Category Archives: House and Home

Household chores

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A distraction from chores

A distraction from chores (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I couldn’t get to sleep on Friday night until way after two o’clock despite my nodding off in front of the television before I set off to bed. Maybe the ‘cat naps’ had been enough to keep me awake but I did eventually fall asleep. That meant I ended up sleeping in until nine-thirty and missing breakfast. When I finally got downstairs and carrying laundry I put it into the washing machine then went for a walk. I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t miss not having breakfast. It was another pleasant day, still cloudy but reasonably warm with no wind whatsoever. Soon I was on my way back home to do some household chores, taking out the waste, cleaning the bins, hanging up the washing, vacuuming the carpets, you know, all the mundane stuff in life that has to be done. Once upon a time I didn’t much like doing household chores but in more recent times I find I actually enjoy it! Am I crazy or what? Not really, after all it is work and something therefore I enjoy. When I was very young I was the only one among my siblings who like helping out at home. I would prepare meals, wash and scrub the floors and other things most children shy away from. I won’t say that my brothers and sisters didn’t help out but from what I can remember I was the one who encouraged them to help. That was probably because I was the eldest. They remember me as ‘bossy boots’ and I probably was but I got hings done. So was my Saturday all chores and no rest? No, I am not that crazy! I get restless though and soon find myself looking for things to do but the problem with household chores is that they never seem to end, by the time you think you’ve done everything you have come full circle and have to begin again. When I finally retire from my electrical work (perhaps) I know there will be plenty of work to do around and inside the house to keep me occupied………………but that is life isn’t it?

Shirley Anne

Wintry weather

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I was going through one of my phases of not being bothered or interested in anything and it led me to lie in bed for hours on Saturday morning. I simply didn’t want to get out of bed. I wasn’t tired, I’d had a good night’s sleep and had actually woken by eight. It was almost twelve-thirty by the time I arrived downstairs. So that was breakfast missed. I didn’t much feel like eating anything but I had to eat something. I decided to prepare a chicken and vegetable stew, one of my favourite meals as it is very healthy and tasty too. When I make it I do it in quantity and can get three meals out of it, four if I have a smaller portion but it is the kind of meal I call ‘moreish’, a small portion just doesn’t cut it. As I was preparing the food I couldn’t help but notice the sound of hail on the windows and for a while everywhere began to turn white…first-sign first-sign-2-jpgIt didn’t stay that way as the hail turned to rain after a short time. I wondered if this was the first sign of a colder winter ahead. I was thankful to be indoors in the warmth but I needed something to occupy myself. First of all I had some of the stew for my meal. It was by now two-thirty. E had gone to her monthly meeting and would be away for hours. I have been checking for any air in the radiators on a regular basis now that the heating is switched on. E’s workshop is at the top of the house so any air in the system naturally migrates up there which means the radiator in the room doesn’t get warm if I don’t bleed out the air. It needed bleeding which took minutes to do. The radiator in the bedroom we refurbished early in the year had been left valved-off as the room isn’t in use but I usually allow a little water to pass through just to keep the chill out of the room though it doesn’t get too cold because of its southerly aspect. I discovered it wasn’t warm in the least even after I had checked for trapped air. I opened the valves fully and still the radiator remained cold. I will need to address that problem when I get the opportunity though I think that may be next year if it is more than simply an air-lock in the pipes. I went downstairs and decided to do some baking, one of my other favourite ‘hobbies’. This time it was a fruit cake.Rich Fruit Cake Whilst it was baking I prepared a scone mix and baked the scones an hour later when the cake was done. E returned home after five o’clock and knew instantly that I had been baking. I love the smell of baking in a house, it makes it feel more homely. Just nice when it is cold and wintry outside.

