I had made up my mind to dine out on Friday afternoon and hoped that if any work came in it would be during the morning. I had no work come in and although I could have spent the morning in the garden I chose not to because it was bitterly cold in the easterly wind that was blowing. I spent the morning therefore doing nothing at all. I had finished breakfast at nine-thirty so wasn’t in a hurry for lunch at my usual time. In any case I would be visiting my local pub and knew it would be difficult to get a table unless I went there before noon. I went therefore at two o’clock and even then there were no tables vacant. It was another half-hour before I sat to eat though it was almost three o’clock when the meal arrived. Just right. I had asked for a tab so didn’t need to pay until I left the pub. Some folk pay in advance but I chose to keep my tab open until I had not only finished dining but also until I departed for home. It meant that any drinks I might have for the remainder of my stay would simply be added to the bill. As it happened I stayed there for over three hours.
At first I had no-one to talk with but that soon changed as the afternoon wore on. One good thing about pub life is that you seldom have to remain isolated if you want company. On my last visit though I did end up alone even after two hours being there but that is unusual. After my meal I sat at the bar in the company of three guys and watched as they slowly became ‘tipsy’. The sad part was knowing that two of them would be driving when they left. The one who departed whilst I was there had drunk three pints of lager during my stay at the bar and probably had more before I joined them. He was driving home. The other, a taxi driver, also had three drinks whilst I was there and remained drinking as I was leaving for home. I wasn’t sure that he was driving though but I have seen him on previous occasions driving after drinking. I know of a few people who go to the pub, drink alcohol and then drive home. One day something nasty could happen but they seem to get away with it. When I used to drink alcohol I walked to the pub as it isn’t far from my home. Laws are made for breaking according to some people.
Things don’t often go the way I hope they will for me though if I made the effort……….well we can all say that can’t we? Sometimes even after making the effort things don’t work out either do they? It was a fine though rather cold day on Sunday, a day for relaxing indoors or going out wrapped-up for a walk. I did both and more. There was no hurry to get up early though I did and after breakfast whilst on the computer I switched on the television, not to watch a program but to listen to music through YouTube. I suppose I could have listened via my computer on a separate tab but the television can connect to the Internet and the sound quality or rather the volume would be better. Although the computer sound is of the best quality the volume settings are limited unless auxiliary speakers are used. Anyway I listened to the songs listed in ‘my favourites’ folder for an hour. The only drawback in using the television to play YouTube is in controlling the functions with the television’s remote control, it is slower. I suppose one day remote controls with have a touch pad on them for easier use. I think that would be a great idea. After an hour I made myself ready to go out but not directly for a walk. I drove to the pub and parked my vehicle and from there I went for a walk. An hour later I arrived back at the pub, went to the vehicle and changed my shoes before going into the pub for my lunch. Yes, I dined there again for a change! There were surprisingly few people in there but a half-hour later that all changed and it was full. I had hoped I would see a few acquaintances there to chat with but the only ones I knew, four men, were doing that man thing, sitting around a table drinking beer and chatting about football and work! Who wants to sit in a pub talking about work? Anyway they were too engrossed in themselves to take much notice of me. I was a little disappointed that no-one else I knew came in after sitting there for a couple of hours hoping someone might. I decided to drive home and be bored there instead! Funny thing is I knew there would be people I know in the pub later in the day and evening and I had half a mind to return but didn’t bother. Maybe I was thinking it a waste of time and that I might be disappointed again to find no-one there. I knew I should have returned but I also knew there would be other opportunities too.
…and other excuses. Well I woke up a little later than I thought I would on Tuesday, at nine o’clock. I had been up several times during the night for toilet visits though I had slept well in between. I checked the time at five o’clock and woke up four hours later! The weather forecast had indicated a wet morning was probable and indeed it was wet when I arose but it wasn’t raining by then.
