Category Archives: Life

The dust is settling

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Day to Day Dust

Day to Day Dust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that the dust is settling in the wake of our general election recently perhaps we can begin to roll up our sleeves and get on with things. It seems to be the way with many folk who can talk about a job for hours yet have difficulty in actually getting down to doing it. I once worked in a place employing many engineers but I use that term very loosely. Quite a number of them only wanted to put in the time but very little effort, to be frank they were simply lazy. Some had no academic qualifications either which didn’t help much. One or two however were keen to learn. The guy whom I was allocated to work with or rather team up with for a number of years was one of those who liked working and was keen to learn. He had academic qualifications in joinery but had practical experience in mechanical services. He had little knowledge of electrical things but with my help he soon picked things up. We were a good team and things got done. He was eventually promoted to a higher rank suitable to his academic and practical abilities. He was my second in command if you like and I could always rely upon him to do most things when I wasn’t there. In certain areas he was far better qualified than I was and I left him to do that work whilst I got on with something else. When I left the organisation to become self-employed he was left in charge and no doubt would have coped well. One morning I walked into a very wet plant room, it was extensively flooded to a depth of 300 mm caused by a burst cold water pipe which must have been leaking for many hours judging by the amount of water on the floor. The ‘engineers’ in charge and working the night shift hadn’t spotted the problem because they hadn’t done their duty in carrying out a  regular walk-about as they were supposed to. There wasn’t an inquiry as far as I can remember and everything was forgotten about though at the time my colleague and I kicked up a lot of noise about it. We were often let down by the night-shift group not having done their work as they should have. Well the dust settled after a while and all was put into the past. Throughout our lives we may come across similar situations and we kick up a fuss about them yet in the end the dust settles and we forget about them. When we look back at such times we wonder why we got all uptight about it though at the time we probably had the right to be. Life goes on though once the dust has settled……….until someone stirs it up again. Remember, ashes to ashes, dust to dust……………

Shirley Anne

 

Escape to Autumn

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It Was High Time to Escape

It Was High Time to Escape (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have had some very unusual weather for this time of year over the past couple of days (Tue-Wed) that you could be forgiven for thinking it was Autumn already. I had been kind of house-bound yesterday (Tuesday) because it was so bad, not just because of the very high winds but the rain that accompanied it too. Leaves have been blown off the trees and today I have been around the garden collecting them and putting them in the wheelie bin just as I have to do in Autumn. At least I have been able to escape the confines of the house, I even went out this morning to do an electrical job with the prospect of another in the near future. It was great to be able to get away from the house for a while. Believe it or not it has been sunny all day so far with hardly a cloud in the sky but unfortunately the wind is still high at around 20 mph. Yesterday it had been peaking at around 50 mph! Either speed isn’t really pleasant to be out in as far as I am concerned. I hate the wind once it passes about 10 mph. Our road was taken over in late January by builders’ vehicles and even right now as I write this the situation remains the same, every day we have a dozen or more vans are parked up and down the road. It is all due to the refurbishment of a property two doors away. I have to say in fairness that the house has been gutted completely and rebuilt from the inside though. A new roof, a new garage, new windows, outhouses in the rear refurbished too but that is only the decor and structural work, new kitchen and bathrooms, built-in bedroom furniture, new electrics and plumbing too all take time to complete. There will be carpets to lay too no doubt. The work started in Winter but the way things are going it could be Autumn before the new owners can settle in. At this moment not much has been done in the surrounding plot and if the weather doesn’t behave itself things might slow to a stop. There always seems to be work being done on one house or another around here. It would be great if we could all have the work done at the same time but then it would be impossible to drive up the street!

