Tag Archives: Dining out

Deeper sleep

English: Splendid Hand Car Wash

Splendid Hand Car Wash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had been very tired going to bed on Thursday evening and excepting for a couple of toilet visits slept pretty much right through the night. After a recent restless night it was good to be able to sleep through but it was so deep I didn’t wake until almost ten o’clock! As I was getting dressed someone called me asking for a quote to have some rewiring done in their home. I explained that I no longer did such work as I am semi-retired and have a self-imposed limit on what I will accept. I carried on with dressing and arrived downstairs at ten-thirty. I hadn’t dressed for work as I had no intentions of doing any work for the day, in fact I had missed breakfast and had decided to dine out at the pub instead. It had been a couple of weeks since I last washed the van and it was looking very dirty. However, I didn’t want to start the day washing my van especially in my better clothes so I had it in mind to drive to the local car wash and have it done there. I don’t often use the car wash as I usually do it myself but at only £6 for a hand wash it wasn’t expensive. I drove the half-mile there and waited in the queue. I didn’t have to wait long and soon was driving out the exit in a super cleaned and spruced-up van. It was sparkling, just like new! I drove off to the pub but it was still only eleven-thirty so I parked-up and sat reading my magazine. I was so engrossed I didn’t notice the parking lot filling up with diners as the doors had opened at noon. I went inside, sat down at a table and waited for the bar to empty. I placed my order and took my drinks to the table and waited for my meal. Despite the large queue that had formed at the bar ahead of me my meal arrived shortly after. Maybe as a local and regular customer I had been given a little preference? Would be nice to think so. The pub has become so popular it get customers from afar visiting which makes it more difficult for the locals sometimes. I decided against a prolonged stay on this occasion as I planned another visit over the weekend and would probably spend a few hours there.

Shirley Anne

For a change


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.

Shirley Anne

Sunday break

Break All Day!

Break All Day! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Shirley Anne

Day of two halves


I was determined to get some quality sleep on Friday night so after a day with half-closed eyes or at least feeling that way, I went to bed early and was fast asleep at around nine-thirty. I still woke up a couple of times but my sleep was good and I woke up on Saturday morning very much refreshed. I ate breakfast around nine o’clock and waited until ten before donning my overalls and boots to go into the front garden and get stuck into the bluebell removal in the right-hand flowerbed. When I had redesigned the beds last year I hadn’t been thorough enough in eliminating the bluebells in this particular bed and now I was paying the price. Earlier in January I had actually dug out around a dozen plants but now they were back in number and I had to spend a couple of hours on my knees again digging them out. I guess I removed over a hundred of them. It was whilst I was doing that when my mobile phone rang. Why does it always seem that I get calls when I am doing something in the garden? It was an elderly gentleman asking if I could repair a loose lighting switch. I explained that I was digging out bluebells but that I would call back a little later to arrange to visit him. After another hour I had finished in the garden and gave him a call. I drove to his house which was only a mile and a half away and soon had the switch secured. After receiving payment I drove into and through the town centre and on toward my local pub for a meal. Here is a picture of the side entrance, the one most folk use, taken when they were having some outside work done…fishHere are the links to view much more about the pub http://fishermens.rest/index.html. and https://www.facebook.com/fishermens.rest/  .The place was full except for a space at the end of the bar, so I sat there. I only wanted a snack, a sandwich so sitting at the bar wasn’t a problem. When the ‘snack’ arrived it came with all the trimmings including chips (French fries) and a salad! I only really wanted a sandwich. Still it was enjoyable. No sooner had I finished eating when tables became vacant as many left the premises. Typical! I was greeted by many folk who hadn’t seen me for quite a while and asking why I hadn’t been to the pub for some time. I didn’t have an excuse except that I hadn’t wished to. I have been  correcting that of course having been there several times recently, I shouldn’t neglect going to the only place near to home where I am truly welcomed and missed when not there.

