The end

Today as you read this and depending on the time the small lounge project will be almost complete. Today the furniture arrives, yesterday the carpet hopefully will have been laid and a couple of days earlier the curtains should have been fitted. I am writing this on Friday evening (5th) having had to spend the last two days for the most part at home attending to the needs of the guys who tiled over the hearth yesterday and today and the gas fitter who installed the new fire. Here is the finished result…..

A vast difference and improvement I think you’ll agree. I will post pictures of the whole room in a forthcoming post. I will say that the fire being rated at 4.5 Kw produces far and above the power needed to heat the room. I doubt it will ever be used at the highest settings though it will provide rapid heating of the room should it be necessary. I suppose gas fires in general don’t differ much in capacity so their level of use will be determined by the size of the rooms in which they are installed. I am well-pleased with the new look fireplace though. It was a little after two-thirty when I got the chance to get out of the house. I had to post the registration document to the manufacturer for guarantee purposes so I had to visit the Post Office for a stamp as I hadn’t any left. Another bright, warm and sunny day made the walk very pleasant and once I had posted the document I took a walk down toward the beach and my local pub. I’d had a snack at home so it was more for a soft drink and to meet anyone who might be there. A couple were sitting outside enjoying the sunshine. It was a new friend whom I hadn’t seen for three months. She had been out walking for a few hours in town and was now tired. They remained long enough for a short chat then left for home. I went into the pub for my drink and saw a few people in there before returning home myself not long after. When I got home I spent some time on the patio before giving the garden plants another showering with the hose pipe. That’s the way it goes when it doesn’t rain for days on end.

Shirley Anne


Sunday break

Break All Day!
Break All Day! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Things don’t often go the way I hope they will for me though if I made the effort……….well we can all say that can’t we? Sometimes even after making the effort things don’t work out either do they? It was a fine though rather cold day on Sunday, a day for relaxing indoors or going out wrapped-up for a walk. I did both and more. There was no hurry to get up early though I did and after breakfast whilst on the computer I switched on the television, not to watch a program but to listen to music through YouTube. I suppose I could have listened via my computer on a separate tab but the television can connect to the Internet and the sound quality or rather the volume would be better. Although the computer sound is of the best quality the volume settings are limited unless auxiliary speakers are used. Anyway I listened to the songs listed in ‘my favourites’ folder for an hour. The only drawback in using the television to play YouTube is in controlling the functions with the television’s remote control, it is slower. I suppose one day remote controls with have a touch pad on them for easier use. I think that would be a great idea. After an hour I made myself ready to go out but not directly for a walk. I drove to the pub and parked my vehicle and from there I went for a walk. An hour later I arrived back at the pub, went to the vehicle and changed my shoes before going into the pub for my lunch. Yes, I dined there again for a change! There were surprisingly few people in there but a half-hour later that all changed and it was full. I had hoped I would see a few acquaintances there to chat with but the only ones I knew, four men, were doing that man thing, sitting around a table drinking beer and chatting about football and work! Who wants to sit in a pub talking about work? Anyway they were too engrossed in themselves to take much notice of me. I was a little disappointed that no-one else I knew came in after sitting there for a couple of hours hoping someone might. I decided to drive home and be bored there instead! Funny thing is I knew there would be people I know in the pub later in the day and evening and I had half a mind to return but didn’t bother. Maybe I was thinking it a waste of time and that I might be disappointed again to find no-one there. I knew I should have returned but I also knew there would be other opportunities too.

Shirley Anne

Quiet times

Oh Lately It's So Quiet
Oh Lately It’s So Quiet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It wasn’t such a nice day on Saturday as far as the weather was concerned. When I got out of bed and looked out of the window it looked miserable, it was raining as the forecast predicted. It wasn’t that warm either though it wasn’t freezing. I had opened the window to check but soon closed it again. I had no work and no intentions of doing any either. I was determined to make it a free from work day. Had the weather been more favourable I might have been tempted to do a couple of hours digging out some bluebell bulbs as there are still some left to remove so I was glad in a way that it was raining. I put on some casual clothes knowing I had it in mind to dine out at my local pub with a view to perhaps chatting with anyone I know who might call in. I had to get to the pub a half-hour before it opened at noon just to ensure I would find a parking place because the pub has become so popular over the last few years and is usually filled for a couple of hours around mealtimes. If I visit during the week to eat I either make sure I am there very early or else  later in the afternoon to ensure I can find a table. The food is good and of a high standard, the chefs obviously know their job and that is why the pub is so popular. I waited until the queue of people made their way in before I went in myself. I found a table in my favourite place in the bar area and looked at the menu whilst others were still sorting themselves out at the bar and then I placed my order, Mediterranean Chicken in a tomato and white wine-based sauce with vegetables. It was delicious and quite filling but despite that I still treated myself to a dessert. A new friend walked in with her partner as I was about to finish my meal. She hadn’t noticed me sitting there so I went over to the bar to say hello. Her partner went outside with his drink and to sit and chat with the ‘lads’ whilst my friend joined me at the table for an hour. When they departed I decided to follow shortly after. I went home to find that E had returned home too. She had gone out for a while with her friend who had picked her up earlier.  That pretty much summed up my day. I did nothing but rest and relax for a change for I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be working at something again.

Shirley Anne

A real concern

A Christmas Without Snow
A Christmas Without Snow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have just written a comment on an article posted by AOL regarding snowfall at Christmas. Our weather forecasters seemingly cannot say with certainty if we in the UK will get a white Christmas. My comments centred on the fact that I thought it utter nonsense that people yearn for such things forgetting as many do what Christmas is supposed to be all about, the birth of our Saviour and not the fact that we might or might not get snow!
I was at work on Saturday afternoon. I had no work in the morning but had arranged to work in another town for someone in the afternoon because they had no free time during the week. I didn’t mind, after all it is Christmas as they say. Anyway the work was to replace a few light fittings with sparkling new ones. The lady for whom I was doing the work began chatting with me. Usually it is off-putting when people won’t just let me get on with the work but on this occasion I didn’t mind. I was taken a little by surprise because her questions all centred upon me, my family, friends, about my faith and about Christmas. I am not forthright in opening up to people regarding my family and friends my faith and beliefs unless they ask of course but if they do I don’t hold back. She began by asking what I was doing over Christmas. When I replied ‘nothing different from usual’ she was intrigued and wanted to know more so I explained, telling her that I don’t think Christmas is celebrated for the right reasons these days and it has become a secular and commercial machine having nothing to do with Christ. I also told her that my family have all but distanced themselves and my friends all live afar, not that I can claim having many friends as I don’t which means I couldn’t celebrate the holiday with them as they do even it was my wish to do so. My social life is just about zero too but that’s another story. She became very concerned and it prompted more questions which I answered as honestly as I could. She couldn’t believe I don’t celebrate Christmas as I once did, in fact I don’t celebrate it at all. The look of concern upon her face was evident. She asked if I was a Christian, a question I usually end up asking of those I talk with rather than it being asked of myself. Asking what church I went to and discovering I don’t prompted her to ask why. The answer I gave made her feel sad for me and she said she thought it was sad that I wasn’t in a fellowship and no longer felt the urge to be in one. I was more concerned about her feeling a sadness for me instead of just accepting the way I feel about things as being my own choice. I have to admit I haven’t felt such a concern for me for many years, not even from those closest to me, my own family. I am more concerned that people should believe in God and Jesus Christ rather than be concerned for me and never mind whether it will snow or not.

