Category Archives: Life

Ships passing

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English: Passing ships

Passing ships (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the time I had gotten downstairs on Tuesday morning E was disappearing out of the front door. She had told me of her appointment with the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) regarding her business with the DSS (Department of Social Security) but I had forgotten. I grabbed a banana and put on my outdoor clothes to go for a walk. It wasn’t a particularly warm day, in fact it was quite cold in the wind though not as bad is it was a few days earlier. Not knowing which path to take I plodded on toward the seafront and made a snap decision once I was there. I turned left and took the paths through the dunes where I would be sheltered from the wind. I reached the spot where I could turn to my right and continue over the dunes to the beach. Once there I was exposed to the cold wind but it was pleasant and refreshing despite that. For the first time in a while I was on the beach when the tide was actually coming in. It was almost at high tide, almost reaching the dunes themselves and I was thrilled about that. One of my favourite things in life is to be on the beach at high tide and I am fortunate to be living on the coast to enjoy it. On the downside, living where I am isn’t the best place for I have to walk quite a way through the dunes to reach the beach else walk across a muddy path nearer to home to reach it directly. Anyway either way is alright and I am still happy. I was going to walk further along the beach to the small town where we used to live, Freshfield which is the north part of Formby but had I done so it would have doubled my walking distance. I wasn’t ready for a fourteen mile walk so I phoned E to see if she could collect me if I decided to walk it. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to so I simply returned home on foot from Ainsdale where I had ended up. Walking to Ainsdale and back is around a seven-mile walk. When I arrived home E had only just returned too but she had another appointment to keep immediately after lunch. This time she had to visit the hospital for therapy on her shoulder. So she went out again and I remained at home. Sometimes it’s like that at home, we pass like ships in the night hardly seeing each other.

 

Shirley Anne

 

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Hanging on

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Throughout our lives we may find ourselves caught up in situations outside our control. Though we may struggle to see a way out or a solution to problems we are facing we often cling on to a hope that things will change for the better. We hang on for as long as we are able or until the situation is resolved. We may not be happy with the result but we’ve done our best. How often have we heard others lending their support in encouragement by saying hang on in there? The length of time we are able to resist giving in and throwing in the towel depends on our inner strength, our faith and our determination. Sometimes we are thrown off-course by things out of our control and simply have to accept it. Earlier in the year I noticed our apple trees did not produce the fruit we had expected, in fact one tree had no fruit whilst the other had produced only four apples…

A later photograph of the same tree…..

And later still this picture taken on 25 November…….

Still hanging on through thick and thin. At the time I wrote this post and took the picture I wanted to pluck them from the tree before they fell of their own accord or were blown off in a high wind but E insisted I leave them until December just to see if they would remain hanging on. Life is like that. Sometimes we just don’t know if we should remain hanging on or give in to the pressure to let go. As a Christian I am encouraged to hang on in faith in order to overcome those things which can threaten to bring me down or to simply wait for answered prayer. We should all be encouraged to hang on in there just like the four little apples on my tree.

Shirley Anne

 

I would be dead

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Decisions (album)

Decisions (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The more I look at my life the more I am convinced things happened as they were meant to. Apart from the fact I believe my life to have already been ‘planned’ in the eyes of God I really do believe I made the right choices leading up to the present. We often don’t think about the consequences of the decisions we make during our lives and how they will affect us in later life. It is true however that we make decisions based upon our preferences and our desires hoping that the outcome will benefit us to that end. We work hard with an aim in mind, a new car, a house, a holiday and everything else we wish to have. E and I live in a large house which according to the number of rooms qualifies it as potentially having seven bedrooms. On the first floor there are four bedrooms but on the floor above there are a further three rooms which although at the moment are not being used as bedrooms could nevertheless be so. Two of them are presently filled with our sons furniture and the third was converted to a craft workshop for E who uses it daily. The ground floor has three lounges though the largest is also filled at this time with our eldest son’s furniture. Furthermore there are rooms in the cellar (basement) which are all in use. I mention these things not to impress but only to show that E and myself have basically inherited the place that was first used to accommodate many of our family members. They all moved on leaving us alone with the house. It wasn’t gifted to us, no, we have legitimately owned it from the start though we only purchased it to accommodate more than just ourselves. We could have purchased a much smaller property instead. At the time and throughout the following years the house became more and more our home. We have spent time and money to make it the way it is for our own enjoyment and despite many folk suggesting that we could sell it and downsize we have resisted. In some ways living here isn’t beneficial, it costs a lot more for the privilege but because it is our home we are not concerned about the cost.