However we were supposed to expect intermittent rain at least for the morning. It didn’t happen but it was enough to deter any thoughts of working in the garden. Wednesday was forecast to be much better, drier and a little warmer too, so I resigned myself to take the day off on Tuesday and work in the garden on Wednesday instead. So I had a late breakfast of fruit and spent the morning at home doing pretty much nothing. As it was approaching two o’clock I drove to the pub and treated myself to a meal there but only the main course this time. I wasn’t hungry enough for anything more. The day remained dull but it stayed dry until late. we would be getting overnight rain with the promise of a fine day to follow, even sunny! This year I am promising myself to get out more, especially to the pub which I have neglected visiting these last twelve months. In fact last year I only went there three times in total. I need to keep in touch with people and not isolate myself so much. Whenever I stop going to the pub for any length of time I am missed according to those I know there. I have to correct that, I know I do. Bad weather may be an excuse for staying out of the garden but it isn’t an excuse to cease meeting with people so as Jimmy Buffett says…….
Whether I have my advert in the paper or not seems not to make any difference lately for even though it hasn’t been in the paper for two weeks I have had enough work to make it worthwhile. On Tuesday I got up and dressed in what I call my ‘no intention’ wear, that is anything but the clothes I would wear for work. It made no difference as I got a call anyway and had to change late in the morning to go to work. The evening before I had received a call from a guy whom I had done electrical work for before and he asked if I would be interested in doing several jobs for him. He
installs gas boilers amongst other things but there is seldom a power supply to run the boilers near to hand. The jobs would be to wire an outlet or power supply for each boiler. The problem is that there are lots of boilers to do. I don’t particularly want the volume of work each week but I said I would do some of them as needed. So I went to the job and stood around for over an hour waiting for him to arrive at the house because he said the occupant would be at work but as it turned out the lady of the house was in. She seemed reluctant for me to start the work before the guy arrived so I waited until he did. I made my assessment of the job in hand whilst I waited. Eventually he arrived and after five minutes he was gone. It took me a mere fifty minutes to finish the job. I could have had it done before he arrived, The lady of the house couldn’t believe how quick I had been but was well pleased that I had made no mess whatsoever in doing it. When I got back home E had gone out somewhere so I got changed back into my no intention wear and dined out at my local pub. I had planned to go farther afield for my meal but decided I didn’t want to drive too far, which is probably what I would have done. It doesn’t matter anymore if E wants to be the way she is, I am fed up with her attitude and quite frankly have had enough. It leaves me with no companionship nor anyone to talk with most of the time for there is no-one in my life apart from her. She on the other hand has family living close by and she is part of a group of like-minded people who do competitions so she gets to meet with them once a month too. I know, I could join a club or something too but there are no such groups I know of which I would like to join just to be able to chat with people, it just isn’t me. The thing I like doing when not involved with my own interests is chatting with people and that is why I go to the pub. Why do you think I took to ‘blogging’? Nothing seems to matter anymore, it’s all a matter of time.
It has been quite a while since I visited my local pub but on Thursday afternoon I decided to take the short walk there and spend an hour or two over a couple of drinks. As I don’t drink alcohol these days I chose to drink alcohol-free lager rather than diet cola or another soft drink. Hardened drinkers who go there think I am crazy but I’ve always liked the alcohol-free substitute. It would be very tempting to revert to my old ways and drink wine, whisky and beer but I am not tempted to do that any more. E had gone out shopping on her weekly trip with her mum and I had left off working outside because of the weather. It had been raining on and off all morning, nothing heavy but more that extra-fine rain or drizzle that seems to penetrate clothing so easily. So I decided to take a break and catch up with what has been going on in people’s lives. Unfortunately there were not many people at the pub and those I knew were deep in conversation so I sat alone for quite some time. Those I saw there were drinking alcohol, glass after glass of wine or beer. All of them were driving too! Two were taxi drivers! They seem to get away with it, which to me is totally wrong. I dread to think what could happen on their journey home. Later others arrived but by that time I wanted to return home. I did end up chatting with one acquaintance but only for a few minutes then I walked back home. On the way I met someone else I know who had just taken her dog out for a walk and was returning home herself. We chatted for a minute or two the went our separate ways. She’d remarked that she hadn’t seen me in the pub for some time to which I replied that was due to my not going there! She laughed and I added that the reason was down to the fact that I simply couldn’t be bothered. That just about sums it up, I just cannot be bothered at times. It isn’t that I don’t like going to the pub but I simply don’t feel the urge as others might do and I suppose people might say that is because I no longer drink alcoholic drinks. That however cannot be true for I often felt the same way when I did drink alcoholic drinks. I am far more likely to visit the pub on a whim rather than doing so as a matter of routine and I prefer it that way. I am probably more a creature who does things on a whim than setting my life in concrete, besides, I have been mixing that stuff almost every day for the past two weeks!