Shirley Anne

Pleasant surprises

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No Surprises

No Surprises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always maintained that I am not fond of surprises, arranged parties and gatherings centred upon myself or otherwise. I guess you could say I am a person of routine also as I do not like change especially if there is no apparent need for it. Forever onward and upward is a motto held in high esteem by some who like pressing on into some idyllic future they think is better. In many ways the future as we arrive in it each day isn’t so great at all. We may have achieved much over the generations but in some ways we have taken a backward step as far as I can see. My future is a different one, I am just plodding along with all that is happening around me whilst trying my best not to let too much influence my daily life. I vehemently resist the temptation to acquire the latest technology, all-seeing all dancing mobile telephones hold no interest for me for instance. My mobile phone is only mobile if I take it with me otherwise it is just as immobile as any other inanimate object. I go for walks without my phone because I wish to be left undisturbed. On my return home I check to see if I have any missed calls and often as not I do, most though are unsolicited and are consigned to the bin. Actually I allocate many of them with a ‘Spam’ number so if the caller persists in annoying me I am not taken by surprise and can simply not answer. The kind of surprises I like are the ones which report an item of good news, an ill friend or member of the family regaining their health, someone attaining a qualification after much study, someone who has won a prize or has a financial upturn making their lives a little easier, these are nice surprises. A few weeks ago I submitted my annual tax return and I received a letter a few days ago informing me of the results of the calculations regarding my tax obligations. I appears that I have paid too much tax, £471 too much. Well that was a pleasant surprise as I had expected to be paying more.

Shirley Anne

It wasn’t enough

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A couple of days ago I unscrewed the top hinge on the lounge door in order to set it back in the door frame. This was because the door was too low at the leading edge and was brushing the carpet as the door was opened or closed. Setting the top hinge back even a tiny amount was enough to raise the door but unfortunately the door still brushed over the carpet. The hinge couldn’t be set back any further however so on Wednesday morning I decided the door had to be removed so that I could plane off some of the wood on the bottom. It took me less than twenty minutes and the door was back on its hinges and no longer brushing the carpet. The old carpet didn’t have the same depth of pile that the new one has so the door wasn’t a problem. Anyway that was the first job for the day. Mid-morning I took a trip to the electrical supply store to purchase a new in-line switch and some flexible lighting cable with which to lengthen the cable supplied with one of the new table lamps I had purchased. The cable supplied on the lamp wasn’t long enough to allow the lamp to sit on the new pillar stand.I had made. Unfortunately the switch that came with the lamp couldn’t be removed except by cutting it free which was why a new switch was required, one that clamped together with screws.

The power outlet is behind the television just over a metre away from the stand. The stand is just that, simply a stand with no access to the inside. It could equally have a vase full of flowers sitting on it instead. By now it was approaching lunchtime and I decided to eat at the pub rather than at home. I had hardly left the house at all over the previous couple of weeks being as I was busy working there. I had walked to the pub and on my return I met my next-door neighbour who was about to keep an appointment with her doctor. She tells me often that she is fed-up with her situation in that she has to go everywhere with an oxygen bottle because of her condition. She has emphysema. I always try to cheer her up and I get her to laugh but I can see she knows her situation is not going to improve. The rest of my day was spent at home and out on the patio. We have been enjoying a lot of wall-to-wall sunshine this past month and it is good to be out in it.

Shirley Anne

Things

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English: Morning Sunshine

Morning Sunshine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amazing start to the month of May has seen us, that is where I live (Southport UK), enjoying almost entirely wall-to-wall sunshine. As I write this on Monday 8th we have had yet another sunny day with the rest of the week possibly remaining that way. Should I have spoken too soon? Time will tell but I am enjoying it while it lasts. It isn’t that I mind dull and wet days but sunshine is good. However that has meant I have had to water the gardens manually with the hose pipes but I’m not complaining. Things were to happen this week, a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday morning for a quick check-up and to arrange for a repeat prescription of hormones, the curtains to be fitted on Wednesday, the carpet to be laid on Friday and the furniture to be delivered on Saturday. That meant I had to do my shopping on Monday. I had ordered a floor (standing) lamp which I had been informed might arrive on Thursday. I wanted to purchase some casual flat-heeled shoes for general use in summer and I couldn’t be sure I would get the time to buy them at the time in the day I preferred to go shopping, the morning. Before setting off to the shops I did a spot of painting with primer on the cabinet drawers where I couldn’t paint them the previous time.  I took the mile or so walk into town and shopped around for the shoes eventually buying all three pairs in the same shop. Yes I bought three pairs and all for £26. One shop wanted £40 for one pair of similar quality! Having purchased the shoes I went to Nero’s for a coffee before walking back home. It was warm in the sunshine at 9 o’clock in the morning but quite cool in the shade of the trees along the route I had taken. Thankfully it was mostly in the sunshine I walked. Returning home I over-painted the drawers together with the other side of the shelf with gloss paint and that was all that was left to do as far as the painting went. The rest of the day was spent on the patio and later watering the two gardens. I had no electrical work for a few days and had cancelled my advertisement for the week so I could have the time to myself and finish off the lounge project.

