Category Archives: Sleep

It started well

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Man putting caulk on baseboard

Man putting caulk on baseboard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most days Tuesday started well enough but the plans I had didn’t fully materialise as I thought they might. The plan was to fill in the gaps in the wood work using the caulk I had bought on Monday. I had been using decorators caulk to fill-in where necessary but I didn’t have enough. So after breakfast I made a start doing that and in fact had it all done in thirty minutes. At this point I was about to begin applying the second coat of gloss paint first of all to the door and door frame and then following on with the window frames, If I had enough time I would paint the picture rail too but I didn’t plan working in the afternoon so the rail might not get done. I made myself a coffee before beginning the painting but I felt a little queasy and sat down for a few minutes.with the coffee. I had a restless night and had found it difficult to get to sleep. It would be around two o’clock before I finally closed my eyes and went to sleep. Too much going on in my mind had made me restless. Though I did sleep it was for only three and a half hours so I suppose I was just too tired. Anyway things improved as I began painting the door frame. After doing the door and door frame  I moved on to the window and managed to get the top section completed before I had a visit from my eldest son, his wife and his daughter who had come to sort out some of their stored items. I made the effort and finished off the top section of the frames but decided to leave the bottom section until Wednesday morning. Just then I received a call from a couple I had worked for quite recently who were having difficulty in replacing two fluorescent light tubes in their under-unit kitchen lighting system. I talked them through the process but they found it impossible to do and asked if I would call there. Their home is eight miles from mine. I agreed to go and when I inspected the fittings they were indeed awkward and stiff making the lamp replacement difficult so it wasn’t a wasted journey. Whilst there I was asked to replace their central heating/hot water control unit and to check out a lighting switch. I removed the old control unit and the guy took it with him and went to purchase an identical replacement while I got on with the other tasks. He wasn’t gone long as they live quite near a supplier and I fitted the new unit he had purchased. By now it was after three o’clock and I had missed lunch so when I drove back to my own town I decided again to eat at the pub. No more work that day and my main hope was for a good night’s sleep so that I could perhaps finish the painting the next day.

Shirley Anne

Determined

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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

Coiled spring

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Awake is the New Sleep (2005)

Awake is the New Sleep (2005) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a crazy day I had on Monday! I went to bed around ten o’clock on Sunday night but didn’t actually begin to sleep until twelve-fifteen. How do I know that? I had made a point of checking the time on my phone, which I use as an alarm too, closed my eyes and didn’t wake up until exactly four hours later. That was it! I couldn’t return to sleep no matter how hard I tried so I gave in and got out of bed. I was sat eating breakfast at five-thirty and fully wide awake. What was I going to do for the next three hours before driving off to my first job of the day? I watched television, went on-line, played guitar (quietly) but was soon bored doing those things. Still, I had to wait, I had no choice. It was eight-twenty as I left the house and I arrived at the job just before nine as arranged. The work involved repairs to a couple of cabinet lights and their wiring. Whoever had installed them had hidden the wiring behind a panel as expected but they had also hidden the transformer and connection box behind the panel too. The problem was that the panel couldn’t be removed without causing a great deal of damage! Crazy or what? I wondered what had been going through the person’s mind when they did the work. Did they think the parts would never go faulty? I ended up rewiring the lights and hiding the wiring in small trunking inside the cabinets that were the bedroom’s built-in furniture. Unfortunately one of the lights needed replacing but none were available close-by. I had to drive back to my own town to fetch one then return and fit it. My coiled-up spring was beginning to unwind and I had another job to do before I could even think about driving homeward. When the work was done it was approaching one-thirty and I was feeling rather hungry having not eaten for eight hours. I drove homeward and paid a visit to my local pub to have a meal there but it was way after two-thirty before it was on the table before me. Nine hours are a long time between meals when one is working. My eyes began to close as I sat at home later writing this. It was only four-thirty in the afternoon and I wondered if I would make it to evening without falling asleep beforehand! As I get older I am finding it difficult to cope with hardly any sleep, not because I need more sleep but because I end up with all those extra hours awake with nothing much to do in them.

