Don’t you just love Mondays? Monday started showery though it was quite mild with little in the way of wind. My scheduled electrical job was to check for an intermittent fault on a distribution board in an out-house (a built-on extension to the main building) and to replace two floodlights on the outside walls of that extension. It was dry when I arrived but soon after opening my toolbox it began to rain. However, because the forecast was for showers I expected the rain to stop after a few minutes, and it did but that was the pattern for the next hour or so. By noon the sun was ‘cracking the flags (paving stones)’ as we say but long before then I had finished the work. The reason for the distribution panel’s RCD tripping intermittently was due to one of the old floodlights which had become detached from the wall. It was hanging by the electrical cable leaving the connection box exposed to the elements. I removed it and fitted the new one which had been supplied by the customer. Her son had purchased two replacement tungsten-halogen fittings and had given them to her. I left setting it up until after the second floodlight had been installed. I set the controls on the first floodlight and it worked perfectly but when I did the same to the second light it wouldn’t switch off. The lady and I waited for quite some time for the light to ‘settle down’ as sometimes they can be quite temperamental when first switched on. This unit just didn’t want to know! The lady asked if I could simply buy a new one instead. She opted for me to purchase an LED version so I drove off to purchase one. The picture shows the same model.I was away from the house for almost a half-hour and on my return I saw that the floodlight had finally switched itself off! As I had set it up for automatic night-time switching the lady asked if I could leave it and see if indeed it was now going to behave itself. She sent me a text message later to let me know everything worked fine. I didn’t bother returning the newly purchased light as either she might find the light is faulty or someone else might want one. With the connection box included the price was under £25 so it will remain as van stock for the time being. I drove off to view another job and whilst doing so a lady I had been to see the previous week regarding replacing her outside wall lantern called to let me know she had purchased the replacement. It was in the next township but as the weather had now turned out for the better I took the opportunity to go and replace it for her. By now it was one-thirty and beyond my lunchtime. I didn’t get lunch until almost two-thirty. It happens quite often. My little run about paid well anyway so I was happy.
I can relax a little now that all the major projects I had set myself to do this year have been accomplished. I will not remain idle though for even now I can think of things I can do to keep me occupied. On Wednesday morning after breakfast I undertook to finish the small project I had started the previous day which involved alterations to floodlights at the rear and one side of the house. Basically all I had left myself to do was to fix a new floodlight and a connection box then terminate the wiring after which I painted the remaining section of the main cable I had been unable to do the day before.
The light which used to be where the black connection box is just around the corner (top-middle) has now been re-positioned where you see it on the right of the kitchen window. A cable now runs from the connection box to a new position beneath the other kitchen window here in this picture …It now shines directly upon the Plot when activated and will better illuminate the area and especially the passageway beneath it. The faulty floodlight will be partly dismantled and tested and if it is only the sensor that is faulty and not the LED lamp I will keep hold of it and use it elsewhere. It didn’t take long to dismantle the tower and store it away until it is needed again. It was almost lunchtime but I waited an hour before indulging. After lunch I had set myself a little plumbing job to do. If any of my readers will remember, I drained down the central heating system radiators and pipework a couple of months ago while it was still Summer in order to fit new radiator valves where I could get at them, though not all of them needed replacing. That meant air in the system when I refilled it of course, most of which I vented off manually. However, the bathroom towel rail heater remained air locked even though I had made alterations to the pipes in the airing cupboard to enable me to release any trapped air. I needed to get to grips with the situation but what with all the other work I had been doing I never really had the time. I attached a previously made length of hose pipe with a connecting pipe and fitting to the valve I had installed when the system was empty of water and allowed the water to gush out and into the bathtub. Surprisingly there was no air but just a little sludge, enough to stem the flow of water when in use. Thankfully the towel rail heated up and I was able to pack everything away.
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…… I 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.