www.OllyAndBecca.uk
PPARC summer school.

Power to the people

One of the things we hadn’t really appreciated was that our flat had two analogue electricity meters – one day time and one off peak. Coupled with this was a rather retro mechanical clock that turned the peak meter on and off. So far that seems reasonable enough – a digital clock would probably have been the size of our flat in the 60s. Where it began to get a bit frustrating was when we realised the immersion heater is wired into the off peak meter. This meant the hot water came on all night, and we had no way of turning it on ourselves. Ever. The obvious solution was to get our electricity company to come and sort it out. Simple. It would appear that the folk at EDF had absolutely no idea what we were talking about when describing the meter. It took several sessions of Becca shouting at people before they understood what she was talking about. In fact EDF have sent a letter saying they are processing our complaint – what complaint? That’s just how she talks to people!

Anyway, they have finally come and taken the off peak meter away and wired it all into the main meter, so we can now have hot water whenever we want. Well about an hour after we want it. Luxury.

The laundry and the tramp

One if the things I quite like is to have clean clothes. Our new place didn’t have the fittings for a washing machine installed, or any real way to dry clothes. This was a problem. So in the interim we thought we would give a launderette a go, how hard could it be?

The first problem was that launderettes don’t seem to have websites, or be listed anywhere googlable. We eventually found one not too far from us (a car drive still though).

When we went the launderette was unmanned, so we had to figure it out ourselves, I’ve used a washing machine like a thousand times so it should be easy enough. No. It is not. We filled the machine up, picked a setting (this was a random choice since the labels were non-existent), and stuffed it full of cash. Then it started leaking. Ummm. I managed to mega force the door shut so that stopped that problem.

After five minutes of watching the clothes go round we decided that launderettes should have bars, but since this one didn’t that we should go find one elsewhere. But how to know when to come back? This is where I struck upon one of my brighter ideas – I’ll go and ask the chap sitting at the other end of the the launderette how long a washing cycle takes. So I did. And so the chap looked at me, informed me that he had no idea. It very quickly became apparent that he was in fact a tramp, of course he doesn’t know how long it will take. The bar was going to have to wait.

Fifteen minutes later the next dilemma presented itself – the washing finished. Clearly we had picked the ‘cursory attempt at washing’ cycle in our random program picking. Alas given the exuberant prices for doing laundry (we had already spent £8) we had no choice but to accept our fate as wearing only slightly cleaner clothes for the next week.

It was rather soon after this that we bought, and installed, a washer-dryer in our flat (an almost hobo-free zone).

Our new house

As some of you may already know; we have bought a flat. It’s all part of our relocation to Bristol for work (which I shall write about at some point). It does give me a (good?) excuse to revive the blog I wrote about our last place.

It’s a 1960s flat in the Clifton area of Bristol, so it is a short walk to work in the morning. I think it is fair to say that it is a ‘project’, all the usual cosmetic stuff needs doing, the kitchen and bathroom both need doing, the wiring needs some TLC, the garage needs water tightening, and it needs some heating. In fact it might just be easier to knock it down and start from scratch.

You can have a look at some photos of the flat before we moved all our stuff in. Needless to say it looks a lot more crowded now.