The weather hereabouts has been very unsettled lately and as I write this on Tuesday morning the forecast is to be the same at least until Thursday. I have to keep an eye on the wind strength especially as it determines whether or not I allow the flag to fly on the pole out front. If it gets too windy I have to lower the flag until things become more settled. Fortunately there are only a few times during the year when it becomes necessary to lower the flag because of high winds. This morning (Tuesday) I took a walk into what you might call the centre of the village in which I live. Now though the Village of Birkdale is just another suburb of the town of Southport. The shopping centre is shown at the end of this short video…
I had to make a deposit of some cash at one of my banks which happens to have an outlet in the village and at the same time I called into the chemist (drug store) in order to arrange for my prescription to be repeated. I normally do this over the phone but if I am in the village when the prescription needs repeating I do it in person. The prescription is for my hormone tablets and I get a twelve week supply each time. The prescription service has been much improved over the last twelve months. The chemist does everything on your request where once an appointment at the doctor’s surgery was necessary beforehand. Even so it was necessary to drop off the form at the surgery to be processed and then forwarded to the chemist from where it would be collected a few days later. Now it is all done electronically over The Internet by the chemist. If my doctor wishes to see me for a routine check-up I receive a note via the post. No doubt that will also get done over The Internet if and when they decide it is more efficient. In fact, I saw a leaflet in the chemist shop advertising the ‘new app.’ available for your mobile phone so that you can get the repeat done whilst you are anywhere. One day we’ll all be dependent on our mobile phones for anything and everything I suppose but not if I can help it. I never want to be controlled by and reliant on The Internet for my needs. I didn’t hang around once my business was done but simply returned home. By now it had begun to rain as promised but I was prepared, I had my umbrella with me. I wondered if I would need to lower the flag later in the day as the wind was beginning to pick up. I was hoping I might get some electrical work too.
I posed a question on yesterday’s post which asked what was wrong in the picture. Maybe a few of my readers discovered what it was and well spotted by them but for those who didn’t the answer is that the flag theoretically should not have been flying. One is supposed to lower a flag at dusk and raise it again at dawn but most people don’t bother. If it were a flag maintained by the armed forces then it most certainly would have been lowered as it would be somebody’s duty for that day to do it. How many got it right I wonder?
So I am again sitting at home and I am wondering why we didn’t get the severe stormy and wet day that was forecast for this area. The weather forecasters at the BBC are often very dramatic with their presentations and often speak on generalities. I know they cannot get it right every time but most of the time the forecasts are fairly accurate and I suppose that where I live right on the coast it can be difficult to be so precise.
The thing is that although the weather can be forecast to be bad for the region it is often a little different along the coast, for instance when snow has been forecast we often don’t get it and if we do it isn’t as bad as elsewhere. With the roofing problem we have at home, dampness on a wall and ceiling at the top of the house we were hoping for some rain to help pinpoint the leaks if any. Now it looks like we’ll have to wait some more.
Sunday is time out for me unless I have a mad moment and do something in the garden but it doesn’t stop the telephones from ringing. Even whilst I was writing this I received two inquiries one of which led to a job I will do in the morning. If I wish to get requests I have to be near to the phones or one of them at all times. Of course I don’t mind that for it is an essential part of being self-employed but it can be a pain when the calls come in at unusual times, often inconvenient or anti-social times. For some people it seems I have to be available whenever they call, even at six o’clock in the morning! Oh yes I have had such calls and they were not even emergencies! It is nice having days off therefore and sometimes I allow myself that pleasure during the working week, I have to else drive myself into the ground.
Just now the rain has all but stopped and it is beginning to get a little brighter. I wonder how long it will last?
I didn’t go to bed on Saturday evening. I had slept in until around 10.30 and just wasn’t tired but by Sunday evening I was quite ready for bed. However, having watched many of the Masters Snooker Championship preliminary elimination rounds I was keen to see the final itself but it didn’t finish until almost midnight. The person I thought would win, Mark Selby, did. This was the third time in six years he claimed the title this time beating Neil Robertson 10 frames to 6.