Shirley Anne

Where did it go?

indexFrom about Wednesday evening I have been suffering with a muscular back pain in the lower Lumbar region or more precisely the buttocks. At worse it makes standing from a sitting position awkward and a little painful and at best doesn’t really affect activity. It is more a nuisance than anything else but I know that if I don’t rest the muscles it will only prolong the agony so I have been doing my best to do just that. At the same time I have been doing some work on our current project though I don’t consider painting to be strenuous. Nevertheless I have been taking it easy. I had an electrical job to do on Friday morning which entailed checking a reported fault on a power outlet which turned out to be a faulty grinding machine plugged into the circuit. I had to then rewire a couple of lighting switches that had been reconnected incorrectly by the owner of the house after he had removed them during redecoration. None of the work was strenuous and in fact I remained in a standing position whilst I corrected it. One thing I did find wrong was the wiring and installation itself which had been last rewired back in 1938! The place wanted a complete rewire. Wooden fixing boxes for the light switches are a potential fire risk and that is what I found behind the switches. I could only make it as safe as was possible but at least the switching now works properly. After I had done the electrical work the guy got out his electric guitar and amplifier to check the power outlet was still working. He and I and his wife had been enjoying a little bit of banter whilst I was doing the work and during the conversation I learned that he had dabbled at playing the guitar back in the 1960’s and had been in a couple of local bands. He admitted that they weren’t that good and could only play a few songs. He gave up playing after a short time and had only recently taken up playing again. He is three years younger than myself and would have been in his late teens in the mid-sixties. I mentioned that I play an acoustic guitar and he invited me to try his electric one. This is my acoustic Fender guitar….Fender CapistranoI played a few songs and then asked if I could hear him play. He was reluctant as he didn’t think he could play well. Nevertheless he did play something and he wasn’t as bad as he said he was. I asked jokingly if his wife played the drums so that we could jam together! Alas she didn’t but she was the type of person who would give it a go! I drove home but I had no intentions doing any work at home for the rest of the day, I wanted a rest. I wanted not only a rest to ease my aches and pains and allow my muscles to recuperate but I wanted a rest from work. I have been doing a lot of that lately and there is still more in the pipeline to do. Anyway the remainder of Friday just seemed to have passed without notice and I looked back and wondered where the time had gone. One nice highlight of the day was receiving a telephone call from my friend in the US, G, who calls me quite often for a chat. Mind you, she does most of the talking. She was bringing me up to date on events in her life, her recent move to an apartment with her boyfriend and well, girly things. I love G.

Shirley Anne

It’s people

English: New Life Christian Fellowship. Built ...
New Life Christian Fellowship. Built in 1876 as Newland Congregational church with the earlier building to the right of 1840, these two buildings are now home to the Lincoln New Life Christian Fellowship (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can safely say this, that I have spent more than half of my life as an atheist for I am not yet 86 years of age! I became a Christian in February of 1989 but my search for God really started the previous summer. All this is recorded in my pages above. As a child my life centred around myself and my family, I had no friends other than one boy who for some reason always watched my back and that was probably because I needed it. I was a timid child and often bullied and I suppose that was a probable cause for me to be wary of people. I grew into adulthood without any friends. It was only during my short courtship and for a year or so after that I had friends of any kind though none of them were close. My life again became centred around my spouse and my family, that is our children as my siblings and even my parents I didn’t see that often. When I began to attend church things change a little and I enjoyed the company of like-minded people who were my brothers and sisters in Christ. I had found a new family and was involved in church life. I was happy but my home life wasn’t what it should have been. In simple terms my spouse began to lose interest in our marriage and our sex life ended. I was therefore now in a loveless relationship as far as the physical side was concerned. After a few years I found myself being sidelined in the church. Even though I was a member and had been for over nine years I began to feel unloved and left out of things. It was one of the reasons I left that fellowship and I swore I would never return. As a Christian I do understand that we have to overlook our brother’s and sister’s misgivings and forgive them. That I did and this is what I do else how can I expect my Father to forgive me? It doesn’t mean however that I have to endure the behaviour of others, brothers and sisters or not. When I tell other Christians of my experiences all I get from them is, try somewhere else. Well of course I could do that but I know nothing will basically change. The problem is partly due to myself, I will admit that much for I should perhaps be more tolerant, forgiving I am but tolerant I cannot handle sometimes. So it is that I no longer go to church and haven’t done so for sixteen years. I was at an old lady’s house late on Saturday morning. She is a Christian lady for whom I have worked a few times in the past. Each time I go there she asks if I am still not going to church. After doing the small electrical job for her we sat down with a cup of tea and chatted. She tried her best to convince me to pay her little fellowship a visit and perhaps bring along my guitar for they have no-one who can play an instrument. She once played the piano but told me she had problems with her fingers these days. I advised her to keep playing as it will help and she was inclined to agree. I learned that the fellowship consists of no more than twenty people all over the age of fifty. However their meeting is held some fifteen miles from my house toward Liverpool. I don’t want to be travelling that far just to be a part of a fellowship I would be reluctant to join anyway. Fellowship is not really the problem and neither is the distance, the real problem is the people. I love people and love being in company but I do not want close relationships with individuals or groups as might be the case in a church fellowship. I prefer to be with people on a one to one basis where I have the opportunity to witness to them. Their salvation is more important to me than their friendship. People are the reason therefore that I don’t have many friends for any ‘friends’ I had, such as they were, have long since deserted me. People let me down.

