For a change

I had made up my mind to dine out on Friday afternoon and hoped that if any work came in it would be during the morning. I had no work come in and although I could have spent the morning in the garden I chose not to because it was bitterly cold in the easterly wind that was blowing. I spent the morning therefore doing nothing at all. I had finished breakfast at nine-thirty so wasn’t in a hurry for lunch at my usual time. In any case I would be visiting my local pub and knew it would be difficult to get a table unless I went there before noon. I went therefore at two o’clock and even then there were no tables vacant. It was another half-hour before I sat to eat though it was almost three o’clock when the meal arrived. Just right. I had asked for a tab so didn’t need to pay until I left the pub. Some folk pay in advance but I chose to keep my tab open until I had not only finished dining but also until I departed for home. It meant that any drinks I might have for the remainder of my stay would simply be added to the bill. As it happened I stayed there for over three hours.

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At first I had no-one to talk with but that soon changed as the afternoon wore on. One good thing about pub life is that you seldom have to remain isolated if you want company. On my last visit though I did end up alone even after two hours being there but that is unusual. After my meal I sat at the bar in the company of three guys and watched as they slowly became ‘tipsy’. The sad part was knowing that two of them would be driving when they left. The one who departed whilst I was there had drunk three pints of lager during my stay at the bar and probably had more before I joined them. He was driving home. The other, a taxi driver, also had three drinks whilst I was there and remained drinking as I was leaving for home. I wasn’t sure that he was driving though but I have seen him on previous occasions driving after drinking. I know of a few people who go to the pub, drink alcohol and then drive home. One day something nasty could happen but they seem to get away with it. When I used to drink alcohol I walked to the pub as it isn’t far from my home. Laws are made for breaking according to some people.

Shirley Anne


Sunday break

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

Not good weather……

…and other excuses. Well I woke up a little later than I thought I would on Tuesday, at nine o’clock. I had been up several times during the night for toilet visits though I had slept well in between. I checked the time at five o’clock and woke up four hours later! The weather forecast had indicated a wet morning was probable and indeed it was wet when I arose but it wasn’t raining by then.

English: cloud and rain, weather forecast symbol
Cloud and rain, weather forecast symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However we were supposed to expect intermittent rain at least for the morning. It didn’t happen but it was enough to deter any thoughts of working in the garden. Wednesday was forecast to be much better, drier and a little warmer too, so I resigned myself to take the day off  on Tuesday and work in the garden on Wednesday instead. So I had a late breakfast of fruit and spent the morning at home doing pretty much nothing. As it was approaching two o’clock I drove to the pub and treated myself to a meal there but only the main course this time. I wasn’t hungry enough for anything more. The day remained dull but it stayed dry until late. we would be getting overnight rain with the promise of a fine day to follow, even sunny! This year I am promising myself to get out more, especially to the pub which I have neglected visiting these last twelve months. In fact last year I only went there three times in total. I need to keep in touch with people and not isolate myself so much. Whenever I stop going to the pub for any length of time I am missed according to those I know there. I have to correct that, I know I do. Bad weather may be an excuse for staying out of the garden but it isn’t an excuse to cease meeting with people so as Jimmy Buffett says…….

Take the Weather with You
Take the Weather with You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Shirley Anne

It doesn’t seem to matter

Whether I have my advert in the paper or not seems not to make any difference lately for even though it hasn’t been in the paper for two weeks I have had enough work to make it worthwhile. On Tuesday I got up and dressed in what I call my ‘no intention’ wear, that is anything but the clothes I would wear for work. It made no difference as I got a call anyway and had to change late in the morning to go to work. The evening before I had received a call from a guy whom I had done electrical work for before and he asked if I would be interested in doing several jobs for him. He

