The Anonymous Widower

Tony Radakin And Ben Wallace In Russia

The Times today has published a picture with this caption.

Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, his counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, chief of the defence staff, and Valery Gerasimov, chief of general staff

Ever since, Tony Radakin was made Chief of the Defence Staff, I’ve been curious about his name.

So tonight, I typed “radakin surname” into Google and got this answer.

Radakin (Russian: Радакин) is carried by more people in Russia than any other country or territory. It can also be rendered as a variant

Interesting! But surely, something that will enable the three military men and the former Scots guardsman to get on a bit better!

February 12, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

My Unusual Feet

My feet are often a red colour, as is shown in these pictures.


  1. It’s always the left that’s the reddest.
  2. They often itch, which I usually can cure with lots of Body Shop Hemp Foot Cream.
  3. I have no hard skin on my feet.
  4. I used to suffer badly from plantar fasciitis, but the foot cream seems to have stopped it.

Yesterday, I went to Liverpool on the train.

No problems, but this morning when I got out of bed and pulled my right calf muscle. Not badly as I was able to cure it with a bit of light massage and a hot bath.

I also found that in twenty-four hours, I’d lost nearly a kilo and my left foot was very red.

This is not the first time, I’ve had troubles after travelling on Class 390 trains. In another incident my left hand stopped working. That ended up with an overnight stay in hospital.

I’m no medic, but I do wonder, if I have a very leaky skin. I’ve mused on this before in My Unusual Body.

But does it let water molecules through, but the larger red corpuscles in my blood can’t get out, so my skin looks red?

Could it also explain, why I never need a plaster for an injection or when a blood sample is taken? Perhaps, the skin just parts for the needle and then closes after it’s taken out, so that the blood doesn’t leak.

To return to the Class 390 trains, I just wonder if their air-conditioning is set, so that the temperature and humidity is just right to suck the water out of my body. I certainly don’t get any problems on InterCity 225s, Hitachi AT-300 trains or Stadler Class 745 trains.


February 12, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm Re-approved By Government

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

An offshore wind farm capable of generating electricity for nearly two million homes has been re-approved by government after consent was previously overturned by a High Court judge.

Vattenfall’s 1.8-gigawatt Norfolk Vanguard project had been granted consent by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).


  1. Norfolk Boreas and Norfolk Vanguard are a pair of 1.8 GW offshore wind farms to be developed 72 and 47 kilometres off the Norfolk coast by Swedish company; Vattenfall.
  2. Hinckley Point C will have a capacity of 3.25 GW.

This map shows the two fields in relation to the coast.


  1. The purple line appears to be the UK’s ten mile limit.
  2. Norfolk Boreas is outlined in blue.
  3. Norfolk Vsnguard is outlined in orange.
  4. Cables will be run in the grey areas.

This second map shows the onshore cable.


  1. The cables are planned to come ashore between Happisburgh and Eccles-on-Sea.
  2. Bacton is only a short distance up the coast.
  3. The onshore cable is planned to go from here across Norfolk to the Necton substation.

But the planning permission was overturned by a legal ruling.

This article on the BBC is entitled Norfolk Vanguard: Ministers Wrong Over Wind Farm Go-Ahead, Says Judge.

These are the first four paragraphs.

A High Court judge has quashed permission for one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms to be built off the east coast of England.

The Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm was granted development consent in July by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

But Mr Justice Holgate overturned the decision following legal action from a man living near a planned cable route.

A Department for BEIS spokeswoman said it was “disappointed by the outcome”.

This is a paragraph in today’s BBC article.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, granted development consent for the wind farm, having re-determined the application.

So will we be back to the Law Courts?

In Is There A Need For A Norfolk-Suffolk Interconnector?, I said this.

But seriously, is it a good idea to dig an underground cable all the way across Norfolk or in these times build a massive overhead cable either?

Perhaps the solution is to connect the Norfolk Boreas And Norfolk Vanguard wind farms to a giant electrolyser at Bacton, which creates hydrogen.

  • The underground electricity cable across Norfolk would not be needed.
  • Bacton gas terminal is only a few miles up the coast from the cable’s landfall.
  • The UK gets another supply of gas.
  • The hydrogen is blended with natural gas for consumption in the UK or Europe.
  • A pure hydrogen feed can be used to supply hydrogen buses, trucks and other vehicles, either by tanker or pipeline.
  • Excess hydrogen could be stored in depleted gas fields.

Thye main benefit though, would be that it would transform Bacton gas terminal from a declining asset into Norfolk’s Hydrogen Powerhouse.

