Saturday, July 16, 2011

A new gadget

On Wednesday my new energy monitor arrived. I have been waiting for this, and if I am honest it was one of the things that persuaded me to switch energy companies - well I do love a new gadget.

For those not familiar with the monitors, essentially you just install a transmitter in your meter box, which connects around your live cable, and this sends a signal to a unit in your house. You then program the device with the unit price that you pay for your electricity and the display tells you how much energy is being used in your home at any one time. I really is as simple as that.

What follows is of course hours of fun as you run around the house turning things on and off to see how much your consumption goes up and down.

Here are a couple of items that I knew used a lot of power, but still the actual amount was a surprise.

Firstly, turning on this lamp

just a single halogen bulb, turns my monthly estimated monthly bill from this

    to this

That's £30 a month for one light.

This lamp,

which has an energy efficient bulb, costs just £2.06 a month. A much bigger difference than I thought.

Apparently, on the Jeremy Vine show (which I can't actually bear to listen myself -I always switch stations at this time) they were using the number of solar panels required to boil a kettle as a scaremongering argument against renewable energy (for overseas readers this is a daily show of 'whinging pom heaven' on national radio, where members of the [sometimes ignorant] public phone in and moan about the issues of the day). Anyway, when telling my mum of how much entertainment my new monitoring gadget was providing she told me about the show. Now, I know a kettle uses a large amount of energy for a short period of time to boil water, and so I decided to check out what happens on the monitor when you boil the kettle. Are you ready for this?

Yes, that does say £400! An increase of £387 per month - just for turning on a half filled kettle - thankfully we don't permanently boil the kettle! 

I would say there is definitely an argument for solar panels so that we use the cash we make on feed in tariff when we are not boiling the kettle to pay for the energy we use when do! There is quite an attractive deal here for that, if you are rich enough to buy the panels in the first place!

This brings me to a current issue in Oz -  I think I am mpressed by initiatives in my other country regarding the carbon tax - seems simple, market regulated and fair

correct me if I'm wrong!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

40 weeks - and a few days more...

Well, I passed the 40 week mark and the Blissful baby hasn't joined us yet. Apparently he's been fully engaged and ready to go for over a week now, but I guess he just doesn't feel like yet. A bit of laid back Aussie in there I think. Perhaps he's waiting for the sun to shine again.

I am quite happy and not too worried yet. After all the craziness of work, renovations and uni, I am enjoying a few extra days of rest. I saw the midwife today and all is well. My blood pressure is the same as it was pre-pregnancy when I was fit and healthy and had the ability to run 5km. This is great news as it means they are more than happy to leave me alone for another week. She did offer to book me in for induction but I declined, we can talk about that next week if he hasn't emerged.

Baby is all good too. Apparently he has a long body which he must get from daddy as it certainly isn't from me - even with his head fully engaged his bum is in my ribs!

Here's what bump looks like at 40 weeks.

40 weeks + 1
I think it has dropped a bit since the 37 week shot. I measured my 'waist' on the day I turned 40 weeks too! 48" or 122cm... hmmm

People have started to guess when bubba will arrive - my mum says he will arrive on a Sunday, though she didn't say which Sunday. Her theory is based on the fact that she, the eldest in our family, was born on a Tuesday, my dad on a Wednesday, me (her first born) on a Thursday, her 2nd on a Friday and the 3rd on a Saturday. Grandchild number 1 shall therefore arrive on a Sunday - well, it's as good a theory as any!

Meanwhile, I have more time to practice patience... Though having said that, I came home from the midwife today and wrote a new To Do list, may as well make the most of my time...