Monday, November 13, 2006

CEN October

As November's column goes to press, here's October's archived.

October 2006

I’ve just moved house and have found some ways the web has made my life easier. Helpiammoving have downloadable check-lists, tips for removal quotes, modular box sales and promise to offset their carbon emissions. Worth a visit.

If you hate filling in your new address lots try Fill out your details online, plus the account numbers you hold with various agencies and utilities. They will do the rest. Can take a while though.

I was districted by The Tropical Tank who told me how to keep my fish safe whilst moving. I don’t have fish, but if I ever do...

If you are selling a house and want to know how much nearby property finally sold for OurProperty will tell you the sale prices logged with the Land Registry. The latter’s site will let you purchase a plan of any property you intend to buy, telling you what land is included.

In your new place you realise you have lost the ability to look up in the sky and take an educated guess at the day’s weather. The BBC web-site seems to change its report once the weather has happened and the west-country is a law unto itself, so why not go straight to the Met Office. Or watch the rain move ever nearer at their animation.

Surveying your new garden, if you are fortunate enough to have one, you espy a tree you do not recognise. Fear not. Go to Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS – clever or what?). Follow the simple instructions and your buckthorn alder or whatever is pinned down. At least mine was, from my old garden, fourteen years too late. I’ve taken cuttings.

I try not to eat food from too far away and am checking out the sources of good, local food. You can take this a step further by doing a 100 mile diet – limiting your food intake to products that have come less than that distance. It’s only available officially in north America and Canada but the principle is transferable. To shop really locally go to the Farmers’ Markets site and find your nearest one.

If you want to get a grip on living more sustainably in your new pad why not visit Sprout Design. Their binvention is a lovely-looking product which reuses old plastic bags to help you sort your recycling. Many other ideas, and a virtual community to encourage one another in planet-saving, are at Generous.

If you have moved to a place where parking is hard why not rent out your drive? Park at my House is a simple site where you can sell your parking facilities. Or you could hire a parking place near a stadium, station or airport. No commission.

Unpacked the boxes and nothing to read? You may love searching in old bookshops but let AbeBooks search thousands of them for you. I found four copies of a book I’ve been seeking for ages, all available in the UK.

Emails and blogs enable you to keep in touch with people from your recent past so much more easily, but what about the distant past? Many will have discovered the delights of Friends Reunited but did you know there was also Genes Reunited to track back your surname and Christians in Touch to find out what became of your 1975 Covenanter Group or whatever.

I’ve sung the praises of ‘listen again’ before now but many voices previously unheard can be accessed through the joy of their podcasts. Podcasts got their name from crash-welding the words ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’; thus a broadcast taking advantage of iPod technology. (Wikipedia is a good place to look up new words such as this.) Trax16 is the new monthly podcast for young Christians from the Church Mission Society. It downloaded in just over a minute but will take forever if you still use dial-up.

Many church communities feel lumbered with an old and expensive building. Yet people outside the church often have a desire to care for our architectural heritage. These two groups ought both to look at Sanctuary – it’s trying to become a sort of National Trust for churches.

Need to chill? Much publicity has come the way of the Methodist church’s online labyrinth Lost in Wonder. It’s worth it. Go meditate.

You can find last month’s column on-line at my blog, Mustard Seed Shavings. All previous columns also there if you search.

Steve Tilley


Chris said...

When did you last check out - it doesn't work at the moment (cue link working again when Steve checks...)?

St said...

You're right Chris, I hadn't checked it since I wrote the peice for CEN a month ago. Today none of the other CMS sites are working either so I suspect problems their end.

Chris said...

Ah, it's back - it may have just been a temporary thing over the last couple of days.