Shirley Anne

Three times

Three Times

Three Times (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although I hadn’t any work scheduled I deliberately arose early on Thursday morning. I’d had a couple of calls on Wednesday neither of which I learned about until late in the day as my phone provider hadn’t forwarded the messages immediately. One of the callers had been a woman I had worked for quite recently but she hadn’t left enough information in the message for me to contact her. I waited in case she might have called the house phone and leave a message there but she didn’t call again until later on Thursday, just after I had finished the first job. The caller at that first location had also called on Wednesday but again didn’t leave enough information and when I called her number on Thursday morning it was constantly engaged. When I did finally get through it was a long time before she answered and I thought she had gone out. She did answer eventually and explained what she wanted. In fact she ended up handing the phone to her husband because she couldn’t explain properly. I had worked at their house some three years ago and must have made a good impression. The work was to replace two flood lights, a three-gang lighting switch  (three switches on the same plate) and alter the wiring to enable two lights to operate together. All very simple but it paid well. They want me to return in the near future to do more work. When I had finished it was one-thirty and I had missed lunch. I drove the eight miles back to the second job which was to install an extra power outlet. It didn’t take long but it had added over an hour more without any sustenance. I had to pay a visit to the electrical supplier to replenish stock then on to the filling station for fuel. At last I could eat but it wasn’t going to be at home as it was by then three-thirty, I dined out for the third time in the week at my local pub instead. Then I went home. E had gone out very early at around eight o’clock and didn’t return home until the evening. I was  six o’clock and I was just about to enjoy a cup of coffee when someone called the house phone. She lived in the town I had been working in during the morning! Her problem was a faulty downstairs lighting circuit. I would call there on Friday morning to hopefully sort it out. One thing is certain, I will never be short of work if I want it.

Shirley Anne

Not good weather……


…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.

English: cloud and rain, weather forecast symbol

Cloud and rain, weather forecast symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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…….

Take the Weather with You

Take the Weather with You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Shirley Anne

Quiet times

Oh Lately It's So Quiet

Oh Lately It’s So Quiet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It wasn’t such a nice day on Saturday as far as the weather was concerned. When I got out of bed and looked out of the window it looked miserable, it was raining as the forecast predicted. It wasn’t that warm either though it wasn’t freezing. I had opened the window to check but soon closed it again. I had no work and no intentions of doing any either. I was determined to make it a free from work day. Had the weather been more favourable I might have been tempted to do a couple of hours digging out some bluebell bulbs as there are still some left to remove so I was glad in a way that it was raining. I put on some casual clothes knowing I had it in mind to dine out at my local pub with a view to perhaps chatting with anyone I know who might call in. I had to get to the pub a half-hour before it opened at noon just to ensure I would find a parking place because the pub has become so popular over the last few years and is usually filled for a couple of hours around mealtimes. If I visit during the week to eat I either make sure I am there very early or else  later in the afternoon to ensure I can find a table. The food is good and of a high standard, the chefs obviously know their job and that is why the pub is so popular. I waited until the queue of people made their way in before I went in myself. I found a table in my favourite place in the bar area and looked at the menu whilst others were still sorting themselves out at the bar and then I placed my order, Mediterranean Chicken in a tomato and white wine-based sauce with vegetables. It was delicious and quite filling but despite that I still treated myself to a dessert. A new friend walked in with her partner as I was about to finish my meal. She hadn’t noticed me sitting there so I went over to the bar to say hello. Her partner went outside with his drink and to sit and chat with the ‘lads’ whilst my friend joined me at the table for an hour. When they departed I decided to follow shortly after. I went home to find that E had returned home too. She had gone out for a while with her friend who had picked her up earlier.  That pretty much summed up my day. I did nothing but rest and relax for a change for I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be working at something again.

