Stopped from gardening that is. I had a couple of electrical jobs to do on Tuesday morning (21st) though the first one turned out to be only an advisory visit for which I levied no charge. The work to correct the customer’s problems would be too much for me to do. I have worked for the customer before but only to do small jobs, basically what I advertise I do. As the house wasn’t far away and as I was there only a few minutes I didn’t ask for payment, though it was offered. I drove on to the second job which turned out to be more awkward in its execution than I had expected but it paid well. The house was occupied by an elderly couple and the man, who was 86 years old, was bed-ridden due to a physical deterioration but who was also suffering with dementia. He just lay there in the rear room watching television whilst his wife, a few years younger, did all the running around. She was however in good health which was just as well. My work involved replacing lighting fittings and to check out a loose wall power outlet (as shown above). The lighting part of the work was the troublesome bit, wall-mounted units, but as usual I managed. The power outlet was supplying the power to the television and to the bed on which the man lay. It powered the vibrating mattress on which he lay. It vibrated to relieve the pain in his inactive muscles. When I see things like this I am not upset but a little saddened. I realise however that it could happen to any of us. I get annoyed when I see people moaning and groaning about their problems when there are others who are unable to do anything about theirs. I think people who think everything should go their way all of the time are missing the point, at least they are in a position to do something about it if it means so much to them. There are always going to be people worse off than ourselves and we should be grateful for what we have got, especially good health. It was around noon when I drove back home in the glorious sunshine. The day was also very windy however with rain by late afternoon to follow and much the same had been forecast for Wednesday. It would be Friday and Saturday before I could consider working in the garden as those days promised to be dry and sunny. I would be dining out on Thursday with E together with my youngest brother and his wife. Thursday would be a less favourable day for working in the garden anyway.
Miserable (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After a cold and quite miserable weekend it was refreshing to have a much better day on Monday. The sun was shining and it was a little bit warmer, not much but enough to be noticed. According to the forecast the week ahead was only going to improve with temperatures around 10 C. I had spent the afternoon at the pub on Sunday to cheer myself up and treating myself to a meal in the process. I had done no work at home or elsewhere over the weekend and was ready for any work that might come my way. I did one small job on Monday morning which has led to more work in the near future, to install a power outlet and to replace a floodlight. I appeared to have made a good impression on the couple who I was visiting. They had moved to Southport last year having lived their whole lives in Manchester some 40 miles away though I didn’t ask why. Southport is a small town compared to Manchester which is a large city more like London. Anyway I sorted out their problem which had been a fault in the switches controlling the light in their lounge and returned home. Before I went indoors I got the kneeling stool from the garage and dug out a few bluebells that had appeared in three of the flowerbeds in the front garden. They just don’t give up do they? I went indoors and prepared some vegetable and chicken stew and while doing so received calls for more work. Things are looking up. The extra cash will come in handy as I have annual vehicle expenses to fund at the end of this month, MOT and service with any repairs that might ensue together with insurance and road fund licence to pay for. The afternoon? I was called out to yet another small job and was able to put some more cash into my ‘piggy bank’ and later received more requests for work. As the weather improves I will make the effort to finish digging out the bluebells in the rear garden, well the bulk of them at least. I know there will be more.
