Tag Archives: Activity

Poor electricians?

Standard

I am glad I entered into the electrical trade/business all those years ago. For someone who has an inquisitive mind it is the ideal occupation. People often ask why I took up electrical work and the answer I give is that I wanted to know how things work. It is still the reason even now and it doesn’t stop at electrical things, I am interested in many things and how they work, how they are made and the history behind them too. It is a passion I guess but it helped when I first embarked in my career that I enjoy working with my hands and to be truthful it was essential. There are no such things as poor electricians providing they are prepared to work.

Power to the people!

Power to the people!

I am not super rich and never could be unless I had a large business employing many people but that was never an option for me, I simply wasn’t that way inclined. Being self-employed is in itself a driving force though less so for myself these days because I am fortunate to have a two-pension income. My self employment allows me to enjoy that little bit extra without the worry that I would have to struggle on my pensions alone. I could manage on just my pensions and I could even still save something at the end of the month. It isn’t that extra cash that motivates me though, it is the fact that I am still capable of working and I enjoy the work and in meeting people. Of course I no longer work full-time, I have no wish to and probably couldn’t maintain full-time working for very long, even one day doing that is tiring at my age. On Monday morning I changed the bedclothes and washed the soiled sheets in the washing machine before breakfast then an hour later hung them in the boiler room to dry. It is such an advantage having cellars in a house. As I had nothing else planned I was wondering what I could do for the rest of the morning in the garden whilst the weather was dry. I didn’t wish to continue with digging out bluebells in the remaining section of flowerbed that as yet I haven’t touched. I thought there might be one or two popping up in places where I had been clearing them out so I went into the garden to check. I didn’t need to look far and soon found some beginning to show themselves in a couple of places. I spent an hour digging them out before returning indoors. It was now approaching lunchtime so I thought I would prepare a vegetable stew. Using onions, bell peppers, garlic cloves, carrots, sweetcorn, lentils, barley, green beans, pre-cooked diced chicken and seasoning I made enough for three meals.

Washing peppers

Washing peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By now it was 12.15 so I decided to have some for lunch but my phone rang and it was a job offer in the next town. I drove there and did the work which has now led to more work in the weeks ahead. It pays being an electrician if you are prepared to work………

Shirley Anne

Just like a kid

Standard

Just the way I feel sometimes but only after a busy day. I had been lamenting the fact that although I had taken a three-week break over the Christmas and New Year holiday I was getting bored with nothing much to do. Now that I have resumed work I find I am running about like a headless chicken! Gosh I have been busy lately but you won’t find me complaining, I thrive on it though sometimes I am glad for the rest in the evening when I am at home. Even then the phones are ringing up to and around nine o’clock on many occasions! I sometimes don’t know where I get the energy but it appears that the more I do the more I am capable of doing it. Just like a kid, full of energy but equally ready to slump on the sofa when I’m done. Today, Thursday, was one such day, busy throughout though not all at work. So I was so tired…………

Shirley Anne

I went back

Standard
Some Kind of Strange

Some Kind of Strange (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A strange day was Wednesday in that it was out of my usual routine. Work of course majored for most of the morning followed by a little shopping. Back home to change then off out to see a man friend for a couple of hours and returning home stopping off at my local pub before finally getting home in the early evening. The electrical work was to replace two existing outdoor light units with new LED floodlights, a job which could have taken up to two hours at worse and an hour or less at best. I had the good fortune to get the latter which meant I had more time for other things. I needed to get to the electrical supplier to replenish my van stock and then do some minor domestic shopping before returning home. I was back home at eleven o’clock to get changed. I gave the latest shoe purchase their first outing but as I had to drive quite a distance I also took a pair of flat-heeled shoes. In any event driving in high heels is not to be recommended because of the damage it would do to the shoes. It can also be very dangerous because of the difficulty it produces in controlling the pedals. Once I had arrived at my destination it was on with the high heels! I spent a couple of hours with my friend then I was heading back homeward for I had arranged to meet someone later for lunch. However that person couldn’t make it and I ended up dining alone. I could have simply dined at home instead but decided to eat alone because I was hungry as it was getting late in the afternoon. I didn’t stop long at the restaurant, who wants to sit alone after eating? I took the longer route home and at the last-minute turned off toward my local pub. For a short time I sat alone with a soft drink but was soon in company. A guy the same age as myself and whom I’ve known for a few years came over and sat with me. It was one of the best hours I have experienced there, and there have been many of those in the past. He was good company and we laughed and joked a lot. Because I haven’t visited the pub for months evidently it seems I had been missed for many came asking where I had been these last few months. Finally I wanted to get back home so made my way to the van but I was spotted by another acquaintance also wanting to know where I had been. This was a middle-aged woman who greeted me as if I were her greatest friend and I invited her to sit with me in the van whilst I changed my shoes. She told me she was envious of the heels. We chatted for a few minutes and she insisted I call to her house for coffee sometime with a view to going out together for the day perhaps. I said I would because I am always open to friendship and she lives only a couple of hundred metres from my house. I spent the rest of the day relaxing at home for there was more work to be done the following morning.

