Tag Archives: People

Stopped again

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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.

Shirley Anne

Sunday break

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Break All Day!

Break All Day! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Things don’t often go the way I hope they will for me though if I made the effort……….well we can all say that can’t we? Sometimes even after making the effort things don’t work out either do they? It was a fine though rather cold day on Sunday, a day for relaxing indoors or going out wrapped-up for a walk. I did both and more. There was no hurry to get up early though I did and after breakfast whilst on the computer I switched on the television, not to watch a program but to listen to music through YouTube. I suppose I could have listened via my computer on a separate tab but the television can connect to the Internet and the sound quality or rather the volume would be better. Although the computer sound is of the best quality the volume settings are limited unless auxiliary speakers are used. Anyway I listened to the songs listed in ‘my favourites’ folder for an hour. The only drawback in using the television to play YouTube is in controlling the functions with the television’s remote control, it is slower. I suppose one day remote controls with have a touch pad on them for easier use. I think that would be a great idea. After an hour I made myself ready to go out but not directly for a walk. I drove to the pub and parked my vehicle and from there I went for a walk. An hour later I arrived back at the pub, went to the vehicle and changed my shoes before going into the pub for my lunch. Yes, I dined there again for a change! There were surprisingly few people in there but a half-hour later that all changed and it was full. I had hoped I would see a few acquaintances there to chat with but the only ones I knew, four men, were doing that man thing, sitting around a table drinking beer and chatting about football and work! Who wants to sit in a pub talking about work? Anyway they were too engrossed in themselves to take much notice of me. I was a little disappointed that no-one else I knew came in after sitting there for a couple of hours hoping someone might. I decided to drive home and be bored there instead! Funny thing is I knew there would be people I know in the pub later in the day and evening and I had half a mind to return but didn’t bother. Maybe I was thinking it a waste of time and that I might be disappointed again to find no-one there. I knew I should have returned but I also knew there would be other opportunities too.

Shirley Anne

Light duties!

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woman wearing silky nylon-stockings

Woman wearing silky nylon-stockings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The job I had ideas of going on to following my work on Thursday I actually did on Friday. I had thought the better of it and decided I didn’t want to work all day as I keep promising myself. As it turned out the work on Friday took longer than I thought it might. It was to install four replacement ceiling fittings and carry out repairs to a wall switch’s fixings. Usually this work I would have completed in say an hour and a half but I was there for twice that time. All four fittings had proved difficult and two of them required alterations before I could install them. Two other things served to prolong the work, one was that the woman in the house wanted to chat too much which proved somewhat of a distraction and she was very meticulous in ensuring that everything and I mean everything had to be covered before I could do anything. I understood why she was being so fussy. She had recently finished decorating the whole house and had new carpets everywhere but not dark-coloured, they were all of a cream colour and would easily stain or show any dirt upon them. When I walked through the front door I immediately removed my shoes even before she spoke. She offered me a pair of slip-on slippers to use but I found them difficult when climbing the step-ladder so I opted to walk about bare-footed except for my nylon stockings. At first I though she was simply protecting her new carpets but it turned out she was protecting everything in the house, the tables and chairs too! I think she was relieved that I was treating her possessions and furnishings with respect as I do in anyone’s house in which I am working. Even so I thought she was being over-protective. When it came to the wall switch I could sense her uneasiness as I began to repair it. The problem was more with the metal box sunk into the plaster and bricks which lacked any fixing screw holes by which the switch is secured. Although the wiring was relatively new (within the last twenty years or so) whoever had done it hadn’t installed a new metal box and the old one dating to around fifty or more years ago could not accommodate a modern switch without a special internal bracket which was missing. Fortunately I could use one of the box’s pre-screwed holes in its base and fix the other side of the switch by drilling the wall alongside the switch box and securing it with a wall plug and screw. The alternative would have been to remove the old box and fit a new one but that would have made a terrible mess of the decorations in the process. Her relieved expression after she had seen my handiwork was priceless. There was not the slightest mess to be seen and her decorations had been left intact. The truth of the matter is she should have had the electrical work done before decorating and laying new carpets. Now she wants me to do other work at a later date. I must be doing something right!