Some Kind of Strange (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A strange day was Wednesday in that it was out of my usual routine. Work of course majored for most of the morning followed by a little shopping. Back home to change then off out to see a man friend for a couple of hours and returning home stopping off at my local pub before finally getting home in the early evening. The electrical work was to replace two existing outdoor light units with new LED floodlights, a job which could have taken up to two hours at worse and an hour or less at best. I had the good fortune to get the latter which meant I had more time for other things. I needed to get to the electrical supplier to replenish my van stock and then do some minor domestic shopping before returning home. I was back home at eleven o’clock to get changed. I gave the latest shoe purchase their first outing but as I had to drive quite a distance I also took a pair of flat-heeled shoes. In any event driving in high heels is not to be recommended because of the damage it would do to the shoes. It can also be very dangerous because of the difficulty it produces in controlling the pedals. Once I had arrived at my destination it was on with the high heels! I spent a couple of hours with my friend then I was heading back homeward for I had arranged to meet someone later for lunch. However that person couldn’t make it and I ended up dining alone. I could have simply dined at home instead but decided to eat alone because I was hungry as it was getting late in the afternoon. I didn’t stop long at the restaurant, who wants to sit alone after eating? I took the longer route home and at the last-minute turned off toward my local pub. For a short time I sat alone with a soft drink but was soon in company. A guy the same age as myself and whom I’ve known for a few years came over and sat with me. It was one of the best hours I have experienced there, and there have been many of those in the past. He was good company and we laughed and joked a lot. Because I haven’t visited the pub for months evidently it seems I had been missed for many came asking where I had been these last few months. Finally I wanted to get back home so made my way to the van but I was spotted by another acquaintance also wanting to know where I had been. This was a middle-aged woman who greeted me as if I were her greatest friend and I invited her to sit with me in the van whilst I changed my shoes. She told me she was envious of the heels. We chatted for a few minutes and she insisted I call to her house for coffee sometime with a view to going out together for the day perhaps. I said I would because I am always open to friendship and she lives only a couple of hundred metres from my house. I spent the rest of the day relaxing at home for there was more work to be done the following morning.
Dentist on the Job (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am referring to my next dental appointment. On Friday morning I had the second of my two visits to the dentist for cosmetic surgery. As usual the appointments were running a little late but that is normal. Appointments are generally accepted as guide times and are really put in place to afford some semblance of order and to ensure patients actually turn up!. We all moan about the inconvenience of having to wait that little bit longer don’t we? Well I used to but now I am so laid back about it all it doesn’t bother me. I was in the chair a mere fifteen minutes after my 10.30 appointment and the dentist apologised but I replied that it was alright, and it was. What is the point in thinking otherwise? Fifteen minutes later and I was on my way out with a new appointment scheduled for May 25 next year. Another routine check-up. It pays to have regular check-ups I think. My next intention was to pay a visit to my electrical supplier in order to collect the LED light unit I was promised would be ready for collection late morning. Well it was late morning when I got there but unfortunately I was informed that they had missed the deadline when ordering to have it delivered the next day. It would be delivered on Monday morning. That meant I had to contact my customer and re-arrange my scheduled time of arrival. Now the work will be done on Tuesday morning instead. So much for appointments eh? It was just about twelve noon so I decided to splash out and treat myself to another restaurant meal and drove to a place three miles out-of-town to eat. Later and on my way back home I stopped at a filling station to top-up the van and enjoyed a little banter with people doing likewise. I enjoy making people laugh, it puts everyone in a good mood. My working week was over and I could spend the weekend relaxing…………..maybe! Knowing me I would find something to do.
Looks like I will be busy between now (as I write) and Christmas but I am not surprised by that, it happens each year. That doesn’t mean I will be working myself to the bone, just doing what I feel is enough. Today is Monday and already I have done two jobs with another three scheduled for other days this week. I went to a house in a tiny village in the countryside some ten miles north of my own town. The lady had asked me to check out a light unit and to see if it was possible to move a power outlet in one of the bedrooms. I had the light checked and secured within a few minutes then proceeded upstairs to the bedroom. The outlet could be moved up the wall without too much of a problem but it would require that the wall be chiselled out for the new box. She agreed that I should do it.
At this point I want to change the subject for a moment or two. I don’t watch a tremendous amount of television and often as not if the set is on I am only listening and not watching. Some programs I enjoy watching and some of those include reports about police encounters with offenders, problems with landlords and their tenants and ‘neighbours from hell‘ to coin a phrase.