How to Be Dead

How to Be Dead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I suppose dear reader you’ll be wondering what all this is leading to and what it has to do with the title of the post? In April I formally retired from my electrical business, initially as a trial to see if  I wanted to make it permanent. You see, for all my working life I have never had a moment where I had nothing to do. My time was always filled with work of one sort or another and it was exactly how I liked it to be. I like work whether it is for gain or for personal pleasure, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I have something to do in my life as and when I feel I want it but not all of the time, I do like recreational activities too, I am not a ‘workaholic’. I was talking with E a few days ago about living in such a large house and because of that could always find something to do. I told her I was glad we never sold the place to move into an apartment for instance or at least a smaller property because if we had I should probably be dead by now! I explained that being an active person as I am I would find life after retirement a struggle if there was nothing to do. The large house and gardens give me no opportunity to be bored! Thinking back to the years when we decided to purchase the house I don’t think I ever thought about how the maintenance of it and the development of it would be of such a benefit in my old age!

Shirley Anne

October 11

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The day is a special one for me as it marks the anniversary of E’s birth. Though I may not observe such days generally speaking, I never forget what they mean in my life.  I took the opportunity to take E out to lunch though not specifically to mark the day I thought she would appreciate it anyway. I treat her to lunch quite often during the year so lunches have no special significance other than to enjoy each other’s company in some convivial place other than home. It is nice to go out for lunches now and again. I asked her how it felt to be now the age she is (I’m not revealing that) and she replied just the same as it was yesterday! How true a statement was that! Marking an annual date as something special is rather ridiculous when you think about it. What is the point? It is just another day. We could mark each day equally as such, a special day and this we should be doing anyway. We none of us know how many days we have on this planet so we should be enjoying every one of them in whichever way we feel is right. In January next year, the 27 th to be precise, I will have known E for 45 years. I loved her the first time I saw her and that hasn’t changed even though many other things have since. It is all about love.

Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love

Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is all about love for without love we have nothing. It isn’t an option, it is a command we should obey. Didn’t Jesus say, ‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’ (John 13:34)? Without love there is friction, discontent, discord and a host of other things which bring us down. Love lifts us up, makes us feel good not only about life in general but in ourselves. With love in our hearts we are at peace with ourselves and with the world. I wish I could take everyone out to lunch but that is obviously impossible. I can however demonstrate love in everything I do and this is what we all should do. Every day then becomes special to us and hopefully to those we meet too. Yes I remember October 11, 14, November 21 and a host of other ‘special’ days in my life but in reality every day is special.

Shirley Anne

Never ending story

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No not the movie…..life! Do you ever feel you are on a treadmill going nowhere? Yes you do things, you have a routine, you change your routine as often as you feel but nothing really changes does it? Recently retired and when working having purpose really meant nothing either, it simply meant I had something to occupy my time. I still have things to occupy my time, it is simply a different routine. We set goals in life or just live for the moment or maybe we do both but in the end everything we do eventually leads us to the next for we are never satisfied. It is like food for our souls, it is our thoughts which spurs us on, they are what keep us moving forward and ever seeking something that in fact we seldom find if we are truthful. Life can be very satisfying and rewarding but none of it really lasts. We aim to satisfy our physical needs first and foremost and neglect our spiritual needs though the two are inseparable, at least whilst we live. We are driven by what we think but we can change what we think. If we are comfortable with the changes we continue in them or we can make an attempt to do so but in the end if we are not happy we revert. No matter what we do in life, what choices we make along the way can we really say that we’ve been happy one hundred percent of the time? Our thoughts might tell us otherwise and in reality we know we are never fully happy, never fully satisfied with our lot. So our lives are a never-ending struggle with ourselves and our situations. Some resign themselves to never achieving their hopes and dreams and others think they’ve hit the jackpot when they think they have. It is all an illusion, a passing fancy and we have to make the most of it until we die. How often have you heard the expression ‘Life is for living’? Did it have an effect on your choices thereafter? We can but do nothing else but live out our lives as best we can and be happy and contented. In this world there is nothing else.