Shirley Anne

Bad day

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Sleep/Holiday

Sleep/Holiday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a bad day on Friday, not the day itself but the weather turned nasty at around two o’clock. I have to confess I didn’t get out of bed until almost one o’clock after four separate three-hour periods of sleep. My sleep patterns are all over the place recently but I guess I am getting the sleep I require. It would be nice however to be able to sleep for six hours in one go. I almost never sleep beyond five hours in one go. E had been up for some time and was just finishing her lunch when I came downstairs to have mine. Obviously there would be no breakfast so I had the remainder of the chicken and vegetable stew I had prepared a couple of days earlier. The large bowl was enough to satisfy my hunger. E went out just as I had finished eating, she was off to see her mom again perhaps to do some shopping or sort out some Christmas presents. She spends Christmas day afternoon at her mom’s house as do the rest of the family I think. I never get invited but it isn’t a real problem as I don’t observe Christmas anyway. I repeat that I am a Christian just in case some of my readers were thinking otherwise. Just as she was leaving the house the heavens opened and the rain began to pelt down. The wind had picked up too and it was blowing a gale. It had been forecast days before. This particular storm had been named ‘Barbara’ and its path took it to the north of the UK, that is the centre of the storm went along that path. The winds lessened the further south from it but even at our latitude it was still strong. We had enjoyed rather mild weather for the season up until that point so we couldn’t complain I suppose but it didn’t last long, a couple of days and we would be back to more settled weather. I had thoughts of going out perhaps for a meal on Friday but I decided against the idea because of the poor  weather. There would be another opportunity in the days ahead if I wanted to go somewhere. One thing I really wanted to do over the holiday period was to get out into the gardens and do some work. At the time of writing this on Friday afternoon it looks as though that opportunity will be a long way off unless the weather improves.

Shirley Anne

Early to bed

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Early to Bed

Early to Bed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Early to bed and early to rise according to the proverb makes you healthy, wealthy and wise. Not completely sure about the truth in those facts but I do know that it certainly improves my (financial) wealth if it is off to work I will be going. After doing a small job the day before I rested for the remainder of the day and went to bed as early as I thought fit on Sunday evening because I had to arise early on Monday morning. I would be off to work to do a small job before eight o’clock. It was the only time the customer could be at home unless I was prepared to work in the evening or at the weekend. I try my best not to work at those times, excepting for emergencies as was the case on Sunday. Despite the fact I knew I would be getting up early I couldn’t get off to sleep for quite some time and even when I did it was erratic once again. All I can say is that I probably don’t need the sleep I sometimes think I do. I guess that is an age-related thing or I am not working enough to get tired. As we age of course we are less able to work as hard and for as long as we once did. It’s a ‘catch twenty-two’ situation. Anyway I arrived at the house, two miles away, at seven forty-five and was back home less than an hour later having done the work. That work led to more work for me to do later in the week, on Friday when the customer would be able to get some free time at home. E was still in bed when I arrived home and didn’t get downstairs until nine-thirty. She keeps strange hours, not usually getting to bed until one o’clock in the morning. As I write this it is now approaching ten o’clock and I have no plans for the rest of the day but that could change, it often does *. Not so for the rest of the week though, I have work scheduled for each day. It is always busy at this time of year. Maybe I’ll get tired enough to sleep through!

* PS. I did end up doing more work, two more jobs in fact.

Shirley Anne

Tireditis

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I knew I ought to have done but somehow it wasn’t in me to do it! That old time-waster lethargy had taken control but it was all due to ‘tireditis’ that I found myself on Saturday not wanting to do anything. For someone who likes to work and put her hand to something constructive this is foreign to me but if I am tired I am tired and so it has to be that I take time off. I actually got the opportunity to have another extra lie in bed but was abruptly woken by my mobile phone ringing. It was my next-door neighbour but I refused to answer her call. She sometimes calls me whenever she has a problem of one sort or another and I usually lend a helping hand but I was still half asleep in bed! I put the phone beneath my pillow and waited for it to stop ringing. After what seemed an endless wait it stopped. I lay there in that dreamy state we get where we are in two minds as to whether we should jump out of bed or roll over for a spell longer, then the phone rang again! It was my next-door neighbour. Surprise, surprise but I was having none of it and let the phone ring on. This time it ended sooner and so I had to get out of bed. When I finally got downstairs at around ten-thirty I mentioned to E that our neighbour had called and had awoken me. She told me that she had been contacted by our neighbour too and that she had gone next door to lend a hand with our neighbour’s problem. Now our neighbour lives with her son who is I think about forty years of age, a policeman but who is not known for his practical skills and thus he had not been able to solve the problem. The problem? The top shelf in the dishwasher had jammed because it had slipped off its track. The rear retaining bracket had fallen off and all it needed was to be put back in place! Not exactly an emergency but E sorted it out in minutes. I missed breakfast and waited for lunch but ate a banana to tide me over. I asked E if she would like a coffee and we sat and chatted about things in general and about the bedroom refurbishment. We had the afternoon to ourselves and every opportunity to do some work in the bedroom but neither of us felt like doing so. A wasted day? Not really, we both needed the rest. There would be plenty of time to do what was necessary in the weeks ahead. Later I got in touch with the guy who will do the roof repairs so that we can get the ball rolling in that direction. Saturday was therefore a day of rest as was Sunday too.

