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Rural Living

For most of our life together we’ve dreamed of moving into the country with a couple of acres of land. Partly a desire for self-sufficiency and partly just to get away from the sheer pressure of people that living in town presents.

For example, when you live in a semi or even a detached house in the town, the neighbours are not far away so you have to moderate your behaviour. You don’t play records loudly when next door’s kids are in bed – not unless you want a war with next door. You tolerate the dog next door dementedly barking because you don’t want to have a row with the owner.

Here we can play music in the middle of the night if we wanted, although we’re a bit past that now and next door’s dog can bark away if it wants – we can hardly hear it!

Rural Community

Some of the main differences between town and country living have come as a surprise to us though. The striking thing is community. It took nearly a year before we got to know our suburban neighbours but here in the country we already know them by name after just a couple of weeks. There’s a stronger feeling of community here where we are further apart than we’ve ever had in a town.

That sense of community isn’t limited to the hamlet, it applies to the village as well. We don’t have a sparkly new medical centre but we have a doctor in the village with a receptionist who actually smiles and knows who you are by the second visit. I popped in for a repeat prescription and she just handed me the bag with the pills in. No 10 minute queue followed by identity confirming questions. Oh, and prescriptions are free (at the moment) in Wales!

The local shops often have a bit of a queue as the shopkeeper chats to the customers. My feeble attempt at saying thank you in Welsh was followed by 15 minute lesson in Welsh and a chat about how we liked it in the area. Strangely, no one is bothered by a queue in the shop. People seem to have time to live and be polite to each other.

Rural Services

Public transport is a bit thin on the ground to say the least and things you take for granted in the town just don’t exist out here. Before we moved, a couple of times we availed ourselves of a takeaway delivery when we’d been packing until 8 o’clock and felt shattered. No delivery service out here and we’ve 1 Chinese and 1 Indian takeaway in the village with 2 chippies. There were dozens in Crewe.

In the town we had a huge range of shops, well it seems huge now. 5 supermarkets, 3 DIY stores, 4 builders merchants all within a 5 minute drive. Our nearest supermarket is now half an hour away and the DIY is 15 miles off in distant Bangor.

It makes you plan your journey and think ahead. Country living certainly chunks up the miles although we’re getting better at thinking ahead.

The LPG Rip Off

Overall the plus points overwhelm the drawbacks, we’ll never go back but there is one thing that really bugs me. Fuel. In the town you have your gas and electric and just pop online to find the cheapest supplier. Often you get extra discounts if you put both fuels through the same supplier.

Here we have LPG gas so no duel fuel discounts. Worse still, the price of LPG is horrendous and extortionate. We reckon it’s well over double the price of piped gas. Neither is there the freedom to change supplier in the same way as piped gas. They demand 2 year contracts be signed and can vary the price after an initial few months how they see fit. Downwards? Want to bet? Unlike mains gas, they’re not covered by OFGEM – although the competition commission has been looking at the LPG market. The Calor call centre is a example of ignorance and arrogance, beyond that even of the banks!

Oh well, you can’t have perfection, there’d be nothing to moan about!

Posted in Rants and Raves
28 comments on “Rural Living
  1. Steve in Salford says:

    Oh yes all that wonderful fresh country air along with the isolation in times of heavy snow or rain, will only enhance the sense of your freedom. Watch that it does not send you barmy.

    As for the LPG ever thought of a composting toilet or bio-degester to make your own gas from waste, wind power, solar all ways of getting energy, you got plenty of wind where you are, worth looking into. Get off the grid for electric or feed into it, there are grants for feed in, check it out.

    Not sure if it is a good or a bad thing that the community already knows who you are and where you are from. They certainly know where you live and where to find you. I prefer the isolation of the city and that of a close knit circle of comrades than that of the rural community, I came from that in East Anglia to sunny Greater Manchester (Salford).

    Not sure I wish to buy into that again, where every one knows your business, if you let them. They both have pluses and negatives, food in the country and access to it would be a major issue for us, neither of us drives.

    Supermarkets deliver but if you are too rural and weather is bad no food can get through, freezers and growing your own are in this case a blessing, being off the grid for electricity means you are less prone to power cuts and loosing your food.

