Category Archives: Domestic Chores

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

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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

Following yesterday’s post

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Monday was a very hot day. very humid at first but less so later in the afternoon. The carpet fitter arrived in the morning and finished before noon as I mentioned in a previous post. I had no electrical work as I had half-expected and probably won’t for another week because I withdrew my advert for some time off. Well the first thing I did whilst the carpet was being laid was to give the gardens a thorough watering knowing that it was going to be very hot. Starting in the front garden and then going into the rear garden later. Whilst watering the rear garden the fitter appeared and asked if the carpet he was about to lay was the one I had purchased. It was, but I wondered why he hadn’t asked that question when he first arrived and I was in the front garden where he had parked his van on the driveway. He told me that it would take him a further twenty minutes to lay it which just about allowed me to finish watering the garden. I packed the hose away and went to the top of the house to see he still had a few minutes of work to finish. Here is one of the pictures I posted two days ago..Top room carpet 2

Although it looks as though it is blue it is in fact grey overall, combining coloured spots of black, white and grey. E had Robbie (robot cleaner) clean the carpet whilst she had lunch. After lunch I decided to go for a walk but just before doing so I called the young builder called Ben who had been employed by E’s nephew to do the work on the roof a couple of months ago. He and a friend (who is now living in Australia) had done all of the brickwork when we had a lot of work being done on the outside of the house back in 2010. They had rebuilt our perimeter walls at the front and other walls within the front and rear gardens at the time. He is a good worker and really just a nice guy to have working for you. Anyhow I couldn’t speak to him directly and had to leave a message instead. I wanted some work doing on the garage brickwork where it has been leaking and alterations to the felt covering too.. I went for my walk and in doing so decided to go in another direction from the one I might usually take. I walked up to the top of the road and then turned left toward the village. I had walked only a short distance in that direction and I saw a pick-up truck parked at the kerb. I seemed to remember having seen the vehicle before and as I approached and to my left there was a guy on his knees and pointing away from my direction. He was doing some work on the paving slabs in the gardens of the apartment block there. I was about to continue past then realized he looked like Ben. I called out his name and he turned around. It was Ben! I couldn’t believe it, what a coincidence or was it fate? Sometimes I think we are led to do certain things rather than that they are chance happenings. He would call around on Tuesday evening to look at the job. I continued on my walk changing half-intended directions a few times. I ‘bumped’ into an acquaintance, a guy I had not seen for some time who strange as it was had been doing the same as myself, going for a walk. I mentioned a couple of days ago that this happens quite often when I go out walking. When out I walked along one of my favourite roads hereabouts, Rotten Row. It is laid with flowerbeds throughout it’s length but sadly these days only on one side of the road, a case of the local authority crying poverty. The diversity of plants are amazing, there is even a banana plant growing in the shelter of a hedge backdrop and surrounded by other plants. No bananas though! I didn’t think they could grow here unless under cover. Banana in Rotten Row

Shirley Anne

Another week

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Shirley Anne 46For someone who is supposed to be semi-retired I have been very busy with my electrical work during the week gone by. It is now Monday and I am wondering what the new week has in store for me regarding electrical work. Most of the jobs I do these days are small though occasionally I will get several ‘small’ jobs to do at the same address! This happened twice last week. I get tired if I do too much especially when the weather is warm as it has been for some time now. The heat drains my energy and that is why I prefer cooler weather if I am working. Our little decorating project in the top room came to a grinding halt more than a week ago because the weather has been too nice to remain indoors. There is little to do up there anyway, a couple of hours painting over a couple of days and some other small jobs to do will see it finished as far as our involvement goes. Once the carpet has been fitted there will be nothing left to do. The weather can’t remain fine and sunny forever can it? On the days I haven’t been working away from home E and I have been busy in the gardens, mostly removing plants or planting new ones (see previous posts). On Thursday afternoon whilst E was out shopping I removed two plants from one of the two smaller flowerbeds I had constructed on the patio last Autumn. We had purchased what we thought would be small and slow-growing plants when we first populated the beds. Some of the plants are Cyclamens which don’t grow fast or large as well as another variety which likewise remains small but one other variety does. I don’t know its name. The plant in the picture below is of course a Cyclamen.

