Tag Archives: Domestic Projects

Back to it for a time

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Having recently purchased an Elliptical Cross Trainer there was a need to install a power outlet close to where I intended to locate it, (read yesterdays post). It was Monday morning and I had spent some time on the treadmill before eating breakfast during which time I planned how I was going to install the outlet. After returning upstairs to dress for the day my fist task was to check the cellar’s socket outlet circuit and decide where to break into it. There are regulations to observe of course so simply taking a supply from the nearest outlet is not always possible. There exists an outlet close-by but on the other side of the wall to the where the proposed new one was to be fitted. However because of the regulations I had to take the supply from elsewhere. The next-nearest place was another outlet four metres away. I took a supply from that one. The work itself took a mere forty minutes but I was down in the cellar for three hours! It was all about access and the removal of items no longer wanted causing the work to take so long. While I was carrying out the work I received a call from an old customer asking if I could repair her faulty lights but I had to tell her that I am now retired from my electrical work.  Not however at home! A few days ago  I talked about accumulated waste materials, items of furniture and other paraphernalia stored in the cellar rooms and no longer needed. The two rooms in which I was carrying out the work had plenty of such items. So the work was two-fold, carry out the new installation and remove and tidy up the areas. While I was downstairs I made use of the washing machine too for there were clothes needing to be washed. It is amazing how sidetracked one can be when carrying out a task. I expected that of course, especially working in the cellar. Slowly but surely waste was removed and gardening items like plant pots and other things taken to the greenhouses where they should have been in the first place. Our eldest son used to do a spot of DJ work and was also involved with the church’s audio and sound systems. Consequently he accumulated large speakers, lighting equipment, amplifiers and mixing desks with enough cabling to surround a village! All of this equipment is stored in the cellar and some of it in the boiler room where we now have the gym equipment. That had to be moved too. This is why I spent three hours down there. Finally I got the power outlet installed and ready for use just before lunch. Electrical work it seems is still part of my life for a while.

Shirley Anne

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Dining room 2

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The title doesn’t infer we have two dining rooms I have to say before I go any further, no, it is just the second post about my current (well as I write this on Tuesday 21) project. It follows yesterday’s post. Now on Saturday as I mentioned then I began the work of changing the colour of the ceiling in the dining room. As you saw in the picture I started off painting it white but on Monday when resuming the work I discovered the paint wasn’t covering the existing crimson colour so I changed tack and switched to using a beige colour. Not only did it cover the crimson more effectively (though I had to re-touch here and there) it looked the better option too by matching and bringing out the oak-stained ceiling timbers. Naturally I had to over-paint the white I had used earlier. On Tuesday I managed to complete more than three-quarters of the work. and here are the pictures…

 

 

 


In the top picture you can see the street lamp-post in the garden which switched on at three forty-five as it was getting dark by then and that’s why and when I stopped work for the day. I needed daylight whilst painting the ceiling though I had to use the room’s lighting too at times. The second picture shows what remained to be done on Wednesday, apart from any touching-up that is. Also in the first two pictures I removed the small timbers which are fixed at an angle in order to make painting of the wall easier. You can see them replaced at the other end of the room after the wall there was painted. I had arisen very early on Tuesday morning as I wanted to take a five-mile walk before breakfast. I left the house fifteen minutes before six o’clock. On my return and after breakfast I began painting. Tuesday marked the anniversary of my birth too…..I am now 72!

Shirley Anne

Dining room

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In our house there are three reception rooms or lounges, though one of those is not in use at the moment because of the furniture stored in it. The furniture belongs to my eldest son and his wife who as yet haven’t found a place of their own and live with her parents. The room we call the dining room was once the kitchen but when we moved into the house almost thirty years ago we decided to move the kitchen to the much smaller annex to the room. The vacant room became a breakfast/dining room. The smaller kitchen works fine as the washing machine and chest freezers are down in the cellar leaving enough space for a range cooker, fridge.freezer, sink and cupboards. The dishwasher is hidden in the dining area though a more recent additional fridge.freezer stands in the same room. When we refurbished the dining room after removing all the kitchen units that were in there we decided to make it look medieval in appearance. That meant lining the walls in wood and fitting ceiling timbers for effect. Added to those we constructed a canopy over the windows and installed a solid stone sink and an old hand pump.