    Ah now heating, an Aga? Do they not heat the water as well? Or a wood burning central heating stove, you will need wood of course but you can make your own brickets (sic) from old newspaper, get your neighbours to collect them, reduce, re-use, repair, recycle and refuse nothing for free but anything that is of no use.

    Well breakfast is calling me….so off I must toddle TTFN

  2. John says:

    I’ve been interested in alternative power- biogas, wind generators etc., since 1976 🙂

    We are looking seriously at practical alternatives but these all cost money and I don’t see them happening for a year. The woodburner should be fitted this week with luck.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Sounds just like here in rural France, John & Val. Hope you continue to enjoy it as much as we do here.

    Carolyn xx

  4. brandeberryj says:

    To John the originator of this forum.
    Lets start at beginning. There no reasonable reason for your neighbours not to know your business unless you have something to hide. I find it very useful people are always telling me where there are some apples growing (in the hedge and the best place for sloes etc)
    Furthermore if you know lots of people you end up with lots of things for free. For instance a farmer took me up to his field, went off to plough, came back and took me home with enough apples to make 5 gallons of cider (I have 34 gallons on the go) He also offered me 64 concrete posts for making my terraced garden (a huge monetary saving).
    I could go on but all this is product of talking to people and telling them your business or at least the bit you want them to know about. We have no shops so the pub is where you get to know most people. I go to about….God knows different pubs. The main one I drink at is 11 miles away (6 real ales) my 2nd favourite is only about 3.5 miles away and I am always taking them Bramleys (which I come across for free I have got 8 Bramley trees I can help myself to)and they give me beer and food. I could go on but enough said. Oops, I forgot my neighbour across the road has my spare keys for 2 reason A/ I am always loosing them and B/ I have epilepsy so if she doesn’t see me for a while she can check on me.
    The other day she had some wood delivered but it was to long for her fire I did a swap because mine was shorter and fitted in her fire. I forgot something very important – wood is far far more expensive nowadays than Electric gas or LPG far far more expensive. But if you chat with people….I have had 2 years worth for nothing. At first this involved me cycling with a huge trailer on my bike 3.5 mile there and 3.5 mile back…too far so asked someone to bring there car and trailer and went 50 50 result job done in 2 loads and I could feel my legs again.
    Now LPG gives you 7.11 kilowatts per litre while oil gives you 10.35 kilowatts so LPG has to be 30% cheaper per litre to be the same as oil. This ignores that gas is far better to cook on and assumes 100% efficiency. I have no idea if oil boilers are as efficient as gas. I changed supplies last year from Flogas to Energas price fell 57 to 43p a litre not quite 30% cheaper than oil but getting close. It has never risen since, 1 year later.
    This is a product of the competition authority making LPG suppliers sell there tank to the next supplier. Also they supplied an Internet site with all the suppliers who will deliver to your post code found 7 only thought there was 3.
    Note I have no car and the nearest shop is 6 miles away although I shop at a town 8 miles away I sometimes use the twice a week bus. I have 3 bikes and 2 trailers so not sure if you are really that badly off if you have a car John. I have my doubts that it takes you longer to get to the DIY place its hardly that far (I am of course assuming less traffic).
    Now reference Steve Of Salford ideas IE
    “As for the LPG ever thought of a composting toilet or bio-degester to make your own gas from waste, wind power, solar all ways of getting energy, you got plenty of wind where you are, worth looking into. Get off the grid for electric or feed into it, there are grants for feed in, check it out.
    NONE of the latter are even slightly worth it in terms of money saved YOU WILL NEVER EVER HAVE ENOUGH COMPOST TO MAKE GAS. Even if I used my septic tank for gas no way on earth it would produce enough for my own use taking it to account I only turn on the central heating for a couple of hours a night.
    Now if you wanted to go off the grid and use wind it would cost you £30,000 that includes the large amount of batteries you need to store energy when no wind is available (3 days worth is the normal). These figures are based on a farmer who built a new house and was told that it would cost a similar amount to go on mains electric (multiple quotes) so he went for wind. Feeding it in is not such a bad idea but I personally think it is immoral to take 40p for something that will be sold for 10p this will come home to roast one day IE huge increase in electricity cost for the consumer. For Solar you must have a South facing roof and it has to be large. Companies will supply and fit them and you get free electricity….when the sun shines, again 40p and sold for 10p…can that last…of course not. The panels have 25 year life.
    It appears to late for you to reconsider the wood burner of course the price of wood is not all that relevant if you are buying it for esthetic reasons which is why most people buy them, probably why the cost of wood is so high.
    Just reread some of your message IE
    “we’ve 1 Chinese and 1 Indian takeaway in the village with 2 chippies. There were dozens in Crewe” Are you sure you are in a village?
    That is a hell off a lot. I have a pub about 4 miles away which is a Thai takeaway as well (although most people eat in) I don’t use it as the food is normally cold by the time I get home.
    Oh by the way I used to live in Manchester before (although I have lived in Herefordshire for 10 years) Given that I have to live on a relative small amount of money (just over £200) if I was offered £600 a week to move to Manchester I would go for the £200 or even less. In fact I would prefer cancer (preferably not fatal) to living in Manchester. Mind you I saw the real Manchester not through the rose tinted glasses of someone who drives a car and hides behind his curtains when he gets home.
    I expect with the present weather I will be stuck locally for a few days maybe weeks but who cares I can still go for a walk. And I have just found out you can buy bike tyres with spikes for ice. Normal off road tyres should be okay in snow. See – no problems living rural (Lincolnshire Wolds, Wolds is old English for hills). Well my rant is pretty long so I had better stop I can’t make my mind what to have for dinner Rabbit get the from a farm labour for nowt, or pheasant occasionally doing some beating gets you enough for the year or possibly pigeon breast …..I know a game keeper who can’t eat as much as he shoots also he fetches my wood. I reiterate GET TO KNOW PEOPLE

