Awake is the New Sleep (2005) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What a crazy day I had on Monday! I went to bed around ten o’clock on Sunday night but didn’t actually begin to sleep until twelve-fifteen. How do I know that? I had made a point of checking the time on my phone, which I use as an alarm too, closed my eyes and didn’t wake up until exactly four hours later. That was it! I couldn’t return to sleep no matter how hard I tried so I gave in and got out of bed. I was sat eating breakfast at five-thirty and fully wide awake. What was I going to do for the next three hours before driving off to my first job of the day? I watched television, went on-line, played guitar (quietly) but was soon bored doing those things. Still, I had to wait, I had no choice. It was eight-twenty as I left the house and I arrived at the job just before nine as arranged. The work involved repairs to a couple of cabinet lights and their wiring. Whoever had installed them had hidden the wiring behind a panel as expected but they had also hidden the transformer and connection box behind the panel too. The problem was that the panel couldn’t be removed without causing a great deal of damage! Crazy or what? I wondered what had been going through the person’s mind when they did the work. Did they think the parts would never go faulty? I ended up rewiring the lights and hiding the wiring in small trunking inside the cabinets that were the bedroom’s built-in furniture. Unfortunately one of the lights needed replacing but none were available close-by. I had to drive back to my own town to fetch one then return and fit it. My coiled-up spring was beginning to unwind and I had another job to do before I could even think about driving homeward. When the work was done it was approaching one-thirty and I was feeling rather hungry having not eaten for eight hours. I drove homeward and paid a visit to my local pub to have a meal there but it was way after two-thirty before it was on the table before me. Nine hours are a long time between meals when one is working. My eyes began to close as I sat at home later writing this. It was only four-thirty in the afternoon and I wondered if I would make it to evening without falling asleep beforehand! As I get older I am finding it difficult to cope with hardly any sleep, not because I need more sleep but because I end up with all those extra hours awake with nothing much to do in them.
Honey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had another restless night on Tuesday through to Wednesday broken into three sessions by visits to the little girl’s room as they say. My sleep was very shallow and as is often the case my thoughts were all over the place. I seem to be good at thinking things through when I ought to be sleeping instead. I hastily point out that for the majority of times I do sleep well. I was wondering therefore why it was that I’d had a restless night having worked hard during the day. Very odd but I guess I had more on my mind than I thought I had. There seemed no other reason for my experience. I went to bed in good health but found I had a bit of a sore throat in the morning. Could it be the onset of a cold or even worse, the ‘flu? Having said in a recent post that I generally enjoy good health it proves that these conditions can affect anyone at any time. The sore throat wasn’t severe and didn’t get any worse during the day. In any case I was taking honey to sooth it. I often use honey as a sweetener in coffee which I drink a lot of during the day so I suppose that extra honey helped. My only electrical work for the day was to replace a faulty room thermostat in a house across town so I was back at home around ten o’clock. I wanted to get into the garden though only to dig out the bluebells I had seen the day before, those which had revealed themselves in ground I had already worked weeks before and had obviously missed. There will be more. The morning was fairly damp so I put off doing that until the weather improved as I didn’t wish to aggravate my sore throat or encourage the onset of something worse. I decided to do a little baking so I made a rock cake. I use the singular because I baked the cake in slab form rather than individual cakes. It is an easier method and allows cutting a slice to suit your desire. The rock cake recipe is very similar to that of scones but I think they taste nicer than scones because they are cakes and sweeter. Neither scones nor cakes last long in our household as both E and I love them. She almost never bakes at home these days but she sure eats whatever I bake. Well I was just about to have lunch when I received a call to check a couple of suspected faulty lighting switches in a house two miles away. I put lunch on hold and went to do the work. I was back home a half-hour later. E was eating her lunch and I joined her. As I was parking the van in the garage I noticed there were another two bluebells in one of the front flowerbeds! I had removed quite a number of them only recently. After lunch I put on my gardening clothes and dug them out before returning to the rear garden and digging out more, the ones whose positions I had marked the day before. There were four positions with a number of bluebells in them but the fourth and last position had much more, around thirty of them. How I missed them first time around I cannot say. As I have said, it will be an ongoing task checking for bluebells for yet a while.
