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Intriguing Exercises - Thursday 27/01/11

Progress on the woodshed has been sporadic to say the least. This is mostly down to welsh time keeping. Kit has a list of jobs to be done with heavy machinery. So far the contractor has never arrived when promised, even missing entire days. By his behaviour one could believe conventional working weeks do not exist and when working days do arrive, they never start at 09:00. In fact, working before midday is positively rare. I have a theory the welsh are governed by the moon and decide working days/times by inspecting sheep entrails - just a theory.
To fill in the hours/days of suspense we have carried bricks to the building site. Until we tire of it. Or build the woodshed. There is very little else we can do when you add in Welsh weather...

Not paying insurance or running the car has meant that for the first time in a very long time indeed, I have spare cash. Enough in fact to enable me to splash out on some choice novelties. So far I have splurged on a Hawke Sport HD 4 X 32 Mil Dot Scope (watch out geese), a Stovepipe Thermometer, 2000 air rifle pellets, a Camo Padded Rifle Slip and I have £40 with which to buy more. Am currently torn between Fireside Bellows or going tactical and buying a Deben LEDRAY GL2 RED Tactical Air Rifle Light or some warm slippers... Alternatively I can leave the surplus to accumulate.

Another caravan has arrived, adding to our row and fast becoming a terrace. The owner is another volunteer called Nick. A very likeable chap. I'd met him previously in November but completely forgot about his plans to return. have helped him overcome the same obstacles we encountered upon our arrival. Namely decoding the solar panels and caravan electrics and cracking the enigma of installing a woodburner. Next on the list will be introducing him to gas bottle supplier and general Mr Build It/Fix It, Nick The Gas, but all in good time.
During our stay with Emma's parents over Christmas and New Year, I made a few observations that I have pondered over. Most of these are from drawing comparisons from our previous lifestyle and that of most. Often it is preached that households need to engage in certain practices to save money and be 'efficient'. There are so many buzzwords they almost lose all meaning. 'Carbon Footprint' 'Eco-This-n-That' 'Low energy ratings' etc etc. Then it hit me. The pieces slotted together and the answer was revealed. If a household were to follow these 'Green' practices to the full they would simply unplug as we have.
Water. Brushing teeth for example. I collect all our water by hand, and its heavy work consuming my bodys energy. I don't like doing it too often. A cup 1/4 filled is all we need and use.
Gas. I physically have to get it. The bottles require manhandling and now cost over £50. Therefore filling the kettle with the amount of water you need saves gas and boils more quickly. The Pay As You Go system lets you keep tabs so no £300 surprises!
Electricity. No Sun, no lights. We use paraffin lamps and candles. I admit its not ideal in certain instances, but for the most part it suffices and costs little. By only switching on the inverter when we need electricity and by using low energy bulbs to extend the battery life, we have free electricity. That's with only a 60 watt array. To be uber efficient, we could reconfigure the electrics and run 12 volt LED bulbs.
Heating. Wood fuelled and therefore needs manual processing. When its cold we wear warm clothes and warm bed clothes. If you're like me, the two are nearly the same. I merely shed a couple of layers.
And there you have it. Disconnecting utilities and taking responsibility for your consumption and existence is the answer. Realistic? No way. Not in an urban environment. Possible, most definitely, and would be a most intriguing exercise.
Has been a feast for thought.

M Jones

1 comment:

  1. We are still reading, off on our travels next month so we will have a lot to catch up on. No takers on our house so plans all on hold. Regards to every one at Lammas. David n Makuini


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