Shirley Anne

Unusual

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We are experiencing rather unusual weather here in the UK. Tuesday was a cold and frosty day but on Wednesday that changed when the temperature rose  where I live to around 12 deg C. As I write this on Thursday the temperature is around 14 deg C. Most unusual weather for December when the temperature should be around half that. The wind is from the south which explains the higher temperatures but according to the forecast it will veer from the west soon and the weather will become more unsettled and probably cooler.

English: Houseboat One of the many unusual hou...

Houseboat One of the many unusual houseboats on the south of the River Adur. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Thursday morning I was called upon to do an electrical job in a village some twelve miles or more away from home in a house I had worked in on a few occasions in the past. The people living there are quite unusual, that is a little odd, well to me they are. The children have long-since left the nest and now three people live there, the husband, his wife and her mother. The mother is 87 years old but doesn’t look it, in fact she doesn’t act it either! A bit like myself, ahem! The couple are slightly younger than myself and in their mid-sixties. They are nice people and very friendly, a little too friendly if one isn’t used to that when at work. When I arrived I was greeted by the husband, a rather effeminate and slightly built man who has a timid disposition which seems out of character for a man. His wife was too eager to please and she has an apologetic nature. When I entered the house she came over, hugged me and kissed me on the cheek. She told me how much she had missed me since my last visit which was in fact more than four years ago. I had only driven there to assess what was needed for the job, replacing recessed lights in a bathroom with LED versions, so that I could go and purchase them. I would then return immediately afterward to install them. She insisted I have a coffee whilst telling me there was no hurry to get the work done. Whilst I was away from the house buying the lights the husband went out too. On my return I set about doing the work and soon after he returned with all the weekly shopping. It appears he wears the skirts and has taken it upon himself to do the shopping every week whilst his wife stays at home! I had nearly finished the work when they both left the house seemingly to dine out judging by the way they were dressed. The mother remained at home to clean the house. I had been paid before they left but I had one other small job to do for them, drill the wall in the hallway and hang a mirror! The man had told me he was useless at DIY and I thought to myself why am I not surprised?…………

Shirley Anne

Now and then

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REPORT FAULTY WIRING - ELECTRICAL FIRES ARE HA...

REPORT FAULTY WIRING – ELECTRICAL FIRES ARE HARD TO CONTROL – NARA – 515301 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had one job to do on Monday morning. A lady had called me on Sunday to ask me to check out a few small problems with her electrical installation, faulty or missing lights and fittings and one or two switches. Basically minor repairs. I made arrangements to turn up the following morning to not only assess what needed to be done but to do it at the same time. That was the understanding for I almost never drive to a job just to look at it because that is a waste of my time. I usually discuss on the phone and then give a rough estimate as to the likely cost. Most people are happy with that arrangement because they know that one, I will turn up as promised and two, I will do the work on the same visit. If they request me to call on a specific day I am usually able to oblige so that everyone is happy with the arrangement. Some people however, though they are few, will insist I visit and give estimates then they use another electrician having wasted my time in the process. I am experienced enough to give reasonably accurate telephone estimates. Now this lady knew I was going to arrive as we had agreed but then as I arrived and on time things began to change. First of all she began by explaining why she wanted the work doing. She had been away from home for three or four months and had let the house to her niece and her husband. The house was untidy and as I walked over some of the mess she explained that the police had broken into the house because her niece had been trapped in there. Some cover story if ever I heard one. Probably the police were there to arrest someone would be a more plausible explanation but I said nothing. As we moved toward the staircase to go upstairs she turned and said that she didn’t expect the work to be done immediately and could I arrange to do it at some other time? She had gotten me there under false pretenses after we had arranged that I would assess and do the work at the same time. I understand that some folk cannot afford to have the work done straight away but they shouldn’t agree then change their minds once I get there. I decided to walk away from the work and I told the lady that I wasn’t going to have people wasting my time as she was doing. I am not desperate for work that I should be at the beck and call of time-wasters. Nice start to the week. Fortunately I had only travelled less than three miles to get there. I telephoned my local pharmacy to see if they had my prescription ready for collection so that I could collect them on my way back home. They were ready for collection. I hadn’t expected them to be ready until Tuesday so that meant the morning hadn’t been a complete waste of time after all.

