August 2022



After the heatwave in July bringing record temperatures, there was little let up for most of August with lots of hot dry weather. We frequently had to pick walking routes that kept the boys in the shade, and when the weather did finally break we were treated to a ‘false autumn’.

Hot, damn hot

In last November’s post I wrote about getting a heat pump installed. It did a great job of keeping the open plan kitchen/dining/living room warm during the winter months. The impact on the electricity bill was about 50kW/h per month, which at 2022 winter prices wasn’t bad compared to running the log burner.

Having air conditioning in my office and bedroom has been a game changer, and doesn’t seem to have had a big hit on electricity usage. The A/C was also quiet enough not to disrupt my office setup (in stark contrast to the noise of the portable A/C I used last year).


Something that should offset any extra electricity used by A/C is the installation of rooftop photo-voltaic (PV) panels. I got them from Infinity Renewables through a group buy scheme organised by my local council. When the sun is shining the 16 panels seem to push out about 3kW, and I’m using an iBoost to divert excess into my hot water tank. Sadly the data logger on the inverter isn’t working, so I don’t yet have a good handle on how much total power I’m creating and what impact that’s having on my electricity consumption from the grid.

When I first signed up for the scheme I expressed interest in a battery to go with the panels. But the model that Infinity supply can’t do backup power, so I decided not to bother with that. Now might be the time to join the queue for a Tesla Powerwall.

Google Developer Expert

I’ll write a separate post about this when I find a little more time…

Just in time for Flutter Vikings I got the good news that I’d joined the ranks of the Google Developer Experts (GDE) program, which I hope gives me opportunities to do more with the Dart and Flutter community. Many thanks to Majid Hajian for shepherding me through the process, and for everybody else involved for helping me along the way.


$daughter0 got her A-Level results, and they were (more than) good enough for her to get the place she wanted on a Chemistry course at Bath, so she’ll be off to University at the end of next month. The house is already abuzz with planning and organising for the move, and I suspect things will be eerily quiet come October.

Book of Mormon

$wife and I went to see Book of Mormon years ago, and loved it. But we didn’t take the kids that time as they were a bit too young. For a birthday day out we decided to go back, with the kids this time, and the show was hilarious again. We got seats in a box, which might sound fancy (and actually was fancy in terms of comfort); but they were actually the cheapest seats in the house (sold as ‘restricted view’) with all four of us costing less than a single stalls seat. I didn’t feel I missed anything due to a ‘restricted view’ and really liked the extra comfort and privacy of the box – definitely something to consider for the next show.

Saying goodbye to a friend

July brought the very sad and sudden departure of my friend and InfoQ colleague Alex Blewitt, and I joined a group of InfoQ folk to say goodbye at his funeral. The service was very well attended, with many of his former colleagues joining family and friends. The celebrant did a wonderful job of explaining the full richness of a life that I only caught glimpses of at InfoQ editors’ dinners and Twitter threads. Alex’s humour shone through to the end, with his choice of Monty Python’s ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ playing to conclude the service.

I’ll miss you Alex. QCons won’t be the same without you there.

One Response to “August 2022”

  1. 1 andyjpb

    Congratulations to your daughter and sorry to hear about your friend.

    Your daughter’s cohort have probably worked harder for their exams these pas few years, under more adverse conditions, than any other for generations.
    Well done!

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