We weren’t aware of this when we purchased them but this season two of them grew so large they were blocking out the other plants. This only happened in one of the flowerbeds for in the other bed these particular plants did not survive and did not grow at all. I removed the two plants to a position beneath the apple trees near to the greenhouses further along in the same bed as the new Dahlias and Scented Lily we had planted a week or so ago. They survived the move as they had fully developed root balls which were not disturbed during the process. The thing about gardening is that there is always something to do all year round but especially in the growing seasons. In the unlikely event I don’t get any electrical work whatsoever you can be sure I will find work in the gardens and if it is raining I will be working indoors, if I am up to it!

Shirley Anne

Another day off

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I spend more time at home these days and far less at my electrical business but I am almost never idle when at home. It is about that time when we can switch off the central heating system, though if it were only myself to consider it would have been switched off long ago. E feels the cold more than I do so it had to stay on just that little bit longer. The reason I want it off is so I can work on the system changing radiator valves, fitting a towel rail in the wet room and carrying out an alteration to pipes in the airing cupboard in the bathroom. All the jobs are individually simple and not time-consuming though it will take time to do them all. Before that work was undertaken I intended to get the artificial lawn laid on the patio. On Wednesday morning at around eight o’clock the front door bells sounded, it was the guys delivering the artificial turf. I wasn’t dressed and there was no way I would be answering the door. E however doesn’t bother about such things and she answered the door in her dressing gown. After breakfast I called the guy who would be fitting it just to let him know it was here. He called later to look at it as he has to source a suitable adhesive. At the time of writing he hasn’t set a date for doing it though he did say he might do it soon whilst the weather is good. Meanwhile I sprinkled some soda and water over the patio floor where moss had spread itself thinly in one part in order to kill it off. Later I was able to brush most of it away but had to resort to getting on my hands and knees with a steel wire brush to remove the stubborn bits. I also used a gas torch to burn some of it but finally it was clean and ready for the adhesive. I did some work around one of the rainwater grids which took some time. Water drains 006Basically I removed the plastic cover and set in place an open metal grating instead. Earlier in the year I had heavily pruned back the two main apple trees and had temporarily stowed away the branches. E and I got the wood chipping machine out and set it up to chip the branches. It is the yellow and black machine in this picture below. Nearby stands an old ‘Aqua Vac’ in red and grey which we had stored up in a small attic space at the top of the house. It is damaged but usable and though it can now only be used for vacuuming up water it may come in handy for vacuuming rainwater off the artificial turf when it is laid. Summer showers happen don’t they? The picture also shows the petrol mower in yellow, an electric mower in turquoise behind it, a cement mixer in blue, a wheelbarrow and hidden behind them another electric mower and strimmer. The artificial turf lies rolled up in the foreground waiting to be fitted.G 1Anyway E had to go out later and I took over chipping up the branches. We got quite a lot of wood chippings which we bagged for use in the garden. Amongst some of the other things we did was to take out the carpet and mattress from the garage ready for collection the next day by the council waste disposal team. We were both very tired having spent many hours working throughout the day.

Shirley Anne

Something to do

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Static & Silence

Static & Silence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My readers will know by now that I am somewhat of a restless person, always looking for something to do. I rest on Sundays in so much as I don’t work at my usual job or any project I might be doing at home. I am however open to ‘leisure work’ or I call it ‘pleasure work’, though that might hint at all work being a pleasure to me. In fact I do enjoy work but the only work I might do on a Sunday apart from preparing meals and washing dishes is a little gardening and I do emphasize it is minimal. I might mow the lawn, dig out the occasional weed, potter about or water the garden with a hose. Although April thus far hasn’t been all that wet we have had some rain but over the last week or so we haven’t had much to speak of at all. Twice this past week I have had to resort to using the hose because the plants have needed the water. Sunday was one of those days. I got the hose out even though a little rain was in the forecast and I watered the gardens front and back. It was quite a cold day on Sunday and the wind made it seem that much colder. I was glad to return indoors. During the afternoon it did rain, twice but the amount that fell was insignificant and would not have been enough for the gardens so it was just as well I had used the hose pipe. I get restless as I said and late in the morning I decided I would bake another fruit cake just to relieve the boredom so that is what I did. What does one do when there isn’t much to do? My problem is I get bored too easily I suppose and that is why I take on projects at home if I am not out working. I am always looking for something to do but on Sundays I am restricted to household chores if I cannot get out into the garden and if I want something to do. Playing the guitar and watching television doesn’t count though at times I am too tired to do anything else!

Shirley Anne

The only day

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I had been wondering why I hadn’t any electrical job requests this past week but then I realised that children hereabouts are still enjoying their Easter break from school. Offers for work are usually less frequent at such times I have found. It isn’t that I didn’t get one or two requests but those I did get I didn’t want to do for one reason or another. It worked out well anyway as it meant I was available to do any work at home that needed doing. On Monday I had my six-monthly check-up at the dentist which meant I wasn’t available during the morning and in the afternoon I don’t think I would have wanted to work unless it suited me. I don’t much like starting work in the afternoon if I haven’t been working in the morning.Angels 001 On Monday afternoon E and I spent a little time out on the patio before the weather turned cooler and overcast. On Tuesday the weather had started wet and windy but soon after lunch it turned sunny and dry, though the wind was strong. I had to stay indoors as I was expecting the delivery of the replacement drawer part for the new bedroom furniture and it arrived just before lunchtime. We had noticed the drawer base had been damaged but the fitter hadn’t mentioned it. Perhaps he thought nothing of fitting a damaged part but I’ll give him the benefit of my doubt and say he hadn’t seen it. After lunch E had to take her mom to the optician and I still had to remain indoors awaiting the fitter to install the part. By the time he had done the work the day had turned cool and cloudy again so I was unable to spend any time out on the patio as I had wished. The only day we were to have it sunny enough to sit out in I was stuck indoors! Story of my life. I wouldn’t mind but the damaged part was replaced in thirty seconds and I could have done it myself it was so easy. However easy it was though my guarantee may have been compromised had I done the work and in any case I had paid for a quality product and I expected one so they had to fix it. Anyhow whilst I was waiting for the fitter I made some tentative steps toward clearing out the small bedroom which is used by my youngest son when he visits. There he is in the picture with his elder brother. Even at that age he had a mischievous look upon his face. Nothing has changed. It will take a few days to sort and stash his belongings, though I wish he would either throw them out or take them to his own property. I may insist he do so when next he visits. The room is quite frankly a mess and there is so much ‘junk’ it is difficult to see the floor in places! Typical boy’s room, well young man’s room, he is 31 years of age for crying out loud! Once the room is clear of personal possessions we have to remove the furniture which is free-standing and made of solid wood. We can then lift the carpet which is in dire need of replacing and get on with the painting, which is all it needs. I would probably be better off retiring from my electrical work as there is plenty I can occupy myself with at home. Not just yet though.

Shirley Anne

On the go

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I woke up rather late on Thursday, I must have needed the sleep is all I can say. I knew the guys were coming early but I wasn’t dressed and ready to come downstairs. Fortunately E had risen earlier than I but even she had to answer the door at ten minutes after eight in order to give the guys access to the rear garden. I actually didn’t get downstairs until almost nine-thirty. I ate a very light breakfast, mostly fruit and after a short while drove off to buy the LED light bulbs for the new fitting. If you remember yesterday I mentioned E had been given six tungsten bulbs but I was never going to use them. Anyway I drove to the retail park to see what they were charging for the bulbs and then phoned my electrical supplier to ask them how much they charge. They were even less than half the price at the electrical supplier. I drove there and bought them for less than £19 for six. When I returned home E had just finished vacuuming the carpet on the stairs. I went upstairs and installed the new light fitting…Bedroom light

It didn’t take long to install though even using the high ladder it was still a bit of a stretch to reach the ceiling. I have been able to get things done at home as my electrical work has been slack in coming in this week. E went out in the afternoon to do the shopping and I decided I would climb the ladders to the top of the scaffolding were the guys had been repairing the roof to see what they had done. The guys had left for the day. One of the tasks they were to do was to re-point some of the brickwork but like most builders I have come across they are no too fussy about the mess they create. One of the five floodlights we have on the walls at the rear of the house was literally covered in red mortar. I descended to fetch a brush and clean it off before it set hard. A plastic bag to cover the light whilst they were working would have prevented my having to clean it. I am capable of climbing ladders but many women, probably most women my age are not and would therefore not be able to check things over. I set high standards when I work, especially if it is for others so I expect those working for me to be just as conscientious. It looks as though the front steps will be finished off soon as one guy was preparing the small wall for skimming with cementFront steps 3

Everything is on the go but I will be happy when all the building repairs and alterations are completed and the scaffolding removed. We can then concentrate on our own work.

Shirley Anne

Wore him out

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English: "The Dedusting Pump", later...

“The Dedusting Pump”, later known as vacuum cleaner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I forgive you for perhaps thinking that I was referring to a romp under the bed sheets but no, those sorts of things have long since been a part of my life. Sex holds no interest for me now so I suppose you could say that I am asexual. I had an amazingly good night’s sleep on Wednesday through to Thursday and although I woke at around seven I nodded off again, waking up at twenty minutes past ten! Obviously I had no work scheduled so I was in no hurry to get out of bed but nevertheless I did of course. E had been up and about for a couple of hours and greeted me with a sarcastic ‘good afternoon’ though it was only eleven-thirty. Although she was up she hadn’t dressed or even had her shower. When I came downstairs I was wearing a pair of overalls  because I wanted to dig out the seven gooseberry bushes I have kept promising myself to do for several weeks. They are the ones I had planted in front of the large greenhouse in this picture below taken a few years ago.38 I put on my boots and went into the garden whilst E returned upstairs to shower and dress. There was no point in having breakfast so I just got on with the work. I placed the bushes into individual plastic bags which was a little difficult to do because of their size. Even though I as wearing protective clothing and gloves the plants still managed to prick me with those sharp thorns. I had them all bagged and stored in the front driveway hopefully to be collected by E’s nephew to take to his mom who had asked for them. We still have seven bushes planted in the area between the patio and the second garage: I have no plans to remove them. So I returned indoors and decided I would take ‘Robbie’ upstairs to give him a workout! I had prepared the bedroom for his arrival and set him in motion. Robbie is of course our robot vacuum cleaner! Shame on you for thinking otherwise. I closed the door and let him get on with it. In the meantime I had taken an ordinary cleaner upstairs at E’s request and did a spot of manual cleaning before going downstairs for lunch. Just as I had finished I received a call asking if I would help with an electrical job. I left Robbie running and went to do the work. E was going out too in order to do the weekly shopping. I finished the work but before driving home I drove to the service station where I’d had my van serviced recently because I wanted them to check for a suspected oil leak. I had seen oil on the board I park it over at home, a board I placed there for that reason. I was told that there wasn’t a problem but I suspect they wouldn’t have told me that they had not tightened up the oil filter properly. So I drove away with peace of mind. When I got home I went to my bedroom and saw poor Robbie standing there exhausted with his batteries fully drained. I replaced all the furniture I had moved to allow the whole area to be accessible for Robbie. I took him downstairs and gave him a thorough clean-up before returning him to his docking station to recharge his batteries.

Shirley Anne

The hats I wear

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A fresh batch of homemade buttermilk scones.

A fresh batch of homemade buttermilk scones. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do I wear hats? Not really, it’s a metaphor. I stayed in bed a little longer than usual on Saturday morning and after my prayer time I took a shower and got dressed. It was to be ‘clean linen day’ so I changed the bed linen and took it downstairs into the cellar to be washed. Our washing machine is in the cellar. It was by now after eleven o’clock so obviously I wasn’t having breakfast. E had been up some time and had already eaten breakfast. I decided to prepare an early lunch, actually my main meal for the day and sat down at noon to eat it whilst watching the television. Saturday mornings on BBC are usually filled with cookery programs and I like to watch some of them. After lunch and with nothing special to do elsewhere in the house I started to bake some scones and when they were in the oven I made a Rich Fruit Cake mixture and baked the cake once the scones were done.