Neighbours from Hell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have had little personal experience of such things as most folk don’t which is just as well. However, returning to my installing the power outlet in a new position I had to use a hammer and chisel to hack out the brick wall. The lady passed no comment until we both heard reciprocal banging on her neighbours adjoining wall. Evidently the sound of my banging was resonating through to her attached property even though there were intervening rooms. Then the lady told me about her ‘neighbour from hell’. They had been at loggerheads for a few years and hadn’t settled their differences. The lady apologised for not having informed me before the work started. I suggested I call next door to apologise for the noise but she thought I shouldn’t. I went anyway and spoke with the disgruntled neighbour and apologised for having disturbed her peace. Without going into great detail I could see her point of view in her relationship with her neighbour, the lady I was working for. In situations like these one has to be extremely diplomatic and not take sides which might make matters worse. I was very diplomatic and assured the woman I had very little more banging to do but that I would keep it as short and as quiet as I could. In total the noise only lasted about eight minutes anyway. I felt sorry for them both that they hadn’t been able to resolve their differences and be good neighbours to each other. I finished the work and popped into the lady’s other neighbours home to fix a faulty light in her bathroom. I wasn’t going to levy a charge for it was a simple repair which had only taken a mere five minutes to do but she insisted on paying me something. It was now fast approaching lunchtime and time for me to return home.
I was supposed to be driving off to the job I had scheduled on Monday morning but it had begun to rain and the forecast was for rain throughout the day. So I stayed at home. The work was to be done outdoors so it would have been difficult if not hazardous to do it especially as it would all be done up a ladder! I called my customer about 70 minutes before my expected arrival but could only leave a message as apparently she was unavailable according to her messaging service. I called back several times during the following hour and a half then gave up. She finally called me wondering why I hadn’t turned up. I explained with the same information you’ve just read. She checked her messages and discovered nothing had been recorded. What was going on? Anyway we made arrangements for me to visit the following day when the weather would be better. I was hoping the lamp-post would be delivered whilst I was at home. E is home much of the time but I couldn’t rely on her being available to sign for the delivery. The problem was not knowing on which day it would arrive but as luck would have it the post was delivered mid-morning. However I was shall we say, ‘indisposed’ and E must have heard the doorbell ring and she came downstairs to answer the door. She had been at the top of the house in her ‘workshop’. I confessed to having not heard the doorbell and had the delivery men come a couple of minutes earlier or later I would have been there to accept the delivery as I was actually on the same floor. That is very typical of many folk’s experiences I’m sure, we wait in for something to arrive and then just for a moment we are indisposed and it arrives! I have a feeling it happens by design! I took the three packages downstairs into the cellar where I began to remove the enormous amount of corrugated cardboard and bubble-wrap surrounding the three main items, the heavy base unit, the pole and accessories and the lamp itself. I discovered they had included a light-sensing economy lamp (fluorescent) in the package. They are designed to switch on from dusk till dawn and of course will remain on throughout the night. It will do for the moment but I am still trying to obtain a part-night sensor/controller and if I do I will replace the lamp with an LED one.
Construction and function of a light emitting diode (LED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At least I won’t have to wait until I obtain a sensor for the light to work. Having unpacked the parts I now know what has to be done. My first task will be to cut off the excess cable near to where the post will be and set it in position with more concrete so that it will emerge beneath the pole when it is fixed to the base. The pole is designed to be fixed using four ‘rawlbolts’. All I need now is for some dry weather……….
Sunday started dull after an overnight soaking but the rain had ceased though it was still cloudy and cool. It wasn’t until noon when the sun finally took over and we had wall-to-wall sunshine for a few hours. It was just about bearable out on the patio for there was a bit of a breeze blowing. More rain was promised for the evening and overnight into Monday. I was hoping it wouldn’t be as bad as the forecast because I had some outside electrical work to do for someone in the next town. If the weather was too bad I would have to reschedule for the following day which promised to be drier and less windy. It’s the way it goes in my line of work though I have to say I tend to do less outside work these days. At the time of writing I am expecting the delivery of the lamp-post I purchased but I am not sure which of the two days it will arrive, Monday or Tuesday. I am eager to know how to secure it to the concrete base I have made. It may be that it requires to be set in a hole in which case I will have to dig out that hole in the concrete. What I have already laid isn’t that thick in-depth so it can be dug out fairly easily and even so I had planned to add to its depth anyway before the post was fitted. There is other work to be done on that project which is to connect into the existing power circuit on the patio. That shouldn’t take long now that I have decided how to arrange things. I was looking at the flag we have flying at the front of the house and it is beginning to wear away at the edge away from the pole. I am not sure how much longer it will b e before it needs replacing but I plan to purchase another soon anyway. As I write I am feeling much better after the two days of enforced rest! I forget sometimes that I should be taking life a little easier but not too much. I think it better to be tired from work rather than be tired of it. Once I get tired of it I will be tired of life itself and I cannot see that being the case for me. Today is a nice day (Sunday), but every day is a nice day in which to live.
