Category Archives: Activity

No big thing………

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just lots of little ones! A few weeks ago I went on a mini shopping spree, mainly to buy toiletries and some underwear. Part of those purchases were three bras all in black but differing slightly in design. On Saturday I took the only one at that time I hadn’t worn since its purchase to wear that day and discovered one of the straps was twisted and no matter how I tried to correct it stayed twisted. It had been stitched that way in manufacture. It either meant a trip to the store to have it exchanged or unpick it and stitch it back as it should have been. I put the bra to one side and wore another instead. It would be Monday before I could get to the store. On Sunday I had decided to rest, my Sabbath rest if you like but with me I seldom have a complete rest. It is more that I don’t work at my profession or do any major work at home, except the small things. While getting dressed on Sunday morning I remembered the bra. I took it downstairs with a view to altering the strap myself after breakfast. It took ten minutes and it was as good as new, it was new but this time the strap wasn’t twisted! I have to say I had never come across such a thing in a new garment before. I had brought down my soiled bed linen on Saturday evening and placed it in the washing machine hanging it all in the cellar boiler room before treating myself to a soak in the bath tub. It was so much nicer than having a shower after the hard work of the day. I don’t use the bath too often but it is nice when I do. On Sunday morning I folded up the now dry linen in order to hang up the towels I had put in the machine before breakfast. It was then that I remembered the grease-band kit I had purchased on my visit to Dobbies Garden Centre earlier. I cut and fitted a band around the two fruiting apple trees to prevent insects from crawling up the trunk. There are two reasonably large apple trees and one very small apple tree though they were all planted at the same time in 1989! The small tree’s trunk has never grown wider than a couple of centimetres and it is less than two metres in height. We have no idea why. In this picture taken a few years ago before we had the large greenhouse installed, you might be able to see the trees on the left of the greenhouse. They stand in a row with the small one nearest (just left of the green watering can)..

I came indoors to prepare another vegetable and chicken stew and another rock cake. It rained all afternoon so I remained indoors apart from a short visit to my next-door neighbour who wanted to see if I could help with a technical problem concerning their television and extension speaker unit. They had purchased the wrong connecting lead! On my return home I placed the two green wheelie bins in the street ready for emptying on Monday. I am so ready for them to be emptied of all those bluebells! Trouble is, one of them will get filled again almost immediately when I empty out the builder’s bag of its bluebell contents………..

Shirley Anne

Too busy?

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I had ordered a long LED lighting unit on Friday for a customer in whose house I had been working. My supplier told me it would be delivered to them on Monday morning so I arranged with the customer to install it as soon as it was available. I knew the delivery to the supplier would probably be mid to late morning so in the meantime I continued to work in the ‘Mound’ removing more bluebells. My readers might remember I had done some of the work on Sunday but heavy rain put a stop to it. Monday was a fine and sunny day throughout, ideal for working outside. I had a two-hour slot before I would collect the light unit and install it. Before I could return to the spot where I had left-off digging I saw more bluebells a short distance away which I decided to remove first. Eventually I returned to where I had left-off and removed those I hadn’t been able to on Sunday but in the process I dug out a large amount of stones too, including this slab of natural stone buried deep beneath the surface…

The longest side measures something like half a metre. No doubt there are more like it buried in the Mound. A couple of years ago we removed many large slabs of natural stone, some of which are in the picture above. At that time we dug out enough to make a pathway with stone edging as you can see above (enter ‘Mound’ in the search box to see more pictures). I collected the light unit and went to install it but was asked if I could fit two replacement switches too. Whilst there I received two calls from other customers and did those jobs too. One was for an elderly lady of 97 whose doorbell wasn’t working. She was very sprightly for someone of that age, very independent and insisting she remained living in her own house rather than in a rest home. What a lady! It was three-thirty in the afternoon before I could eat lunch so it was a case of visiting the pub and eating there. I was in no mood for cooking at home. At that hour there were plenty of vacant tables and I was spoilt for choice. I spoke with a couple of guys I know who were standing at the bar before seating myself for lunch, well dinner really as it wasn’t just a snack. I arrived back home around five-thirty satiated but tired…….Tuesday would find me at work again.

