Sunday, 16 November 2008

watching winter coming in

Cloudes kesten kenly the colde to the erthe;
With nyye innoghe of the northe the naked to tene

The flat got inspected last week by Brian, from EAGA (no, he doesn't know what it stands for either) which falls under the aegis* of DEFRA. I know someone who also works for DEFRA, as it happens, and she does something to do with soil. The fellow at the next desk is in charge of squirrels. Now that sounds like a job to have.

Anyway, Brian had come down from Liverpool and was surveying the homes of people in the area who have applied for Home Front grants. The point of these is to make homes energy efficient for people on a low income. People ike me.

So he rootled around in the attic, and measured things with his tape measure, and counted the windows and gave the immersion heater a Serious Looking At, and then got out his baby laptop and tapped away for a bit, and gave the flat its score for energy efficiency.

Reader, out of a possible score of 100, we scored 1.

I felt rather distinguished, I have to say.

Not that it's any great surprise; this is the sort of flat where the wind just slows down a bit when it reaches the skylight, and you don't actually get the benefit of having a heater on unless you sit on it with a blanket over you. Of course, being a hardy, ex living-on-top-of-a-mountain sort of type, I am sort of used to it, but it would be nice not to have water freeze in the glass overnight for a change.

So they're going to put insulation in the loft. I don't have gas, otherwise they would have offered me central heating too. Gosh. Brian said that I could have storage heaters if I wanted. I said I'd had them once and hated them; stiflingly hot in the morning and cold by the afternoon. He nodded agreement. Brian isn't a storage heater person either.

*aegis: a sort of ancient greek bus shelter. I think that's where the smokers go during coffee breaks.