’twas on a frosty morning……

The title of an old English song rings true this morning. The first day of December has brought a widespread frost over the whole country. I had occasion to take out the garbage bin for collection today and looked with dismay at the countless needles and cones which lay strewn across our front driveways. There were ordinary leaves there too. It was only a week or so since I last cleared up the drive but with last week’s windy weather and it being Autumn many more needles, cones and leaves had dropped from the trees. It is cold this morning and any surface water has turned to ice. However the driveway needed clearing so I found the yard brush and swept it all into a heap ready to be binned later. We have a natural waste collection every two weeks but today they collect recyclable waste, metal cans, bottles and paper. I didn’t notice or rather feel the cold as I was exercising! When I got back inside though I realised how cold I really was! Does this mean Winter has decided to come early or is it just an isolated icy day? We’ll see.

Shirley Anne

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Music….is that it?

Now I remember………it was Music that I wanted to write about yesterday. I could go into a lengthy article about music but I’ve not the time and probably not the ability. I was just thinking recently in why people like music and why they have particular tastes and preferences in music. So what is it about music that is so inviting and pleasant to us? It was said years ago when Rock ‘n Roll started and later when we first heard ‘Heavy Rock’ that people were attracted to the beat because it was symbolic of our time in the womb when we could hear our mothers’ heartbeat. We were in a safe environment and the association is not hard to accept or believe. Maybe that is so. To understand that we have to go back to the roots of music’s creation. That means thousands of years. The first music was most probably born when somebody was tapping a stick on a rock or other hard surface, accidentally at first but then deliberately as a means of relaxation. It is easy to see where that would have led. The basis of any music is in its bass rhythm. These days much popular music has a strong bass and that is what initially attracts us. Of course it would be silly to say that is the only attraction but where it is strong it is certainly noticeable! Our tastes in music varies considerably from person to person and that is what makes ‘our’ music so special to us. If somebody doesn’t like our taste in music we sometimes cannot appreciate why. When I was very young my experience of music came through the radio and was limited to whatever music station my parents were listening to. So I grew up liking the music of the thirties, forties and early fifties and also classical music. As I grew up my tastes changed somewhat and I began to listen to the music of the late fifties, the sixties and seventies and became ‘one tracked’, forsaking all other music for heavy rock, ballads and pop. I have matured somewhat over the years in my appreciation of music. Nowadays I like all music but do have preferences. As long as what I am listening to can be called music and not just noise I will enjoy it. My tastes are very varied and cover all genres. Presently when driving I am tuned into Classic FM and it is most enjoyable. Sometimes I will listen to Rock FM or another similar station and find that equally enjoyable. It’s a question of what mood I am in. I don’t reject any music out of hand and will listen until I am bored with it! The same applies when I am playing my guitar, I switch between different types of songs, different keys when I get bored with them. I like music because I can listen or play it to suit my moods.

Shirley Anne

Forgetfulness……

Now today I had it on my mind to post another article as I try to do each day but I am at a loss as to what it was going to be. Forget all the usual comments about age please, I do know that I can be forgetful at times. Sometimes I’ll be upstairs on an errand to get something and when I arrive I have to think what it was I’d gone for! Have you ever put the sugar in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard? If so, you will know what I mean. I get absent-minded at times too. I think the two things go hand in hand. Anyway getting back to my forgotten post I hope I can remember what it was. In the meantime I’ll slurp some more red wine. Hope your weekend has gone smoothly!

Shirley Anne

Global warming and all that.

