Cool conditions


Have you ever tried ringing your electricity company? Mind you finding their number is not straightforward. Online it offers a bot (robot) to answer your questions, or you could try Frequently asked Questions, or an online forum. I waded my way through these and my question was still not answered so then I phoned.

I rang and put my phone on speaker and got on with my work. When I finally heard someone, I was concentrating so much on something else that I almost missed his ‘Hello. Can I help you?’. He did help and I got my credit back. My bill has been overcharged again because I am saving electricity.

Thinking about electricity, we are replacing our high wattage light bulbs with low energy efficient ones. Going through the house I am surprised to find that some are 70 watts. The more modern ones save more energy than our old ones. I have never considered it until now, but I imagine some are about twenty years old.

I remember a friend of mine many years ago being given a ‘bulb for life’ – it was an energy saving one and it was such a novelty that she loved getting it as a gift. I wonder if she still has it and if so, has she checked the energy use? Can you imagine being given a light bulb for a birthday present these days? I remember it was very exciting to us all at the time when we used 200-watt bulbs.

But the approach of the darker nights and signs of colder weather are not very exciting. However, the mosses are in their element. Cool and dark are just the right conditions for them to grow. Every morning I see more. The drive has become green, seemingly overnight, with the mosses crawling surreptitiously into the middle.

My cooking apple tree trunk has gone frilly and green and as the tree leaves drop the moss seems to climb higher into the branches. I can see mosses growing on our patio too and they are there on our summer sunny concrete paving slabs especially in the cracks. It seems as if mosses were dead and dry in the summer but when damp weather came, they revived as if by magic. All they need is water and carbon dioxide to live. It is so easy for them they get everything they need from the air.

Our hedges have been trimmed at last. The tractor with its cutting and shredding equipment has been up and down our lane. Only twig skeletons are left behind showing up the, once hidden, little birds’ nests made last spring from our rootless moss.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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