The saying is ‘You can choose your friends but you are stuck with your family’ or words in a similar vein. ‘A man’s enemies are the members of his own household’, to quote Scripture (Micah 7:6). I have only ever had one friend in my life, that is if I exclude E. She has known me for more than forty-one years and is the only person in this world, apart from our children, whom I could trust with my life. When I was between the ages of five and twelve I had a childhood friend who was as close as a young friend could be. He was also my defender and stood in the gap between me and those who liked to bully me at school and even outside of school. I was an extremely timid child and was an easy target for the school bullies of which there were a few. When I left that area to live elsewhere my friend and I lost contact. As I progressed into my teenage years I became more and more introverted and anti-social. I became stripped of any confidence I had and still remained the victim of bullies. I was so anti-social that I turned my back on my old school friend when he appeared one evening to pay me a visit years later. I told my mother to explain that I wasn’t at home. He left and never returned and at that time I felt no guilt. It was only after I had been working for twelve months that things began to change for the better but even so I remained anti-social until around twenty-four or five. I had no friends but I started to form friendships with a few people, none of whom became close friends. E came into my life when I was a couple of months past my twenty-sixth birthday. I never developed a deep friendship after meeting E but there have been a couple of people come into my life during the last twelve years I consider to be friends. Sadly they too have moved away or live too far for regular personal contact. As far as family are concerned, well I might as well not exist for most of them never contact me or have ceased communicating even though formerly only doing that rarely. Other people in my life are merely acquaintances and yet more I have never met in person but know only through the Internet. I would like to call them my friends and as far as it goes they are I suppose. You could say therefore that I am devoid of any close friends and only have the closeness, support and understanding of E, which I cherish incidentally. I read the post of a fellow Internet ‘blogger’ recently where she explored the concept of loneliness as applied to her own situation but assuring her readers that she was quite happy with her circumstance. I hope that she is. I penned this small poem as a comment….
Happy in life
With cares but a few
No-one to sit with
But only you Watching the couples
Walk by in the sun Look at the children
Indulging in fun
Life isn’t bad
It’s as easy as pie
But who will be there
To mourn when you die?
Copyright Shirley Anne 9 April 2013
For myself I need people around me, the closer the better.