Matter of Time (album)
Matter of Time (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

installs gas boilers amongst other things but there is seldom a power supply to run the boilers near to hand. The jobs would be to wire an outlet or power supply for each boiler. The problem is that there are lots of boilers to do. I don’t particularly want the volume of work each week but I said I would do some of them as needed. So I went to the job and stood around for over an hour waiting for him to arrive at the house because he said the occupant would be at work but as it turned out the lady of the house was in. She seemed reluctant for me to start the work before the guy arrived so I waited until he did. I made my assessment of the job in hand whilst I waited. Eventually he arrived and after five minutes he was gone. It took me a mere fifty minutes to finish the job. I could have had it done before he arrived, The lady of the house couldn’t believe how quick I had been but was well pleased that I had made no mess whatsoever in doing it. When I got back home E had gone out somewhere so I got changed back into my no intention wear and dined out at my local pub. I had planned to go farther afield for my meal but decided I didn’t want to drive too far, which is probably what I would have done. It doesn’t matter anymore if E wants to be the way she is, I am fed up with her attitude and quite frankly have had enough. It leaves me with no companionship nor anyone to talk with most of the time for there is no-one in my life apart from her. She on the other hand has family living close by and she is part of a group of like-minded people who do competitions so she gets to meet with them once a month too. I know, I could join a club or something too but there are no such groups I know of which I would like to join just to be able to chat with people, it just isn’t me. The thing I like doing when not involved with my own interests is chatting with people and that is why I go to the pub. Why do you think I took to ‘blogging’? Nothing seems to matter anymore, it’s all a matter of time.

Shirley Anne

Time out at the pub


It has been quite a while since I visited my local pub but on Thursday afternoon I decided to take the short walk there and spend an hour or two over a couple of drinks. As I don’t drink alcohol these days I chose to drink alcohol-free lager rather than diet cola or another soft drink. Hardened drinkers who go there think I am crazy but I’ve always liked the alcohol-free substitute. It would be very tempting to revert to my old ways and drink wine, whisky and beer but I am not tempted to do that any more. E had gone out shopping on her weekly trip with her mum and I had left off working outside because of the weather. It had been raining on and off all morning, nothing heavy but more that extra-fine rain or drizzle that seems to penetrate clothing so easily. So I decided to take a break and catch up with what has been going on in people’s lives. Unfortunately there were not many people at the pub and those I knew were deep in conversation so I sat alone for quite some time. Those I saw there were drinking alcohol, glass after glass of wine or beer. All of them were driving too! Two were taxi drivers! They seem to get away with it, which to me is totally wrong. I dread to think what could happen on their journey home. Later others arrived but by that time I wanted to return home. I did end up chatting with one acquaintance but only for a few minutes then I walked back home. On the way I met someone else I know who had just taken her dog out for a walk and was returning home herself. We chatted for a minute or two the went our separate ways. She’d remarked that she hadn’t seen me in the pub for some time to which I replied that was due to my not going there! She laughed and I added that the reason was down to the fact that I simply couldn’t be bothered. That just about sums it up, I just cannot be bothered at times. It isn’t that I don’t like going to the pub but I simply don’t feel the urge as others might do and I suppose people might say that is because I no longer drink alcoholic drinks. That however cannot be true for I often felt the same way when I did drink alcoholic drinks. I am far more likely to visit the pub on a whim rather than doing so as a matter of routine and I prefer it that way. I am probably more a creature who does things on a whim than setting my life in concrete, besides, I have been mixing that stuff almost every day for the past two weeks!

Shirley Anne

A nice afternoon

A meal at the court of Emperor Ferdinand I,
A meal at the court of Emperor Ferdinand I 