Shirley Anne

That’s it ’till May

Dentist on the Job

Dentist on the Job (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am referring to my next dental appointment. On Friday morning I had the second of my two visits to the dentist for cosmetic surgery. As usual the appointments were running a little late but that is normal. Appointments are generally accepted as guide times and are really put in place to afford some semblance of order and to ensure patients actually turn up!. We all moan about the inconvenience of having to wait that little bit longer don’t we? Well I used to but now I am so laid back about it all it doesn’t bother me. I was in the chair a mere fifteen minutes after my 10.30 appointment and the dentist apologised but I replied that it was alright, and it was. What is the point in thinking otherwise? Fifteen minutes later and I was on my way out with a new appointment scheduled for May 25 next year. Another routine check-up. It pays to have regular check-ups I think. My next intention was to pay a visit to my electrical supplier in order to collect the LED light unit I was promised would be ready for collection late morning. Well it was late morning when I got there but unfortunately I was informed that they had missed the deadline when ordering to have it delivered the next day. It would be delivered on Monday morning. That meant I had to contact my customer and re-arrange my scheduled time of arrival. Now the work will be done on Tuesday morning instead. So much for appointments eh? It was just about twelve noon so I decided to splash out and treat myself to another restaurant meal and drove to a place three miles out-of-town to eat. Later and on my way back home I stopped at a filling station to top-up the van and enjoyed a little banter with people doing likewise. I enjoy making people laugh, it puts everyone in a good mood. My working week was over and I could spend the weekend relaxing…………..maybe! Knowing me I would find something to do.

Shirley Anne


A rest of sorts

English: A Dentist and her Dental assistant

A Dentist and her Dental assistant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although I had taken a two-week sabbatical from my electrical work I did get a couple of jobs which I took on. It was now Wednesday, the day my advert would re-appear in the mid-week print of my local newspaper so I expected the calls to start coming in and I wasn’t let down. Wednesday was a cold, dry and sunny day, a day to be outside working in the garden but I had a dental appointment just before noon and had no intentions of doing any work either in the morning or at any time in the day. I was too tired, even a little too tired to be driving to the dentists surgery but I had to. I was having some cosmetic work done and thought the dentist would have done it all on the one visit as he had said he would but he didn’t, I had to arrange another appointment on 24th of the month to have the rest done. I paid the price for the two sessions and left. It was now almost twelve-thirty and I decided to eat out. I wasn’t dressed for work, I was smartly dressed so took the opportunity to treat myself to a meal in pleasant surroundings for a change. I didn’t much fancy driving home and cooking a meal there anyway. To be honest I wasn’t feeling at my best, still tired and wanting simply to rest. I dined alone, something I hadn’t done for quite some time and perhaps I should do more often. At the moment E and I are not on speaking terms anyway so dining alone it would have to be anyhow. The problem I have is deciding where to dine for there are so many to choose from. I went to a place about two miles from home where E and I sometimes go for the food and service there are excellent. It isn’t expensive either. Whilst I was at the surgery I received a couple of requests for my electrical services and made arrangements to do the work later. I was happy to get the work for my disposable cash reserve was by now very low, especially after paying the dentist and dining out. I wanted to purchase some plants for the flowerbed I have been working on and needed the extra cash to do that. I never break into my savings to pay for my domestic projects though when I retire any work I might do and need cash for will have to come out of what’s left at the end of the month from my pensions. After my meal I drove home and rested for the rest of the day. I would be out at work the following morning. Hopefully I would be fully rested by then.

Shirley Anne

Lazy Monday


It’s not like me to avoid work but I have been so tired lately and at the time of writing this on Monday late afternoon I haven’t done any further work in the top room since Thursday. I had expected to do more on Monday but when Monday came I found I couldn’t. I’d been suffering with UTI (Urinary Tract Infection or Cystitis) since late on Saturday and had to pay a visit to the doctor on Monday morning and I had strained the muscles in my abdomen too. We had been expecting the delivery of our new garden furniture on Monday morning and it arrived whilst I was out. I didn’t return home until 9.30 and then E and I set about unpacking and assembling it. It took us two hours, almost until lunchtime. In these two pictures the parasol is not shown though if you look under the glass top of the table you might be able to see it stored away there. The set includes six reclining chairs, two footstools, a small table (in the lower picture) and of course the table and parasol.