In the two pictures above which were taken many years ago before we had double-glazing you can see the top of the windows, the stone sink and pump and the cupboard next to them inside of which is the dishwasher. The top picture shows part of the ceiling timbers we installed. At the time we opted to have the ceiling painted either in red or royal blue and as you can see we chose red. E was talking with me a few days ago and she mentioned she would like the ceiling painted in white and I too felt it needed changing after so many years. On Saturday last week she went out for the afternoon to her meeting and while she was out I erected some of the tower scaffolding in the room and began the transformation of the ceiling. It would be several days before the whole ceiling was done as it needed at least two coats to block out the red colour. This is how far I got in the little time I had after collecting the materials and erecting the tower. 

The tower had to remain in the room until the work was finished so it was a case of moving it around so we still use the room for our meals. (Click on pictures to magnify)

Shirley Anne

Ready but not

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It had taken longer than I had thought for the delivery of a new halyard rope for the flag pole but when it arrived on Tuesday it was too late in the day for me to install it or to make the attempt. I seldom like beginning a task late in the day so anything arriving late gets put off till the next day. I had spent time on the treadmill before breakfast whilst E ate hers during my exercise. We were expecting the delivery of a new dishwasher and at that time I hadn’t switched on the computer to track its progress. For some reason I developed a cramp in my right calf muscles whilst running, something I never had problems with years ago. I persevered and finished my exercise but I was left with an aching leg for a few hours thereafter. After breakfast I switched on the computer and checked the expected delivery time for the dishwasher and found they had scheduled delivery between the hours of two and four o’clock. E was pleased about that as she had to go shopping and did so in the morning. I of course was free to do other things so I decided to install the new rope for the flag pole. I was a little concerned that I might have difficulties in using the old rope to pull in the new one but my concerns were unfounded, it went in easily. I had however stitched them together with a needle and thread to ensure they would pass through the finial at the top of the pole. The flag was re-attached and ready for the wind which didn’t arrive at all during the day. Oh well. I returned indoors to recheck the delivery time for the dishwasher and it had been revised. It would now be delivered between one and two o’clock. E returned home before noon and I told her the new delivery time but checking once more I found it had been revised to arrive between one-twenty and one fifty. It arrived half-way between. It was ready for installation but by this time it was time for lunch. It took about fifteen minutes to unpack it and connect it up. That was it, all outstanding jobs done……..well…er…..not quite. I still have the garage light project as and when I can do it……..when I am ready.

Shirley Anne

Walking through the day

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We had been informed that warmer and drier weather was coming our way for a couple of days, an ideal time to be doing any outdoor work that was necessary. It was Saturday (14) and I had plans to do some patching up of the garage floor, completing the ramp I had put there many years ago and filling in a couple of holes with concrete after the recent work we had done. First though I wanted to go for a longish walk as I hadn’t been able to do any walking other than the two miles I had walked a couple of days earlier. I hadn’t been too well and had remained more or less indoors for a few days. I arose early and went out as soon as I was downstairs. I walked south along the coastal road to Ainsdale and onto the beach there turning northward to walk back home. I was surprised how many folk were out and on the beach so early on a Saturday morning. It was about eight forty-five when I arrived there. The round trip from home on that route is just over seven miles. I have to admit to feeling a little tired but that was probably due to my not eating breakfast and not having been out for a while. I did take a banana along with my bottle of water. Anyhow I ate breakfast on my return home and after a short time donned my overalls and got on with the concrete mixing. For this work I used 6 mm granite chippings in the mix rather than using grit which would result in a finer concrete as it would have to withstand a vehicle passing over it. These are the holes which required filling after the old wood frame was removed and the existing floor ramp which was never finished years ago…

The ramp exists because the garage floor is almost level with the concrete drive leading to it. When we had heavy downpours of rain it sometimes ended up inside the garage so I constructed a ramp to prevent that happening. It does the job but it needed the back edge finishing. Here are pictures of the finished work.