Story of My Life (album)

Story of My Life (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Ecclesiastes 1

Everything is meaningless

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king of Jerusalem:

‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’
    says the Teacher.
‘Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.’

What do people gain from all their labours
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains for ever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    ‘Look! This is something new’?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

It is a never-ending story……..until we die

Shirley Anne

The small things

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I had the afternoon to do something I don’t usually do on Saturday or any day for that matter, I sat and watched television. It was the last day of September, cool with occasional rain, not an ideal day for being outdoors without purpose. There is work to do outdoors at home but on this day I just wanted to rest. I had been for a walk in the morning while E spent a couple of hours at the Southport Theatre and Conference Centre (Floral Hall) with a friend to see an exhibition being held there for the day.

English: Floral Hall and Southport Theatre Complex

Floral Hall and Southport Theatre Complex looking south along The Promenade(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had actually walked past the venue on my way along the route I had chosen on the day but earlier and before it had opened. I was on my way northward along The Promenade and planned to return along the beach, well part-way along the beach. On the northern part of the sea front, that is north of the Pier, there isn’t really a beach at all, it is more a thin strip of sand between the sea wall and the mud and Marram grass stretching out to sea. In the Summer when it is dry it isn’t too bad but at other times it is almost impossible to walk on. South of the Pier is all sand but only for a short distance before there is more mud and grass. I wrote about this in a recent post. It is the reason I prefer to walk south from my access point to the shore, it is practically all sand. Anyway on my walks on the beach I have been collecting some pebbles and stones for use in the garden, only small amounts each time but they soon mount up. My walks are more for the pleasure of the exercise and surroundings, not for the collection of pebbles! As I reached the point where I wanted to get onto the beach I saw a police car reversed down the sloping concrete vehicle access path there. The path has not been used for years and sand now covered in grass has built up at the bottom. As I approached to pass by the driver opened his window as if to ask me if I wanted something. I told him I was just passing to get on to the beach. I asked if he was having his tea break and he replied that he was. Maybe he was. There are no places in the immediate area where it is safe to park or even allowed so I could see he had no choice but to park there whether he was having his break or not. I collected some pebbles but returned to the roadside path rather than slip and slide over the mud a short distance away. I rejoined the sandy part of the beach later. I like my beach walks, they give me a sense of freedom, an escape from the realities of life. Even so, I was looking forward to the week ahead and the prospect of doing things in the garden if the weather permitted. The new garage door installation had been set back to happen on Friday instead of the previously scheduled Thursday but it didn’t matter, nothing really does when you have been set free from the clock does it?

Shirley Anne

Not so bad really

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More Than I Asked For

More Than I Asked For (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When asked by someone how we are most of the time we answer as above even if it isn’t true. Many ask but don’t really expect us to say anything different and if we do then the subject is swiftly changed. There is an element of insincerity in being asked how we are for if we want to reply honestly and truthfully we often don’t get the chance. Asking about our well-being has become more of a way of merely saying hello. How many folk do you know who actually want to know the details of your struggles in life? How many will actually take time out to listen? I am often asked how I am doing but can only answer that it isn’t so bad, and really, it isn’t. We might say that things could be better but could they really be better or are we simply wishing for things that in fact we already have? Are not all the best things in life free? We do well if we’ve food at our table, clothes upon our backs and a roof over our heads do we not? Anything over and above these basics is a bonus, like enjoying good health for instance. Not all of us can say we are completely free of one ailment or another, except perhaps when we are young. No-one is really exempt from falling ill or becoming tired and exhausted. Even the most healthy can fall sick sometimes. All we can do is take preventative measures and be cautious in what we do or what we eat and drink. Life can always be better I suppose, it all depends upon our attitude and how much we can remain contented with our lot. Striving after gain is stressful  and can lead to ill-health. I remember the story, perhaps you do too, of an older guy who went fishing one day and sat at the side of a lake for hours with only a catch of one or two fish. Along came a well-dressed man who cheerfully said hello and broke into conversation with him. ‘Listen’ he said, ‘You could catch a lot more fish if you’d a mind to do so for there are plenty here in this lake. Just think, you could sell off what you don’t want and make a tidy profit. If you really had ambition you could save for a fishing boat and catch even more fish. You could then retire with all the cash you’d make and do whatever you wanted’. The fisherman thought for a minute then replied, ‘What do you think I’m doing now’? You see we often don’t see what we’ve already got right beneath our noses………It’s not so bad really.

Shirley Anne

Well spent

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My van will be ten years on the road come Spring, March to be precise and during that period so far it has covered a mere thirty thousand and a couple of hundred miles only. Not a lot of mileage and considering the engine is run on diesel, a mere drop in the ocean. That means little wear and tear and of course little expenditure too. Nevertheless despite the low mileage the engine has been started many, many times which of course has been a strain on the battery. The original battery, as I write this on Monday, is still under the bonnet but I made the decision to have it replaced and by Tuesday a new one will have been installed. I had the old one checked beforehand of course and a replacement was just about required. Although I could have managed with the old battery for a while longer I thought it prudent to have it replaced just in case it failed at an inopportune time. Money well spent I think. On Wednesday this week (27th) another measurement will be taken in the garage to ensure our alterations will be adequate for the new door installation. There is no reason why it should not as we have followed the instructions regarding the installers requirements. The door will be installed on Thursday the following week and I am to pay the balance on the day. However, the fitters are to be paid separately preferably by cash. With that in mind and whilst I was out arranging for the battery replacement I withdrew the remainder of the cash which I couldn’t withdraw the first time in readiness. The fee will be £415 requiring two withdrawals from an ATM on separate days because of the present £300 limit here in the UK. All routine stuff as we all know. That expenditure will be money well spent too. I asked E if she would like to dine out for we hadn’t done that for a time but she had to spend the late morning and early afternoon out with her mom. On my return home she still hadn’t left the house but did so soon afterward. It was one-fifteen when she returned and we went out to lunch. We drove to a place located on the other side of the next town, somewhere we have visited many times. This time however service was slow even though there were few diners in there. Disappointed we left and went to another establishment not far down the road, another place we have visited many times before. This time the service was prompt. Well we thoroughly enjoyed the time spent there laughing and joking with the staff as well as ourselves. Time well spent cheering up other people and bolstering our own relationship too. We didn’t stay for coffee though as we might have done but drove homeward passing Dobbies (garden centre) on the way where we spent a little time drinking coffee. The coffee was free, that is each month I am entitled to two free drinks of coffee or tea because I have membership there. That was nice too and again our time had been well spent.

Shirley Anne

Nothing in stone

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Funny how sometimes our plans change but the changes are not always bad. I was determined to go for a walk on Wednesday so I arose early to do it. Yes, nothing got in the way though they could have. Before I set off I went next door to return a gift my neighbour had given me, though I had told her not to, for doing a small job for her the previous day. It might appear to some that by doing that I was wrong and should have accepted the gift graciously but as with everything there was a reason. First of all I have done many small jobs for her but always refuse the offer of payment or a thank-you gift and she has understood that I do things because it is right to do so and wrong to do it expecting a reward. My reward is in Heaven. Each time though she makes an offer. Secondly most of the things I do for her really don’t take much time and I am happy to do them. Anyway the gifts she offered I would never buy and use in any case. Finally I think she got the message that I do things for her because that’s what neighbours should be doing for each other. I went for my walk and returned home around eleven-thirty. E made me a drink of coffee and I asked her if she would like to dine out for a change. She never refuses if there is nothing she has already planned. I explained that I also wanted to take the opportunity to wear my new full-length summer dress for the first time as the afternoon promised to be warm and sunny. Any ideas of beginning the construction of the new wooden gate were subsequently consigned to the shelf for another day! We drove to a nice restaurant some twelve miles away, one we have visited before and is it was two o’clock by the time we arrived there we were easily seated. We chatted with the waitress during our meal, a pleasant young woman who made the experience that much better. Finally it was time to return home but at the last minute we made a detour and went to our local pub for a drink which we enjoyed in the seating area outside. We didn’t stay long for E wished to be at home sitting on the patio with a coffee. So I made the coffee and we sat outside for an hour before returning indoors for the evening. What I had originally planned for the day I was glad I changed my mind by not doing. There was always tomorrow available to do them.

