Bits and bobs

It felt great just lying there in bed on Sunday morning with no pressure upon my shoulders to do anything but rest. I didn’t stay in bed too long however as by then I had slept for four hours and following a very short break had a further five hours of sleep. It’s unheard of in my life to have anything more than four or five hours at the most. All I can say is that I must have needed it. Late on Saturday afternoon our neighbour had asked if I could look at a problem with her kitchen light but even then I could hardly keep my eyes open. I stayed the course until eleven o’clock when by that time I was in bed, or rather upon it as it was still too warm to get under the duvet. I fell asleep straight away. After my breakfast, an hour after my breakfast, I went for a short walk, short as in two miles. It was just enough to satisfy my need for a little exercise though in my heart I wanted to walk much further. It had been sensible of me to keep it short however on my day of rest. I did call in to my neighbour but evidently she was out in her car because the gates were open. I knew her son was at home for his car was there but I didn’t wish to ring the doorbell knowing he was probably asleep after working through the night. He is an inspector in the police force and he works different shift patterns. I only wanted to let my neighbour know I would investigate the faulty light on Monday morning. I went home and had a coffee, sitting on the patio to drink it. In the meantime E was in the bathroom having a shower. She is a strange person to be sure, it was almost noon! When I came back indoors I began listening to some music on YouTube using the tv.

PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 19: A general view of atmosphere at the YouTube “Dear White People” Reception on January 20, 2014 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for YouTube)

E came in with a coffee she had prepared for me not knowing I had just had one. We both sat and played around with YouTube trying to master navigation with the tv remote control. It would have been far easier to turn on the computer and use that instead of the tv. That is the problem with the television control, it isn’t the best thing to use as it takes ages to do anything when using it. We gave up in the end. I had a light lunch and E went out with her mom for a couple of hours to do some shopping. I wouldn’t dream of shopping on a Sunday……isn’t it supposed to be the sabbath? That’s the world of today I have to say with a sad heart.

Shirley Anne


A cool day

I Woke Up
I Woke Up (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I woke up on Thursday to a very cool day with a wind blowing. It had been raining overnight but when I arose around seven o’clock it had but almost stopped. The evening before and on through the night for a few hours it had been very humid and quite warm. I slept on top of the bed linen again because it was so uncomfortably ‘sticky’ and awoke at three-twenty after fours hours of sound sleep. I had the window open of course but by the middle of the night conditions turned a lot cooler. I had to slip beneath the bed sheets for warmth. A little less than a further four hours of sound sleep I was up and about. I have noticed my sleep patterns are gradually getting better and I am getting more sleep than I have been used to in recent years. I was going for a walk after breakfast and was in two minds as to what I should wear because of the coolness of the day. Any sort of coat would keep me too warm so I elected not to wear one. When I finally got outside and on my walk many folk I saw were wearing coats and carrying umbrellas. It wasn’t going to rain, I had faith in the forecast and it didn’t rain throughout the day. I seemed to be under dressed compared to what others were wearing as I wore only a lightweight sleeveless top and a skirt but I was comfortable despite that. I so much prefer it being cool and I am more used to that than I am with hot and humid weather. It stayed cool throughout the morning and only got warmer after lunch. In fact the minimum temperature had been about fifteen degrees Celsius when I went out on the walk and rose to eighteen later in the day. The wind made it feel that bit cooler. E had gone for her hospital appointment to have her hearing checked. Of all the other complaints she suffers with she was diagnosed with Tinnitus on her last visit too. Her mom had an appointment with the physiotherapist at the same time so they went together. E doesn’t like cool or cold weather at all whereas I don’t mind it too much. Whilst on the walk I received a call for my electrical services but I declined the work……it was to change a light bulb in a cooker extract hood! I get offered some silly jobs at times and that isn’t cool. I told her I had retired anyway.