Patio furniture 1

Patio furniture 2

I suggested we dine out for a change so that’s what we did. We drove to one of our preferred dining places some fifteen miles away arriving there at 2 o’clock so it was late in the afternoon by the time we got back home. E had beef steak, I chose sea bass. I should have chosen the beef for a change. The fish was as nice as ever but I didn’t like the risotto it was laid upon so much though I ate it anyway. I usually choose a fish dish these days and choose meat very infrequently. We each decided we would eat a dessert and we each selected a ‘Eton Mess’ but with different flavourings. It makes a change being waited upon and not having to wash the dishes afterward. Just as we neared the end of our meal a group of elderly people were leaving the restaurant and one of them came over to our table having thought to herself ‘I know that lady’. As she approached she asked if I remembered her. I told her that I remembered her face but couldn’t place where we had met. It turned out that I had done an electrical job in her house on exactly the same day last year (23 May 15). Now that was an amazing coincidence I thought.
E hasn’t been feeling too well either these past few days so she didn’t want to do any work at home. To be honest most of what needs to be done is all painting and it can be done in a few hours. We are not in too much of a hurry to finish the room but we won’t leave it long before we get stuck in again. By the time you are reading this we might already be working again. Sometimes you just have to stop for a while but I can’t stay lazy too long, it just isn’t me.

Shirley Anne

No more please!

English: View on tier 1 and 2 ISP interconnections

View on tier 1 and 2 ISP interconnections (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My purse has taken quite a beating these past couple of months and needs a little time to recuperate. I have been spending as if my life depended upon it but the time has come for a rest from major spending sprees. On Wednesday morning E and I went out shopping initially for another tub of plaster in order for me to finish off that ceiling and wall repair I mentioned in yesterday’s post but I added that I wished to buy a pair of shoes too. E drove us to the shoe store down buy the sea front and I found the pair of shoes I wanted in minutes. They were flat-soled shoes for general walking about and will be used mostly when I am at work. However E decided she wanted a pair of shoes too and I ended up buying both pairs. Off we drove to the retail park a mile or so down the road and bought the plaster but while we were in the park I decided to visit the electrical store where we had recently purchased my new large-screen television. I wanted to see if I could buy another couple of televisions for the newly refurbished bedrooms at home. We looked at two different models each with a 32″ screen, one at a higher price than the other at which point a salesman showed us another with the same sized screen at an even lower price. I placed an order for two of them and paid the £258 asking price. The would be available for collection either Saturday (which will be today as you read this) or early next week. By now it was lunchtime so we drove to a nearby pub/restaurant and dined there. When we arrived home we spent some time burning stacks of paper printed upon which was information too sensitive to chance recycling it. Later I went on-line for a time using my old computer which runs Windows 7 but when I attempted to use the computer running Windows 10 I found it couldn’t connect to the Internet even though it was connected to the router! I contacted my Internet provider after many attempts trying to resolve the problem with no results but I got nowhere with them. At the time of writing this the issue was still not resolved but it had to be a software problem of some sort. A day in the life of yours truly!

And then there was an update: The problem was resolved later in the evening when  E discovered her computer wasn’t connected either! We reset the router and all was back to normal. Now I am almost certain that Windows 10 was more the problem as both E’s new computer and my new computer both run Windows 10. The other of my computers runs Windows 7 and had no problems with connecting to the Internet.

Shirley Anne

Mirror, mirror on the wall


Who is the fairest of them all? Why me of course! Well no-one else will say so. Joking apart, E and I have almost reached the finish line on this small project and to be honest I am glad it is almost done as I am a little sick of painting walls. It had to be done though, the room was a mess. Here are four pictures, the last I will post until the room has a carpet and is again filled with furniture, probably sometime next week. E and I dined out on Wednesday afternoon after doing a bit of painting in the morning and refitting the radiator to the wall. We had ordered the mirror you see in the first picture over the Internet and whilst we were waiting for notification of its arrival in the store we thought we would eat out as we hadn’t dined out for some time. After our meal we received the email notification and went directly to collect the mirror. It took me a few minutes to fit it and to clean and refit the power outlets and switches.