Shirley Anne

Whirrrrrrr.

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Although it turned out to be a bright and sunny afternoon Friday began dull, overcast and windy and that wind lasted throughout the day. For a short time I sat on the patio after lunch where I could be out of the wind or feel less of it depending where I sat. It got brighter the longer I was out there until the sky became totally cloudless. However, the wind spoiled it for me and I gave up to go indoors after an hour. I had gotten up rather late and had missed breakfast once again but as I said in an earlier post I am not tied to the clock. I decided to go for a short walk and leave off eating until lunchtime, whenever that would be. I was fortunate to be out of the main thrust of the wind due to the route I had chosen, walking through the back streets. On my return home I could hear the sound of a chainsaw being used and realised my neighbour had two guys cutting down the ten Leylandii trees in her back garden. It appears she wasn’t having them completely removed despite her son’s advice and indeed our own. It is a costly exercise having to get them pruned back every year unless you can do it yourself. Therein lies the problem, she couldn’t do it as she is 75 years old and suffers with emphysema and her son, though having done it since his father died is reluctant. He isn’t the type of guy who is happy doing manual work shall we say? No wonder he told his mother he would get rid of them when she has departed. The picture shows the same variety of tree. Now imagine six of them close together and filling the picture. So close that their branches are intertwined and the overall diameter of the cluster to be around three metres and standing around five metres. Now imagine another cluster of four right next to them. Her garden isn’t large, in fact it is quite small and these trees have practically taken over one side of it. Until fairly recently there were two other trees of the same variety in the same small garden with a couple more in her front garden.Makes me wonder why then the trees, though now less than half their original height haven’t been removed altogether. She says she wants her privacy but in fact the rear of the house is not overlooked because there are no buildings close by. Only someone in a neighbour’s garden would see the rear of her house and only then the upper windows. She could replace the trees with others which are not so aggressive in their growing and which are easy to maintain. So for the best part of the day we had the whirring of chain saws and the machine they use for chopping up the removed branches on one side of the house and the sound of a grinding machine being used two doors away on the other side of the house. Happy days but I’ll be glad when all the work is finished and oh yes, the wind stops blowing!

Shirley Anne

Bonnie face

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English: Coldplay performing "God Put a S...

Coldplay performing “God Put a Smile upon Your Face” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was out walking a few days ago and as is my want sometimes I took to the back streets and walked into town. I was passing through though and not going there to buy anything. Like ‘Dutch’ in ‘Predator’ who said after being shot and bleeding, ‘I ain’t got time to bleed’, well I ain’t got time for shopping! Actually I do sometimes but not this time. I like to chat with people I meet on my walkabout and it is usually me who breaks the ice. When once I used to be very much the introvert the opposite is now more who I am. There are a few reasons for that change. The first change of attitude was instigated by myself when I took the bull by the horns as it were and forced myself into having a social life in my mid-twenties. Yes I have to admit to being very anti-social before then. All this can be found in my ‘pages’ above. This action led to my having relationships which before had been foreign to me. The second influence to my becoming more extroverted happened in my time at church. I began attending a church long before I became a Christian it has to be said and later after becoming a Christian I became more involved with church life. I began to teach myself to play guitar and that led me to join the band , often leading the congregation in worship. Such confidence had been unheard of in my early years. I am what you might call a gregarious person who makes the attempt to get along with anyone I meet. It is often not reciprocated though for some reason. Perhaps the other person is finding it hard to socialise too. I am usually found with a smile on my face most of the time, a smile is a great tool to have in one’s armoury but it cannot be worn with a frown. So there I was walking the back streets and along the way I heard two elderly women talking rather loudly for me to have heard what they were saying from where I was. I heard one say to the other ‘Well I am 84….’ as they both turned to look at who was passing by. I immediately gave them a big smile and said ‘Well I am 71’ and they started to laugh. ‘You don’t look it’ said the 84 year-old, you’ve got quite a bonnie face. Well I’ve ben called many things but not a bonnie face. I continued to smile as I walked away from them. The 84 year-old shouted, ‘Bye, bonnie face, see you again soon’. It kind of made my day. I wished all people were as friendly but we all know that is just not the case.

