Saturday, 22 July 2017

Indiana Jones

This time the gap in blog posts has been caused by too much work rather than a lack of things to report.  We had made the decision that something needed to be done about our house.  The tenant had left (without paying the rent) and our assumption was there would be numerous minor maintenance tasks.  The property manager was chasing the tenant’s bond money and also arranging the insurance claim.  We really needed to take steps to get the property on the market.

After searching some of the flight websites I managed to get a cheap flight from Perth to Adelaide with Virgin Australia.  It’s not my preferred airline; but needs must.  My impression is virgin hasn’t yet decided whether it wants to directly compete with Qantas at the top end of the market or stick with being a budget carrier and compete with Jetstar and Tiger.  Anyway the flight from Perth to Adelaide is 3.5 hours with a 90 minute time zone change.  I’d allowed 2 days to do everything and then added a 3rd day just in case something happened.

I was fortunate with the Virgin flight as the middle seat was empty giving me slightly more room.  Adelaide was experiencing some bad weather which made the landing slightly rough.  Fortunately the showers had passed by the time I exited the terminal.

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View east from the Adelaide Airport Terminal towards the Mt lofty Ranges which I used to regularly walk in the days when I was fit.

I’d booked a small cheap (relative Australian term) car from Firefly.  They appear to be affiliated with Hertz with the Firefly vehicles possibly being ex Hertz.

The first task was to visit the office of the property manager and collect the house keys.  On the way I was reminded that Adelaide suburban roads are a mosaic of patches.  The only person in the office was the receptionist however she was able to give me the house keys.

You can possibly imagine my consternation when I couldn’t find the house.  All that could be seen was a jungle.  Bob Geldof could have used the site for the next episode of Survivor Guatemala!  Just like Indiana Jones I managed to push my way down through the undergrowth to reach the front door.  In relative terms the interior of the house was in better condition.  I noticed the floating timber floor I laid in the foyer is desperately in need of sanding and another coat of varnish.

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The curtains in the main lounge room were hanging down.  I erroneously assumed all that was required was to connect the hooks back into the eyes on the rail.

2Another shock awaited me in the family room.  Our expensive heavy duty commercial carpet  was stained and had a rough rectangular patch.

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In 6 years no one had mentioned this!  Over in the bottom far corner of the room was a hole in the wall which had been roughly stuffed with stainless steel scouring wool.

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I’ve subsequently been informed this is how you block a mouse hole!

Both electric roller doors in the garage have been replaced during our absence (we paid) and I noticed the door closest to the house doesn’t lock leaving a gap at the bottom. 

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At the rear the house has large upper and lower timber sundecks with magnificent views of the city and gulf.  Well they would have views if it wasn’t for the jungle.  We have paid $000’s for gardening since vacating the house in 2011 and it looks as if nothing has been done.

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The lower deck was covered in green mould and we have one rotten plank.  At the other end of the deck the shrubs have grown so high they have pushed the water tank off it’s stand causing it to collapse.  The same shrubs have grown through the lower deck and up through the upper deck and then into the roof of the pergola.

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You had to crouch to get underneath the branches when walking down the ramp to reach the lower garden. 

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All the trees and shrubs in the lower garden have grown wild.  The native trees have particularly thrived drowning out the fruit trees and lower shrubs.  Australia is a dry country and the native vegetation has to be hardy to survive the long droughts.  However our garden has an automatic water reticulation system which has provided the native bushes and trees with ideal growing conditions.

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I’d arranged a meeting with a Real Estate agent for 10am the following morning and given the state of the property I wondered what he would make of it.  It was with much consternation I drove away thinking of the work (and expense) required to get the property ready for sale. 

Our very good friends Trevor and Carolanne had very kindly offered me accommodation in their lovely home located up in the Adelaide Hills.  I thought I might be able to borrow a small stepladder from Trevor and re-hang the curtains.  I hadn’t brought much clothing with me having anticipated finding the house in good condition.  Not only could Trevor provide a ladder, he also had secateurs and heavy duty pruning shears.  When I protested I didn’t have any clothing, he willingly provided an old shirt and long trousers.  Obviously he was determined to ensure I wasn’t bored! Smile

Well that’s enough for you to read today.  I’ll explain what subsequently happened in the next post.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Busy…. but only sometimes

The last few days have been a combination of very busy and total boredom with nothing to write about.

The media server project has come to a halt whilst we await the arrival of the hard disk drives which are in one of the UK boxes.  Using the laptop has become easier now I’ve connected the big monitor and full sized keyboard to it.

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I’ve also ‘nobbled’ the only table and sole chair.   There was one small thing I could do to advance the media server project and that was to fix the Raspberry Pi to the router using velcro.  It’s an idea I copied from our youngest son.  The Raspberry Pi will eventually be powered by the router and I will replace the existing blue ethernet cable with a short cable we have in one of the UK boxes.

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I could connect the Raspberry Pi to the router wirelessly but I prefer using ethernet cables believing they provide a more reliable connection and are also more secure.

Yesterday I washed and polished the Isuzu for a second time.  I’ve become very technical with my washing technique.  During the last few years on Waiouru I adopted the ‘two bucket’ method using a microfibre mitt and a leather chamois to dry.  I now realise drying with the chamois wasn’t the best option.

My new technique is:  

  • Initial high pressure water wash to remove surface dirt.
  • 2nd high pressure wash using a snow foam gun to cover the vehicle with a layer of foam which is supposed to ‘lift’ some of the more stubborn dirt.
  • High pressure gun rinse.
  • Two bucket hand foam wash using micro fibre mitt.
  • High pressure rinse.
  • Dry with micro fibre towel (this is easier and much faster than using a chamois).
  • Polish.  I’m trialling Meguars Wet Look polish.  Apply with a sponge pad and remove with micro fibre clothes.  so far I’ve managed to avoid those swirl marks in the paint.

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I’m not sure this expensive ‘wet look’ polish is making much difference!

The snow foam adapter that came with the Gernie pressure washer proved to be a failure and after some research I identified the ‘purists’ were using a $120 snow foam gun.  More research indicated I could buy a Chinese copy from Ebay.  Of course it arrived the morning after I’d washed and polished the car.

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I’ve now discovered the brass fitting on the gun is slightly too large for the Gernie connector.  I need to file it down…. but of course I currently don’t have a file!

The courier also delivered a package for Jan.  It turned out to be the cast iron pancake pan she has ordered from Ebay.  Unfortunately the overseas seller had made a very poor job with the packaging and the handle had been broken in transit.  hopefully they will send her a replacement handle.

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I got a hell of a shock yesterday when I went to the website to check on our 240V electrical consumption.  There was significant usage between 1.00-3.00am.  That’s when we are asleep so why so much power consumption.  The only two Items I could think might be using power were the fridge and freezer.  Checking back through the consumption historical data revealed it was occurring every night.  Then I went right back to the day prior to our arrival in Australia and discovered the high consumption was still occurring!!!!

Finally it dawned on me……… I hadn’t logged into our data and was looking at the website demonstration data.   What an idiot….. what a relief! Smile

We appear to be averaging approximately 6.5kW daily.  I entered a budget of $150 and so far this month we have consumed $28.96 (plus the monthly service fee of $14)  That is approx $2 daily or £1 which is less than we would have spent in diesel on Waiouru.  Although I acknowledge the fuel on Waiouru was also being used for propulsion and hot water which means I need to factor in the cost of fuel for the 4x4.

After being introduced to sloe gin by Jan and Alistair (nb Qisma) Jan has decided she would like to grow some sloe bushes.  They are as easy to find in Perth as the end of the rainbow.  After several hours of internet searching she bought some seeds off Ebay.  Hopefully they don’t arrive broken. Smile  She also wanted some thornless blackberries which resulted in us driving to Guildford which is not on the River Wey.  It’s beside the Swan River.

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The garden centre didn’t have any in stock “Next weekend”.  Someone at the centre is a mini minor fan.

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I did check on the location of the ship conveying our container to Perth.  It left the tip of Peninsula Malaysia and called onto Singapore before heading south towards Australia.  The website doesn’t show the location on the live map to non paying subscribers.  However the latitude and longitude was shown so being sneaky resourceful I copied and pasted it into google Earth.

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It looks to be on track to arrive on 19 July.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Let them eat bread

Having a vehicle has given us more freedom to start setting ourselves up in Perth.  The new freezer is significantly larger than the Engel we had on Waiouru (500L –v- 32L).  The obvious plan is to buy in bulk and save money.  We have visited the nearby Beef Shed and bought wholesale meat, the majority of which has gone into the freezer.

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The next stop was Mirrabooka Shopping Mall to visit Aldi.  that’s when Jan noticed the temporary shop selling very familiar UK products at fire sale prices.

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You might notice the word ‘Australia’ on the tins of mushy peas.  It was a competition and prize was a trip to Australia……. So of course I entered six times! Smile

Aldi was selling an electric food vacuum sealer which will be very useful for food being stored in the freezer.

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The next stop was the “All About Bread” store in Wanaroo.  Jan wandered around looking at all the bread mixes and mulled over what she would require in the way of storage containers if she buys bulk flour.  Then we crossed back to Malaga (Australia…. not Spain) where we’d identified there was another food wholesaler. 

The prices at Elite Foods were much cheaper than All About Bread and it’s also closer to home.

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Having the Cake Factory next door might be a temptation!

The next stop was ‘Spotlight’ which sells manchester, handicraft components, kitchenware,etc.  you might think we stopped for Jan, but it was me who needed to buy a couple of items.  some Velcro for the media server project and flexible curtain wire for the 4x4 projects.

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We returned to find these wretches had taken up residence on our front lawn.  Pretty to look at but they make a racket. 

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Why is it that pretty birds screech and songbirds look dull?  The tree in the front yard has shed even more foliage.  I would mind if it was leaves, but this tree casts off large chunks.  It’s starting to look bald on top (like me!)

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We noticed nb Chance has been sold.  James and Doug were two of the first narrow boaters we met when we arrived in 2011.  Despite us having more than a few issues at the time we readily accepted their invitation to join them on Chance for a brief cruise.

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We will always be grateful for the opportunity to be reminded about the joy in narrow .boating and it reaffirmed our determination to be part of the canal community.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Tomato and Golden Frog

Yes readers, it’s been a few days since the last post.  I’ve been totally absorbed with the new computer.  Initially the problems revolved around the physical assembly of the components.  It’s been 10 years since I last assembled a pc and in that time either my eyesight has gotten worse or the printing on the components has become smaller (probably the former).  Anyway it took me a full day to assemble the pc and then the damned thing wouldn’t start.  The fancy LED’s inside illuminated and the fans started running, but nothing on the monitor.  When this has happened during previous builds I’ve listened for the series of “beeps” the pc makes on start-up and been able to find the fault based on the sequence and number of beeps.  Well this pc doesn’t have a speaker.  Compounding the problem was the fact that the labelling of the cable terminals in the case didn’t match the labelling of the terminals on the motherboard.  What I needed was a diagnostics POST card.  This gets plugged into the motherboard and displays a fault code on a small LCD display.  EVENTUALLY the problem was identified.  There was NOTHING wrong with the way I’d assembled the various components.  However whilst the motherboard has a socket for a monitor the Ryzen 5 cpu does NOT support on board graphics.  In order to resolve the problem I needed to buy a graphics card.  This computer is going to be a media server and doesn’t need a monitor as it will have remote access.  But I needed to attach a monitor to configure the system.  So I bought a cheap second-hand graphic card.  That solved the hardware issue!

The next step was to install the software and I’m using linux.  It’s been some time since I used linux which has also made for slow going.  I can’t configure the RAID (redundant array) as the computer hard drives are in our boxes on their way from the UK.  Consequentially I’ve been trying to do the setup around that issue.  I can report the pc is actually working and I can access it remotely either using ‘putty’ or ‘vnc’.

Another step in the project has been to replace the propriety firmware (operating system) on the Netgear router with a more advanced firmware which will give greater functionality.  I’ve opted for ‘Tomato’.  I’d already changed the firmware to another version of Tomato but two days ago I discovered our VPN (Virtual Private Network) wasn’t as private as I would like.  After some research I selected VyprVPN from Golden Frog.  Their firmware will integrate with Tomato, but when I attempted to do that yesterday it wasn’t successful.  Eventually I worked out that the latest version of Tomato was incompatible with the Golden Frog ‘add-on’.  This meant I had to roll back the Tomato firmware to an earlier version (not easy) then re-install the Golden Frog add-on.  That was finally completed this morning. 

It’s now much easier to select a VPN destination using the Golden Frog firmware on the router.  Moreover Golden Frog use high level encryption software so I’m reasonably confident we are surfing the web anonymously.  Having the VPN software on the router means that every device on our side of the router is now protected.

For several days we lost track of our UK boxes.  The container ship made a port call at the bottom of peninsula Malaysia and then headed towards Korea.  My assumption was our container had been unloaded and was awaiting transhipment.  Pickfords had previously provided us with the container number and after a brief search I confirmed the container was in Malaysia awaiting the arrival of the E.N. France.  Going back to the international shipping website identified the E.N.France was moored at Bangkok.  She is scheduled to arrive in Malaysia on 12 Jul before heading towards Fremantle Port, Perth with a forecast arrival date of 19 Jul.  Allow 3 days for Customs clearance, etc and we might have the boxes by 22-23 Jul.

Oh, there was a knock at the door.  A courier had arrived to deliver the dashcam I’d ordered from China.  We now have both the dashcam and TPMS but I don’t want to start fitting them until we have a few more tools.  The Leatherman has been very useful, but I’d rather have a few more specialist tools before I start disassembling the new vehicle.  

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

More rain

Well we have been on the receiving end of some heavy showers.  Coincidentally the internet to the house died which is one reason why there have been no blog posts.  The majority of Perth is built on sand and there is a very limited stormwater system as the sand absorbs much of the runoff.  I suspected water had seeped into some of the in-ground phone line connection boxes degrading the system.  Telstra are only obligated to maintain the old copper system to voice standard and we still have dial tone so I wasn’t expecting any improvement until the ground dried out.  That’s not going to happen anytime soon as the showers have continued.

However I had a pleasant surprise when I turned off the router and disconnected it from the 240V supply for 30 seconds.  We got some of our connection back, hence this post.

Both of us are going stir crazy inside an empty house.  The ship carrying our boxes has arrived in Singapore and is transhipping containers.  The container is scheduled to arrive in Perth on 19 July but we don’t know if it will be carried on the same ship.

Despite the rain we had to get out of the house.  In the morning I went to a computer parts store and purchased the majority of the components I’ll need to assemble my planned media server (on the bucket list).  It’s been a few years since I last assembled a pc so it should keep me occupied for several days getting the hardware to work.  They all the software has to be installed and configured.  My guess is this part will take several weeks as I stumble my way through.

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In the afternoon we visited Spotlight where Jan purchased wool and knitting needles to knit another of those blankets that “knit themselves”

Daykin, we were able to sparingly use the small amount of our phone mobile data allowance whilst the ADSL network was inoperative.  But mobile data is expensive so we were eking it out.

Oh…. and there is yet another cat wee orange on the back lawn!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

More land and less speed

Further online searching yesterday evening identified another potential block of land currently on the market.  We drove to look at it this afternoon and it wasn’t until we arrived that we realised it’s on a slope.

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Photo taken from the opposite side of the street.

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The frontage is 23 metres and total area approximately 1800 sq mtrs.  The site has potential.  our thoughts are that if we were to raise the height of the house by building a garage underneath there would be view to the north and east over the tops of the homes on the other side of the street.  There is enough land for Jan to have her swimming pool and small orchard whilst I could have a workshop under the house.  It’s all very preliminary as we have yet to place our home on the market.

If you are wondering why the blog posts are spasmodic I can tell you it’s the internet speed and reliability.  Whilst we have a DSL connection, the speed is woeful with frequent dropouts.  Currently we are running at 28KB/s which is slow dial-up speed.

speed

Unfortunately things are NOT going to improve!  Telstra own the copper POTS (plain old telephone system) and have no interest in improving the situation.  I was hoping for a great connection, but this is Australia where politicians tell the public how wonderful everything is and a percentage of the population actually believe them!

The current government has even managed to screw-up the new fibre NBN (National Broadband Network) by modifying the planned fibre network into a part fibre and part copper system.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the system was obsolete before it’s completed.

Bill, Jan’s chairs might be labelled “lipstick red” but they are actually burgundy.  The cat wee smelling orange tree dropped a further six on the ground during the overnight storm and the Frangipani almost looks like Kojak.   The chainsaw is rising on the shopping list…….

Saturday, 1 July 2017

It’s Freezing

Jan was in the local supermarket yesterday when she overheard one lady tell another “my husband will be flying to Adelaide and it will be 14°c tomorrow.  My husband will freeze!”  Meanwhile, we are still in our summer clothes.  I guess we will have acclimatized in 12 months.

I became slightly concerned when the container ship transporting our UK effects appeared to be loitering at the bottom end of the Red Sea.  Had they done a deal with the local Somali pirates?  Then I realised the tracking system had stopped.  The MAERSK MC KINNEY MOLLER is due to arrive at Singapore in 3 days and I’ll be interested to see if the international ship tracking system recommences.