Shirley Anne

Deeper sleep

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English: Splendid Hand Car Wash

Splendid Hand Car Wash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had been very tired going to bed on Thursday evening and excepting for a couple of toilet visits slept pretty much right through the night. After a recent restless night it was good to be able to sleep through but it was so deep I didn’t wake until almost ten o’clock! As I was getting dressed someone called me asking for a quote to have some rewiring done in their home. I explained that I no longer did such work as I am semi-retired and have a self-imposed limit on what I will accept. I carried on with dressing and arrived downstairs at ten-thirty. I hadn’t dressed for work as I had no intentions of doing any work for the day, in fact I had missed breakfast and had decided to dine out at the pub instead. It had been a couple of weeks since I last washed the van and it was looking very dirty. However, I didn’t want to start the day washing my van especially in my better clothes so I had it in mind to drive to the local car wash and have it done there. I don’t often use the car wash as I usually do it myself but at only £6 for a hand wash it wasn’t expensive. I drove the half-mile there and waited in the queue. I didn’t have to wait long and soon was driving out the exit in a super cleaned and spruced-up van. It was sparkling, just like new! I drove off to the pub but it was still only eleven-thirty so I parked-up and sat reading my magazine. I was so engrossed I didn’t notice the parking lot filling up with diners as the doors had opened at noon. I went inside, sat down at a table and waited for the bar to empty. I placed my order and took my drinks to the table and waited for my meal. Despite the large queue that had formed at the bar ahead of me my meal arrived shortly after. Maybe as a local and regular customer I had been given a little preference? Would be nice to think so. The pub has become so popular it get customers from afar visiting which makes it more difficult for the locals sometimes. I decided against a prolonged stay on this occasion as I planned another visit over the weekend and would probably spend a few hours there.

Shirley Anne

Much better day

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Miserable (song)

Miserable (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a cold and quite miserable weekend it was refreshing to have a much better day on Monday. The sun was shining and it was a little bit warmer, not much but enough to be noticed. According to the forecast the week ahead was only going to improve with temperatures around 10 C. I had spent the afternoon at the pub on Sunday to cheer myself up and treating myself to a meal in the process. I had done no work at home or elsewhere over the weekend and was ready for any work that might come my way. I did one small job on Monday morning which has led to more work in the near future, to install a power outlet and to replace a floodlight. I appeared to have made a good impression on the couple who I was visiting. They had moved to Southport last year having lived their whole lives in Manchester some 40 miles away though I didn’t ask why. Southport is a small town compared to Manchester which is a large city more like London. Anyway I sorted out their problem which had been a fault in the switches controlling the light in their lounge and returned home. Before I went indoors I got the kneeling stool from the garage and dug out a few bluebells that had appeared in three of the flowerbeds in the front garden. They just don’t give up do they? I went indoors and prepared some vegetable and chicken stew and while doing so received calls for more work. Things are looking up. The extra cash will come in handy as I have annual vehicle expenses to fund at the end of this month, MOT and service with any repairs that might ensue  together with insurance and road fund licence to pay for. The afternoon? I was called out to yet another small job and was able to put some more cash into my ‘piggy bank’ and later received more requests for work. As the weather improves I will make the effort to finish digging out the bluebells in the rear garden, well the bulk of them at least. I know there will be more.

