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Going green

Getting into hot water

There’s a lot of doom and gloom from COVID-19 at the moment. So here’s something positive: I got a new hot water system. Twelve years ago this month I got solar hot water installed: a collector panel on the roof, a tank to store the water, and a gas booster. I thought it was going  ... [More]

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Home life TV

Home improvement

Yes, sometimes my blog isn’t about transport. If you’d prefer to see only transport posts, you can use this link. Here’s a post where I ramble on about recent upgrades around my house. Wall insulation I had wall insulation installed earlier in the year. The winter gas bill came in recently. It’s down 37.7% from  ... [More]

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Going green Home life Toxic Custard newsletter

Wall insulation

Improving my house’s heating and cooling and energy efficiency is an ongoing project. 2008 Solar hot water 2012 Ceiling fans and roof insulation 2015 External blinds 2017 Air-conditioning (a backwards step for energy efficiency, but a giant leap for comfort on very hot days) This week it was wall insulation. Obviously this is best fitted  ... [More]

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Going green Home life Toxic Custard newsletter

Decarbonising my home

While my most pressing home renovation need is the bathroom (planning to do this the next time my sons are away on a trip), I was also thinking: Governments should be doing a lot more on climate change, but what are the major emissions in my home, and how could I decarbonise? The car. I  ... [More]

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Home life Toxic Custard newsletter transport

What is a “family-friendly” house?

When you’re house-hunting, there’s a continuum of numerous factors weighed against each other, including indoor space, outdoor space, location, walkability, and plenty more, including of course price. By walkability, I mean the walking distance to amenity such as parks, good public transport, shops. (Walkscore attempts to measure this.) From some points of view, perhaps the  ... [More]

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Home life Toxic Custard newsletter

I finally got air-con

(To just see transport-related blog posts, you can use this link — which is also on the top navigation menu) For years I’ve resisted air-conditioning at home. Partly it was the cost, partly it was that I really wanted to pursue passive cooling as much as I could — measures that used little or no  ... [More]

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Consumerism Home life Toxic Custard newsletter

How do I pay the electrician?

A couple of years ago I got a ceiling fan fitted in the kitchen. The electrician was pleasant, competent, and did a good job. He said he’d send me an invoice. He never did. A couple of months later I emailed him and asked him to send it. He acknowledged the email and said he’d  ... [More]

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Home life music Toxic Custard newsletter

TreatYoSelf: Sonosed

Brace yourself… a non-transport-related blog post. A couple of years ago I bought a Yamaha surround sound setup, which has been fabulous. I’d single out the sound track on Mad Max Fury Road in particular; very immersive. Heck, even later seasons of the West Wing had some subtle surround going on, adding to the viewing  ... [More]

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Home life Toxic Custard newsletter

Ikea Billy upgrade

I bought some Billy bookshelves for the livingroom some years ago. I picked their beech colour… and then they discontinued it. While I love the look, and the reconfigurability of the moveable shelves and the fact that you can always buy more (well, except in beech, so not really in my case), I can’t say  ... [More]

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Home life Toxic Custard newsletter

Heatwave: external blinds under test

Over the weekend Melbourne went through our biggest heatwave so far this summer, and the first real test of my external blinds, which were fitted to the house early this year. Looking at the two nearest weather stations to me, yesterday the temperature at Melbourne (Olympic Park) peaked at 40.7 at 4:27pm. At Moorabbin Airport  ... [More]

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