    (This comment was slightly edited by John)

  5. Allan says:

    Welcome to the realities of country living . Sounds like you have take aways closer that me and where I live I consider it to be just right , close enough to the towns and far enough away not to be icolated .
    What you get for your taxs is a big can of worms , street lights , weekly bin collections , walking distance to swiming baths/fitness centre , libary round corner , path grited in snowy weather , grit put on country road ( only if you got a shovel ) I’m sure there is more but none coming to mind at mo .
    That said wouldnt swap in a million years , Like you say John the comunity spirit is there in bucket fulls . Tip , if there is a local farmer that you can help now and then , If he’s like me he will return the favours in ways …. well wood burning stove’s are hungry !!!!

    Good luck
    Allan

  6. Steve in Salford says:

    Ah the good life here you come, Rome was not built in a day but to see the development from your allotment growing to rural country growing and self sufficiency will be interesting.

    Afraid that the bias is towards living in cities or towns as far as amenities is concerned. However the countryside offers long walks weather permitting and what you get for your council tax dollars in relationship between rural and urban living is vast.

    Worthwhile looking into the feed in tariff grants that the government is offering, there are grants for solar panels in which you either pay for them outright or they take a percentage from what you put into the grid, not sure how it works or what it is called but it is possible to do it upfront without paying. Pretty sure that there are grants for wind turbines as well, not forgetting VORTS which are more useful in urban environments.

    Oh well must toddle it’s nearly tea time and I have to go out again soon.

  7. Steve in Salford says:

    Renewable energy, wind is probably your best bet given the exposure and prevailing wind levels where you are. When I said get off the grid I meant get off paying money out to the supplier, get money back from them but remain connected so you can feed excess energy in to the national grid.

    If all houses/properties/offices generated their own electricity then there would be a surplus and no need for so many companies, running their monopolies and s£*$”(*g every one over, do the prices ever drop when they get a lower price.

    John may have a number of options in regard to wind power, what about a partnership with your neighbour one turbine should supply two houses with some to spare, from which you could both make money. Outlay is not cheap but there are grants available.

    One size does not fit all with renewable which is why solar is a back up for when the wind does not blow. A combined heat exchanger could be used to supply power and heat to the house as well.