Small bedroom 12


Small bedroom 13


Small bedroom 14


Small bedroom 15

For those with keen eyesight, you may have noticed the retractable rule hanging from the right side of the window frame in the third picture. I had been measuring the window for when we buy the new curtains and had simply forgotten to remove the rule before I took the picture. We will be doing no more decorating now for a while. Even though we want to redecorate the stair wells and landings it is time for a change. The weather is improving every day and there is work to be done out in the gardens as well as taking time out and relaxing. Before that can happen I need to spend a few days changing radiator valves and installing a little pipework for a heater in the wet room once the heating system is off for the few months it will not be needed. It isn’t hard work and I can take my time doing it.

Shirley Anne

A nice day


I suppose every day is a nice day, it all depends upon our attitude and our reaction or response to the things which happen to us. I had an electrical job to do for a lady living some fifteen miles away living in a small township or extended village situated on the highest ground hereabouts. picture-031The place is called Parbold and it is on Parbold Hill, naturally, and marks the beginning of the western edge of The Pennine Chain at our latitude. The Pennine Chain is known as the backbone of England, a mountainous range stretching from the Midlands up north to The Cheviot Hills in Scotland. The house was up a small lane off the main road, quite a secluded place to live, though there were other houses down the lane. The house was beautiful inside and a lot of money had been lavished upon its interior to bring it up to a very high standard. My task was to replace some of the ceiling lighting fittings and to repair a couple of damaged cables hidden in the wall which someone had accidentally drilled into. The lady herself was quite chatty and friendly and it was a pleasure to work for her. By noon I had the work finished and was on my way back home. It was such a sunny day and quite warm for the season too and as I drove homeward I had thoughts of dining out for lunch. When I arrived home and put the suggestion to E she was pleased at the idea so after we had changed into more suitable attire we drove to another local township and enjoyed a nice meal. On the way back home we dropped into a store specialising in the sale of lighting fittings of all kinds for we wanted to see if they had something suitable for our bedroom project. The store is literally filled with pendant lights and chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, many of which are illuminated. There must be a couple of hundred units hanging there. It makes it easier to select something when you can see what it looks like out of the box and working. Having decided on which one we wanted for the bedroom the guy went into the stockroom to see if there was one in stock but alas there wasn’t. We placed an order and paid for it immediately. The guy was to call us when it had arrived, possibly on Wednesday he thought. We were in no hurry. The light we had chosen was on offer at half-price but still cost £99.50 , which is relatively cheap for a light fitting these days. We saw some units at £500 and £700 but there was no way we were going to fork out that kind of money for a ceiling light!

Shirley Anne

Better in some ways

English: An example of 2,000 cheque given to p...

An example of 2,000 cheque given to people (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the previous day’s debacle and time-wasting I wasn’t sure what to expect on Tuesday. I had arranged to drive to the same little township I had been to the day before but this time I had been asked to sort out a problem with someone else’s electrical supply to their shower. It turned out to be a faulty pull-cord switch which I duly replaced. I wasn’t there too long before I was off home again and a little financially better off. I was thinking about my finances in general and especially my expenditure and how I was to fund the roof repairs and the bedroom refurbishment without having to dig into my main savings account. The money in there has been set aside for specific purposes and I don’t want to use it for current needs. One of the things I pray for occasionally is for The Lord to provide for my needs and the needs of my family and He has never let me down. I remember a shortfall I had some years ago and wondered how I was going to meet it. God provided me with the exact amount I needed a few days later! When I arrived back home on Tuesday morning I collected the mail that had been pushed through the letter box. One item was an outreach leaflet from the Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding salvation. I gave it a quick read as I always do but discarded it as I am a Christian believer. Their doctrine differs from mainstream Christianity as do many other groups and churches so we believe in different things. Anyhow amongst the other mail items was one marked ‘important’ and it was addressed to me. Inside was some literature regarding some shares I hold with an accompanying cheque for £2162. Now that was a lovely and unexpected surprise and will more than cover the cost of the  roof repairs with something left over. E drove me to the bank so that I could deposit the cheque in my account and then we drove to a nearby town for lunch. We had not been out for lunch for quite some time as we wanted to save the cash for the roof repairs and the bedroom refurbishment. The venue was somewhere we had only visited a couple of times before. The meal was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there before returning home.