Shirley Anne

The long weekend

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As I write this it is the beginning of the second long weekend in the month. In May we have two national holiday days both on a Monday, one at the beginning of the month and the other at the end of the month. It means, theoretically, that we get three days off work at the weekend. Of course not everybody will observe these extra days as days for relaxing. Traditionally I too don’t treat them as special days but that is because I am self-employed and take time off as I need it. For those who are not self-employed these days come as a welcome break. I’d had a couple of electrical jobs in the previous week and one I thought I was going to do on Saturday. The lady who asked me to do the work didn’t call back as she had promised so I was set for the long weekend free from work other than that I might do at home. The problem was that she works in London and has not been able to arrange either for herself to be available or someone else. However just as I was about to eat a late breakfast someone else called asking if I could exchange two ceiling lights with replacement fittings. These fittings it turned out were second-hand and one was missing its fixing bracket. I decided to take the job though I had ideas about working at home. The work itself was easy but I had to manufacture a bracket to replace the missing one before I could fit the second unit. It is fortunate then that I could find some metal in the van with which to make it. The lady was well pleased that I could make the bracket and not have to return at some later date to finish the work. It was lunch time when I returned home and I could look forward to the rest of the day to relax in, and that is what E and I did out on the patio for a time. It turned cool and cloudy for a spell and we returned indoors. An hour later and it was bright and sunny again. English weather! Front step wallWhilst I had been away from home E’s nephew had called and finished off rendering the small wall (shown above) that had been constructed a couple of months ago! It will need painting sometime in the weeks ahead. Whilst I was taking the picture I took another showing these two rhododendron shrubs. Flowering shrubsI had planted them in Autumn last year. They are different types of the same shrub. The one on the left  flowered a couple of weeks ahead of the other which only opened its blossoms last week. Eventually they will grow to fill the area surrounding them. I am thinking of planting one or two more shrubs out there in the front garden as there is plenty of space for them.

Shirley Anne

No work but work

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Paint and Paint

Paint and Paint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After my Sunday rest day I thought I would be rearing to start work on Monday but I had slept in as I had felt so tired on Sunday evening. It was around ten in the morning by the time I got downstairs. I missed breakfast but ate a banana and had a fruit drink instead. Despite this I joined with E and went upstairs to do some more work in the top room. I hadn’t any electrical work which seems to be the norm lately for the start of the week but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t be doing something at home. We spent about three and a half hours painting and carrying out alterations to the electrical power circuit. I managed to paint the lower half of the ceiling whilst E did more filling in of holes. We had to stop for something to eat but by the time we did it was already approaching one-thirty. I was feeling rather weak as I’d only eaten a banana for my late breakfast. We didn’t return upstairs until after three o’clock. I finished painting the remainder of the ceiling whilst E applied an undercoat to the underside of half the worktop. We had to remove the curtain rod and the timber it was attached to because it wasn’t secure. The wall behind required some repairs to the plaster so I got on with that too. It was six o’clock before we stopped work for the day but later after my evening meal I decided to paint some of the lower wall with the emulsion paint we had bought. It is the colour of lilac, E’s choice not mine but I admit it looks good. Monday had been a cool and dull day, ideal for working at home indoors. Tuesday however was forecast to be warm and sunny but even so I would most probably be working indoors for most of the time.

Shirley Anne

Another day off

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

Shirley Anne

The only day

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

Shirley Anne

Last day

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Apart from changing the radiator valves and some minor touching up of paint work E and I have no more to do in the bedroom as far as decorating is concerned. As I had no electrical work scheduled on Thursday I took the opportunity to finish what little work that was left to do and especially in the afternoon whilst E was out at the shops. The room could have been completed  much sooner but as there was no reason to get it done quickly and as I hold down an electrical service business I haven’t always been available. Added to that we have had building repairs going on too and have had to cater to the guys doing that work. By Wednesday evening most of the work was completed but there remains for some leadwork repairs to be done as I write this on Thursday evening. It may get done on Friday but knowing E’s nephew it isn’t likely, we’ll see. All the ridge tiles have been removed and re-bedded with new mortar and that took some time to do for the tiles are massive. They are Y-shaped and are fitted upside down. I am guessing they weigh at least 5 or 6 kilograms apiece, maybe more and there are a lot of them up there. Anyway nobody arrived on Thursday because of the intermittent rain.

Here are some more pictures of the bedroom……  Bedroom 20Radiator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedroom 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the last picture you can see where I have painted the coving in the same colour as the lower part of the walls. All we need now is the carpet and bed and the room will be ready for use.