   The van wasn’t going anywhere for a couple of days! Rain water flows into the grid shown which is lower than the surrounding concrete drive. The drain pipe actually runs beneath the garage floor to connect with the main drains at the rear of the house. That work had been done when we built the garage back in 1988/9. Much has changed since then. After lunch I added an extra fixing to secure the new bird box I had fitted a week earlier then carried on with some gardening work. Who said retirement would be boring with nothing to do?

Shirley Anne

At last

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For a couple of weeks now we have been waiting for the garage door to be replaced. After the initial survey we had to make alterations to part of the roof in order to accommodate the door housing, the box which houses the rolled-up door. We, that is I, had to install the necessary electrical supply and to generally clean up the area. We spotted some dampness on the interior of the wall after all that work was done so I had the added task of effecting a solution which meant I had to do some external pointing around the affected area and then seal the bricks and mortar with a proprietary sealant. All is now well. Having done all the preparatory work we were asked if we wouldn’t mind postponing the installation for a day. We didn’t object and so finally the work was carried out on Friday (6th). As it turned out the weather turned out better that day than it had been on Thursday but only as far as it wasn’t windy. The old door…We had been told that the fitters would arrive sometime during the morning, that is eight til midday but nobody came. I received a call just after eleven o’clock letting me know the fitters would be with us in an hour or so but again nobody came. E wanted to phone their office but I asked her to wait a while longer. She called them at two because nobody had arrived even then. There was only an answering machine at the office but she left a message. Fifteen minutes later the fitters arrived. They apologised with the excuse that one of them had to walk fifteen miles to collect another van as theirs was out of action! Why he couldn’t take a cab I have no idea. I didn’t question him, I was just glad they had finally arrived. They immediately got on with the work but it was around six forty-five before they left. I was asked if I would like to pay for a nine year extension to the one year guarantee for the added fee of £145. I knew I had this option as the guy doing the estimate had told me but it wasn’t necessary to take the option until the work had been completed. I took out the extension. New door from the inside… As I had taken the option I was then informed I was entitled to an alarm system for the installation fitted at no extra cost plus a remote control which could be stuck on the wall anywhere in the house or garage that would operate the door too. This picture shows the safety feature which cuts off the supply to the motor should anyone step close and disrupt the beam.

The beam is projected from the tall black bar to a similar bar on the opposite side of the opening. The next picture shows the bar, the power supplies and the eyelet at the top of the door housing for use when mechanically operating the door in the event of an electrical problem. There is a long operating handle supplied which can be fixed to the wall for storage when not in use.

I will be tidying up the cabling using mini trunking when I get a moment free. The last picture is the new door shown from the outside. The fitters would return on Saturday afternoon to install the alarm and check all was right with the installation.

Shirley Anne

Ladders

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One thing I hate are ladders but only if they are in my stockings! The other variety though come in very handy don’t they? Years ago we purchased a two-section aluminium ladder, classed then as 27 feet (8.5 metres) and it has proved to be very useful because if required only one section need be used. We acquired another more robust aluminium two-section ladder that has a pulley attachment at the top, or rather that section which would be at the top when both sections are used. I say we acquired it because I have no idea from whence it came nor to whom it belonged. It may have been owned by E’s father, who lived in the house with us but who is now deceased. In any event no-one wants to claim it though we’ve asked them. I don’t really want it either but until I can find a way to dispose of it I am lumbered with it. I may end up taking it to the dump. Once I do that I can place one or two of my other ladders on the racks instead. One of those is presently stored on the rack which the grey coloured bicycle is hanging from (last picture) but it is out of sight in the picture.In the picture above you can see we have one section of it suspended near the ceiling in the garage on the right. There are empty builder’s material bags sitting on it at the moment. The heavier section I have hung on the wall on the opposite side of the garage together with our original ladder. We did not posses a rack on which to hang ladders so me being me decided I would make some. Now it has been a while since I worked much with metal insofar as bending and shaping it under heat like a blacksmith does. I have been trained in that discipline along with many other things so I am used to it but having all the equipment at home to carry out mechanical work is not what most women would regard as normal….LOL. I have a limited variety of tools and equipment but one of the most useful is a metal-working vice of a decent size on a workbench in the cellar. It has proved its worth over the years. I found some suitable mild steel metal bars in my stock of things and using a gas-torch to heat up the metal to straighten it and the shape it I made two brackets and fixed them to the garage wall…

You can see the ladders hanging on them. I also attached some sturdy chain to aid with supporting the ladders. Because the ladder we ‘acquired’ is quite heavy, one section being almost twice as heavy as the one we purchased, the brackets might bend under the strain without that extra support. The chains could be locked too should we require it. Sorry about the detail as I took the pictures as an afterthought but if you click on them they should magnify. That was my work for a couple of hours on Monday (11th). Speaking of stockings by the way, it is getting nearer that time of year when I resume wearing them….but without the ladders!

Shirley Anne

Extra work

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After E’s nephew and his crew had finished their work on the garage roof alterations I finally got the opportunity to finish the electrical work on Friday morning. The task was to wire-in the new power outlet from the existing circuit in the garage but before I could do that I had to remove some now unnecessary lighting cabling and tidy up what remained. In the picture below all that work took place at ceiling height on the left above the ladders and scaffolding stored there and toward the door out of sight on the left. It would have taken far too long to shift everything to gain better access but the ladders and scaffolding were actually a benefit as I could climb them to reach the ceiling!

Once that was done I set about fitting a little extra support beneath one of the timbers. In the next picture it is the piece on the left flat against the wall at ceiling height. Let me explain. When the garage was built not all of the joists had been inserted into the house wall (the wall in the picture). Some had been supported by another joist which had been secured between two that went into the wall. It sounds complicated but in essence some of the joists could not be inserted in the wall where there is chimney stacks, and there are two of those along the length of the house wall.  

In the picture above two of the three joists had been inserted into the wall whilst the middle was supported by the timber lying flat on the wall. The left-hand joist of the two which were inserted into the wall had to be cut and removed.  It ran alongside the steel beam you can see top left. Now that short piece of timber on the wall was only secured to the outer timbers. Although the nails are intact and still in place the timber had been moved and it left a gap as you can see. My task was to fit a short length of timber to the wall beneath it thus giving more support (not shown in the picture).  It probably would be fine without it but I never take chances when it comes to structural integrity. At the opposite end of the now removed joist the crew had kindly left the hole unfilled. In the picture below it is immediately adjacent to the steel beam (top right).

It was awkward to get at and it needed much filling. I used a fine concrete mix and a brick. When bricklayers build double-thickness garden walls, which in fact the wall in the picture above is, they never bother to fill the gaps fully between the two bricks. Saving mortar I guess. The wall we reckon is as old as the house (1877). Later in the day I went to the top of the house to see E who was busy in her workshop  and I looked again at the roof…

…and noticed something that needs attention. In the picture above on the far side of the roof the top of the wall can be seen and it was capped with a layer of mortar when the garage roof had been constructed. Some of that mortar needs to be replaced, about one-third of it toward the front at the right-hand-side. When the weather permits I will do that work myself but I won’t be using just mortar, I will use a fine concrete mix instead, it is much stronger and less prone to cracking in the heat of the sun.

Shirley Anne

Mostly there and ready

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Once more I was unable to wire that power point in the garage due to the roof alteration work. I awoke at four-forty and though I had set the alarm for an hour later I decided to get up. I had planned an early morning walk anyway so a little earlier made no difference. The guys were due to arrive at eight so I moved the van on to the driveway and out of their way. I opened the gates in readiness so they could reverse their van onto the drive when they arrived. I had given them one of the remote control units so they could simply get on with the work without having to announce their arrival. I did that in case I hadn’t returned from my walk before they arrived. E would still be asleep and I didn’t wish her to be disturbed. Unfortunately things didn’t go exactly to plan. The guys arrived before eight and the boss ten minutes later. They rang the doorbell! E told me later that she had heard it, oh well. They immediately went to work and carried out the changes I had insisted upon having seen their first attempt. I need not have worried as, according to them, the previous attempt was a temporary affair. I gave them the benefit of my doubts.