On Tuesday morning I had a ridiculously small job and then nothing for the remainder of the day so I suggested to E that we might dine out somewhere for lunch. I had returned home before 10 o’clock and spend some time on my computer and the Internet and watched a couple of programs on television. It was around 1.45 when I heard a tap, tap on the lounge door and jumped a little for I had dosed off in the chair, one of those ‘cat-naps’ I love to experience. I looked toward the door to see E smiling at me. ‘Well I’m ready’, she piped up. ‘I’ve just washed my hair’, she said. She has the kind of hair that gets greasy rather easily but greasy hair is probably healthier hair as it proves that natural oils are being produced from the scalp protecting and nourishing the hair. Of course too much oil can be a problem and then the hair needs washing more often. E tends to have this problem. My hair on the other hand tends to be dry and would benefit having more natural oil. I tend therefore not to wash my hair as often unless it gets dirty. So I dashed upstairs to change my clothes and fix my make-up and was ready ten minutes later. E drove as she normally does and I didn’t ask where we were going as we headed off down the main road. She turned toward the coastal road so I though she was going to drive north as we normally do when visiting one or two of our favourite places but a couple of  hundred yards (metres) down the road she pulled into the car park of my local pub! There were quite a number of cars there and I thought it would consequently be full inside but we were surprised to see it almost empty. After a quick look at the menu I went to the bar opened a tab and ordered the meals and drinks. We received the best of service as usual and the meals followed soon after. E followed her meal with a dessert but I didn’t. We had a great time together and chatted with the staff as the opportunity arose. When we had finished eating  a couple of people came in and sat a short distance from us and I turn to look. ‘Hello, Shirley Anne’, the woman said and I replied in kind though I couldn’t remember how they knew me or I them, although I did recognise their faces.  It turns out that I had done some work for them back in November. Neither the man nor the woman knew E personally but the woman recognised her as having worked in her local Post Office some years ago. The man told E what a good electrician he had found in me not realising that E is already aware of my capabilities! I thought that was very nice of him to say such things. He went on to tell us that two weeks after I had worked in their house they were burgled! Immediately I asked if they had an alarm to which they said ‘We have now’! Talk about closing the barn door after the horse has bolted! Fortunately not much had been stolen. Soon afterwards E and I prepared to leave for home and they bid us farewell, the woman saying ‘I’ll telephone you’. Looks like they want more work doing……….Is there no rest for the wicked? LOL

Shirley Anne

It’s getting so………..

English: A thatched pub, the Williams Arms at ...

It’s getting so that I prefer the pub to home more and more these days. Until a week ago I hadn’t visited the pub since my birthday, which is the 21 November. I don’t like going there during the Christmas and New Year break so for about six weeks or so I remain absent. When I do visit the pub it isn’t the alcohol that attracts me there, it never was and especially now that I stopped drinking alcohol in mid-November. It isn’t because they have a great menu although I often eat there for the food is excellent and it means I don’t have to cook it myself or wash the dishes later! It must be for the company, for the people who I meet there, including the great staff who make sure you are welcomed coming in and when you leave. For those they get to know they call by name. I like people, simple as that. My private life isn’t what it should be and I get lonely because of that. Oh, I can be quite happy in my own company and in fact I need that space for myself at times but I can get bored with my own company too! I am not an isolationist, a hermit or one who shies away from life though in my early years I was exactly that way, completely anti-social. The reasons for that may be explained in the stories about myself in the pages above should you wish to read them. My life has changed dramatically since those days and I am far from the person I used to be. Four main events changed my life, marriage, the birth of my children, becoming a Christian and finally my transition brought about massive changes that transformed my life. I am happier now in myself than I have ever been before or thought I could ever be. I could be happier though but that is up to the person I live with. Anyway I spent the afternoon there on Sunday and met up with people I’d not seen for a while.

