Finally cold foggy winter days, even a bit of rain, until now we had warm weather. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So here we are almost in the middle of December on the thirteenth as I write and it is unseasonably warm outside, though it has been raining a little. With temperatures hovering around 9 deg C accompanied by very little wind it feels more like a bad summer’s day rather than the end of Autumn. We tend to associate December with Winter but in fact it only marks the beginning of it. A friend living in New York tells me she is experiencing temperatures as low as -1 deg C. No doubt we will have that sort of weather in the months ahead. The first three months of the year are all about Winter. I always look forward to March when we begin to see things warming up again. Tulips, daffodils and snowdrops lie in wait and already there are daffodil shoots emerging from beneath the soil. Yesterday I removed the remaining apples from the trees. They wouldn’t get any larger than their small size and many had already found a spot among the border plants below and on the lawn. I had reaped a small harvest of larger apples a couple of weeks ago and some of them went into apple pies I made which were then frozen. The rest I ate with ice cream over a few days, delicious! Maybe I’ll eat the pies when the colder weather appears to remind me of the warmer days passed. Surely I will eat them anyway before Spring. My favourite time of year is about to end, that is mid-November to mid December, late Autumn, though each of the seasons I like also in their own way. There is only one aspect of the weather I don’t really like, the wind. Other aspects vary in their affect upon me according to my mood I guess. High humidity comes in high on my dislikes too when it is hot that is. Because fog is the result of high humidity too but when it is cold I do not mind fog at all. It has been a little misty here where I live on one or two days recently but we’ve yet to experience the dense fog other parts of the country get. As I am writing these last few words the sun has put in an appearance just to let me know how quickly the weather can change from being cold to becoming warm. We are told to expect continuing warm weather for the next few days. That’s nice.
This deserves another posting so I thought I would just post the link.
Monday was a very hot day. very humid at first but less so later in the afternoon. The carpet fitter arrived in the morning and finished before noon as I mentioned in a previous post. I had no electrical work as I had half-expected and probably won’t for another week because I withdrew my advert for some time off. Well the first thing I did whilst the carpet was being laid was to give the gardens a thorough watering knowing that it was going to be very hot. Starting in the front garden and then going into the rear garden later. Whilst watering the rear garden the fitter appeared and asked if the carpet he was about to lay was the one I had purchased. It was, but I wondered why he hadn’t asked that question when he first arrived and I was in the front garden where he had parked his van on the driveway. He told me that it would take him a further twenty minutes to lay it which just about allowed me to finish watering the garden. I packed the hose away and went to the top of the house to see he still had a few minutes of work to finish. Here is one of the pictures I posted two days ago..
Although it looks as though it is blue it is in fact grey overall, combining coloured spots of black, white and grey. E had Robbie (robot cleaner) clean the carpet whilst she had lunch. After lunch I decided to go for a walk but just before doing so I called the young builder called Ben who had been employed by E’s nephew to do the work on the roof a couple of months ago. He and a friend (who is now living in Australia) had done all of the brickwork when we had a lot of work being done on the outside of the house back in 2010. They had rebuilt our perimeter walls at the front and other walls within the front and rear gardens at the time. He is a good worker and really just a nice guy to have working for you. Anyhow I couldn’t speak to him directly and had to leave a message instead. I wanted some work doing on the garage brickwork where it has been leaking and alterations to the felt covering too.. I went for my walk and in doing so decided to go in another direction from the one I might usually take. I walked up to the top of the road and then turned left toward the village. I had walked only a short distance in that direction and I saw a pick-up truck parked at the kerb. I seemed to remember having seen the vehicle before and as I approached and to my left there was a guy on his knees and pointing away from my direction. He was doing some work on the paving slabs in the gardens of the apartment block there. I was about to continue past then realized he looked like Ben. I called out his name and he turned around. It was Ben! I couldn’t believe it, what a coincidence or was it fate? Sometimes I think we are led to do certain things rather than that they are chance happenings. He would call around on Tuesday evening to look at the job. I continued on my walk changing half-intended directions a few times. I ‘bumped’ into an acquaintance, a guy I had not seen for some time who strange as it was had been doing the same as myself, going for a walk. I mentioned a couple of days ago that this happens quite often when I go out walking. When out I walked along one of my favourite roads hereabouts, Rotten Row. It is laid with flowerbeds throughout it’s length but sadly these days only on one side of the road, a case of the local authority crying poverty. The diversity of plants are amazing, there is even a banana plant growing in the shelter of a hedge backdrop and surrounded by other plants. No bananas though! I didn’t think they could grow here unless under cover.