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!
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 (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………
I was determined to get some quality sleep on Friday night so after a day with half-closed eyes or at least feeling that way, I went to bed early and was fast asleep at around nine-thirty. I still woke up a couple of times but my sleep was good and I woke up on Saturday morning very much refreshed. I ate breakfast around nine o’clock and waited until ten before donning my overalls and boots to go into the front garden and get stuck into the bluebell removal in the right-hand flowerbed. When I had redesigned the beds last year I hadn’t been thorough enough in eliminating the bluebells in this particular bed and now I was paying the price. Earlier in January I had actually dug out around a dozen plants but now they were back in number and I had to spend a couple of hours on my knees again digging them out. I guess I removed over a hundred of them. It was whilst I was doing that when my mobile phone rang. Why does it always seem that I get calls when I am doing something in the garden? It was an elderly gentleman asking if I could repair a loose lighting switch. I explained that I was digging out bluebells but that I would call back a little later to arrange to visit him. After another hour I had finished in the garden and gave him a call. I drove to his house which was only a mile and a half away and soon had the switch secured. After receiving payment I drove into and through the town centre and on toward my local pub for a meal. Here is a picture of the side entrance, the one most folk use, taken when they were having some outside work done…Here are the links to view much more about the pub http://fishermens.rest/index.html. and https://www.facebook.com/fishermens.rest/ .The place was full except for a space at the end of the bar, so I sat there. I only wanted a snack, a sandwich so sitting at the bar wasn’t a problem. When the ‘snack’ arrived it came with all the trimmings including chips (French fries) and a salad! I only really wanted a sandwich. Still it was enjoyable. No sooner had I finished eating when tables became vacant as many left the premises. Typical! I was greeted by many folk who hadn’t seen me for quite a while and asking why I hadn’t been to the pub for some time. I didn’t have an excuse except that I hadn’t wished to. I have been correcting that of course having been there several times recently, I shouldn’t neglect going to the only place near to home where I am truly welcomed and missed when not there.
I had a lousy night’s sleep on Thursday to Friday morning, tossing and turning throughout the eight hours I had. I had gone to bed at eight-thirty but didn’t actually nod off until just after nine. I was up and out of bed several times during the night until I decided I’d had enough and rose for the day at five-thirty. I remained in a sleepy state all day long and it was all I could do to stop my eyes closing. I had to go to that job I mentioned in yesterday’s post, no power to the downstairs lighting circuit. It was in the next town over seven miles away and I arrived there before nine o’clock as arranged. It transpired that the problem was a blown fuse and it had supposedly blown because one of the light bulbs on the circuit had blown. The lady’s son had previously rewired the fuse but it blew again. I could not find a fault so had to assume the fuse hadn’t been rewired properly. It can happen that if the fuse wire is too taut or has an indentation or even a loose connection causing an arc that the fuse gives up and blows under any load, especially if a light bulb has short-circuited. I repaired the fuse and all was in order. I was back at home just over an hour later. As the weather forecast was for rain early in the afternoon I decided not to do any work in the garden. I had been thinking of going to the pub for lunch yet again but thought the better of it as there was food in the refrigerator that needed to be used. E would be doing the weekly shopping and restocking the larder so to speak. She had been out all day on Thursday so switched to Friday to do the shopping. She even went out before noon which is a first as she usually goes out after two o’clock, even three o’clock sometimes. I digress. I prepared myself an early lunch because I’d had an early breakfast. When I had eaten I was looking out of the window at the rear garden, just pondering at first but then I went out and trimmed back the dead stalks on some plants so that the already sprouting new foliage could grow. Whilst doing that I noticed three or four bluebell plants growing in the flowerbed that runs in the front of the greenhouses..