Shirley Anne

I went back

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Some Kind of Strange

Some Kind of Strange (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A strange day was Wednesday in that it was out of my usual routine. Work of course majored for most of the morning followed by a little shopping. Back home to change then off out to see a man friend for a couple of hours and returning home stopping off at my local pub before finally getting home in the early evening. The electrical work was to replace two existing outdoor light units with new LED floodlights, a job which could have taken up to two hours at worse and an hour or less at best. I had the good fortune to get the latter which meant I had more time for other things. I needed to get to the electrical supplier to replenish my van stock and then do some minor domestic shopping before returning home. I was back home at eleven o’clock to get changed. I gave the latest shoe purchase their first outing but as I had to drive quite a distance I also took a pair of flat-heeled shoes. In any event driving in high heels is not to be recommended because of the damage it would do to the shoes. It can also be very dangerous because of the difficulty it produces in controlling the pedals. Once I had arrived at my destination it was on with the high heels! I spent a couple of hours with my friend then I was heading back homeward for I had arranged to meet someone later for lunch. However that person couldn’t make it and I ended up dining alone. I could have simply dined at home instead but decided to eat alone because I was hungry as it was getting late in the afternoon. I didn’t stop long at the restaurant, who wants to sit alone after eating? I took the longer route home and at the last-minute turned off toward my local pub. For a short time I sat alone with a soft drink but was soon in company. A guy the same age as myself and whom I’ve known for a few years came over and sat with me. It was one of the best hours I have experienced there, and there have been many of those in the past. He was good company and we laughed and joked a lot. Because I haven’t visited the pub for months evidently it seems I had been missed for many came asking where I had been these last few months. Finally I wanted to get back home so made my way to the van but I was spotted by another acquaintance also wanting to know where I had been. This was a middle-aged woman who greeted me as if I were her greatest friend and I invited her to sit with me in the van whilst I changed my shoes. She told me she was envious of the heels. We chatted for a few minutes and she insisted I call to her house for coffee sometime with a view to going out together for the day perhaps. I said I would because I am always open to friendship and she lives only a couple of hundred metres from my house. I spent the rest of the day relaxing at home for there was more work to be done the following morning.

Shirley Anne

A real concern

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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

That’s it ’till May

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Dentist on the Job

Dentist on the Job (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am referring to my next dental appointment. On Friday morning I had the second of my two visits to the dentist for cosmetic surgery. As usual the appointments were running a little late but that is normal. Appointments are generally accepted as guide times and are really put in place to afford some semblance of order and to ensure patients actually turn up!. We all moan about the inconvenience of having to wait that little bit longer don’t we? Well I used to but now I am so laid back about it all it doesn’t bother me. I was in the chair a mere fifteen minutes after my 10.30 appointment and the dentist apologised but I replied that it was alright, and it was. What is the point in thinking otherwise? Fifteen minutes later and I was on my way out with a new appointment scheduled for May 25 next year. Another routine check-up. It pays to have regular check-ups I think. My next intention was to pay a visit to my electrical supplier in order to collect the LED light unit I was promised would be ready for collection late morning. Well it was late morning when I got there but unfortunately I was informed that they had missed the deadline when ordering to have it delivered the next day. It would be delivered on Monday morning. That meant I had to contact my customer and re-arrange my scheduled time of arrival. Now the work will be done on Tuesday morning instead. So much for appointments eh? It was just about twelve noon so I decided to splash out and treat myself to another restaurant meal and drove to a place three miles out-of-town to eat. Later and on my way back home I stopped at a filling station to top-up the van and enjoyed a little banter with people doing likewise. I enjoy making people laugh, it puts everyone in a good mood. My working week was over and I could spend the weekend relaxing…………..maybe! Knowing me I would find something to do.

Shirley Anne

 