When I did get to bed it was an hour later before I actually fell asleep. Again I slept in but was in no rush to get up early anyway as I had no work scheduled. I had a bath during which time somebody had called wanting an electrical job doing but as I had left my phone in the bedroom I missed the call. Normally I would have taken the phone into the bathroom. Later I returned the call and discovered she had called someone else instead. I guess it must have been an emergency. It was now 11 o’clock and I got dressed in some ‘no intention’ clothes as I call them meaning not the clothes I would normally wear to work, dressing up clothes if you like. It had been snowing overnight and I had to go to the village to collect my medication from the pharmacy and then go to my local pub for lunch. As I was walking I wore boots and off I went. Although it is only a half-mile or so to the pharmacy it took some time getting there because of the slushy and slippery snow lying on the pavement, far more dangerous than fresh snow. I had submitted my request for my medication a week previously but I discovered they were only able to supply a third of them. Poor service I feel so I have to collect the rest another day. It was now 1 o’clock so I walked another half-mile to the pub. There were plenty of cars in the car park but when I got inside it wasn’t as full as I imagined it would be. I didn’t order food directly but bought a drink and opened a bar tab as I had no cash with me. It was almost two hours before I decided to eat, in the meantime just chatting with a few people. One thing I like about my pub is the fact that they are not mean with the meal portions and the quality is excellent and reasonably priced too! It was early evening before I got back home and found some messages on the house phone asking for my services. Mondays are sometimes like that.
I had to go to the village on Monday to deposit some cash at the Post Office. They take deposits for other banks on their behalf which is quite handy for me as it means I don’t have to go into town to deposit directly at my bank. It was such a lovely day with bright sunshine and clear blue skies and little or no wind to speak of so it was nice to go for the short walk. The village of Birkdale became part of Southport many years ago lying just south of the town centre. Like most villages which lie close to a town they lose their borders and become part of the main conurbation but still retain their name, character and identity. Anyway I live but a half mile from what might be considered the centre of the village, a mere ten minutes walk. As usual there was a queue at the Post Office but I didn’t have to wait long to make my deposit and soon I was on my way back home. I had no other reason to go to the village, no shopping or browsing. As I was approaching the railway level-crossing which separates the main shopping area from my side of the village an old guy came to me, looked me straight in the eye and said,’ You’ve got a lovely pair of legs’. Well that took me back a bit I have to say but I thanked him for his observation and compliment. I never wear trousers, leggings (maybe in the winter whilst riding my bike) or anything to cover my legs apart from stockings in the cooler months of the year so my legs are always on show. I have always received positive comments regarding my legs, mostly from women! One woman once said to me that she would die to have nicely shaped legs as mine. I’ve known for quite some time that my legs are one of my best assets but it is still nice when other people tell me, especially complete strangers! How nice!
The picture shows the main shopping area as seen from the level-crossing behind the camera. The Post Office is beyond the row of cars on the right-hand-side of the picture but on the opposite side of the road. Clicking on the picture a couple of times will magnify the image. The Post Office stands just beyond and next to the shop with the white awning for anyone who might be interested.
Yesterday I decided to buy a protective cover for my new mobile phone and E told me of a place to get one so she came with me. Unfortunately the store was out of stock on a suitable cover. We drove into town to buy fuel for the van and then I parked it and walked to another store whilst E remained in the van. As the distance to the store was around a half mile or so she decided to stay put because of her disability and wait for my return. Although the store didn’t have a cover specific for my phone they did have a rather nice alternative which on reflection is probably better so I bought it at £17.99. Now the area where the store is located is that where I normally do my shopping for toiletries, clothes and such but this time I couldn’t indulge as E was waiting for my return so reluctantly I shelved the idea. I don’t go shopping very often as I tend to buy things in quantity but in a couple of weeks time I will be returning. We returned home to do all the little daily tasks that occupy our lives like bringing in the washing (it was actually hung in the boiler room in the cellar), taking out rubbish and other general tasks before lunch. After lunch I set about familiarizing myself with the mobile phone so that I will know how to use it! I arranged and installed some security software on the phone should it ever be needed. The software was free and because I use the same software protection on my computer the two can be linked to the same account. Is is such a shame that we need to do things like that, it was never a problem with a simple telephone was it? Progress? Yeah, sure! I had expected a call from a client but it didn’t materialise so I spent the rest of the day at home. So far this week I have had one job but it is enough to satisfy my average expected income for the week. I may yet receive requests before the week is out, that’s the way it is in my business. I did make a call to the guy who fitted the roller door to my garage to ask what progress he had made in gathering the equipment he will need to automate the other garage door. He tells me he has most of it but is waiting on one or two items. He said he will ring back early next week. I shall be very happy to see that work completed so that I too can enjoy the privilege of driving directly into the garage without having to manually open the door. E uses the other garage although my van would better be parked in it as it is a higher vehicle with only an inch or two of headroom when the ladders are on the roof-rack, which is all of the time! As long as I can get the van inside it doesn’t matter. The guy doing the job is aware of the limited headroom so it should work out.