Shirley Anne

Cube and pear shapes

In yesterday’s post I wrote about rooms never always being perfectly shaped, walls never always perfectly aligned with adjacent walls and the problems they cause when hanging wall paper. Far be it from me that I should place any blame on the construction problems I face when doing such work and how it affects the result. No, I always work around such problems and compensate so that I end up with a good job done. I suppose even professional decorators are presented with similar problems and have to work around them. It proves that we don’t live in a perfect world after all. Back to my decorating and I faced another minor problem on Saturday as I returned to do a little more work in the lounge. On Friday evening my next-door neighbour asked if I could cut-back a large shrub she has in her front garden, I had cut a much larger one for her a few months ago and didn’t mind doing it for her but I thought to myself why doesn’t her son do the work as he lives with her! According to her he just isn’t capable, more likely he is too lazy. He is a police sergeant and works some odd hours but never all day long. When his father was alive I never saw him lend a hand when his dad was working around the house. I told my neighbour that I would do the work the following morning as I was far too tired to make the attempt when she called. It meant I would have to put off my own work for an hour or so but I didn’t mind. I had plans to do far more than I actually did on the day however because I was still tired. On Friday I had gotten this far..

but on Saturday I only managed to get this more done even though my neighbour phoned whilst I was eating breakfast and apologised for asking me to do the work. She told me not to do the work because she had now asked her son to do it.

I was relieved for that meant I could concentrate on the wall paper. I managed however to only hang three drops. The first one partly above the door and including the lighting switches and motion detector (house alarm) on the right hand side proved very awkward and difficult and in all took me an hour to do. I had of course disconnected the power supply to the switches and removed the switch plate until the paper was in place and reconnecting it then. I managed to hang it all in one piece. Very difficult considering its shape and the fact that it was in a corner where the two walls are a little out of alignment in one place. I had to leave the sensor in place and work around it. Amazingly all went well but the second drop was difficult to match-up because the walls were slightly askew. Again I managed to do it and I thought I might be able to get as far as the fireplace but I had to stop after the next drop. I was making too many silly mistakes, I was tired and I didn’t want everything to start going pear shaped. It didn’t matter as I had plenty of time left to complete the decoration before other work would commence by others, the installation of a new fire and tiling of the hearth and the installation of the new curtains. I decided I needed the rest so I planned and take a break and leave the work until Monday.

Shirley Anne

Unless you’re a duck!

Duck! Rabbit, Duck!
Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really felt terrible on Friday, weary, tired and a little fed-up with things but it was basically caused by fatigue, overwork, all work and no play if you prefer. I went to bed early on Friday and had some quality sleep. I woke up feeling completely different from the way I had done the previous day. I had determined that the weekend was going to be work-free and indeed on Saturday morning I couldn’t do any work anyway, in the garden that is, as it was raining. It was ceaseless and lasted the whole morning. Great if you are a duck and we often see ducks in our neighbour’s pond but none were about on Saturday. Around one-thirty the sun began to poke through the clouds and the weather improved minute by minute until around two-thirty when it could improve no more! The afternoon became bright and sunny in complete contrast to the morning. I wanted to get out into the garden and relax but it didn’t happen. I took the van to Dobbies and purchased ten more trees and shrubs, I say trees but three are actually tall shrubs I suppose rather than trees. Anyway I returned home and planted them out, one in the Plot area, two in the west wall bed and the remaining seven in various places in the long flowerbed. I was then able to sit on the patio for a short time until I saw another bluebell appearing in The Mound! I had to remove it……them and then I began to see others in different places which I set about removing. What annoyed me more than having again to dig them out was that one group were growing beneath a shrub I had planted in The Mound eighteen months ago. I had to gently remove the shrub to get at them. The sad part is that I know there will be more to remove yet. In one or two places I have not been able to remove the bulbs because they are so deep beneath tree roots. In those cases all I can do is pluck them back to prevent them growing above the soil. The grass needed cutting again but that would have to wait until at least Sunday as it was too wet to cut on Saturday and I’d had enough!

