dstanners

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About dstanners

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  • Location NRW
  • Nationality British

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  1. Solar Panels or Solar Energy

    I had a couple of folk around to quote for PV last week. The first quote (the one expected to be cheapest) has just arrived, and I'm struggling to see how it can be even close to cost effective. The total cost (inc Mwst) is 32k to supply and install a 14.8kwp system with wall box and battery, guaranteed for 12 years. There is a possibly 1.5k subsidy in relation to the wall box, but apparently nothing else is available. Given my electricity bill has been less than 1.5k for the last few years, even allowing for a price increase, it doesn't appear to me that PV makes economic sense, as I'd be out of guarantee with a drop off in panel/battery performance way before it had paid itself back. Am I missing a key benefit here, or is there some other sort of subsidy that they have failed to mention? I suppose the battery and wall box (combined cost just under 10k) make a difference, particularly if I change to an electric vehicle. Can't think of anything else though. Anyone else receiving similarly priced offers?    
  2. How are your cherries doing?

    Yes. I wouldn't recommend it. We boil up a sugar and water solution and pour that over cherries in jars. You then stick the glass jars on a baking tray with about 2cm of water and bake for a couple of hours. They keep for months that way, and taste fresh when you open the jars. My wife is doing it as we speak.   My demijohns are currently sterilising, so I'll be making cherry wine this afternoon which is another alternative way to "store" cherries.  
  3. What made you smile today?

    England v. NZ today: batsman caught out off the non-striker's bat: https://twitter.com/i/status/1539982449958014976
  4. How are your cherries doing?

    I've just eaten a cherry cake from cherries picked two days ago (but I ate a few last week too). Here in the Eifel, we are a good two weeks maybe even a month later than the folk nearer Cologne or Bonn. The first cherries are only just starting to turn a darker red now, which is more than sweet enough for me, but in a couple of weeks they will be even juicier.    From experience, ours are at their best for wine about now before they go too dark, and fortunately for us there is so many on our trees that there will still be plenty for eating in a few weeks.  ...oh it's a bumper year for strawberries too. Happy days.
  5. Cost of living crisis

    It is "elementary" insofar as it is straightforward, but these sorts of things are not being covered at elementary school maths lessons (at least not in the UK or Germany). The content of those lessons doesn't seem to have changed significantly since my time at school, but the marketing of financial options for buying goods and services has changed massively. There are too many people making such poor financial decisions for this to be unrelated. The basic maths lessons at schools (again, I can only speak from experience in the UK and Germany) does not equip children for key financial decisions in real life.  
  6. Cost of living crisis

    Couldn't agree more. There are too many families with too poor a grasp on basic finance to leave this to parents. Indeed, leaving this to parents is likely to cause financial inequality to increase: financially literate parents teach those skills to their kids, whilst children whose parents don't have that experience miss out at best, or more likely repeat the errors.   In addition to just "being frugal" (which is not to belittle that concept by the way), I think it is sensible and not hugely difficult to teach other finance issues based on real life examples school children could understand: what their phone contracts actually cost - i.e. that a "free" handset is actually expensive, when it is tied into a 36 month contract. The advertised finance deal on a cool-looking TV, means that in five years they'll still be paying X for the TV. Will it still look like such good value/cool in 5 years and do 5 year old TVs look cool to them today?    I've met so many adults who are in a poor financial situation because long term deals which seemed "affordable" when advertised as a weekly amount, turn to be crippling if they have any financial changes several years into the contract.   
  7. BREXIT positives and negatives

    After almost three years out of the UK, I've been back three times in the last four weeks. It really doesn't feel like "home", and everyone seems to avoid the Brexit-sized elephant in the room at all costs. At the Eurostar check-in (for which I started queueing up outside Kings Cross), they kept apologising for the delays due to the need for "extra security and covid checks". No mention that Brexit is the reason that all UK passports need to be individually checked and stamped (by outgoing UK customs as well as incoming French customs) before you've even left the country. As for Covid, you just show the app whilst waiting in the queue, so that is being added as a real red-herring.   Today we can expect to see legislation being proposed which allows the use of agency workers to break strikes, and there isn't any sort of public outcry about this. Folk in the UK (ok, perhaps not all of them) don't seem to care because they only care about their own train cancellations, and as such currently see strikes as a moaning hangover of over-indulged, lazy workers, rather than the last desperate bargaining chip to try to get management to listen. Once this change comes into force (and it looks like it will), everyone in the UK can look forward to asking their bosses for a raise. I'm sure they can enjoy realising that such request is tantamount to resigning.   I guess this race to the bottom is "levelling up".  
  8. Regulation on Dangerous Dogs