It isn’t Friday as I write this post, it is actually Monday but I often write posts in advance. At the time of writing there are three already in the queue. This will be the fourth but by the time it is posted hopefully there will be others already for posting. The reason I write things in advance is because I tend to write whenever something springs to mind in the same way I write my poems and songs. Probably another good reason is that I might forget things if I don’t write them down too! On Monday itself it was another of our ‘Bank Holidays’, we have a few of those each year. People will say that it always seems to rain on a bank holiday but that isn’t true. Nevertheless this bank holiday Monday it did just that. The bank holiday weekend has traditionally been a time when people take a short break somewhere, a sort of mini-holiday and because of this the major road networks serving places of interest often become grid-locked. We see the miles of traffic jams on the television news and I wonder why people put themselves through that self-imposed torture. Personally I have never taken a break anywhere during a national holiday, preferring to remain at home. For me a rest is as good as a change rather than the other way round, not that I have never enjoyed holidays or short breaks. These days all holidays hold less of an interest for me than they once did. I have lost the urge to wander around the planet like I used to I guess although given the chance, and more especially the funds, I might still be open to such things. I am saving the funds for other things just now but I still have options. On Monday morning I went to do a small job out-of-town and returned home soon afterwards with extra pocket-money. I will work on a bank holiday and have done for many years as long as my clients raise no objections. Because the day itself was rather miserable weather-wise I stayed at home. I wasn’t tempted to visit the pub so potted about the house instead. I was having problems with this site not displaying properly but the problem only existed with WordPress sites and I couldn’t figure out why. I tried using two other browsers to no avail and I eventually called my friend Jane to ask her if she had any ideas. She talked me through several options but still the problem remained. I got E to switch on her computer and load my web site and it was working fine! When I returned to my own computer I found the problem had resolved itself. Jane mentioned that the problem may have been external and it was simply co-incidental that whilst I was looking at another computer things righted themselves. I am no expert when it comes to computers but I have to say it can be quite annoying when having tried all obvious possibilities problems still remain. Well everything is alright now, as far as my computer is concerned!
I watch a soap called EastEnders. Ok I need to get a life but I don’t take it all seriously and often miss programs because I am doing something else. So it’s a case of if I see it fine but if not so what? It hasn’t got that much of a grip on me that I get withdrawal symptoms if I miss it! On Monday there were two episodes in the same evening and in the second one a certain character was to take part in the Olympic Torch relay, live on television. It wasn’t make-believe as the normal theme of the program is but it was actually a part of the real thing. The character, Billy, a loser in the normal storyline, was allowed his few moments of glory as they made his ever so short run a part of the event which has been running during the last couple of months as the ‘Torch’ (actually many torches) was carried throughout the whole of the UK. It could only happen here. Personally I hate all the hype that surrounds major events in this country. I prefer to simply watch the events themselves if I am inclined to do so. As the Olympics are basically an athletic games event I shall be watching as many of those events as I can because I like athletics, simple as that. I do not need to get all wound up to watch anything that is of interest to me so the lead-up to the event and the closing ceremonies will pass me by. In the UK the trend is to dramatise everything trying to get people involved and it is the same with everything that goes on here. I watch the news on television. It is one of my favourite programs because I like to know what is going on in my community and in the rest of the world but even the news is treated as a drama and that really annoys me. The news is the news and doesn’t need ‘padding out’ with a pile of waffle. The weather forecasts are presented in a similar way. They use ‘traffic light’ warning symbols to show the level of rain we should expect, the temperature and possible burn factors associated with too much exposure to the sun and even the level of pollen we may expect! Why can’t they simply say it’s going to rain, be very sunny and the pollen count is high, low or average? No, they want to make a drama out of it. One of the reasons I didn’t like ‘High Church‘ gatherings was all the pomp and ceremony that went on in them. I went to a more straightforward assembly which didn’t involve watching unnecessary tradition. I feel the same way when it comes to almost anything in life. If I go to a restaurant I want to see simple fayre presented simply. I don’t want all the paraphernalia that some chefs think are necessary to make their food attractive. I want to eat it, not take photographs of it! Give me the basics and I will be happy, everything else is superfluous.