Every so often you get a day where nothing seems to go right or you are interrupted at the wrong time. It happens to me fairly often. They are the kind of days I struggle sometimes just getting things done but I persevere, I really don’t have a choice, none of us do, it’s just the way things go in life. Having the right attitude and not getting all worked-up is the key to overcoming whatever comes our way. It doesn’t make it easier nevertheless. For me it is more of a nuisance when things happen the way they sometimes do. I had placed an order for a Victorian style street lamp-post two and a half weeks earlier but was still waiting for the delivery. I decided to call the supplier for the second time to make inquiries and after a minute or so was told that they were having trouble with their computer when making a search for my details. This was the same response I got when I first called them a few days earlier. I was asked for a contact number and I gave them my mobile number as I knew I would be in the garden when they returned the call.
Most of the work on or in the Plot had been completed on Tuesday but I still had a couple of things to do. The main one was to cut a brick in half to place at the end of the existing wall near to the rear of the garage. It was necessary to put it there now because I needed to fill in a small section next to the end of the paving slabs with concrete. There are two other small areas which also need filling with concrete too as they couldn’t be done earlier. I will do all three in a day or two. I also had to fill in the spaces beneath the natural stone capping I had set in place on Tuesday with mortar and any other places which required filling too. So on Wednesday morning I put on my overalls and began the work. No sooner had I mixed the mortar when someone called me on my mobile phone. It was the company supplying the lamp-post and they had bad news. I was told that the lamp-post was currently out of production but should be available in four to five weeks! ‘WHAT’? I exclaimed and proceeded to remind them that when I originally made inquiries I was told the same thing but that they would email me when one was available. They sent an email a week or so later informing me that I could now place an order, which is what I did. Now they were telling me differently. What kind of organisation is it? Meanwhile the mortar was getting harder. The young girl on the phone said she would make further inquiries and call me again. I carried on with my work. I was mixing the mortar by hand, a bucket at a time to make it more manageable. The work took three buckets to complete. Just after I had mixed the second load the girl called back and told me that she had spoken with her manager and they have agreed to deliver the lamp-post on either the following Monday or Tuesday. I thanked her for resolving the problem and continued with my work but I was thinking from where did this lamp-post suddenly appear when I had been told none were available yet? I was part-way through using the second bucket of mortar when the phone rang again. This time it was someone asking if I could install several floodlights where none existed around their house. I rejected the offer because of the amount of work involved and resumed my work. I had to mix one more bucket of mortar and had just done so when the phone rang once more. This time it was an old lady living a few hundred metres away who was having difficult in getting someone to repair problems with her kitchen lights. I told her I would call later and after lunch because at that moment I was about to use the mortar I had just mixed. I was wasting my time telling her that for she just kept on talking and I could stop her! Eventually I got a word in to remind her that the mortar was getting harder by the minute. The penny must have dropped and she apologised for inconveniencing me. I would call there at one-thirty as arranged. I finished that work and then went indoors for a length of high-grade pvc sheet to place beneath the garden compost bin now sited on the Plot and a pair of scissors to cut it. I doubled the sheet then placed the bin on it and then cut the sheet around it. I placed the bin where it should go then by the wheelbarrow transferred the contents of the yellow bag which I had temporarily removed from the bin a couple of weeks earlier. It took five trips with the wheelbarrow but I couldn’t get the barrow close enough to the bin to refill it directly. I had to use a large bucket to transfer it from the barrow to the bin. Fortunately the bucket holds half the capacity of the wheelbarrow so the transfer didn’t take long. Time to clear up and have lunch.