Shirley Anne

First of the year

Standard

After a few days of dry weather it finally rained on Friday, all day in fact. That meant a break from gardening work but I knew that anyway as the forecast is generally accurate these days. With that in mind there was no need to get up early so I didn’t, this time is wasn’t accidental as it has been with me lately. If I have a reason to get up early I do it without any problem as I set the alarm but I have to add however that most of the time I wake up before it goes off! So it rained and there was nothing to do. I didn’t go anywhere, just stayed at home. How boring! Usually I find something to do and most probably there was something but I try to put off thinking about such things. It doesn’t work however and I get to thinking what I can do in the months ahead. Already I have a couple of plans in mind and if they materialise I’ll post something about them. When I am working I am happy and though sometimes I think about having a break when I get one all I think about is getting back to work. It’s not necessarily work which is the magnet, though I enjoy work, it is more having something to do. I often play my guitar at home but I couldn’t do that all day long. I read, though it has to be informative, it has to be anything but fiction, I deal in fact. Fiction is fine with me only if it is the theme of a movie. I watch television though I try not to watch too much of it. So Friday was the first day it rained both from the sky and on my parade. g-2I didn’t even get the chance to see the squirrel who has been a regular visitor to the garden lately. He/she lives in the huge ivy-covered lime tree over the wall in the rear garden (centre of picture)  and is often found on that wall or in the garden itself. I suppose the rain is keeping him or her in the nest. The year is young and there will probably be more days like Friday………..I just hope they’ll be few. Probably the squirrel is thinking the same!

Shirley Anne

Hard times

Standard
Everything You Want for Christmas

Everything You Want for Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hard times for someone like me who only wants to work. For most people this time of year is a very busy time, shopping for Christmas is now over and the festivities themselves will also be over for many too. Still there is time for rest before the return to work and the merry-go-round of life continues. Many will be glad for the break after all the busy days they have just endured. I can only say though that it was all self-inflicted, it was what they wanted to do. Each to their own and no doubt a splendid time was had by all, well maybe. Maybe things turned out as expected or even better, maybe tempers rose and there was friction which upset all the festivities. I hope the latter wasn’t your experience anyway. As for myself there was none of that for reasons I have documented much in the past and also within the past week or so. My problem has been one of boredom, not being able to find much to do over the ‘holiday’ period. I cancelled my advertisement in the local press for three weeks but that was more for financial purposes than a need to rest from my work, though I did need some of that. What would be the point of spending what would be £120 or so for the privilege of getting no calls? I notice other electricians continue to advertise each week of the year but as it is their livelihood, they need to keep advertising. I don’t need to advertise throughout the year as essentially I do not need the same volume of work but just enough to keep me active until I decide finally that I’ve had enough. That however might be far off at the moment because all I want to do is have something to do! At the moment that will be restricted to working at home in whatever capacity will keep me active and relieve the boredom. I have been struggling to find things to do but over the last couple of days I have managed to find something. I am wondering how I will fill the next couple of weeks into the new year. Something will surely turn up………….I hope so.