Monday turned out to be a really good day. I got back to the old lady’s house and fitted her wall lights and new bell push with only a minor problem concerning the bell push. Well something had to be problematical given what happened on Friday. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear her house was jinxed! Whilst there I received another request to do a job some miles away in the next town and that turned out to be quite lucrative and easy to do. Swings and roundabouts I guess. I finally got home around 2.30 and fixed myself a snack after which I took my guitar outside and sat in the sunshine-soaked patio playing for an hour. A neighbour was having a glass and brick-constructed conservatory demolished ready for a single-storey extension to be built in its place, something that required planning permission from the local council and which had been granted last year. In order to gain permission to build it is necessary to post a formal proposition so that people living in the immediate area can oppose it if they consider it might cause a problem of one sort or another. In most cases like this one there are no reasonable objections. I sat far enough away from the work in progress for it to be a ‘nuisance noise pollution‘ as it were and my music drowned out the sound anyway. Before long they had demolished most of the structure. I don’t know what it is with me but I love watching the progress of a building being erected, the various stages leading up to that final finish. I shall be taking an interest over the next few weeks as the work progresses. I do have an interest in buildings, in their architecture, they are one of the success stories of the human race I think and some of them are really imaginative in their construction. They are beautiful things in their own way, well I think so anyway. I heard that we are going to continue having warm weather at least until Friday. Currently the temperature is twice the seasonal average at 19, 20 and even 21 degrees celsius. I suppose next week will see a marked change to cooler days. I’m happy with that as long as it doesn’t get too cold!
Whenever someone asks me to do a job for them I note it down in a diary. I seldom forget that I have work to do but on Tuesday morning I received a call from a lady who asked if I was coming as I said I would. Fortunately I was dressed and just about putting the finishing touches to my make-up when she called and was able to get there within a half hour. She had called me around eight-thirty but as is usual for me I wouldn’t have arrived until nine o’clock anyway. I could have said nothing about my forgetting the appointment but I apologised for my error. I arrived a few minutes after nine and did the work for her. I have worked for this lady before and she is nice to work for. She had done a little electrical job in her kitchen and asked if I would check it out. I couldn’t have done a better job myself! She told me that she had wanted to be a mechanic in her youth but couldn’t get into the industry. She is only six years younger than myself! There were other electrical jobs that needed doing but she confessed she hadn’t the knowledge to do them and that is why I was called. Later we chatted some and she was asking about my interests and when I mentioned that I play guitar she took me upstairs and showed me two lovely instruments that she owned but couldn’t play. Both were way out of tune and one, a twelve-stringed guitar, had a string missing, the other, a six-stringed instrument had two of its strings wrapped on the wrong posts so that the strings crossed each other on the machine head. She asked if I could tune it so I did a quick tune-up and played a song or two. It needs the strings fitted correctly and tuning properly. I also noticed that some strings were wrapped counter-clockwise and some clockwise which makes adjusting the tension awkward. They should all rotate the same way so it is easier to remember if you are tightening them or loosening them! She asked if I could teach her to play but I explained that it would take some time just to learn the basics. I may get back to her later if I’ve the time. I’ve now got to try to remember to do that. As we get older we find that we sometimes forget things, it’s unavoidable I suppose. It is one thing writing down appointments in a diary, it’s another remembering to read the diary or even remembering where you left it! I am alright on the last bit as my diary is in my bag. Now where did I place my bag? LOL.