I have a couple of links on my blog (look on the left under Magazines) about global warming and CO2 written by a learned scientist. They are worth reading. I have never put any faith in the current thinking about global warming and our involvement in it. The Earth has gone through many heating and cooling cycles in it’s history, many ice ages and mini ice ages too. They were happening long before mankind appeared. Nature did this all by herself and without the aid of mankind. We may be responsible in contributing to the current rise in world temperature but if you read the articles in the links you mat be surprised to learn that CO2 is unlikely to be involved. Why? Because CO2 is quite a rare gas and according to the article only represents a fraction of 1% of the gasses in the atmosphere. Again, according to the article, whenever there has been an increase in temperature in the past the level of CO2 has been at a minimum and when there has been a reduction in temperatures CO2 has been at a maximum. Strange? It makes me wonder if all the talk about carbon footprints is a load of hogwash and then I think to myself, ‘Why are we paying the penalty’?
One other thing we are told is that we must recycle materials to ‘save the planet’. Sounds good to me but in fact we are only saving the use of new materials and not energy which is what all the fuss is about. Energy is used in the manufacturing of materials into usable things but when we recycle just as much, if not more energy is used to effect the recycle. That’s before the recycled material is transformed into another usable article. Where is the energy being saved? I am confused and not convinced about global warming and all that.

Shirley Anne

Alcoholic?

Well off I went tonight with my ex. to buy one more Christmas present. We visited a supermarket of all places because that’s where we hoped to buy the gift. We bought the present but me being me I decided I would take the opportunity to buy a few ‘extras’. I bought one more small gift for a friend and then…..a litre of Scotch whisky, vodka, two litres of golden rum, a litre of Jack Daniels, a litre of Baileys and six bottles of red wine! Oh and a couple of cream doughnuts! I am back home now finishing off the bottle of red wine I’d opened earlier. I’m not an alcoholic……..honest!

Shirley Anne

Retail therapy.

I am about due for some more retail therapy. Lately I have been buying gifts for Christmas but have not spent anything on myself. The main problem is I am not sure what I would like. I go shopping usually with an idea of what I am after but often change my mind when I get there or buy something I see that I had not planned on buying. Sound familiar? I like the comfort of knowing that all my friends and family have been catered for as far as gifts go so that I can concentrate on myself. At this time of year I love the atmosphere, the expectancy as we approach Christmas Day but I don’t enjoy the day itself, mostly because I am left alone and left out of things. I am glad when Christmas Day is over and I can get back to normal. Many people focus on the January sales and go on mad spending sprees. Not for me, I like to take my time and enjoy my shopping excursions, I am not interested in the mad rush just to save a bit of cash. Over the next weeks I am anticipating receiving much work so what time I will have for myself will be well spent with some retail therapy amongst other things.

Shirley Anne

UFO’s and Aliens.

I have been browsing the various UFO sites on the Internet and have read many of the reported sightings of UFO’s. Some of them are very convincing but some are obviously not. One woman was describing two objects and their movements across the sky at different times in the same evening but in different directions. As I read her report I immediately thought about artificial satellites and the many I have seen whenever I am sky watching. I have been interested in and studied Astronomy since my youth so I have a good idea of what goes on up there. What she described fitted exactly to my experiences of viewing these satellites, a bright star-like object moving smoothly across the sky which suddenly disappears. Well most of the satellites look like stars from earth when lit by the sun. The sudden disappearance is due to them entering the Earth’s shadow! Now I am not saying that this describes all sightings nor does it explain many others but I am sure that many of them will have alternative explanations which place them as normal activity. However there are some reports which evade all reasonable explanations as to what they are and could possibly be due to Alien activity, if one believes in Aliens. It is quite plausible that Aliens do exist and equally plausible that they may have or still do pay us visits. What do you think?

Shirley Anne

Christmas prezzies, reprise and more.

