Monday, 21 September 2009

Monday 21st September 09

A very busy busy busy day.

But I didn't have to actually get up until just before 11, although I did do a bit of housework in my dressing gown after breakfast.

At 11am the replacement solar panel surveyor man arrived. The chap who looked round a few weeks ago has hurt his back, so someone else has taken over. Alan was a young and enthusiastic chap, and we had some lively conversations whilst he looked at the outside of the house, the boiler in the bathroom and the roof space. I also showed him the solar panel on the house down the road which has an integral photovoltaic panel which runs the pump. That's what I want. Not a 60w pump wired in and using mains power all the time... sort of defeats the object of the exercise.

Then shortly before midday I bombed into town to attend the Avaaz 'Wake Up Call' flashmob which was aiming to give world leaders the message that there are a lot of us who think that the forthcoming Copenhagen talks are possibly the last chance to set firm and binding targets to reduce CO2 emissions. The York Press photographer was there, and BBC Radio York, and I was able to inform listeners that Gordon Brown, our Prime Minister, had decided to attend Copenhagen himself, demonstrating how important he realises it is. This decision is partly due to the rising clamour about this event. Today, people were given Gordon Brown's phone number and asked to ring him up. What good this will do I don't know, but it's worth trying.

Very soon after this I walked my bike through town and as soon as out of the pedestrian zone, cycled quickly to St Nicks where the load-carrying trike was waiting for me. Tom gave me the key to the lock and told me he wanted it back within the hour. It was not easy to ride, as it hugs the road camber and doesn't lean into corners, but I got the hang of it and plodded up to B+Q, parked up, locked it and went to find someone in the gardening section. There was no-one there. I wandered around and found a B+Q staff member in the paint section. I asked her if I could ask her a question and she looked terrified and said that she was on her lunch hour and actually buying paint. I said that I just wanted to know where I could pick up the turf and she smiled and said she was responsible for the garden bit and would take me to the turf waiting for me. She had looked terrified as she thought I was going to ask a technical question about paint!

I loaded up the 12 rolls of turf onto a trolley whilst she did the paperwork, and I scooted it all outside to the tricycle. It was a heavy and slow cycle back to St Nicks, but the whole trip took just 45 minutes.

I came home on my bike, unhitched my trailer and made a sandwich to take down to the station, as I needed to get the 2.11 train to Hornbeam Park. I put my bike on the train, as when in Hornbeam Park I needed to get to the place on Leeds Road just outside Harrogate to meet Karen the acupuncturist for my first session. I got there at 2.55 and she was expecting me, so I was led to her treatment room. She had already done a full history on Saturday, so she just needed to check my tongue (why, I have no idea!) and pulse, then I lay down and she put about 6 pins in me, only one of which was slightly uncomfortable as it went in... the rest I didn't feel at all, just the pressure of the guide tube. The I lay still for between half an hour and 45 minutes which was LOVELY... being told not to move just felt great... and I felt totally relaxed, but I didn't fall asleep, though I think I could have let myself... The session was over all too soon and she took my pulse again (as before it had been racing as I'd just cycled quickly) and off I went, in the rain which had started. I got to Hornbeam Park with loads of time to spare, and waited in the rain feeling very calm and slightly elated.

It didn't take long to get back to York, and home via Sainsburys as I had forgotten to get Danish Pastries this morning from Thomas's Yesterbake for tomorrow's CarFreeDay picnic breakfast.

I came home via Country Fresh and Freshways.

When I got home, with the pastries, and a nice loaf and some cereal, I went straight out again, to the Co-op to get some more bits and bobs for tomorrow's event.

Tea was a pastie and roast potatoes and some sweet potatoes, rescued from the compostables. They had been thrown out as they were beginning to sprout... I cut of the sprouting ends and will try to grow them on, in the conservatory through the winter.

Then out again to a Transition meeting. I went via Lynn's to pick up a parasol for the CarFreeDay demo. The meeting was good as there were two new faces, but it was also a tough meeting as we had a bit of sorting out to do with regards which activities are 'core Transition' activities and which are 'community building' activities which pave the way for the core Transition activities to take place. I took minutes, and also agreed to work with Diane, to help set up a Huntington and New Earswick Transition Initiative.

Home quite tired but had a lot of typing to do, so to bed at the usual time of 2ish.

And here's what Rich filmed today (added a few days later)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Re: Your neighbours' solar installation.

Sounds like a Solartwin one - the only one on the market, on the market that I know of, that has it's pump powered by a PV panel.

Couple of things about it...

1) The pump is reputed to be a window washer pump for a Ford (or similar!) and not really designated for continuous use. If it were to break down, and depending on how good the panel was, the water could potentially boil and damage the neoprene (plastic!) pipes that connect it all together.

2) The panel heats the water directly (i.e. your bathwater actually goes through the panel) compared with most other systems where the panel heats a fixed loop of circulating water which then goes through a copper pipe coil in the cylinder tank, which then heats the water. In hard water areas the panel could limescale up and the expense of a water softener unit would be required.

3) This system comes with a flat panel, rather than the more-efficient evacuated glass tubes.

For more info, talk to myself or Andy Parry - he did a plumbing job for a chap who had one of these and he wasn't impressed. He said it was all rather over-priced for the bits in the box!