Since 2010

Public transport

Megane at Farr Wind Farm

I told Dad on the phone earlier that I wasn’t really fussed about getting rid of my car today. That’s not strictly true. It was a good car: we went a lot of places together. Hope the next owner looks after it.

Gathering momentum

A few wee things have happened today which given this whole move a sense of uncontrollable momentum. First, I found out that I won’t have a car in a couple of days. I’ll miss it, but since I walk to work, it rarely actually moves. Pretty expensive luxury really. I also started cancelling some services today: mobile phone, electricity etc.

But then I came home and played with Skype. Made my first Skype-to-landline call. I’m still impressed!

Creative engineering

Tissue box covering PIR sensor at work

My current office is in one of those building that tries to be smart. Environment zones, clever air circulation, automatic blinds etc. One of the things it does is turn the lights off in each room when nobody’s there. Now the rooms also have light switches, so you can turn the lights on or off by yourself if you need to or want to.

Except my room. The lights are controlled by a PIR sensor in the ceiling, and that’s it. The lights come on when someone is in the room, whether you like it or not. And there are 8 light fittings, each with 4 bulbs in the room: 32 light bulbs + gallons of sunlight for one person seems rather excessive to me.

The solution: an empty tissue box and four sticky dots.

Instant messaging

Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never used Skype in anger, but I’ve been playing with it over the last couple of days, practising for “the move”, and it works really well. My ADSL connection at home sucks, so it struggles with a video call, but switch video off and all is dandy.

I’ve started to slowly introduce Dad to it as well: had him messaging me on it yesterday, and I’ve got a headset here for him, so after a brief training session on that we’ll be good to go!

I’m also really impressed with some of the things Skype can do in the joining-VoIP-calls-to-landline-phones area. Clever stuff, and good to know when I need to get a hold of someone here who doesn’t use Skype: they charge a fraction of the price that regular telecoms providers do.


I’m writing this up with the hope that in a couple of months I’ll be able to go back through some of these posts, and chuckle at just how ridiculous I was being about panicking over some of this stuff.

I had another blub today about all the things I’m giving up. I’ve been hitting eBay, and hitting it hard this week, and have managed to sell quite a lot of stuff. I also finalised plans for getting rid of my car: that one feels big. Partly because it’s such an obviously expensive item, but also because having a car in Inverness is the primary way of getting anywhere, so it feels like I’m giving up a huge chunk of my independence.

So anyway, it all built up, and there were tears. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only stuff, and I can easily get more stuff in Australia if I want it. I’ve also started reminding myself that it’s only important to me here because it’s what keeps me entertained. Will have a whole city to explore for Pete sake!