Shirley Anne

To bed to bed

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I wonder how many of my English friends remember this old nursery rhyme?

“To bed! To bed!”
Says Sleepy-head;
“Tarry awhile,” says Slow;
“Put on the pan,”
Says Greedy Nan*;
“We’ll sup before we go.”

Another version:

“To bed, to bed,” says Sleepy-Head;
“Let’s stay awhile,” says Slow;
“Put on the pot,” says Greedy-Sot*,
“We’ll sup before we go.”

*Sot means fool.

To Bed, To Bed, Says Sleepy-Head - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Sometimes I have days like these.  Or perhaps I should say late evenings? After  working during the day I am ready for bed but often I find myself reluctant to go. This trend seems to have started as I got older. I know if I go to bed early I usually wake up early too as normally I cannot sleep for more than a maximum of five hours, though sometimes I will return to sleep for an hour or so after. It all depends on how tired I really am. Most of the time I will simply get out of bed as soon as I wake. Many times I have eaten late into the evening when according to some it isn’t a good idea. I have never been troubled or had a restless night due to eating late but if on the other hand I drink before bedtime I know I will be up again soon after I fall asleep, I do that often enough as it is without taking too much liquid beforehand. As for not wanting to go to bed early I know I am tired yet it makes no difference. Many times I will watch television in bed because I want to see a favourite program but often I fall asleep whilst watching it! So why do I bother? I suppose I don’t really intend to fall asleep and don’t think I will. When I wake in the morning I sometimes still feel tired but as soon as I get out of bed I feel as fresh as a daisy, even after five hours. At the weekend or during the week if I know I don’t have to get up too early I often do anyway. So, I like sleep, I like dreams, I like being in bed after each day’s work but I don’t much like going through the process to get me there. I tarry awhile or better put, procrastinate.

Shirley Anne

Like a zombie

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English: zombie

Zombie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I must point out that I don’t believe in zombies in the literal sense but sometimes I feel how a fictional being like a zombie might feel and that is usually when I have had little sleep. Such was the case on Sunday night. I must have arisen five times during the night and although it wasn’t specifically to visit the bathroom I did so anyway. I just couldn’t get more than an hour’s sleep before waking up and from what I remember I tossed and turned countless times. Now some might suggest that either I wasn’t tired, which wasn’t the case, or that I had things on my mind, which was probably the case. I was tired, very tired but it made no difference. I was caught up in my thoughts, events in my life, my home life, my job, my family, you name it and I was thinking about it. The more I tried the more I failed until finally at around 5.15 I made the move to get up. I had to be up and out quite early for the first and only job for the day. I was to arrive before 8 o’clock and fortunately I didn’t have to leave the house until five minutes before as the apartment I was to work in was only a mile away in the town centre. The job itself was straightforward though a little awkward in part but by the time I arrived I was feeling so tired I thought I’d never get it done. Once I started however my tiredness left me. One good thing about it though was that the lady insisted on paying me far more than I had asked. I was back home before 10 o’clock and sorting out some problems with my computer yet again! That now has been sorted, at least for the time being and everything seems to be working fine. Before I went to work I got out the hose in the rear garden and watered the plants as the forecast was dry and sunny weather ahead. Even though I had watered them the night before I felt it necessary to keep them well watered by doing it again. A day or two earlier I noticed some of the plants had begun to wilt due to the heat and a lack of water. During the warmer and dry days I tend to water the garden frequently, unfortunately it waters the weeds too! I need not have bothered watering them this time for whilst I was out at work it rained heavily for a short time. No matter, at least I knew the ground would stay moist longer. The afternoon was wall-to-wall sunshine and I was able to relax on the patio watching the weeds growing! The cuttings I took from a shrub a couple of days ago have met with partial success in that two of the three cuttings don’t appear to be showing any signs of dying off but the third one might not be as fortunate. It may be that they will all take or all die. I will just have to wait and see, that is if I can stay awake!

