All Aboard the Number Two

What a brilliant idea. That’ll get the job done. I was thinking only the other day how human waste is an unused, ever-renewable resource***. We must be able to utilise it more. Ingenious!

*** I really, really must get out more.

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Two Weeks In…

Well we’ve been in our new house a fortnight and we’re s l o w l y getting sorted. We’ve had a quote for a new roof that would make you choke on your dinner, but thankfully the plumbing issues were (relatively) minor, as are the electrical problems. What can I say? In an old house these things are part of the ‘character’. Two weeks in and, despite there having been flooding nearby, we now have central heating, hot water and, as of a half hour ago, a brand new cooker! I like camping, but it wears a little thin trying to live the camping life in your home o_O Having said that, we have made good use of the bread-maker, slow cooker, microwave and halogen oven, skills which I’m sure will come in handy as we endeavour to lessen our energy consumption. After all, it’s a journey, not a race. The new cooker is A-rated for energy efficiency, has a double oven so we can choose the appropriate size to use and is British made, so not too bad on the environmental front (by which I mean it didn’t travel from China). We have dreams of solar panels, biomass stoves, growing our own fruit and veg, etc., but, for now… we’re ok. 

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Our new sitting room

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Our house faces due East. Oh how lovely to be woken at 5am by the glorious sun rising over the horizon. So beautiful! This weekend temperatures are forecast as high as 32ºC here in the UK (or at least, they are in London – the rest of us may not be quite so hot). What the weather forecasters sometimes forget to mention is the humidity; our ‘green and pleasant land’ sweats like a steam room on hot days. On the radio the other day they passed on a tip from the Mediterranean. I’d already heard this before but you may not so I am sharing here. What our southern European cousins do is to close all windows and curtains (or shutters, I suppose) on the side where the sun is. For us this means closing the windows and keeping the curtains drawn at the front of the house in the morning, with those at the back of the house left open. As the day progresses, we open the windows at the front of the house and close windows and curtains at the back. We leave windows open all night and avoid going out in the middle of the day. We live at the top of a hill so there is always a good breeze. In terms of the environment, this is relevant for two reasons:

1) We’re going to have to get used to hotter days in the summer, and

2) This method lessens use of electric fans, which must use a lot of electricity on days like these!

 

On a postive note: that sun ‘don’t half get yer washing dry ever so quick!’, as my Nana used to say. Now that reminds me…