Shirley Anne

Another nothing day

English: in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Chicago, Illinois, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had not slept well on Sunday night and by Monday night I was totally out of the game, all I wanted was some solid sleep. I seldom sleep for longer than four hours at a time but often happily will resume my sleep for another hour or so after that. Most usually I will simply get out of bed but not on Tuesday morning. I had gotten my four hours of solid sleep but after waking for a short spell I drifted off again for another two hours, then I was refreshed, then I felt much better. Nothing was planned for the day ahead but as I normally do during the working week I dressed ready for work just in case someone called. No-one did. So I had the day to myself but did nothing except to water the garden. It was a warm and sunny day again and I could have done a little something in the garden but didn’t feel inclined. Later in the afternoon I decided to take my guitar out on the patio and was about to do that when my friend telephoned me for a chat. She lives in the USA and calls me fairly often when she has the time. I listened to her as I continued outside and onto the patio with my guitar. It was about an hour before I got to play it! It is nice to have a friend like her who takes a genuine interest in me. We have known each other for around thirteen years but don’t get the chance to meet as often as we would like, the last time we met was when E and I went to New York  in 2009. She has moved recently and it would be nice if we could meet up at her new place. I have been thinking about taking a vacation there sometime, hopefully in the near future. In the meantime we email or she phones me. It might be better if we use Skype but she isn’t set-up for that at the moment. Wednesday is forecast to be even warmer so I doubt again if I will be doing anything in the garden if I am not at work. I don’t mind it being warm and sunny but I don’t like it too hot or humid and definitely don’t like working if it is. Cool is great for work, hot is not and so I get restless if it is hot. I was restless on Tuesday.