As I had but one small job today I decided to go into town with my ex. and buy some more gifts for Christmas. It has been an extremely windy and occasionally wet day and we struggled in the inclemency that is late Autumn in the UK. We managed to buy quite a few things and there remains only a couple more items to buy. I usually have all my presents bought before the end on November so I am on target. I hate last minute shopping but I still sometimes buy that little something extra.
Going back to that one small job this morning, it was an experience I don’t ever want again. A lady, I shall use that term very lightly, had a problem with a power point in her house or so I was told. It turned out to be an extension lead and the plug on the end of the cord to one of her electric convection heaters. A very simple task to repair and I had it done in minutes. That wasn’t the experience to which I was referring. When she opened the front door I was welcomed by a disgustingly foul smell. The house was in a very bad state of disrepair, nowhere was the wallpaper intact, it had been scratched so much at the bottom by the cats she kept and it was peeling off the walls everywhere else due to the damp conditions. Cobwebs adorned every conceivable place and cat litter was strewn all over what passed for carpets on the floor. The woodwork, doors and windows were in a filthy state and years of greasy finger and hand marks disguised whatever paint that had survived the years. Old furniture and dirty clothes filled the rooms and the smell of stale food and cat urine permeated the house. The bed hadn’t been made in months if not years! The lady herself was well spoken but unkempt and untidy in her appearance. Litter was scattered everywhere and the whole place should have been completely gutted, cleaned and redecorated years ago. The lady told me that she had lived there ever since she was born but that now she had no-one to look after her. I thought that she was simply lazy for she was fit enough but told me that she couldn’t be bothered! I am amazed she isn’t ill living in such conditions. I wonder if she has guests round for Christmas. Somehow I don’t think so. How anyone could live like that without caring in the least I have no idea. I have been in some dirty places before of course but never one as bad as this.

Shirley Anne

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Sounds like the title of a movie……..LOL. It refers to some of the days in the life of one Shirley Anne. I am very sure that I am not alone in this but I find many of my days are good, bad or plain ugly! I have good days, I have not so good days and I have days when I think to myself, ‘Why did I get up’? I thought today was going to be one of those ugly days but as it turned out it was quite the opposite. I had a rather awkward and testing job in prospect which I knew would challenge my knowledge and investigative skills to find a solution. I didn’t fancy the idea but I put that down to a lack of confidence in my ability. You would think that after 47 years in the ‘business’ at it were, confidence would not be an issue. I suppose we all have moments like this however but we get through them. I set off in a cheerfully optimistic mood which set the day straight. In the event I had no difficulty at all in solving the problem and after a couple of hours everything was back in order. I returned home got changed and went out for a meal with my ex.. We travelled a few miles out of town to a place we’d often passed but never went in. Today we arrived to find it closed for the day! We decided to back-track a mile or so to another unassuming little pub/restaurant which we also had not visited before. It turned out to be larger than we’d thought. The place was almost empty though and we had only minutes to spare before they ceased serving lunch. As it turned out the meal was excellent and very inexpensive too which was a nice surprise. Afterwards we visited a local liquor store and bought some, well, liquor! I was then dropped off at my local pub to spend a couple of hours. I met up with people I hadn’t seen for a while and had a really nice time there. I went home around 7.30 and relaxed by a cosy fire, watched tv, wrote this, visited other blogs and played some guitar before the sandman came to stay the night. The good, the bad and the ugly day turned out to be all good. I think it is all a matter of mindset. We can make the most of our situations or just moan about them and have a lousy time. I know which way I prefer.

Shirley Anne

Horrible.

Today I called in to see an old gent in response to a phone call. I had installed an outdoor power point for his mobility scooter about two years ago. He uses it to charge up the battery. As he lives in an apartment block there was little choice in the power points’ location. He lives on the ground floor otherwise it would not have been possible to have it fitted. According to the phone message I was under the impression that he now wanted this point moving so I called in to see what was required. It turns out that he wanted a power point fitting in his garage. Unfortunately the garages are not directly connected to the main building which means a major job to get underground cabling installed beneath pathways, gardens and a road. This would entail much planning and consultation with all the other residents and would be a costly affair. The electrical supplies should have been installed when the site was under construction. There is a low voltage lighting system around the garages but it cannot be used to supply anything else. The old gent couldn’t understand why not and it took me some time to try and explain the reasons. I suggested he bring his scooter indoors and park it next to his front door and I could fit him a power point there. It would not be an obstruction to other residents but it appears that there are a few who object to that idea irrespective of the needs of this poor old guy who is 90 years of age. How horrible some people can be. I just hope their needs will not become a obsticle to others when they are old and infirm. I had to tell him that there were no alternatives to what he had now.

Shirley Anne