Quite often I get calls from people with electrical problems but sometimes I resist going to see what the problem is. Instead I will offer advise or talk them through their situation in order for them to resolve it themselves. Naturally these particular jobs do not really warrant a visit especially if they are far from home. I have to charge for my time and in some cases I deem it unfair to charge my minimum fee for something that can easily be resolved by the caller. In any case many would simply refuse to pay me what I would have to charge. Much of the time the faults are loss of power because the circuit breaker has tripped or a faulty appliance has caused the RCD (safety trip switch) to trip thereby removing power to other circuits. If the caller follows my instructions and successfully reinstates the power I have saved them the cost of calling me out and they are usually most grateful. It sometimes pays to offer help in this way for it could lead to work at a later date. People remember good deeds. On Friday I received a call for assistance from an elderly couple living about three miles or so away. They wanted to know if I could call in order to trace the source of an unusual sound which they thought might be the result of an electrical fault. The gentleman even held the telephone toward the sound so that I could hear it. It sounded much like a child’s toy but obviously couldn’t be that. I asked about their smoke alarms which according to them were working as they should. Their burglar alarm had been disconnected so it couldn’t be that. I asked if they had a carbon monoxide detector as the sound could be an indication that the battery required changing. At that point the gentleman said that in fact they did have such an alarm unit but it wasn’t in use, it was stored in a box in the room from where the sound was emanating. He told me he would call back once he had recovered the alarm. A couple of minutes later he called back to tell me that in fact it was the carbon monoxide alarm unit. It had been stored away without removing the battery beforehand. The battery was almost drained which set off a warning signal. I wondered why the alarm wasn’t in use but perhaps their home was all-electric and the alarm wasn’t necessary. They thanked me for being so helpful and honest with them especially as I could have charged them had I gone there. The gentleman asked if he could pay me something but of course I refused payment. Evidently his wife was insistent that I should accept a little something and asked for my address. I gave in and thought no more about it. The following day, Saturday, just after lunch the doorbell rang and I answered the door. It was a delivery of a large cardboard box addressed to me. However I didn’t open it for I thought that it was intended for E who receives parcels almost every day! She had told me a day or so earlier that my name had been entered in one of her competitions in order to give her more chances of winning. Any ‘winnings’ would naturally be addressed to me. She had been out during the afternoon for her monthly meeting with her group and didn’t arrive back home until after five o’clock. She asked why I hadn’t opened the box and I told her. She hadn’t been expecting a parcel so in fact it was for me after all. I opened it to find a large bouquet of flowers in a special container and a note inside thanking me for the help I’d offered. It was from the elderly couple. Wasn’t that a nice gesture?
You can read much about my past life in the pages listed above but a very brief account goes like this…..I had a very happy home life as a child, even as a teenager up until I got married at 27. I was above average at school but left without many qualifications. I was picked upon and bullied by many of my peers and by certain other children outside of those I mixed with at school. I say mixed with but that is really far from the real truth, none except one or two, wanted me as a friend and consequently I kept pretty much to myself. I was very much introverted. Once I’d left school things started to improve but it took a few years for me to gain any measure of self-assuredness and far longer to eventually come out of my shell. It took years for me to come out of the closet regarding my gender too. When I get married life was good at first but gradually things began to go wrong and half-way through the marriage I became rejected. After many years being an atheist I came to believe in God and became a Christian. My life during the next ten years was the best it had ever been and to be truthful it has been my faith which has kept me afloat during the latter part of my life and has given me a better outlook and purpose, a real reason to be alive. Then there came the time for me to face up to my gender problem, the one I had grown up with, the one I had kept hidden throughout my life. Things again started to improve, mainly because I could now be the real me and life was once again good. Divorce came next and further rejection and isolation until a few years ago things changed and my relationship with E vastly improved. There was always my work and my hobbies to occupy me but I craved company and love. My life has been somewhat turbulent over the years and the main reasons for my difficulties are rooted in my timidity as a child and the fact that I was bullied. When I think about the various stages of my life, what my circumstances were at different times, I try to think what part of my life was the best. There have been many wonderful times and moments in my life but there have also been some horrible and nasty times too. I cannot say which part of my life has been the best up until now but I can say that my character, my shyness, my introverted outlook, my behaviour, my values, my concerns and my beliefs have all changed for the better and I am a more well-balanced and more confident person now than I ever was previously. If you could pinpoint a moment or a period in your own life that you consider was the best for you what would it be and why? Life can only get better I hear some say but does it? Has it? Will it? The best part of anyone’s life has to be this very moment. The past has been dealt with, the future is unknown, the time is now! Are you happy right now? If not, why not? It is all up to you alone.
Just watching the evening news I see Andrew Flintoff is enjoying a lifestyle in Dubai. There is absolutely nothing wrong in that of course, he can afford it. He and many more like him or rather having the same opportunity can live in such a place. Dubai, as in other Middle-Eastern countries have built their wealth and status on the proceeds of oil. We pay for that. It is the public at large who are paying for the extravagance that is Dubai. Priorities in this world are all wrong. It is only because Andrew is well remunerated for his talent and is in the public eye so to speak, that he can afford such luxuries. Do not mis-understand me here, it isn’t about jealousy but a more about wrong standards and morality. I have no problems with those who are financially wealthy but I do object to the system which enables some to prosper as they do when others probably more worthy and dare I say more talented are not so appreciated. It isn’t really about money but more about values. Society values and appreciates the dedication in serving others, nurses, doctors, police, fire services and others for instance but appreciate more those who entertain. Why is this so? Why are those who entertain given so much attention? Why are they paid so much? They become ‘celebrities’ and are seemingly revered for their efforts. The efforts of those who deserve recognition are not acknowledged in the same way. I wonder how many people presently in the public eye would be there if they had everyday mundane jobs? Probably none of them.