…..the one I had worked in late last year where I had fitted the stone edging and repopulated it. I knew there would be some popping up as is the case elsewhere. They were all located in the right-hand half of the bed where there had been a number of bluebells growing before I removed them. Just as I was finishing that small job I was shaken by the sudden loud bang of a large firework being let off followed by three or four more. They were exploding rockets being set off by workmen working at a house two doors away. The new owners have employed builders to renovate the property before they themselves move in, probably in a month or so. The noise was unbearable and I was showered with the debris which floated down over my house and garden and my neighbour’s garden too. I went upstairs and shouted as best as a woman can for them to refrain from setting the fireworks off whilst also telling them that they should be working. The noise abated, they must have heard me. I went to one of the front bedrooms and looked out of the window. I saw a couple of the men chatting and one of them walked past my house on the opposite side of the road towards his vehicle. I drew his attention regarding the fireworks telling him that there are folk in the area who work at night and they would be finding it difficult to sleep because of the noise. At first he tried to deny any knowledge of fireworks. I couldn’t believe his impudence. He apologised after I had told him I would be taking action if their inconsiderate behaviour lasted. It was only a few days ago I had to walk to the house to complain about the very thick smoke from a fire that was affecting several neighbours as well as myself. They had actually poured diesel on the fire to help it burn! Just then my next-door neighbour phoned and was wondering where the noise had been coming from. I went round to see her and explained what I had been obliged to do. She was answering a call from yet another neighbour who wanted to know the source of the noise too. Workmen can be so inconsiderate when there is no-one there supervising operations. Anyway it was around two o’clock and still there was no rain. As I walked up the path alongside this flowerbed I saw something that infuriated me…..
…bluebells! Now this was the second of the two front flowerbeds I had revamped last year and I had thoroughly sifted the soil from one end to the other. I was confident that there wouldn’t be any bluebells left as there are in the other bed where I hadn’t been as fussy. If you magnify the picture you will see a shrub at the far right end of the flowerbed, a Fuchsia which I didn’t disturb when working the bed but did remove some bluebells from beneath it at the time. Now there were bluebells growing deep inside and among the stalks, impossible to remove unless the Fuchsia was taken out too. I was so annoyed but made it my business to remove it there and then. It took some time but eventually I got it out and then it was time to get at those bluebells too. I removed a bucket load of them! I didn’t really wish to lose the Fuchsia but on reflection it is a plant that grows vigorously, producing more and more stalks which get out of hand. For the time being therefore I am going to concentrate on the two front flowerbeds, especially the right-hand one which has many bluebells needing removal…
This is a picture (above) from last year. The rose has since been pruned right down and is going to look far better this year I think. Does it never end?
Three Times (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although I hadn’t any work scheduled I deliberately arose early on Thursday morning. I’d had a couple of calls on Wednesday neither of which I learned about until late in the day as my phone provider hadn’t forwarded the messages immediately. One of the callers had been a woman I had worked for quite recently but she hadn’t left enough information in the message for me to contact her. I waited in case she might have called the house phone and leave a message there but she didn’t call again until later on Thursday, just after I had finished the first job. The caller at that first location had also called on Wednesday but again didn’t leave enough information and when I called her number on Thursday morning it was constantly engaged. When I did finally get through it was a long time before she answered and I thought she had gone out. She did answer eventually and explained what she wanted. In fact she ended up handing the phone to her husband because she couldn’t explain properly. I had worked at their house some three years ago and must have made a good impression. The work was to replace two flood lights, a three-gang lighting switch (three switches on the same plate) and alter the wiring to enable two lights to operate together. All very simple but it paid well. They want me to return in the near future to do more work. When I had finished it was one-thirty and I had missed lunch. I drove the eight miles back to the second job which was to install an extra power outlet. It didn’t take long but it had added over an hour more without any sustenance. I had to pay a visit to the electrical supplier to replenish stock then on to the filling station for fuel. At last I could eat but it wasn’t going to be at home as it was by then three-thirty, I dined out for the third time in the week at my local pub instead. Then I went home. E had gone out very early at around eight o’clock and didn’t return home until the evening. I was six o’clock and I was just about to enjoy a cup of coffee when someone called the house phone. She lived in the town I had been working in during the morning! Her problem was a faulty downstairs lighting circuit. I would call there on Friday morning to hopefully sort it out. One thing is certain, I will never be short of work if I want it.