Shirley Anne

The wrong way round

WednesdayE and I are still not talking. It seems to be a regular thing these days and to be honest I am just about fed up with it all. I try my best but I often get mistreated anyway. So it is at the moment that we are not dining out together until things change. I have not had any electrical work for quite a few days now as I write this on Wednesday evening. The weather is gradually getting better with each new day and today, Wednesday, it has been gloriously sunny though the wind is still a little on the cool side. The only consolation is the wind speed has dropped considerably and it is dry too. Over the last few days I haven’t eaten breakfast for a few reasons. Firstly I have been taking advantage of having no scheduled work and getting to stay in bed a little longer which means by the time I do get downstairs it is getting late in the morning. Maintenance routines for a woman do take time and there is no real rush to get downstairs when I am not working. Secondly as I am not doing much in the way of work I don’t need the extra calories and thirdly on the same point I am trying to reduce the little tummy I have developed through eating too much and not being as active! Naughty girl I am but now the tummy is now much flatter than it was a week ago. I have been exercising too, either on the treadmill or out walking. So on Wednesday I decided to go for a walk for an hour or so returning via my local pub for lunch, my first meal of the day but I didn’t wish to eat too early. During my walk I passed along a route that has maintained flower and shrub beds, one that has been part of Southport since Victorian times. The stretch of road I am talking about is called by the unflattering name of ‘Rotten Row‘ and until a few years ago sported flower beds on both sides of the road. Sadly one of those beds has disappeared because of the recession and I don’t think it will ever be replaced. During the summer months the flower beds are awash with colour but at this time of year the only flowering plants are snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils. They are still nice to look at despite their small numbers. I was admiring them as I went along, each flower pointed in the general direction of the sun. Except for one daffodil which was the wrong way round! Maybe it was nocturnal! As I walked further there is a well-known local Chinese restaurant called ‘Ho Lee Chow’ half-way up the road. I always think it should be ‘Holy Cow’ but I don’t know why! It just sounds as though it should. Alongside the restaurant is a small driveway to the tennis courts and some folk leave their vehicles there and take their dogs for walks in the park (the same park where the Southport annual flower show is held). As I approached the driveway a red pick-up truck was coming out and the driver waved me to cross but I didn’t. Instead I stopped by his cab and spoke with him. He was a friend I hadn’t seen for some time. He had been taking his dog for a walk too. He had interceded on my behalf when some years ago I was the subject of some verbal bullying by four young men. He told me at the time he couldn’t stand bullies especially toward women. We have been friends ever since. I am no longer a recipient of bullying I am happy to say. For many years as a child and youth I had been bullied but before this one incident I had never been bullied as an adult. We chatted for some time before he drove off home and I continued my walk to the pub. It was now fifteen minutes after two o’clock and when I went into the pub I found it packed to the hilt. There was a table free though so I placed my order and waited for lunch to arrive. Two hours later I was back home.

Shirley Anne

Just thinking

friendship - IMG_3604
friendship – IMG_3604 (Photo credit: Nicola since 1972)

There aren’t too many things which capture my attention though I take an interest in many things. As far as my daily life is concerned many would think it rather boring and mundane and for them I suppose it is. Much of my time is spent working on one thing or another either at home or in someone else’s home. I like work because it gives me something to do but not only that it gives me something to do that is constructive and doesn’t simply waste time. I also enjoy the challenges that work often presents me with and the sense of achievement that cannot be experienced in other things. One thing I do enjoy now is socialising, meeting people and connecting with them. Once though, long ago in my life, I was a very unsociable person and reclusive, rejecting all advances by the invitations of others. I simply didn’t wish to know. Even at this time in my life I didn’t mix with my siblings though in fact they had all flown the nest bar one. I took this attitude to its extreme occasionally until one day I began to reach out and mix with people. I found it very easy to make friends and I made quite a few of them within months. I did see my siblings but only on rare occasions. All I had in my life were the few friends I had made though none of them ever became close. Once I was married I found those friends gradually falling away and I lost contact with them. Winding the clock many years onward and by the time I was divorced I had no friends at all. I hadn’t seen my family, that is my siblings, for a long time either so there was again no-one in my life. I made a second attempt at socialising and again made a few friends. I almost never see any of them now and I am back with no-one for companionship, that is except for my ex partner with whom I remained. I have found that our relationship has improved vastly and is as good as it ever was when we first met 42 years ago, though the form it takes now is different from what it was then. Without this relationship I have nothing. Yes, I do see my children from time to time but no-one else. I wonder why my friends drifted off and lost contact and though I have telephoned them I get no reply. I don’t expect to live in their pockets for they have their own lives to lead but the occasional contact would be nice if only to see how they are doing. Such is life, people are what they are but I know my life would be better with them in it.

Shirley Anne