Saturday, 24 May 2014

Our Previous House is Sold !


Yesterday we finally exchanged contracts on the sale of our previous home, after it being on-and-off the market for the last three years, so I suppose some sort of celebration is in order - or is it ?

The buyers first viewed the property on 22 February, so it will have been a fourteen-week long process from start to finish, i.e. at completion next Friday....

Even though the market has supposedly been rising recently, we eventually agreed to sell it for only 81% of what we paid at the top of the market in the summer of 2006 (you'll already have guessed that this house isn't in London if we're selling for a much lower price than eight years ago !).    We'd had previous offers, but they were generally very speculative and derisory and we weren't distressed sellers, we always had a positive equity-to-loan value even at the depths of the fall, and so were prepared to hold out until we could get what we thought was a reasonable price.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Solar Panel Performance - two years on


It's that time again...  

As of this evening, we now have exactly two full years' worth of data from our experimental 540 Wp solar array.  So, here are the graphs of the same parameters as previously reported - clicking on them shows larger images, and they can be compared with last year's figures here :-









Total AC energy production this year was 243 kWhr, i.e. just 2 more than last year !  At least the numbers are consistent.

Friday, 2 May 2014

The longest ten minutes of my life....


Been having a bit of a problem with my shoulder recently, that's been going on for a few months now.  Pain in the neck (literally) and also all down my right arm and regular pins-and-needles from shoulder to fingertips.

So after a steroid injection directly into the tendon proved worthless, the quack decided I should go a for a scan....

Now, I've been with the wife for many an ultrasound examination etc before, and it's all been very jolly, stress-free and painless (for me at least !), so I thought I knew what I was letting myself in for.

However, I was scheduled for a MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging).  Even the 1,000 word guidance leaflet they sent out with the appointment letter seemed ominous.

So I racked up at the hospital today.  Just as I was about to go in, they brought an old lady out of the scanner room in a wheelchair.    "Ninety years old and marvellous for her age", said the radiologist breezily - talk about putting the pressure on....  

Unusual visitor to the garden...


I spotted this butterfly in the garden early this morning.  I went inside to grab the camera thinking he'd probably fly away before I returned, but he was still there.

Maybe he'd just emerged and was still half-asleep, because he allowed me to get very close and to even snap off the leaf on which he was sitting, so I could get a better shot.

Click on the photos for larger images....







I've never seen a butterfly like this before in my life, and so I thought it must be quite rare.  However, according to authoritative references on the web, it's a male 'Orange Tip' and they're quite common & widespread throughout the UK....