Yesterday was my eldest sons birthday anniversary, he was 29. 29! Notice I said anniversary? Well it couldn’t be his birthday, that was 29 years ago! It’s funny how we use our language, accepting as normal they way we use it. I bought him a small gift and a card to show I remembered. Now I have to be truthful here because although I do remember these anniversary dates, occasionally I don’t remember them until the day is close. On Monday my youngest son brought up the subject of his brother’s birthday by telling me what he had bought for him as a small gift. I said to him then that I had forgotten that it was imminent and the following day I bought the card and gift. That’s the way it goes. On Tuesday, the first day back at work after the extended weekend, I had the task of doing the internal wiring and laying an electrical supply to an outbuilding some 30 metres down the garden which took most of the day to complete and was ‘helped’ by the man of the house, actually he was more of a hindrance at times but he eventually allowed me to get on with the job alone. Part of the job had entailed lifting two small floorboards in the house which he had attempted to do the day before my arrival but had made a bit of a mess about it. To be fair the couple have not been it this house long so they are still discovering things about it, like the floorboards being covered by sheets of hard board over which the underlay and carpets were laid. For those who don’t know about hard board, it is very difficult to lift intact once it has been nailed to the floor. That being the case the poor guy had to replace the lifted board and that kept him busy for a couple of hours whilst I got on with the electrical work. His wife returned home mid-afternoon and offered me something to eat. Normally I don’t eat during the day at work but this time I accepted the offer. We chatted some and joked about the problems he was having refitting the floor, he openly admitting to his lack of ability in practical things and we laughed about that too! They are the kind of people who are easy to get along with and it was a pleasure working for them, plus I got some nice sandwiches! LOL. That’s the way it goes sometimes but not always unfortunately.
Just as I was thinking that my workload had dropped off I got several calls for work! That’s the way it is in my line of work. I must admit to have been feeling a little lazy lately, taking time from the workload at home and not having electrical work to do didn’t help. I keep resisting the urge to go down to the pub even though I feel an evening there would do me some good but there are other things on my mind just now and I don’t wish to drown my sorrows in a bottle of whisky! I feel that progress at home is slow, aside from my short break, things don’t seem to be going as fast as I’d like. My main concern is trying to get the roller-shutter door up to ceiling height and organising it around the availability of my helpers, my sons. Until I can get a definite date and time my hands are tied. I won’t be happy until I know the door is up and working. At least I am being kept busy with my electrical work for the time being. I sat playing my guitar in the garden again on Wednesday afternoon. I had been to work in the morning so the afternoon was free and the weather wasn’t too bad either. That’s the other thing, our weather can’t make up its mind whether to rain or shine lately so I grab the opportunity to sit out in the garden, well the patio, as often as I can. One job I had to do in the morning before I could do anything else was to fix the hot waters tap on the bath in the family bathroom. My youngest son kept complaining that it wasn’t working properly. I didn’t find it a problem but I checked it out anyhow. It turned out to be the washer, it had broken in half and was partially blocking the outlet causing a poor flow of water. So I am busy but not busy enough for me. Thursday morning was a bit hectic too, three jobs, three different townships, all done by 12.15! LOL
I sat around most of Saturday nursing my poor swollen right foot. E had gone to her monthly ‘meeting’ with her competition friends or her ‘comp’ friends as I call them and all I could do was potter about if I wasn’t seated. Yesterday we planned to collect the extension ladder from our son’s house and I had gotten up quite early to do that. I had a nice soak in the bath, something that was denied me the night before and had eaten breakfast well before 08.30. I waited for E to come downstairs but she didn’t do that until 09.00. She seldom comes downstairs dressed but prefers to eat her breakfast first, however she was dressed and ready to go at 09.30. So off we went. It is a journey of around 26 miles through small villages and countryside, a pleasant ride to be sure. It was beginning to rain as we set off and by the time we reached there it was pouring down quite heavily. Just in time for me to put the ladder on the roof-rack and tie it down. We didn’t stop there long and soon we were on our way back home. The rain became heavier and we had to stop twice to re-secure the ladder. For some reason I had tied it too loosely, not usual for me! We drove back part of the way, the last four miles, along the coastal road. The tide was in, the sea looked very rough with plenty of white-topped waves whipped up by the strong on-shore wind. Visibility out at sea was poor and we couldn’t see the oil rig that stands about three miles off-shore. Very few people were out and about although there were some brave souls battling the elements! We made a left turn off the coast road with only three-quarters of a mile to home. The rain eased off a little whilst I off-loaded the ladder and then began to collect my tools from the other garage ready for work today. I decided not to work at home yesterday afternoon and have some more rest instead. My foot felt much better after walking about in my shoes rather than in the slippers I had been wearing over the last two days but there again I had not been able to get my right foot inside a shoe whilst it was swollen! The whole of Sunday was wet and miserable in the driving wind, a day to be spent indoors unless I had to go for a drive into the country! Good old English weather!
