Sunday, January 26, 2014

All of Me

I have just finished reading the second Inspector Rebus book "Hide and Seek" by Ian Rankin. Jono had given me the first book "Knots and Crosses". I was very impressed Rankin has a real feel for the dark underbelly of Edinburgh.

In the first novel John Rebus is a troubled policeman haunted by events from the past and present. His past some of which he can't remember following a nervous breakdown after a terrible time in the SAS. Add to this a troubled relationship which his daughter and ex wife, and overachieving brother. Then mix in the dark drug dealing parts of Edinburgh.

The second novel follows almost immediately from the first. Following the events of the know and Crosses Rebus has been promoted, but his relationship with Gill has failed, she taking up with a DJ. A junky is killed and laid in a satanic pose leading Rebus into a dark underworld of crime, run by Hyde.

Both novels heavily reference Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a book that I have never read but certainly will try and pickup.

The action takes place in the 1980's so there are some weird anachronisms reading today. I couldn't help but think, how much mobiles phones have changed things so much. No more calling bars, and other places where someone might be. Or struggling for change at a payphone are a distant memory, the internet generation wont even know what it was like not to be constantly available.

Fight the power

I wrote before Christmas about my weird case of the water meter that wasn't there. After much convincing they had given me a month from which they worked out the average water usage and then backdated the payments. Today I received a revised statement, I am very happy with the result!

They calculated that over the last five years I have overpaid to the tune of £1,437. They are going to refund this to my water account. So no only has getting a water meter meant I save around £20 month on my payment but I am also getting a huge cheque back too. It's well needed after the Christmas excesses.

In other news I have been evaluating getting solar panels for the last couple of months. It might seem an odd idea living in the North West of England, however with the government subsidy the figures stack up well as a long term investment. If you are planning to stay put for at least 10 years and have a southerly aspect its really a no brainer (at least in financial terms, at lot of people argue the eco benefits but I was less concerned on that score). The cost is easily repaid by the governments feed in tariff over the lifetime 20 years. Unfortunately for me on balance the chance of staying put for 10 years seems unlikely at best. Therefore with a heavy heart my idea of self generated power goes on hold for now.