    A composting toilet on one property alone would not supply enough power but if a village got all of its waste together and it was done on the scale of the village then it could supply a few shops or the local pub with power.

    Of course the composted waste that is left over can be spread on the land.

    As for the neighbours no matter where you live they get to know what you want them to know and even in cities people do other people favours and you can get a lot for free.

    As for hiding behind my curtains I do not have curtains, as I live in a high rise and have no need for them nor the rose tinted glasses, as I have near 20/20 vision. Nor do I drive however I am an active member in my local community, use the local shops, talk frequently with neighbours and knock on elderly neighbours doors when the weather is bad to check to see if they are ok or if they need anything from the shops.

    As for the big society already there and doing it. And thank heavens that I live in Salford as it is not Manchester, too very different cities divided by a river just like Gateshead and Newcastle. Or the North and the South for that matter. I have lived in this urban conurbation of Greater Manchester for over 20 years and I know my community very well but only because I choose to, however in the country it is easier, as there are usually less people in the immediate area and everyone knows everyone but that applies in cities as well to some extent.

    Active citizens can be found in either and we can all take out or put in as much as we wish but for now I prefer the city, oh and we live off a household income of £200 per week. So it can be done here as well and an allotment helps a great deal. Our meat rations are just that on a par with WWII levels with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. We may not have much of an income but we do have a reasonable and contented lives here in the city.

    Oh and the government/council says we have too much income by £75 per week and outside of the reduction in council tax and a small allowance for housing benefit we get no help with medical costs or any other benefits.

    So if the government is going to use income as an indicator for measuring wellbeing then they may have to think again.

  8. John says:

    Whoa! Cities are big places, some parts are great and some are awful. We’re all different and some of us love life in the city and others just hate it.

    I love where we are now, it’s what we’ve always wanted but I miss the allotment and the friends I had on there. I’ve heard people say how the countryside is a wonderful place to bring up children. But most teenagers much prefer the town. No discos, clubs and what have you in the country. Even the villages around here have their problems with vandalism and drugs.

    I can only speak as I find – we’ve lived mainly on housing estates up to now so finding some surprises in our move. But that’s no bad thing.

    From my researches into alternative and appropriate energy technologies, I think bio-gas is a technology that has its place mainly on farms with lots of poo to digest. With human waste the investment in new sewer systems alone would be huge.

    However, we miss huge opportunities in cities for combined heat and power plants. Small scale wind generators, especially in urban areas, rarely recoup the carbon input in their manufacture. But, and it’s a big but, the technology is improving all the time.

    Solar power offers potential even in our climate. Certainly for heating and water heating although solar photovoltaics make no real sense yet economically. Once again, the technology is developing and what’s needed is a drop in manufacturing cost.

    Personally, I’d like a wind generator but before investing in one I need to measure the wind potential where we are. A ground source heat pump is probably our best replacement for the LPG but the installation is likely to cost above £7000 – no small amount. There is also a micro-generating boiler available that may be an option – although I’d like to see hard figures

    The most sensible thing anyone can do before looking at micro-generation is to reduce usage. Insulation, draft proofing etc. I’ve just put up radiator shelves to stop heat going behind the curtains and force it into the room. Huge difference for a cost of about £10 a radiator.

    I need to look at the possibility of external insulation to some of the old stone walls and possibly a trombe wall on the south facing end.

    The new section may or may not have cavity insulation – not sure how to find out (the outside is rendered) but if not, it would help.

    The loft insulation needs measuring and then I’ll calculate the U values etc and see how much extra to add.

    We’ve 4 acres here and live in an area with a lot of forestry. Wood fuel is appropriate and economical. But it wouldn’t make much sense in the city. Imagine all the lorries delivering the wood for starters!

    Eventually (5 years, 10 years?) we’ll grow all our own wood fuel but for now I’ve some cheap and near free sources for some at least.