For more information on blending hydrogen into our natural gas supply see HyDeploy.

February 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Glendoe Hydro Power Station

When I think of hydro-electric power stations in the UK, I generally, think that most of the hydro-electric power stations were built years ago by organisations like the North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board. These power stations were one of the staples of the Meccano Magazine, of which I was a long-term subscriber in the 1950s.

But Glendoe hydro-electric power station is relatively new having been opened in 2009. At only 100 MW, the power-station may not be large in comparison to others around the world, but it does show what can be built in the Highlands of Scotland.

This Google Map shows the layout of the power station.


  1. The red arrow indicates the location of Glencoe power station, which is underground.
  2. To the North of the power station, is the Southern end of Loch Ness.
  3. In the South-Eastern corner of the map there is the lake from which the power station draws its water.
  4. The dam is at the Western end of the lake.

According to this article on Power Technology, the project cost £160 million.

This extract from a page on the SSE Renewables web site, describes the layout of the tunnels and the operation of the power station.

Engineers began planning the Glendoe project as far back as October 2001. Formal construction work at the site started over four years later, in January 2006. It involved constructing a 960 metre-wide dam on the River Tarff to create a new reservoir some 600 metres above the power station, giving it the greatest head of any hydro electric power station in the UK.

An 8.6 kilometre tunnel connects the reservoir to the power station that is built 250 metres below ground level, about two kilometres from the banks of Loch Ness. Although some of the tunnel was created using traditional drill and blast techniques that would have been familiar to the Tunnel Tigers of the last century, much of its length was bored out using a massive tunnelling machine named Eliza Jane by local schoolchildren.

The SSE page also describes the working and living conditions of those who built the scheme.

Most lived in specially constructed camps high in the hills above Loch Ness, braving brutal weather conditions in winter, and the fearsome Scottish midges in the summer.

The SSE page also gives the main use of the power station.

Today, the main operating feature of Glendoe is its ability to react quickly to changing demand for electricity, being able to reach full output in just 90 seconds.

So when there is an important football or rugby match on the television, it is ideal to supply the surge of electricity, when everybody puts on the kettle at half time.

Could This Power Station Have A Pumped Storage System Added?


  • There is a large lake six hundred metres above the power station.
  • Loch Ness is a large source of water at the bottom of the mountain.
  • Every tonne or cubic metre of water pumped into the upper lake would store 1.63 kWh of electricity.
  • The world’s and the UK’s tunneling engineers are getting better and more ambitious.
  • When this power station was built in the early years of this century, there wasn’t the large amount of wind turbines in Scotland, that there are now.

I suspect, it’s an idea that’s been looked at, but the costs or the distance to pump the water might kill it.

If a second project was the same size as the first, it would cost £210 million based on inflation.


  •  It wouldn’t need another dam or a substation to connect to the National Grid.
  • There would probably be a need for extra excavation at the power station to put in the pumps.
  • I suspect it would need an extra tunnel to get the water uphill.
  • One tunneling engineer told me, as with sex, digging a second tunnel is easier.

The main benefit, would be that it would be hidden infrastructure.

As to the energy storage capacity, I estimate from maps that the top reservoir at Glendoe is about half the size of Loch Mohr at Foyers power station, but the head is 600 metres as against 197 metres. As Foyers can store 10 GWh, it looks to me, that Glendoe could store around 15 GWh.

Also, as Glendoe power station was designed and built after the successful conversion of Foyers to a pumped storage station, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Glendoe was designed, so that the station could be converted to pumped storage at a later date.


This scheme will be seriously looked at for extension with a pumped storage facility.


February 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 3 Comments

National Grid Bets On Surge Pricing And Electric Cars To Avoid Another Energy Crisis

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Telegraph.

These are the first few paragraphs.

With wind supplies forecast to be low and other energy sources offline, a power crunch was looming by teatime the next day.

A call for help went out on a Tuesday afternoon and at 4.30pm on the Wednesday, electric car drivers plugged in special chargers to export power from their car batteries back to the grid, as part of a trial run by Ovo Energy.

Their efforts in November 2020 may have amounted to only a tiny portion of the power needed on that day, but it was a taste of things to come.

Cars and other devices will be both a source of electricity demand and a helpful tool to keep the lights on as the UK tries to build a much greener energy system at the least expense.

It is as the article says the shape of things to come.

I also believe that long-term car parking at places like airports will become storage batteries in the future. You will tell your car, when you will be returning and it will be fully charged to drive home, when you arrive. If you are running late, you would probably use an app to tell your car the new arrival time.

These developments will all be part of the Internet of Power.

February 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 1 Comment