For the past year or two I have hinted at finally hanging up my electrical tools and retiring. In April this year, in fact at the beginning of the financial year and the same point from which I kept my books, I made the decision to cease work as an electrician. This November I shall be 72 years of age and although I am still perfectly capable of continuing, albeit in a very much reduced capacity, I told myself enough is enough. I needed to discipline myself and take the plunge. It wasn’t about the money, for me it was about the prospect of not having something to occupy my time if I did retire. I have to say now six months on that those fears were definitely unfounded, I have had plenty to do as my posts testify, in fact I don’t know how beforehand I managed to find the time to do anything at home whilst working as an electrician. Yes, I did find the time of course but had little spare time for myself as a consequence. Even that wasn’t a problem because I run on having a workload. Again, I have had to discipline myself to get used to more free time but now that I have done that I am happy I did. It is a little sad to have given up the electrical work though. No doubt there will still be some of that to do at home and in fact I have done some during the last six months already. On Friday morning after weeks of procrastination I finally decided to empty out the van leaving just a small toolbox for emergencies. I have always carried some tools in the vehicles I have owned. Here is the van before I emptied the stock..
And here is what was removed..As well as these….
I also removed reels of cable, trunking, plaster and other sundry items like drills and ladders. Those blue boxes contain switches, power outlets, mounting boxes, lighting fittings and a host of other things typically used in electrical installations. The van will be much relieved at the loss of all that weight! I was worn out carrying it all into the cellar!
After E’s nephew and his crew had finished their work on the garage roof alterations I finally got the opportunity to finish the electrical work on Friday morning. The task was to wire-in the new power outlet from the existing circuit in the garage but before I could do that I had to remove some now unnecessary lighting cabling and tidy up what remained. In the picture below all that work took place at ceiling height on the left above the ladders and scaffolding stored there and toward the door out of sight on the left. It would have taken far too long to shift everything to gain better access but the ladders and scaffolding were actually a benefit as I could climb them to reach the ceiling!
Once that was done I set about fitting a little extra support beneath one of the timbers. In the next picture it is the piece on the left flat against the wall at ceiling height. Let me explain. When the garage was built not all of the joists had been inserted into the house wall (the wall in the picture). Some had been supported by another joist which had been secured between two that went into the wall. It sounds complicated but in essence some of the joists could not be inserted in the wall where there is chimney stacks, and there are two of those along the length of the house wall.
In the picture above two of the three joists had been inserted into the wall whilst the middle was supported by the timber lying flat on the wall. The left-hand joist of the two which were inserted into the wall had to be cut and removed. It ran alongside the steel beam you can see top left. Now that short piece of timber on the wall was only secured to the outer timbers. Although the nails are intact and still in place the timber had been moved and it left a gap as you can see. My task was to fit a short length of timber to the wall beneath it thus giving more support (not shown in the picture). It probably would be fine without it but I never take chances when it comes to structural integrity. At the opposite end of the now removed joist the crew had kindly left the hole unfilled. In the picture below it is immediately adjacent to the steel beam (top right).
It was awkward to get at and it needed much filling. I used a fine concrete mix and a brick. When bricklayers build double-thickness garden walls, which in fact the wall in the picture above is, they never bother to fill the gaps fully between the two bricks. Saving mortar I guess. The wall we reckon is as old as the house (1877). Later in the day I went to the top of the house to see E who was busy in her workshop and I looked again at the roof…
…and noticed something that needs attention. In the picture above on the far side of the roof the top of the wall can be seen and it was capped with a layer of mortar when the garage roof had been constructed. Some of that mortar needs to be replaced, about one-third of it toward the front at the right-hand-side. When the weather permits I will do that work myself but I won’t be using just mortar, I will use a fine concrete mix instead, it is much stronger and less prone to cracking in the heat of the sun.
In contrast to yesterday’s post I said I would get on with the electrical work and I did. It was a slow start for me on Tuesday as I began the work at ten-thirty. There were several things I had to do before I could make any progress on diverting the supply to the existing power outlets in the garage. This garage we erected in 1989 about a year after we had moved in, maybe less, and the wiring for a light and a twin power outlet was taken from the basement house wiring. I rewired the house in 1988/9. Different electrical regulations were in force at that time so the wiring was compliant to those regulations. Since those days the garage supply, though still wired the same way, was brought under the protection of circuit breakers and RCD units by myself. Added to that I had installed two outdoor electrical supplies each fed from a dedicated RCD unit and circuit breakers. One was fitted in the boiler room and the other was installed in the other garage. The board provides the supply for that garage and for the other circuits at that end of the garden, the patio for instance. The unit in the boiler room supplies a couple of power outlets and some lights at the opposite end of the garden behind the first garage. For a time I connected the power outlets in the first garage (the one in which my van is parked and the subject of this post) to the same RCD unit. Today, Tuesday as I write this, I have removed the supply to the outlets and re-supplied them from one of the house distribution boards instead as there was a spare circuit breaker I could dedicate for them. Ideally I could have installed a small RCD board we call here a ‘garage unit’ in the garage itself but because there is the same protection wiring it the way I have I chose not to use one. It would be an unnecessary expenditure. Most of the electrical work was therefore carried out in the cellar (basement) rooms as I had to run a cable to the main supply units through those rooms. Having done that work I ran out of cable to actually wire for a new outlet near to the garage door. I would have to do that small job another day, probably Wednesday after I purchase the cable. This is the board I fitted before doing the rest of the work….
The lighting switch was originally directly on the brick wall. The new power outlet beneath it is the new one waiting to be wired into the existing circuit. I had to do a lot of cleaning and clearing out of rubbish as well as moving some things to the other end of the garage in readiness for the new door to be installed in a couple of weeks time. Here are some pics of the existing door mechanisms. The motor in the top picture pulls a loop of chain similar to those on bicycles which is attached to the top of the door..
The tracks in which the doors wheels run can be seen with the huge springs and their pullies above them. Click on pictures to magnify. The ladder in the last picture has been there for many years and has never been used. It was left by someone but nobody can remember who! It could be used but we have other ladders which are in better condition. You can see in the last picture the old garage door post with the cream-coloured painted top which was left as am extra support for the wall when the garage was constructed around it.
I just cannot get away from electrical work since declaring my retirement in April but at least it is now usually only for E and myself at home. A few days ago I received the new garden lights I had ordered over the Internet so I decided to fit them on Friday morning whilst we still had fair weather. The last few days of Autumn have turned dull with hardly any sunshine to speak of but at least it has been warm. I had promised myself I would replace the two light units years ago but as usual that took itself to the back of the queue.
I think I need to give the cables a coat of paint to help disguise them. There is little else that can be done with surface wiring is there especially as the wall is a solid two-bricks thick one built in the mid-eighteen-seventies! When I took the pictures we hadn’t as yet purchased the lamps so E and I went out shopping again, though not only for lamps! The lights are switched locally on the patio but I have been considering remote control to allow them to be switched on and off from the house. In the meantime we purchased LED lamps which are remotely controlled but only from a maximum distance of five metres. The house is further away. For fun we purchased lamps that change colour either automatically or manually using the control unit. They can also be dimmed though at only three watts apiece that function seems pointless. The colours cover the whole spectrum but can be set at any point. A separate switch leaves them white for normal use. Having done that work instead of getting out the hoe to annoy the weeds in the borders as I was going to do I now have to do that on Saturday……as long as it doesn’t rain.
E an I have a number of televisions around the house, far easier you might say than having to cart one between rooms! Joking apart, many people have more than one television in their homes these days as they have become reasonably low in price to purchase. Last April we bought two identical sets for use in the bedrooms. One has since been used a few times as it is in the room our youngest son uses when he visits. It may have had around fifty hours of use. The other was placed in the guest bedroom we had refurbished early last year but that unit has hardly been used at all, probably less than ten hours. This is that tv shown working on the day we installed it.They each cost £129 which isn’t a lot of money for a 32 inch screen but it is the principle of the matter, we expect them to work as they should else they are not fit for purpose. I was in the room on Tuesday morning updating the security on the Windows 10 computer which now sits alongside the television and I thought I would watch the tv whilst doing that. Then I discovered it was faulty. It wouldn’t respond to the remote control which by the way worked with the other television and neither would it respond to the other remote control. We took it to Currys where we had purchased it but they after checking it out advised we contact their repair department. I did that on my return home and now as I write this I am waiting for a reply. I have received an acknowledgement to my email. Whilst at the store I asked if these televisions have in-built usage timers which would reveal their usage to the repair engineer. I was told that certain manufacturers do incorporate such devices and they can use the information to assist with guarantees to determine if the machine has had fair usage or not. It isn’t rocket science to be able to incorporate a timer to count usage time, one small chip……as long as it doesn’t go faulty too! I was told many years ago by an electronics engineer that most electronic devices that go faulty do so within the first few months or not at all. This television didn’t get out of the starting block!
Update: As the tv was out of guarantee it could not be replaced. They (the service department) say it isn’t worth repairing and we were offered a sum of £79 in lieu. That has been paid into my account. So a new machine (as it hasn’t been used for more than ten hours) is thrown on the scrap-heap and your’s truly has paid in essence £50 for the privilege of not being able to use it! If I was able to take it back to the manufacturer (Seiki) they would most probably exchange it. That however isn’t possible. The lesson here is to use something as much as you can during the guarantee period and if it goes wrong it should be replaced/repaired free of charge.
Tuesday was another hot and humid day with wall to wall sunshine until seven in the evening when clouds began to appear. Evidently we were to have thunderstorms during Wednesday with some much-needed rain. I deliberately rose early knowing the day would be hot so that I could go for a long walk. I managed to leave the house at seven o’clock having forgone eating breakfast. I had a little water and nothing else. I carry water with me anyway should I get thirsty. Even at that early hour the warm sunshine could be felt. I arrived back home over two hours later but still not hungry. E had wanted to buy a couple of items of clothing, a lightweight summer top and matching loose-fitting pants and she suggested we go shopping for them whilst reminding me that I had wanted some walking boots and a waterproof coat. She obviously wanted me to purchase her items too but I was always going to do that anyway as she has little in the way of spare funds. By the time she had gotten ready it was eleven o’clock when we drove off to town. Just prior to leaving I received a call to do a small electrical job at an apartment close to home. I told the caller I would do it but it would have to be later in the afternoon as I was about to go shopping. I seldom go shopping with E because she is hard to please and my suggestions are not always appreciated. It takes a very long time to get around the shops because of her disability which over the previous two days had been aggravated by her left foot becoming swollen too. That put her on crutches until it would heal. Normally she has to use a walking stick to get around but this added problem had slowed her down considerably. She insisted we visit the store to buy the boots and the coat and I purchased both in minutes…
I got them both at half-price for a total of £95. We moved on to the next store to purchase her items but unfortunately only one was available, the top. Although we searched and asked staff the pants were not in stock. She looked for a substitute but gave up on the idea of finding something she liked. In the meantime I found a lovely ankle-length summer dress which I purchased for £50…
E’s top cost £32. She’d had enough of shopping so wanted to go home but I suggested we go for a meal instead. We went to a pub/restaurant we have come to like just out-of-town and it was lovely. Finally we returned home where I tried on the dress to check the fit but E reminded me of the job I had promised to do so I had to quickly change back into my day-wear clothes. I drove to the apartment and soon had the work done before returning home again to join E on the patio. Most of the time on the patio I spent in the shade. I’d had enough of the sun for one day.
No Escape (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tuesday was going to be a day in which nothing special would happen. It was a day for rain and dull weather but still a day for going out for a walk. I had arisen quite early and had just finished breakfast as E appeared in her dressing gown ready to have breakfast too. She lives in her dressing gown for the first couple of hours in the day unless she has somewhere to go. I am always dressed for breakfast and ready to go anywhere at a moment’s notice. Ten minutes after eating the house phone rang but I didn’t answer the call. Instead, I dialled recall to see who it was calling. I checked my mobile phone and discovered the same person had called that phone also. I didn’t have my mobile phone with me at breakfast so I had missed the call. I returned the call to see if my electrical services were being called upon and sure enough that was the case. As my advertisement is not being published in the newspaper the call had to be from an old customer or by recommendation from an old customer. It was from an old customer. The problem was that workmen had tried to use a power outlet in the garage to power their grinding machine and it had caused the circuit to fail. Despite the customer’s attempt to re-instate the supply the problem remained. When I arrived there fifteen minutes later I discovered the garage supplies to lighting and power outlet both failed as well as all the house lighting and the bathroom extract fan! Surely they were not all on the same circuit? Yes they were! Totally against all electrical regulations the circuit had managed to remain working for years until the extra load of the grinder brought the problem to light. The ‘fault’ was a blown fuse which I soon had rewired. However, as I pointed out to the customer, the garage needed a new and separate dedicated supply incorporating an RCD unit and circuit breakers. The power and lighting circuits required separating too. The customer asked if I was interested in doing the work but I told him I was now semi-retired and doing very little electrical work. I did reassure him that I would remain available should he require any small job doing, that is until I give up altogether! I remain available for small electrical problems to all my old customers in the meantime. I guess there is just no escape for it is in my nature to help people if I am able. On my return home I got to go for my now regular morning walk.