Shirley Anne

Thought I’d finished

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My readers will be well aware by now of my struggles in digging out the unwanted bluebells and to a lesser extent the montbretia plants in my gardens front and rear. I began the work at the beginning of the year and even before then I had done some of that work. In fact I remember doing some work on 25th December as celebrations on Christmas day for me are a non-event. Anyway it had been over two months basically doing the work and I was happy that I could look forward to just maintaining the status quo. Alas on Friday I noticed an area I hadn’t even thought about which had a few bluebells in it and many montbretia too. I wasn’t fussed about the montbretia for we have quite a lot of it in the front garden. It is easier to control and it doesn’t look out-of-place where we have it. The bluebells however I wanted rid of. This is the area, the border alongside the drive to the left of the house.No 3 Flowerbed 2

The picture doesn’t show the bluebells but the montbretia is easily seen beneath the bushes next to the wall on the right. The montbretia is kept in check simply by grabbing a handful of leaves and gently pulling them out but the bluebells require digging out to remove the bulbs. I had done a small electrical job on Friday morning and on my return home got stuck into removing the bluebells which actually didn’t take as long as I thought though there may be a couple I’ve missed. As I was about to finish that work I received another request for my electrical services so I drove there and did that work. Now perhaps I can take a break from the garden for a couple of days which is just as well for we have rain forecast!

Shirley Anne

Bucket full

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Dig Dug: Digging Strike

Dig Dug: Digging Strike (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a great feeling to be at that stage in life whereby you can pretty much do as you please as far as what you do in a day. At weekends I don’t do any electrical work unless in an emergency so if I don’t wish to do anything at all over the weekend then I don’t. On Sunday I was in no hurry to get up but I arose as soon as I awoke. After a shower and getting dressed I sauntered downstairs just before ten o’clock and had a bowl of fruit with a little muesli and milk. I had been thinking about going for a walk or maybe dining out at the pub to wile away the afternoon but by two o’clock I wasn’t feeling particularly well kind of like the way you feel when you have a bad cold. I decided to remain at home and have a late lunch instead, after all I had made a vegetable and chicken stew the previous day so there was no need to do any cooking. To kill a bit of time before lunch I made another ‘slab’ of rock cake because the other had been so nice but had all been eaten. After lunch I was feeling much better. The day before I had experienced problems getting my mobile phone connection. No matter where I was in the house or the gardens the message read ‘No network available’. As I was home it didn’t bother me too much because callers could contact me over the house phone if it was urgent. I wanted to contact a new friend just to say hello and couldn’t reach her even by text. I tried again on Sunday afternoon and suddenly everything was back to normal but I had a lot of catching up to do answering messages that had been left, mostly from people wanting electrical work done. I was able to contact my friend too and learned she was in the south of the country tending to her mother. Anyway before my phone connection had been restored I had been out in the front garden checking for a signal and noticed more bluebells growing in the right-hand flowerbed again. I had to dig them out, I couldn’t leave them for another day, they had to go! It was only a few days earlier I had been digging out bluebells in the same bed. They are a pain in the proverbial to put it mildly. As I was fetching the kneeling stool which I had stored in the greenhouse I noticed another bluebell in the flowerbed  by the greenhouses which I dug out once I had finished in the front garden. Thinking I had found them all I began to put the equipment away but lo and behold there were more, then more in the next bed. Finally I decided to dig out the couple I had seen in the flowerbed next to the patio whilst I was at it but didn’t get that far. On the way there I saw more in the ‘Mound’ which I started to remove. As I dug them out more appeared with each dig with the trowel or fork and before I knew it I had a bucket full of them! At last I got to the flowerbed next to the patio and dug out a couple there. I have never seen so many bluebell bulbs and plants in such relatively small areas, even rabbits don’t ‘breed’ so profusely! I did say there would be more and more and more and more………..yawn!

Shirley Anne

Poor electricians?

