The end

Today as you read this and depending on the time the small lounge project will be almost complete. Today the furniture arrives, yesterday the carpet hopefully will have been laid and a couple of days earlier the curtains should have been fitted. I am writing this on Friday evening (5th) having had to spend the last two days for the most part at home attending to the needs of the guys who tiled over the hearth yesterday and today and the gas fitter who installed the new fire. Here is the finished result…..

A vast difference and improvement I think you’ll agree. I will post pictures of the whole room in a forthcoming post. I will say that the fire being rated at 4.5 Kw produces far and above the power needed to heat the room. I doubt it will ever be used at the highest settings though it will provide rapid heating of the room should it be necessary. I suppose gas fires in general don’t differ much in capacity so their level of use will be determined by the size of the rooms in which they are installed. I am well-pleased with the new look fireplace though. It was a little after two-thirty when I got the chance to get out of the house. I had to post the registration document to the manufacturer for guarantee purposes so I had to visit the Post Office for a stamp as I hadn’t any left. Another bright, warm and sunny day made the walk very pleasant and once I had posted the document I took a walk down toward the beach and my local pub. I’d had a snack at home so it was more for a soft drink and to meet anyone who might be there. A couple were sitting outside enjoying the sunshine. It was a new friend whom I hadn’t seen for three months. She had been out walking for a few hours in town and was now tired. They remained long enough for a short chat then left for home. I went into the pub for my drink and saw a few people in there before returning home myself not long after. When I got home I spent some time on the patio before giving the garden plants another showering with the hose pipe. That’s the way it goes when it doesn’t rain for days on end.

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

Where did it go?

indexFrom about Wednesday evening I have been suffering with a muscular back pain in the lower Lumbar region or more precisely the buttocks. At worse it makes standing from a sitting position awkward and a little painful and at best doesn’t really affect activity. It is more a nuisance than anything else but I know that if I don’t rest the muscles it will only prolong the agony so I have been doing my best to do just that. At the same time I have been doing some work on our current project though I don’t consider painting to be strenuous. Nevertheless I have been taking it easy. I had an electrical job to do on Friday morning which entailed checking a reported fault on a power outlet which turned out to be a faulty grinding machine plugged into the circuit. I had to then rewire a couple of lighting switches that had been reconnected incorrectly by the owner of the house after he had removed them during redecoration. None of the work was strenuous and in fact I remained in a standing position whilst I corrected it. One thing I did find wrong was the wiring and installation itself which had been last rewired back in 1938! The place wanted a complete rewire. Wooden fixing boxes for the light switches are a potential fire risk and that is what I found behind the switches. I could only make it as safe as was possible but at least the switching now works properly. After I had done the electrical work the guy got out his electric guitar and amplifier to check the power outlet was still working. He and I and his wife had been enjoying a little bit of banter whilst I was doing the work and during the conversation I learned that he had dabbled at playing the guitar back in the 1960’s and had been in a couple of local bands. He admitted that they weren’t that good and could only play a few songs. He gave up playing after a short time and had only recently taken up playing again. He is three years younger than myself and would have been in his late teens in the mid-sixties. I mentioned that I play an acoustic guitar and he invited me to try his electric one. This is my acoustic Fender guitar….Fender CapistranoI played a few songs and then asked if I could hear him play. He was reluctant as he didn’t think he could play well. Nevertheless he did play something and he wasn’t as bad as he said he was. I asked jokingly if his wife played the drums so that we could jam together! Alas she didn’t but she was the type of person who would give it a go! I drove home but I had no intentions doing any work at home for the rest of the day, I wanted a rest. I wanted not only a rest to ease my aches and pains and allow my muscles to recuperate but I wanted a rest from work. I have been doing a lot of that lately and there is still more in the pipeline to do. Anyway the remainder of Friday just seemed to have passed without notice and I looked back and wondered where the time had gone. One nice highlight of the day was receiving a telephone call from my friend in the US, G, who calls me quite often for a chat. Mind you, she does most of the talking. She was bringing me up to date on events in her life, her recent move to an apartment with her boyfriend and well, girly things. I love G.

Shirley Anne

Family and friends?