Shirley Anne

Not been there for a while

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Sleeping

Sleeping

For many an hour I lay there
Alone in my bed at night,
And sleep did it’s best to avoid me
In spite of how hard that I tried.

My thoughts did their best to prevent me
From entering the Land of Nod,
And I lay there a tossing and turning
Like some poor demented old sod!

Then just as I slowly found slumber
As dawn was beginning to break,
My trusty alarm clock went ringing
And reluctantly I was awake.

I went through the day like a zombie
With bags packed and under my eyes,
By nightfall I felt really tired
Well, isn’t that just a surprise?

So I lay on my bed looking upward
To cracks in the ceiling and all,
And began now to contemplate whether
The plaster might break off and fall.

Again I find my mind is active
As I lay here alone on my bed,
I’ve returned to that old merry-go-round
When all that I want is some rest!

Copyright Shirley Anne 8 July 03

I am sure many of you will have experienced nights like that, tossing and turning and finding it difficult to sleep. Thankfully those nights don’t come my way so often. I was of the opinion that I could only sleep if I was tired enough and that nothing could prevent that but I have found it isn’t always the case. Sometimes I have been very tired yet I was still unable to drop off to sleep easily. Sometimes I am sure it was my thoughts that were keeping me awake, the more I tried to reason the less I was able to nod off. We may think we haven’t actually gotten off to sleep but often we have, though probably too late to have been enough, then we wake up still feeling tired. The problem I am faced with lately however is trying to stay awake! This is probably due to my work ethic and the fact that I am older. I like my sleep time and especially so if I am dreaming. I know I have been dreaming a lot lately too but I haven’t been able to remember any of them. When I do remember I add the dream to my ‘Dreams and visions’ page above. The dreams are brief in my recollections of them and I imagine them to have been longer when dreaming them. This is probably not true but it seems that way. No matter how tired I am when I get to sleep I find I am unable to stay asleep for much longer than four hours. I will usually attempt to get back to sleep but it is usually very shallow and by the time five and a half hours have passed I am wanting to get out of bed. Everybody is different of course but I wonder how many have sleep patterns like my own?

Shirley Anne

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Taken by surprise

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A plasterer covering a wall, using a hawk (in ...

A plasterer covering a wall, using a hawk (in his left hand) and finishing trowel (in his right hand) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what did happen on Monday evening, did I get to sleep? As I wrote in my previous post I hadn’t slept through Sunday to Monday morning. I had to take the day off from work of any kind because I was so tired but I finally did get a good night’s sleep and woke up refreshed on Tuesday. I had arranged for the delivery of building materials to arrive during the morning but expected they would arrive late. Fortunately I had set the alarm to wake me in case I overslept but in fact arose before it went off. I went downstairs just before nine o’clock and saw the delivery wagon pulling up outside. I went out and opened the garage door for the guy to drop it off inside. Ten minutes later I went back indoors for my breakfast. To my surprise E was sitting at the table having just finished her breakfast. I hadn’t noticed she was there. She wasn’t dressed as she never gets dressed before breakfast at home and I wondered how she might have coped with the delivery had I not been there. She was wearing a dressing gown however and knowing E I couldn’t see her going outside wearing only that! So I was taken by surprise by the early delivery but thankful that it came sooner rather than later as it meant I could concentrate on doing some work after breakfast which is what I did. I applied a thin layer of plaster over that which I had applied to the small area of ceiling in the bathroom a couple of days previously. I am not a plasterer of course but I will attempt small areas. A professional plasterer would have done the job in one short visit but it took me somewhat longer. I am pleased with the result even though there will be a little patching up here and there! At least most of the plaster actually stuck to the ceiling rather than ending up on the floor or me! I have done plastering jobs in the past and if I say so myself my techniques have improved vastly since the first attempt but like anything else – practice makes perfect. Being as it was a Tuesday I wanted to take E out for lunch but I first had to go and do a small electrical job some three miles away. I was back home 45 minutes later and changed my clothes before driving to our chosen venue.