On Tuesday morning I had a ridiculously small job and then nothing for the remainder of the day so I suggested to E that we might dine out somewhere for lunch. I had returned home before 10 o’clock and spend some time on my computer and the Internet and watched a couple of programs on television. It was around 1.45 when I heard a tap, tap on the lounge door and jumped a little for I had dosed off in the chair, one of those ‘cat-naps’ I love to experience. I looked toward the door to see E smiling at me. ‘Well I’m ready’, she piped up. ‘I’ve just washed my hair’, she said. She has the kind of hair that gets greasy rather easily but greasy hair is probably healthier hair as it proves that natural oils are being produced from the scalp protecting and nourishing the hair. Of course too much oil can be a problem and then the hair needs washing more often. E tends to have this problem. My hair on the other hand tends to be dry and would benefit having more natural oil. I tend therefore not to wash my hair as often unless it gets dirty. So I dashed upstairs to change my clothes and fix my make-up and was ready ten minutes later. E drove as she normally does and I didn’t ask where we were going as we headed off down the main road. She turned toward the coastal road so I though she was going to drive north as we normally do when visiting one or two of our favourite places but a couple of hundred yards (metres) down the road she pulled into the car park of my local pub! There were quite a number of cars there and I thought it would consequently be full inside but we were surprised to see it almost empty. After a quick look at the menu I went to the bar opened a tab and ordered the meals and drinks. We received the best of service as usual and the meals followed soon after. E followed her meal with a dessert but I didn’t. We had a great time together and chatted with the staff as the opportunity arose. When we had finished eating a couple of people came in and sat a short distance from us and I turn to look. ‘Hello, Shirley Anne’, the woman said and I replied in kind though I couldn’t remember how they knew me or I them, although I did recognise their faces. It turns out that I had done some work for them back in November. Neither the man nor the woman knew E personally but the woman recognised her as having worked in her local Post Office some years ago. The man told E what a good electrician he had found in me not realising that E is already aware of my capabilities! I thought that was very nice of him to say such things. He went on to tell us that two weeks after I had worked in their house they were burgled! Immediately I asked if they had an alarm to which they said ‘We have now’! Talk about closing the barn door after the horse has bolted! Fortunately not much had been stolen. Soon afterwards E and I prepared to leave for home and they bid us farewell, the woman saying ‘I’ll telephone you’. Looks like they want more work doing……….Is there no rest for the wicked? LOL
It’s getting so that I prefer the pub to home more and more these days. Until a week ago I hadn’t visited the pub since my birthday, which is the 21 November. I don’t like going there during the Christmas and New Year break so for about six weeks or so I remain absent. When I do visit the pub it isn’t the alcohol that attracts me there, it never was and especially now that I stopped drinking alcohol in mid-November. It isn’t because they have a great menu although I often eat there for the food is excellent and it means I don’t have to cook it myself or wash the dishes later! It must be for the company, for the people who I meet there, including the great staff who make sure you are welcomed coming in and when you leave. For those they get to know they call by name. I like people, simple as that. My private life isn’t what it should be and I get lonely because of that. Oh, I can be quite happy in my own company and in fact I need that space for myself at times but I can get bored with my own company too! I am not an isolationist, a hermit or one who shies away from life though in my early years I was exactly that way, completely anti-social. The reasons for that may be explained in the stories about myself in the pages above should you wish to read them. My life has changed dramatically since those days and I am far from the person I used to be. Four main events changed my life, marriage, the birth of my children, becoming a Christian and finally my transition brought about massive changes that transformed my life. I am happier now in myself than I have ever been before or thought I could ever be. I could be happier though but that is up to the person I live with. Anyway I spent the afternoon there on Sunday and met up with people I’d not seen for a while.
As a believer in God I understand that certain things in life happen because God has ordained it. On Friday I asked E if she would like to dine out and of course she said yes, although I have known her to refuse the offer once or twice. As usual she asked where I might like to dine out and as usual I left the decision to her. We left home around one o’clock in the afternoon and drove some fifteen miles before arriving at our destination, one of several places where we like to dine. We choose to eat out after the rush is over, after the time when most folk eat out, that is after one-thirty to two o’clock so when we arrived there were not many people in the place, just what we like because we can pick and choose where we sit. We chose to sit next to another couple who were part through their meal although we could have selected anywhere as the place was quite empty. It wasn’t until we had eaten our dessert that we actually made contact with our fellow diners and then we discovered something in common between us. They were both retired people, she a retired clerk who had worked as a receptionist for a doctor’s surgery and he a retired policeman. Our eldest son is a policeman. We engaged in conversation for a short while and then they had to leave. We had been sitting in the lower level of the two-tier layout of the pub/restaurant and another couple, seemingly man and wife although we didn’t ask, sat down in the upper level just as we had finished our meal and were finishing our drinks. We hit it off together immediately, laughing and joking and generally having a good time together. They were like two soul mates and so easy to get along with and it was a shame that we had to leave to drive home. Whilst I was visiting the toilet before going home E had left the premises and was waiting outside in the car for me to emerge but I made a detour back into the dining room to bid farewell to our new-found friends. I learnt their names, funny how you can speak for ages without formal introductions, gave them a big hug and made arrangements to meet up again by leaving them with one of my business cards. I do hope they will contact us, it would be nice to see them again. Not often in life do we get the chance to meet genuine people so when that happens it is good to pursue it. I will keep you posted on what develops, if anything.