Shirley Anne

Too hot to handle

Standard
Too Hot to Handle (1938 film)

Too Hot to Handle (1938 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gosh my phone was busy on Thursday morning! I had been working in a fairly new development less than a mile from home, actually built on the grounds of the school that once stood there. My two sons attended that school for a few years until we moved them to another later on. The school was what we call a private school here in the UK (and elsewhere), one which levies a fee each term for the private education they provide. Those fees amounted to thousands of pounds (Sterling) each term, money we could ill-afford to pay by ourselves though we did make contribution toward the cost. E’s parents paid the majority of the cost until we decided the children would do better in a State-run school. They did very well, even better, at their new school and both ended up with a degree at their respective universities. Of course we had to support them whilst they were there. Their old school had been completely renovated and turned into luxury apartments and new buildings had been erected in the school grounds too. It was in one of those buildings I went to work on Thursday morning but I’d hardly stepped over the threshold when my phone rang and then continued to do so during the two hours I was there. It was a bit of a nuisance having to down tools to answer the phone each time it rang. Fortunately the lady of the house was sympathetic. This is why I think people should attempt to contact me in the evenings rather than during the day unless they have an emergency. A week or so ago I visited a house some miles north of town to check out a faulty cooker circuit. Maybe my readers will remember that I had to replace a faulty switch and disconnect wiring that shouldn’t have been connected to it? The switch had been positioned in a very awkward place and had been difficult to remove. Anyway the lady of that house was one of the callers on Thursday morning. Evidently her cooker had ceased working. Naturally I arranged to call there once I had completed the work I was engaged in doing when she called. On my arrival an hour or so later I discovered that the ‘fault’ wasn’t a fault at all, she had switched the timer to automatic mode instead of manual mode! Once I corrected that the cooker worked perfectly. She apologised profusely but I knew she was under pressure as an hour later her husband would be on his way to hospital for a major operation to remove a cancerous tumour. I didn’t levy a charge but she insisted I take something anyway. I drove homeward to a relaxing afternoon……………but the phone carried on ringing now and then.

Shirley Anne

Not everyone

Standard
A sedentary person, or "typical couch pot...

A sedentary person, or “typical couch potato” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching the day’s news on television today (Wednesday) and smiled when I heard about an elderly widower who has been advertising for a job vacancy. He is just about 90 years old, his wife died two years ago and he says the boredom of not doing anything each day is driving him crazy. I know many his age who find it difficult to get up from the couch being as they are self-confessed couch potatoes! I admired his pluck and his obvious energy, even at his age, no, especially at his age. The newsreader went on to say that a local restaurant owner has invited the man along for an interview with the prospect of work to follow we assume if he is successful at the interview. I wish him success too. Not everyone wants to stop working as they get older it seems so I am in good company. I find it difficult to sit around doing nothing for any length of time but I don’t wish to spend my time doing useless things either. I like to be productive which means creating improvements in anything I do. It is good to spend time out of course but not for too long or too often. I know people who just flit away the hours going from place to place but actually getting nowhere, their time is spent looking at things or sitting in pubs and restaurants every day which would bore me to tears. Each to their own of course but I want to leave a lasting legacy that hopefully others will be able to enjoy when I’m gone. This is one of the reasons I like working for others or working at home on the house or especially in the gardens. I was looking out of the window in the wet room which overlooks the side of the house where I had been working during the summer, the ‘Plot’. I look at my achievements both there and elsewhere in the garden and am satisfied that what I have done is lasting. Whenever I look out of the windows at home my thoughts centre on what other improvements I can make. I am limited at this time of year as to what I am able to do simply because of the weather but I like making plans, in my head at least, for any future projects I’ve a mind to do. If I reach 90 I hope I will still have that same attitude and not resign myself or consign myself to a life of idleness.