Another warm and humid day on Thursday yet I had determined to arise early and do some more work in the garden before it got too warm and sticky. Alas it didn’t work out that way as by the time I had finished breakfast it was already uncomfortable to work in. The repairs to the brickwork I had done on the raised bed the day before was now solid. The job I had in mind this time was to mix some, well quite a bit, of concrete made with granite dust (granno). I wanted to place it along the joints between the paving slabs and the border stones I had placed around the Mound and the west wall flowerbed. When I did the stone border along the long flowerbed a couple of months ago I formed a substantial joint along the whole length in order to prevent gaps appearing either caused by the weather or more likely the activity of ants! Ants have been very active lately along the west wall flowerbed border and also along the front edge of the Mound where they face the lawn and a couple of gaps have appeared along with the tell-tale sign of excavated soil. I’ll say one thing for ants, they certainly work hard. However I had to shelve the idea of doing the work until it gets a little cooler. I was sitting at the computer late morning when I received a call for my services. Someone not far away wanted me to replace a ceiling light. I was happy to do it and off I went. I was back home twenty-five minutes later. I waited a short time before having lunch after which I sat out on the patio for a while. I noticed the ‘bib tap’ (faucet similar to that shown in picture) was leaking water from the handle yet it was valved-shut.
Metal engraved tap (valve) in Fužine castles yard, Ljubljana, Slovenia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The garden hose is usually kept connected to this tap in the rear garden whereas we keep the hose for use in the front garden in one of the garages and connect it to the tap there when we want to use it. The packing seal, usually called the stuffing box, was worn so I used some PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) tape to wrap around the stem which effectively cured the leak. Now I was keen to do something else but there was little else to do so I sat it out again on the patio before watering the garden plants. I thought I would sit a while longer outside to relax and enjoy the view but I spotted a montbretia sticking out of the soil on the far side of the garden, about thirty metres away! When you have been digging out montbretia and bluebells for weeks on end (see earlier posts) you get to spot them as soon as they appear. Actually I don’t know how five minutes earlier I hadn’t seen it when watering the plants.
A couple of days ago I unscrewed the top hinge on the lounge door in order to set it back in the door frame. This was because the door was too low at the leading edge and was brushing the carpet as the door was opened or closed. Setting the top hinge back even a tiny amount was enough to raise the door but unfortunately the door still brushed over the carpet. The hinge couldn’t be set back any further however so on Wednesday morning I decided the door had to be removed so that I could plane off some of the wood on the bottom. It took me less than twenty minutes and the door was back on its hinges and no longer brushing the carpet. The old carpet didn’t have the same depth of pile that the new one has so the door wasn’t a problem. Anyway that was the first job for the day. Mid-morning I took a trip to the electrical supply store to purchase a new in-line switch and some flexible lighting cable with which to lengthen the cable supplied with one of the new table lamps I had purchased. The cable supplied on the lamp wasn’t long enough to allow the lamp to sit on the new pillar stand.I had made. Unfortunately the switch that came with the lamp couldn’t be removed except by cutting it free which was why a new switch was required, one that clamped together with screws.
The power outlet is behind the television just over a metre away from the stand. The stand is just that, simply a stand with no access to the inside. It could equally have a vase full of flowers sitting on it instead. By now it was approaching lunchtime and I decided to eat at the pub rather than at home. I had hardly left the house at all over the previous couple of weeks being as I was busy working there. I had walked to the pub and on my return I met my next-door neighbour who was about to keep an appointment with her doctor. She tells me often that she is fed-up with her situation in that she has to go everywhere with an oxygen bottle because of her condition. She has emphysema. I always try to cheer her up and I get her to laugh but I can see she knows her situation is not going to improve. The rest of my day was spent at home and out on the patio. We have been enjoying a lot of wall-to-wall sunshine this past month and it is good to be out in it.
It would be another Monday morning spent at home. No electrical work for quite some time now and I am beginning to think that maybe it is time to quit. Actually I hadn’t published my advert for this week so that might explain things though I have turned down quite a number of offers these past few weeks. I am not desperate for the money the work brings me, I can manage without it. So what was I to do for the day? Well during the replacement of the faulty radiator in the small lounge a few days earlier I had to drain down the whole system and as is usual in doing that air gets trapped in the radiators and pipes. I had vented off all the trapped air in the radiators but found the towel rail in the bathroom still problematical. The picture below was taken a couple of years ago soon before the bathroom project would be finished. It shows only the lower section of the tall radiator.
It turned out that I hadn’t vented the radiator completely so that was one of the first jobs for the day. While I was in the bathroom I took the opportunity to clean out the dead flies and moths that had found their way inside the ceiling lights. Before I had made a start on venting out the air in the radiator I gave the base I had made for the stool in the small lounge to stand on another coat of paint. I placed it on top of the boiler in the cellar to dry more quickly, actually anywhere in the boiler room is warm enough as we often hang our washing in there for it to dry.
Next job was to refit the two wall lights in the small lounge after I had cleaned them up. I decided after all not to replace them with new fittings as they match with the ceiling light.
And here are the switches which control the ceiling light, the wall lights and the free-standing lights I might plug into the dedicated outlets, one of which is the new floor standing light.
The switch plate is difficult to see because it blends in with the new decor but if you click on the picture it will be easier to see. Click on all the images to magnify them.
All that and a few other things not listed before lunch at one o’clock. Now what was I to do in the afternoon?
I often talk about putting off doing jobs or part of them until later or the next day. Throughout the time I have been refurbishing and redecorating the small lounge I have relented on my decisions to put things off until later and have done them sooner than I said I would. I simply cannot stand around knowing something needs doing and not doing something about it. As I write this on Thursday evening the small lounge lies empty and ready for the carpet to be laid on Friday morning. All the work that needed to be done to reach this point has been done, even the connection of the new radiator.
In yesterday’s post I said I would leave off connecting the radiator on its right-hand side as that would have meant draining down the system but this morning I just got on with it and drained the system. First of all I removed the radiator from the wall and painted the supporting wood work I had fitted the previous day. While the paint was drying (about a half-hour) I began tidying up the room and then drained the pipes. This radiator is connected at the bottom on both sides and the right side needed cutting back with a small length of pipe added to reach the radiator as the radiator is slightly smaller than the one I removed. When I finally attempted to refill the system nothing happened. The storage water tank at the top of the house had a blockage in the pipe. You have to remember the house is four stories high if you include the cellar so constantly having to climb the stairs is really tiring. Anyway the system filled and it was time to bleed out any air from all the radiators. I have no doubt I will have to pay special attention to the bathroom towel rail which always gives me problems after a drain-down. That will have to wait. So the room is empty as I write….
I managed to assemble the new floor standing lamp and replace the fitted 13 amp plug with a 5 amp plug as the lamp will be plugged into one of the several 5 amp sockets in the room. They are all switched from one of the three switches by the door. This means any lamps plugged into the 5 amp sockets can be switched on entry to the room. The added advantage of this system is the sockets are on a separate circuit breaker from the ceiling and wall-mounted lights. Incidentally at this point in time I haven’t replaced the two wall lights as I am thinking of purchasing new ones to match the floor lamp and maybe a couple of table lamps too. We’ll see.
I drove off to the retail store to purchase three LED bulbs for the floor lamp and a couple of door knobs to fit to the cabinet. Driving back I was praying and thanking God for supplying me in my need, I am always thanking and praising God by the way, and I was thinking out loud that I could do with some electrical work to help fund my projects. Thirty seconds later my phone rang and it was someone asking for my services! I thanked God and drove to the house. Following that small job I went to the pub for lunch. It was three o’clock and I hadn’t eaten since seven. I didn’t want to stand cooking, I’d had enough for one day though I did fit the two door knobs when I returned home later.
Man putting caulk on baseboard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Like most days Tuesday started well enough but the plans I had didn’t fully materialise as I thought they might. The plan was to fill in the gaps in the wood work using the caulk I had bought on Monday. I had been using decorators caulk to fill-in where necessary but I didn’t have enough. So after breakfast I made a start doing that and in fact had it all done in thirty minutes. At this point I was about to begin applying the second coat of gloss paint first of all to the door and door frame and then following on with the window frames, If I had enough time I would paint the picture rail too but I didn’t plan working in the afternoon so the rail might not get done. I made myself a coffee before beginning the painting but I felt a little queasy and sat down for a few minutes.with the coffee. I had a restless night and had found it difficult to get to sleep. It would be around two o’clock before I finally closed my eyes and went to sleep. Too much going on in my mind had made me restless. Though I did sleep it was for only three and a half hours so I suppose I was just too tired. Anyway things improved as I began painting the door frame. After doing the door and door frame I moved on to the window and managed to get the top section completed before I had a visit from my eldest son, his wife and his daughter who had come to sort out some of their stored items. I made the effort and finished off the top section of the frames but decided to leave the bottom section until Wednesday morning. Just then I received a call from a couple I had worked for quite recently who were having difficulty in replacing two fluorescent light tubes in their under-unit kitchen lighting system. I talked them through the process but they found it impossible to do and asked if I would call there. Their home is eight miles from mine. I agreed to go and when I inspected the fittings they were indeed awkward and stiff making the lamp replacement difficult so it wasn’t a wasted journey. Whilst there I was asked to replace their central heating/hot water control unit and to check out a lighting switch. I removed the old control unit and the guy took it with him and went to purchase an identical replacement while I got on with the other tasks. He wasn’t gone long as they live quite near a supplier and I fitted the new unit he had purchased. By now it was after three o’clock and I had missed lunch so when I drove back to my own town I decided again to eat at the pub. No more work that day and my main hope was for a good night’s sleep so that I could perhaps finish the painting the next day.
