Friday, 29 July 2016

Water does more than put out fires


Spot the fail in this sand-filled fire-bucket at the village hall where H.I. is holding her Summer School.

No? Well unless the fire breaks out 12 inches away from the bucket or someone knows the code to the cable lock, it cannot be taken to the source of the flames without having a pair of bolt-croppers conveniently to hand.

In any case, if you lift the lid you will see loads of cigarette butts and empty packets on top of the sand which you could chuck on to feed the inferno. Maybe they have just given up trying to stop people using it as an ash tray, and are now more worried about it being stolen. It reminds me of that sign in the countryside which says, 'DO NOT THROW STONES AT THIS SIGN'. This is the sort of silliy thing which happens when you make laws which criminalise activities that have been legal for centuries, and get tired of being the one who has to enforce them for fear of being prosecuted yourself if they are broken. People just give up.

Talking of just giving up, the British government announced yesterday - at the eleventh hour - that they need time to think about signing the agreement with EDF which locks everyone into a the worst and most expensive deal in history which will produce the most expensive object ever made in the world - a new nuclear power station on the North Somerset Coast.

EDF are delighted and relieved that they may not be forced into bankruptcy after all. As soon as the announcement about the further delay (everyone has had eight years to think about it) was made, shares in EDF jumped by 20%.

A massive marquee had been set up near to the site to host the celebration of the signing, and dozens of top executives and politicians had been invited to the event, which was to have been this morning. Instead, the marquee is being taken down as I write and the caterers are trying to think how they can make twice the money they have already charged the Brits, French and Chinese by selling it somewhere else. Got a wedding coming up in the Somerset area? The Champagne is chilled and ready to serve.

The thing is that we need the electricity urgently, and - talking about being prosecuted for agreeing to laws which you then have to enforce yourself - we signed an international agreement years ago, pledging to cut down our fossil-fuel consumption for the sake of the environment, or face heavy penalties.

There are a few plaintive voices reminding the Men in Suits that the part of the coast where the power station was to be sited has the highest tide in the world, just waiting to be harnessed for power production, but it would be far too cheap to make the Men in Suits - or the three governments - enough money to buy their next yachts.

As predictable as the phases of the moon, the tide of the estuary rises over thirty feet every twleve hours, and then drops down during the next twelve hours. That's a lot of water, but so far they are only considering it for use as a coolant to stop the power station from getting too hot and blowing up.

11 comments:

  1. I hope Theresa May stops it going ahead and mortgaging us to the hilt for ever more. Build our own nuclear power stations with our own expertise.

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    1. I just heard that security experts are warning that the Chinese could easily install software to remotely put the station out of action any time in the future if we fall out with them about anything. We could go for gas, but the Russians seem to be in control of most of it, and we don't like them at the moment. Britain are great at design and innovation, but previous governments have decided to bring in outside engineers rather than train our own. There aren't even enough outside engineers to go round at the moment.

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  2. Where ever the Wild Geese went, they're no longer there, either. And, it is a problem.

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    1. Is that symbolic, or were there real Geese?

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  3. I love WC Fields comment on water....( explaining why he never drank it)

    " fish fuck in it"

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  4. The red fire bucket is quite stylish but does seem quaint. Are there lots of them around Bath? I imagine they would appeal to antiques dealers.

    Although I really don't know enough about the power part of your post, I see a connection to your collection of candlesticks.

    Best wishes.

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    1. You do? You must know me better than I do myself. To be fair, there are plently of modern water and powder extinguishers around that place. WW2 incendiary bomb buckets might be collectable.

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  5. Whatever happened to Hydro electrics? I remember it being very popular in Scotland at one time.

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  6. Whatever happened to Hydro electrics? I remember it being very popular in Scotland at one time.

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  7. I would think that the red bucket is just meant to be an ashtray for the outdoor smokers!

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