We are starting to get some meaningful data from the electrical monitor I fitted at midday on 26 June.

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Only 3 days of data for the end of June, at the moment we are averaging approximately 6kWh of electricity daily.

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The graph for the morning of 1 July shows the spikes where the kettle, dishwasher and washing machine started their cycles.

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With only half a day of data I suspect the estimated cost for the month might be rather inaccurate.  Currently we appear to be consuming approximately $3 (£1.77) of electricity daily, which is about half the cost of our winter diesel bill on Waiouru.  Of course our electrical consumption is going to increase significantly when both our UK and Aust house packs arrive.   The average Australian home uses 20-25kWh daily ($177-217).  So living on Waiouru meant meant we had a very low energy bill compared to the average Australian household.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Just another busy day

The 4x4 now has it’s heavy duty towbar fitted.  I wrote to three companies asking for a quote and went with the cheapest.  They seem to have done a good job with the fitting.

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I spent some time yesterday evening working out a wiring diagram for the accessories we intend to fit.  This will also allow me to identify the required components.

Accessories Wiring

The courier delivered the TPMS purchased from China.  I’ve put it to one side until the rest of the electrical accessories arrive as there is no point in pulling the vehicle dash apart multiple times.

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Just before lunch we made another visit to the furniture shop anticipating they would have keen pricing so close to the end of the financial year.  Jan selected the electric reclining chairs in “lipstick red” leather.  She’s already done a test run during an earlier visit.  Only this time it was individual chairs rather than the TV couch.

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The damned local parrots have been giving one of the large trees in the front yard hell.  It’s laden with fruit.  A type of soft green nut the size of an acorn.  They’re not small birds and have a screech the same size.  One other side affect is they break off large twigs which then need to be raked up and removed from the lawn.  The orange tree (the one where the fruit smells like cat wee) has also decided to drop more fruit on the back lawn.  And then the Frangipani joined in shedding leaves.  I’m busier than a one armed paper hanger.  I might have to invest in either a chainsaw or a shotgun Smile

Oh, our first electrical bill arrived today.  $90 for 35 days.  The new electrical monitor I installed on 26 3june has calculated we have used $5.04 in the last 3 days.  It will be interesting to see what it reads after a month.  Of course as we “acquire” more electrical “stuff” it can only go up! 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

At the wheel

This is the blog post I wrote yesterday and then forgot to post!

For the first time in six years Jan got behind the wheel of a vehicle and did some local driving.  It’s like riding a bike….. You never forget!  Well that’s how Jan went.  A slightly nervous start, but it quickly came back to her.  We kept to the quieter residential roads until the navigator (me) forgot where he was and suddenly she was on a busy road with traffic lights.  That was all taken in her stride, although there was some muttering about traffic going to starboard instead of port and why was the steering position so far forward!  Like me; she found the lack of voice street names from the gps slightly disconcerting.  Our  8 year old Garmin Nuvi GPS has audio street names, so why can’t a 2017 system have the same?

Once back home I decided to fit the electrical energy monitoring hub to the house.  There wasn’t much to do.  Electrical mains power was turned off at the meter board before removing the screws holding the panel in place.  Once access to the rear was obtained I clipped the sensor around the main supply cable.  The sensor was then plugged into a battery powered waterproof wireless transmitter which was located outside the meter box.  Then the switchboard was reinstated and the electricity turned back on.

Inside the house I plugged the monitoring system hub into the internet router, before also connecting the hub to the nearest 240V power socket.  The transmitter and hub then automatically wirelessly linked and the hub started sending our electrical consumption over the internet to the website.

After registering on the website I configured the hub data by entering the electrical tariff rate and our initial power consumption target.

The website dashboard then started to record and cost our electrical consumption which you can see in the screen dump below.

Electrical Monitor

The top left box shows our real time usage.  During the initial 90 minutes we consumed 0.12kW of electricity.  The middle box shows our running cost as $0.08 and my budget of $150 for the month.  The top right box has three options:

  • Total cost since implementation
  • Cost for the current month
  • Today’s cost

The graph at the bottom shows usage by minute/hour/day/month,year

You can see a spike in the graph when the fridge was opened to retrieve items for lunch!  All this usage data can be downloaded into a spreadsheet.