Shirley Anne

Scream and scream again

English: Electronic converter for 12V halogen ...

Electronic converter for 12V halogen lamps

Wasn’t much happening on Wednesday morning. I had one very small job to do for a guy who lives about two hundred metres away, that is if I were a bird (of the feathered variety…LOL) but about four hundred by road, the way I have to go. He has a twin spotlight over his bed and he wanted me to replace the 12v transformer with an LED Driver so that he could at the same time remove the halogen lamps and fit LED lamps instead. Basically a ten minute job which got done within that time. I would have returned home except that I wanted to drive into town to purchase some toiletries and also visit the Salvation Army Citadel to conduct some business there. I usually only buy toiletries twice a year and buy them in bulk accordingly. I buy them there because they are less expensive. I was back home just after eleven o’clock. I had no other work scheduled for the day so I locked the van away in the garage. It was around twelve-thirty and I was thinking about lunch and what to have when my mobile phone rang. It was a lady I have worked for on a couple of previous occasions who lives just on the other side of town. She asked if I could do a quick job for her. She had a twin dimmer lighting switch, that is a plate on which were two dimmer switches and one of them had ceased working. It would be simple enough to replace the whole plate but I had to see it first in case it wasn’t the switch that was faulty. I was there in ten minutes. I discovered that indeed one of the switches was faulty but she had installed energy-saving lamps (miniature fluorescent) which cannot be dimmed and it was possibly that reason the switch gave up the ghost. I drove her to the supplier to buy a replacement switch but one having a dimmer switch and an ordinary on-off switch on the plate instead. The supplier told me that a ‘dummy dimmer’ switch was available to replace the faulty one instead of buying a complete unit. It looked exactly like the dimmer switch but simply switches on and off instead. We drove back to the house and I set about doing the ‘ten minute’ job. That is when the problems started. I had difficulty in removing the faulty switch and the wires connected to it. Fitting the replacement was straightforward but connecting the wires to it was not.

Small scream

Small scream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the first instance they were too short to make it easy and secondly I had difficulty in opening the connectors which were so tight I finally had to remove the switch from the plate and attempt to open them that way. In doing so however I had to exert a lot of pressure on the terminal screws and they disappeared inside the unit. I had to dismantle the switch to set things right again. Totally a design fault as the only thing stopping the terminals from disappearing were the three solid wires behind them and they didn’t take much pressure to bend them. A more solid terminal block is required in the switches’ design. I put everything back in place and connected the switch only to find that the lights didn’t work! I had inadvertently connected one of the wires to a wrong terminal. Two wires, three terminals and working in the dark didn’t help and although I had a flashlight with someone to hold it for me it had made little difference. All I had to do was move one of the wires to the spare terminal to put it right but I had to remove the switch again in order to do it! The main problem was the lack of length in the wires but as there was little space in the wall box I couldn’t lengthen them. I informed the lady that to put things right would need the wall box being set further back in the wall to enable the wires to be extended but that in the meantime I had to do the best I could in the time I had to do it. She had an appointment and would be away from home for a long time. Eventually I got everything working correctly and she was happy with that. She asked me if at some point in the near future I could replace a faulty floodlight outside and above her rear door. I had a quick look and agreed I would do it for her. I might get the opportunity to redo that twin lighting switch too in the way it should have been done in the first place by the original installer. I get so annoyed when I see the poor work done by some electricians, especially when I have to put things right and designers who design problems into their designs!

So the job took far longer than it should have done had all things been right but I didn’t push up the price. It was by now two-thirty so I drove to the pub and treated myself to a hearty lunch.

Shirley Anne