A few days ago I received an email from Jenny who shares the responsibility of I guess monitoring and looking after the interests at T-Central. She asked if she could place a link to my humble blog in an article she wrote for the T-Central website. I had no reservations in allowing her to include a link to my blog so that is what she did. I realised that I might get some visitors from subscribers to T-Central and indeed that was the case. I hope anyone visiting my site will not be disappointed. Although I am a transitioned girl I don’t major on my past preferring to write about my everyday existence instead. For me, the past is done with and serves no useful purpose in my life now. I have posted articles regarding my journey to where I am now but they are there more for the benefit of others rather than myself. In my life I no longer talk about being transsexual because I am not, I have transitioned, I am a woman. Simple as that. I feel that life is too short to be always looking back because for me the future is far more important. I won’t say my journey in life to where I am now has been easy because it hasn’t always been so but life is full of challenges and I am happy that I have come through it all unscathed. Life is what you make of it. You do what you have to do to survive and be happy. I want to thank all those who have recently visited my blog for the first time, not because it has boosted my readership, that is just a bonus. I encourage you to comment on anything you find interesting as the mood takes you.
These days the weeks seem to fly by. I suppose it’s an age thing! I remember in my youth how the days and weeks seemed to last forever but with the passing of time we realise just how short the days really are. It is Saturday once more and I awoke bright as a penny and rearing to go, although I’m not sure where! Yesterday nobody turned up to finish the paving in the rear garden. Again E’s nephew has let us down after promising he would remain here, that is come every day until the job was finished, only a matter of two days really. No phone call to explain. He is very unreliable. I most definitely will not be employing him in future, that is after he has completed the jobs I have already agreed with him to do, laying the paving in the two gardens. So yesterday morning we were waiting for the delivery of the windows for the garage and they arrived just before noon. That being the case I decided to dine out for lunch as we had the rest of the day free. I had been to do a job earlier in the morning and just wanted a rest. We drove the 15 or so miles to one of our favourite places, in fact the one my friend and I had visited the Friday before. We had a really good time there and were introduced to the new manager as regular patrons. He was a very tall guy, around 6’6″ and towered over our table whilst we spoke. One of the reasons we visit there, apart from the good food, is the friendliness of the staff. We drove back home after a couple of hours but on the way I asked E to drop me off at my local pub as I hadn’t been there for quite some time. I didn’t spend much money there as many of my friends insisted on buying me drinks! I am very popular in that place for some reason! LOL. I returned home after a couple of hours but it appears I sat on the settee and fell asleep! Mmm…..I wonder why? LOL. Anyways E woke me three hours later and told me it was time for bed! Gosh, I am a naughty girl sometimes. Whilst I was working at the job yesterday morning I had the need to use a very small Allen key and realised the two sets of keys that I have had been lent to the young joiner in a house we were both working in earlier in the week. I managed to call him this morning and as chance would have it he has to pass my house to get to another job he is working on today. It’s funny how things work out sometimes isn’t it? Well it’s Saturday again and……….
Yesterday I had an electrical job to do a couple of miles away from home. Today I have a similar job to do somewhat further away from home. If todays job is anything like yesterdays then I am in for some more hard work! Although I had a job on Monday and a couple last week it has been a rather lean time recently on the job front. I hadn’t minded that much as it enabled me to get on with work at home however, much of that work at home has been gruelling so it is a welcome change to be able to take on board some electrical work, as I said to the joiner who was working in the same house yesterday, ‘It is nice to come to work for a rest’! Well a change is as good as a rest they say! Yesterday E’s nephew and friend came to start the laying of paving slabs in the rear garden. They will be returning this morning as I go off to my job. I will have to wait and see what progress they have made when I return home later.