Shirley Anne

Should have told me

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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

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.

Shirley Anne

Wet and dry

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Raining Pleasure (EP)

Raining Pleasure (EP) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well it didn’t know what to do on Saturday, one minute it was raining and the next the sun was shining. These are the kind of days I like the least, I want to know if it is going to be wet or dry, not wet and dry! If I’ve to do any work outdoors it is essential it remains dry unless if wet it doesn’t affect what I am doing. At the moment I need some dry days so that I can get on with my project and it does matter if it is fine weather or not. On Saturday I was employed doing electrical work for someone else and except for installing a replacement outdoor light fitting all the work was indoors. I took the opportunity to do the outside work while it was dry. It didn’t stay dry for long though but long enough for installing the light. I seldom do electrical work at the weekend and will only work on Sunday if I consider it to be an emergency so it was unusual to find me working on a Saturday. The house was full of young women and even the dog was female and they had only moved in a week or so before from an adjacent street and wanted some replacement lights installing. Evidently their former home wasn’t as good as the one they had moved into and the mother told me that they had bought it at a knock-down price because the previous owner had many cats living there. It sounds a ridiculous reason for selling a house at a lower price I think but the buyer wasn’t complaining! I had the work all done by noon and soon found myself back home. I prepared my lunch as E left the house to drive to her once-a-month meeting of her group of hobbyists, in fact the members’ main occupation is entering competitions. I get abandoned and left to my own devices at such times….LOL. The afternoon turned out very bright and sunny, a tempting time to do some outdoor work maybe? Not a chance, I was too tired and it could still rain.

Shirley Anne

Too popular

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"My Two Sweethearts". Harry Houdini ...

“My Two Sweethearts”. Harry Houdini (1874-1926) with his wife Beatrice (1876-1943) and mother Cecilia Steiner Weiss, half-length portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is always nice to be popular, to feel wanted and appreciated I’m sure you’ll agree. It is even nicer to know that people will actually pay you to have you around, ah but only to work for them. I can honestly say that the older I get the more offers of work I get too! Sounds ridiculous and it is but it is also true. My phone has been ringing a lot lately which means I have the opportunity to earn some money if I am inclined. I actually reject many offers but what I accept is just fine thank you very much. Earlier in the week I was doing a balancing act between my home project work and that of my electrical work. It rained on Friday as expected which put paid to working on my project but I was fortunate to have a couple of electrical jobs to do by way of compensation. I would be doing electrical work on Saturday and on Monday too which meant the home project would remain on hold for a few more days. I am keen to carry on with the work however so I will be keeping an eye on the weather outlook and if it is going to be fine I will put off doing any electrical work. Much of my work is received by word of mouth, happy and satisfied customers forwarding my details on to friends and family. The first job on Friday entailed various lighting repairs and the replacement of fittings for an older couple on behalf of their daughter who it seems has had a rather difficult time these past few years with health problems, divorce from a cheating husband, a special needs child and other children to look after as well as trying to hold down a job. Her parents were paying to have the work done as a surprise for her. Well the work took almost the whole morning though I did have to travel to and from the electrical supplier for materials as well. My second job was to be much simpler. A faulty twin power outlet needed replacing. there was just the one drawback, it was sited beneath the kitchen sink and over to the right high up inside the cupboard with the only access through the opening beneath the sink. There was a waste-disposal unit suspended beneath the sink which added to the difficulty in just reaching the outlet. I often think to myself who on earth would install a power outlet or any other electrical device in such an awkward position? I’ll wager even Harry Houdini would have found it difficult to reach let alone replace but replace it had to be, mind you he is remembered best for escaping from awkward situations rather than getting into them. Now I know I can squeeze myself into unusual spaces if the need arises but I had my doubts about this one. I managed the replacement after much groaning and wiggling about and told the gentleman in jest not to let it happen again. I was well-paid for my efforts though so I suppose it was worthwhile. You may remember in a recent post I wrote about the impossible access to an electrical panel beneath the stairs in a cupboard that could not be accessed because the door was too narrow and the space was filled with wine racks and other things which couldn’t be removed through the narrow doorway. The doorway must have been fitted after the space had been filled! It defies logic. Basically it is stupid.