Woman wearing silky nylon-stockings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The job I had ideas of going on to following my work on Thursday I actually did on Friday. I had thought the better of it and decided I didn’t want to work all day as I keep promising myself. As it turned out the work on Friday took longer than I thought it might. It was to install four replacement ceiling fittings and carry out repairs to a wall switch’s fixings. Usually this work I would have completed in say an hour and a half but I was there for twice that time. All four fittings had proved difficult and two of them required alterations before I could install them. Two other things served to prolong the work, one was that the woman in the house wanted to chat too much which proved somewhat of a distraction and she was very meticulous in ensuring that everything and I mean everything had to be covered before I could do anything. I understood why she was being so fussy. She had recently finished decorating the whole house and had new carpets everywhere but not dark-coloured, they were all of a cream colour and would easily stain or show any dirt upon them. When I walked through the front door I immediately removed my shoes even before she spoke. She offered me a pair of slip-on slippers to use but I found them difficult when climbing the step-ladder so I opted to walk about bare-footed except for my nylon stockings. At first I though she was simply protecting her new carpets but it turned out she was protecting everything in the house, the tables and chairs too! I think she was relieved that I was treating her possessions and furnishings with respect as I do in anyone’s house in which I am working. Even so I thought she was being over-protective. When it came to the wall switch I could sense her uneasiness as I began to repair it. The problem was more with the metal box sunk into the plaster and bricks which lacked any fixing screw holes by which the switch is secured. Although the wiring was relatively new (within the last twenty years or so) whoever had done it hadn’t installed a new metal box and the old one dating to around fifty or more years ago could not accommodate a modern switch without a special internal bracket which was missing. Fortunately I could use one of the box’s pre-screwed holes in its base and fix the other side of the switch by drilling the wall alongside the switch box and securing it with a wall plug and screw. The alternative would have been to remove the old box and fit a new one but that would have made a terrible mess of the decorations in the process. Her relieved expression after she had seen my handiwork was priceless. There was not the slightest mess to be seen and her decorations had been left intact. The truth of the matter is she should have had the electrical work done before decorating and laying new carpets. Now she wants me to do other work at a later date. I must be doing something right!
A couple of days ago I went to a house where they had an electrical fault in the main distribution panel and I made a temporary repair allowing a continuity of the supply until the panel could be replaced. Well I went along on Thursday to replace the panel with a metal-clad one incorporating RCD units which the old panel had lacked. The switch-gear, panels and metering where all contained in a neat little cupboard in the hallway and very easy to get into. The replacement panel was slightly wider than the one I was replacing and I thought there may have been a problem installing it. It fitted perfectly in the space as if it had been designed specifically for it. I had to remove the left-hand door before commencing the work but that was simple to do. The most difficult aspect of the job was actually in the removing of the old panel. The new panel took minutes to fit and within an hour or so the whole work was practically finished. The work could not have been easier to do and far easier than I had thought initially. I tend not to take on this sort of work nowadays because they can be fraught with problems, not least of all access. I don’t need the hassle. I have enjoyed my life working as an electrician. I am not sure just how many replacement panels I have installed during my working life but they are many. It makes such a pleasant change to have one so easy to fit. I returned home three hours after leaving it and had the rest of the day to myself though I could have arranged to do another job a mere half-mile from the first. That work I scheduled for Friday morning instead. I am determined to spread out my workload as I had promised myself last year but occasionally failed to do so on occasion. I used to wonder what it would be like to reach this stage in life whereby I can take things easy, now I know.