There are two reasons we have fitted the monitor.  First, hopefully it will assist us to reduce our electrical consumption and also identify energy hungry appliances.  Second, by recording our daily electrical consumption I should be able to calculate the required size of the planned solar array.  We will need an array that has sufficient capacity to power the house during the day and also provide additional power to charge the lithium battery I’m thinking of building.  The long term idea is to build a battery of sufficient capacity so we can go “off grid”.

Perth has a kWh rate of 26.474 cents and a daily supply charge of 48.60 cents which equates to $177pa just to have the grid connection.  Whilst the electrical company charges consumers 26.474 cents per kWh, they only pay 7 cents per kWh for surplus solar power sent back into the grid from residential solar arrays.   It’s therefore more cost effective to use you solar electricity rather than sell it.  Moreover, if I can build a cheap lithium battery we won’t have to buy electricity when there is no sun.

Lastly, the electrical companies have recognised the threat residential solar power poses to their business and have successfully lobbied the state government to introduce legislation limiting the size of residential solar arrays connected to the grid to a maximum size of 5kW.  Their claim is if too much solar power is fed back into the grid it might overload it or provide a safety risk to employees.  Also, recognising daylight demand is reducing, they have increase the fixed daily supply charge.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Who said retirement was relaxing?

We’ve both been rather busy over the last few days and next week isn’t any better.

Monday – stay at home, parcel is arriving

Tuesday – Take 4x4 to have the towbar fitted

Wednesday – stay at home, chest freezer is arriving

Two days ago we visited the auto store where we purchased vehicle shampoo, clay bar, wet look polish and CRC 808 silicone spray,

On Friday I managed to thoroughly spray the engine compartment with the CRC 808.  It’s supposed to be heat resistant.  The theory is the coating of silicone will make it easier to wash down and clean the compartment.  If that doesn’t work then at least the engine bay looks shiny!

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There’s not much room in there for my fat fingers, let alone all the bits & pieces I will need to install for my planned outback trips.

Saturday I pressure washed the car and then used the snow foam attachment.  That was a failure!  The cheap foam gun that came with the pressure washer isn’t up to the task so we will need to buy a better gun.  The foam was then pressure washed off before the vehicle was dried with a micro fibre towel.  It’s the first time I’ve used a micro fibre towel.  In the past I’ve used a chamois.  The towel is much easier!  Wish I’d known that when drying the boat.  We also went out and purchase a large rubber floor mat for the back of the vehicle in the hope it will stop items  sliding around when being transported. 

Sunday (today) I gave the 4x4 two applications of Meguiars ‘Wet Look’ polish.  I must be getting old because every previous car we’ve purchased has always received an initial six coats of polish. Smile

Jan noticed the nearby Auto One store had an end of financial year 50% off on sheepskin seat covers so we drove down and bought a pair for the 4x4.

Jan was also pleased when she noticed in one shop what she thinks is an equivalent to Yorkshire ‘Pink

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I failed to mention the cost of petrol.  We needed to fill the hire car before returning it.

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Approximately 65ppl.  That’s better than the UK!  Diesel is about the same price……



Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Fruit and the BBQ

Almost every morning I rise and go outside to pick up more of the damned oranges which have fallen off the tree overnight.  I wouldn’t mind if the oranges were a decent size and the inside didn’t smell like cat wee.  As a consequence of the latter they are being thrown in the rubbish.  Yesterday I got heartily sick of the task and used a broom to shake most of the fruit from the tree before collecting all of it.   Well it rained last night and there was also a reasonably strong wind.  Yes, this morning there were more bl**dy oranges on the ground under the tree!  The Frangipani decided to join in on the action and discarded leaves across the back left corner of the lawn.  No doubt the farmers will be happy to see some rain.  Winter is definitely late this year!

Later in the morning we took the new vehicle for a drive down to Morley and called in to the BBQ Galore store.  Our old BBQ had lasted 20 years and was starting to look the worse for wear when we were packing to leave for the UK in 2011.  It didn’t make it on the house pack list so we need a new BBQ.  It’s the end of the financial year on 30 June so now is the time to buy.  BBQ Galore had discounted many of their BBQ’s and we were looking for a bargain.  We couldn’t have done this two days ago because the BBQ box wouldn’t have fitted in the rental car.  Anyway, we bought a four burner stainless steel BBQ with 5th wok burner for approx £150.

It took me a couple of hours to assemble it.

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There wouldn’t have been any room for it on Waiouru but it might fit in the cratch of Still Rockin’ where that master BBQer George could have cooked up a storm! Smile