Shirley Anne

Friday off

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After another full working week I was determined to take Friday off so that I could get started in earnest of my latest garden project which is to vamp up the are we now lovingly call the plot. If you’ve read my earlier posts you will know what I am writing about. Not only was I hoping to mix and lay the concrete topping on the footings for the proposed walls I wish to build but I was hoping the weather would stay fine as Thursday was a day of wind and rain. Friday as it turned out presented the ideal conditions for the work I was to do. I always expect phone calls when I am in the middle of doing something and Friday morning while I was working I got one. It was from an old lady who was desperate to have her doorbell circuit working as it had gone faulty. She could hear the concrete mixer in action and apologised for interrupting me. I explained that if she wanted me to do the work it would have to be later in the afternoon. She was insistent that I should pay her a visit but I will explain more further in this post. It takes some time to get organised when doing building work. First I had to get out the mixer and it’s stand and take them near to where I was working. There is a power outlet on the wall just beyond the bench in this picture where I could plug the mixer lead into. This picture was taken a couple of years ago before I carried out the alterations to the patio.Mixer 2  Then I had to fetch the gravel, sand and cement. The cement is stored in the cellar room where the boiler is located in order to keep it dry. Fortunately that room is the one whose door leads directly into the garden. The other building materials are kept in the main garage. Finally I gathered all the tools I would need, brush, shovel, spades, wheelbarrow, hose pipe and such things as a spirit level and timber. I had to construct a wooden retaining wall before I could pour any concrete but it didn’t need to be anything fancy which was just as well for I had only off-cuts of various timbers anyway. It took two full mixer loads and another half load to finish the work.Plot 4   As you might have noticed the sun was about to shine down on the plot from the south. It was one o’clock. It would shine down for a further four hours or more on the plot and the patio next to it. I cleared everything away to return indoors for lunch at one-thirty. I went to fix the lady’s doorbell circuit a little after two o’clock. I was greeted by herself and a gentleman friend. He was evidently just that, her friend. Her husband had passed away within the last two years and I could see that she would be helpless without her friend. Why do I say that? She was what you might call highly strung and excitable, she was also very nervous and inattentive to anything I said regarding the fault. The bell itself hung in the hallway and three door push switches controlled it, one at the rear of the house and two at the front. It was the two at the front which didn’t work. I had to replace one of them. I traced the fault to a joint beneath the carpet and in the corner of the door frame. I had to roll back the carpet and remove the carpet grippers to get at it. Awkward wasn’t in it and one of the wires was extremely short! Somehow I got them all reconnected and everything was fine. The reason she had insisted the work be done immediately was because as she explained she was expecting a friend travelling up from Shropshire to visit for a few days! I couldn’t see the connection but as I explained, she was rather highly strung. She was overjoyed that I had taken the time from my day off to do her job though.

Shirley Anne

Nice lady

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Fluorescent lamp with slim fluorescent light b...