Back in January 2009 I tentatively wrote my first post here on WordPress. This post is number 2993. I can’t believe I’ve written so much! Hopefully my posts have become more interesting for my readers. I try to keep them fairly short as I know folk have other things to do with their time but I hope their visits are rewarding. Anyway I just wish to thank all of my readers once again for their continued support. If any of them have spare time on their hands I am sure there are enough posts here to browse and ward off boredom.
Shirley Anne aka Minkyweasel
A “Tropical Breeze Delux”[sic] ceiling fan, made by Moss. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was a bitterly cold Monday morning as I drove off to the first job of the week and the only job of the week at that point in a township eight miles away. Saying it was bitterly cold, it wasn’t that bad but certainly bad enough. I arrived at the house
ten minutes before the appointed time of 9 o’clock but had to wait outside in my van for someone to turn up to let me in the house as the house itself was unoccupied and empty of furniture. A guy about ten years my junior arrived and let me in. He was the father of the owner, his son, who was in Norway
with his fiancé, a Norwegian
girl but who would be moving in soon. The father had been busy trying to get the house decorated as well as carrying out some repairs. My job was to remove four ceiling fan
units and replace them with standard ceiling roses and pendants and to replace a broken power outlet
. I was there for a little over two hours and I got a call from someone living in my home town asking if I could do some work for them. I left the first house and drove to a local electrical supplier to purchase a few items for my van stock and whilst there I noticed a loaf of bread, a tub of butter and a toaster alongside of which was a sign which read ‘Help yourself to a slice of toast on us’. The drinks were already free, as they are at my usual electrical supplier’s outlet. As it happened I was feeling a little hungry since breakfast had been five hours ago so I made myself a slice of toast whilst being served. I drove off to the second job but only to assess what was needed. I was met by an elderly couple at their apartment. They required a new doorbell arrangement, a table lamp repaired and four replacement lighting units beneath their kitchen cupboards. I invited the lady to accompany me to the supplier so that she could decide which items she preferred to have installed and to pay for them too. Normally I would have bought everything myself and then levied the charge later but I wanted her to know just how much things really cost these days by letting her purchase them. I drove her back to her apartment and arranged to carry out the work on Tuesday morning. I suppose I could have done the work that afternoon and would have done in the past but I have promised myself to cut back on the amount of work I will do each day and give myself a break. As it is I am doing work at home at the moment though I take days off my schedule for this. I drove home for lunch. There were only two guys doing the brickwork as the third had come down with a bout of food poisoning
and had evidently been too poorly for work. The rebuilding of the wall has been rather slow but as I write this on Monday evening there are only a couple of courses to lay and hopefully it will be finished tomorrow. E’s nephew called in the afternoon to discuss with the guys what was to be done with the redesigning of the steps approaching the front door so that the work can be carried out once the wall is finished. Once the base is done, and that won’t take long, laying the stone slabs should be pretty much straightforward. So all is well and things are beginning to take shape at last.
