Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Blessing the livestock in Tenerife

Parranda of folklore singers at the romería (pilgrimage) in Buenavista del Norte

The fiestas of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony the Abbot), where livestock are blessed, usually provide a welcome respite from the [OK relative in Tenerife] cold of January and some fun to enliven the days between Christmas and Easter. Here are photos from the livestock fair and romería in Buenavista del Norte. Can't tell you which year, but it's pre-digital and certainly before 2004.

Nobody told him that 'drunk in charge' applies to all road users.










Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Keep warm keep well


The UK Government advice to “Keep warm keep well” [1] is that you: 
  1.  “... set your thermostat at around 21ºC (70ºF) and heat all the rooms you use in the day.”
  2.  “... try to keep a temperature of above 18°C (65°F) in your bedroom overnight.”
These are the temperatures recommended by the World Health Organisation

Those are the minimums suggested and, immediately, we can see that for living rooms and other rooms used during the day, 18°C (65°F) is not considered warm enough by the experts. 18°C was described on one site as “unusually cold.” 

Whilst government and media do say you can save money / be green by turning heating down by 1 degree, they're talking to the majority of people who have their heating set much higher than this. We're told [2] that “... research by the Energy Saving Trust [3] found that almost half of households in the UK have their thermostats set above this, and one in five turn theirs up to over 25°C.” 

Thus, if your heating is already as low as - or waaaaay lower than - the recommended setting of 21ºC for living rooms and it's only on in the day, then they're NOT talking to you and you should NOT turn your heating down. 

Many other Government Departments and councils echo the advice: 

The Met Office says [4] you should protect yourself in cold weather by “maintaining the right temperature in your home (optimum temperature is 18-21°C)” (Meaning, night / day.) 

St. Helens Council say [5], “you should be able to heat your home to an adequate level, 21 oC in the living room, and 18 oC in other rooms, and therefore live in a healthier environment.” 

Fife Council say [6] that room thermostats “... should be set at between 18-21°C (64.4-69.8°F), slightly higher if you are elderly, disabled or have young children.“

The Department of Health, state clearly [7] that, “Older people and those with chronic diseases or physical disabilities are more vulnerable to the effects of cold weather.” 

It is well documented that one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia is cold intolerance and temperature sensitivity has been proven. “A study [8] published in the journal Pain shows sensitivity to both heat and cold in women with fibromyalgia, and demonstrates an inability to adapt to changes in temperature.” The report goes on to explain that, “the fibromyalgia group grew more sensitive to repeated cold stimulus.”, i.e. the more often they got cold, the worse (more painful) it got. 

Plumbing Pages website [9] says, “Set room thermostat at 18 C - 21 C (65 - 70 F). For severely disabled people or babies a room temperature of 23 C (73 F) may be more appropriate.”  

Wakefield Council point out [10] that “Many households contain one or more individuals who, because of age, long term health conditions or disability require higher temperatures for health and comfort, compounded by spending more longer periods in the home than more active occupants.”

Plymouth City Council provide the following [11] “Tip: set your room thermostat to 18-21 degrees Celsius - these temperatures are adequate for most healthy people. It is common to have temperatures of up to 21 degrees in the living room and 18-19 degrees in other rooms. People with certain medical conditions might need higher temperatures up to 24 degrees Celsius. “

Fife also say that, “Turning your thermostat down by 1ºC could save you around £40 per year.” Even three degrees – from 18oC to 21oC would only add up to £120 per year, or £10 per month. 

Yet, even presented with the evidence, my mother would not turn the thermostat up beyond 17oC in the living room. The HIGHEST temperature reached, during the daytime, in my room was 15oC. This is torturous.

Sources: 

[1] http://www.campaigns.direct.gov.uk/keepwarmkeepwell/keepwarm.html
[2] http://www.dothegreenthing.com/wiki/display/WIKI/Turn+down+thermostats+on+room+heating
[3] http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/aboutest/news/pressreleasesarchive/index.cfm?mode=view&press_id=470
[4] http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/coldweatheralert/
[5] http://www.sthelens.gov.uk/item.do?parentID=100006&category=200011&itemid=880
[6] https://www.fifedirect.org.uk/topics/index.cfm?fuseaction=advice.display&subjectid=F11FE78F-508B-DE79-47EF130BD92C8A86&adviceid=5C40154D-F494-F7F5-0B43CFDCD37C5142
[7] http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_077624
[8] http://chronicfatigue.about.com/b/2008/11/03/study-proves-temperature-sensitivity-in-fibromyalgia.htm
[9] http://www.plumbingpages.com/featurepages/Tipsrunningcost.cfm
[10] http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/Environment/EnergyAdvice/AffordableWarmth/FuelPovertyandAffordableWarmth.htm?wbc_purpose=basicdefauefdefault.h...default.htm

[11]
http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/heating