    Income isn’t a good guide to happiness. I like the quote from David Copperfield “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

  9. brandeberryj says:

    my rules on frugal living have always been the same… penny make pounds pounds buy beer. Steve I don’t believe the government said it is going to use money as a measure of happiness they have said money is not the best measure of happiness. You know John you don’t look like your short of anything there although you could probably do without the vandalism. I take it the wood you get is softwood? A lot of people slag softwood down while going out of there way to collect pallets? At the end of the day all you do is burn more
    A couple of weeks back I got back from the pub Friday morning and left my wallet outside on top of a wood chopping block it was still there Sunday…a bit disappointed you would have thought someone would have knocked on and told me. All the money was soaked. Vandalism is nil here probably because there is a fair amount of old people here and not a lot of young.
    I have got 10″ of insulation in the attic but I got another 6″ from some special offer (carbon offset???) at a £1 a triple roll but I haven’t fitted it yet as (ignoring my bone idleness) my neighbour a builder said it will have a minimal effect on insulation. It was in his opinion not worth the effort. I don’t suppose anyone knows where I can check that out? If he is right I will probably give it away on freecycle. I really do not like fitting insulation anyway.
    The Snow outside has now reached about 12″ And I cannot find my bin with all the kindling in. Not to much of a problem as I have no heating on no fire going and I am very hot think I may have a fever no problem the buses will probably be running again Monday. Now John have you thought that you do not actually need hot water or a least a tank of it? Most things nowadays are cold water fill (washing machine ect) including my shower. I just fill my kettle up if i want a wash obviously I don’t have to do this in the winter because of the wood burner. I have economy 7 which cost me more as the break even poin is 20% night use but i rarely make that. But its my little bit for the environment as they produce so much excess electricity at night. have to go and find my wood. Good job I have all that cider on I don’t even need to go out. Well I will haveto dig my wood out. JB

  10. brandeberryj says:

    PS Do not bother with paper briquettes. I borrowed the thing to make them. The hours spent making them and the heat produced meant you would probably make about 10p an hour. You would not believe the amount of ash they produce. Yet another piece of junk BUT I have not tried this idea yet. As I bring my wood home to do the finally cutting I have collected the chainsaw chipping and used them for composting the size of them would suggest it is far better than what you get from the garden shredder but I only did this one year as the amount of chippings was huge. Now you could use briquette maker to make the wood bricks? You will need to add watered down PVC glue (my mates says wood glue is to expensive).

  11. brandeberryj says:

    Steve of Salford
    Not sure if it is a good or a bad thing that the community already knows who you are and where you are from. They certainly know where you live and where to find you. I prefer the isolation of the city and that of a close knit circle of comrades than that of the rural community,
    AND
    Not sure I wish to buy into that again, where every one knows your business, if you let them. They both have pluses and negatives.

    AND Then you said
    I am an active member in my local community, use the local shops, talk frequently with neighbours and knock on elderly neighbours doors when the weather is bad to check to see if they are OK or if they need anything from the shops.

    I have lived in this urban conurbation of Greater Manchester for over 20 years and I know my community very well but only because I choose to, however in the country it is easier, as there are usually less people in the immediate area and everyone knows everyone but that applies in cities as well to some extent.

    To me you appear to be contradicting yourself or are you saying you want to know other peoples business but they shouldn’t know yours??

  12. John says:

    Just in case my entry comes over wrongly, I’m not complaining, unhappy or wanting for anything. I’m just noting the differences between town and country that I hadn’t realised.

  13. Steve in Salford says:

    Ah I see that there is confusion, in what I may or may not have said, in the city I can choose who I wish to know my business or who I talk to. However in the country you have little choice and every one knows everyone’s business because it is a much smaller community.

    I choose to be an active citizen at any point I feel like it I can stop. The question as to how the government plans to measure well-being is another issue, it was my suggestion that if they were going to use wealth as an indicator then perhaps they should think again.

    As for the comments on the making wood bricks for the fire there seems to be some contradiction there as it is suggested every penny saved makes pounds, then in a later post it says not worth the effort only saves you about 10pence an hour. Is that not still a saving?

    How about using the newspaper to bind together the wood chips?

    As John pointed out there are 101 ways to skin a cat and to make or use energy. One size approach will not work, if you only have solar what if the sun does not shine? What if you only have wind power and the wind does not blow? That’s why a multiple approach needs to be taken.