I went to do a small electrical job on Wednesday morning last week. It was simply to fit and connect two ‘Victorian‘ type wall lanterns which I did with no fuss. A third lantern existed on the third wall where they had been mounted, that is three walls each with a lantern. I was informed that there was nothing wrong with this third lantern so there was no need to check it out. Well that was what the guy had told me. Indeed the light appeared to be working just fine. Each of the three lights had an extra wire connected which were supplied by a wall switch inside the house. When this switch was turned on all three lights would come on irrespective of whether their own individual built-in motion detectors had them switched on or not. In other words it acted as an override switch in case they wanted the lights to remain on for any length of time. As all three were linked by these extra wires they would all light up if any one of them was activated. That is the way the circuit was designed to operate. When I left the house everything seemed to be working as they should but late on Thursday evening I received a call from the lady of the house who told me that all three lanterns had switched on automatically in the evening but had remained on. Now either the override switch had been left on inadvertently or one or more of the lantern’s motion detectors were at fault. I couldn’t call to the house on Friday as I had been too busy but I told her that I would be there on Saturday morning to check things out. I disconnected the linking wires and discovered the two new lanterns I had fitted were working perfectly but the third lantern wasn’t. This was the one I was assured was not faulty. Yes, it worked when the supply came through the extra wire, the one linking it to the other two and the override switch but its own sensor didn’t appear to be working. The guy kept telling me that there was nothing wrong with it and he couldn’t understand why I said it wasn’t working properly. He also told me that the original lantern that was fitted at high level had only one wire connected to it when he had removed it and he wondered why the replacement was working with just the one wire. Actually it couldn’t, actually there were four wires, one live, one neutral, one earthing wire and the fourth was the linking wire to the other two lanterns. I was told by his wife when I was there on Wednesday and again on Saturday that the guy was suffering with Alzheimer disease and although he seemed to know what he was talking about he didn’t realise that he wasn’t. There was no way I could tell him, no way I could explain the circuitry even though he kept asking. It just wouldn’t register. Such a shame for the poor guy. Needless to say I levied no charge for my visit. The lady said that they would purchase a new lantern to replace the seemingly faulty one and that her husband would fit it, something he is capable of doing so I was informed. It is only a simple matter of connecting each of the four conductors into its respective terminal once the base plate has been screwed to the wall. I might add here that he had in fact fitted the two base plates for the two lanterns I had connected, though upside down, yet he didn’t want to connect them. I am waiting for another call for help now as I write this on Saturday late in the afternoon whilst waiting for the guy to call to check my window and door. I have a feeling he isn’t going to show for the second time but I might be wrong, there is time left still.
This has got to be the best news for drivers since the car was invented but bad news for the fuel cartels.
Sitting here with nought to do
But all my thoughts are fixed on you.
I’ve tried so many times I’ve tried
To reach you with the love of Christ.
Your heart is hardened like a stone
And all you do is moan and groan.
I hope and pray your life will be
Forever changed so that you’ll see.
You don’t believe there is a God
His message isn’t understood.
You know your life will end one day
And that’s the end I hear you say.
But life is more than simply that
And one day you will realise.
God loves you and He longs to see
You with Him for eternity.
Copyright Shirley Anne 23 Feb 2013
Many times I post here about the love and mercy of God, the sacrifice He made for each and every one of us through His son Jesus Christ. The message is so simple. God loves us but our sins keep us apart from Him. The only way to bridge that gap is through Jesus. He is our mediator, the one who took upon himself our sins so that if we believe in him and accept that sacrifice he made we can be forgiven and reconciled with God. It is God’s free gift to us but we have to take it for it to be ours. Head knowledge means nothing. It is through God’s grace and mercy and our own faith in what He has done that we are saved. We need saving for without it we are lost forever. We will never believe if our hearts remain stubborn but God will eventually turn His back on us completely if we continue to ignore Him. I could quote all sorts of Bible verses to show how much God loves us but to the stubborn heart it is a waste of time. Why do I persist in trying to reach you? Could it be that I am concerned for you? Yes I am. Could it be that there is a reason for that? Yes there is. Could it be that my eyes have been opened? Yes they have. Could it mean that I know something I didn’t know before? Yes I do. You too can know if you open your heart. Reach out to God and he will reach out to you. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.
