February already

Yes but I am writing this at the end of December! Another year over and now I am wondering what will occupy the days ahead. Much of my time last year was spent indoors doing refurbishment in the cellar rooms and although there is other work I could do inside the house I doubt that will happen, in the near future anyhow. I would like to spend more time in the gardens this year and perhaps that will happen but I also intend to spend more time in recreational things. Time will tell. The thing is I know I am at that time in life where I either curl up and do little or try to remain active and do whatever takes my fancy even if that means working at something. Would I be happy sitting around doing nothing and seizing up in the process or being active doing those things I enjoy? I think I would be happiest when being active in some way. Time marches on relentlessly and soon we discover we have less of it to look forward to so it is always best to enjoy life whilst we can.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 : So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

I have met a few people who seemed to have given up on life and I found that very sad. When we look at life we should realise there is nothing we can do other than to live it. We ought to be happy and if we are not we ought to do something about it otherwise what is the point? We each know what makes us happy, not what we think will make us happy. Often what we think will make us happy doesn’t do so when we get it.

Will I make it to next February? Well I do hope so but in the meantime my plan is to be happy, to enjoy life and to remain that way!

Shirley Anne


Not a lot days

I am pretty certain that most of you will have periods in your lives where nothing much is going on, I know I do. What do you do when that happens? Do you sit back and relax and do nothing? Do you find something to do? Do you play catch-up with those things you kept promising yourself you would get around to do but never had the time? What if none of those appeal to you? What if you struggle to find things to occupy yourself with? What do you do then when the box is empty? Life is exciting when the things that you like are happening all around you but when something comes along to upset the apple cart you get annoyed at having to deal with it. You wish it would go away and think to yourself why did this have to happen when things were going just fine? That however is the way it is, life doesn’t promise us anything. If we want something we should just go for it but always keep in mind that it may not all be plain sailing. Do you ever wonder why things go pear-shaped? Why do bad things happen in life? Wise people accept that they cannot always avoid untoward happenings. We can plan as much as we like but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will all go well, we have to expect the unexpected might happen. We must however not take that approach but always live in hope. Why is it hard sometimes, why do we have to suffer once in a while, and for some that once in a while is more often than not? The little things we take in our stride, sort them out and carry on as before. The bigger problems require more attention and after dealing with them we sometimes lose heart in what we were doing before and it loses its appeal. Life is great when it is going our way but when it isn’t it makes us sad. I often think about these things and take comfort in reading the pages of Ecclesiastes ( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+1&version=NIVUK ) in Scripture. In life we strive for peace and tranquility, love and harmony, ease and comfort but not always do we receive them do we? We must learn to accept the good with the bad, the busy and the not so busy times, the full days and the empty ones and simply be happy with them all.

Shirley Anne

I gotta get out of this place

…if it’s the last thing I ever do. Yes a familiar line from an old song which I think if I can remember was by a group called ‘The Animals’ with a front man called Eric Burden. It was recorded in the mid-sixties. Now I am showing my age which for those who wish to know is 72. As I write this it is Wednesday morning on the fourth of July. Now there’s a familiar date. Greetings to all my American friends, which by that I mean all of you living there. Okay I am two weeks late but the date doesn’t matter. By the way I greet all people the same no matter from where they hail. I am stuck at home though stuck isn’t probably the right word to use, perhaps left at home might be more apt. E has gone to stay with her mom for a few hours whilst her brother, who lives with his mom, has somewhere he needs to go. I am not really sure why he still lives at home with his mom for he is I think 60 years old. Life has dealt him a few bad cards over the years and I guess things just fell into place and kept him living there. E doesn’t speak much about him and I haven’t even seen him for well over twenty years. That’s what happens when families don’t stick together and support each other. There are reasons of course, many are too self-centred and have bigoted feelings. I don’t know why people are like that, after all we are all in the same boat. All you need is love. Now where have I heard that one before? I am not sure many folk know what real love is. If you’ve an ear I can tell you but I don’t wish to preach, not in this post anyway. I see folk going about their daily business and often wonder what it is they think about, what their focus on life is. One day they will, we all will, leave this place and everything in it and in fact it will be the last thing we ever do won’t it? Once more it is a beautifully sunny day, probably going to be too hot again for me if I’m honest. I am maybe thinking I should get out of this place, that is my house and go for a walk somewhere but do you know, I am not sure I will feel better for it. It is late in the morning as I finish this post. I haven’t eaten breakfast because I wasn’t hungry when I got up but I am feeling a little hungry now. After I have eaten I will be ‘reviewing the situation’, (yes, from Oliver Twist, the musical). Have a really nice day my readers.

