Category Archives: Lifestyle

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

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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

Active Sundays

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Having not been for a walk for a couple of days I was determined to get out on Sunday morning (10th) but it was slightly later than I would have preferred. That was due to a good night’s sleep because of the work I have been doing lately. Some of those things I have written about in my posts. It was a dry and reasonably warm morning as I set off. I had walked about a half-mile when I saw an acquaintance of mine climbing down a ladder at the house where his friend, another acquaintance lives in an annex. They were involved in cleaning out a gully on the roof of the tall building. After a quick few words I carried on with my walk. I was headed for the coastal road, that part which lies behind the sand dunes where there is a foot and cycle path. I was met by a couple of cyclists and a couple of people out for a run. When I reached the open-to-the-sea section of the road I found many people out walking their dogs, many more cyclists some of whom were obviously on an organised cycle run, more people out running and of course those out for a walk like myself. As I reached the sea front there were people using the street exercise equipment, workers clearing away the built-up sand (a job for life is that one!) and more cyclists, runners and walkers. I noticed that the seafront car park was filled with vehicles and I thought that odd as it wasn’t particularly a fine morning for a trip to the seaside to sit on the beach. However I realised why they were there as I reached the lakeside area. The coastal road runs between the sea and a lake at that point though the lake itself is sheltered from the sea by some low-level sand dunes. The car park sits on the seaward side of the same dunes. There was a sailing event being held on the lake. I carried on my walk and finally reached beyond the top end of the lake at which point I turned back in the direction toward home. Now I was on the Promenade which lies on the opposite side of the lake on the edge of the town centre. There were many small yachts each with two people on board taking part in one of the events. One unfortunately had the misfortune of ending up on its side with the mast and sail in the water. After a minute or two the sailors managed to right it though from what I could see they appeared to have taken on board too much water. Bail, bail, bail was the order of the day I suppose. A couple of rescue craft were on standby in case help was needed. I carried on with my walk and reached the park where a couple of weeks earlier was staged the annual Southport  Flower Show.Now there was a mini-run taking place in the park organised by the local authority in aid of or to encourage personal activity. As I reached the top end of Rotten Row there were children and parents enjoying the park amenities and further along many folk were sailing their model boats on the dedicated small lake there. Everyone it seemed was out to enjoy themselves on this late summer Sunday morning.

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

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

A rest of sorts

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English: A Dentist and her Dental assistant

A Dentist and her Dental assistant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although I had taken a two-week sabbatical from my electrical work I did get a couple of jobs which I took on. It was now Wednesday, the day my advert would re-appear in the mid-week print of my local newspaper so I expected the calls to start coming in and I wasn’t let down. Wednesday was a cold, dry and sunny day, a day to be outside working in the garden but I had a dental appointment just before noon and had no intentions of doing any work either in the morning or at any time in the day. I was too tired, even a little too tired to be driving to the dentists surgery but I had to. I was having some cosmetic work done and thought the dentist would have done it all on the one visit as he had said he would but he didn’t, I had to arrange another appointment on 24th of the month to have the rest done. I paid the price for the two sessions and left. It was now almost twelve-thirty and I decided to eat out. I wasn’t dressed for work, I was smartly dressed so took the opportunity to treat myself to a meal in pleasant surroundings for a change. I didn’t much fancy driving home and cooking a meal there anyway. To be honest I wasn’t feeling at my best, still tired and wanting simply to rest. I dined alone, something I hadn’t done for quite some time and perhaps I should do more often. At the moment E and I are not on speaking terms anyway so dining alone it would have to be anyhow. The problem I have is deciding where to dine for there are so many to choose from. I went to a place about two miles from home where E and I sometimes go for the food and service there are excellent. It isn’t expensive either. Whilst I was at the surgery I received a couple of requests for my electrical services and made arrangements to do the work later. I was happy to get the work for my disposable cash reserve was by now very low, especially after paying the dentist and dining out. I wanted to purchase some plants for the flowerbed I have been working on and needed the extra cash to do that. I never break into my savings to pay for my domestic projects though when I retire any work I might do and need cash for will have to come out of what’s left at the end of the month from my pensions. After my meal I drove home and rested for the rest of the day. I would be out at work the following morning. Hopefully I would be fully rested by then.