Shirley Anne

A nice day

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I suppose every day is a nice day, it all depends upon our attitude and our reaction or response to the things which happen to us. I had an electrical job to do for a lady living some fifteen miles away living in a small township or extended village situated on the highest ground hereabouts. picture-031The place is called Parbold and it is on Parbold Hill, naturally, and marks the beginning of the western edge of The Pennine Chain at our latitude. The Pennine Chain is known as the backbone of England, a mountainous range stretching from the Midlands up north to The Cheviot Hills in Scotland. The house was up a small lane off the main road, quite a secluded place to live, though there were other houses down the lane. The house was beautiful inside and a lot of money had been lavished upon its interior to bring it up to a very high standard. My task was to replace some of the ceiling lighting fittings and to repair a couple of damaged cables hidden in the wall which someone had accidentally drilled into. The lady herself was quite chatty and friendly and it was a pleasure to work for her. By noon I had the work finished and was on my way back home. It was such a sunny day and quite warm for the season too and as I drove homeward I had thoughts of dining out for lunch. When I arrived home and put the suggestion to E she was pleased at the idea so after we had changed into more suitable attire we drove to another local township and enjoyed a nice meal. On the way back home we dropped into a store specialising in the sale of lighting fittings of all kinds for we wanted to see if they had something suitable for our bedroom project. The store is literally filled with pendant lights and chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, many of which are illuminated. There must be a couple of hundred units hanging there. It makes it easier to select something when you can see what it looks like out of the box and working. Having decided on which one we wanted for the bedroom the guy went into the stockroom to see if there was one in stock but alas there wasn’t. We placed an order and paid for it immediately. The guy was to call us when it had arrived, possibly on Wednesday he thought. We were in no hurry. The light we had chosen was on offer at half-price but still cost £99.50 , which is relatively cheap for a light fitting these days. We saw some units at £500 and £700 but there was no way we were going to fork out that kind of money for a ceiling light!

Shirley Anne

Little by little

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A Safeway advertisement from the 1950s.

A Safeway advertisement from the 1950s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although I dislike advertisements in any shape or form that are pushed under our noses it is almost impossible to avoid them altogether. That does not mean I am persuaded in any way to buy into services or goods that are offered through any of them because I am not. There are one or two advertisements which mention the word ‘little’ and sometimes I am thinking I wish the advertisements themselves would follow suit! UK readers will know the phrase ‘every little helps‘ from a well-know supermarket chain‘s advertisement and by the way I don’t shop there, but the phrase itself and the meaning behind it do make sense. I was in the kitchen making myself a coffee and reflecting on all that I have personally done in the house in the almost twenty-eight years we have lived here. When I recall all the hard work and the various projects I had set myself to do over those years I am frankly amazed. I then think to myself what would the house look like now had I not done all that work? It is the sort of thing we would never think of doing all at once unless we had the money but even then we would most probably have given the work to others to do. Doing small jobs here and there, mini-projects and minor alterations and little by little much gets done. We look back and see that it was all worthwhile. Of course many tasks have been performed by others but usually because I hadn’t the time or maybe the expertise or the work was too much for one person to undertake. However where it has been possible and where I have not felt intimidated by the work I have taken it on board. Again little by little I have learnt to do all sorts of things I haven’t been specifically trained to do but practice makes perfect. It starts with a task or a project, the willingness to have a go, an ability that can be built upon. Every journey begins with the first step as the saying goes. In this house my journey has taken twenty-eight years, a long road with many steps but one that has been achieved little by little and costing much less than if I’d paid someone else to do everything.

Shirley Anne

Silly slang and other things

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Butter and a butter knife

Butter and a butter knife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No work Monday seems to be the norm for me lately but it doesn’t stay that way too long either. I did get a call from a guy who had been struggling to repair a light and I went to his house to fix it for him. I was back home before you could say ‘Jackanory‘. Now there is a strange saying but of course it is only an allegory. E suggested we remove unwanted materials and tools from the bedroom in readiness for the furniture build. Hopefully the materials for building the furniture will arrive here within a few days. Then she suggested we, that is I, should call and arrange for the scaffolding to be erected in order for the problems we have with the roof to be resolved because the guy doing the repairs was taking far too long to get the work underway. He was supposed to be making all the arrangements but we need the work doing sooner rather than later. A little after lunch the owner of the scaffolding company called at the house to assess our requirements. We used this guy’s company when we had major work going on at the house in 2010 because we, that is I, liked him. His rates are very reasonable and this time he offered me a small discount from his estimated price. The scaffolding needs to be erected in two separate places but when he and I were talking I asked if we could have that scaffolding which was to be erected over the garage where I park my van to be extended across the full depth of the house so that we may have the rear chimney stack checked too. That stack isn’t in use and is unlikely to be in the future so we may decide to cap it off if it isn’t already done. So things are moving along as they should be. He stepped into the house whilst he made the calculations and E popped into the room to say hello. He asked how she was and after her reply I jumped in with ‘She’s having problems with rising damp in her wooden leg’ which brought laughter all round but he replied ‘Creosote is great for preventing rising damp’ which brought even more laughter. We like to laugh and joke around here. He told us that he aims to have the scaffolding erected on Wednesday or Thursday which will be yesterday or today as you read this. The price? £1000, and that is before any work starts! Should have bought a Bungalow! Now that isn’t a joke is it but hey, that’s the way it goes. After he left E sat and had her lunch and I sat with her although I had already eaten. I had wanted to be sure that one of us would be available when our caller arrived for I knew he would be calling around lunchtime.