You can see the roof between the end joist and the steel beam is now higher than the rest of the roof. You can also see a sheet of thin plywood has been affixed to the surface of the last joist which secures the added timber that has been fitted on top of it. The joist which sat against the steel beam was removed and new timber was fixed at a higher position. In fact you can see the hole at top right in the lower picture. I will fill that as soon as I can, though I don’t know why the builders didn’t do it! I could have insisted I suppose but I have the materials to hand and it will give me something extra to do anyway. Just after lunch they began to seal the roof using fibre glass and resin in preference to the existing felt (bitumen sheeting). Evidently it is superior but only time will tell..

There is now plenty of header space in which to install the new roller door and at last I can finish the electrical work. Had I the time in the afternoon I may have done so on the day but I was too busy tidying up!

Shirley Anne

Out of the window

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After breakfast on Wednesday morning I drove to the electrical supplier and purchased ten metres of cable with which to wire the new power outlet in the garage. I discovered my stock had diminished to zero for that size of cable but that didn’t matter as these days I have little use for what remains of my stock since I retired earlier this year. If I need something I don’t have in stock it can be purchased as required. The cost for the cable? £6.66….Mmm…a little ominous I thought, that number being the mark of the beast (Scripture). Anyway on my return home it was eleven o’clock and I wanted a drink of coffee before starting any work. I called to E to ask if she would like a coffee too but she was drying her hair and wouldn’t be downstairs for another ten minutes. I waited until she came downstairs before making the coffee. Just then she received a call from her nephew who wanted to ask us which of the two options we wanted in the alterations and repairs to the garage roof before the installation of the new roller shutter door in a couple of weeks. The first option, the cheapest, wasn’t what we wanted so we chose the second option which met our requirements. It would cost us £550 but that didn’t matter as much as getting it right. E sent him a text message and he called back asking if he could start the work straight away otherwise we would have to wait a couple of weeks because of his schedule. We agreed he and his crew could come immediately. That meant I couldn’t do the work I had intended to do because I would be in their way and they in mine. My work could wait as it would only take an hour or so and there was plenty of time before it had to be finished. That left me a little high and dry to have my plans fly out of the window with nothing else to do. I find it difficult to do my own thing when there are others working in or around my house because I cannot concentrate in case they require something or information that only I can provide. The work couldn’t be completed in the few hours they were here so they planned to arrive early the next morning to hopefully finish the work before noon and especially before it might rain.

Shirley Anne

I did and…

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In contrast to yesterday’s post I said I would get on with the electrical work and I did. It was a slow start for me on Tuesday as I began the work at ten-thirty. There were several things I had to do before I could make any progress on diverting the supply to the existing power outlets in the garage. This garage we erected in 1989 about a year after we had moved in, maybe less, and the wiring for a light and a twin power outlet was taken from the basement house wiring. I rewired the house in 1988/9. Different electrical regulations were in force at that time so the wiring was compliant to those regulations. Since those days the garage supply, though still wired the same way, was brought under the protection of circuit breakers and RCD units by myself. Added to that I had installed two outdoor electrical supplies each fed from a dedicated RCD unit and circuit breakers. One was fitted in the boiler room and the other was installed in the other garage. The board provides the supply for that garage and for the other circuits at that end of the garden, the patio for instance. The unit in the boiler room supplies a couple of power outlets and some lights at the opposite end of the garden behind the first garage. For a time I connected the power outlets in the first garage (the one in which my van is parked and the subject of this post) to the same RCD unit. Today, Tuesday as I write this, I have removed the supply to the outlets and re-supplied them from one of the house distribution boards instead as there was a spare circuit breaker I could dedicate for them. Ideally I could have installed a small RCD board we call here a ‘garage unit’ in the garage itself but because there is the same protection wiring it the way I have I chose not to use one. It would be an unnecessary expenditure. Most of the electrical work was therefore carried out in the cellar (basement) rooms as I had to run a cable to the main supply units through those rooms. Having done that work I ran out of cable to actually wire for a new outlet near to the garage door. I would have to do that small job another day, probably Wednesday after I purchase the cable. This is the board I fitted before doing the rest of the work….

