreish’, a small portion just doesn’t cut it. As I was preparing the food I couldn’t help but notice the sound of hail on the windows and for a while everywhere began to turn white…It didn’t stay that way as the hail turned to rain after a short time. I wondered if this was the first sign of a colder winter ahead. I was thankful to be indoors in the warmth but I needed something to occupy myself. First of all I had some of the stew for my meal. It was by now two-thirty. E had gone to her monthly meeting and would be away for hours. I have been checking for any air in the radiators on a regular basis now that the heating is switched on. E’s workshop is at the top of the house so any air in the system naturally migrates up there which means the radiator in the room doesn’t get warm if I don’t bleed out the air. It needed bleeding which took minutes to do. The radiator in the bedroom we refurbished early in the year had been left valved-off as the room isn’t in use but I usually allow a little water to pass through just to keep the chill out of the room though it doesn’t get too cold because of its southerly aspect. I discovered it wasn’t warm in the least even after I had checked for trapped air. I opened the valves fully and still the radiator remained cold. I will need to address that problem when I get the opportunity though I think that may be next year if it is more than simply an air-lock in the pipes. I went downstairs and decided to do some baking, one of my other favourite ‘hobbies’. This time it was a fruit cake. Whilst it was baking I prepared a scone mix and baked the scones an hour later when the cake was done. E returned home after five o’clock and knew instantly that I had been baking. I love the smell of baking in a house, it makes it feel more homely. Just nice when it is cold and wintry outside.
I pay a visit to my doctor’s surgery every six months to have a routine check-up though that usually means only a blood pressure check. I receive what is termed ‘acute’ medication which in essence means they are an essential and long-term prescription. As my body doesn’t produce hormones I have to take them in pill form, though there are other methods too. Taking these hormones (estrogen), or too many of them for too long can be detrimental to health. Increasing the possibility of the chances of developing heart disease or breast cancer are two risks cited by some doctors. Naturally, having high cholesterol develops high blood pressure which further increases the risks of taking hormones. It is therefore necessary to have check-ups now and then. My own cholesterol levels border just above what is considered average though as my doctor kept telling me in my case the risks are lower because I am relatively an active person. I do take Aspirin regularly which is beneficial too. However, even though my records are on display to any doctor or nurse who is tending me at the surgery, there is no consistency in the approach because at each visit I am treated by a different person. The doctor I had for many years retired some five or six years ago and since then I have never seen another doctor on a regular basis. There are usually five doctors and a couple of nurses at the surgery but only one of the doctors has been practicing there since I moved into the neighbourhood way back in 1988. This time I got to see a foreign doctor who I think is an eastern European guy. He was very polite and efficient and I spent only a very short time with him. He prescribed a further six-months supply of my medication which I collect from the local pharmacy a couple of days later. My next visit, unless there is another reason to visit beforehand, will be in May.
Relentless is good, it means work is available if I want it. The period leading up to the Christmas break is always the same for me, busy. Relentlessly the offers pile in.
I don’t like refusing work but I must do it or burn myself out. I reckon I have passed on more work offers than I have accepted these past few weeks. On Thursday last I had one small job to do and to be honest I didn’t want any more work until the following week but the calls kept coming in. Most of the offers were for larger jobs but as I no longer take on the larger tasks they were rejected. However one or two smaller work offers were made and I did those. I wanted no more but still the offers came in. I found myself making all sorts of excuses for not doing them as it appeared people don’t want to take no as an answer. I was driving to the last job when a guy phoned me. I guess he must have been around ten years younger than myself as he was asking if I could do some work for his father who was in his mid to late eighties. It turned out not to be just one little job but more than four and he practically pleaded with me to do them. I was determined not to give in as I explained that I was extremely busy and probably wouldn’t find the time in the foreseeable future. I also mentioned that I was just about seventy-one years old, trying to wind-down but even so my diary was full and that I had personal things to attend to without getting much time to do them. It seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as he once again asked if I could perhaps find the time sometime in the next week. I had to politely end the conversation for fear that I might have succumbed to his persistence. Actually I know I wouldn’t have, I don’t give in to such pressure. Do people think I am a machine which never gets tired? Maybe I am considering what I do!
Of course that depends upon where you look. I refer to social media. The only access people have to me across the Internet is either via this blog or by emails. That’s it! Nowhere else will I be found. I remember years ago when Facebook started out in the earlier version now superceded by today’s platform. Many people have been drawn to using Facebook since those days as a means of presenting themselves to the world or just to those they choose. As much personal information as desired can be placed on Facebook or any other similar platform but of course if taken too far doing that can expose you to all kinds of malicious attacks. Unfortunately not everyone in the world is honest and upright. Then there is Twitter where anyone can pass comments on anything that has been posted anywhere on the news media. That can lead to personal attacks by those who are only too ready to point the finger of accusation or to engage in character demolition. I often wonder why people expose themselves to such potential attacks by the faceless and the sometimes cowardly actions of others. I am of the opinion that people who use the Internet to reach out to the world with their personal profiles in too much detail are asking for trouble. I therefore choose not to use these platforms and remain incognito…..well apart from this blog! At least I am able to control comments on my blog though I know all my readers are nice people of course! Even though I have published part of my history here and much about my day-to-day life there is very little other personal information about myself. That is the way it will stay. Have you noticed how certain platforms, especially Facebook, have been pushed forward so much that they have become almost essential in some circumstances? Some sites cannot even be accessed unless you are subscribed to Facebook. The Internet is good for many things and beneficial in many ways but I will use it only in a limited way. I don’t want my life centred around the Internet, I prefer personal contact, the way I believe it was meant to be.