Sue waiting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No work scheduled for Monday morning so I hadn’t set my alarm, instead someone phoned me at 8.30 asking if I could do a job. I guess I wasn’t that far off waking up naturally and perhaps I should have been out of bed by then anyway. As it turned out the caller lived too far away and out of my capture area though the work itself would have been acceptable. I rose from my bed and got dressed. I ate a small breakfast and went into the rear garden to pick up some broken-off twigs and small branches that often fall from the huge lime tree in a neighbour’s garden. It was cold and foggy that early in the day but it soon cleared away. I decided to remain indoors and relax though I could have done more in digging out of bluebells. However what remains of them won’t take long to remove I suppose but I wanted a rest from it. I prepared a light lunch later but just as I was about to eat the first mouthful my mobile phone rang. It was a call from a male customer for whom I had worked a few times in the past though the last time was something like four years ago. His problem was a loss of electricity to most of the house circuits, lighting, power outlets and shower. A few power outlets were not affected as I discovered later when I called there. I finished or rather started to eat my lunch and drove to his house as soon as I had finished eating. The reason some of the outlets were unaffected was due to the fact that they were supplied from another distribution panel. The fault lay in the main panel and specifically inside the main switch. The neutral part of the switch had burned-out inside the switch but the live part was in order. It meant that although all the house circuits that were affected had a live supply to them nothing could work without having a neutral connected too. As an interim measure I had to by-pass the neutral side of the switch. The board was an old one, at least thirty years old, so obtaining a new main switch would prove difficult, if indeed it was possible. I advised the installation of a new board. Having a new board would bring the system up-to-date as well as making it compliant with current fire regulations as the housing would be of metal. The old board had a plastic housing. Of course it would be more expensive to replace the board. I told him there was no need to hurry getting the replacement as my temporary repair would last until he had the funds to hand. As it turned out he asked if I could do the work as soon as possible. That would be on Thursday the same week. I don’t need to wait long before someone calls for my help.
Bluebell wood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had a free day on Tuesday and as the weather report looked promising I was determined to get into the garden and attempt to remove more of those pesky bluebell bulbs, Bluebells are nice to be sure but they spread like wild-fire and eventually will take over the whole garden if left. I am at the end of the main flowerbed but there are still hundreds of plants to dig out yet. As soon as I had finished breakfast and checked my email box I donned my overalls and boots and began the work. It wasn’t long before the weather changed from being dry to being misty with a very fine rain sporadically. I managed to dig out the area to the left of the little oak tree (see previous posts) but it was hard-going for many of the bulbs were beneath the tree roots and I had to dig deep. Using the fork helped but it snagged on the roots so most of the work had to be done with just the trowel. I lifted out around two hundred bulbs of various sizes many in clumps. My plan was to cease working before twelve o’clock and then go shopping in town for some new underwear, bras and pants. I wanted black ones as I had but few in that colour. Anyway I received a call asking if I would repair a couple of ceiling light fixtures in a little flat a couple of miles away. I had worked there before for the couple neither of whom shall we say are very bright and I have a little difficulty in explaining things to them. Don’t misunderstand me here, it is simply how they are. It is a medical condition. They are lovely people and I was only too happy to fix their lights. I would have to delay my shopping for a while. After packing away the garden tools I removed my overalls and boots and drove to their flat. I was there for an hour, though the work hadn’t taken me that long. Soon I was on my way back toward town to do my shopping. That means I find a parking place out of the meter zone and walk the rest of the way but it is only a half-mile or so. I went into the department store and found my way to the lingerie floor. I was spoilt for choice when I saw the bras on display, there seemed to be much more there than at my last visit a few weeks ago. I had difficulty in finding my size and colour among the racks but fortunately a member of staff was close-by to help. After explaining my requirements she found them in seconds and I took three different pairs (of bras) into the changing rooms to try them on. The first one was tight so I called the lady assistant who changed them for the next size up. The next three fitted perfectly so together we went to the check-out desk to carry out the purchase. Thinking I was purchasing only one the assistant asked which one to which I replied ‘all of them’. I purchased two packs of pants and briefs, that is five of each. They come in packs of five. I had been enjoying some cheerful banter with the assistant and during the conversation she complimented me on my complexion and when I mentioned my age she couldn’t believe it. Her friend had thought I was about fifty. How nice. I got back home mid-afternoon and didn’t bother with lunch and my evening meal was small. I seem to be eating far less these last few days and I feel better for it. Better still though I am losing pounds where it matters!