The lighting switch was originally directly on the brick wall. The new power outlet beneath it is the new one waiting to be wired into the existing circuit. I had to do a lot of cleaning and clearing out of rubbish as well as moving some things to the other end of the garage in readiness for the new door to be installed in a couple of weeks time. Here are some pics of the existing door mechanisms. The motor in the top picture pulls a loop of chain similar to those on bicycles which is attached to the top of the door..

The tracks in which the doors wheels run can be seen with the huge springs and their pullies above them. Click on pictures to magnify. The ladder in the last picture has been there for many years and has never been used. It was left by someone but nobody can remember who! It could be used but we have other ladders which are in better condition. You can see in the last picture the old garage door post with the cream-coloured painted top which was left as am extra support for the wall when the garage was constructed around it.

Shirley Anne

 

A little drained

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I’d a good night’s sleep on Thursday but arose still feeling a little tired. We were forecast to have a few showers during the morning but as it was still dry around ten o’clock I thought I might see if I could do something about the drain pipe connected to the water butt. The pipe allows excess rain water to flow to the main drain at the side of the house once the water butt is full to the brim. However, since constructing the stone bench it was now in the way as I intend to fit a back rest on the wall behind it.

We have at home a lot of plumbing materials including left-over pipes and recovered pipes from previous works and I was wondering if there was enough pipes and fittings of the right size to use to re-position  the drain pipe. After a search I finally found what I needed except for some fixing brackets which I will have to purchase next time I am out from the house. At least the system can remain in use in the meantime I have had to place a couple of bricks beneath the pipe to support it.

No sooner had I packed away the tools and it began to rain heavily. I checked the grid into which the piped water flows and it was pouring out as it should. By now it was approaching noon and E and I sat down with a drink, chatted and watched some television until it was time to eat. A few days earlier she had asked me to help fit some shelving in the room we transformed into her workshop early last year but I had forgotten until I began thinking about projects at lunch. After lunch therefore we both went upstairs to see what could be done. When I stripped out the room to refurbish it I removed some shelving and brackets and had stored them away. It was easy enough for us to refit once she had decided what she wanted. 

More shelves can be added by simply fitting extra brackets into the supports. All in a day’s work as they say.

Shirley Anne

Bank holiday?

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Monday (28th) here in the UK was one of those days we call a Bank Holiday, traditionally a day when bank employees took a break from, well banking. Banks closed for the day and therefore it limited trading activities. Nowadays banking takes place on-line for the most part but the holiday remains in place for everyone to enjoy or not as they wish. Today the holiday is referred to as the August Bank Holiday, there are others. Anyway it never made much difference to me when I became self-employed back in 1997. I would work if the opportunity presented itself, and it often did. The day still makes little difference to me now that I am retired, well retired from electrical work in a full or part-time capacity. I find work to do at home which pretty much keeps me active. I am not alone in being one that works over the holiday, I know many people do the same and if you go down any high street it is business as usual for many. As I said, banking is carried out over The Internet and much commerce follows suit. The Country can’t close down for the day can it? We were expecting someone to visit the house at my request to assess some work I want carrying out. I have decided to replace the garage doors on the garage I use to park my van. This one…

From the picture it looks fine and indeed the door itself is fine even though it is around twenty-eight years old. That is because it is made of fibreglass and aluminium. However it had always been opened and closed manually until a couple of years ago when I had it converted to electrical operation.Now again, there is nothing wrong with that set-up either but what is a problem are the mechanical components that had to remain after the conversion. They comprise the two side tracks in which the door runs, the wheels which run inside the tracks, the two large heavy-duty springs one each side which assist in the raising of the door, the pulleys and the steel wires either side which form part of the spring mechanism. All of these, especially the steel wires which need replacing regularly, require constant maintenance and of course that involves cost! It was high-time I replaced the door with a roller-shutter variety similar to what we had installed in the other garage though more streamlined.

