House Sitting

Once more we’re house sitting. (Well sort of).
Preparations for our trip are “almost” complete (the ‘to do’ list is now a single page) and we’ve arranged temporary accommodation for our return to our adopted town.

It’s sooo strange to wake up with the sound of traffic again, no ducks, having slept on a bed that doesn’t rock me asleep at night. Thus I’ve been waking up every couple of hours, disoriented and disturbed.

As for room? Why are rooms 8 feet tall? That and so big!
No wonder we were able to heat our little home so easily.
The whole living accommodation on the boat was 31 x 6 x 6 =1116 cubic feet
The bedroom I slept in last night? 12 x 10 x 8 = 960 cubic feet

Now I’m afeared about heating bills in the winter using central heating.
Hell the thought of bills full stop is scary!
So that’s looking like a multi-fuel stove, or stoves right through the house!
At £300 a pop, plus £150 fuel a year? Yeah, that’s doable.
There is an argument on whether we fit an oil-fired boiler.
Two arguments in fact.
First you buy the heating oil, you’re in charge of how much you use. That’s good.
Second, if the stoves were fitted with back boilers, then that would heat the water in the house BUT it would mean running the stoves everyday (even in summer) to generate the same hot water. That’s bad.
While heating oil is relatively cheap NOW it seems the better answer.
Only what’s going to happen in years to come as old becomes more expensive?

Cooking? That cost us £27 for 10 months (a bottle of gas).
I dread to think what mainstream gas would cost us in the UK today.
As for electricity? No way will we cook on an electric cooker ever again!
Thus our little gas hob (complete with propane  bottle) will be installed.
As a back up we’ll be returning to slow cooking on the multi-fuel stoves.
Been there, done that, it works well.

Waste collection, water supply, sewage . . . . oh err.

Thus a plan evolves.
A little place in the woods and natural waste disposal (cess pit)
Water? Well we could get that piped in (it’s sort of cheap) BUT if there is a stream / river near, then I’ll drive a sand spike well with a solar-powered pump to lift the water.
Solid waste? 20 gallon fire drum in the back garden. Cans flattened, probably buried as we don’t use a lot of them.

Electricity?
That’s got to be solar and a battery room / inverter and low voltage lighting though-out.
We’re used to that.
Only the use of an inverter isn’t something I like to do (the losses are frightening (60% efficiency at best) BUT modern oil-fired boilers all need mains to power and pump hot water. It’s a trade-off I suppose. Cheapish heat, expensive power use.

Water, sewage, light, heating, cooking, that’s the basics and we do ‘basic’ really well.
That leaves communications. A tough one.
Digital could be a mobile package or via a land line.
The likelihood of jacking into a free access port is “unlikely”.
Voice is easier, a mobile phone will do.

What’s left?
Here’s the funny bit.
Even if we take NOTHING from the infrastructure, we’ll be taxed for everything that everyone else uses. Local taxes are a bitch. Something for nothing in the main.
That will see about £1100 a year out each year.

Forced off the water by greed, with trepidation about the future, and still thinking:-

“Where the hell can we go where our money will stretch further.”

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