Shirley Anne

Wonderful ways

'S Wonderful (album)
‘S Wonderful (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a believer in God I understand that certain things in life happen because God has ordained it. On Friday I asked E if she would like to dine out and of course she said yes, although I have known her to refuse the offer once or twice. As usual she asked where I might like to dine out and as usual I left the decision to her. We left home around one o’clock in the afternoon and drove some fifteen miles before arriving at our destination, one of several places where we like to dine. We choose to eat out after the rush is over, after the time when most folk eat out, that is after one-thirty to two o’clock so when we arrived there were not many people in the place, just what we like because we can pick and choose where we sit. We chose to sit next to another couple who were part through their meal although we could have selected anywhere as the place was quite empty. It wasn’t until we had eaten our dessert that we actually made contact with our fellow diners and then we discovered something in common between us. They were both retired people, she a retired clerk who had worked as a receptionist for a doctor’s surgery and he a retired policeman. Our eldest son is a policeman. We engaged in conversation for a short while and then they had to leave. We had been sitting in the lower level of the two-tier layout of the pub/restaurant and another couple, seemingly man and wife although we didn’t ask, sat down in the upper level just as we had finished our meal and were finishing our drinks. We hit it off together immediately, laughing and joking and generally having a good time together. They were like two soul mates and so easy to get along with and it was a shame that we had to leave to drive home. Whilst I was visiting the toilet before going home E had left the premises and was waiting outside in the car for me to emerge but I made a detour back into the dining room to bid farewell to our new-found friends. I learnt their names, funny how you can speak for ages without formal introductions, gave them a big hug and made arrangements to meet up again by leaving them with one of my business cards. I do hope they will contact us, it would be nice to see them again. Not often in life do we get the chance to meet genuine people so when that happens it is good to pursue it. I will keep you posted on what develops, if anything.

Shirley Anne

Busy week

English: A remote control for an automatic gar...
English: A remote control for an automatic garage door opener – showing the outer case and inner circuit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week saw me gainfully employed doing something every day, work, rest and play! I was kept rather busy at work especially which has come at just the right time, not that I am desperate for money, I am not but rather than having to dip into my savings I found myself with the cash to fund the various projects I had planned at home. Those things are now catered for as well as getting E’s car back on the road. E and I actually dined out together for the first time in six months on Wednesday and had a thoroughly good time. We are now closer than we’ve been during the last six months. Some things need to change yet though before I can say we are back totally to where we were six months ago. It is good however that we are talking once again.
Two weeks ago tomorrow we had the roller door fitted to the new garage and E has enjoyed the fact that her car can rest securely overnight and out of the weather too. A thought came into her mind regarding the use of the garage when it is dark. There is a floodlight over the garage that is controlled by a motion detector but it doesn’t illuminate the inside of the garage which remains pitch-black unless the internal light is switched on and therein lies the problem. She can operate the roller door by remote control from her car but would have to get out of the car to switch on the light. I needed to come up with a system that switches on the internal light when the door is opened but only during the hours of darkness. I had the necessary components to construct a control box. I bought a proximity switch for the door and a photo cell detector to monitor the ambient light conditions and I constructed the control box on Friday morning. I plan to complete the installation today, Sunday. As the door reaches it’s fully open position it will operate a switch which in turn operates a relay. A switch on the relay is wired in series with the photo cell switch and on to the fluorescent light inside the garage. Both switches must be closed for the light to work so although the door may be fully open and operating the relay the light will remain off if it is still daylight. The light naturally has a manually operated wall switch too for use when the door is closed. This is a two-way switch that enables the supply to the light to come from a manual operation or the automatic operation but only one or the other. This is to prevent the light being accidentally left on manually. It all sounds complicated but in real terms it is quite simple. Well it will keep me out of mischief for a few hours whilst I am installing it all! Here endeth the electrical lesson for today… LOL.
I spent a few hours in the pub on Friday afternoon and evening and met up with quite a few people, some new to me and some well-known. I didn’t much feel like going to bed early and ended up staying up far too long consequently I didn’t get out of bed until a little later than I would normally do on a Saturday morning so I decided to forego my early morning session on the treadmill. I decided to take that exercise later in the evening last night instead. Now am I fit for work or fit to drop? Well after that exercise I had a good night’s sleep and am rearing to go as they say.