Shirley Anne

Offspring

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All I Want (The Offspring song)

All I Want (The Offspring song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was younger it never occurred to me that I would find a partner and raise children sometime in my life, in fact I resisted the idea so much I didn’t get married until I was almost twenty-nine years old. Anyone who has read my story (above) will know why. For whatever reason my life’s desires were held in abeyance and I ended up going down a different path. The result was marriage and children, the very things I didn’t think would happen to me. I can say with hindsight that I should have taken the other route rather than the one I did. However, I did eventually fulfill my desire to follow that route. Of course it goes without saying that I love my children and have done everything possible for them to be happy. They are now both adults with their own lives to lead. I have two sons, one, the elder, is married with a daughter and the other remains single. The younger son sometimes visits E and I and stops over. Last week he stopped over for the whole week! Now as much as I love him I am happy when he returns to his own home. The elder son, though living only three miles away we hardly see. The younger son lives forty miles or more distant. I don’t think I could bear living with them for too long now they are grown. They have their own idiosyncrasies and (bad?) habits which conflict with mine and they would become an irritation. Funny how when they were growing I wanted to spend more time with them! Ah but they were different then and so was I. Would I have chosen to have children had I really thought about it all those years ago? I guess not but I have a feeling my life turned out the way it was supposed to do. I cannot say that my life would have been better had I made different decisions when young but then who could? It could have turned out a lot worse!

Shirley Anne

Isn’t it just?

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I’m smiling in response to life. Isn’t it just the way that things which are supposed to happen often don’t and conversely things which ought not to have happened do? I have been enjoying my ‘freedom’ from work, that is my electrical work, since I pulled my advert from the local newspaper. Work is work however and I haven’t been idle though the work I have been doing is just different. I haven’t as yet fully committed myself to full retirement and to that end I am biding my time on making a decision. I have done a couple of electrical jobs however but they have been infrequent. I suppose it is better that way as I can ease myself into a different way of life rather than simply switching off entirely from what has been my routine for many years. Today, Friday (16th) as I write this, was supposed to be a warm and pleasant day though not sunny. It turned out completely different in that it was cool and breezy! Well they can’t get it right every time I suppose. It did get warmer later in the day but too late for any ideas of relaxing in the garden. Yesterday, though windy was sunny and I took the opportunity to get the lawn mowed once more. My but it grows quickly at this time of year! E had gone to the hospital with her mom as her mom had an appointment and on her return home immediately saw the lawn had been cut though she had jokingly accused me of sitting around doing nothing. I told her I had taken it to within an inch of its life by cutting it so short. I had set it to the minimum height and have to admit it was hard-going. In fact, where I would only normally empty out the box of cuttings two or perhaps three times this time I had to empty it out about ten times! Hopefully it wouldn’t need cutting again for two weeks. So a day in the garden for both of us on Friday just didn’t happen. The weekend weather was set to change and be hotter and sunnier. I could take advantage of that but E could not as she would be spending her time away from home though not to relax in the sunshine and I too would be spending at least some of the time working. Isn’t it just the way?

Shirley Anne

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