That roller door is more like an industrial type than a domestic one though it doesn’t appear anything like that to look at it. It is a very efficient door and very robust. So the guy came along to measure the opening and requirements as did E’s nephew, a builder who was at hand to discuss any alterations that might have to be undertaken before the installation takes place. I agreed on a price for the work (£2250) which hopefully will take place in around a month’s time. As it is a bespoke unit it will take time to manufacture. Unfortunately as the opening is non-standard a door from their stock cannot be used. I paid the £600 requested up-front now all I have to do is raise the balance and carry out some electrical alterations for the installation.

Shirley Anne

Electrical

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I just cannot get away from electrical work since declaring my retirement in April but at least it is now usually only for E and myself at home. A few days ago I received the new garden lights I had ordered over the Internet so I decided to fit them on Friday morning whilst we still had fair weather. The last few days of Autumn have turned dull with hardly any sunshine to speak of but at least it has been warm. I had promised myself I would replace the two light units years ago but as usual that took itself to the back of the queue. 

I think I need to give the cables a coat of paint to help disguise them. There is little else that can be done with surface wiring is there especially as the wall is a solid two-bricks thick one built in the mid-eighteen-seventies! When I took the pictures we hadn’t as yet purchased the lamps so E and I went out shopping again, though not only for lamps! The lights are switched locally on the patio but I have been considering remote control to allow them to be switched on and off from the house. In the meantime we purchased LED lamps which are remotely controlled but only from a maximum distance of five metres. The house is further away. For fun we purchased lamps that change colour either automatically or manually using the control unit. They can also be dimmed though at only three watts apiece that function seems pointless. The colours cover the whole spectrum but can be set at any point. A separate switch leaves them white for normal use. Having done that work instead of getting out the hoe to annoy the weeds in the borders as I was going to do I now have to do that on Saturday……as long as it doesn’t rain.

Shirley Anne

Saying and doing

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How many of you say you’ll do something but don’t do it? I am sometimes guilty of this or have been in the past. I get ideas, think them through then decide if I will do them or not. I am more likely to do things these days than leave them to one side. E tells me that my problem is thinking up too many projects, no sooner have I completed one she says then I am thinking of another. I guess she is right but as I said to her I like to take breaks between them! It has been a few days since I completed my last project, the garden gate and the brick pillar though I’ve still at the time of writing this yet to cement on the capstone. That will probably be done soon however. On Thursday morning we were discussing unfulfilled projects, only unfulfilled because of other things getting in the way and now with nothing to prevent them being done. First off having discovered we could not purchase locally we placed an order on-line for a sturdy washing line pole. I will be installing it in a new position from an existing one. Next, we ordered two outdoor wall lighting units to replace the bulkhead fittings I installed over the patio some years ago but never really liked. I kept saying I would change them but never got around to actually doing it. Now I have no excuse as by the time you are reading this they should be here. I have to build two small pillars in brick to support a slab of natural stone for it to become a stone bench seat set in the ‘Plot’ behind one of the garages. See posts written twelve months ago regarding the Plot. We are thinking of referring to the Plot as the secret garden in future as it is now hidden from the main garden by the new gate. Anyway one of the other things we wanted to do was to fall a Mountain Ash (Rowan) tree which had developed a problem and had begun to die off. You can see the base of the trunk in the picture below, it is on the extreme right-hand side. As you can see the trunk begins to lean further to the right and ends up six metres high and hanging over the garden wall about a metre and a half to the right in this picture taken a couple of years ago.Whilst E was out doing the weekly shopping on Thursday I set about felling it. It stood in the Mound at the rear and was pretty much hidden by the damson trees growing there and it was leaning toward the garden next door anyway. It took me about thirty minutes to cut it down and cut up the branches and a further fifteen minutes to chop down what was left of the main trunk with an axe. The stump still remains so that is another job for the future. Incidentally, the tree stump in the front garden is still stubbornly refusing to go though I have been making progress on doing that, slow progress that is! So there are plenty of things to do outdoors to keep me occupied and that is besides the garden maintenance.

Shirley Anne