‘I’ve had to book my appointment two weeks in advance, so we’ll both sit here until I feel unwell.’
I had a lousy weekend, especially on Saturday. I was suffering with aches and pains and although I had been sweating a lot I felt cold most of the time. I was well-wrapped up but that didn’t seem to make much difference. I went to bed around ten and a boyfriend called me in response to a text message I had sent him. I had to tell him I was in bed and about to go to sleep so the conversation didn’t last long. The following morning I was as right as rain (odd expression that one) and rearing to start my day. I felt so much better so I guess the warmth of the bedclothes and my seeming strength and ability to shake everyday illnesses off did the trick. Anyway the point was I felt great. I had an electrical job to do for the guy in whose house I had worked the previous week but didn’t have the time nor the inclination to do it on the same day. It would have meant working all day and I was tired after I had finished the job I had been doing. I went along at nine o’clock did the work and finished around noon. I had received another call while I was there. It was from an old guy living in the next town who had a problem with his kitchen light and switch. I did the work and drove back to my own town to do some shopping, nothing special, just toiletries which I buy in bulk so that I don’t have to shop for them often. I drove home but left again immediately without getting out of the vehicle. I had forgotten to get diesel fuel for my van. I arrived back home fifteen minutes later and during that time E went out somewhere for the afternoon. When I got indoors there was the package containing the new shoes I had ordered late on Sunday! Now that’s what I call service. Strange thing about this is the fact that I had been experiencing problems with the company’s signing in pages when ordering. See yesterday’s post. More nice high-heeled stilettos. I opened the box and put them on to walk around in them to check they were the correct fit. They were perfect, so much so I didn’t want to take them off because they were so comfortable to walk in. Now these are high heels and yes they are over five inches but they really are comfortable. I have to add though that I am used to heels. Just a couple of pairs of my shoes are higher and they are hard to walk in but I will soon correct that with practice. Over the years I have tended to wear heels at four and a half inches so was never happy wearing anything higher but that is slowly changing. I used to think I would never wear high heels as I got older and most people my age wouldn’t think of it but I don’t look my age or feel my age either. After I had put everything away and sorted out my business paperwork I went outside to dispose of the cardboard and plastic waste and noticed some more bluebell shoots poking out of the flowerbed. I went inside to collect the keys for the garage then came out with tools and kneeling stool to begin digging out the bulbs. There were more than just a few but I persevered and dug them out, well all the ones that I could see. There will be more I’m sure of it but if there are they will show up soon enough. I returned indoors for something to eat as I had missed lunch. I’d had a very light breakfast too. It was only four o’clock so too early for my evening meal. I decided to have a bowl of fruit but gave up on it after only two mouthfuls. It seemed I wasn’t hungry so I put the bowl in the fridge to eat it later. Even now at six o’clock as I write this I am still not that hungry but I will eat. A text message had arrived but I hadn’t noticed. It was from the boyfriend asking if I was feeling better. Ah, that’s nice.