English: Hot cross buns are a quintessentially...

Hot cross buns are a quintessentially British tradition at Easter.They can be eaten warm or split, toasted with butter for breakfast, tea or a snack. No one knows for certain when the tradition began, but in 16th century England, bakers were limited by law to occasions when these special doughs could be made. Good Friday was one; ‘cross buns’ marked this holy day towards the end of the Lenten fast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we were talking she asked why I had no butter on my hot-cross bun but she had said ‘You’ve put no butter on your bun’. I immediately thought how strange our use of language is and especially slang. The thing is, how could I have put ‘no’ butter on anything? Perhaps if worded this way you will see my point, ‘You’ve not put butter on your bun’. We use slang every day and we all know what is meant by what is spoken, that is as long as we are familiar with local colloquialisms. Anyway I enjoyed the dry, that is un-buttered bun I’d eaten supplementary to my lunch.

Shirley Anne

Where did it go?

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So Saturday came along and although I didn’t really feel like working both E and I decided to finish the electrical alterations in the bedroom we are refurbishing. We now have all the wiring in place in readiness to convert the existing one-way switching circuit for the main ceiling light when the bedside units are fitted as well as the power circuits for the outlets which will be either side of the bed. One power outlet had been fitted last week but two more were to be installed above where the low-level units will be fitted together with the television antenna socket. Those are now installed and working. I had to remove the last power outlet which had been part of the original installation in order to re-arrange the circuits and connect the new outlets. The main part of the work we are doing ourselves is the painting and decorating and E has made great progress in that direction having applied an undercoat to most of the woodwork in the room. The ceiling needs a little repair in places and then it can be painted and those areas of the walls which will be covered by the new furniture will be painted too because they will remain on view inside the units when they are built.index The rest of the walls will be painted after the furniture has been installed as will the fitting of a new picture rail by myself. Aside from the break we took for lunch we worked pretty much all day until it was time for our evening meal. The guys doing the steps outside the front door didn’t turn up for work as it was Saturday and I didn’t expect them to. They will resume on Monday morning and I will be at my electrical work on Monday too. My only rest time will have been Sunday as I refuse to do any work on a Sunday and the way I am feeling right now as I write this on Saturday evening I couldn’t work even if I wanted to! Chiselling out brick walls to install the metal back-boxes for the power outlets really takes its toll on the muscles but a good soak in a hot tub for a while will ease the aches and pains which is what I shall be doing before bedtime.

Shirley Anne

Everything stops

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Thursday morning and up until early afternoon the weather had been really cold but it felt even colder because of the wind. Finer weather was promised for Friday and the weekend but first there would be rain. Two guys turned up in the morning to continue with the front steps, mainly measuring and cutting the stone slabs which form the steps themselves. About five and a half years ago at a time when we were having extensive repairs and alterations to the house and grounds we had the original steps taken up and natural stone slabs laid instead but since then we have decided to have those steps nearest the front door altered for easier access. The steps in question are those three immediately outside the front doors in this picture taken shortly after their construction. pics 1026This is the work now being carried out along with the rebuilding of part of the rear garden wall. Well the wall is almost complete as of today, Thursday, there being only a couple of things left to do with it. The steps would have been almost completed too except that this afternoon the weather stopped progress, the rains came as we knew they would and it has slowly begun to get warmer. However, there is now nobody here to carry on with the work because the rain prevents it. I am hoping to see their return in the morning but I am not sure if they will. I will be away from home on an electrical job, at least for the morning. We cannot use the front entrance until the work is completed and that means we have to go through the garage to enter through a rear door, not the most convenient way I admit but we have to put up with it for now. Late in the morning we had a visit from the bedroom furniture installers, actually someone to take precise measurements and to schedule the work. We have elected to have the room furniture delivered during the last week in February and sometime during the following week to have it installed. The work we have been told will take three to four days to complete. We now have a month to carry out other work like the electrics and some of the decorating. We are leaving off painting the walls as advised until the furniture is fitted. Now I know more about the furniture’s measurements I can install the new power outlets without fear of putting them in the wrong places. The old ceiling light has been removed and the ubiquitous holder on a flex fitted as a temporary unit until we purchase a more suitable light fitting.