    Ground source heat pumps are a good way of providing hot water, there is a version for the roof as well looks like a solar panel.

    But all this takes up resources and may produce more carbon in manufacture than it off-sets. But whatever happens with “the community/world” whilst we are in transition, you can bet your bottom dollar it is probably not fast enough. More than probable that the damage is already done and may not be reversible as far as climate change is concerned.

    However we should do everything to mitigate our impacts not because of climate change but because it is the right thing to do. We waste so much energy and resources and we are using about 2.5 planets worth (the size of Earth) of resources every year. Common sense should say that that is unsustainable. Personally I think we are doomed as a species but hey never mind the planet should just get on nicely without us.

  14. Steve in Salford says:

    I think that there is some misunderstanding of what an active citizen is and a nosey old busy body, which you tend to get more of in the country, as there is less to do. A sweeping generalisation I know. But in reference to the response below:

    “To me you appear to be contradicting yourself or are you saying you want to know other peoples business but they shouldn’t know yours??”

    I neither care nor am I interested in other peoples business, I pick and choose who I speak to and who my friend are. I do not share information with strangers on the street, only hello, how are you? what are you up to? the usual pleasantries, just like country folk.

    There are communities everywhere in cities, in towns and in the country but we are all one community. I volunteer my time in the community as an active citizen and play my part in local devolution and governance. Outside of that that is all I do in my community. That is what an active citizen does, they work selflessly without reward for the betterment of their community.

    It is much easier to be isolated in cities but saying hello to people costs you nothing, is this not what civilised people do everywhere?

    I hope that clears up any confusion. I see the benefits of both living in the country or the city and downsides of both. I was born in the country in smallish village pop. less than 4,000 even now, suppose its a market town. Given the choice between the two, I prefer the city right now. But in ten years time I might decide I wish to live in the country but I am well aware of the perils of doing so.

    As neither of us drives living in the sticks would not be wise, unless it had a decent set of local shops but then the isolation of not being able to get away from the country to anywhere would drive me bananas. The outskirts of a city is rural enough for me but frankly as alluring as living the “Good Life” in the country might be I would rather do it on the outskirts of a city and have the best of both worlds. Self sufficiency is all well and good but not without civilisation and rural is just not for me. All far too parochial.

  15. Steve in Salford says:

    But what really amazes me is why I choose to work with people at all whether that is as a volunteer or active citizen.

    As I do not really like people. Which is why extremely remote rural self sufficient life would suit me down to the ground. I like my remoteness with in the city, I can choose how much I wish to engage or not.

    My friends and work colleagues are the same they work with people and dislike the powers that be (who try to pull the wool over the communities eyes wrapping it up as consultation) just as much as me, we are what are is known as a curmudgeonly group.

    We all have a softish underbelly with each other but only show a hard face to exterior world. We strive to fight for what is right and a better deal for the community from the powers that be.

    Aside from which it is a great deal of fun knowing that when you speak and say something in certain settings backing the opposition into a corner knowing that you have just undermined their argument or stance. We do it for fun, others do it with bears.

    Semantics is wonderful, if ever we should any of us meet in person and the words “am I understanding your correctly, as I am not sure what you said or meant” come out of my mouth then duck and run for cover. By changing the words that they have used and throwing it back at them only leaves them with two choices try to weasel out of what they said or back up what you said your understanding of their meaning was when they spoke.

    Its great fun, we love lighting the touch paper and stepping back. Up the revolution …..

  16. Mike says:

    Im sorry Steve but I find your lengthy posts too confusing and inacurate, im not sure what point you are trying to make.I have lived in inner cities and some very isolated rural areas, people are generaly the same where ever you live the difference being that the more isolated you are the more self reliant you have to be, for that reason those around you will take an interest in your welfare, this is a two way street as you will in return look out for them. in the cities on the other hand you can rely on the community around you to supply your needs, so if you run out of milk you can just nip to the nearest 24hr store and buy it at anytime of day or night, your not reliant on your neighbours so you dont need them and they dont need you. I prefer to live in rural areas as I find its easy to feel isolated amongst the crowds in the cities

  17. brandeberryj says:

    No Steve 10p an hour is definitely NOT worth doing and I am sure you would not work for that much. I am certain that virtually no one would do that (unless they were doing something they liked and would therefore do it for nothing) I am sure….no certain I could do better IE fetching some apples which are being wasted and giving them away is better than spending hours making say 30 bricks of minimal heat output better putting the paper in the recycling bin.

