Nearly there

After doing the weekly shopping I arrived back home at eight-thirty and put everything away before spending an hour relaxing on the patio with a coffee soaking up the bright sunshine. When it isn’t too windy sitting on the patio early in the morning sunshine once Spring is here is wonderful. One side of the patio faces eastward and with the wall on the west side is is a sun trap. I didn’t want to stop there long as I wanted to continue with the garage door project. I finally got the slot cut to the right size and the holes for the handle bar and the key cut out. So it was time to fit the lock and screw it in place. I used the two white plastic door knobs which were on the old door and the square metal bar which was long enough to go through the new and slightly wider door. Unfortunately the plastic disks on which the knobs sit couldn’t be removed from the old door without breaking them so I will either have to purchase new ones which is unlikely (they are usually only sold with new knobs) or I will make a couple as I do have suitable plastic sheet. I will however purchase a couple of keyhole covers for they will be available. In the meantime the door is ready for use and therefore I removed the old door and moved it to the front driveway for disposal later. My word that old door was heavy but then again so is the new one! The old door was about to become in need of replacement for the base was showing signs of rot. I had made repairs a couple of years ago but knew it was only ever going to be temporary. There is more work to do on both the door and the frame and they will get done over the next few days. The door is now in use. No pictures today but I have some scheduled in tomorrow’s post

Shirley Anne


Too much

I went to bed early but didn’t drop off to sleep until just after ten o’clock. I had set the alarm for four-thirty despite knowing that usually I lie awake waiting for it to go off! I wanted to take an early walk and set off just after five-thirty. The forecast had been for a cold night and fairly windy with it. Whenever the wind blows it makes things colder than the dry bulb indicates. It is all about evaporation. As an engineer one of my responsibilities was to ensure a comfortable working environment for the staff across the site. I had to maintain an ambient temperature of 21 deg C and a relative humidity of 50% both within set limits. I often used a whirling hygrometer which is a device resembling one of those rattles people often used at football matches many years ago. In the hygrometer are two mercury-filled thermometers one of which has the bulb inside a sock which is dipped in distilled water. As the device is rotated at speed it takes two temperatures, a dry bulb and a wet bulb temperature. The wet bulb would generally produce a lower temperature than the dry bulb due to the cooling effect caused by the evaporation of the wet sock. A reference chart would be used to find the relative humidity using the two temperatures. That by the way was a slight diversion to my post! It is interesting though as many folk wouldn’t know why the wind has a cooling effect, they just know it does.

There you see the device in the picture. Although I was well wrapped up the walk was bracing to say the least! I chose to walk my current route in a clockwise direction rather than the counter-clockwise direction I normally take which meant walking along the sea front with the wind in my face. I was certainly glad when I reached the point where I would turn inland and then back home with the wind behind me! It began to rain. It took some time to ‘thaw out’ on my return. How different from a couple of weeks ago when it was quite balmy. Now the rain was heavier and the morning looked miserable but after breakfast I did a little more work in the garage. This time cutting out the slot in the door edge in which to sit the new lock. It took me ages to do it because the door was on its hinges. I should have done it whilst it was held in the workbench the day before but of course I didn’t have it then. Suddenly I had it finished, the slot anyway and I stopped work. “I’ve had enough” I told myself and tidied up. It was twelve forty-five and time for lunch.

Shirley Anne

The door

That is the new garage door I have been working on, well manufacturing to be precise, is coming along quite nicely. It is April 2 nd as I write and I have not long returned into the house after spending an hour or so in the garage this afternoon. Actually it was more like two hours after my lunch. I had been working on the project during the morning too as I was determined to finally get the door hung on the frame. First though I had to fit the hinges and whilst it was standing fixed in the workbench I gave it a coat of wood preserver. I allowed it to dry whilst I had my lunch.

After lunch I began to fit it in place on its hinges. It is at moments like this that you discover the floor isn’t quite as level as it ought to be. I hasten to add I didn’t lay the concrete floor though I was present when it was being laid. It took a couple of attempts before I was satisfied it was right. When I do this I only fix a door with two screws in the hinges to the frame until I get it where I want it to be. There has to be a decent clearance at the bottom edge and it didn’t matter in this case if it was larger than required for I plan to have the concrete on the outside raised to meet the bottom edge when the door is closed. To do that I will lay a narrow width of concrete across the doorway. This will do two things, keep out any water and also keep out any mice! Pictures will be posted at the time. I had to take a trip out immediately after lunch in order to purchase a new lock for the old one wouldn’t be suitable and also a tube of silicon rubber sealant with which to set in the window pane. So I fitted the window on my return and inserted an internal frame to prevent it being pushed in from the outside.

You can see the inserted frame which is blue in colour. In case you are thinking the original door has been removed I tell you it hasn’t just yet, in fact you can see it through the new window otherwise light would be shining through it! The next day I hope to fit the new lock and if I have a couple of suitable handles I will fit them. I know I have spare handles in storage but I haven’t checked thus far. In the last picture you can see the other door which can still be used as long as the new one is left fully open.

And that’s it for today’s post.

Shirley Anne


It was a really cold and windy Monday morning as I ventured out once more for a walk. I left the house at ten after five as I hadn’t been able to sleep once awake at three-thirty. It wasn’t that I had retired that early though I fell asleep around ten o’clock after taking a shower. I find I sleep better after a shower. I have no idea why that is. It was also April 1st and we had all been fooled into thinking Winter had finished with us, at least in the morning. In any case I was glad to be back home around seven. Walking into the vestibule was like walking into the tropics even though the house heating wasn’t on. It would be almost another two hours before it did, just in time for E getting up! I ate breakfast after which I spent an hour relaxing before putting on my overalls to begin work in the garage. The next task on the project was to install a second length of timber on the door frame alongside the one on which the door would be hung. I could have used a single wider piece of timber but I made do with the timber I had bought. I drilled the brick wall and screwed the timber to it and then screwed the original timber to it……

So the vertical piece of timber in the picture is now twice the width and just as sturdy as if it had been a single wider piece. It is actually easier to do it that way and the two have six fixing screws holding them to the wall and four holding them together. Because the wall wasn’t perfectly straight I had to fit wooden spacers behind the vertical sides which left gaps. I mixed some fine concrete, the same mix I used for the ramp outside and filled the gaps on both sides with it. When I fix something it stays where it is put! I used the left-over concrete elsewhere around the garden where needed.

Shirley Anne


Many don’t even know what the words means, some are haughty without realising and some know full well they are. Our Creator God knows how to bring down those who are haughty, bragging and aloof. Look what He says in His word…….

Shirley Anne

I’m going to bring you down (Obadiah 1:1–4)

In his prime, Muhammad Ali was, according to many experts, the best boxer ever to step into the ring. He was also very good for the sport, assuming that lots of publicity for such a brutal sport could be called “good.”

As a teenager I can recall watching this brash young fighter, wagging his finger at an opponent. His verbal taunts were as relentless as his left jab. “I’m going to bring you down,” He told Floyd Patterson, the reigning heavyweight champion of the world, in 1965. And Ali took him down. In the years to follow Muhammad Ali directed his pointed finger and audacious claims in the faces of the likes of the behemoth Sonny Liston and the mighty Joe Frazier. In those days, there wasn’t a boxer alive who didn’t fear the great Ali. No boxer could stand under his pitiless attack. One of the most often repeated themes in the Bible is this: When our hearts become proud, God will, in his own way, level us out. “Though you soar like an eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” God told his contemptuous people through the prophet Obadiah. In time, even the stupendous Muhammad Ali went down . . . his age and his own poor health became the supreme victors. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), Solomon warned. “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honour.” (29:23). “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,” Jesus would tell his followers centuries later (Matthew 5:5). There are two important principles at work here. First, God will use whatever and whomever He chooses to humble His people. Muhammad Ali wasn’t exactly a modest character himself, yet God may use someone just like this in your life to bring you to a place of submission before Him. While we may question His tactics, God’s goal is to create a contrite heart in us, and He’ll use whatever it takes to get us there (see also Romans 9:17). Second, humility—a servant’s heart and a gentle tongue—is the natural consequence of a grateful spirit. Yet humility is one of those elusive goals that you must forget in order to achieve! The more you try to not think about yourself, the more difficult it will be for you to be humble. Humility is the by-product of something else. It’s the result of understanding one’s own sinfulness and God’s holiness. It’s the consequence of one’s daily commitment to pursue his righteousness. Humility comes when one discovers who one is in Christ, accepts one’s place before Him, then forgets all of that and obediently pursues Him. Our God is a mighty God. He has called us to be His followers. He is the One who deserves all the glory. Kind of makes you proud just thinking about it, doesn’t it? Taken from NIV Dad’s Devotional Bible Will you remain haughty and aloof? God works in mysterious ways…..beware!

Shirley Anne

Saturday again

The day after we were supposed to leave the EU but our wonderful politicians have made such a mess of things it is going to be delayed. So much for promises and democracy! I will leave that aside as I don’t want to end up venting my anger on here. Although I did some work on the garage door yesterday I posted nothing about it. I didn’t mention either that I had my second drive around the garden……..on the new lawnmower! The grass needed cutting again but I also wanted to see how much the ramp alteration made a difference to getting it out of the garage and on to the path. I actually drove it out despite the narrowness of the doorway. That as you know is in the process of redesign. So yesterday (29 Mar) I got this far with the door..

The plywood partly covers the square hole at the top so that when the glass is inserted it acts as a stop. In the next pictures you can see what I did today (Saturday).

The frame on the outside of the hole, that is on the outward face of the door adds to that stop. When the glass is fitted later there will be a frame of wood fixed on the inside edge so that the glass cannot be pushed in from the outside. The plywood has been both screwed and nailed in place. The next stage will involve applying a wood preserver followed perhaps with and undercoat and top coat of paint, though I haven’t as yet decided on the paint or even its colour. I spent about three hours each of the two days before stopping work. At least the heavy work is now completed,

Shirley Anne


I was sitting at the table having my lunch when I heard a thud against the window. I knew straight away what it was, a bird had flown into the glass probably because it saw the reflection and thought it was just part of the scenery. I opened the window to see if I was right and sure enough the poor little thing was lying on its back on one of the stone steps which lead up to the kitchen from the garden. We never use those steps these days and the door is kept firmly locked and bolted. Anyway I decided to go outside and have a closer look but just before I did I saw the bird suddenly get up onto its feet. It was obviously still dazed and sat there motionless. I went outside wearing a pair of gloves as I was going to try and move it to a sunny part of the garden so it could recuperate in the warmth of the sun. Even though it was only small it was a wild bird and likely to stab with its beak. I am almost certain it was a Marsh Tit and perhaps a young one.

It looked like the one in the picture. I approached it quietly as not to frighten it. I reached out slowly to stroke it gently with a view to surrounding it with my hands. My first attempt failed and the bird tried to fly away but seemed not to have the energy and fell to the ground whereupon I made a second attempt and succeeded in holding it in my cupped hands. I walked across the lawn and gently placed it in the grass in the sunshine and quietly walked away. I left it there and returned into the house. I thought about offering some water in a shallow dish we actually have seated on a stone on The Mound which is usually filled with water or seed. As I approached again it gave me the eye and suddenly flew off over the garden wall as if nothing had happened! Well he or she took me by surprise for I thought it may have had a headache to beat all headaches. Perhaps it did, perhaps it got over its unfortunate meeting with the glass pane. I sure hoped so. Windows and particularly glass panels can be confusing to birds. I once worked at an establishment where they had constructed a glass-walled walkway joining two office buildings with the restaurant building so staff could walk directly to the restaurant under cover. Many birds died after flying into the glass until they placed silhouettes of hawks here and there on the glass panels. Surprisingly it worked.

Shirley Anne

Not a lot…

….but just enough was the theme of the day or rather the morning on Thursday. On Wednesday I hadn’t been feeling too good with what I thought might have been a head cold. After a little medication all seemed better. I got up early, not for a walk but I would be doing the weekly shopping and do it early in the morning. The actual shopping takes place between a quarter to and a quarter past eight o’clock and I am usually back home before eight-thirty. I wanted to do a little more work on constructing the new garage door but only a little. In fact I spent two hours at most putting in more strengthening timbers which included a frame for the glass panel. The next phase would be to cut and fit the plywood panels each side but I didn’t want to spend more time getting that done on the day. As it was the work took me up to eleven-fifteen and I stopped for a snack having had my breakfast more than five hours earlier.

It was a lovely day on Thursday (we are talking about the 28 th March), sunny all day long with a slight cooling breeze. I spent a couple of hours on the patio once the sun came round to that side of the house. At this time of year the patio gets the early morning sun as if faces almost due east but in the afternoon it gets the sun from around twelve-thirty until three-thirty. As we approach the height of summer it gets the sun for around five hours in the afternoon. I was sitting there and I heard the clanging of a ladder being raised to a wall. It was our next-door neighbour. I stood on the wall of one of the flowerbeds and saw that it was he and asked if he needed help, that is someone to stand beneath the ladder whilst he climbed it. He wanted to remove some grass that was growing in the rain guttering. He told me that the gardener would be helping him as soon as he was done with whatever he was doing. Craig, that is my neighbour, asked about drilling a brick wall and what to use. He is totally unfamiliar with anything that requires DIY skills for he was never encouraged to help his dad when he was alive. I told him to come around to the garage in which I have been working and I gave him the wall plugs and screws he needed. We chatted about my projects. Twenty minutes after leaving he returned with a battery drill and a box of drill bits and paraphernalia and was asking which bits were for masonry and which were for drilling metal. Both E and I ran him through which was which and even how to fix them in the chuck! He just doesn’t have a clue but at least he is giving it a go for as he said himself it would cost him a fortune if he had to employ someone to do everything. I will always lend a hand if requested but I want to let him put in some practice for his own benefit. He isn’t stupid, only inexperienced but that will change given time.

Shirley Anne


I sometimes push myself too much I know I do. It’s not about trying to keep fit and active nor about trying to keep pace as I once did when young for I know my limits. This is how I was not so long ago, about thirteen years ago and before….

I place my feet upon the floor
About two thirty in the morn,
When most folk are asleep in bed
I wash my face and clear my head,
The stars are shining in the sky
As I begin to exercise.
It is so hard, it must be said
To rise up early from my bed,
And so I start my morning run
And tell myself I’m having fun,
At first it is so very hard
But eases as I go along,
Till finally I’m back at home
And still find that I’m all alone,
I have to wait almost an hour
Before I’m cool enough to shower,
Then rest? No I’ve no time to shirk,
I dress and then go off to work.

Copyright Shirley Anne 4 Aug 03

Nowadays and since retiring from my old occupation I try not to do too much but sometimes I fail and sometimes I am forced to slow down. I have been very active at home since retiring and of my activities can be read in this blog. My latest project concerns the rear door of the garage in which my van is parked. Outside that door I have just completed alterations to the concrete ramp and now I am in the middle of replacing the door and positioning the new one further back. If you’ve been following my latest posts you will know what is involved. The first two days of this week (25-26 March) saw me installing a new door frame and constructing the new door which as of today (27 th) has yet to be completed. In fact I took the day off from the project all together because I was feeling under the weather. ‘Right’ I told myself after returning from my morning walk earlier than usual, ‘Give yourself a break or run the risk of wearing yourself out’. I had a headache anyway and was generally feeling a little tired. Took the break I did and felt much the better for it. Sometimes you have to discipline yourself. Hopefully tomorrow will find me returning to my labours, at a slower pace!

Shirley Anne

Coming along…….

…..though slowly. I resumed the construction of the frame for the door today (26 Mar) but it took quite some time. I don’t rush things these days, let’s face it I am no spring chicken! I spent two hours sawing timber before lunch and then another hour and a half after lunch doing the same thing but also assembling the sections.

You can see the short timber has been cut at each end to form a cross-halving joint. All the sections were cut this way to give the frame strength. In the second picture you can see the frame at that time fully assembled but as yet unfinished.

All the sections were screwed together. There will be more pieces added as I go along. In the top space I have to insert the glass panel I purchased for the door. More strengthening sections will also be added. Once I am satisfied with the frame I will then fit the plywood panelling either side to complete the construction. So it is coming along slowly but surely.

Shirley Anne.