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I am glad I entered into the electrical trade/business all those years ago. For someone who has an inquisitive mind it is the ideal occupation. People often ask why I took up electrical work and the answer I give is that I wanted to know how things work. It is still the reason even now and it doesn’t stop at electrical things, I am interested in many things and how they work, how they are made and the history behind them too. It is a passion I guess but it helped when I first embarked in my career that I enjoy working with my hands and to be truthful it was essential. There are no such things as poor electricians providing they are prepared to work.

Power to the people!

Power to the people!

I am not super rich and never could be unless I had a large business employing many people but that was never an option for me, I simply wasn’t that way inclined. Being self-employed is in itself a driving force though less so for myself these days because I am fortunate to have a two-pension income. My self employment allows me to enjoy that little bit extra without the worry that I would have to struggle on my pensions alone. I could manage on just my pensions and I could even still save something at the end of the month. It isn’t that extra cash that motivates me though, it is the fact that I am still capable of working and I enjoy the work and in meeting people. Of course I no longer work full-time, I have no wish to and probably couldn’t maintain full-time working for very long, even one day doing that is tiring at my age. On Monday morning I changed the bedclothes and washed the soiled sheets in the washing machine before breakfast then an hour later hung them in the boiler room to dry. It is such an advantage having cellars in a house. As I had nothing else planned I was wondering what I could do for the rest of the morning in the garden whilst the weather was dry. I didn’t wish to continue with digging out bluebells in the remaining section of flowerbed that as yet I haven’t touched. I thought there might be one or two popping up in places where I had been clearing them out so I went into the garden to check. I didn’t need to look far and soon found some beginning to show themselves in a couple of places. I spent an hour digging them out before returning indoors. It was now approaching lunchtime so I thought I would prepare a vegetable stew. Using onions, bell peppers, garlic cloves, carrots, sweetcorn, lentils, barley, green beans, pre-cooked diced chicken and seasoning I made enough for three meals.

Washing peppers

Washing peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By now it was 12.15 so I decided to have some for lunch but my phone rang and it was a job offer in the next town. I drove there and did the work which has now led to more work in the weeks ahead. It pays being an electrician if you are prepared to work………

Shirley Anne

Just like a kid

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Just the way I feel sometimes but only after a busy day. I had been lamenting the fact that although I had taken a three-week break over the Christmas and New Year holiday I was getting bored with nothing much to do. Now that I have resumed work I find I am running about like a headless chicken! Gosh I have been busy lately but you won’t find me complaining, I thrive on it though sometimes I am glad for the rest in the evening when I am at home. Even then the phones are ringing up to and around nine o’clock on many occasions! I sometimes don’t know where I get the energy but it appears that the more I do the more I am capable of doing it. Just like a kid, full of energy but equally ready to slump on the sofa when I’m done. Today, Thursday, was one such day, busy throughout though not all at work. So I was so tired…………

Shirley Anne

I went back

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Some Kind of Strange

Some Kind of Strange (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A strange day was Wednesday in that it was out of my usual routine. Work of course majored for most of the morning followed by a little shopping. Back home to change then off out to see a man friend for a couple of hours and returning home stopping off at my local pub before finally getting home in the early evening. The electrical work was to replace two existing outdoor light units with new LED floodlights, a job which could have taken up to two hours at worse and an hour or less at best. I had the good fortune to get the latter which meant I had more time for other things. I needed to get to the electrical supplier to replenish my van stock and then do some minor domestic shopping before returning home. I was back home at eleven o’clock to get changed. I gave the latest shoe purchase their first outing but as I had to drive quite a distance I also took a pair of flat-heeled shoes. In any event driving in high heels is not to be recommended because of the damage it would do to the shoes. It can also be very dangerous because of the difficulty it produces in controlling the pedals. Once I had arrived at my destination it was on with the high heels! I spent a couple of hours with my friend then I was heading back homeward for I had arranged to meet someone later for lunch. However that person couldn’t make it and I ended up dining alone. I could have simply dined at home instead but decided to eat alone because I was hungry as it was getting late in the afternoon. I didn’t stop long at the restaurant, who wants to sit alone after eating? I took the longer route home and at the last-minute turned off toward my local pub. For a short time I sat alone with a soft drink but was soon in company. A guy the same age as myself and whom I’ve known for a few years came over and sat with me. It was one of the best hours I have experienced there, and there have been many of those in the past. He was good company and we laughed and joked a lot. Because I haven’t visited the pub for months evidently it seems I had been missed for many came asking where I had been these last few months. Finally I wanted to get back home so made my way to the van but I was spotted by another acquaintance also wanting to know where I had been. This was a middle-aged woman who greeted me as if I were her greatest friend and I invited her to sit with me in the van whilst I changed my shoes. She told me she was envious of the heels. We chatted for a few minutes and she insisted I call to her house for coffee sometime with a view to going out together for the day perhaps. I said I would because I am always open to friendship and she lives only a couple of hundred metres from my house. I spent the rest of the day relaxing at home for there was more work to be done the following morning.