    Rules for dogs and whether they are allowed in different areas/off the lead are decided by the town and land. That said, throughout Germany, if the area is a designated public playground then almost certainly dogs are not even allowed. Some dogs (and their owners) have certain dispensations which allow them to be off the lead more often or able to be in otherwise restricted areas, subject to the dog and trainer having passed relevant tests (for example, mine is certified as a companion dog and also able to accompany hunts etc).    I don't believe the picture is sufficient to tell whether the dog is really a Staffie-mix or any other "dangerous" dog breed (that definition varies from land to land too). More importantly, the fact that its owners are prepared to sit around ignoring their dog as it growls at passers by, tells me enough to know that they clearly have never passed any of the various accreditations which could even potentially exempt them from being on a lead.    Take a video/picture of the dog (a dog is not covered by data protection rules) and report the incident to the local Ordnungsamt (not the police).
  9. Interesting spam e-mails received

    Just received this one, and it's a nice upgrade / reversal on the usual emails. Rather than asking for my help, or telling me about a stroke of good fortune, the governor of the bank of Nigeria seems to be telling me off!   How are you today?. Am writing you again categorically to know if you are receiving my mails or not.You should confirm the receipt of this message/mail and indicate if you are ready to receive your outstanding fund or not.   If you not ready to redeem it now,kindly notify me immediately so that I will close your payment file and declare the fund dormant and confiscate it. Am tired of receiving calls and messages from some people who said you sent them to redeem the fund on your behalf.   This is very important and annoying at this juncture because you haven't email me on that regards that you are sending someone to receive it on your behalf.   I look forward to hearing from you.   Mr. Godwin I. Emefiele CBN Executive Governor.
  10. Why are you happy today?

    I'm happy because these chaps are doing a great job of cutting my lawn (Eifel-style).
  11. What made you laugh today?

    The bit that amazes me, is the rather unlikely venue for the alleged trip. I could imagine media agents might drop their phone into vat of Sangria on a Marbella booze cruise, but what were they doing on a boat in the north sea? Mackerel fishing from Whitby? Drilling for oil?    
  12. BREXIT positives and negatives

    It all beggars belief. The UK decision to conclude an agreement incorporating border/trade controls between GB and NI was of course moronic. But once it was done, the issue is now solely an internal UK problem. There is no reason why the EU would want to make reopening the Brexit deal on that point a top priority. What amazed me crossing the channel this past week was that the ports in Dunkirk and Dover now have a new section for ferries direct to Ireland. Brexit has left the UK as such a basket case that it's actually easier to stick lorries on a boat near the Belgian border doing about 30 knots for 24 hours all the way to Ireland, rather than nip across the channel and drive through GB. It would be almost possible to describe the UK as being in a state of managed decline, except the word "managed" is too generous. It's sad really, but from my conversations with folk over there, there wasn't much appetite to do anything about it.  
  13. Going to France (from Germany)

    That might be good news for you, but sadly that just reminded me that back in the day, I was pulled over three times on a 5 mile trip home one evening. Each time I was issued with a 7 day wonder. Perhaps I should have made more of an effort.   Of course, when the first policeman asked me: "is this your vehicle?", I probably shouldn't have answered: "No Sherlock. I went to the pavilion car park and looked for the oldest, rustiest car I could find, and decided to drive that home". The 17 year old me was not as clever as he thought he was.      
  14. Ok, this is really short notice (I did say that I might have to go before July!), but could she make it tomorrow? I'm driving over to Reading in a van just booked on a 6pm ferry, and have plenty of room for a dog and passenger. I live in the Eifel, but could pick her up in Cologne, Aachen or Brussels (or other towns on/near that stretch) if she can make it there by midday/early afternoon tomorrow. I'm assuming she has all necessary travel document(s)/passport etc for her and also the dog (rabies vaccination and worming tablets for the dog)? I don't wish to sound uncharitable, but I hope you can understand that the offer is subject to that sort of thing being sorted in advance. If you send me a PM, I can give you my number for details.    
  15. How soon thereafter must it be? A week or so, or would she wait until the summer? I'll be driving over mid/late July (but may possibly have an earlier trip too).