Shirley Anne

Power to do

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Every machine requires some form of continuously applied energy in order for it to keep operating. Once that energy is depleted the machine stops. If subsequently the machine is left idle for too long it may not restart so easily, some machines will seize up if left too long. I was thinking about this as I took a mid-morning walk on Sunday. The weather was fine and sunny though the biting north wind let me know it was still winter nevertheless. As I set out from home I usually walk in a northerly direction most of the time so that wind was in my face. The only consolation was the fact that it wasn’t a strong wind. There were few people about even though it was after nine-thirty but I guess many folk would be taking it easy indoors. As I approached the town centre there were more people out in the streets and some were in the bars having breakfast. I saw nobody taking any form of useful exercise, those walking about were doing so at a snail’s pace but there was a cyclist or two in racing garb doing some serious peddling. I was walking toward the beach front where the wind was more noticeable but as by now

Mature woman power walking in residential environs

Mature woman power walking in residential environs

I was walking in a southerly direction it was at my back. By this time I was feeling quite warm for I had been putting some effort into my stride, power walking if you like. A young girl passed me by as she jogged in the same direction but by the time she had reached the far end of the sea front where pedestrians have either to cross the road and continue inland or take to the beach itself I was only a hundred metres or so behind her. Considering the distance we had both travelled and the fact I was probably fifty years her senior, I think I did remarkably well. Had I been running I suppose I might have even kept pace with her for a short time at least. It has been years since I did any outdoor running though I do cover some miles on my treadmill occasionally. At seventy years of age I am of the opinion that exercise is of great benefit but too much is probably not good. As I ‘power walked’ along the sea front a middle-aged man was running in the opposite direction and as he passed I could see the pained look on his face. It was as though he was enduring his exercise rather than enjoying it. Now I know that running is hard work but I also know that it is a pleasurable thing to do. I really enjoyed every minute of it whether it be cold, wet and windy or nice and sunny. Perhaps this guy’s pained expression was his way of letting us know that he was really enjoying his run. One great thing about taking exercise is that I don’t have to watch the calories so much, exercise burns them off. I therefore eat well so that my machine will keep on running and not seize up!

Shirley Anne

Hidden extras

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Downloading updates  1 of 141 do not unplug or turn off your computer’, you’ve all seen this message or something similar on your computer screen for earlier versions of Windows. Since having Windows 7 re-installed on my old laptop all I have been getting when I am about to switch it off are messages like these. One or two is fine but almost every time I have switched off my machine during the last few days I get this message. At first it was 6 updates then 10 then 141, a further 40, then 6 and even more after these. Now I would have expected to see some difference in using the computer but there isn’t one, at least one that I would notice. I decided to check just exactly what had been uploaded and saw a long list of items seemingly all to do with the operating system. I then checked all the installed programs to see if anything had changed there. I discovered that quite a number of programs had been added. Some are games, some are Microsoft’s own programs like Live Messenger, Movie Maker,  Office Powerpoint and others all of which I will probably never use but here’s the rub, one day I might have to, why?

Well in the great scheme of things Microsoft change their software to make it impossible to do certain things that have been traditionally easy to do by taking away functionality. This means extra software has to be purchased in order to do some of the simple tasks that could have been done just using the Windows platform. For instance, on my new laptop which runs Windows 10 Microsoft has made it impossible to open my files and preview them, they have also filed my photographs in a different way by default and are also not easily located. These things seem minor but at the end of the day it appears that we are being manipulated to using software their way. In society this is the thin end of a large wedge. Has it escaped your notice that the way we shop or do anything else is slowly changing? One day there will be no cash and we will have to use smart technology to buy anything, to get directions, to dine out and to do almost everything that we do. We will be under the control of those who produce the technology and the software that controls it. Think I am being paranoid? Perhaps I am but human beings are meant to be free, not slaves to machinery and technology just to live out our lives. I think I would prefer life to remain a little difficult rather than having to rely upon computers, smart phones, contactless debit cards et al.

Shirley Anne

Do I really care?