Fluorescent lamp with slim fluorescent light bulb, F8T5, with body (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found myself working in a house not three-quarters of a mile from home on Tuesday. I have worked in this house on several occasions in the past so I guess I must have been doing something right. Originally there were two living there but the lady’s husband had sadly died around three years ago. She had told me on my last visit probably a year later but I had forgotten. When I asked where her husband was she reminded me that she had told me then. I felt awful for having forgotten but she had an understanding heart. My work was to check out a faulty fluorescent light fitting with a view to repairing it. However when I saw it I had to tell her that Noah had thrown a similar one away! It looked as if it was one of the first ones ever designed, spare parts would definitely not be available and even if they were their cost would probably be more than a replacement modern fitting. It had been painted over so many times that it was difficult to locate the screws holding on the cover. It was a design whereby the base unit containing the electrical equipment was fixed to the ceiling and the cover was fixed beneath it. Modern units though similar have all the components inside a box structure with a simple lid cover to hide them. I wasn’t about to suggest she replaced the light with a modern version but to purchase an LED version which looks identical. In this type there are no components within the unit, it is an empty shell apart from the connector for the house wiring to connect to. The ‘controls’ are all inside the lamp itself and they weigh so little you wouldn’t know. If the unit fails only the lamp itself needs to be replaced, Much easier and cheaper with the added bonus that running the light will be far cheaper too! I drove off to purchase one and returned thirty minutes later. Only one snag threatened the fitting of the replacement and that was the fact that the house lighting installation had no earthing conductor, which meant it had been wired pre-1966 when the then new regulations insisted there be one. It is old and way overdue for a rewire but that would have been impractical for the lady who was in her mid-seventies and living on a pension. I had to locate a suitable earthing point and fortunately there was a power outlet in the room above where I would have to connect to. This was the only recourse possible and although under normal circumstances it would not be done that way it was the only solution available. When and if the house is rewired it will be done differently of course. For so many years the old fitting was in use without the safety of an earthing conductor therefore whoever had installed it was wrong in doing so. The lady was well pleased with the outcome and was chatty with me throughout my visit talking about my house and gardens. She was a keen gardener and very knowledgeable on the subject. She had to visit a cash-point to pay me so I offered to take her as I needed to verify a new debit card anyway that had just been sent to me and to do that I needed to use it in a machine. I had invited her to come to see my house and gardens if she wasn’t too busy or had other plans but she jumped at the chance. On our arrival at my house she could name all the plants I had put there and how to look after each type. We went indoors and I showed her around part of the house and then we went into the cellars and out into the rear garden. Well she was in her element and took delight in the various plants and layout we have worked so hard to make possible. Again she mentioned how to look after the different plants and I think she was well impressed with our achievements. We returned indoors and out to the van. I drove her homeward but she wanted to stop in the village to do some shopping instead. She went shopping and I returned home. A really nice lady.

Shirley Anne

Wits end and friends

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Peace, peace, peace.

We Come in Peace with a Message of Love

We Come in Peace with a Message of Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I very seldom if ever write about my personal relationships in my posts though I have been more open in my personal pages above regarding such things. It is hard for me to do so now. Life can be so difficult at times. Stressful situations, personal relationships, financial problems, poor health, irritating neighbours and many more can all have a detrimental effect upon us. As a Christian I am called to rise above these things yet I may still have to deal with them, in fact being a Christian does not mean I will never be affected by them or that they will somehow magically disappear, they won’t. Our difficulties arise when we don’t know how to deal with them. Fellow Christians will say things like, ‘Trust in The Lord’, ‘Lay all your burdens at His feet’, and they would be quite right but we have to meet Him half-way. We have to do our bit too. If we approach things in the right way and trust in The Lord’s guidance we will overcome. Sometimes though no matter what we do it doesn’t seem to work, at least as we thought it should and that is the point, not everything is going to work out the way we want it or expect it to do. Good friends give good advice. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Some people will never change’, yet we often continue attempting to persuade them. This has been especially true in my own situation. My ex, ‘E’, is a prime example. Over the years (forty-four) I have known her she has been stubborn. We used to go to church together at one point but her heart wasn’t in it. She always blamed her mom for ‘forcing’ her to attend church when younger and that is why she says she doesn’t believe in God. Many times I have witnessed to her but the main way was by example, showing love, being tolerant and understanding and not putting her under pressure. Nothing worked and still doesn’t. I have to live with her and it can be so difficult. I could have left her, deserted her and left her to her own devices but because of my love and concern I persevered. I still persevere and will continue to do so until I die though she may never change. Aside from her beliefs just living together is sometimes problematical for me as I am very often not treated well by her even though I treat her with love and respect and we end up not speaking. Usually it is because of her stubborn refusal to apologise for her behaviour toward me when she is in the wrong. My friend tries to cheer me up and she tells me not to let E’s behaviour affect my own peace and happiness but that is so hard to do. I get knocked down but I get up again and again and again. I refuse to give in to her bad behaviour yet I have to forgive her. I always forgive her but it never seems to have any effect. Sometimes I feel at my wit’s end wondering if things between us will always be this way. Unless you live with a person like E you will never really know what it is like. Leaving her isn’t an option, she needs more love.