Shirley Anne

Complete opposite

It isn’t unusual that one day can be so different from the previous one. Many of my days follow a set pattern and nothing much is different between them but there are days which flip the trend. Doing something new or something that hasn’t been done for a while make a day different but other things can do just the same. In yesterday’s post I talked about taking a walk in the rain. At the time it felt good but today, that is Sunday (aka Father’s Day this particular Sunday 17 th) I think I am paying the price! I have been feeling ‘run down’, tired and listless and all I want to do is sit and relax, even take a nap! I just feel drained of energy and am assuming the cold of yesterday has had a negative affect on my health. Hopefully it won’t last but for today at least I am putting up with it. Fortunately I haven’t been bored by just sitting around for the television came to the rescue. Not everyone is interested in soccer but I am not one of them. I am not a fanatic as some might be but I do enjoy watching a good game and this summer there are plenty to watch during the FIFA World Cup championships. This year as all will know it is being held in Russia. I would like to see England do well but it has been so many years since they have. To be honest I don’t support or follow any particular country’s team even my own, I just like watching good football. However if there is something else to do I will abandon the television unless it is the final game which I would probably take time out for. So here I am late on Sunday afternoon waiting for the next game to begin in the next ten minutes writing this and listening to records by various artists from the sixties on Vintage Tv. They are all remembered and bring back my memories from those wonderful days in my life. I remember how it was for me and how I had lacked determination to follow the path in life I perhaps should have taken instead of the one I did. Missed opportunities I regret and yet life has been good despite all the negative things that have happened in my life since then. Today I am happier than I thought I’d ever be and content with life. Tomorrow will be even better…and I am feeling better already.

Shirley Anne

Not so strange……..

……I suppose. I meet all sorts of people in my capacity as an electrician. When I first entered the electrical business some fifty-three and a half years ago I was often engaged in domestic installations and repairs as well as industrial and commercial situations too. That work lasted fourteen years when I took a career side-step and entered into the maintenance field for a major bank at their large headquarters. The work was far more diversified than that which I had been used to but it was also far more interesting and I was able to gain experience and qualifications in many other things besides basic electrical installations. I spent a further twenty-one years working for the same company and was also able to gain promotion and a higher level of pay. Though there were many people working at the bank I had but only brief contact with most of them.

Embed from Getty Images

I became self-employed some eighteen years ago  and I have since spent all my time working once again in the domestic field meeting different people each day as I did when I first started in the business. Most people are good to work for but I have met some who have not been so. Thankfully they are few and far between. I was called to help an old lady who had placed her freezer on defrost and couldn’t subsequently turn it back on. There was no logical reason for there being a fault and I expected as much when I arrived there. The problem was merely the fact that she had switched on the wrong switch on the twin wall socket so in fact hadn’t switched on the freezer. She had a good excuse though as she was over ninety-two years of age! We chatted for a short time over a coffee and then I had to leave to go to my next job. She asked how much it was for my visit and I refused payment. It didn’t matter, she kept insisting that she pay me something so in the end I felt obliged to accept for fear of insulting her. It wasn’t that she couldn’t afford to pay me, far from it for she seemed quite well off in her well-appointed apartment but she wouldn’t allow me to leave without something. I had done work for her and her husband in the past but he died a couple of years ago. My next job was a bit more involved. I had to re-arrange circuit breakers and fit a main switch in a supply panel/board for another old lady for whom I had worked before. She too was getting on in years and in her mid to late eighties and her husband had also died since I was there last a couple of years ago. She was very interested in what I was doing to solve the problem she was experiencing whenever she switched on her cooker. Essentially it had been supplied through an RCD unit which also supplied other circuits. Cookers are noted for tripping these devices and therefore should not be supplied through one. especially if there are other circuits connected to it. She was very thankful for my services and even more thankful that I had kept the fee as small as I could. Later I was called to replace a ceiling light for a young guy, well younger than me! He was very amiable and helpful too. It is people like these who make my day and my work enjoyable.