Shirley Anne

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Nothing doing on Monday

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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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Insomnia and hard work

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UKShaverSocket

UKShaverSocket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Insomnia smiley

Insomnia smiley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the last few days I have been suffering with insomnia as well as having difficulty in getting to sleep too though eventually doing so, that was until Saturday night. Although I had been working hard during the week it made no difference to my difficulty in trying to sleep or getting any sleep at all. On Friday, and Saturday in particular, I worked hard all day long at home. E was not assisting me. She had avoided me all day Friday and was out all day on Saturday anyway. I explained why in a recent post. I just got on with the work. On Saturday I wanted first of all to skim with plaster the small area of ceiling which  I had begun to do late on Friday. It wasn’t easy and to be honest the finish was not very professional as the surface wasn’t left smooth by any means though that didn’t matter, I just wanted to get the rough artexed surface covered. Eventually I managed to do that and now, as I write this on Sunday afternoon, the surface is now ready for me to smooth out with a thin mixture of plaster. Hopefully I will get that done this week if I haven’t already done so by the time this is posted. Following on from that I began to install the wiring for the shaver unit and other wiring that needed to be done. I had already installed the cables for the shower but they both needed to be brought out from beneath the floor outside the bathroom out on the half-landing of the stairway. The floorboards near to the door in the bathroom are not yet secured to the joists so access there is easy but I had to peel back the carpet and underlay out on the landing in order to lift the boards out there. That half-landing by the way is directly above the wet room we fitted out recently. I needed to locate a source for connecting the fused-spur unit which will supply the shaver but access to the nearest available circuit to tap into was actually at the top of the steps in the cellar! Under the landing boards lies the original ceiling to the wet room and beneath it the ‘false’ ceiling which is the new ceiling for that room. There was a way through directly from the landing straight into the area at the top of the steps to the cellar. At the same time as installing the cable for the spur unit I took the opportunity to rewire the part of the immersion heater circuit that had been wired in rubber insulated cable when I rewired the house many years ago but could not get access to without doing unnecessary damage. Even now that rubber cable was still usable but it had to be replaced. The switch for the immersion heater is located alongside the switch supplying the wet room lights outside of that room at the top of the cellar steps so it was just as easy to install both cables at the same time. When constructing the wet room ceiling I had included another four-core cable and left it beneath the landing floor ready to be taken into the airing cupboard in the bathroom with the new immersion heater cable when the bathroom project was underway. This cable is for future use when I plan to fit a new thermostat to the hot water storage tank. The immersion heater is in the same tank but is at the time of writing faulty and will be replaced when I have the time. So now we have four cables sticking out of the floor against the wall on the landing, the two supply cables for the shower and shaver and the two cables going on to feed them. The switches that I will fit there will be inside of a small cupboard I will construct later. We also have two new circuit cables inside the airing cupboard which had to be ‘fished in’ under the floor’ as it is impossible to lift floorboards inside the airing cupboard beneath the storage tank! All of that work took me some time to do of course. It is the type of work better suited to two people doing it but as I was working alone I had to run up and down the stairs and do it myself. Although I am very much used to it, it is still hard work. When I had finished installing those cables I fitted the box inside the studded wall that will house the shaver unit then I cut and fitted some extra studding ready for fixing the plywood surface to complete the wall’s structure. By the time I had refitted the floorboards and carpet and tidied up it was after six o’clock. I felt tired after all that work and hoped I would find no difficulty in getting to sleep later. I need not have worried, it didn’t take me long to nod off but I have to say having a late-night shower before bedtime helps a lot. I am looking forward to getting the bathroom up and running, especially the bath, I love a long soak in the bath after a hard day’s work.

