Friday, 26 September 2008

Sometimes I Disappear

Once again I spent the weekend without a working computer (I was reformatting my hard drive after a particularly interesting virus attack), internet access (once I'd finished the reformat I couldn't get my modem to work), and without anything much besides, as it happened (with the wind down there was barely enough electricity to keep our fridge running, and our back-up diesel generator decided not to start).

It's good to know that in my absence you all chatted nicely among yourselves and answered all your own questions. Thanks in particular go to Emma Darwin and Nicola Slade for their efforts while I was away, even though they didn't even realise I was gone. Perhaps I could persuade them to take over writing the main posts, too, then I need do nothing but glory in "my" reader-stats.

If anyone's wondering who these useful readers are, Nicola Slade's second novel, Murder Most Welcome, was published recently by Robert Hale and Emma's second novel, A Secret Alchemy, is due out any minute, I think. I've already got both of Nicky's books, and very fine they are too, and I'll be buying Emma's next as soon as it's out because her first, The Mathematics of Love, was so very good.

9 comments:

Nicola Slade said...

You're very welcome, Jane but I think you need to instal a treadmill to fire up the generator when the wind is low. I'm sure you could find some small boys and cage them in the wheel.

DOT said...

Am I to deduce from your comments about lack of wind so lack of power that you live a self-sustainable life? If so, much envy on my part, and you may be interested in a blog posted by a friend who lives in France and is totally committed to the permaculture ethos:http://permacultureinbrittany.blogspot.com/

I acknowledge it is a blatant plug but I am not being paid.

Jane Smith said...

Dot, we live in the Peak District National Park, and are far too far out to have mains anything (apart from the telephone). For nearly a decade we depended on a diesel generator for all our electricity but in July 2005 we put up a 6kW wind turbine, which has since been acknowledged as a perfect example of sustainable generation in a national park (we even won a prize for it). So yes, we're almost entirely wind-powered: our generator runs only about twice a year, when we have a sustained period of still weather. Our water comes from a well; we put in our own septic tank and (just this summer) reed beds for the overflow; and we flush our toilets with rainwater. I am so green I look like the Incredible Hulk. But we only do it because this is where our house is, and living here, we have no option--it's hard work, expensive, and not pretty at all. Expect my absences to increase over the next few months, as it's always worse through the colder weather. I'll post a picture or two when I think of it. That'll really scare you!

(I shall visit your friend's blog, and sympathise with him.)

emmadarwin said...

Jane, yes, you're welcome. I can imagine your Peak District ecosystem sounds idyllic, and is actually much more complicated (as well as un-pretty) than that. (I did a photography course up there at Easter - fabulous, but I can see why the wind turbine is very effective most of the time.) I still find it rather inspiring that in our crowded island there are still places, slap-bang in the middle of the map, which are so thoroughly not on the grid.

Hamsters do a pretty good job when it comes to wheels, too. I'm sure if you had enough...

Gondal-girl said...

windy and 31 on a Spring day here, will use my super powers and send it your way

pierre l said...

I imagine you live in fairly windy area (as the word Peak suggests). I went shopping near Jct 11 of the M4 today, and the token wind tutbine was turning at 1 rev per minute (if that) so it's just as well we have mains electricity. It is rather disappointing that your generator refused to start when needed.

Jane Smith said...

The diesel generator still isn't fixed, but at least the wind has picked up and the turbine's belting round. I think I'm the only person round here who hopes for bad weather!

Jane Smith said...

There. You can tell I'm overtired. I have added a photo of our house and our wind turbine, taken a couple of years ago when we still had poultry. If you click on it, it should enlarge.

pierre l said...

Thanks for the picture, Jane. Your turbine appears to be a nice size, and doesn't look overwhelming. I assume you live in a fairly windy area as well.
I found a picture of the turbine I mentioned above.
www.greenpark.co.uk/whymovetogreenpark/windturbine.shtml