Shirley Anne

Saturday was different

Jam Session in Sommelo Folk Music Festival 200...
Jam Session in Sommelo Folk Music Festival 2007, Kuhmo, Finland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier in the week I paid a visit to my local pub and didn’t get home till very late. During the evening I had been approached by several people who engaged me in conversation before they either decided to speak with someone else or they simply left for home or wherever they were going. One guy came over and quickly mentioned that someone had told him that I was an electrician and asked if I would help him with a problem. He jotted down all the information I needed to pay him a visit at the place where the problem was and mentioned that he would be there between the hours of 12 noon until four in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. I was given to understand that he was engaged in some charitable event so I told him my services would be free but of course I was only providing advice. If I was to carry out a lot of work I would have to consider how much time I was prepared to donate of course. I hadn’t given much further thought on his request until Saturday morning. I arose a little later than usual and spent some time on my treadmill and whilst I was cooling off I prepared what was going to be an early lunch as I had missed out on breakfast yet again. It was then that I remembered my promise so at one o’clock, after my lunch and after I’d bathed and dressed of course, I drove into town and headed for the new hotel on the promenade. I found the underground car park beneath the hotel and was met and taken upstairs to the ground floor, which was at street level. I discovered that the guy had organised and set up an art gallery as a social community venture and although it had the backing and support of the local authority it wasn’t really a charity in the true sense of the word. He had been given three very large rooms rent-free for the project and had installed power circuits to supply the large lighting units needed for viewing the artwork. The problem he had was that the circuits kept tripping and that was due to the excess load put on them and although the installation was safe enough and the fact that it wasn’t done professionally it was serving its purpose in the interim. I surveyed the installation and gave him a plan of action but it would entail a more serious approach to put things right. He would need a sub-main supply to the main room and from there he would have to rewire his power circuits, this time using the proper materials and circuit design. I told him the job needed to be done by a professional but I guess that suggestion fell on deaf ears. Considering the public will have access to the gallery he needs to ensure the job meets all the health and safety requirements not to mention compliance with current regulations. He may be, in fact he will be liable for any mishaps and I am sure the insurance company, if he has one, will not underwrite the project or pay out compensation for any accidents ensuing should he do it wrong. Why anyone would put themselves and others at risk is beyond my comprehension, in fact I am sure the legal aspect of the project hasn’t been given much consideration by those letting out the space. I spent around a half hour before driving back home. I was a little thirsty and as I was driving past my local pub to get home I called in for a couple of soft drinks. No alcohol, I was driving! The place was packed, there was hardly a seat to be had but I found one and sat there a spell. I decided to take my vehicle home and return on foot about an hour later and so that’s what I did. I met and chatted with three different people over the course of a few hours and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation I had with each of them. The first person, a guy, happened to be an artist who was already known to me and naturally we talked about the gallery I had just visited. The second person, also a guy and also known to me chatted about guitars and music. I tried to arrange a guitar session, a jam session if you will but as yet he hasn’t agreed. I think he feels he isn’t proficient enough a player or he simply lacks confidence in his ability. He had to go home and left without committing himself. Oh well, maybe next time. The third person was a woman, someone I had met about twelve months ago and who lived very near to the pub but someone I hadn’t seen since. She had been out drinking during the afternoon and had reached that stage whereby she was feeling a little merry but not quite drunk. Big hugs all round and she settled down next to me and we chatted away like two long-lost sisters. I had the remains of a bottle of red wine and really did not want to drink any more as I have promised myself to cut back on what I drink. Before I could decline her offer to ‘buy me another’ it was there in front of me! A glass of the same wine I’d been drinking. I was determined not to drink any more so I made that glass last a long time! She said the funniest thing when she came over to me, she said ‘Have you seen my husband, I’ve lost him’! I didn’t see her husband at all and I am certain he hadn’t come in with her because I was sitting close to the entrance he would have used. Her husband is wheelchair bound and can only come through the one door as the other entrance isn’t wheelchair friendly. I think he must have gone directly home without her noticing, that is if he was with her in the first place! I don’t remember her saying anything about her relationship with her husband or about his condition at our first meeting but she sure told me about them on Saturday night. They have been married for 28 years and are still deeply in love. I asked about her husband and how he came to be in a wheelchair. She told me that he’d fallen off a horse only five weeks into their marriage all those years ago and that she had stuck by him through thick and thin. I could see the love in her eyes and I really felt for her and what she’d endured because of their shared love. It is truly amazing how some people manage their lives when disaster strikes yet others just fall apart at the first signs of trouble. My evening was made delightful because of her company. I hope it isn’t another twelve months before I can chat with her again. Yes, Saturday was certainly different.

Shirley Anne