I don’t know about you but I have always been the sort of person who, if I am in need of a service that someone provides I make enquiries accordingly. If I am out shopping I like to browse before I make any decision to buy. So my feathers become somewhat ruffled if I am approached without my asking. I am sick and tired of hearing the phrase ‘You could be eligible for reimbursement from a miss-sold PPI (payment protection insurance)’, more especially as I have never taken one out! My mobile phone constantly receives messages from companies willing to get me any compensation that is due to me. If I reply with a ‘STOP’ it makes no difference, the next company along the line makes the same claim and I get another message. The problem is that there are hundreds of these companies all seeking a piece of the action and no doubt I will still be receiving unwanted and unmerited messages for the next ten years! I could scream!
I hate it when out shopping I get pestered by pushy sales persons who ask ‘Can I be of assistance’? ‘Well no you can’t, I just want to see what is on offer all by myself thank you very much’, is what I am thinking but have to reply with a ‘No thank you, I am just browsing’. They may be on commission but they will never get me to buy something I do not want or persuade me that something else might be suitable when I am told they haven’t got what I want. If I cannot see what I want I ask, simple! I don’t wish to but a substitute thank you very much!
In today’s world we are bombarded with sales talk, sales pitch, leaflet drops, junk mail, unwanted phone calls and text messages, television adverts, even radio adverts. I cannot use the Internet without coming across an advert. One of the most annoying traits by advertisers these days is to have dynamic adverts flashing away to one side of the screen whilst emails are being read. Another favourite of theirs is to have an advert preceding a short video you have clicked on to watch and you are obliged to watch it before you can watch the content you clicked to see. They usually last around thirty seconds so I look away until the advert is finished. Don’t like adverts, never have, they don’t influence me one bit. If I want a product I will buy it after checking it out myself. Adverts tell lies anyway. How many of you have seen the adverts for face creams all claiming to reduce ‘the effect’ of ageing in older women and then show younger women with flawless skin as if they had been using it! They obviously don’t need it in the first place. The best adverts for me are the ones I cannot see or hear!
It is pressure from all sides. It seems we are unable to live our lives without the support of a ‘smart phone’ these days. They can do all sorts of wonderful things using the applications they have installed in them, many of the ‘better’ ones of course come with a price-tag. The phones themselves often cost a small fortune too. Now I use my mobile phone but infrequently, usually to answer voice calls or messages for work and little else. I don’t wish to spend my whole life looking at a screen with my fingers frantically pushing little buttons. I was in the pub the other day and quite a few folk in there were doing just that. Well I went there for a few drinks and company, you know, actually speaking with people! I could scream. I know people who don’t use the Internet, haven’t even got a computer, don’t have the latest phone but carry a simple one ‘in case of emergencies’. I would think that is sensible. However people are gradually being coerced into having computers and one day none of us will be able to conduct business of any kind unless we do it through the Internet. It’s happening already. I heard recently that people wishing to pay their gas or electricity bill by any other method than by ‘Direct Debit‘ are charged more for the privilege. Furthermore if they have to set up a Direct Debit they have to do it over the Internet because they are restricted from doing it over the phone with an actual human being! It doesn’t come as a surprise to me though because this is intimated in Scripture along with so many other things that the ‘blind’ cannot see. I could do without it all. Give me the quiet life any day. Do you suppose there is a reason for people to say that if they came into a lot of money they would go and live on a tropical island away from it all?