The Anonymous Widower

Personalised Water From South Western Railway

I was at Waterloo station this morning and the new operator; South Western Railway, was giving out free water.

The postcode on the water is HR1 3EY, which suggests the water came from Berrington Water.



August 20, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Old Ford Water Recycling Plant

This plant just off the Greenway takes raw sewage from the Northern Outfall Sewer and converts it into clear water for non-potable purposes on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

I visited it during Open House 2016.

We need more plants like this, to make better use of the water we use.

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | 1 Comment

I’ve Now Got A Back Garden!

On BBC Breakfast this morning, the weather is coming from Woodberry Wetlands, which is London’s newest Nature Reserve, that opens to the public today, after being opened by Sir David Attenborough yesterday.

This Google Map shows the area.

Woodberry Wetlands

Woodberry Wetlands

One entrance is on the road between the two reservoirs and I think there is a second one by the Castle.

The Castle Climbing Centre

To get there, I just walk across the road by my house and get a 141 bus to the castle. It takes me about ten minutes.

How many readers of this blog realised that North London had such an impressive castle?

It was built to keep Tottenham and Arsenal supporters apart. Tottenham is to the North-East and Arsenal is to the South-West.

This morning, I visited Woodberry Wetlands.

I walked across from where the 141 bus dropped me by the Castle along the New River Walk.

It was crowded, as would be expected on the first day.

One thing that surprised me was that I saw a fox in broad daylight, strutting about as cool as you like.

I think it will turn out to be a popular attraction, but I think that transport bus, bicycle and walking access should be improved.

  • Probably the easiest way to go is to walk from Manor House station. Some signs showing the shortest walking route would help.
  • The maps on the web site need updating with buses from both entrances.
  • Bicycles were everywhere and there needs to be better storage.
  • A bus running between the reservoirs would certainly help.

It is the sort of attraction, that would benefit from some Boris bike stations.

  • Manor House station
  • Finsbury Park station
  • The Castle
  • The entrances to the attraction.

The first two would also serve Finsbury Park.



May 1, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

Museum de Cruquius

The Museum de Cruquius is just up the road from The Hague near Haarlem, although our journey up wasn’t the easiest, because the motorway was closed.

It is well worth a visit as it shows a tremendous amount about how the Dutch have kept water at bay.

The enormous steam engine, which sadly doesn’t work, was actually built in Cornwall.

When I see a museum and engine like this, I do think it sad that London’s massive sewage engines at Crossness were just filled with sand and abandoned in the 1960s.

Both sites incidentally, are about the same age!

October 10, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where’s The 33cl. Bottles?

I generally carry a 33cl. bottle of water in my shoulder bag, as this is the smallest size I can buy that is useful. I should say that I don’t believe in carrying excess weight either on, in or about my body. It’s usually Evian, as that is the only small one readily available. So I was surprised to see this promotional display in Sainsbury didn’t feature the small bottle.

Evian Promotion In Sainsburys

Evian Promotion In Sainsburys

I would have thought that in this hot weather, a promotion based on small bottles would have been a good idea.

At least I can buy small bottles in dozens in Waitrose and probably other places, whereas in Europe, there was nothing smaller than the half litre anywhere.

July 4, 2015 Posted by | Food, World | , | Leave a comment

Where Are The 33cL Water Bottles?

In the UK, I generally carry a small bottle of water. Usually, it’s a 33cL Evian or if I’ve been on a train a 33cL Harrogate.

As the pictures show, these bottles are smaller than the 50cL ones that you have to use on the Continent. On my recent trip, I never managed to find a smaller bottle.

I prefer the smaller bottles, as there is less to carry. And they fit my jacket pocket!

I would have thought that there might be an economic advantage for both consumers and retailers in the smaller bottle. Not knowing the costs of production, I can’t do a full calculation.

June 18, 2015 Posted by | Food, World | , | 2 Comments

Fighting The Algae

I walked through the New River Walk in Islington this morning and the Council were doing their best to fight the algae.

The theory is if you put bales of barley straw in water infected with the algae, it helps to combat it.

They don’t seem to be having much success, but then I didn’t when I tried it years ago in one of my ponds.

May 25, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Wignacourt Aqueduct

Often, we think that big infrastructure projects are very much something of the last couple of centuries. Just as London built the New River to bring fresh water to the city, Valletta built the seventeenth century Wignacourt Aqueduct to supply water.

Sadly, it is no longer used for water, but it stands there as a reminder of the skills that our ancestors possessed.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Using The Strange Property Of Water To Advantage

Most people, except perhaps those, who live in hot climates, know from their personal experience that ice floats on water. But most people don’t know that water is at its densest at 4°C. So water at this temperature sinks, but it rises at all others.

I once heard somebody use the existence of this property as a reason why God exists. He argued that if it didn’t, then life would have been impossible in water. It was all a bit contrived, but it is still as a strange property.

This morning, I was listening to Wake Up To Money, when a company called SureChill was mentioned. So I looked them up and found that they are using this property to create a new type of refrigerator. This page explains it all. This section describes the solution.

Sure Chill is a brand new kind of cooling system. It doesn’t need a constant power source. In an on-grid situation with intermittent power, it works perfectly well. In an off-grid situation, where a solar panel may be used, a Sure Chill powered refrigerator doesn’t even need a rechargeable battery. It shouldn’t work but it does. And it works beautifully.

Water surrounds a Sure Chill refrigeration compartment. When it has power, the water cools and forms ice above the compartment leaving only water at four degrees cooling the contents. When the power is switched off, the water warms and rises while the ice begins to melt, keeping only four-degree water cooling the contents of the compartment. So it has its own internal and entirely natural energy store that maintains a completely steady temperature. The system can operate like this, without power, for days and weeks.

People think physics is boring. Outside of Metier, I’ve done well in my career and made quite a bit of money by understanding the laws of physics that govern our lives.

My surprise at this idea, is that the technique could have been implemented in a refrigeration system decades ago. Artificial refrigeration was first performed by William Cullen in 1755. My bible; Nelkon amd Parker says that the maximum density of water was first measured by Thomas Charles Hope in 1804.

That is a long time from experimental proof to reality!

November 21, 2014 Posted by | Design, World | , , , | 2 Comments

How Much Water Vapour Is In A Cubic Metre Of Air at A Given Temperature And Relative Humidity?

I needed to know this as if I knew the temperature and relative humidity in my bedroom, when I went to bed and got up, I could work out how much water vapour had transferred to or from the air during my sleep.

One of my friends at school is an expert on these sort of calculations for industrial clients.

He came round on Friday night and we discussed it through, but I don’t think I got more than a basic grasp.

The reason is that he works from charts, whereas all my working life, I’ve started with proven formulae and worked everything out from first principles. But then I trained as a Control Engineer.

A problem I had with the psychometric charts he uses, is that they are all in a measurement system, that is totally foreign to me – Imperial. This is because most of the publishers are across the pond and they still use units, I last used in my early teens. When I went to work at ICI in the late sixties, the company had metricated in 1955 or so.

At least after our meeting and discussion, I now know what I’m searching for.

I finally found this web page, which gives a table of saturated vapour density for water in air. Although, it’s an American web site, at least it gives this in gm/cu. m.

The web page gives the SVP in gm/cu. m. at various temperatures

  • 0°C – 4.85
  • 10°C – 9.4
  • 15°C – 12.83
  • 20°C – 17.3
  • 25°C – 23
  • 30°C – 30.4
  • 37°C – 44
  • 40°C – 51.1

As an illustration, suppose you have a temperature of 25°C and a relative humidity of 50%. I measure it on my Maplin meter.

Maplin Hygro-Thermometer

Maplin Hygro-Thermometer

At that temperature a cubic metre of water can hold 23 grams of water. But as the relative humidity is 50%, it is actually only holding 11.5 grams of water. As my bedroom is about five metres square and two and a half metres high, that means the room contains over 719 grams of water.

Now look at 30°C and the same relative humidity of 50%.

The same calculation gives 950 grams of water in the room.

So if with the central heating, the electric blanket and the fact that each person probably is equivalent to a one bar electric fire, your bedroom, about the same size as mine, goes from say 25°C to 30°C, the air will need another 230 grams of water to be in equilibrium, or in layman’s terms, happy with how it relates to everything.

So from where does the air get this water it needs?


No wonder a lot of people go to bed with a night bucket, so they can replenish the fluid they’ve lost to the air.

August 31, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment