12.0 – on electricity and lack thereof

Well as i mentioned here i tend to update in bursts, dependent on many factors, the main one being amount of electricity. Recently, it has been colder and less sunny than usual for april (still burning my stove into may!) so i have not had much electricity at all.
I think also my battery is a bit shredded now as it moves into its third year. Plus i never replaced the cheap chinese regulator, which claims to do PWM but probably doesn’t.
So now i am in a situation where when the sun is shining, i can charge, but the battery never really fills up. So then i end up charging the laptop batteries in the afternoon and caning them at night. Works ok.
There’s pretty much always enough juice to charge the phone and what more could a girl want than that? [although having said that i am sitting here typing in candelight since with the light on we went down to the dreaded 11.7 earlier].

Right now? 12.0



Yesterday A said he was going to leave. This wasn’t exactly a surprise, he’s been looking to rent somewhere for months, but it still feels a bit strange, especially when I’m planning to scrap my car next week as well. I don’t want to live here alone because it’s a bit isolated. And with more people things would go faster with the various projects like the 12volt system and the gardening. A will take the new place May1, so pretty soon now. In brighter news, I’m thinking about having a party soon. Not so much a “housewarming” as a “now the house is warm” party.

Tonight we ate dinner with B and C, C was talking about wanting to live here a while ago, but now he is planning to squat something more central with his girlfriend instead. It could well have been the A farewell dinner. And A did the washing up! For possibly the first time in 7 months, so you can imagine my shock. Previously he pioneered the plastic cutlery and plate system, when it gets too dirty it goes to the bin. Twently litres of water later, the dishes were piled up to dry.

Having a car is useful for:
1/ Getting water
2/ Getting pallettes
3/ Cat emergency
4/ Escape plan
5/ Day trips
6/ Going to tekno parties

Otherwise, I’ll be fine.

Well actually the pallette situation right now is good, D came by and we picked up a shitload of wood and also two big (IBC) containers which are set up to collect water from the roof if it ever rains again.

After my victory yesterday getting light to my bedroom, today I had high hopes to get light to the bathroom and also to set up a lamp. I bought some 12volt LED bulbs at the hardware store in the next village (and also some cool shit at the second hand shop, a 12 volt ceiling lamp, 4×50 cent wine e glasses, a jolly striped teapot and a funky owl clip for B). Unfortunately the bulbs didn’t work in the both the bathroom and the lamp. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s not possible to get a 12volt connection through 240volt sockets, but to be honest I’m not sure why that would be, since surely the electricity would flow through regardless. I was in a bit of a rush before C came round, so maybe when I have another look in the light it will work out.

The lights in the kitchen and bedroom work fine, but they are hooked up via the already installed switches directly to 12v lamps I found installed in my bedroom wardrobe and repurposed, so it’s a different system. The house has a crazy amount of cabling back from when it was a bank I suppose, so I’m just reusing that. At certain points I wondered if I should just hook up the battery to a plug and see what turns on, there’s not so much of an electrical shock risk but then there could still be lights or whatever (airconditioning fans?) hooked up which might drain the battery.

The solar panel / battery is going great guns, totally topped up by the sunlight, since we have had in the main very sunny days lately. Unfortuantely the old inverter burnt out, I’m not 100% sure why so I might have screwed it up, but then it was also very old. The car amp still works find and is really loud. I’ve ordered a new inverter, in fact it was delivered today (fast service, nice!) but I was out, so I need to go down to the next village tomorrow to pick it up. Looking forward to having that, and treating it with respect. It’s double the wattage of the old one, so if the problem was simply that my laptop was drawing too much power (possible, it was 150W) then that will be resolved. I do remember the amp and the inverter not going well together when I used them before so I won’t do that again. In any case the new inverter should be tougher. It will be great to have it working to carge the laptop and also to run my Macbook, which doesn’t have a battery so needs to run off mains. I really like the little Asus EEE Seashell I’m writing now for travellign and library work, but it is at root a bit too small to type on happily when writing.

B is happily tucked up in bed and hopefully sleeping like a baby. She walked here from Rhoon today, quite a long stretch and she thought she would miss the ferry so she ran for a while. She was very pleased with the kodama footbath and rub special spa treatment.

The garden update – well so far in the ground we have potatoes (seed and some sprouted organic ones) / B’s radish / beans from E’s dad / rocket / B peas / strawberries. In pots we have pumpkin, courgette, artichoke. I found a hop plant in the garden centre! I need to train it up the wall and I put it in a big pot since if I move, that’s coming too. There’s also chocomint, basil (organic from the supermarket, not looking at all happy lately, but now it’s in the sun) and in trays: cabbage, rucola, perpetual spinach, I think some more also. I need to water the garden tomorrow, I was idly looking at some cracked mud today by the beans as H sunned herself, didn’t think to water them (whaaaat).

H update. Aw she is so amazing, a ball of energy for a 15 year old cat. She is either asleep, eating, or hassling me to throw her balls for her. I’m trying to get her to pat the balls back, sometimes it works out, most of the time it goes in the other direction. She also likes to sit and watch the balls go by, then watch me gather them up again. What can I say, she is a cat. I love her so much.
I hope she likes it here, seems like it’s a cat paradise. Lots of sun and outside. Interesting creatures, although I wouldn’t say it’s teeming with wildlife here, she has only caught three mice that I’ve seen in all the time, and a frog which I was able to help escape, luckily.

There’s still ducks about and occasionally a swan. Recently there’s been a great crested glebe, what a beautiful diving bird that is. I see blue tits, a robin, blackbirds, ravens, a heron on a daily basis. A stork last week. Two moorhens have a nest in the pond, it was awesome watching them build it, they were so pleased with themselves splashing around adding the final touches.