Shirley Anne


Procrastination wasn’t the theme for the day on Wednesday, I had made up my mind and was determined to follow it through. Nothing spectacular in case you were wondering, it was simply me deciding that I wanted the day off…from everything! On Tuesday I had spent the morning doing electrical work and during the afternoon following my lunch I actually nodded off for a short time. By evening I felt really tired but I couldn’t put it down to just the work I had been doing during the day. More likely it was a build-up of my activities over the previous week which made me feel so tired. I resisted the urge to go to bed too early for that would only lead to me waking up early too as a few hours sleep is usually enough for me. Nevertheless I went to bed at nine-thirty and dropped off to sleep around ten-thirty. Apart from a toilet visit at one o’clock I slept through to almost five o’clock giving me about an hour’s extra sleep than normal. I had made up my mind to take Wednesday off from all manner of work and nothing was going to stop me. I was downstairs before seven. After a breakfast of solely fruit I had to wait a couple of hours before I could take the walk into town to deposit some cash in the bank. I was there and back within the hour and a short time after I drove to the pub for lunch. I could have walked there too but for the fact that I was wearing heels. It wasn’t the distance, it was more the fact that I didn’t want to wear down the heels that I chose to drive. The return trip is a little more than a mile or so. I see no point in wearing down my heels so I usually do my walking in flat soled shoes. Coincidentally when I drove to work the previous morning I saw a girl wearing very high heels walking along toward our ‘village’. She must never be out of the cobblers having them repaired! I digress. So I enjoyed a lovely meal and later spent some time out on the patio back at home for the day had turned out quite sunny.

Shirley Anne

A day off

Rear wall 1After the work we had done on Wednesday and indeed even before then E and I were feeling the after effects on Thursday morning so we decided to take the whole day off and do no hard work. Despite the hard work I had another restless night so I wasn’t in the mood for work anyway. However, I did mix some sealant and applied it to the patio floor where I had skimmed it on Wednesday morning. That took all of ten minutes! We sat for a time in the sunny part of the garden on the other side of the lawn away from the house. It was eleven o’clock then and at this time of year the patio is in the shade. It remains in the shade until a little after two o’clock after which it gets the sunshine for about two and a half hours. During the summer of course it enjoys much more sunshine and for a much longer period. The inevitable happened and I was called regarding a very simple electrical job, well not really a job at all but I was asked if I could check the wiring around an electric cooker to ensure there was nothing wrong. The house was a little less than ten miles away so after lunch I drove there, checked things out and then returned home all within the hour having stopped for fuel too. There wasn’t a thing wrong with the cooker installation but it was worth the trip for the £40 fee. E went for the weekly shopping after her lunch and I sat out on the patio in the warm sunshine for a couple of hours.Patio Flowerbed 13 We have been experiencing really lovely weather over the last couple of weeks and I have been making the most of it. By Thursday evening the effects of the previous day had worn off. I got another call to visit a house on Friday after my dental appointment in order to assess some minor work. Whether that work would get done on Friday was debatable as my dental appointment was around noon.

Shirley Anne

Another nothing day

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

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

Shirley Anne

A cheerful soul

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

No work today for sure!