Shirley Anne

At the ready

Standard

What a lovely day Thursday was, bright, sunny and just a hint of a breeze. I was hoping I would get the day to myself, at least during the morning as I had to walk into town to deposit money in my bank and also to purchase two items from the pharmacy store, one an anti-fungal cream and the other a lipstick. Yes they sell cosmetics too.Foot care The cream was to replenish a tube I had that is almost used up. I have been treating a fungal infection on a couple of my toenails as I don’t want it to spread. I arose early and after breakfast drove half the way into town then walked the rest of the way as I normally do. The town centre is only a mile and a quarter from home but I didn’t want to walk the whole distance thinking I might have to go elsewhere later. It didn’t happen that way but it did happen. I completed my business in town and returned home. There was a message on the house phone. A lady and her husband living a couple of minutes away asked if I could change a couple of light units in their apartment. I could have done one of them immediately had I taken the van but it seemed not worth doing that, I walked there instead. The other unit would have to be purchased as I had recommended they have a long LED unit to meet their needs in the room in which it was to be fitted. It turned out that she was an avid ‘crafter’ just as E has become these last few months. She once made greetings cards as E now does but she stopped producing them some time ago and now makes other things instead. Anyway I walked back home, collected my van and drove to the electrical supplier. I had to place an order for the LED light as they hadn’t one on the shelf but it would be there the following morning. The type I ordered has a flat back and a semi-circled (actually an arc) front but in essence a similar fitting to the one in the picture.LED Extrusion I paid for it and I would collect it sometime after my Friday morning dental appointment. I returned to the apartment to arrange a day for doing the work and we arranged for it to be done on Monday morning. It was just after twelve when I returned home. The afternoon would be all mine. After lunch I went into the rear garden to browse around. I went into the greenhouse, then in full sunshine, to see how the strawberry plants I had put in there were doing and if they needed water. They didn’t of course but I wanted to be certain the soil was at least moist. The plants were healthy and ready to start growing. In fact a couple of them have flowers on them already! I walked around the garden and reached the patio. We have a couple of pots on the steps and in front of the patio wall in which E planted tulip and daffodil bulbs two years ago. I had them partially covered to prevent the birds from digging out the loose bark in the pots. I removed the coverings and lo and behold the first signs of growth were exposed. The bulbs have sprouted and are pushing their way upward already. Nothing really stands still, not the plants in the garden nor me!

Shirley Anne

Must be the last?

Standard
Sunset over Southport, UK, in July 2006. Note ...

Sunset over Southport, UK, in July 2006. Note the interesting cloud formations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Haven’t we been enjoying good weather these last few weeks? Okay I know some have had some cold and windy weather but generally speaking the UK has fared quite well considering it is now Autumn. For a few hours on Sunday we had here in Southport sunshine and blue skies, especially during the afternoon, so much so that I actually sat out in it. The Sun‘s rays were still strong and penetrating and could easily burn unprotected skin if out in it for a long time. There was little in the way of a breeze but when the wind did put in an  appearance it was warm. Later in the day clouds rolled in and we had rain, in fact rain was the forecast for the following two days after which it might turn sunny once more. I doubt there will be more opportunities to sit in the sun from now on unless heavier and warmer clothes are worn. Aside from being in the garden or out at work I haven’t been out much lately, not even for walks. Walking is nice but is very unproductive too. I have simply been far too busy to spend time walking and any walking has been done on my treadmill though when I get on that machine I usually end up running! As the weather gets more wet and windy I think I’ll be using the treadmill more often. I have taken my advert out of the newspaper for two weeks so that I might have more time to myself though I won’t be idle if I can help it. I might get to do some of that walking outdoors if the weather permits. As I write this on Sunday evening I have scheduled electrical work to do in the week ahead so I won’t have every day to myself anyway and there’s work to do in the gardens.