I got to the old lady’s apartment and discovered that she had eight large recessed down-lights in the kitchen, three of which were faulty. They were fitted with 100 watt screw-in lamps which are notorious for burning the holders and occasionally the wiring too. One old lamp had been broken off in an attempt to remove it and I had to remove the whole fitting from the ceiling before I could repair it. I explained why these fitting were causing the problems she’d had with them. Basically they get too hot! I explained the advantages in replacing the lamps with LED versions but after I had told her how much they would cost (£65 -£90 just for the lamps themselves) if she changed all eight she changed her mind and asked if I could replace one so that she could ‘test’ it. She would then get her son to replace the others a few at a time. Not a problem. She hadn’t the funds to pay me there and then for my time and it bothered her but I told her not to worry and that I would return on Thursday with a lamp. I had phoned my supplier to see if they had the lamps in stock and it appeared they had but three left and were waiting a delivery of more. I drove there but it seems they couldn’t locate the lamps where their computer indicated they would be and after ten minutes they and I gave up. I walked the short distance to the other electrical supplier who had no problems finding one and at a lower price! I returned to my usual supplier as they had asked and I told them I bought one and that it cost £3 less at £8.40. I drove home. The following day I would be house-bound until the engineer who was to repair the fridge/freezer had called. It was a return visit because the original repair, such as it was, a re-fixed loose sensor, hadn’t worked!
……..or positive and negative. Tuesday was back to work day but I had no work to return to. It was the week to have my prescription re-ordered, two weeks before I would run out of medications. In the past I had to submit the prescription request slip at the doctor’s surgery and then collect it when it was authorised. Then it became possible for the chemist (druggist) to collect it on my behalf and all I then had to do was wait a few days before collecting the medication. A few weeks ago I registered to apply for my repeat prescriptions over the Internet using the Patient Access website. However, the medication I need has to be listed on the Internet request list pertaining to myself. When I first attempted to re-order my medications I was unable to because the surgery hadn’t placed the item’s description on the list. I had to make arrangements over the phone. I was informed that the next time I would have no problems ordering over the Internet. Well guess what? They still hadn’t put it on the list but this time I paid the surgery a visit and hopefully this time they will get it sorted. That was the negative side of the day. Soon after my return home I received a call from the electrical store where E and I had purchased two televisions for the bedrooms last week. The televisions were ready for collection. They had to be ordered from their main warehouse. So E and I drove to the store and collected them. Now you would think that these days an aerial lead would be included in the package but no, I had to buy two leads costing me another £18. We soon had them in place and working..
By now it was nearly time for lunch and just afterward I received a call requesting my electrical services for this coming Monday morning and yet another call informing me that the artificial turf would be getting delivered tomorrow, that was Wednesday last as you read this. Now the weather was forecast to be dry and sunny so we may get the opportunity for it to be laid. I didn’t lounge about in the afternoon, there was work to be done. I cleared out a blocked grid, watered the garden, removed some furniture from the large greenhouse putting two chairs in the house cellar and one of the two benches out in the garden in front of the patio, removed two of the four bicycles into a room in the cellar (we have five more bicycles in another room!), rolled up the old carpet we had removed from the small bedroom a couple of weeks ago ready for collection by the council on Thursday and created more space in the garage for the temporary storage of (the expected delivery of) the artificial turf on Wednesday, filled one of the green garden waste bins with a large amount of leaves I had swept up from around the greenhouse (they were holly leaves which seem to drop off at odd times in the year) and lots of other mundane but necessary tasks in and around the garden. Those were the positive things in the day. Meanwhile E had other duties involving driving her mom to a doctor’s appointment and shopping.
Impatience, Ars moriendi, L.179 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For anyone who knows Shirley Anne they will know she tends to get impatient and she hates waiting around for things to happen. Maybe that is a bad thing but it is who she is. I am writing this on my older laptop on Monday afternoon and it has been playing up a little. Oh how I hate computers! The weather outside (where else would it be?) is lousy though at this very moment the sun is beginning to break through the overladen sky. It has been raining a little during the last few hours but that has ceased. The wind however has become stronger in the wake of the latest storm to hit these shores. Storm Katie has reeked havoc in the southern and eastern parts of the country, bringing down power lines and trees and ripping off roofs. We have been fortunate here and have suffered no ill-effects because the storm was too far south of us but it is still managing to induce high winds across the whole country from west to east at our latitude. Whatever the reasons for the high number of storms we have experienced over the last couple of years there is little we can do about it. This morning E and I set about fixing squeaking floorboards in the bedroom in readiness for the carpet to be laid, tomorrow as you read this. We had left doing that until everything else was done in the room. All I can say is I am thankful for battery-driven drills for we had to screw quite a number of boards down to the joists. Old houses often have squeaky boards as the wood has gradually shrunk and the traffic upon them loosened the nails. It is almost impossible to eliminate all imperfections but I can say the floor sounds a lot better now than it did. E decided to over-paint a couple of old wooden chairs that had been standing in the room before we began refurbishing it. The room as it stands at the moment without a floor covering makes it the ideal place for painting them. They will be moved further upstairs in storage once they are dry.
Swiss Army knife, photo taken in Sweden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Before we ate lunch E drove me to a house I had been working in on Thursday where I had left the Swiss army knife I use for my electrical work. I hadn’t noticed it missing until I wanted something else from the tool box. I can usually tell in an instant when one of the tools is missing. Anyway and fortunately the house wasn’t far away. I will be needing it tomorrow (Tuesday) as I will be at work in the morning. Now the sun is shining brightly and the sky is turning blue but the wind persists. I am at a loose end and am impatient to get something done, trouble is, there isn’t much I can do!
No Swimming Allowed They’ve got to be joking! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been quite busy this week with my small electrical jobs. They may be small compared to what I used to do but the remuneration makes them worthwhile doing. Of course now that I am in my seventy-first year on this planet I don’t wish to take on board more involved work even though I know I am still able. There is no need to wear myself out besides which I have plenty of things to do at home! I had two jobs to do on Wednesday morning, that is at different houses and I managed to do everything before lunch. At the second house I was asked to go next door and speak with the lady there about a job she would like me to do after the Easter break. In fact it was she who had referred me to her neighbour for whom I had just finished working. I often get recommended for work which is a good thing. I must be doing something right, I was on my way home when I got a call from a lady for whom I had worked earlier in the year. She had a burned-out power outlet and wanted it checking. It was a simple matter to replace it and made the detour. Soon I was back on the road homeward. It was by now approaching one-thirty but I didn’t need to cook a meal, I had prepared the meal the day before and it only needed heating up. After lunch I decided to do some more baking and made another Rich Fruit Cake and popped it in the oven. It would take around four and a half hours before it was done, something like eight in the evening! I had just finished cleaning the kitchen and E asked if I was going to do some painting in the bedroom. She had painted the radiator whilst I was out during the morning and had touched-up some of the gloss paint where it was needed on the woodwork she had painted a couple of weeks ago. ‘You must be joking’, I said in reply to her question, ‘I think I have done enough for one day don’t you agree’? I sometimes get the feeling she thinks I am a robot and often tell her that I am glad she isn’t my taskmaster. She would certainly make a good one! I would have more than enough time over the Easter break to do what little painting there was left to do.
An example of 2,000 cheque given to people (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After the previous day’s debacle and time-wasting I wasn’t sure what to expect on Tuesday. I had arranged to drive to the same little township I had been to the day before but this time I had been asked to sort out a problem with someone else’s electrical supply to their shower. It turned out to be a faulty pull-cord switch which I duly replaced. I wasn’t there too long before I was off home again and a little financially better off. I was thinking about my finances in general and especially my expenditure and how I was to fund the roof repairs and the bedroom refurbishment without having to dig into my main savings account. The money in there has been set aside for specific purposes and I don’t want to use it for current needs. One of the things I pray for occasionally is for The Lord to provide for my needs and the needs of my family and He has never let me down. I remember a shortfall I had some years ago and wondered how I was going to meet it. God provided me with the exact amount I needed a few days later! When I arrived back home on Tuesday morning I collected the mail that had been pushed through the letter box. One item was an outreach leaflet from the Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding salvation. I gave it a quick read as I always do but discarded it as I am a Christian believer. Their doctrine differs from mainstream Christianity as do many other groups and churches so we believe in different things. Anyhow amongst the other mail items was one marked ‘important’ and it was addressed to me. Inside was some literature regarding some shares I hold with an accompanying cheque for £2162. Now that was a lovely and unexpected surprise and will more than cover the cost of the roof repairs with something left over. E drove me to the bank so that I could deposit the cheque in my account and then we drove to a nearby town for lunch. We had not been out for lunch for quite some time as we wanted to save the cash for the roof repairs and the bedroom refurbishment. The venue was somewhere we had only visited a couple of times before. The meal was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there before returning home.