Shirley Anne

I love this tune

Singer, instrumentalist, and composer Enya.
Singer, instrumentalist, and composer Enya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I so much love this tune but each time I hear it I burst into tears. I came to hear it for the first time when my personal life was in turmoil but at that time I had begun to take steps that would change my life forever. I was emotionally torn to pieces, lost love and companionship, new friends that I so dearly wished to be more in my life but weren’t and feelings of rejection and hurt almost overwhelming me. It was a hard time for me and many of those things still haunt me. Nothing much has really changed in a personal way and I feel so unloved much of the time even now. This tune and some others by Enya were played often but they always brought tears to my eyes, this one in particular. I love the music but dislike what it does to me yet I cannot resist playing it. I hate being sad and lonely but those things are very much a part of my life. I try my best to overcome and be happy and for much of the time I am but forgetting the sad parts is impossible. I guess I am a hopeless romantic. I hope you enjoy the music for what it is, lovely.

Shirley Anne

A cheerful soul

Narcissus 'Cheerfulness'. Real Jardín Botánico...
Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many a time I have been told that I am a cheerful soul despite some of the things that have turned my world upside down, especially in the last twenty years. I could attribute my cheerfulness to many things I suppose but the real reason is the in-dwelling of The Holy Spirit, the joy in the knowledge of my salvation in Jesus Christ. I am given to the disposition of cheerfulness because I know I cannot change things that cannot be changed but strive to change those which can be instead. On Thursday I made it my business to take the day off work despite the requests for my services. I was able to have extra time in bed, something foreign to my normal lifestyle. Being honest I have to confess that I was tired but even so five hours sleep is usually enough for me. I managed to stay asleep for six hours before the urgency to visit the toilet awakened me. However I returned to bed and put in another four hours before I finally stirred again. Whilst going about the business of getting ready for the day I received a call from an American guy asking if I would do some electrical work for him. He rejected the price I gave him for the proposed work as he said the job should be easy. Well of course the job should be easy but they seldom work out that way. No matter, he seemed to be the expert! I assumed he found someone to do it for next to nothing. A few minutes later I received another call from a local girl wanting my electrical services and that job I will be doing (as I write this) on Saturday morning and Monday afternoon (she is moving house). At least the calls came late in the morning so as not to disturb my sleep which is usually the case when I want a lie-in. I had a doctor‘s appointment at two-thirty to discuss the findings of an X-ray I’d had two weeks ago. I knew beforehand what the diagnosis would be and it was confirmed to me. Being as it was Thursday, E would be doing the weekly shop but this week she had to go alone as her mum has been in hospital for a couple of days because of a problem she was having with abdominal pain. It isn’t a life-threatening condition as far as we know and hopefully it isn’t but any medical problems at her age can be a cause for concern. So it is with us all and myself being as I am now sixty-nine I have to expect one problem or another occasionally. Anyway E drove me to the surgery before continuing on to do the shopping. When we are young we think we are invincible but as we grow older we realise that we are not. My newly acquired condition was, according to my doctor, probably brought about by my long life at work. I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis. It is the result of a wearing down of the cartilage between the joints in my fingers, more so in my right hand as I am right-handed. I know there is nothing that can be done to reverse the condition so I accept it. The doctor was surprised at my easy-going reaction. As I say, I can’t change things that cannot be changed so why worry about it? As long as I can play my guitar, and I am still able, I shall be content. I left the surgery soon afterwards and walked the short distance into the village to make a cash deposit at my bank. It is just as well I save when I can as my youngest son had asked me earlier in the day if I could lend him some money to help him with a cash-flow problem he was having. He is to repay me later. Where have I heard that one before? Leaving the bank I walked across the road to the chemists to collect the prescription my doctor had forwarded electronically to them. Paper prescriptions are becoming a thing of the past. I collected the gel the doctor had prescribed to reduce the swelling in my hand and started back home on foot. It was still wet, cold and windy on Thursday, bracing weather as they say. I was prevented from continuing my journey by the level-crossing barriers that had just closed off the road. I spoke with a lady who was visiting our town for the afternoon and she was telling me about the conditions near the Promenade which is exposed to the westerly winds. Well Southport is windy at the best of times as it sits right on the coast facing the Irish Sea. The train left the station, the barriers lifted and I continued home with the wind in my face. I was feeling very happy and contented, a cheerful soul indeed.