So it rained

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I was supposed to be driving off to the job I had scheduled on Monday morning but it had begun to rain and the forecast was for rain throughout the day. So I stayed at home. The work was to be done outdoors so it would have been difficult if not hazardous to do it especially as it would all be done up a ladder! I called my customer about 70 minutes before my expected arrival but could only leave a message as apparently she was unavailable according to her messaging service. landline-phoneI called back several times during the following hour and a half then gave up. She finally called me wondering why I hadn’t turned up. I explained with the same information you’ve just read. She checked her messages and discovered nothing had been recorded. What was going on? Anyway we made arrangements for me to visit the following day when the weather would be better. I was hoping the lamp-post would be delivered whilst I was at home. E is home much of the time but I couldn’t rely on her being available to sign for the delivery. The problem was not knowing on which day it would arrive but as luck would have it the post was delivered mid-morning. However I was shall we say, ‘indisposed’ and E must have heard the doorbell ring and she came downstairs to answer the door. She had been at the top of the house in her ‘workshop’. I confessed to having not heard the doorbell and had the delivery men come a couple of minutes earlier or later I would have been there to accept the delivery as I was actually on the same floor. That is very typical of many folk’s experiences I’m sure, we wait in for something to arrive and then just for a moment we are indisposed and it arrives! I have a feeling it happens by design! I took the three packages downstairs into the cellar where I began to remove the enormous amount of corrugated cardboard and bubble-wrap surrounding the three main items, the heavy base unit, the pole and accessories and the lamp itself.  I discovered they had included a light-sensing economy lamp (fluorescent) in the package. They are designed to switch on from dusk till dawn and of course will remain on throughout the night. It will do for the moment but I am still trying to obtain a part-night sensor/controller and if I do I will replace the lamp with an LED one.

English: Construction and function of a light ...

Construction and function of a light emitting diode (LED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At least I won’t have to wait until I obtain a sensor for the light to work. Having unpacked the parts I now know what has to be done. My first task will be to cut off the excess cable near to where the post will be and set it in position with more concrete so that it will emerge beneath the pole when it is fixed to the base. The pole is designed to be fixed using  four ‘rawlbolts’. All I need now is for some dry weather……….

Shirley Anne

Nice day

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sunny-day-1Sunday started dull after an overnight soaking but the rain had ceased though it was still cloudy and cool. It wasn’t until noon when the sun finally took over and we had wall-to-wall sunshine for a few hours. It was just about bearable out on the patio for there was a bit of a breeze blowing. More rain was promised for the evening and overnight into Monday. I was hoping it wouldn’t be as bad as the forecast because I had some outside electrical work to do for someone in the next town. If the weather was too bad I would have to reschedule for the following day which promised to be drier and less windy. It’s the way it goes in my line of work though I have to say I tend to do less outside work these days. At the time of writing I am expecting the delivery of the lamp-post I purchased but I am not sure which of the two days it will arrive, Monday or Tuesday. I am eager to know how to secure it to the concrete base I have made. It may be that it requires to be set in a hole in which case I will have to dig out that hole in the concrete. What I have already laid isn’t that thick in-depth so it can be dug out fairly easily and even so I had planned to add to its depth anyway before the post was fitted. There is other work to be done on that project which is to connect into the existing power circuit on the patio. That shouldn’t take long now that I have decided how to arrange things. I was looking at the flag we have flying at the front of the house and it is beginning to wear away at the edge away from the pole. I am not sure how much longer it will b e before it needs replacing but I plan to purchase another soon anyway. As I write I am feeling much better after the two days of enforced rest! I forget sometimes that I should be taking life a little easier but not too much. I think it better to be tired from work rather than be tired of it. Once I get tired of it I will be tired of life itself and I cannot see that being the case for me. Today is a nice day (Sunday), but every day is a nice day in which to live.

Shirley Anne

One odd day

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Every so often you get a day where nothing seems to go right or you are interrupted at the wrong time. It happens to me fairly often. They are the kind of days I struggle sometimes just getting things done but I persevere, I really don’t have a choice, none of us do, it’s just the way things go in life. Having the right attitude and not getting all worked-up is the key to overcoming whatever comes our way. It doesn’t make it easier nevertheless. For me it is more of a nuisance when things happen the way they sometimes do. I had placed an order for a Victorian style street lamp-post  two and a half weeks earlier but was still waiting for the delivery. I decided to call the supplier for the second time to make inquiries and after a minute or so was told that they were having trouble with their computer when making a search for my details. This was the same response I got when I first called them a few days earlier. I was asked for a contact number and I gave them my mobile number as I knew I would be in the garden when they returned the call.victorian_lamp_post_set_2.26m_1