Shirley Anne

No pressure

Standard

I like being my age, most of the time that is! Age brings with it many problems for some people though some will sail through their latter days with hardly a problem at all. You might say it was a matter of luck or good fortune and you would be partly right. Much of our health and susceptibility to illnesses can be attributed to our genes but not for everyone. We have to do our best to stay healthy and hope that will be enough. Remaining active into old age is beneficial to our health and well-being and it is one of the reasons I have kept working beyond the age I would normally have retired. The other reasons for working are that I enjoy it and if I am working for someone else it pays too! The beauty of working for one’s self is that there is no real pressure, you can work as much as you want to. Since becoming self-employed over nineteen years ago I have found that to be true. I can take work on board or not and take time for myself when it suits me. On Tuesday last I had a call from a guy for whom I had worked in the past and he was asking for my electrical services to solve a couple of problems he was having with his installation. My intention has been to work at home on a mini-project concerning the floodlights at the rear of the house but as there was no pressure to do it I agreed to respond to his request. It was nine o’clock when I arrived at his house and eleven-thirty when I left. It was financially beneficial to me of course and well worth the time I had spent there. When I returned home I prepared a vegetable and chicken stew, mostly vegetables, the way I prefer it being made. I used onions, bell peppers, garlic cloves, carrots and peas on this occasion together with pre-cooked diced chicken. I made enough for two or three meals as often I don’t have the time or inclination to stand in the kitchen cooking, much as I like cooking. I had some of the stew for my lunch as by then it was one o’clock. Soon after lunch I put on my overalls and started working in the garden. First job was to move the small concrete slabs, natural stone slabs and a couple of bricks that I had temporarily left in the passageway between the side of the house and the ‘Plot’ where I had been working lately. I then began to erect two sections of the scaffolding tower to allow me to reach the floodlights on that side and end of the house. There are five floodlights on the rear and side walls of the house. The one nearest the patio and facing the lawn had been faulty for some weeks so I planned to remove it and replace it with the one just around the corner which faced the Plot. It is the light just to the right of the window at bottom right in this picture, though the picture was taken a few years ago before I changed them to LED floodlights…… pics-1113I would then extend the wiring from where I had removed that floodlight and install a new floodlight further along the wall but at a lower height and  better position to illuminate the Plot and the passageway to the rear of the garage. Re-positioning that floodlight would also prevent false triggering of the floodlight’s sensor caused by the laurel bushes at the side of the patio which move in the wind. I got most of the work done by five o’clock when it began to get too dark. I had to put everything away but of course I left the tower erected as I hadn’t finished the work. Another hour or so would see it completed and I planned to do that the next day.

Shirley Anne

Well it certainly worked

Standard

The light shone through the trees
Casting long fanned-out shadows across the lawn
There was no hiding place for creature or man
Until the breaking of the dawn.

lamp-post-illuminated

The lamp at the top of the lamp-post switched itself on just after seven o’clock in the evening and remained  on until seven-ten in the morning, a full twelve hours. This is why I want to obtain a part-night photo sensor to control an ordinary but LED lamp as it will automatically switch the lamp off a little after midnight for  maybe four hours or more, switching it back on before dawn for a couple of hours. I have one controlling our porch light which switches off at one o’clock in the morning and  back on again before dawn. The lamp supplied with the lamp-post is a fluorescent and uses 15 watts of energy whereas an LED equivalent would only use 5 watts of energy or thereabout for the same light output and far less power if not left on all night. Both of course are far less expensive than traditional tungsten or halogen lamps which can consume ten to twelve times the amount of power as an LED for the same light output. Anyway the lamp will remain for the time being. I was quite tired on Thursday evening and glad to get to bed. I had nothing planned for Friday but after breakfast I went outside with a brush and a tin of black paint for painting metal in order to cover over the sealant I had put between the joints in the lamp-post. I also wanted to paint the screw heads of the screws fastening the cable clamps and to paint over the white cable I had to use in part of the installation just to make it less noticeable. It worked. Just as I was about to start however, someone called asking if I could fit a couple of replacement light units in their apartment. It never fails, I seem to get calls whenever I am about to do work at home. The painting would take five minutes so I agreed to do their work immediately after. The apartment was only two and a half miles away. I was back home well before lunchtime. After lunch I mowed the lawn hoping it would be the last time for this year but I fancy that won’t be the case. Because of the season it is difficult to find the grass dry at any time, even if it hasn’t been raining it is usually wet with dew.  Our lawn is on the north side of the house so the grass can remain wet for long periods and it makes mowing sometimes difficult to do but with the petrol mower it isn’t too bad. Some of the cuttings however tend to clog-up and not end up in the collecting bin. The hardest part is trying to sweep the cuttings that have ended up on the concrete paving slabs because they are wet. One of the two wheelie bins for green waste which were emptied on Monday was now already full. You can see why we need two of them. It was a sunny day on Friday, sunny enough to sit on the patio for a while to relax, which is what I did later on.