Shirley Anne

First of the year

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After a few days of dry weather it finally rained on Friday, all day in fact. That meant a break from gardening work but I knew that anyway as the forecast is generally accurate these days. With that in mind there was no need to get up early so I didn’t, this time is wasn’t accidental as it has been with me lately. If I have a reason to get up early I do it without any problem as I set the alarm but I have to add however that most of the time I wake up before it goes off! So it rained and there was nothing to do. I didn’t go anywhere, just stayed at home. How boring! Usually I find something to do and most probably there was something but I try to put off thinking about such things. It doesn’t work however and I get to thinking what I can do in the months ahead. Already I have a couple of plans in mind and if they materialise I’ll post something about them. When I am working I am happy and though sometimes I think about having a break when I get one all I think about is getting back to work. It’s not necessarily work which is the magnet, though I enjoy work, it is more having something to do. I often play my guitar at home but I couldn’t do that all day long. I read, though it has to be informative, it has to be anything but fiction, I deal in fact. Fiction is fine with me only if it is the theme of a movie. I watch television though I try not to watch too much of it. So Friday was the first day it rained both from the sky and on my parade. g-2I didn’t even get the chance to see the squirrel who has been a regular visitor to the garden lately. He/she lives in the huge ivy-covered lime tree over the wall in the rear garden (centre of picture)  and is often found on that wall or in the garden itself. I suppose the rain is keeping him or her in the nest. The year is young and there will probably be more days like Friday………..I just hope they’ll be few. Probably the squirrel is thinking the same!

Shirley Anne

Boxing Day

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Blue vacuum cleaner

Blue vacuum cleaner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I won’t explain what Boxing Day is, information is easily found in your search engine. Already things are back to normal, high-pressure advertising back on track, the same year-in and year-out. Lounge furniture and summer holidays on special offers to entice people to spend even more money, if they have any left after Christmas! Today, Boxing Day, has been a funny day but a sunny one except that the wind never ceased from blowing. Left to my own devices once more I wasn’t sure what I would do with the day but in the end procrastination left me with no time to do anything. Wanting to go for a walk but thinking to myself the inconvenience of it, getting cold in the wind for no reason or too soon after eating became excuses I couldn’t resist. Consequently I stayed at home but I did spend some time on the treadmill by way of compensation. It is nice and warm in the cellar room which houses the treadmill because the boiler is located there too! E left the house before noon and didn’t return until later in the evening. I busied myself by doing a little housework, vacuuming the carpets and such before I got bored with that. It is one of those tasks which need to be done and despite the fact that we have a robot cleaner it doesn’t clean as deep as the mains-connected variety. Cordless vacuum cleaners too may be alright for general use but they also lack the power a mains-connected cleaner has. You have to unplug a mains-connected cleaner occasionally and move on to the next outlet, so what? There are plenty of outlets in the house. Anyway I could have carried on with the work of chopping down and digging out the shrub I had started on the day before but it was a colder day and still windy. Christmas Day had been windy too but it had been warmer with it. Had it simply been cold without the wind I’m sure I would have carried on with the shrub. There is no immediate hurry. During the afternoon I walked around the rear garden with a hot drink in my hands and taking stock of the work I will need to do there soon I could see Montbretia and Bluebell shoots beginning to show. Both will need digging out but it is the Bluebells which will be more of a problem as many of the bulbs will be deep beneath the soil. The Montbretia can usually be tugged out by hand if the soil is first loosened around them as they tend not to be that deep. It won’t be an easy job either way but if I am to do the work it has to be less windy. So I wait and when the time is right………

Shirley Anne

Hard times

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Everything You Want for Christmas

Everything You Want for Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hard times for someone like me who only wants to work. For most people this time of year is a very busy time, shopping for Christmas is now over and the festivities themselves will also be over for many too. Still there is time for rest before the return to work and the merry-go-round of life continues. Many will be glad for the break after all the busy days they have just endured. I can only say though that it was all self-inflicted, it was what they wanted to do. Each to their own and no doubt a splendid time was had by all, well maybe. Maybe things turned out as expected or even better, maybe tempers rose and there was friction which upset all the festivities. I hope the latter wasn’t your experience anyway. As for myself there was none of that for reasons I have documented much in the past and also within the past week or so. My problem has been one of boredom, not being able to find much to do over the ‘holiday’ period. I cancelled my advertisement in the local press for three weeks but that was more for financial purposes than a need to rest from my work, though I did need some of that. What would be the point of spending what would be £120 or so for the privilege of getting no calls? I notice other electricians continue to advertise each week of the year but as it is their livelihood, they need to keep advertising. I don’t need to advertise throughout the year as essentially I do not need the same volume of work but just enough to keep me active until I decide finally that I’ve had enough. That however might be far off at the moment because all I want to do is have something to do! At the moment that will be restricted to working at home in whatever capacity will keep me active and relieve the boredom. I have been struggling to find things to do but over the last couple of days I have managed to find something. I am wondering how I will fill the next couple of weeks into the new year. Something will surely turn up………….I hope so.

Shirley Anne

More walks

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It is late on Monday afternoon or early evening if you prefer, it is 5.30 on the clock anyway. I had no work today. I have just sat down with a cup of coffee after returning indoors after a short walk. Short walks mean anything less than three miles for me and they are usually around two. I returned home over an hour ago but I didn’t come inside immediately, I sat on the bench seat we had placed in the elevated position under one of the front windows. I knew it would come in handy!BenchIt wasn’t very warm but neither was it very cold and there was almost no wind so it was pleasant for sitting outside. So I sat there in contemplation, something I love doing, just sitting there and taking stock of things. My thoughts drift all over the place and one thought leads on to another. It is like an adventure, not knowing what will turn up next. I hadn’t felt particularly energetic before I took the walk, in fact the opposite was true, I wasn’t feeling up to going for a walk but I made the effort. Perhaps it is the time of year for it is hard getting motivated when the sun isn’t shining and it isn’t all that warm. I was glad I did, I felt better on my return. So I had been sitting there for about thirty minutes when a car pulled up in the street outside one of the gates. I knew immediately who it was and why they had called even before the car had stopped. It was a regular visitor on her delivery round, delivering packages and parcels in the area and she was delivering yet another package for E. It is all to do with E’s small hobby/business making greetings cards. She receives an awful lot of mail since her project took off. She wasn’t at home for she had gone out for a few hours presumably shopping. The girl didn’t see me sitting there in the twilight gloom as she approached the steps leading to the front door. Even when the floodlight switched on automatically she still hadn’t noticed me until I greeted her with a ‘Good morning’. That always brings a chuckle. I asked her to post the package as I wanted to remain seated for a little longer. She is a very amiable person and easy to talk with so that’s what we did for five minutes. Then she left and as she did another of the floodlights switched on too. It hadn’t noticed her approach but it noticed her departure as she must have walked down the steps on the closer side. I hadn’t triggered the light even though I was closer still but then I was sat motionless. She triggered the third floodlight as she walked down the path back to her car. Soon all the floodlights switched off and I was again in the darkness of twilight, my favourite time of day, evening twilight. I sat there quietly for a while longer before returning indoors and to prepare myself a coffee, the one I have been drinking while writing this.