On Monday morning I was dressed and ready to do some digging around the mound but I got a call to do a small electrical job. I went and did that job and on my return there was a package waiting for me. It was the other flag I had ordered, a Union Flag, one which will fly from our flagpole for most of the time now. I soon had it atop the pole. Flying a Union Flag outside my house has always been a desire of mine because I am proud to be British and more precise English. One thing about the Union Flag is that it represents a coming together of people, a union of small countries joining together as one. It also symbolises the union of nations within The Commonwealth and is incorporated within the flag of some of those Commonwealth countries. It once formed a part of the early American flag, though without the red diagonal cross of St. Patrick incorporated. The Union Flag is called a Union Jack if flown from the stern of a ship of the nation but only under those circumstances. I suppose that if Scotland comes out of the Union the flag will have to be changed again. The flag has changed a few times since it was first flown but has remained as it is today since 1801. One thing I had to make sure of doing correctly was to ensure that the flag was the right way up! It is so easy to get that wrong. The picture shows the correct way.
I gave up on the idea of working in the garden for it was too hot to be digging away in full sunshine and my skin is already a little tender from being exposed already! I remained available for any electrical work that might come my way though as most of that work is usually indoors.
Empire Theatre, Liverpool (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A few weeks ago E asked me if I would like to accompany her to the theatre as she had won yet another prize which this time was two tickets to see a show at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool. Well it has been sometime since we went to a theatre so I jumped at the chance. The last show we saw was the John Lennon Story at the Royal Theatre a stone’s throw away from the Empire earlier last year. This time we were to see ‘Licence to Thrill’ starring Brendon Cole the professional dancer with his ensemble. For those not in the know, Brendon has appeared many times in the ‘Strictly come dancing‘ competition held in Autumn each year for the past eleven years. Together with two other male dancers, three female dancers, a male and female singer and a band of about 12 musicians they put on a loosely themed performance centred around the James Bond movies and one or two others. A ‘all dancing’ show with music and song. I had never been to a show of this kind before and wondered what it would be like but I was pleasantly surprised and I enjoyed it immensely. It was something different to experience. Getting there was a little problematical and E was glad we had decided to go a little earlier than we thought was necessary. We drove in her car to the local station only to find that part of the railroad was under maintenance for this weekend and for others in the near future. We could only catch the train from a station five stops down the line. However they had laid on a bus service to and from that station to the end of the line which is the main station in town and the previous one to ours. It had of course to stop at all the stations in-between too. It added about thirty minutes to our journey. At least they had gotten the timing right so that we didn’t have to wait for the train or the bus longer than normal. We arrived in Liverpool at a little after six-thirty but E wanted something to eat before we got to the theatre so we found a pub and ordered a quick snack. Did I say quick? I meant slow for we had to wait a good twenty minutes for it and when it arrived I was not impressed. I had ordered a burger (something I don’t normally eat) thinking it might come quicker but when it arrived I found the bun dry and the burger a little dry too. I ate only the meat and one or two chips (French fries) and left the rest. I needed to visit the ladies room and we both needed to move ourselves out of there to get to the theatre on time anyway. We managed to get the tickets which had been deposited at the booking office and find our seat with five minutes to spare. Our return journey home was pretty much uneventful save for one incident as we journeyed on the bus on the last leg. We had been driving along the main by-pass and we had just turned into the road which runs along the coast when the bus was overtaken by an impatient driver of what looked like a large white Bentley. No problem with that except that the driver must have been exceeding the speed limit by around twenty miles per hour as I was sitting up front and could see the bus was travelling at forty miles per hour which was the legal speed limit. Aside from that the driver drove down the wrong side of the road for quite a long way as there was a central reservation for some distance at that point in the road. I suppose the driver was taken by surprise when realising cutting back in wasn’t an option at that time! Fortunately there were no other vehicles about and for the driver, no police either!