Ukulele1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A little job occupied an hour or so of my time on Friday morning. An older couple had recently moved into an apartment on the Promenade and had wanted a faulty shaver unit replacing. The work was quite easy to do and only made slightly difficult because of the electrical connection method in the rear. As ever I managed and got it finished in thirty minutes. Prior to my starting the work I was offered a drink of coffee which I kindly accepted. We sat talking for ten minutes and then I did the work. Just as I had finished I was asked if I would like another coffee and as I was in no hurry to go anywhere else I again accepted. It was then as we sat in the lounge that I learned the man was learning to play the ukulele and was keen to find a local group of other players to join with. I couldn’t help him in that respect for I know of none in my area but I did tell him of a local pub, one only a few hundred metres away, where they held live music nights. Apparently they encourage new musicians to join in too. He might find the information useful. He told me he was also learning to play the banjo and guitar. He said he had been playing these instruments for about two years and I asked him to play something on the ukulele. He was quite good. I asked if I could see the guitar after I had mentioned I play. It was a small instrument but had a wide neck like a Spanish guitar would have. I tried to play a couple of tunes on it but I found it difficult because I am used to playing guitars that have a narrow neck as my own does. Still I managed to play reasonably well considering I wasn’t used to the instrument. I mentioned that I had bought a small mandolin some years ago but never managed to master it. I had intended to keep it for my granddaughter but she is learning to play a keyboard and has little interest in the mandolin. I asked if he would like to have it. You can see it standing against a covered guitar next to the organ in this picture taken a few years ago. He was interested so I returned home to fetch it and I gave it to him. I didn’t ask for payment. It hadn’t cost me much when I bought it so I didn’t want anything for it. On my return home I found a couple more bluebells in the front garden flowerbed and dug them out before going indoors as the tools were in the garage nearby. I had received one envelope through the letter box…….it was from the Inland Revenue Service……my tax-return form had arrived (see yesterday’s post)
YOU ARE ONE OF 50,000,000 AMERICANS WHO MUST FILL OUT AN INCOME TAX RETURN BY MARCH 15. FILE YOURS EARLY. – NARA – 516201 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There’s an old saying about waiting for a bus, you wait for ages without one arriving then three come all at once! It was like that for me on Thursday, no electrical offers of work then I get three in a row. All very nice of course but I often wonder why it happens. At one address they had been without a bathroom light for four weeks yet they called me in the middle of the day expecting me to drop by then. I did call but it was after I had completed the first job. I asked them why they had waited for so long before calling someone out to fix it. Their answer? They were not that bothered! The problem I had with the work was its timing and consequently I missed having lunch. Even when I had returned home late in the afternoon someone called for my services but that work I scheduled for the following morning. I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend as the weather forecast was for a warm and sunny couple of days. Whether I could put up with doing little was doubtful but I wanted at least to get the opportunity. If I was to do any work it would only be something at home. Thursday marked the beginning of a new financial year in the UK for me and for everyone else as far as the Inland Revenue Service are concerned. It was April 6 the tradition start of the financial year. This means in the weeks ahead I will have to prepare my accounts ready for submitting my tax return form later. Most years I would have already done much of that work by now but this year I have been too busy either doing electrical work, such as I have received, and working in the garden and have been too tired to even think about my tax return. It actually doesn’t take me long these days because my turnover is quite low, well come on I am 71 years old! It is something I seldom look forward to, a reluctant exercise but it is one that unfortunately must be done. Most of the work is in simply collating the information, adding up profits and expenses before filling in the form. Anyway it is the price we pay for being self-employed. Each year I think it will be the last tax return I submit but up till now nothing has changed. Maybe next year? In the meantime I carry on while I still have the inclination.