Shirley Anne

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another year gone and an extra number to my age date today. I am 39! No I am not, I am actually……….no I shan’t tell you but I’m old enough to probably know better as I am sometimes told! Funny, I don’t feel any different from how I did yesterday but age creeps upon us slowly doesn’t it? When I was very young age meant nothing at all to me. When I was in my teenage years I still didn’t think about growing old. Old age was something too far into the future to worry about. It was only after I had reached about thirty that I began to think about age and I would occasionally ponder on what my life would be like when I reached fifty and sixty years of age. These days I just wonder how long I have got left. These are the thoughts we really need to bear in mind throughout our lives and live our lives accordingly for we never know what our future holds for us. It is of no use to dwell on the past, what has been is done and it cannot be changed. It is of no use dwelling about the future either for we know not if we will see even the next day. We have to live for today and enjoy it. It is fine to make plans for the future, to have goals and purposes in life but that is all they are. We may achieve them or we may not, we just don’t know. I can look back at my life now and see all the mistakes I have made and there are certainly areas of my life I would have changed at the time had I known then what I know now. There are things I have regretted doing and things I know I should have done had I been more determined. So I say to those following behind, make the most of your life and don’t hold back for one day you may regret it if you don’t. Be the best you can with what abilities you have and try things that challenge you for you will never know your full potential unless you try. There is no such thing as failure except the failure to try. It is my birthday today or I should say the anniversary of my birthday and I will enjoy it as any other day in my life for it isn’t a special day for me, they are all special days!

Shirley Anne

Gosh it’s windy!

English: Its windy The corn is blowing in the ...
Its windy the corn is blowing in the wind. For June it is quite rough, even more so for mid-August.

There is a battle going on outside between the wind and the sun and we are getting equal measures of both! Trouble is the wind has the greater effect upon us. It blows me sideways when I go outdoors and makes the day much colder than it would otherwise be, probably as much as ten degrees (Celsius) in some places. We were told earlier in the season that we might get more warm, even hot weather at the end of this month. Well that is only a week away and at the moment it doesn’t seem possible. One of the trees on view in the rear garden and which actually stands in the corner of the garden has brown leaves already, not because it is Autumn but because of wind burn! Strange as it may seem though nearby trees are not as affected yet they stand in the wind’s path too and one of them is of the same variety. I suppose we can’t complain about the wind as we live right on the coast. Taken all round we don’t have many wind-free days where we live though for most of the time the wind is not blowing hard. Today it is Sunday and I am happy to be staying indoors, tomorrow however I have to be out and about at least during the morning though that may have changed since I wrote this. I am keen to do some more work in the cellar. I have been mixing the mortar I need for laying bricks in the doorway by hand, by the bucket rather than using the cement mixer. It enables me to spent less time than I would have to on the work if I had a mixer full of mortar to use. More mortar in one go means laying of more bricks to use it up and with this particular job I can’t lay too many bricks in the same place. Nice excuse but in reality perfectly true. My personal life is being blown about somewhat too as E and I are still not talking after three weeks. I won’t go into details but it is symptomatic of my life at home in general as it has been over the last 25 years if the truth be known. Personally I hate the wind, it is the only element of the weather that I don’t like. In the same way the wind that blows in and out of my personal life is similarly despised. The one problem I face, we all face, is that there isn’t much we can do about the wind, except stay out of it!

Shirley Anne

Happiness is where your heart is

Bring Back My Happiness
Bring Back My Happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight in many parts of the world people will be celebrating the new year whilst presumably forgetting the troubles they had, if any, in the previous twelve months. They look forward to a better year ahead but probably will have forgotten those same feelings they had at the end of the previous year. Nothing has really changed and their lives are pretty much the same as it always was. They live in constant hope but never seemingly achieving complete happiness and satisfaction. One celebration leads to another but the outcome is always the same, they are left unfulfilled and still looking for a repeat experience. People search for something, anything, to fill their lives, they seek happiness in whatever way they can. What makes you happy? They say happiness is where the heart is, it is in those things which bring enjoyment and satisfaction. The problem is many people never find true happiness no matter what they try doing to achieve it. Their lives are a never-ending merry-go-round of parties, events, holidays, bars and restaurants and a host of other things. Happiness certainly is where the heart is. Whatever makes you happy in your heart and keeps you happy in your heart no matter what circumstance you find yourself in is the kind of happiness we cannot find in material things or even in people but is a spiritual thing. So ask yourself this question…..Are you really happy? If you are not then ask yourself why.

Shirley Anne