Butter and a butter knife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No work Monday seems to be the norm for me lately but it doesn’t stay that way too long either. I did get a call from a guy who had been struggling to repair a light and I went to his house to fix it for him. I was back home before you could say ‘Jackanory‘. Now there is a strange saying but of course it is only an allegory. E suggested we remove unwanted materials and tools from the bedroom in readiness for the furniture build. Hopefully the materials for building the furniture will arrive here within a few days. Then she suggested we, that is I, should call and arrange for the scaffolding to be erected in order for the problems we have with the roof to be resolved because the guy doing the repairs was taking far too long to get the work underway. He was supposed to be making all the arrangements but we need the work doing sooner rather than later. A little after lunch the owner of the scaffolding company called at the house to assess our requirements. We used this guy’s company when we had major work going on at the house in 2010 because we, that is I, liked him. His rates are very reasonable and this time he offered me a small discount from his estimated price. The scaffolding needs to be erected in two separate places but when he and I were talking I asked if we could have that scaffolding which was to be erected over the garage where I park my van to be extended across the full depth of the house so that we may have the rear chimney stack checked too. That stack isn’t in use and is unlikely to be in the future so we may decide to cap it off if it isn’t already done. So things are moving along as they should be. He stepped into the house whilst he made the calculations and E popped into the room to say hello. He asked how she was and after her reply I jumped in with ‘She’s having problems with rising damp in her wooden leg’ which brought laughter all round but he replied ‘Creosote is great for preventing rising damp’ which brought even more laughter. We like to laugh and joke around here. He told us that he aims to have the scaffolding erected on Wednesday or Thursday which will be yesterday or today as you read this. The price? £1000, and that is before any work starts! Should have bought a Bungalow! Now that isn’t a joke is it but hey, that’s the way it goes. After he left E sat and had her lunch and I sat with her although I had already eaten. I had wanted to be sure that one of us would be available when our caller arrived for I knew he would be calling around lunchtime.
Hot cross buns are a quintessentially British tradition at Easter.They can be eaten warm or split, toasted with butter for breakfast, tea or a snack. No one knows for certain when the tradition began, but in 16th century England, bakers were limited by law to occasions when these special doughs could be made. Good Friday was one; ‘cross buns’ marked this holy day towards the end of the Lenten fast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As we were talking she asked why I had no butter on my hot-cross bun but she had said ‘You’ve put no butter on your bun’. I immediately thought how strange our use of language is and especially slang. The thing is, how could I have put ‘no’ butter on anything? Perhaps if worded this way you will see my point, ‘You’ve not put butter on your bun’. We use slang every day and we all know what is meant by what is spoken, that is as long as we are familiar with local colloquialisms. Anyway I enjoyed the dry, that is un-buttered bun I’d eaten supplementary to my lunch.