Shirley Anne

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Out of synchronisation

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Time is a Tickin'

Time is a Tickin’ (Photo credit: im elsewhere)

I read many years ago that we have a biological clock within us and that it is based around a 16 hour period. Since then I have read elsewhere that the period is around 20 hours. Whichever is the truth our bodies have to live by the 24 hour day so naturally we get out of synchronisation with the day and we make the adjustment without realizing it. However there comes a time when strange things happen like not feeling tired enough to sleep even after a really hard-working day, just as is happening to me as I write this at 3 in the morning! Yesterday, that is Tuesday or in this instance new year’s eve, I worked a full day at home on our bathroom project, mostly alone as E had to spend the afternoon with her mum and take her to the hospital for some routine check-ups. The main task had been to construct the new raised ceiling frame ready for the plasterboard to be fitted and to do other work associated with the timber wall rising to it. Both tasks were completed but by the time I had finished for the day I was truly tired. It doesn’t help too much having to flit up and down the stairs a lot fetching timber and other things as well as doing the work. After my evening meal I had it in mind to get an early night so that I could sleep and I went to bed around 10.15. I had been on the computer for an hour and a half to liaise with a remote computer maintenance company’s technician who, through their software took control of my computer to rid it of the many errors and software faults that it had accumulated over the last couple of years and also out of date drivers in some cases. The driver repairs were incidental as I have this company’s driver updater software on my computer. There is something quite unnerving to see the cursor flitting about the screen under the control of someone on the other side of the planet as they carry out the maintenance. The alternative would be to take the machine to a repair shop and have them do it but that would normally mean leaving it there for a few days. This way you can watch what is going on and it takes far less time. In this instance it took them an hour. I have to pay for this service of course but it gives me 24/365 access, meaning I can call upon them at any time. I went to bed once they had finished but could I sleep? No! Try as I might the land of Nod was way out of sight and I eventually gave up trying. Today, that is new year’s day, I shall be doing more work at home, hopefully installing the wiring for the new lights and fitting the said plasterboard………unless I nod off to sleep whilst making the attempt! By the way I don’t celebrate the new year and usually I am asleep at its passes through into the next day but this time I just lay there wondering if I’d ever get to sleep. I went downstairs, grabbed a slice of toast and a drink and proceeded to write this.

Shirley Anne

Not lately

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Arms of Merseyside Metropolitan County Council.

Arms of Merseyside Metropolitan County Council. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For many an hour I lay there

Alone in my bed at night,

And sleep did it’s best to avoid me

In spite of how hard that I tried.

My thoughts did their best to prevent me

From entering the Land of Nod,

And I lay there a tossing and turning

Like some poor demented old sod!

Then just as I slowly found slumber

As dawn was beginning to break,

My trusty alarm clock went ringing

And reluctantly I was awake.

I went through the day like a zombie

With bags packed and under my eyes,

By nightfall I felt really tired

Well, isn’t that just a surprise?

So I lay on my bed looking upward

To cracks in the ceiling and all,

And began now to contemplate whether

The plaster might break off and fall.

Again I find my mind is active

As I lay here alone on my bed,

I’ve returned to that old merry-go-round

When all that I want is some rest!

Copyright Shirley Anne 8 July 03

No doubt many of us could identify with this poem and it has been my experience on a few occasions in the past but lately I am finding the opposite to be true. It is difficult to say why it is that I find myself nodding off to sleep during the day when I am at home but only when I am not working. The other day E received her replacement television after the one she won in one of her competitions became faulty. I think it was about eight months ago she won the 40 inch HD3D prize. Anyway it came in a rather large cardboard box and she took that box along with her usual weekly collection of cardboard and plastic to her mum’s house a couple of miles away. Her mum lives in West Lancashire and we live in Merseyside (though Southport is actually in West Lancs. but for administration reasons is run from a Merseyside council). At present our council department do not collect cardboard or plastic waste so rather it gets dumped in a land-fill she takes it to where they will recycle it. I digress. Whilst she was out I made myself a cup of coffee and sat relaxed in front of the television. She returned home after 45 minutes. I had nodded off soon after I had made the coffee and without drinking any of it. I woke up as she was entering the front door. Much as I like having these cat-naps I am at a loss as to why I have them especially as I am getting plenty of normal sleep overnight. Maybe my work schedule has caught up with me!

Shirley Anne

I hate it

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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