Date: 06 July 2008 07:50:09
We had a good long walk with the puppy in the morning, and another in the evening - and Mr Tasmania has just taken him out for this afternoon's walk - it is SO nice to be able to walk him in daylight! Weekends are very precious at the moment, not just for the rejuvenation time, and the time spent with each other, but because we don't have to get up early and walk puppy in the dark before we leave for work (and walk him in the dark after we get home) ... though, as the shortest day has now passed (hallelujah) I can see the daylight hours getting longer ... I know it's only minutes a day, if that, but I get myself through the dark days of winter by believing that, after shortest day, it's practically Summer!
You can see that I've obviously not inherited the ability to live in the dark during Winter from my Irish and Isle of Man ancestors ... the Croatians must get a bit more sun over Winter and are making their presence felt :) ... I'm not sure about the darkness situation in Germany ... ?? anyone?? (from this you can see that I'm a classic Aussie girl - the melting pot! ... and it's all within the last three generations - Croatian grandparents, and a German great-grandfather) (As are my niece and nephews ... two nephews have, in addition to the above, French, Spanish, and Chilean all within the last three generations - I think that's pretty darn cool!).
Anyhoo, we had the chainsaw out yesterday, removing trees which are blocking the path of the winter sun - not that we have had any sun AT ALL for the last two days - the idea being that they will bush up again in time for summer but will not prevent the beautiful solar rays from warming up our little abode during winter. Sun being warmer somehow than the gas heater ... not to mention a whole heck of a lot cheaper!! WE are, unfortunately, unable to have natural gas connected (it's only recently coming to parts of Tasmania outside Hobart and it will be many many many years before there is the type of network generally accepted in Sydney and Melbourne, let alone other cities) so we have a very large gas bottle outside the house. These are not cheap, though they do last quite a while, but I am more than happy to supplement with free solar at any time.
I love the thought of putting solar panels on the roof and having storage batteries and gradually converting the whole shack to fully solar - but unfortunately it's really not going to happen unless the government really gets behind the renewable energy sector and starts supporting it in a big way - just way too pricy at present. We have vaguely thought of putting the new house on solar, as the Federal Government provided a substantial rebate to those who did - however they have decided, in their 'wisdom' to means test the subsidy - households with incomes over a certain amount are now not eligible. Unfortunately those who are under that amount do not have income to take the large amount of money necessary out of their net income, so the number of households putting in solar energy has plummeted dramatically since the announcement of the means test.
There is an online petition put up by one of the morning shows which is going to be presented to the government in the hopes that they will reverse their decision to impose the means test - I've signed it, as has Mr Tasmania, as the had good results with another of their online petitions last year, changing the government's mind on another environmentally unfriendly decision.
We can only hope!
We went and saw Prince Caspian last night, so nice to actually go to the movies! It's a great film too, the books are some of my absolute favourites, and I have VERY well worn copies in the bookshelf. Mr Tasmania has never read them, nor seen the first movie, so I had to fill him in, and he enjoyed it very much - hopefully I can get him to read the books now :) There was some artistic licence taken, but none that bothered me (much like the artistic licence taken with Lord of the Rings), as they enhanced rather than detracted - and I don't honestly think that C.S.Lewis wrote any of his books with possible screen plays at the back of his mind! :)
Today has been church, a trip to the block to discuss digging out of a vast bank of dirt with one of Mr Tasmania's brothers, and then lunch at Jolly Rogers - Salt and Pepper Squid - YUUUUMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!! Now home with the papers, and Mr TAsmania walking the doggy while I put on the washing and that's it, and almost perfect weekend (would have been perfect if we'd seen the sun even once!)