English: This is actually Tom's Restaurant, NY...
English: This is actually Tom’s Restaurant, NYC. Famous as Monk’s in Seinfeld, and as Tom’s Diner, in the Suzanne Vega song of that name. It is located at the northeast corner of W. 112th Street and Broadway in New York, close to the campus of Columbia University, in the same building as the Goddard Institute of Space Studies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I took E to her place of choice for a meal on her birthday, Friday, which was to our usual restaurant. I am certain she has shares in the place! I had been to do a job in the morning and was supposed to drive to another house some distance away to assess some work there but was unable to contact the client. I left a message on the phone and returned home with the intention of dining out with E. I received a return call and arranged to go to the house on Monday as I shall be working close by that day. I got changed but E told me that she was expecting our youngest son and his girlfriend to call within the hour so our trip to the restaurant was delayed. They did arrive an hour later with a gift for E and stayed awhile. I invited them along with us but they declined the offer. Eventually they left and we set off to eat. We don’t normally visit this restaurant on a Friday so we had no idea how full it may or may not have been. As it turned out it was quite full. It appeared that more than a hundred guests were holding a wake and had taken over part of the establishment and another party of people were using a large area of the remaining available space. We found a couple of tables empty and by the time we received our meal many were leaving. I wondered just how many of those at the wake had actually been close to the deceased. It may have been that all of them were but somehow I have my doubts. In my life I have very little contact with my family and my friends are few and I wonder just how many would be at my wake! It may sound an odd thing to say but what would be the point for those who are not really a part of my life in attending my wake? It would be too late for them to ‘pay their respects’ as I wouldn’t be there to receive the honour! I have always thought that wakes only serve to give people an excuse to eat, drink and be merry and maybe speak about the deceased’s life. What people do after I am gone will benefit me nought will it? Why don’t they get involved with me whilst I am still here? Maybe invite me out to dinner…………..

Shirley Anne

Family and friends

English: Proud Moment with Grandmother, Family...
English: Proud Moment with Grandmother, Family and Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love my family and I love my friends such as they are but apart from those in my immediate family most of the others do not bother much with me, not all of them, just most of them. I would welcome more contact from them but it appears I am at the bottom of their list as someone whom they wish to communicate with. Don’t misunderstand I am probably only one of the folk others  neglect but I can only see things from my perspective of course. For many years the eldest of my two younger brothers cut himself off from the rest of the family and despite many attempts to change that he never did make much of a response. I have two sisters both younger than I and both now living in France so I don’t get to see them. Apart from the occasional greetings card they never get in touch either. Only my youngest brother and his wife made any effort to remain in touch although I’ve not heard much from them lately either apart from a birthday card I received recently. Such is life isn’t it? When I first started writing on this blog I received encouragement from only three of those I have mentioned. That was almost four years ago. I have heard nothing from any of my family or most of my friends since. It’s like I just left the planet. People have excuses of course and will make them if they haven’t. I wonder why people are the way they are isolating themselves from others for no apparent reason. Is it just people in this country who tend not to live in close-knit families? I love people and if I didn’t life would be far easier I guess but I have a passion in my heart to reach out to others. This passion is for their salvation. If I cannot reach my family and friends with the message of hope found in The Gospel I must reach out to others instead. Eyes are blind, hearts are closed but I try anyway. This is my duty to God. I still pray for my family and friends in the hope that they will respond. I also hope and pray they will respond to me too! I have visions of them all attending my funeral and thinking to themselves, ‘I should have tried harder, now it is too late’

Shirley Anne


Friendship-001 (Photo credit: Ludie Cochrane)

I’ve been feeling quite lonesome lately. I can feel lonely in a room full of people. It is the closeness of another that wards off my loneliness and I don’t necessarily mean a romantic closeness. People who take the time for me and what goes on in my life are those I cherish the most and they are my family and my friends. So it was on Sunday that a friend of mine invited me out to dinner at a restaurant she and I and some of my family have frequented in the past. She wouldn’t let me pay for anything. Now I like to pay my way and I wouldn’t allow her to pay for anything whenever she was my guest but this time she insisted that it was her turn to treat me for a change. We hadn’t seen each other for more than 14 months so we had some catching up to do. My friend arrived on time and we drove the ten or twelve miles to the restaurant. Many folk were sitting outside in the sunshine but we chose to eat indoors where it was much cooler and where there were no flies challenging us for our food! One thing I hate about eating out-of-doors is having to cope with flies. When at home having a barbecue it isn’t quite so bad as the smoke keeps the blighters at bay. We had a lovely meal and a really enjoyable couple of hours together. Later I asked if she would like to visit my local pub, it was her local too until she moved to her present location some fifteen miles or so away. We each had a soft drink and sat inside out of the heat. A guy I’d met on Thursday night came over for a chat and the three of us had a few laughs together. Actually it was he who was making us laugh! My friend wanted to go home to do some laundry and prepare for work in the morning so we didn’t stay there very long. I got home to an empty house, E had gone out for the afternoon, probably to a barbecue although she didn’t tell me that, I just assumed she had. I hadn’t mentioned that my friend, and her friend too, was coming over but she’d gone out before my friend arrived. She probably thought I’d been at home all afternoon but I most probably would have been at the pub had I not made other arrangements with my friend. My friend suggested we get together more often, when we can of course, after all I am not her only friend! As I write this late on Sunday evening I am feeling less lonely and it is all due to the kindness and friendship of a wonderful friend.

Shirley Anne