Shirley Anne

Can’t wait to see things getting done

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Junk food copy

Junk food copy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the last three days, that is Wednesday onward, we have had three young guys in our rear garden rebuilding the wall (see previous posts) but on Friday they cut their visit rather short. One of their party was feeling quite ill and in fact had brought up the contents of his stomach after stopping at an eatery for breakfast. Without naming the eatery its name begins with an ‘M’, a world-wide chain of eating places. I call their produce junk food myself but many people use them especially if they have children. As I write this on Friday evening I am not sure if we will see their return again this week. It isn’t important but I do hope the young guy is feeling better now. They have about three courses of bricks to lay on the double-thick wall, six rows and it will be completed. I am more concerned about the lack of progress on the roof repairs. I had one small job to do in the morning and was then prepared to do a little work at home after lunch but I received another request for my services at 11 o’clock. I drove the seven miles, did the job and was back home at 12.15 just as E had driven off to give a blood sample at the clinic for routine checks. That meant I had to cater for any needs the bricklayers might require but as I mentioned they were in the process of clearing up to leave. I prepared lunch but didn’t sit down to eat until 1.30 just before E returned. It was after 2.30 before I could do any work and by this time I was reluctant to start. Nevertheless I decided I would permanently isolate the gas supply to the bedroom as I mentioned in my previous post.

Propane torch being used solder copper pipes f...

Propane torch being used solder copper pipes for residential water mains. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I located the pipe in the cellar cut it where it went through the wall and up to the bedroom on the outside of the house. I fitted a blanking connection but discovered that the short length of pipe that was left in the soldered ‘Tee’ joint on the main pipe run had loosened, its soldered joint had come adrift whilst I was fitting the blanking-off cap! Fortunately I have a gas torch and solder and was able to resolder the joint before turning on the gas valve. No leaks! Whilst I was doing that E was filling in the various holes in the window frames ready for painting later. I decided to call it a day as by now it was 4.o’clock and I’d had enough of work. I do like a rest from it now and then!

Shirley Anne

Home alone 37…..

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You and Me at Home

You and Me at Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…..or probably more! I find I am left alone at home quite often these days, unless I am out working. When I have things to do that isn’t a problem for I usually work best when by myself. I just get more done! Today, Wednesday, E went out around 8.30, presumably either paying her occasional visit to the NEC (Birmingham) with her group’s friends or going to another town within the county as she sometimes does also. I wasn’t told and so I am guessing. Anyway I had no scheduled work for the day as it happened so I spent the day at home. I kept busy doing routine things like the washing and such and spent some time on my treadmill trying to keep fit. I am surprised how I can, after a brief warm-up, still run when I don’t spend that much time doing that. I can’t just sit down and do nothing though, it hurts my bum! Seriously I spend more time on my feet, restless if you like, wanting to do something, anything to relieve the boredom. Usually when I have the free time at home I might do some baking, cakes, scones and things but over the past couple of months I haven’t bothered doing that, as with all the other things I could be doing they are being left undone.

Oneroom bathroom

One room bathroom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My next-door neighbour phoned me on the house phone and asked how I was. She does that from time to time rather than call at the door. If I am making the same inquiry I usually go to her house. She conveyed her sympathies regarding my relationship problem with E. She knows about similar problems I have had along the same line with E over the last few years too, like the time I wasn’t invited to my son’s wedding, which I discovered later was due to E’s attitude. Yet I don’t bear a grudge, I never have but still it hurts to be mistreated. Anyhow my neighbour was telling me about the new bathroom she has planned to be fitted at the end of next month. I think she was encouraged to refurbish her bathroom, which needs doing by the way, after seeing what we had done with ours. She has spent a considerable amount of money getting things done outside the house since the death of her husband eighteen months ago and I guess she now wants to spend some cash refurbishing the inside too. Over the last six years we have done exactly the same. Had I enough energy and time I would willingly have lent a hand with her bathroom but she is having everything done by a professional bathroom fitter. Even if I had been asked I would certainly have left the plumbing and tiling to others! Plumbing at home is one thing but I wouldn’t do it for anyone else partly in case there are problems later and partly because a plumber would be faster! I think tiling should be done by a professional too as they would make a better job of it and would also be faster. I didn’t do the tiling in our bathroom for the same reasons, though I did the tiling in the wet room.

Shirley Anne