Shirley Anne

Sounds like

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Gallia Narbonensis (Imperium Romanum)

Gallia Narbonensis (Imperium Romanum) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gaul

Noun…

1.
an ancient region in W Europe, including the modern areas of N Italy, France, Belgium, and the S Netherlands: consisted of two main divisions, one part S of the Alps (Cisalpine Gaul) and another part N of the Alps (Transalpine Gaul)
2.
Latin Gallia. a province of the ancient Roman Empire, including the territory corresponding to modern France, Belgium, the S Netherlands, Switzerland, N Italy, and Germany W of the Rhine.
3.
an inhabitant of the ancient region of Gaul.
4.
a native or inhabitant of France.

Gall

Noun…
1.
impudence; effrontery.
2.
bile, especially that of an animal.
3.
something bitter or severe.
4.
bitterness of spirit; rancor.
Idioms
5.
gall and wormwood, bitterness of spirit; deep resentment.
Synonyms

1. nerve, audacity, brass, cheek.

Verb (used with object)…..
1.
to make sore by rubbing; chafe severely:
The saddle galled the horse’s back.
2.
to vex or irritate greatly:
His arrogant manner galls me.
verb (used without object)
3.
to be or become chafed.
4.
Machinery. (of either of two engaging metal parts) to lose metal to the other because of heat or molecular attraction resulting from friction.
5.
Metallurgy. (of a die or compact in powder metallurgy) to lose surface material through adhesion to the die.

Noun……
6.
a sore on the skin, especially of a horse, due to rubbing; excoriation.
7.
something very vexing or irritating.
8.
a state of vexation or irritation.

Noun….
1.
any abnormal vegetable growth or excrescence on plants, caused by various agents, as insects, nematodes, fungi, bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and mechanical injuries.

Noun…..
1.
(Pizi) 1840?–94, leader of the Hunkpapa Sioux: a major chief in the battle of Little Bighorn.

It isn’t that I am saying the French have a lot of gall, not at all though some French people I am sure fit the bill. Strange as it may seem this short post has nothing to do with the dictionary description of this particular word per se, which I add I find very interesting, it is more to do with the attitude of some of the people I meet in my work as an electrician. I am fascinated by history of any kind and the origin of words gives me insight to the origins of my own language. The lady I met on Friday morning might well have been born in France which would make her a Gaul by definition but she wasn’t French. A few days earlier I received a call from this lady’s daughter who asked if I could investigate a problem concerning a light fitting at her mother’s house. Whilst speaking she mentioned that she herself couldn’t go to see what the problem was as she was living in Scotland (a few hundred miles north). I agreed to call there on Friday morning. The old lady was expecting me as her daughter had spoken with her. Now it wasn’t that the old lady was stupid but she was somewhat deaf which explained her slight confusion. She readily showed me the light fitting in question and left me to sort it out. When I had completed the work I insisted she looked to ensure I had done it to her satisfaction. She thanked me for being so prompt but didn’t ask me what the charge was for doing it. Sometimes it is awkward to have to ask for payment but I am not doing the work for fun. When I asked her for payment she looked at me in bewilderment. She said…’Oh I thought is was something to do with the electricity’ meaning that this sort of thing was the responsibility of the electrical supply industry and would be done free of charge. Now confused she might have been and confused she might only have wished to portray but I needed payment. I explained that anything that goes faulty within her own property is her responsibility to have repaired or replaced and she looked at me with a blank expression on her face as if I had told her something she never knew beforehand. Crikey she must have lived an extremely sheltered life I thought but she was 83 years old and in complete control of all her faculties, she had no excuse to think that way. Then I thought, ‘She’s having me on’, what gall, what a cheek to expect anyone to work for her for no remuneration. Until that point I was going to levy a smaller fee but decided to charge my normal fee instead, especially as I could see she wasn’t exactly short of money. Some people are unbelievable. I’ll let you decide which of the above descriptions apply.

Shirley Anne

Where did it go?