Oye! It's Friday!
Oye! It’s Friday! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is now Friday as I write this and it has been raining throughout the latter part of the morning and slowly getting worse as the day passes. According to the forecast it is going to be wet for the next two days though less than it has been today. It looks as if Monday and Tuesday might be better days for working outdoors so I may get the chance to do just that. It depends upon any commitments I might have on those days too. In fact I am reminded that on Monday at least I will probably not get the chance as I do have an electrical job scheduled. Today I have done nothing at all neither at home or away from home as far as work is concerned. That is a blessing of sorts as I have the opportunity to recharge my batteries as it were. Strange as it may seem I did next to nothing on Tuesday but found it difficult getting out of bed on Wednesday morning as I felt so tired. The converse was true today where I awoke very early after only a few hours sleep despite the fact that I worked hard throughout Thursday! Tomorrow morning I have agreed to do an electrical job for a professional couple who simply cannot escape their duties during the week at the moment and have half of their lights not working. I don’t usually work at the weekend and not at all on Sunday unless it is an emergency but I made the concession this time and as the job is only a few hundred yards from home it is no hardship. It will be raining but at least I will have something to do. When I return home I think E will want me to hang some pictures as I promised I would a couple of days ago. but for today, I think I’ll continue to avoid using my toolbox and enjoy the rest. Oh yes, I could find plenty of work at home if I chose to and there are plenty of things that can be done but isn’t it nice to just say to one’s self now and then, ‘Sorry no work for today thank you’?

Shirley Anne

Getting on a bit

Cramp Twins logo
Cramp Twins logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With all the work that I do it is hardly surprising that once in a while I feel really tired and out of the game. Naturally as I get older I suppose that will increase or I will find myself doing far less than I do now. I already do less than I once did in any one day but still find things to do to fill my time. I suffer little with my health but every now and then things happen which are disconcerting and leave me feeling a bit concerned. As an example, on Sunday morning I woke up rather abruptly with a severe cramp in the calf muscles of my left leg. The pain was agonising and long-lived, so long it lasted throughout the day to a lesser degree. As one does with cramp I tried to massage the leg but it made little difference and was awkward to do in any case. After what seemed like many minutes, though probably less than thirty seconds, the pain eased off enough to be just about bearable. I was sat on the side of the bed by this time but something else was affecting me which I am sure was unconnected to the cramp, though I may be wrong about that. I was sweating, a sort of cold sweat. I felt somewhat nauseous and thought I was going to faint. My breathing was shallow as if the ailment was causing it, which it probably was and I felt really bad for a couple of minutes. Once the cramp had subsided to a manageable level I was able to lie down and relax again. An hour or so later it felt as though nothing had happened though the pain in the leg remained with me. Over the last couple of years I have noticed an increase in foot cramp occurrences affecting either the toes, usually the big toe, or other parts of the foot such as the instep and the side of the foot. Nobody really knows what causes these cramps so I am led to believe but they may have something to do with the ageing process. Although I wasn’t feeling my best on Sunday I had enough energy to do some walking though only on the treadmill, for two reasons, one, the weather wasn’t particularly pleasant and two, I could monitor myself whilst on the treadmill. I can check pulse rates and know exactly the speed I am travelling. I can also alter the conditions, the speed, the gradient and the duration. Going out for a walk, though better, doesn’t usually permit monitoring and much of it is guesswork. Should I feel that something is wrong whilst exercising I am in the right place at home. By early evening I was feeling as right as rain, back to my old self and ready for the next day. Tiredness, ageing, lack of respite all take their toll I am sure but I’m not ready to just sit on my butt all day long, not yet.