Most of the work on or in the Plot had been completed on Tuesday but I still had a couple of things to do. The main one was to cut a brick in half to place at the end of the existing wall near to the rear of the garage. It was necessary to put it there now because I needed to fill in a small section next to the end of the paving slabs with concrete. There are two other small areas which also need filling with concrete too as they couldn’t be done earlier. I will do all three in a day or two. I also had to fill in the spaces beneath the natural stone capping I had set in place on Tuesday with mortar and any other places which required filling too. So on Wednesday morning I put on my overalls and began the work. No sooner had I mixed the mortar when someone called me on my mobile phone. It was the company supplying the lamp-post and they had bad news. I was told that the lamp-post was currently out of production but should be available in four to five weeks! ‘WHAT’? I exclaimed and proceeded to remind them that when I originally made inquiries I was told the same thing but that they would email me when one was available. They sent an email a week or so later informing me that I could now place an order, which is what I did. Now they were telling me differently. What kind of organisation is it? Meanwhile the mortar was getting harder. The young girl on the phone said she would make further inquiries and call me again. I carried on with my work. I was mixing the mortar by hand, a bucket at a time to make it more manageable. The work took three buckets to complete. Just after I had mixed the second load the girl called back and told me that she had spoken with her manager and they have agreed to deliver the lamp-post on either the following Monday or Tuesday. I thanked her for resolving the problem and continued with my work but I was thinking from where did this lamp-post suddenly appear when I had been told none were available yet? I was part-way through using the second bucket of mortar when the phone rang again. This time it was someone asking if I could install several floodlights where none existed around their house. I rejected the offer because of the amount of work involved and resumed my work. I had to mix one more bucket of mortar and had just done so when the phone rang once more. This time it was an old lady living a few hundred metres away who was having difficult in getting someone to repair problems with her kitchen lights. I told her I would call later and after lunch because at that moment I was about to use the mortar I had just mixed. I was wasting my time telling her that for she just kept on talking and I could stop her! Eventually I got a word in to remind her that the mortar was getting harder by the minute. The penny must have dropped and she apologised  for inconveniencing me. I would call there at one-thirty as arranged. I finished that work and then went indoors for a length of high-grade pvc sheet to place beneath the garden compost bin now sited on the Plot and a pair of scissors to cut it. I doubled the sheet then placed the bin on it and then cut the sheet around it. I placed the bin where it should go then by the wheelbarrow transferred the contents of the yellow bag which I had temporarily removed from the bin a couple of weeks earlier. It took five trips with the wheelbarrow but I couldn’t get the barrow close enough to the bin to refill it directly. I had to use a large bucket to transfer it from the barrow to the bin. Fortunately the bucket holds half the capacity of the wheelbarrow so the transfer didn’t take long. Time to clear up and have lunch.industrial-bags

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I got to the old lady’s apartment and discovered that she had eight large recessed down-lights in the kitchen, three of which were faulty. They were fitted with 100 watt screw-in lamps which are notorious for burning the holders and occasionally the wiring too. One old lamp had been broken off in an attempt to remove it and I had to remove the whole fitting from the ceiling before I could repair it. I explained why these fitting were causing the problems she’d had with them. Basically they get too hot! I explained the advantages in replacing the lamps with LED versions but after I had told her how much they would cost (£65 -£90 just for the lamps themselves) if she changed all eight she changed her mind and asked if I could replace one so that she could ‘test’ it. She would then get her son to replace the others a few at a time. Not a problem. She hadn’t the funds to pay me there and then for my time and it bothered her but I told her not to worry and that I would return on Thursday with a lamp. I had phoned my supplier to see if they had the lamps in stock and it appeared they had but three left and were waiting a delivery of more. I drove there but it seems they couldn’t locate the lamps where their computer indicated they  would be and after ten minutes they and I gave up. I walked the short distance to the other electrical supplier who had no problems finding one and at a lower price! I returned to my usual supplier as they had asked and I told them I bought one and that it cost £3 less at £8.40. I drove home. The following day I would be house-bound until the engineer who was to repair the fridge/freezer had called. It was a return visit because the original repair, such as it was, a re-fixed loose sensor, hadn’t worked!

Shirley Anne

Pos and neg…..

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……..or positive and negative. Tuesday was back to work day but I had no work to return to. It was the week to have my prescription re-ordered, two weeks before I would run out of medications. In the past I had to submit the prescription request slip at the doctor’s surgery and then collect it when it was authorised. Then it became possible for the chemist (druggist) to collect it on my behalf and all I then had to do was wait a few days before collecting the medication. A few weeks ago I registered to apply for my repeat prescriptions over the Internet using the Patient Access website. However, the medication I need has to be listed on the Internet request list pertaining to myself. When I first attempted to re-order my medications I was unable to because the surgery hadn’t placed the item’s description on the list. I had to make arrangements over the phone. I was informed that the next time I would have no problems ordering over the Internet. Well guess what? They still hadn’t put it on the list but this time I paid the surgery a visit and hopefully this time they will get it sorted. That was the negative side of the day. Soon after my return home I received a call from the electrical store where E and I had purchased two televisions for the bedrooms last week. The televisions were ready for collection. They had to be ordered from their main warehouse. So E and I drove to the store and collected them. Now you would think that these days an aerial lead would be included in the package but no, I had to buy two leads costing me another £18. We soon had them in place and working..Bedroom tv 1

Bedroom tv 2By now it was nearly time for lunch and just afterward I received a call requesting my electrical services for this coming Monday morning and yet another call informing me that the artificial turf would be getting delivered tomorrow, that was Wednesday last as you read this. Now the weather was forecast to be dry and sunny so we may get the opportunity for it to be laid. I didn’t lounge about in the afternoon, there was work to be done. I cleared out a blocked grid, watered the garden, removed some furniture from the large greenhouse putting two chairs in the house cellar and one of the two benches out in the garden in front of the patio, removed two of the four bicycles into a room in the cellar (we have five more bicycles in another room!), rolled up the old carpet we had removed from the small bedroom a couple of weeks ago ready for collection by the council on Thursday and created more space in the garage for the temporary storage of (the expected delivery of) the artificial turf on Wednesday, filled one of the green garden waste bins with a large amount of leaves I had swept up from around the greenhouse (they were holly leaves which seem to drop off at odd times in the year) and lots of other mundane but necessary tasks in and around the garden. Those were the positive things in the day. Meanwhile E had other duties involving driving her mom to a doctor’s appointment and shopping.

Shirley Anne

You’ve got to be joking

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English: No Swimming Allowed They've got to be...

No Swimming Allowed They’ve got to be joking! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been quite busy this week with my small electrical jobs. They may be small compared to what I used to do but the remuneration makes them worthwhile doing. Of course now that I am in my seventy-first year on this planet I don’t wish to take on board more involved work even though I know I am still able. There is no need to wear myself out besides which I have plenty of things to do at home! I had two jobs to do on Wednesday morning, that is at different houses and I managed to do everything before lunch. At the second house I was asked to go next door and speak with the lady there about a job she would like me to do after the Easter break. In fact it was she who had referred me to her neighbour for whom I had just finished working. I often get recommended for work which is a good thing. I must be doing something right, I was on my way home when I got a call from a lady for whom I had worked earlier in the year. She had a burned-out power outlet and wanted it checking. It was a simple matter to replace it and made the detour. Soon I was back on the road homeward. It was by now approaching one-thirty but I didn’t need to cook a meal, I had prepared the meal the day before and it only needed heating up. After lunch I decided to do some more baking and made another Rich Fruit Cake and popped it in the oven. It would take around four and a half hours before it was done, something like eight in the evening! I had just finished cleaning the kitchen and E asked if I was going to do some painting in the bedroom. She had painted the radiator whilst I was out during the morning and had touched-up some of the gloss paint where it was needed on the woodwork she had painted a couple of weeks ago. ‘You must be joking’, I said in reply to her question, ‘I think I have done enough for one day don’t you agree’? I sometimes get the feeling she thinks I am a robot and often tell her that I am glad she isn’t my taskmaster. She would certainly make a good one! I would have more than enough time over the Easter break to do what little painting there was left to do.

Shirley Anne