    In reference to: “Ground source heat pumps are a good way of providing hot water” No wrong again this is only considered practical if you do it with 3 neighbours (close by).

    “As neither of us drives living in the sticks would not be wise, unless it had a decent set of local shops” GET A BIKE I am thinking of adding a power assisted one to my stable of bikes for transporting wood etc and definitely for when I am old and knackered.

    You know the only thing you say of any sense is “But all this takes up resources and may produce more carbon in manufacture than it off-sets” (Like….solar power?)If only people/government gave that more thought before they went for some of these mad ideas. Wind power for January 2010 varied between virtually zero and 160 megawatts how the hell can you plan round that? Well one thing is to have a gas power station running in the back ground which can quickly change to full capacity which is exactly what they do. Is that insane I am not sure if they are just going through the motions with all this carbon reduction. Nuclear power would sort it all out end of.
    I would also point out that this forum is about rural living. Your first contribution was “Oh yes all that wonderful fresh country air along with the isolation in times of heavy snow or rain, will only enhance the sense of your freedom. Watch that it does not send you barmy.” This is called slagging of and now you are turning this forum into a political rant you have almost certainly destroyed it as a forum as people will almost certainly give up on it. Well done “comrade” PS Most people would have understood that “rose tinted glasses and hiding behind your curtains” are not meant to be taken literally. “So As for hiding behind my curtains I do not have curtains, as I live in a high rise and have no need for them nor the rose tinted glasses, as I have near 20/20 vision.” is fairly meaningless.
    So sorry JOHN as WE (brother Stalin and myself) appear to have knackered up your forum. Again sorry I should have ignored the original remarks from Steve.

  18. brandeberryj says:

    “Just in case my entry comes over wrongly, I’m not complaining, unhappy or wanting for anything. I’m just noting the differences between town and country that I hadn’t realised.”
    Didn’t mean to say you were. What are you 4 acres like IE quality of ground and angle? I am as soon as I save the money going to terrace my newly bought back garden, top views………at the very top. 4 acres are mightily expensive if attached to a house they really put up the price or add to the value of a property. I believe Wales (rural) is not all that cheap? My daughter lives in…..Wales somewhere. Lincolnshire on the other hand is quite cheap as it has very poor links to the rest of the country or put another way less second homes. JB

  19. John says:

    Now come one, we can have different viewpoints without rancour. Please remember this is isn’t a discussion forum as per the chat section. Helpful comments are welcome but not arguments.

    Ground source heat pumps (and air source) can make a lot of sense for an individual household if your primary power source is LPG, Oil or Electric. When we are ready to move on it, then we will go through the figures with a fine tooth comb for our individual circumstances.

    I’m a pretty public person – much of the last 8 years of my life is on this site which is open to the world. So I don’t really mind my neighbours knowing much about me. However, I can see how it would rankle with some others. We found some cities had strong local communities other areas of the same city had none.

    Regardless, the vast majority of people live in urban situations and whilst many want to live in the country in theory, in fact they may find the reality not what they expected or wanted. We happen to love it.

    N Wales is cheap, I haven’t looked at prices in detail in Lincolnshire. Our choice of N Wales was based on other factors as well as price – access to elderly relatives being one.

    This place cost us slightly more than the small bedroom flat we started out in was on the market for last time. Location – the sunny south!

    Mike’s comments about reliance make a lot of sense to me. There’s a trade off, you can have 24 hour shopping just 5 minutes away but only in high density population areas – or you can have a local shop 15 minutes away open business hours and low density population.