Shirley Anne

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Active in mind and body

English: Her thoughts began to work in her mind

I seem to be working a lot these days, more than I ever thought I would at my age. I never planned it this way and I am not complaining because I like work. My professional work has always been rewarding psychologically speaking as well as benefiting me financially but any work I do whether for financial gain or not gives me a sense of achievement and accomplishment. I sort of drifted into doing many things myself rather than having others do it for me, partly for economic reasons and partly because I wanted to put myself to the test. Nothing is ever achieved by simply talking about it. We have to be willing to give things a try but if we fail at least we have made an attempt. Not everyone is capable of doing manual tasks or so they would have the rest of us believe. I do not believe that some of us are incapable but rather some of us are simply disinclined or even lazy! I always say that I wasn’t born with the capability to do the many things I do or attempt to do, I had to learn. I firmly believe in a hands-on approach to life and experience only comes with practice. Many people would surprise themselves if they would only make the effort. I enjoy being active in work but I also like to take time off to relax. I find though that my mind is often active when I am physically inactive and I struggle to concentrate on relaxing. I sometimes find it difficult to get to sleep as a result and the more I make the effort to nod off the harder it gets to do so! I don’t usually need more than five hours or so of sleep despite what the medical fraternity might suggest and so if I am struggling to get to sleep it is of some concern to me, especially if I have set the alarm to wake me at the appointed time for getting to work the next day. My thoughts are all over the place thinking about the things of the day and I wonder if I am ever going to get off to sleep. I usually do though fortunately although on occasion I haven’t always succeeded and I have awoken still very tired after only a couple of hours. I find it difficult to switch off and I have to try hard not to think about work or what the following day has in store for me. One of the loveliest experiences I enjoy is having ‘cat naps’. I may have been working hard all day or part of it and sitting down after having a meal relaxing and finding myself taking a brief nap of ten minutes or so. It is at these times I feel the most relaxed during the day and I dislike it intensely if I am disturbed. E leaves me alone if she finds me in this state, only because I have requested she does so!

Shirley Anne

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Nothing doing on Monday

It Sure Is Monday
It Sure Is Monday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got up early from my bed on Monday morning………very early as I didn’t actually get to sleep throughout the night. I am having a bad spell of insomnia lately and it isn’t nice. It meant that when I got up at six o’clock I felt totally out of the game and walked about like a zombie. I did nothing on Sunday and had felt very refreshed after a great night’s sleep but come the evening I didn’t feel tired at all. I had plans to visit the local builders merchant to purchase plywood sheets for laying on the bathroom floor and sand and cement as I had used most of the previous purchase. When I returned home at ten o’clock I could hardly keep my eyes open but I resisted going to sleep. I wanted to continue with the bathroom but I was simply too tired and decided to take a day off. Fortunately I had no electrical work scheduled and was able to relax all day but I was very bored doing that. I spent a lot of time browsing the Internet, something I don’t usually do. The delivery of the materials was scheduled for Tuesday morning and knowing the supplier it would be late morning rather than early morning. At first they told me they couldn’t specify what part of the day they would deliver but I had to insist they at least specify which half of the day. I wasn’t prepared to wait in all day for them to make the delivery. As it happened the guy who delivered the materials a week or two ago was the same who took my order on Monday. Readers might remember that he was just going to drop the plasterboard sheets on the driveway in the rain with only E and I at home to get it under cover. After we asked that he put it in the garage a few metres away he relented and complied with our request. This time there will be four sheets of 8 x 4 (feet) x 12mm thick marine plywood, a bag of cement and two bags of sand. How he will manage moving the sheets by himself is anyone’s guess. Here in the UK we still insist on measuring wood in Imperial and Metric scales at the same time! The sheet sizes, length and width are measured in feet whilst the thickness is in millimetres. Conversely we purchase lengths of wood in metres whilst measuring their other dimensions in inches as in 3 metres by 2 x 4 inches for instance! Crazy or what? No doubt all measurements will be in metric one day. Did I get a good night’s sleep on Monday? Well I cannot answer that now at the time of writing as it is still as yet early evening on Monday.

