Tuesday, 26 August 2008

I hate Maths...

...no really, I do. (Emily - please ignore the fact that I decided to do it at A level for a minute here, I got a U anyway)

Every time I do some Maths, I get horribly depressed.

Usually it's because it's payday and I've just logged on to my internet banking and transferred over half my wages across to go on my rent. Then I have to divide up the money left onto council tax, water, gas and electric. Then I take one look at the amount that I have left...and buy myself some books with it in an attempt to distract myself from the fact that I'm skint.

I don't think that's going to work this time.

I've just had my gas and electric bills for the last year. Now they're not actual bills because I have those pre-payment meter thingies. The ones that I decided to keep an eye on like a grown-up.

I read them again the other day and once again had to press millions of buttons on the evil gas meter and just one on the lovely electric meter. I carefully wrote down the numbers in the same way I'd written them down before so that I could compare the figures - and then I found a letter from British Gas with a nice little booklet in giving me the new prices and checked that they matched.

Well when the bills came today I thought that I would be very very grown-up and do some clever Maths to work out how much it cost me last year (cos it doesn't tell you that, just how many kWh's you've used) and then how much the same amounts would cost me this year.

I really wish that I hadn't bothered.


Electricity usage = 4126 kWh.

Last Years Rate = 11.89p per kWh + 11.72p per day standing charge.

355 days between 31/08/07 and 20/08/08 means that the standing charge total was £41.61.

11.89p x 4126 = 49058.14p = £490.59

£490.59 + £41.61 = £532.20

This Years Rate (so far...) = 13.10p per kWh + 11.85p per day standing charge.

Using the same amount of electricity as last year at this years rates = £582.58.

Ok...that's not too bad I guess.

Now for the gas.

Gas usage = 19923.33 kWh.

Last years first 2680 kWh rate was 7.501p. So 2680 x 7.501p = 20102.68p = £201.03

Last years rate for the remaining amount was 2.865p. So 17243.33 x 2.865p = 49402.14045p = £494.03

Total gas cost = £695.06

This years rates are 9.084p for the first 2680 kWh and 3.814p for the rest.

Using the same amount of gas as last year at this years rates = £901.13.



I had to work that through again to make sure I hadn't made a mistake...but I hadn't.

This year it will cost me more than a months wages for my years gas. That's just a little bit wrong, surely. Surely?!

Last year I would wear two jumpers, tights under my jeans and fingerless gloves at the computer in an attempt to keep warm...I don't quite know what more I can do this year.

All that is why Maths is hateful. Yes, ok, I get that it's useful for allowing me to work all that out. But now I need to go and buy books...big thick books...for building a well-insulated book hut for me to live in!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

You may remember me...

...raving on about Stoneheart and Iron Hand by Charlie Fletcher over on my old blog.

Well the third book, Silvertongue is technically not published yet, but my ordered copy turned up at work last week.

Oh. Oh. Oh.

It was brilliant.

It pulled all the threads together in the nicest way, even if one particular one came completely out of the blue (but I adore it, it was a perfect conclusion).

It has made me even more want NEED to go wandering around London to find the statues that are such a huge part of the story.

Now as I said in the other post:
I've managed to find some photos of a couple of them, The Sphinx and The Royal Artillery Memorial, but I want to see all of them. I want to see the Grid Man, the clock where they hide, the statue of Icarus and the lair of the Minotaur
I've managed to track down the Minotaur in his lair, find the Icarus in his cage and see the Last Knight of the Cnihtengild all in one place, this nice pdf of a City of London leaflet (which is a bit of a bugger to load).

I've also discovered (via Google Book Search) an amazing book called Public Sculpture of the City of London (Public Sculpture of Britain Volume Seven) (link goes to the Icarus page), which I am absolutely going to have to get from the library!

New "characters" from Silvertongue include the Queen of America (part of the Albert Memorial), Hodge, and Bulldog; Plus the Knight of Wood and an unnamed but helpful character holding a quill who George finds in Southwark Cathedral after being sent there by Richard the Lionheart.

So when I go to London I shall be trekking from Hyde Park down to Southwark (and beyond as there's a statue named as The Bosun and Jack Tar that's even further downstream) in my quest to find them all.

I'd better wear some sensible shoes.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

First day back at work today...

...and naturally it was pouring with rain this morning.

So I put up my umbrella and turned up my iPod.

and Drops of Jupiter by Train (that I can't embed).

All in all, a damn good start to the day.

Monday, 11 August 2008


...I'm crazy.

I have one day left of my holiday (although Anthony is back at work tomorrow) which is actually perfect timing as tonight/this morning it's the Olympic Cross Country.

The first few have made it round the course (and very cramped and twisty it looks too) and they're all getting quite a few time penalties.

Oh, and an American lass has just fallen off and a German has just had a refusal.

I'm not going to be blogging this like I blogged the Australian Grand Prix, instead I'm going to pootle about on FaceBook for a little bit and then snuggle down on the sofa with my stitching and my cats...

...and the video recording just in case I fall asleep.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Things to do...

...on a rainy Saturday in August.

  • Stay up into the early hours (of Saturday) to watch the dressage.
  • Get up earlier than you wanted to in order to go view a house.
  • Think that the house had a nice kitchen and sun room - shame about the rest of it.
  • Come home and change into snuggly warm clothes (and hang soaking jeans up to dry).
  • Play a little bit of WoW, until you get fed up with having Star Trek on and then you let Anthony have the computer.
  • Watch the evening session of the dressage.
  • Have crumpets with peanut butter, or alternatively with honey and liquorice allsorts...

  • Watch the men's gymnastics while cross-stitching and snuggling with Foley..
  • Snuggle down on the sofa and doze off watching the football scores.
  • Wake up an hour later to be told that although the Leyton Orient score was 2-1 when you went to sleep, they lost 2-3.
  • Discover that boyfriend is taking the proverbial and that they did actually win 2-1.
  • Watch a very good film while doing more stitching and snuggling with Esme.
  • Go to bed rather than watching more dressage (being aware that it's the cross-country on Monday morning).

I hope you all had a lovely day too.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

My mother's birthday present...

... (due 20th October 2007) is still a work in progress.

But it's getting there.