Not Enough Rope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had electrical work to do on Thursday so I made sure I was up early from bed. My first job was not until ten o’clock and I had plenty of time to hand after breakfast before I needed to make my way there. In the meantime I decided to return the flag to its pole now that the storm-force winds had died down. The problem with the flag is getting it to hang from the guide rope without there being any weight attached to the flag by the weight which is supplied for the guide rope to keep it taut. The flag has a toggle at the top which is supposed to pass through an eyelet in the guide rope but the bottom of the flag only has a length of rope attached to it with no instructions as to how to tie it off. The proper set-up I think should be a guide rope that has two eyelets attached to it into which toggles attached to the flag can pass through them. The guide rope can then be attached to the weight whilst the flag is only attached to the guide rope and not the weight. The guide rope therefore has to be knotted in two places to form the two eyelets and the end of the rope will be fixed to the weight. This would make the flag easy to attach and remove when needed. Every time I have raised the flag I have tried to think of the best way to do it so that the flag isn’t put under any strain. So on Thursday I decided to make the necessary adjustments to form two eyelets in the guide rope at the correct distance apart then attach the weight. If the flag had been supplied with two toggles it would be very simple to attach but as I said only one is fitted. That meant I had to make the bottom connection just using the rope that is attached to the bottom of the flag. It all sounds complicated but it isn’t, it is just a pain in the proverbial having to think of ways to do it properly given that the system is poorly designed. At least now it will be easier to attach and remove the flag when we need to. I thought it was only certain items of electrical equipment which were poorly designed. It was time to go to work, installing an extra floodlight at the side of the customer’s house. Although the area was under cover it was open at one end and where it met the adjacent garage roof along its length. That meant it wasn’t as warm as I had been led to believe, in fact it was bitterly cold. Just my luck. After almost two hours I was driving to the second job a few miles away to an elderly lady who wasn’t enjoying the best of health and who had put up with not having any lights working in her apartment since Boxing Day. Nobody it seems could find the distribution panel in order to check the circuit breakers. I had trouble myself in locating it. It was situated in an extension building remote from the apartment! I saw what the problem was immediately, one of the breakers had tripped or had possibly been turned off accidentally by person or persons unknown as they say. Even her care workers couldn’t find the panel but I found it odd that the problem had been left for almost three weeks before someone called me to go and have a look. As fortune would have it a new neighbour called and I explained everything to her so that she could be of assistance if the problem returns. Now I was off again to the third job which was in the direction of home but this time only to survey it, not to do it. The guy wanted two existing outside lights replacing but would only be available at home the following week. It suited me and I drove off to the electrical supplier to purchase what would be required when I return.
However I made a detour first of all to the service station where I have my van checked and booked a day at the end of February for a service and an MOT test. Yes, it is that time of year again for my annual MOT on the van, insurance renewal, excise duty (used to be called road fund licence) and breakdown recovery fees with The AA (Automobile Association). Spend, spend, spend…….now you know why I still work…..LOL
Later and after a snack at home I went on-line and purchased another pair of high-heeled court shoes (sneakers I think my friends in the US call them). Well I have to treat myself once in a while!
Bulbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I wasn’t really feeling up to doing much on Monday and having gone into the garden to rake-off some soil to make access to the buried plant bulbs I am in the process of removing just that little bit easier I gave up after only twenty minutes! Later that evening I receive a request for my electrical services for the first time in the year. I had withdrawn my advertisement the week before Christmas and the next time it was to be posted again would be on Wednesday just passed. The call was from one of my regular customers who wanted a few small jobs doing. I agreed to call there the next day, Tuesday, but at the time of his call I wasn’t quite sure I would be feeling up to it. I need not have been concerned because I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling much better. On my arrival at his house I was shown the work he wanted me to do and it was more than he had indicated over the phone. I was a little annoyed at that especially as he knew I only take on small jobs these days. Having said that we agreed I should call again the following week to do the less important tasks he had asked me to do. Even so I was at the house for five hours doing the work. I was paid for the work I’d done and would do the rest the following Monday, the next day he or someone else would be available to let me in. As it was there were four people in the house on Tuesday. I made a detour to the electrical supplier on my way back home to purchase the extra materials I would need for the other work. E was out when I arrived home at two o’clock. I only knew that because the gate to her garage (the one she uses) had been left open. Meanwhile I parked the van in the other garage and was about to go into the house when I noticed or was reminded that there were a couple of bluebells emerging from one of the flowerbeds. This flowerbed was the first of two in the front garden I had stripped bare of its original plants last Spring and started over with new ones whilst at the same time filtering out bulbs and weeds. I hadn’t succeeded in removing all the bluebell bulbs as I thought I might have done but now I could see where they were. I returned to the garage and collected the kneeling stool and trowel and began digging out the bulbs. It didn’t take too long and then I was able to finally go indoors for my belated lunch. I am hoping there will be no further bulbs to remove from the front flowerbeds. Time will tell.
First thing Friday morning was slightly warmer than it had been on Thursday but I had a small job to do at nine o’clock about a mile from home. A regular customer had asked me a few days earlier if I could check out a faulty floodlight for her. Notwithstanding the fact that my intentions were not to resume work for a week or two I put that aside and went to see what the problem was. The floodlight was positioned over a passageway at the side of the house which meant it was slightly breezy. Spaces between buildings encourage air movement and always tend to be a little windy for that reason. Why is it that outside work is often called for when the weather is cold? Windy and cold conditions are not ideal when working up a ladder to work on a floodlight. When I looked at the light it was apparent that water had gotten inside and had been short-circuiting the LED lamp. The unit shown is almost exactly the same as that I went to look at. The glass had water on its inside surface which meant the whole inside would be damp.The unit was supposed to have a high waterproof rating so it was unusual for water to have found its way inside. I had it disconnected in minutes and then removed it from the bracket but had to go indoors for my fingers to warm up again. It took quite some time before I was able to resume the work. I fitted and connected a replacement unit and then returned inside once more to have a drink of coffee whilst it went through its start-up procedure. Having decided I had set it up correctly I returned and set it up for night operation. There was a pronounced change in the outside temperature and it was now quite warm with very little wind! I guess I should have waited an hour before starting the work but that is the way it goes sometimes. I was happy I had done the work after so many days rest from it. Now I am thinking I hope I’ll get more work before my intended date to return to work. Some habits die-hard, well for me they do.
…..or how I missed my Sunday morning walk. Actually I missed my Sunday morning breakfast too! I had some extra time in bed though I had no more sleep than I usually get, I had made a few visits to the toilet which broke it up. Anyhow I was just sitting at my dressing table and about to apply my make-up when my phone rang. it was from an elderly lady living in a small township about nine miles away along the coast. I used to live at the north end of the same town a few years ago. She apologised for calling on a Sunday morning but she was looking for an electrician who would be available to fix a fault. I asked what the problem was and she told me the electrical supply had tripped and there was a fluorescent light fitting hanging from the ceiling in her kitchen. As my readers might know by now I will only work on a Sunday if it is an emergency. Well a total loss of power would constitute an emergency in our modern society as there would be no heating, lighting or power for fridges and freezers. I told the lady I would be there within the hour and I arrived there forty-five minutes later. First of all I had to put on my make-up of course but that only takes a few minutes. Naturally I skipped breakfast and drove straight there. As it happened her daughter, who was living there, had not long ago returned from hospital after an operation and she was desperate to get the heating switched back on. As I walked into the hallway I saw the fluorescent light hanging there on the cable. The main RCD unit on the distribution panel had tripped thereby cutting off all the electrical circuits. I disconnected the light then re-instated the supply much to the relief of the customer who promptly prepared each of us a hot drink of coffee. Whoever had installed the light hadn’t used the correct fixings for the ceiling and the weight of the light had gradually loosened them. Fortunately no-one had been in the kitchen when it fell from the ceiling. I refitted the light, this time securely! As is usual when a few women get together much chatting goes on, which is exactly what happened while I was there.
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They were asking me about my faith and what church I attend. I told them that I no longer go to church but that when I did it was first of all a Methodist church and after I had become a Christian, a Pentecostal church. The daughter especially wanted to know about the practice of speaking and worshipping in ‘tongues’ and how I became a Christian. They were Christians too. They told me that they travel into Liverpool (a further fourteen miles along the coast) to the Anglican Cathedral for worship and especially the teaching they receive from the clergy there. Finally I had to return home, it was time for something to eat. I had prepared a chicken and vegetable stew late on Saturday afternoon so I had no cooking to do, just heating it up. I suppose I could have then gone for a walk but somehow the novelty had worn off and I rested instead……I had work to do the following day.