Shirley Anne

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I hate it

English: Little Darlin by the Four Jacks with ...
English: Little Darlin by the Four Jacks with Herbie Layne’s Orchestra, Gateway 1957. Deutsch: Little Darlin von den Four Jacks mit Herbie Layne’s Orchestra, Gateway 1957. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hate it when things don’t go according to plan but you would think that after 51 years in the electrical business I would be used to that. Well yes I am but when the whole day is filled with annoying and unnecessarily awkward things it gets a bit much. On Wednesday morning I had what was essentially a small job to do for a woman who wanted several minor faults rectifying in a house she was letting out to tenants and each of these ‘minor’ jobs met with their own little problems, none of them went smoothly but what made matters worse was her constant chatter and insistent offers of help which she could see I didn’t need. She kept getting in the way instead of allowing me just to get on with the job. She also insisted on introducing me to her tenants, who incidentally were more interested in repairing a couple of cars they had whilst another had learning difficulties and only wanted to chat about her enormous collection of autographs from dozens of well-known actors, comedians and theatrical people as well as her vast collection of dolls and cuddly toys. Her rooms were so full of knickknacks I could hardly move about the place. Thankfully she went out shopping after ten minutes and left me to it but the landlady didn’t! On top of this she insisted on addressing me as ‘Shirls’, ‘Darlin’ or some other name not my own. I respectfully asked her to address me as Shirley Anne but it fell on deaf ears. I don’t think she wanted to listen to anything but her own voice. She has invited me to do a couple of small jobs in her own house next week and if I go there I shall have to tell her to stop referring to me as ‘Shirls or Darlin’ else I’ll go mad. I finally did what she had asked of me and was paid. I then made a six-mile drive to the next job where I had been twice before in the last week. The guy was renovating a house to let to university students and the work was all in the kitchen. Instead of asking me to install wiring whilst I was engaged in altering the circuits there he asked me to install extra things after he had fitted the kitchen furniture and tiled the walls! How stupid is that? He had left me what he thought was enough space to carry out the work which any other electrician might refuse. I managed it somehow but with a struggle. When it came to connecting his cooking appliances, well that was another unnecessarily awkward task. I finally drove home but en-route was made to follow a detour because of road works. I eventually made it to sanctuary and a belated lunch. Throughout the morning my mobile phone had not stop ringing with people wanting my services but I cannot accommodate everyone. I was so hungry and tired. I was tired more because I had another restless night for some reason. During my meal the phone rang twice. I wish folk would call in the evenings unless their requests are urgent, which these two were not. Both jobs had been in need of doing for some time, one was a number of faulty recessed ceiling lights and the other was to connect a cooker which the lady had delivered some weeks ago! I made arrangements to do the first one on Tuesday next week but the second one I decided to do straight away. The lady seemed in a bit of a panic about her new cooker and was telling me all sorts of things not really associated with the actual task in hand whilst I was trying to glean some information before I went there. Had she stopped nattering for a moment she wouldn’t have needed to pay me for doing nothing as I tried to explain things over the phone. I drove there thinking I had to connect a free-standing cooker to the outlet plate on the wall but when I arrived I found a gas appliance in the space. It was to be disconnected by a man who was going to buy it when he was to come and collect it. I asked the lady where the electric cooker was do that I could connect it and she told me it was on the worktop behind me! I turned to see a small microwave oven that had two hot plates on top! Its electrical lead was fitted with a plug that fits into any normal power socket in a house. It didn’t need connecting at all. She had been sitting with it for five weeks when all she had to do was plug it in. She was charged my normal call-out fee for wasting my time. When I got home and told E about it she couldn’t believe that anyone could be so stupid. Now all I wanted to do was sit down and rest but the phone calls still kept on coming in. I turned down two jobs because of their size and one more I just didn’t want to do.

Shirley Anne

I don’t remember much

I Don't Remember
I Don’t Remember

On Friday I was feeling rather tired after a week of being on the go at work. I had very little energy for anything. As it was, when bed-time came I wasn’t ready to sleep! Isn’t that just the case? I ended up going to bed at 03.30 hours but was up again just after 6 to see a lady about a seat with a hole in it (te-he). After that I don’t remember much but that I finally awoke at 15.00 hours on Saturday! That’s almost unheard of with me as I am usually only in need of four or five hours sleep. I must have been tired sure enough. I do remember parts of a dream I had but moist of the dream I have forgotten. It was a lovely day on Saturday, the sun was shining and it was reasonably warm. I remained indoors though as I wasn’t in the mood for going anywhere, even for a walk. E had gone out shopping with her mom for the afternoon and the only person I saw was our youngest son who had called briefly to collect something. He hadn’t the time to stop and chat because he had too much to do. So until E returned late in the afternoon I was alone. I feel days like this are somewhat of a waste and that I should have done something with the remaining hours of daylight but these type of days are few in my life and I justify a complete break from everything once in a while. Too much work and too much play are fine as long as there is some time for a complete rest too, even from writing too much on my pc!