Shirley Anne

Go girl go

Standard

Seems to be me at the moment. I did get the rest I needed over the weekend but since then it has been all go.

Wonder Girl

Wonder Girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My previous posts reveal some of the things I have been up to so far this week. Now as I write this on Wednesday late in the afternoon I have just returned indoors after working in the garden on the lamp-post project. I haven’t uncovered the work I did yesterday, that is Tuesday because rain is forecast overnight and I want the concrete I laid then to remain dry so that it can itself dry out completely. It was 26 hours ago that I laid it. Today I concentrated on fixing both the connector box and the box with the isolating switch to the wall and then connecting the steel-wire-armoured cable and the supply cables to them. The supply cable had to be fed from the other side of the wall to a power box there but I had to remove a small piece of capping stone first. I secured the cable to the wall so that I could replace the capping stone over it. Of course that meant mixing some new mortar too. I didn’t make the final connection to the power box as it was getting late and I’d had enough work for one day and also because the power box  needs some attention as two of its fixing screws had become loose. I might get the time on Thursday afternoon to finish that part of the work. I had been to work doing electrical jobs in the morning so essentially it had been a full day working. By Friday it may be possible to fix the lamp-post’s base to the concrete plinth and if so there would be no reason to prevent the post itself to be fitted. For the moment we will have to use the lamp that was supplied, an energy-saving lamp (miniature fluorescent) which has a built-in light detector. It means though that the lamp will be lit throughout the night. I am still trying to source a part-night sensor which will switch off the lamp for a few hours during the early hours after midnight. If I obtain one it will be fitted next to the connector box I have just installed to control the supply to the lamp-post and then I can replace the lamp with an LED version instead. Tomorrow, Thursday I will be installing equipment and wiring inside someone’s shed! They breed turtles…………..don’t ask.

Shirley Anne

Waiting for the rain

Standard

Up early again on Wednesday to do more work on the Plot. Wednesday was an ideal day for working outdoors being as it was slightly cooler than of late. After an early breakfast I was outside at a little after eight o’clock and was soon working. I didn’t have to set up the mixer so I was pretty much able to get straight to work. My main object for the day was to finish building the walled enclosure, its inner walls. I managed to do that but I may take the structure up one more level of bricks as I have discovered I have sixty-three bricks remaining and to lay another course will take forty-eight bricks. As it stands (Wednesday) there are seven courses of bricks. Of course I will be topping the walls with natural stone in keeping with the patio brickwork. In this picture the work has been temporarily covered because rain was forecast for Thursday and I wanted the walls to remain dry.Plot 12    Now then, I had finished with mixing mortar for the day as it was approaching lunchtime and I wasn’t prepared to carry on working into the afternoon. Rather than do nothing I chose to remove part of the wall alongside the path and dig out the soil behind it as you can see in the bottom right of the picture. I then laid some old bricks and rubble as a base for some concrete upon which I will lay a paving slab later. Eventually there will be three steps to match those I constructed a couple of years ago shown on the left in the picture. The plastic sheet standing there covers what is left of the four hundred bricks I had delivered for the work. There are sixty-three of them as I mentioned. Before I can fill the structure with soil I have to ‘point’ the internal walls, that is fill in all the gaps in the joints. Later I will have to do the same with the outer surfaces of the construction. I had my lunch and then spent a few minutes on the patio but was disturbed by a phone call from the auto-electrician who had been repairing the fault of my van’s lighting switches. I walked to their workshop about a mile away and collected the van. The guy had to replace the whole mechanism which slides over the steering column and to which the control stalks are fitted. The cost for the replacement and fitting it? £246! I knew it wouldn’t be cheap but I didn’t expect it to be quite as expensive. I’m going to need a couple more electrical jobs to offset the outlay. Fortunately the work is still coming in.

