Wasn’t too bad

I am the type of person who typically is apprehensive about how things will turn out and that is especially so with any of my projects. Throughout my working life in the electrical business it was never a problem, in fact I could always see the finished work in my mind long before I started it. To a point that has also been true when I approach a project I intend undertaking, I can see it in my mind’s eye already completed. The difference with my electrical work was I had the confidence of my ability. With my projects it should be the same as I have had plenty of experience with building work over the years but I often find myself wondering if what I do will turn out well. Now I have to say at this point I am not a professional builder and my work is almost never perfect, it is just near enough. Perhaps I am being too hard on myself as others tell me my efforts are great. Which ever way I can say this much, at least I try! On Tuesday (20th) it was time for laying the screed in the pit. The screed is made with three parts sharp sand, two parts of granite dust (fine chippings) and one part cement. I have been using this mix in building up the internal sides of the pit to effect a smooth but strong surface. The base concrete uses granite stones in place of the dust. It is more robust. I needed to purchase another bag of cement so soon after breakfast I went to the builder’s yard. On my return I got stuck right in with the work…

I had to fill the mixer three times to finish the work and they had to be mixed in reasonably quick succession to enable me to smooth out the whole area. I was surprised I had managed to do it faster than I had thought I would but it was at times awkward reaching over to do it. It would be Thursday and preferably Friday before it could be walked upon. Once the mixture has begun to turn white/grey as opposed to its wet green colour it will be safe to walk upon. The final stage will be sealing it and then painting where necessary.

Shirley Anne


Success and easier than we thought

The Roman Baths (Thermae) of Bath Spa, England...
The Roman Baths (Thermae) of Bath Spa, England. This is a 6 segment panorama taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know why I hesitated in getting the new radiator pipes connected in our bathroom, it was far easier than we had envisaged. On Wednesday we set about finally doing just that. As it turned out the drain-cock that is fitted to the boiler was adequately sized and we drained the system down to the point we needed in a very short time. As soon as we had done that I connected the pipes as planned and the whole system was back up and running within a half-hour. Why I had any doubts about my capability is unusual for me for the work was nothing worse than anything I had previously encountered. I was happy that we went ahead and got it out-of-the-way. This meant that we could continue with some of the other work that needs to be done. I have had a rethink about raising the bath onto a platform and have decided against that idea for a few reasons, time, money and now I think it is unnecessary and would only create more problems like not being able to fit lighting directly above the bath. The main problem we thought we had with the bath was gaining access to its drainpipe at some later date should a leak develop. The base of the bath sits directly to the floor but there is a hollow space beneath it which allows that access by lifting the bath from the floor. Of course in normal use we don’t want the bath to move at all so I had to think of a way of doing that and I came up with an idea whereby the adjustable feet sit inside a wooden frame. This would only allow vertical movement whilst preventing lateral movement at the same time, just what is required. As long as the frame allows the feet to sit deeply inside there will be no problem and none of it will be visible once the bath is seated in place for the bath will cover it completely. Once these ‘awkward’ jobs are done the rest is plain-sailing. All we need now is the available time at our disposal.

Shirley Anne

Friends and family and all I know

Friendship, Göteborg, Sweden
Friendship, Göteborg, Sweden

The saying is ‘You can choose your friends but you are stuck with your family’ or words in a similar vein. ‘A man’s enemies are the members of his own household’, to quote Scripture (Micah 7:6). I have only ever had one friend in my life, that is if I exclude E. She has known me for more than forty-one years and is the only person in this world, apart from our children, whom I could trust with my life. When I was between the ages of five and twelve I had a childhood friend who was as close as a young friend could be. He was also my defender and stood in the gap between me and those who liked to bully me at school and even outside of school. I was an extremely timid child and was an easy target for the school bullies of which there were a few. When I left that area to live elsewhere my friend and I lost contact. As I progressed into my teenage years I became more and more introverted and anti-social. I became stripped of any confidence I had and still remained the victim of bullies. I was so anti-social that I turned my back on my old school friend when he appeared one evening to pay me a visit years later. I told my mother to explain that I wasn’t at home. He left and never returned and at that time I felt no guilt. It was only after I had been working for twelve months that things began to change for the better but even so I remained anti-social until around twenty-four or five. I had no friends but I started to form friendships with a few people, none of whom became close friends. E came into my life when I was a couple of months past my twenty-sixth birthday. I never developed a deep friendship after meeting E but there have been a couple of people come into my life during the last twelve years I consider to be friends. Sadly they too have moved away or live too far for regular personal contact. As far as family are concerned, well I might as well not exist for most of them never contact me or have ceased communicating even though formerly only doing that rarely. Other people in my life are merely acquaintances and yet more I have never met in person but know only through the Internet. I would like to call them my friends and as far as it goes they are I suppose. You could say therefore that I am devoid of any close friends and only have the closeness, support and understanding of E, which I cherish incidentally. I read the post of a fellow Internet ‘blogger’ recently where she explored the concept of loneliness as applied to her own situation but assuring her readers that she was quite happy with her circumstance. I hope that she is. I penned this small poem as a comment….

Happy in life
With cares but a few
No-one to sit with
But only you
Watching the couples
Walk by in the sun
Look at the children
Indulging in fun
Life isn’t bad
It’s as easy as pie
But who will be there
To mourn when you die?

Copyright Shirley Anne 9 April 2013

For myself I need people around me, the closer the better.

Shirley Anne

This time last year

Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts, Liverpool, England.
Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts, Liverpool, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This time last year saw me in Liverpool Crown Court for two weeks and no, I hadn’t been called to answer for some criminal activity for those who don’t already know. I was called to do my duty as a juror for the second time in my life. I really enjoyed the experience and would readily do it again given the opportunity. I am thinking though that doing my duty might be nicer during the warmer months of the year but we can’t have it all can we? I wonder if I will ever be called upon for jury service again as my age is against me now. Last year I sat on three trials and was forewoman on one of them. I remember years ago how shy and timid I was and would never have put myself forward for such a duty, in fact I couldn’t face being in the limelight for any reason. Fortunately all that has changed and any nervousness I once had has gone forever. It is all about confidence, the one thing I sadly lacked. I remember my first time standing before an audience to give a ten minute talk on the subject of my choice which was helicopters. The audience was small, probably around fifteen to twenty people, my fellow students at college which seemed to make it more difficult. I was eighteen years old and nervous as hell but once I opened my mouth I found all nervousness had departed. I wasn’t really eager to do it again though but one year later I had to do the same thing again. This time I chose astronomy as my subject, something I really knew about. Although I was supposed to speak for ten minutes it was way over twenty before I finished, the lecturer couldn’t get me to stop but I suppose on reflection he simply thought I was doing a good job. It would be many more years though before I gained enough confidence to stand in front of an audience again. That happened at church when I took a turn at leading the congregation in worship from the platform with my guitar and singing too! I went on a rota doing that for a couple of years before I finally left the church. I have come a long way since my youth but lack the opportunity now to show my confidence in a similar manner. There’s still time though!

Shirley Anne