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A Scenery Like Me

A Scenery Like Me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In conversations with people I am asked why it is I do not go out of my way to fly off somewhere warm and sunny sometimes. Why is it that I actually like the climate where I live? Well it is alright flying off to exotic places and getting burned by the sun, bitten by the local insects or being uncomfortable with my clothes sticking to my body due to excessive perspiration but I have to return to a cooler climate later. It isn’t that I don’t like flying off somewhere or that I don’t wish to visit somewhere new, it is more that I just cannot be bothered with it all. I have done my share of flying to be sure but the novelty has worn off somewhat these last few years. Am I bothered, do I really care? The short answer is no. For some people their annual two weeks in the sunshine is a must and they spend thousands of pounds doing it. It is their prerogative, their money, their time but for me it matters not that I go or don’t go. I don’t feel I am missing out if I choose to stay at home. There are many folk who cannot afford the luxury of flying off to foreign parts but I am sure many would like to. Similarly many would not. Life isn’t about jetting off to sunny climes and in fact whenever I do go places these days, which is not often, I am usually going to meet people rather than to admire the scenery. In my mind one place is no different from another and the more important reason for travel is to meet people. I like scenery but it is soon forgotten. Some of it is pretty but inhospitable, nice to look at but not to live in. What is the point in admiring mountain ranges that are merely backdrops to civilization. No-one wants to live up a mountain and be uncomfortable doing so. Mountains and lakes, rivers and streams can only be seen when we take the time to do it. We live our lives among people and our daily lives and activities are centred around what we are doing, not the scenery surrounding us. How many times do we look at something before we hardly notice it is there and does it really matter what our surroundings to enjoy life? I prefer to surround myself with people rather than scenery which is but transitory.

Shirley Anne

The way I feel just now

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Whenever I am feeling tired this song plays in my mind. Hardly surprising I suppose. I think my lifestyle is catching up on me though, the work I mean. Over the last couple of days I have felt drained and not wanting to do anything that means getting out of an armchair yet at the same time I am ready to work and go out of my way to do it. The strange thing is that when I am working I feel great. It is only when I stop do I feel tired. I am at my best when doing some work. Over the weekend just passed I had done next to nothing, the only exception was the planting of some flowers in the new flowerbed and in fact E did half the work anyway. It must have taken us a whole ten minutes! So on Monday morning I was glad that I had an electrical job to do about a mile from home. Actually it was a few small jobs rather than just the one. They didn’t take me long to do and I spent more time chatting with the lady than what I had spent doing the work. It pretty much took up the morning and I was home for lunch. A few weeks ago whilst sitting on the throne in the new bathroom upstairs I noticed that one of the lights flickered when first turned on and I forgot all about it until last Monday and as I had some spare time I investigated the matter. I found that the cable connections could be tightened and I think that was the problem for the light seems okay now after my tightening them up. That took a whole five minutes too. I was bored. I am waiting for an improvement in the weather so that I can construct the other two flowerbeds on the patio. I am waiting for an opportunity to start refurbishing one of the bedrooms but until my two sons let me know what of their possessions stored in there do they actually want to keep! We need a small skip (dumpster) to dump some of it, beds, chairs, cases, all sorts of rubbish no longer required. So I have things to do but cannot do them and in the meantime…………………….

Shirley Anne

All week off?

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(Plain) Flour and (lite) milk.

(Plain) Flour and (lite) milk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I write this on Thursday afternoon I have had no electrical job offers that I am willing to take on-board since last Thursday and no work therefore since last Friday. Swings and roundabouts of course and I may yet get requests before this week is out. One good thing to come out of this, or maybe two good things would be the nice long break and a chance to really rest from my labours and to know what it would be like to be fully retired. I am not interested in the latter as such and I know that whilst I am fit and healthy I shan’t be idle once I do decide to retire from my formal occupation. For someone who doesn’t much care for travel and going places just because they are there or spending my whole later life roaming about like a hedonistic modern-day gypsy, I need to be doing something else instead. As I like working with my hands I know there will always be something for me to do, as long as I am fit and able. Besides I am more or less done with roaming for the sake of it except for taking the occasional break should I feel the need. Thankfully now the weather is slowly improving, the sun has been shining a lot over the past week raising my mood as it does. Funny how sunshine promotes activity, of any kind. More opportunities for outdoor pursuits or work, whichever of those I choose to do will keep me occupied. I have been offered work though but they have either been not cost-effective to do or they have been too far afield or too large for someone of my age. I tire of life sometimes, not the living of it but the things we all are expected to do living in a modern society. Jumping off the merry-go-round, the treadmill or getting out of the rat race would suit me fine but alas I am stuck with it. Once in the system, always in the system. The less of that system’s effect on my life the better as far as I’m concerned. For the time being I am expecting to get through this week work free…………….maybe. So what else did I do on Thursday afternoon? I cleaned the windows at the front of the house from the outside. They can be cleaned from the inside as they open inwards but reaching the fixed windows above, at least downstairs, are best done from the outside. They needed a hose pipe and a squeegee for they were heavily soiled and the higher ones had to be reached from a ladder. The sun was drying them as fast as I could wet them! Soon I was back indoors and baking some more scones having to use baking powder in the mix having discovered we had no self-raising flour but only plain flour. Adding a little baking powder to a self-raising flour mix makes them rise even more. E had been out shopping with her mum and can always tell when I have been baking in her absence, the house is filled with a lovely aroma.

Shirley Anne

A cheerful soul

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Narcissus 'Cheerfulness'. Real Jardín Botánico...

Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many a time I have been told that I am a cheerful soul despite some of the things that have turned my world upside down, especially in the last twenty years. I could attribute my cheerfulness to many things I suppose but the real reason is the in-dwelling of The Holy Spirit, the joy in the knowledge of my salvation in Jesus Christ. I am given to the disposition of cheerfulness because I know I cannot change things that cannot be changed but strive to change those which can be instead. On Thursday I made it my business to take the day off work despite the requests for my services. I was able to have extra time in bed, something foreign to my normal lifestyle. Being honest I have to confess that I was tired but even so five hours sleep is usually enough for me. I managed to stay asleep for six hours before the urgency to visit the toilet awakened me. However I returned to bed and put in another four hours before I finally stirred again. Whilst going about the business of getting ready for the day I received a call from an American guy asking if I would do some electrical work for him. He rejected the price I gave him for the proposed work as he said the job should be easy. Well of course the job should be easy but they seldom work out that way. No matter, he seemed to be the expert! I assumed he found someone to do it for next to nothing. A few minutes later I received another call from a local girl wanting my electrical services and that job I will be doing (as I write this) on Saturday morning and Monday afternoon (she is moving house). At least the calls came late in the morning so as not to disturb my sleep which is usually the case when I want a lie-in. I had a doctor‘s appointment at two-thirty to discuss the findings of an X-ray I’d had two weeks ago. I knew beforehand what the diagnosis would be and it was confirmed to me. Being as it was Thursday, E would be doing the weekly shop but this week she had to go alone as her mum has been in hospital for a couple of days because of a problem she was having with abdominal pain. It isn’t a life-threatening condition as far as we know and hopefully it isn’t but any medical problems at her age can be a cause for concern. So it is with us all and myself being as I am now sixty-nine I have to expect one problem or another occasionally. Anyway E drove me to the surgery before continuing on to do the shopping. When we are young we think we are invincible but as we grow older we realise that we are not. My newly acquired condition was, according to my doctor, probably brought about by my long life at work. I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis. It is the result of a wearing down of the cartilage between the joints in my fingers, more so in my right hand as I am right-handed. I know there is nothing that can be done to reverse the condition so I accept it. The doctor was surprised at my easy-going reaction. As I say, I can’t change things that cannot be changed so why worry about it? As long as I can play my guitar, and I am still able, I shall be content. I left the surgery soon afterwards and walked the short distance into the village to make a cash deposit at my bank. It is just as well I save when I can as my youngest son had asked me earlier in the day if I could lend him some money to help him with a cash-flow problem he was having. He is to repay me later. Where have I heard that one before? Leaving the bank I walked across the road to the chemists to collect the prescription my doctor had forwarded electronically to them. Paper prescriptions are becoming a thing of the past. I collected the gel the doctor had prescribed to reduce the swelling in my hand and started back home on foot. It was still wet, cold and windy on Thursday, bracing weather as they say. I was prevented from continuing my journey by the level-crossing barriers that had just closed off the road. I spoke with a lady who was visiting our town for the afternoon and she was telling me about the conditions near the Promenade which is exposed to the westerly winds. Well Southport is windy at the best of times as it sits right on the coast facing the Irish Sea. The train left the station, the barriers lifted and I continued home with the wind in my face. I was feeling very happy and contented, a cheerful soul indeed.

Shirley Anne

Different people

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Hohner Super Chromonica, a typical 12-hole chr...