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

Shirley Anne

Well I never

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Broom cupboard

Broom cupboard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those of you not too familiar with the English language the above phrase ‘Well I never‘ is often used as an expression of surprise for an unusual situation or occurrence that a person may experience. It is a light-hearted way of showing unbelief in the actions of another person. ‘Did you hear what so-and-so did the other day? Oh, well I never, now there’s a surprise’. It was a famous saying often used by the English comedian Frankie Howard in comedy films in which he appeared. On Tuesday morning I drove across to another town to install a light and its switch in a small broom cupboard space under a stairway for an old lady living there. Fortunately there was a power outlet nearby from which I could wire the circuit, through a fused outlet of course! Anyway that sort of work isn’t unusual in the least, many people want a light installing in such spaces. I hadn’t asked the lady why she wanted a light there because without the light the cupboard would otherwise be dark inside. However she volunteered the information. She told me that sometimes when she was downstairs she felt the need to go urgently to the toilet so she had decided to buy a commode and put it inside the cupboard for such emergencies. The cupboard was too small in which to site a toilet and wash basin and besides which it was remote from a water supply and a drain. A commode seemed the obvious choice but as the room was dark she thought it best to have a light installed. She need not have told me anything of course as it made no difference to what I was doing. I thought to myself ‘Well I never, I’ve never seen a cupboard under a stair being used for a commode but there’s always a first time for everything I suppose.’ As I drove back home at noon I was half-expecting to see E’s nephew or one of his crew working on the front steps he has altered for us at my request. The small retaining wall needs a coat of render and the steps need an acid clean. The weather has prevented anything being done over the last couple of weeks. At the time of writing this on Tuesday it appears we have a whole week of dry and sunny weather ahead so there should be no excuse for not getting the work finished. No-one was there but soon after lunch E received a call from her nephew telling her he would come by and fill in the now obsolete fireplace in the bedroom we are refurbishing with building blocks and mortar. He arrived soon after and did that work and at the same time removed all the building rubbish that had been left after the rear garden wall was partly rebuilt a couple of weeks ago. He also removed the old carpet we had taken out of the bedroom. It was such a lovely day on Tuesday that I actually spent a few minutes sitting out on the patio in the warm sunshine. Everything is springing back to life and the cold weather is slowly leaving us.

Shirley Anne

Never changes

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English: A Land Rover Series IIA going through...

A Land Rover Series IIA going through a chassis inspection during an MOT test. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So Monday came and went and there was no telephone call from the builders/scaffolding company about our leaking roof. It appears they are too busy, probably carrying out repairs for lots of other people having the same problem. We will just have to wait for a while and leave it up to the insurance company to push things along. I will contact them if nothing happens soon though. I had completely forgotten about the roof as I had work to do, electrical work to be precise. My first job of the day and indeed the year was to change a couple of power outlets and check or replace one or two lighting units. The old lady who had called me earlier in the previous week called again on Sunday at my request for I didn’t want anything to do with work over the two-week Christmas and New Year break. I had previously worked for this lady a year ago last November but when she called me she had thought I had done that work in early summer last year. When I arrived at her house I remembered her. What I had forgotten was the fact that she could talk a glass eye to sleep! She didn’t let me down this time either as she didn’t stop talking during the hour and a half I was there! I mean that literally, she didn’t stop at all except to take a breath or allow me a word. Even as I was getting in my van to drive off she continued to speak. I was glad to get out of the house and drive off to the second job back in my home town, though the other side of town. I had worked at this house previously too, I had installed a replacement shower unit there about three years ago. A guy welcomed me inside but the work was to be done outside the house replacing an outdoor wall light. He was an Italian guy of similar age to myself and I had a little difficulty in explaining things to him regarding some of the work I had to do in order to meet his requirements. The old fitting only worked if an internal light was switched on but the new light was equipped with a motion detector and needed a permanent supply. Eventually I managed to get through to him and he was able to understand. By the time I had finished the work it was way after lunch time and I then had to pay a visit to my supplier to purchase some things for my van stock. On the way to that second job I called into a vehicle repair station to book my van in for a service followed by an MOT test. That work is scheduled for 4 February, a Thursday, so I must remember not to schedule any work of my own for that day. My ears are still ringing after the first job!

Shirley Anne