Shirley Anne

Not sure how I do it

Standard

………..especially at my age! Retirement, semi-retirement, couple of days a week or even a couple of hours a day should be my lot at my age. Somehow I can’t manage any of them. There are times though when all I want to do is well, nothing but I soon get restless doing that. I did one small electrical job about twelve miles from home and returned by ten o’clock. I had a larger job scheduled to follow but it was cancelled at the last-minute and at the time of writing I am not sure whether it is a permanent cancellation or not as they didn’t explain in their text message. A bit naughty I thought for not informing me one way or the other but that’s the way some people are I suppose. It didn’t matter because I could do some work in the plot. I donned a pair of overalls and boots and began cleaning out the small internal annex to the garage which stands next to the plot and followed that by clearing the pathway and the large pile of root balls that had been stacked in the corner of the plot which can be seen in a few recent posts. I then took the cement mixer stored in the other garage and put it behind the garage next to the plot for use when I had the time to begin laying bricks. The next thing was to stack some of the bricks recently purchased on the plot in readiness to build. Both the mixer and the bricks are covered with plastic sheets just in case it rains though that is unlikely for a few days.Plot 6 By now it was one o’clock and time for lunch. I had not long finished lunch and someone called asking if I would do a couple of small electrical jobs in a town twelve miles away. It was after two o’clock but I decided to take the work. It was too hot to work in the plot and too late to start mixing mortar anyway. It was an old lady for whom I had worked before and she wanted an extra power outlet installing and her bathroom towel heater checking over as it had ceased to work. It was five o’clock before I left after completing the work. So much for part-time working! After my evening meal I spent an hour watering the front and rear gardens! I don’t know how I do it all but thankfully I can.

Shirley Anne

One turned to five

Standard

So many times I have said to myself and others that now I am in my 71 st year I am limiting my workload but increasingly I find myself breaking this promise. My main problems are that I enjoy my work and I don’t like to let people down. Of course there is a limit even so, I won’t be persuaded to work when I know I’ve had enough. On Thursday I had one electrical job scheduled and after a day’s break from work on Wednesday I was ready to get active again. It would take me around two hours to complete and I could drive back home. About an hour into the work I received another call from a lady not living too far from my house asking if I could do a small job for her so as such I agreed. I had just finished the first job and one of my regular customers asked if I could fix a problem with her lights. I couldn’t let her down but the work took me further away from home. I had it done in a few minutes before driving homeward and stopping at that lady’s house to do her little job. However whilst driving there I received yet another call asking for help with faulty lighting switches. I agreed to go there after I had done the lady’s work. Finally I was able to drive home but I needed to fill my van’s tank with diesel. My eldest son had called to the house but found no-one was at home. E was out shopping as by now it was three o’clock. I was ten minutes from arriving home so he waited. He is a keen cyclist and he wanted to collect one of the bike frames he stores in our cellar because he wanted to work on it. These bikes are not the run of the mill road bikes most people might buy but they are specialist built and cost a pretty penny to have repaired. That is why he wanted to do the work himself. By three-thirty he had left and I was about to have something to eat having missed my midday meal but I got another call to a house twelve miles away where they had lost all power.

Keep It Turned On

Keep It Turned On (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rather than drive all that way to fix the problem I tried to talk the customer through a possible solution over the phone but it all fell on deaf ears. Some people just won’t attempt to solve an electrical problem even if it only involves switching on a tripped circuit breaker. They seemed not to be able to get anyone else to help so I drove there. There was no power at their circuit breaker board so I checked the supply compartment on the other side of the wall on the outside of the house where the meter was located and there was an RCD unit in there which had tripped. I switched it on and all was back to normal. They told me that one of their freezers had become faulty so they unplugged it from the outlet and that is what had tripped the RCD . It cost them £40 for my call-out but they gave me £50. They could have done it themselves and saved the cash. £40 is my minimum charge for any work I do. Now although I had done five jobs on Thursday none of them were difficult but it’s the driving around that wears me out. I finally finished for the day at five o’clock having started at eight-thirty and no break for lunch. After my evening meal my eldest son returned asking if I could assist him to remove the pedal bearing assembly as it was to be replaced. However it had become damaged as he had tried to remove it with a special tool for the job. We had to come up with an alternative method to remove it. It took some time but we managed to free it. Now at least he can fit the new parts without the added cost for labour. It was now eight o’clock in the evening and I had little time for anything else.

Shirley Anne