Monday, 9 March 2015

Home Energy - Footpaths challenge - Getting to know your home - Checking for draughts

It has been now more than two years that I am living in my home. I cannot claim I know my house very well in order to do all the energy saving changes. Thanks to Footpaths manual, there is a checklist to help in getting to know a home. It encouraged me to do some searches.

A number of energy saving changes were done before we got in the house

  • the 300mm of loft insulation
  • cavity walls filled
  • double glazed windows
  • the hot water tanks and pipes were lagged
We came in the house with good habits such as ensuring that the appliances and gadgets are not on standby and assets - all our lights are energy savings light bulbs. Nevertheless, there are still few things that are ought to be looked into more closely:
  • draught strips around windows and doors
  • heating controls programmed
  • thermostatic valves on radiators
Let start with ensuring that the house is draught-free!

With my beautiful little hand, I went all around the house checking if there were any drafts. I found one.
Under my front door. I now understand why the corridor is always very cold. So what options do I have to fix this little issue from the least expensive to more expensive options
- Do Nothing
- Make with reclaimed material a door draught excluder (see pic)
- Change the door sweeps
- Change the front door
Easy busy!

I have to choose one of those options. I might start with a door draught excluder!

What about you?

Did you check for any drafts in your house?
What did you do about it?

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The mask over my vulnerability

Jessica Blain Photography click here
The past five months have been absolutely erratic.
I started a new job. Simultaneously, I started to organise a festival with my activist friends
I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do with my job. Unfortunately, I shot myself in the legs.
My supervisors and I fell into the trap of mistrust, conflict and all the rest of it.
I became uncontrollable. The more they were trying to send me in one direction, the more I wanted to go into the opposite. I did not control my reactions. I wanted to get control back. The more I was trying to, the more I was alienating our relationships. I felt that I could not share the way I feel because I thought they were intolerant towards my vulnerabilities. I shut down my feelings, joy, anger, fear, happiness, love in their presence. It appeared to be the easy option but it revealed itself to be the harshest. What could I possibly know? My main escape was to join the extremism of activism by working only on the festival. the only space where I felt I belong. But I could not work as productively because my mind and my heart were hurt. 
How could I possibly connect with people with a different life experience than mine when I felt so uncomfortable with being my true self in front of them? 
They gave up. Finally, they stop trying to control me. I have my space again. Very easily the truth appears in front of my eyes. Now I know what to do, where to go for the sun to shine again above me. I am hoping we will reconnect if I have to courage to take away the mask that covers my scars.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Je suis MARIE and I am FREE

The terror attacks in Paris happened beginning of January 2015 -CharlieHebdo - . It was shock for us all. Then, the news frenzy started. Full coverage, TV panels. There were also the Youtube videos, the online articles and the Facebook news feed. 

Were you squashed emotionally? I personally was. 

The news feed on Facebook was full of hatred, fear and anger with endless discussion on pros and cons of free speech, satirical images, islam. Television broadcasting does quite well in sharing information. Furthermore, it is important to recognise that there are also some really good reporters and panellists on my list of contacts and I am sure in yours too. After reflection, I was not pleased with my own actions in the digital space. I am also a contributor, I am guilty and addicted. Freedom had to be taken back.

I left my contemplation. I spent the evening with my nephews. They asked me for a story before going to bed. I told them the story of the Jackal and the Giraffe. They smiled. I tucked them into bed. They slept. I came back home. I wrote this piece. It was the 7th of January.

Today, I share this post. 

Tomorrow, I will cycle, the sun will be there, the sky too and the birds will sing. Then I will meet the locals, we will have enlightened discussion drawing a new world with colours of hope, love and happiness. I will leave them and fly towards it.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Home Energy, Footpaths Challenge - Monitoring Energy Consumption

According to the Energy Saving Trust you could find that your energy usage drops by between five and 15% in the first year of using an energy monitor, which could be a saving of £25 to £75 on a £500 bill.

I am following the homework of the Footpaths book as promised in previous post (here). I set myself to read my meters every week to monitor my energy consumption.

It is tedious. 

I tried twice to make it an habit. I fell miserably.

Reading is not really the issue but accessing the meter might be the issue. I better put my shoes elsewhere and learn to squat. 

I recognise that for changing you have to recognise first your pattern of behaviour. The truth of the matter is that I do not know exactly how bad we behave in our household.

Badly, most probably. 

Example - I spent most of the day in my warm gown with a hat on. The heaters  were off. Then family came back home in the evening. I went to the kitchen to cook. I came out of the kitchen, got into the living room. The temperature was exotic. The gas heater in the living room was blasting away as family do not really like wearing jumpers but prefer a good heat for time to time.

I am recognising that it is actually wearing off my motivation slightly, hence the lack of squatting. I think it is good to acknowledge that to move forward. After I take off my shoes every monday evening, I will check the meters. I will call a family meeting when I've got some facts on our bbbbeeeehhhaaavvviour!

I hope I will keep it up. Wish me Luck.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Communicating the illegal and the illegitimate

Am I illegal and illegitimate if I exist? 
I am legal and legitimate because I am.
I am communicating my legitimacy and legality by my presence.
The questions arise when looking upon others' eyes. 
Can they see me on the horizon? Do they pay attention? 
Is it really necessary for me to shout out that I am here? 
Do I have to bark to express my individuality, be it through writings, design, marketing or any other art form?
Do I have to crush their worldviews to give prominence to mine? Why would I do so? Status? Love? 
The search is set to stop when being I with others. 
How would I unite my worldviews with those of others without crushing their aspirations or mine? 
How can we break together rules, create new ones in peace and harmony? 
Communication is not the goal. Unity and Harmony is. Unite with nature. 
Unite with people. Unite with things. Unite with I to be stronger andresilient, to live in harmony with one's self.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The fine line between envy and admiration - final iteration

As promised, my final iteration of the writing game on envy and admiration

I am I through all time
I glimpse the truth when opening I
I travel, connect, transform through I
I am Beautiful always
I feel I
let I dream

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Home Energy, Footpaths Challenge

I have taken upon the challenge to write every week over 5 weeks a small article on my journey in reducing my carbon footprint. Footpaths, a community carbon reduction initiative in Leicester called for challengers and I responded to the call.

As I looked upon my computer screen, I wondered what I possibly could write about.

I completed the Footpaths 8 week session last year. Since then, I got myself a bicycle, I am travelling to work back and forth on it, offered one to my partner for Christmas, produced a lot more vegetarian meals but yet have to convince meat eaters at home, controlled a lot better my finances and got out of debt, open a bank account with an ethical bank, engage myself in reducing clutter and started to buy food from an
organic cooperative.

There are still things that I need to do. There always things that need to be done. Sometimes, I just do not want to look upon this particular list of things to do.

My main hurdle is Home Energy. We all know home are at the centre of our lives. We also know that they are responsible for over a quarter of the UK's Co2 emissions. I have not yet been really good with monitoring energy use, have yet to change my energy suppliers, ensure that all my lightings are energy saving bulbs and have some thermostatic valves on my radiators.

With this in mind, my next step is to go over Footpaths activities on Home energy, work out how much I use and develop a plan. Wish me luck!