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By this time E had decided to have a light snack, mostly fruit as she normally does in the middle of the day so we sat together continuing to watch television over a coffee. We watched the first half of the rugby match between France and Ireland for we both take an interest in the game. Ireland were leading at the end of the period. France however came back in the second half to win by one point. I remained in the kitchen and peeled and cooked some pears, something I do every week. I like canned pears but those prepared at home even better. We keep plenty of canned fruit at home but mostly it is consumed when we run out of fresh produce, though I do like it mixed with fresh fruit too. I must have spent four hours in the kitchen all told. Our kitchen and the adjoining dining room isn’t exactly a neat and tidy area, it is what you might call ‘lived in’ and I like it that way. It is about the only place in the house other than the cellar rooms and those being used for storage at the moment that is left this way. We try to keep some semblance of order in the lounges and bedrooms. Well I do anyway! I’ll say no more. So this Saturday was spent mainly cooking and doing household things. It all makes a change from electrical work, plumbing, plastering, brick-laying, concrete laying, joinery, painting and decorating, gardening and a host of other things I find to do at home. Now I am going to play my guitar for a while!

Shirley Anne

Almost finished

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I had a little bit of a lie-in on Wednesday morning and was in the process of getting out of bed to get dressed when I heard the front door bell ring. There was no way I would be going downstairs to see who was there, not before I had washed and put on my make-up at least. As it was E also had only just gotten out of bed so she wouldn’t open the door either. We hadn’t been expecting any visitors or workmen to arrive to finish off the front steps as the weather wouldn’t allow it but in fact it was one of the crew who had been working on the steps. It took me about fifteen minutes to make myself presentable and then I went downstairs to open the garage door and move my van on to the driveway to allow the garage to be cleared out. He had come to do that work and to tidy up the site so that E’s nephew (the builder) could come and collect it all. I went indoors to have breakfast. It was a little after nine o’clock. When E’s nephew had arrived with his van they loaded it up with their materials and the bags of rubbish and then he finished laying the last couple of bricks on the rear garden wall which had been partly rebuiltRear wall rebuild

 

That work is now completed. The front door steps had finished being constructed or rather extended on Monday but the small side retaining wall had not received its cement render. At the time of writing this on Wednesday evening it has still not been done but that is entirely due to the inclement weather. Here are a couple of photos of the new steps (the three nearest the front door). If you look back to a post I wrote a few days ago (24th) you will see the photo of the same steps as they were when they were built a few years ago.Front steps rebuild 2

Front steps rebuild

E has been busy today painting in the bedroom we are refurbishing and I have been involved in doing some minor repairs and general cleaning up in the garage. I feel that now we more or less have the house to ourselves work in the bedroom will move along at pace. There is still the problem with the roof leaks to be sorted out so I have to remind the guy doing the work in case he has forgotten for he didn’t call me as he said he would.

Shirley Anne

Into the swing

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Wednesday proved to be a really nice and sunny day for a change. The weather hasn’t been that good for weeks so it was pleasant to have lasting sunshine. I went to do a job in the morning, as it turned out it wasn’t a big job but I was told they would need my services again within a few days once they have purchased the replacement lighting units they will want me to install. It turns out that the guy of the house is a friend of the manager of my local pub who had recommended me. I was also told that having worked in his sister’s house and her friend’s house too they both had recommended me. I suppose even the infamous can get recommendations! Ha-ha. I guess I must be doing something right. When it came to payment the guy insisted I take more than I had asked, which was a bit of an unexpected bonus. Whilst I had been working at the house I realised that one of my screwdrivers was missing and I then remembered where I had left it. On Monday afternoon I had installed a replacement outdoor light adjacent to the front porch and had placed the screwdriver on the low roof momentarily. I had forgotten all about it. I drove to the house which was only a couple of miles away and caught the guy just about to leave to do some shopping. He had seen the screwdriver and had taken it indoors. I should have phoned ahead so I was fortunate to have caught him at home. I thanked him but didn’t ask him why he hadn’t phoned me to let me know he had found it. Had I forgotten where I had left it I suppose he might never have told me. This has happened to me a couple of times in the past and I have lost one or two tools as a result. It proves not all people are as honest as they would have you believe.

Anyway the year has started off well and I am pacing myself as I said I would. Normally I would have returned home after a morning at work and then begin to work at home, a project or some gardening, both of which I have in my mind to do if I am able but they can wait a tad longer. As I am getting back into the swing as it were I will make a start on the things I have in mind to do, a bedroom refurbishment and of course the gardening! Just before I wrote this I called a guy to have the bedroom emptied of all the stuff that has accumulated in it whilst it has not been in use over the last few years as I would have to hire a skip (dumpster) if I was to do it myself but some of the items are far too large for me to move them myself. At least the room will then be ready for working in and hopefully I shall be too.

Shirley Anne

A nice change

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With the main part of my patio project completed I made up my mind to finish the rest of the work at some other time in the very near future and so I had Friday free to myself. Well actually I had two small electrical jobs to do between nine and eleven o’clock then the rest of the day was free. With the other small job I did on Thursday I had earned enough to cover the time spent on the project so I didn’t lose out by working at home. I was determined however to take what was left of the day at rest which is almost exactly what I did. Fortunately the weather was fine and sunny yet again so I spent a lot of time in the garden. Friday is the day our non-recyclable waste bin is emptied every two weeks. it usually gets emptied together with the paper and metal sometime in the afternoon so when I heard the noise of the waste vehicle I went to the front of the house to bring both bins in. The non-recyclable waste bin was not put out two weeks ago as there wasn’t much in it and even this time around the bin was less than half full. I have found that the recyclable waste such as plastics and cardboard builds up very quickly so that bin has to be emptied each time. Now the non-recyclable waste bin has not been cleaned out for months and the inside was in an awful state and smelled really bad. Each time the lid was lifted there were numerous flies hovering about. It need a thorough clean. We have a cold water tap (faucet) in the front garden as well as the back garden and I part filled the bin with water and added a copious amount of bleach. I used an old yard brush to clean away the accumulated muck and emptied the bin before giving it another wash in the same way. I left it open for a time to dry in the sunshine. Household chores like these are often done when I am at home with nothing specific to do.Dangerous lead The two electrical jobs were a nice change from mixing cement, mortar and laying bricks but they took very little time to do. At the first location one of my tasks, if you could even say it was a task, was to replace a four-way extension lead that had been trailed behind a fitted bureau. The faulty lead had been left in situ but the customer informed me that the plastic body housing the power outlets had in his words, crumbled. Now you might think that the whole lead would have been pulled out knowing this but no, it wasn’t. In fact they had left it plugged into the power outlet below the bureau. I took a photograph (shown above) of what was left of the outlet end of the extension lead that could have been switched on by mistake. Click twice on image to magnify. I think you will agree that to leave something like this plugged into a power outlet is very dangerous indeed. I have been in the electrical business for 53 years and still come across things similar to this. If it wasn’t for the fact that many households are now protected with RCDs there would be more fires and deaths.