  20. brandeberryj says:

    Remember what I said About LPG and changing suppliers? This is the Internet site I believe is supplied by the competition authority. One of the suppliers that was prepared to deliver to me had an Internet site WITH ITS PRICES ON THE HOME PAGE? Or put another way they could not charge people different prices. Something which is particularly annoying?
    http://www.uklpg.org/supplier-search/search.php
    Try it enquire what there prices are for delivery to you and see if you are being robbed. Some may even want more but this is invariable because they are sending a tanker a ludicrous distance or possibly because they haven’t woken up to the new reality.
    Reference “This place cost us slightly more than the small bedroom flat we started out in was on the market for last time. Are you serious? I am going to make wild guess London?
    I am also having difculty believe this “Location – the sunny south!” At least the sunny south bit?? ………you are talking about Wales?

  21. brandeberryj says:

    Unbelievable just went to the site where the price is on the home page 52.1 up from 47p while mine has remained at 47p. How come there is such big price differences…maybe mine has bought there’s well in advance?

  22. John says:

    Our first flat (which cost £3000) was in Leamington Spa, technically the Midlands I suppose, but the sunny south from our viewpoint. The last time it was sold, a couple of years ago, it went for £220,000.

    We’re in North Wales, near Caernarfon, and it’s gloriously sunny if cold this morning.

    LPG – hmm, what a game.

  23. brandeberryj says:

    I would say that’s as near as dammit the perfect statement/view on the difference or the lack of it between the country and town living!!

  24. brandeberryj says:

    Opps the latter was addressed to Mike

  25. brandeberryj says:

    To John
    I don’t half talk some rubbish horrendous memory so some excuse this what I found in a document in my computer files Energas 37p 36p first month 16.4p rent. NOT 47P A LITRE AND HAS NOT CHANGED IN 9 MONTHS…………. I think will burn some of it??

  26. Steve in Salford says:

    Dear John

    The prospect of rural living and the adventures that you will have over the coming years will make interesting reading.

    As for scoring points not interested, life’s too short. As for 10p an hour not being worth saving I still disagree with that one. If it is a saving it is still a saving but then we are all entitled to our opinion.

    I know nothing about LPG but do have some knowledge of renewable energy, as it is related to my field of study, which is wildlife and practical conservation in which I have a degree.

    You may ask how it relates? Well without consumption or humans wildlife would be doing just nicely thank you. It is the impacts of humans and their desire for resources that impacts upon land and its usage. Not suggesting we should all be vegetarians but actually think about our consumption and consume less.

    I have a bike but not very practical in the urban or rural environment in the winter when their is snow on the ground.

    I write I am afraid as speak, my colleagues are used to it always have jumped from one subject to the next (in fact we all do it), it all makes sense in my head but often leaves me with a is it me in my head when people do not understand.

    This forum offers the opportunity for a shared experience and exchange of knowledge. Which if you are in your position of thinking where you are going next with you rural adventure is an advantage.

    I for one enjoy your posts and look forward to the next one.

  27. John says:

    Strangely Steve the Chernobyl disaster has actually been good for wildlife. The radiation forced people out of thousands of square miles and the city is reverting to forest and the forest doing very nicely thanks without people.

    As for 10p an hour making logs from paper – well I do a lot of things that pay badly – like growing veggies. BUT – if you enjoy what you’re doing then why not? Sometimes those mindless tasks are the saviour of your sanity.

  28. Steve in Salford says:

    Oh indeed sometimes you need mindless to get away from the mundaneness or the stress of day to day life. Or it may be about stretching your resources (coal or wood) and making them go further. Wood ash is good for the veggies as well.

    Chernobyl has been good for wildlife, mainly because we have been out of the area. It has recovered much faster than the scientists thought it would.

    It is a heavily studied area as well, as so far outside of Japan it is the only area (testing sites aside) that has actually been witness to a nuclear explosion or disaster.

    Nature finds a way, time is a great healer and all that. Which is the standpoint I come from with humanity, we are not good for the planet. Not on our current system of exploitation or the way we are heading.

    There is too much lip service in regard, to sustainability from business or government. I/we try to do our best at limiting how much impact we have on the environment, we try to source food locally mostly meat and home grown. However we fall down with technology, and our use of it but there are some things none of us are going to give up.

    But hey no body is perfect……

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