Hohner Super Chromonica, a typical 12-hole chromatic harmonica, sometimes called a mouth organ, which Smith gave to Lennon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I get to meet all kinds of people in my work as an electrician. I meet rich, poor, in between, generous, mean, pleasant and unpleasant people too, everyone is different. A few days ago I visited an Irish woman who wanted me to install a floodlight to light up her rear garden. After much discussion and me trying to explain what was involved together with the approximate cost she eventually agreed for me to do the job this coming Friday. I have done work for her and her husband on a couple of occasions in the past so they know my standard of work. On this visit I spoke only with her as her husband was in bed because of the shift-work he does. Although she is a very pleasant woman I feel she has difficulty in understanding even the basic things about the job I will be doing. I found I had to repeat myself often each time I answered her questions. I like to give a brief explanation of any work that I am doing for anyone so they will be in no doubt as to what is involved. Many people have very little understanding of what is involved when they ask me to do work for them and are often surprised once the work starts. Anyway this lady seemed happy enough with my proposal and I left. I had just returned home on Thursday after working in someone else’s apartment when the house phone rang and it was the Irish woman calling to ask a question regarding the light fitting I had been asked to install. Evidently her neighbour has four similar fittings which, according to him, are all faulty having only been installed for twelve months. I reassured her that the light I will be fitting comes with a three-year guarantee but like anything else we purchase there is no guarantee that it will last as long as we expect. Many things last far longer than we expect too. She is worrying unnecessarily but that is the way she is. I am to go ahead with the work as planned. Now the apartment I had been working in on Thursday morning was occupied by a husband and wife and they were also as pleasant as could be. I was to remove two ceiling lights replacing them with a fan and light combination, one in the lounge and the other in the bedroom. He had become blind a couple of years ago soon after retiring from work but was keen and eager to render any assistance I might need. His wife also wanted to lend a helping hand if needed. I gave him the job of fitting the metal brackets to the fan blades which he found no difficulty in doing. He even held the heavy fan unit in place whilst I made the electrical connections though he didn’t have to. Of course most of the work I could do by myself, even all of it but I didn’t want to disappoint him by refusing his help and her help too! When he wasn’t helping me he played his banjo and his mouth organ (harmonica). He also had a guitar which he was learning to play along with the banjo but the mouth organ he had been playing for forty years. When I had completed the work we sat down with a coffee and chatted, then I asked if I could try his guitar and they were eager for me to do that. I began playing a couple of songs and he joined in with his mouth organ. Soon the three of us were making merry and singing along with the instruments! Sometimes when I meet people like these I get invited to return just for a coffee and a chat and so it was with this couple. I told them I might just do that and bring along my guitar too. It appears that the guy is trying to get some other folk who live in the same apartments to meet up with their instruments and have a jam session on a Friday morning each week. Sounds like a great idea to me. Funny isn’t it that some people are so introverted and others the complete opposite. Everyone is different.

Shirley Anne

Changes to plans

Standard
Cappuccino

Cappuccino (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I slept in on Saturday morning, something of a treat for me for a change but I must have needed the extra sleep. After dressing I placed some laundry in the washing machine before going into the garden to check the drain pipe connection for the main bathroom. I was in two minds about removing the old lead connecting pipe that served the toilet pan but decided against it for that day. I will need a dry day and one that isn’t windy in order to remove it and brick up the resulting hole. Although Saturday was an ideal day to do that work it was already 11.30 by the time I went downstairs. E hadn’t dressed yet so I asked her if she would like to go out and we could grab a cappuccino coffee in town and just chill out for a change. She agreed so we went back upstairs, she to dress and me to change into something more becoming for a trip to town as I had dressed in my everyday working clothes. I hadn’t eaten so was feeling hungry. We took E’s car and she asked where we were going to which I replied to just drive north through the town centre until I indicated otherwise. I had it in mind to forgo the coffee shop in preference to a meal so we drove out to a favourite restaurant. There were few people there and we were able to sit next to the open fireplace they have burning during the colder months. I had the three course option whilst E settled for the main and dessert only. We both had soft drinks, water and lime and soda and afterwards we enjoyed the large cappuccino we had promised ourselves earlier. We drove back homeward along the same route hoping we might park somewhere in town and perhaps spend a little time there followed by another cappuccino in ‘Neros’ but it was impossible to find a suitable parking place close by and as E isn’t as mobile as she was we decided to drive on home. I don’t expect to be getting many calls for work this week after the newspaper not printing my advert but I have work scheduled for Thursday which will be more than enough financially speaking. As it happens the only time I had available this week was Monday and Friday (as yet). Yesterday, Tuesday, I had a dental appointment mid-morning and we dined out in the afternoon. Today we will be attending the funeral of our dear departed neighbour and afterwards we are invited to the gathering in a local pub for refreshments. I guess not having the advert printed for this week (that is last Wednesday to this Wednesday) was a blessing in disguise. I am keen to continue with the bathroom project but I am glad for the chance to take a break too.

Shirley Anne