The Anonymous Widower

My Thames Water Bill

I had my Thames Water statement this morning. People complain about the cost of water and sewage, but I paid just £82.54 for 179 days.

That works out at 0.46 pence a day. And I thought the halfpenny wasn’t legal tender any more.

I actually used twenty one tonnes of water over that period or about 117 litres a day.

According to the Times today, the average Thames Water bill is £354 a year.  I pay less than half that, which is to be expected, as my house is single occupied.

September 14, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Buying Gloves

I get through a lot of leather gloves, as I tend to drop them, so as they are now back in the stores, I invested in three pairs for the winter.

I tried John Lewis first, but they had no small ones at all.

So I just walked down the road to Marks and Spencer, where they had lots of all sizes, including smalls.

Am I to conclude that men with small hands don’t shop at John Lewis?

September 14, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

A Pair Of Ipswich Liths

I took these pictures in Ipswich today.

It certainly is the way to go with on street navigation for walkers.

Can a city afford to be left out of this revolution?

September 14, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

A Plaque In Eldon Street

I saw this plaque in Eldon Street by Liverpool Street station today,as I made my way to football at Ipswich today.

A Plaque In Eldon Street

A Plaque In Eldon Street

I assume it is one of a series, as there is a similar one in Sydney Street, in which the famous siege took place in 1911.

Are there any others?

They seem a good idea to me.  Especially, if they make people think more about taking more precautions with fire!

September 14, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

A Coaguchek Failure

I get on well with my Coaguchek, but I did have a failure in Sweden.

The batteries chose to run out and I then had to reset the device.

Unfortunately, it is not an easy process to do without the manual, which I deliberately had not taken.

An ideal device would have a quick setup, where it took defaults for everything.  After all, you always write down all your results and don’t rely on things like the date set into the device.

Everything should be simple and intuitive. It isn’t and the manual is needed too often. It also just gives you error numbers, rather than a proper error message.

The outcome was that I missed one of daily tests.  Not important for me, as I just took the average Warfarin dose of 4 mg.

September 14, 2013 Posted by | Health | , , | 2 Comments

Sweden’s Mammals – Would I Go Again?

It is now a few days since I returned from my trip to see Sweden’s mammals, and it is time to pause for reflection.

Although, I ask the question of whether I would go again in this post, I actually don’t think, I would do the exact same trip again, as I’ve done it once and the only disappointment was that the bears and the wolves were on holiday too.

So I might go just to see bears or wolves and Sweden would be one of the places I would look at. After all, it’s a country, where things are done correctly, the food and accommodation, I had on the trip was very good and overall, it was all well organised.

Overall, I enjoyed it immensely and don’t regret going one bit in any way.

I said on the first night on the boat looking for beavers, that we would get some surprises and things wouldn’t turn out as expected.

Obviously, the problems with the bears and the wolves was one surprise, but as someone who lived in the countryside for forty years, I know how unpredictable animals and birds can be.

But we also had two very positive surprises; the ants and the magnificent skies.

If I was organising the tours, I would make sure that these were explained better.

But then as in all things, it is attention to detail that counts.

I have a feeling that this tour and others like it will get more popular, as surely Norway and Sweden, are the one place close to the UK, where you can see large  wild animals.  It’s also an ideal short break.

I think coupled with visits to Stockholm and Oslo at either end, it could be part of a fuller exploration of Scandinavia for everybody.

THe tour I took was organised by Marcus Eldh of Wild Sweden and I booked it through Naturetrek in the UK.

All of the posts can be accessed by clicking this link.

September 14, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do We Need A Charge For Plastic Bags?

I think this is a very difficult one, and although many claim, it has good green credentials, it is a measure that might annoy lots of people.

Take myself!

I generally go to a food store every day or so, as I don’t like food waste and buy just what I need. So I perhaps get one or two bags every day I go shopping. It should only be one per day, but because I can’t buy everything I need at one shop near me, I’ll often make a double trip.

I do have a reusable bag, but because of the useless self-service tills in the Waitrose at the Angel, I don’t use it as often as I should. My bag won’t stand on the tills, and one day something breakable will fall on the floor.

I also do a lot of shopping on my way home from say a football match, or a visit somewhere, so carrying a large bag just in case I need to buy something, is a silly strategy for me.

In fact, the charge will make little difference to me, as it’ll probably cost me about thirty pence a week.

All of the plastic bags I collect are used in my waste bin, which is just a big IKEA plant pot.

I have a feeling, that this could be one of the things, that will drive floating voters away from the Lib Dems.

I do hope that some of the excessive bags, I’ve received from up-market shops will be discouraged.  I got one last month, that  is a large tough and strong one, that will need to be shredded with a pair of scissors to put in my green recycling bags.

Yesterday, I bought a new rucksac in Selfridges.  I was offered a bag to carry it home. I declined and put the bag on my back, with my briefcase and another small purchase inside. I suppose though, I walked out of the shop, without giving them any advertising.

A better way would be to have a packaging tax, so shops found better and cheaper ways for shoppers to get goods home.

Taking the Waitrose self-service tills, I’m certain an origami expert could design a better and bigger version of the ubiquitous British Rail paper carrier bags, used to carry drinks and snacks from the train buffet to your seat. It would stand up wonderfully on the weigher of the self service till.  It would probably be quicker as Waitrose’s bags are a nightmare for my hands. I don’t think I’m the only one!

A British Rail Carrier Bag

A British Rail Carrier Bag

I took this picture today and I noticed thast the lady in the buffet had them all neatly stacked and ready to use. It’s a classic design!

As in everything, the problem of too many plastic bags is something that we should design and innovate ourselves away from.

After all, if a shop came up with the perfect system, they would be the winners in the shopping wars.

September 14, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment