The Anonymous Widower

My Crazy Electricity Meter

My electricity meter is baffling me.

These are my dates and readings.

20-Oct – 37108

14-Oct – 37049

18-Sep – 38777

08-Sep – 38843

15-Aug – 38331

16-Jul – 36764

17-Jun – 35353

I can explain all of the figures until September the 8th, when because of the heat in July and August, I was using the air-conditioning a lot.

But the last few readings indicate to me, that something has gone wrong.

I have phoned my supplier; OVO, and they seem to be worried too. After my previous billing experience with nPower, I’m glad I’ve changed.


October 20, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Should I Put A Camera In My Bathroom?

My bath, which is on the ground floor, takes about thirteen minutes to fill and usually I time it by the clock on the BBC Breakfast News.

I’ve had the odd overfilling problem, but normally it’s spot on!

I did think about putting a camera there so I could watch it fill from upstairs, where I normally sit, whilst it was filling.

But such a camera, might make guests think, I had a dark side!

On the other hand, it would certainly make filling a bath easier, but it wouldn’t be as good as the self-filling bath, I proposed earlier.

I wonder whether and if so where I can get an Internet enabled load cell?

It would be wonderful to click a button on my computer screen and then a few minutes later be told that my bath was full.

August 18, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | 6 Comments

Was Jerry’s Junk Poisoning Me?

This afternoon the cause of the temperature rise I noticed here, has hopefully been resolved.

Richard from RC Electrics has removed the old transformers from the roof and replaced them with modern units.

Have you ever seen junk like this? They were running really hot and all the Bakelite cases were in bits.

I asked if there were any health hazards with what I thought was Bakelite and I found this page. It says this.

Bakelite is made in a process that uses Phenol and formaldehyde both of which are toxic. Bakelite is safe to handle, but may deteriorate over time releasing the toxins in small quantities.

Only time will tell, if there is any improvement in the air in this house.

But after sitting here with the windows closed and the lights off for half-an-hour, the temperature has stabilised at 24.6°C, as opposed to 25.3°C last time. The difference is accounted for by different temperatures outside and the updated roof. I’ve now switched the lights on and we’ll see what happens.

After half-an-hour it’s risen to 24.7°C with a humidity of 44%. Three hours later it was 24.1°C and 43%.

August 15, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

How Does Switching On My LED Lights Warm The Room?

At about 17:30 with the lights off in my living room the temperature was 25.5°C with a humidity of 41%. I switched on the LED lights and by 19:00 the temperature has risen to 25.8°C with a humidity of 42%.

I thought it might have been some external factor, like the weather.

So I then switched the lights off and now the temperature has dropped to 25.3°C with a humidity of 42%.

I suspect Jerry used drivers that are little better than radiant heaters.

August 10, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Easing London’s Housing Crisis

It’s now four years since I bought this house.

It had been built rather badly by a company called Back Street Developments about ten years ago and there seemed to be no NHBRC registration for it. In the intervening years the previous owners had put tenants in, and they had done there best to wreck it. The owner obviously skimped on maintenance, but then all these facts were reflected in the price I paid.

Some time ago, I started to get the house straight. Finding a builder has been a nightmare!

The first builder walked away from the job after personality clashes between the owner and his work-force, leaving me without a bathroom.

I’ve got one coming in fom outside London, things seem a bit better.

An illustration of the problem is that people locally are always asking, if I know a good builder. I also want to sort my dreadful kitchen. I have asked several companies to look at it and not one has ever made a fixed appointment or even turned up.

I suspect that kitchen companies would prefer to fit out some multi-millionaire’s house in Mayfair, rather than my small kitchen.

I do wonder how many properties are not lived in, as the owners are waiting for a builder to sort it out. And how many people are put off downsizing, as theycan’t be bothered to go through all the hassle of finding a builder.

So if we sorted out the refurbishment of small and medium sized properties, would we release more properties for occupation?

The first thing we should do is to seriously analyse the homes market and identify why properties are empty or under-occupied!

Any soutions we propose should of course be nationwide, as I don’t believe this is just a London problem.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

I Want One Of These!

I saw this tap in John Lewis today.

I Want One Of These!

I Want One Of These!

I’m going to have one in my kitchen. It’s a Franke Belfast.

July 2, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Does My Roof Make Me Ill?

Read this article on the BBC web site and then look at the pictures of the roof that Jerry built.

The BBC article says this.

He said there were simple measures anyone could take – whether living in a well-insulated home or not – to keep heat levels down, such as keeping windows closed during the day to trap cool air and opening them at night.

Fitting shutters to windows and painting exterior walls white – both common sights in Mediterranean countries – would also help, but were unlikely to be widely adopted in the UK due to the relative rarity of heatwaves.

Couple this advice with the actions of a friend, who lives in her house with a flat roof and gets it painted silver every few years.

My roof, is virtually matt black and is therefore a wonderful heat absorber, which it then just radiates into the house.

I will be doing two things.

In the first place, I’ll be getting the roof fixed and then painted in a reflective colour.

But the most radical thing I’ve going to do is put up a sunshade over all of the flat roofs. One roof is probably about 4 x 7 metres and the other is about 4 x 5 metres.

They will of course help to pay for their own installation, as they will be solar panels.

As the roof is flat and they will be invisible to everybody except the police helicopter or the Air Ambulance, I don’t think anyone has any grounds to object.

If the roof is making me ill, it should at least help to solve the problem.

June 29, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Did Jerry Wear His Underpants Backwards?

A couple of days ago, I decided to fit a new lock on my bedroom door, as when I bought the house the keys were non-existent. It was then I noticed that the escutcheon was on the inside of the door.

Hence the title of this post!

June 27, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

My Poor Roof

Jerry wasn’t the best roofer, as these pictures show.

He also seems to have created a roof to absorb heat into my house, which probably explains why it gets so hot.

The man was an idiot.



June 27, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 3 Comments

My New Front Door Lock

I’ve finally got a new front door, replacing the rotting one, that Jery had used.

A new door needed a new lock, so I went to the excellent Franchi on the Holloway Road and bought a Banham.

The lock did cost me £230, but then it does have a few advantages other than the strength and security it offers.

The biggest one is that to be secure, I now need only one normal-sized key.

When I go out, I just pull the handle to open the door and close it behind me to securely activate the lock.

It also means that I don’t have to find the key to let visitors in or open the door to such as postmen and couriers. When a visitor leaves they just open the door and shut it behind them.

So hopefully life will be easier and I won’t be constantly going up and down the stairs. It should be said that for most of the year, I have an upstairs window open and I just put my head out to check who’s there!

These Banham locks must be one of the classic British designs. And the company is still owned by the original family.



June 11, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment


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