2014 Will be my Personal War Against Waste!
All mopped up now and I was singing my version of 'Steamy Windows', while lighting the fire and trying to remember where I read that music and song calmed crazy minds... I'm sure that's of Biblical origin, so it brought Noah's Ark to mind and that made me think of 'Noah and Nelly' the TV cartoon, which brought me right back around to Rudyard Kipling and his Just So Stories - the one about how the elephant got its trunk.... Crazeee...... me? Never!
Cue an online search and some helpful suggestions from the trusty workman. And this is what we came up with; a light-weight shed door that can be cut to fit the existing door frame and made to fill the gap!
Had I been changing the other doors in the house, I might have left this one bare wood and simply varnished it, but the other doors are white. White should look good with the black, as that's what's already on the replacement front door. I'll let you know what I decide, eventually.
Back on my war against waste, everything that got delivered was boxed in brown corrugated cardboard, so the past 3 days I have spent tearing it all up into strips and rolling it into fire sticks for 'Wilbur', our pot-belly stove in the sitting room. They have worked brilliantly, boiling kettle after kettle of water and even cooking dinner for the past couple of nights. How great is that?
One of my MAJOR grievances is the cost of electricity, especially when it is the main source of energy for cooking, heating and lighting. Over the past few years I have faithfully recorded electricity use on a weekly basis, along with the costs involved in heating by way of coal and logs. I haven't had a house with central heating in it since renting a property in Suffolk while working down there in 2001-2003, so getting this solid fuel system up and running here is absolute luxury, even if it will never have push-button convenience.
For the past year, I have worked extra hard at trying to drive down my spending on electricity, coal and logs, despite the prices of coal and electricity increasing. Here are how the current results of that challenge are looking.
Seeing the 'Black Friday' offers for light bulbs prompted me into spending a whopping great £14 of my own money (plus £60 courtesy of Barclaycard and £15 courtesy of Topcashback) to replace every light bulb in the house, barring the fluorescent strip light in kitchen, with maximum 5watt LEDs plus motion sensor battery operated LEDs for the stairs, cupboard and even the wood store. The batteries will be rechargeable, so I'm now saving for a solar battery charger and a set of spare batteries - unless anyone has some they'd like me to review?