Windy & Breezy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was a very windy day on Tuesday. The day had started rather miserably with intermittent rain but soon after lunch it became bright and sunny at times. It was all we could hope for as more windy and rainy hours had been the forecast for the following day. Considering the time of year the weather has been very mild so we cannot complain.Things around here are slowly getting back to normal but I feel progress isn’t what it should be. I am waiting for the time when I can concentrate on my projects but that can’t happen whilst I am catering to the needs of those I am employing to work for me. In other words I am waiting for my house back. Don’t misunderstand, I will do the work I have to do, it’s just that I like to have the time all to myself in order to do them. I am trying my best to break through and make headway just like the sun is trying to outshine the dullness, the wet and windy weather. I have been rather fortunate over the last few weeks in that I have had plenty of offers of work, most of which I accepted and therefore have accumulated quite a sum of money in the process. It will of course fund the building work that has been going on though I am not yet sure just how much the roof repairs will cost me but I am hoping I shall have earned something toward that cost in the meantime without having to delve yet again into my savings. I am trying my best to do so. I was sitting at home late on Tuesday afternoon when I received a call from my local newspaper‘s advertisement department reminding me that my payment would be due in a week or so. Usually they wouldn’t call early but they are in the process of updating their computer system and would be unable to process my payment when it is due unless I would favour them by making the payment a week earlier. I agreed to do so but had to give them the details from another debit card from which they could take the funds. The card I normally use unfortunately has no more credit available on it until the present debt is cleared. The funds are sitting in my bank account waiting to be removed when the Direct Debit is activated. I am trying hard to keep things moving along and thankfully I think I am succeeding and it is getting brighter each day.
English: Atlanta Life Insurance Company est. 1910-20 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the Christmas period we discovered we had a leaking roof having seen the signs in the room below. We arranged for the insurance company to inspect it and hopefully sanction the repairs. Scaffolding was erected to a height of forty-foot (13 metres) in order to reach the roof as the house is that tall. We heard nothing for a couple of weeks until recently when someone came and took photos to submit to the insurance company. On Friday as I was driving off to do a job I saw the scaffolding company’s vehicle draw up. I phoned E to let her know and it turns out that they had come to dismantle and remove the scaffolding, but the repairs had not been done yet! After they had contacted the insurers to find out what was going on they told E that the works had not been sanctioned and we would not be able to claim for the repairs. I was at work when E informed me. I phoned the guy we use for our roof repairs and he will check the roof and what needs to be done next week. Now then the job I had been to was to install the circuitry for a cooker hood and fit the hood too. First of all I had difficulty in getting a good fixing to the wall but what really annoyed me was the design of the hood itself, the top fixing holes had been placed in such an awkward position as to be almost impossible to get at, just like the one I had fitted at home a few weeks ago. Why do manufacturers make their products so hard to fit? Finally it was in place and I had to channel out the wall for the electrical cable and the control unit. I remembered that there was a gas pipe buried in the wall near to where I had repositioned a power outlet on my previous visit two weeks ago. It had originally been located above the cooker and had to be moved sideways. That is when I discovered the pipe, so I had to be careful when fixing the hood in order to avoid it. I managed to do that but unfortunately forgot the pipe when cutting the channel! I pierced it! I had to dig out the wall and effect a repair using my gas torch and solder which fortunately I carry in my van. I hasten to add that I am not in the habit of piercing gas pipes! So I finished the work, got paid and drove home but I stopped along the way to buy a replacement gas canister for my torch and a special-sized metal box for the fitting of power outlets, switches or other items as I wanted one for installing a twin power outlet and a television outlet on the same box rather than fitting two separate boxes. Electricians will know what I mean. Whilst waiting in the plumbers merchant store for ten minutes I was told they didn’t stock the particular gas canister that I wanted. Why couldn’t he tell me that when I first walked in as I had the torch standing on the counter and it was obvious to anyone with an ounce of sense that I wanted a replacement? That’s the way it goes sometimes. The guys had turned up to continue with the front steps and had started to build up a small retaining wall alongside the new steps but it looked horrible and out-of-place. I had to tell them to take it down and leave it at a lower height and they admitted it looked better but they had been instructed to build it high by E’s nephew, their boss. He should have asked us what we wanted in the first place. I spent a little time with E upstairs in the bedroom as she wanted to finish off the painting of the skirting boards with undercoat. She had been busy doing the work whilst I had been away from home. I don’t know what it is about builders but they leave everywhere so messy. The garage in which I park my van is full of their materials, tools, sheets and wheelbarrows. I shall be glad when all the work is complete and we can have our house back.