Shirley Anne

Too hot to handle

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Too Hot to Handle (1938 film)

Too Hot to Handle (1938 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gosh my phone was busy on Thursday morning! I had been working in a fairly new development less than a mile from home, actually built on the grounds of the school that once stood there. My two sons attended that school for a few years until we moved them to another later on. The school was what we call a private school here in the UK (and elsewhere), one which levies a fee each term for the private education they provide. Those fees amounted to thousands of pounds (Sterling) each term, money we could ill-afford to pay by ourselves though we did make contribution toward the cost. E’s parents paid the majority of the cost until we decided the children would do better in a State-run school. They did very well, even better, at their new school and both ended up with a degree at their respective universities. Of course we had to support them whilst they were there. Their old school had been completely renovated and turned into luxury apartments and new buildings had been erected in the school grounds too. It was in one of those buildings I went to work on Thursday morning but I’d hardly stepped over the threshold when my phone rang and then continued to do so during the two hours I was there. It was a bit of a nuisance having to down tools to answer the phone each time it rang. Fortunately the lady of the house was sympathetic. This is why I think people should attempt to contact me in the evenings rather than during the day unless they have an emergency. A week or so ago I visited a house some miles north of town to check out a faulty cooker circuit. Maybe my readers will remember that I had to replace a faulty switch and disconnect wiring that shouldn’t have been connected to it? The switch had been positioned in a very awkward place and had been difficult to remove. Anyway the lady of that house was one of the callers on Thursday morning. Evidently her cooker had ceased working. Naturally I arranged to call there once I had completed the work I was engaged in doing when she called. On my arrival an hour or so later I discovered that the ‘fault’ wasn’t a fault at all, she had switched the timer to automatic mode instead of manual mode! Once I corrected that the cooker worked perfectly. She apologised profusely but I knew she was under pressure as an hour later her husband would be on his way to hospital for a major operation to remove a cancerous tumour. I didn’t levy a charge but she insisted I take something anyway. I drove homeward to a relaxing afternoon……………but the phone carried on ringing now and then.

Shirley Anne

Not everyone

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A sedentary person, or "typical couch pot...

A sedentary person, or “typical couch potato” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching the day’s news on television today (Wednesday) and smiled when I heard about an elderly widower who has been advertising for a job vacancy. He is just about 90 years old, his wife died two years ago and he says the boredom of not doing anything each day is driving him crazy. I know many his age who find it difficult to get up from the couch being as they are self-confessed couch potatoes! I admired his pluck and his obvious energy, even at his age, no, especially at his age. The newsreader went on to say that a local restaurant owner has invited the man along for an interview with the prospect of work to follow we assume if he is successful at the interview. I wish him success too. Not everyone wants to stop working as they get older it seems so I am in good company. I find it difficult to sit around doing nothing for any length of time but I don’t wish to spend my time doing useless things either. I like to be productive which means creating improvements in anything I do. It is good to spend time out of course but not for too long or too often. I know people who just flit away the hours going from place to place but actually getting nowhere, their time is spent looking at things or sitting in pubs and restaurants every day which would bore me to tears. Each to their own of course but I want to leave a lasting legacy that hopefully others will be able to enjoy when I’m gone. This is one of the reasons I like working for others or working at home on the house or especially in the gardens. I was looking out of the window in the wet room which overlooks the side of the house where I had been working during the summer, the ‘Plot’. I look at my achievements both there and elsewhere in the garden and am satisfied that what I have done is lasting. Whenever I look out of the windows at home my thoughts centre on what other improvements I can make. I am limited at this time of year as to what I am able to do simply because of the weather but I like making plans, in my head at least, for any future projects I’ve a mind to do. If I reach 90 I hope I will still have that same attitude and not resign myself or consign myself to a life of idleness.

Shirley Anne

At the ready

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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.Foot care 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.LED Extrusion 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!

Shirley Anne

Wintry weather

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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…first-sign first-sign-2-jpgIt 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.Rich 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.

Shirley Anne