Shirley Anne

Some more cheek and sieve-like fingers!

English: A basic photoelectric smoke alarm by ...
A basic photoelectric smoke alarm by Ei Electronics.

After a rather busy week I planned to have a good lie in bed on Saturday morning then get up say around 9.30 to exercise on my treadmill. During the week I had been watching the trilogy Lord of the Rings (yet again, I love the story) broadcast on three consecutive  evenings, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9pm. I don’t know how I managed to keep my eyes open on Friday as the film finished at almost 1 o’clock in the morning but as it was Saturday the following day I knew I could rest that extra time in bed. I slept solidly until 6am when I had to visit the toilet and still tired, went back to bed. I was awakened rather abruptly at 8am by my mobile phone. A lady I have worked for a couple of times wanted to know if I could repair her smoke alarm units some time in the coming week! Her brother had died on Wednesday and she didn’t have the time of his funeral so couldn’t say which day she would be at home. She explained that one of the smoke alarm units was ‘hanging from the ceiling ‘. Evidently she had pulled it off its fixings whilst removing the battery. I must explain something here for those who are not familiar with smoke alarms. Some of them are stand-alone, battery-operated (as the one shown above) but some also have a mains electricity supply and are often linked together to other units in the building. She has that latter type installed. She hadn’t pulled out the mains wiring so the unit was quite safe for the time being. She seemed more interested in the aesthetics, not wanting to see the thing hanging from the ceiling!. When I answered the call she said she hoped she hadn’t disturbed me or woke me up! It was 8 o’clock in the morning on a weekend and especially in this case, an Easter weekend! What did she think I would be doing so early in the morning? I told her that she had woke me up, which is perfectly true. The job wasn’t urgent so she should have phoned at a more respectable hour. I asked her to call me on Monday evening or Tuesday by which time she hopefully could tell me when it would be convenient to call, if at all. Incidentally she lives about eight miles away from me. The cheek of some people! I returned to my sleep-in and actually didn’t wake again until 11.30! I will be checking her smoke alarms today (Wednesday). I seemed to recall a faint tap-tap-tap on my bedroom door sometime before I finally woke and E told me that it must have been our youngest son. When I finally got up I dressed for the promised exercise and went downstairs. I asked if she knew what he had wanted but she said she didn’t know. I got on with my exercise and just as I had finished my mobile phone rang. It was my son. It appears that his car had a problem and he had limped home to his apartment. He had arranged to have it repaired and E collected him from the garage and took him back home, visiting our house along the way. He said he didn’t know what to do, meaning he didn’t have the cash to get it repaired. Evidently it was going to cost in the region of £500 to £600, not the sort of money he has available. I mentioned in earlier posts about his financial predicament and how he is at present struggling a bit. Later in the year things will improve for him but in the meantime he has to rely on my help from time to time. I assured him that I would foot the bill. Hopefully his car will be ready to drive again on Thursday. He will either have to hire a car for a couple of days in the meantime else make other arrangements at work. Over the years I have always put cash away for a rainy day, a habit some people struggle with but even small amounts soon build up to a substantial amount with time. Lately though, money I have been able to save seems to slip through my fingers instead of getting deposited in the bank. Oh well, that’s life isn’t it?

Since writing this post a few days ago my son tells me that he has made other arrangements with a friend of his who is a vehicle mechanic. His friend has offered to fix the problem for a much cheaper price, in fact probably £50. I am relieved at hearing that, I could do without throwing money away. It just goes to prove that garages will gladly take your money if you are daft enough to let them.

Shirley Anne