Shirley Anne

It is Sunday once more

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MakeDamnSure

MakeDamnSure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is Sunday once more and I sit in the front lounge writing this at eleven o’clock in the morning. I arose around five-thirty having gotten to bed early the night before. I was washed, dressed and had put on my make-up by six o’clock and went downstairs for a breakfast. Before breakfast though I put the first batch of items to be washed into the washing machine. At six-fifteen I had eaten my breakfast and went outside to water the rear garden. That took me about forty minutes and then I returned indoors just in time to take the washing out of the machine and hang it on the lines in the cellar. I wasn’t going to trust the weather to remain dry though the forecast was for it to remain dry until around one o’clock. I then placed the second load into the machine. I went out for a walk and completed something like three and three-quarters of a mile before returning home. During the latter part of my walk I was overtaken by hundreds of runners doing a sponsored run. I am not sure about the distance involved but along the route I passed a twelve-mile post. I think it likely that the run was a half-marathon and it was being held, that is the starting and finishing lines, from the local park. Also in the same park there was being held a two-day beer festival, that is Saturday and Sunday and I imagine that would have been fully attended! Not by myself though I might add. As I neared home I crossed the path of a lonely runner not associated with the organised run and not even on the same course. She smiled and wished me good morning. Apart from the runners and a few solitary walkers I saw nobody in the town or down on the Promenade. Sunday mornings in Southport are quiet before ten o’clock unless some special event has been organised. I once took a stroll on a Sunday morning around eight o’clock and hardly saw a soul. I had taken along my camera and took several pictures in and around the town, the promenade and the sea-front. The scenes are devoid of people, like a ghost town. Those pictures are posted above in ‘Southport’. Oh yes on arriving back home I hung up the second batch of washing in the cellar. They will all be dry by evening time, no need to depend on the weather!

Shirley Anne

Even so

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English: Clevelode's burglar alarm These fowl ...

Clevelode’s burglar alarm These fowl make a heck of a noise if a stranger appears. The River Severn is just beyond the bushes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite it being very warm these last few days I continued to work either for myself at home or for others though on Thursday I didn’t work at all. It is now Friday as I write this late in the evening and there is now a much welcomed breeze blowing outside. It has become much cooler too. Temperatures reached around 28 or 29 deg C which is in the low to mid eighties on the Fahrenheit scale but the killer has been the high humidity. I had no work scheduled for the day so around nine-thirty after breakfast I decided to prune back the shrubs on the far side of our rear garden which had encroached too far out over the concrete path there. Now I can actually walk the length of the path without dodging and ducking to avoid the branches! A little tidying up of leaves and I was finished in just over an hour. It was beginning to get warmer outside by this time and too much exertion wasn’t advisable and I returned indoors for a while. As I had risen from my bed around six o’clock I’d had an early breakfast so was feeling hungry on the approach to noon and therefore had an early lunch. Soon afterward I decided to mow the lawn and it was hard-going because it had not dried out completely from the previous evening’s heavy rain and in parts it was quite long. It grows faster in the area immediately behind the house which shelters it from the afternoon sun. The far side of the lawn suffers in the heat of a summer’s sun. I had to empty out the cuttings about six times, four times as many as I normally have to and the cuttings taken from behind the house were quite wet. E had left the house whilst I was mowing the lawn and I thought she had gone with her sister who had called to drop off some clothes that needed washing. Her machine is faulty and she is waiting for the replacement to be delivered so E had offered to wash it for her. I went for a walk and thought no more about it. On my return home about forty minutes later E was standing outside our neighbour’s house chatting with her. Evidently they had called me on the phone but I hadn’t heard the phone ringing as it was in my bag and I had been surrounded by the noise of traffic. E hadn’t her house keys when she left the house and in fact she had only gone to chat with our neighbour but hadn’t let me know. I had set the house alarm and it had gone off whilst I was out, When I went into the house I switched off the alarm which by now had stopped anyway and I reset it and checked it out twice to make sure it was working. It worked perfectly so I have no idea why it had triggered when it did. It did indicate that ‘Zone 1′ had a problem when I first went back into the house to reset it so perhaps it was the door switch that had temporarily failed. Zone 1 is the entry door to the house. Maybe we should invest in a living alarm as in the picture! I went into the garden to sit out on the patio for a while, it was too hot to do much else but after a while I took one of the chairs off the patio and moved it into the shade of the house. I sat there with my feet on the cool grass in the shade but after ten minutes my phone rang and someone asked if I could connect a cooker for them. They had just moved into an apartment which happened to lie on the road at the top of our own. I called to do it and was back less than twenty minutes later.

Shirley Anne