My one weakness, and other news

I’ve been unashamedly stocking up on 100 watt light bulbs image because I can’t live image without them in my office. I only use one, or two at the most,  in my house. I need them because my eyesight is not brilliant and I can’t function in a dimly lit room.

I first wrote about the withdrawal of our traditional light bulbs back in February 2007. And now, two years later, there are still many unanswered questions about how effective the green replacement will be.

I am not a gas guzzler. I am an avid recycle. I switch off all the lights when I leave the room and live a very green life. But I need a good light when I work, otherwise I am squinting all the time. I have a lazy eye and have worn glasses most of my life for reading and writing. A good overhead light is essential.

We do use green light bulbs in our house. But how many will it take to provide the equivalent of a 100 watt incandescent light bulb hanging from my ceiling?

It is my one weakness. Can I not at least trade it against something else that emits carbons as I have scored more than a few brownie points with my diligence in other eco areas?

*On a more positive note, I went to Great Ormond Street Hospital today with David . The great news is that as he has only had one incident of chronic pain in his jaw in the last year, he was discharged after almost four years. He was in terrible, agonising pain when he was referred there and they gave him the best care and believed us when others didn’t.


*We then met up with David’s stunning girlfriend and had a lovely lunch together before I headed home to continue working on my book, while David travelled on to Stratford-on-Avon to meet her family.

There is great news with my book. My editor really likes what I have sent her, I’ve had fantastic feedback. I’m really excited about it, but I have another couple of weeks of hard slog to meet another deadline.

*David was a true gent and gave up his seat on the train this morning to an elderly lady so she didn’t have to stand and she didn’t even have the grace to thank him. She had such a sour face that it would curdle your milk. I’ve told him not to stop showing this kind of consideration to others. No-one else got up for her, none of the smart businessmen or other lads who sat nearby, they all ignored her while they hid behind their papers, fiddled with their mobile phones or busied themselves on their laptops. He showed them all that young people today can be a great credit to themselves.

Ciao for now. 🙂


  1. Wonderful news about your son. Very good news, too, about your book.

    Although I’m a dedicated Dissenter on the topic of Global Warming (doubting that humans can stop or even slow climate change which is, and has always been, a regular component of Life — and sometimes of Death — on Planet Earth) I’ve gone Green on most things, including bulbs. We have bright fluorescent bulbs here in the States as well as dim ones. I still think light from incandescent bulbs is ‘warmer’ — and I’m not referring to the temperature of the bulbs, although, of course, that’s true as well — but I’ve gotten used to it for the most part. Same with the delay in the bulbs starting up.

    Mr. E-K is correct about the mercury issue. In Chicago we save our burned out fluorescent bulbs to take to a City recycling center. Eventually, these will become more widespread.

    I do wonder, though, given the toxicity of mercury and the environmental hazards it presents, whether the manufacture of these energy-saving bulbs actually causes more damage to the environment that the manufacture of incandescent bulbs.

    I’m afraid trade-offs are part of this environmental stuff at every level….

  2. The lamps we have in our bedroom will not work with the energy efficient bulbs as they are on three settings. When you touch the metal, it starts on a very dim light, which is perfect in a morning when I get up, but don’t want to wake Becky up (or at least not force her to look at a bright light when she is waking up). When I am reading in bed, I use it on the brighter settings, as I too have a lazy eye.

    Like you we have green light bulbs around the house, but I do not appreciate Brussels telling us what type of bulbs we can have.

  3. Your David sounds a delight. You must be so proud of him.
    We used the energy-saving light bulbs for years. They were invaluable when we made our own electricity, and were better than candle light. Now we have mains electricity we use ordinary bulbs. They give a much better light. I believe the so-called “green” lights contain mercury…

  4. Curly – did you see my comment at 10 ?

    Ellee – Mrs E-K is stunning, you’re right … AND a pain in the arse.

  5. P.S. David is so happy he is 10ft tall, and I am so happy for him.

  6. Well I think/hope I have enough light bulbs for the next three years, and who knows what will happen between now and then to improve these energy saving bulbs.

    Kevin, from what I have seen of Mrs E-K, she is pretty stunning herself!:-)

  7. I have been using energy saving bulbs for over twenty years now Ellee, and so far I have only replaced one. My local B£Q sells a 23 watt energy saver which provides at least the same brightness as an old 100 watt but without the heat dissipation.

    I don’t do it because I believe in this global warming climate change created by mankind nonsense, I’m just tight fisted!

  8. I think you should stop feeling guilty about the lightbulbs, Ellee! What wonderful news about David and your book.

  9. Ellee you are right – there are so many other things that we can be doing that would have far greater an impact.

    The thing that annoys me the most about all this is that most of my living areas are on dimmer switches which don’t work with the eco-bulbs so I have to sacrifice creating an ambience.

    Will have to start using more candles – feels like we are going back to the dark ages!!

  10. The other misnomer about ‘energy saving’ lightbulbs is that they save energy. In actuality they don’t.

    Most of the time that a light is switched on in Britain there is some form of heating system working at the time – usually thermostatically controlled radiators. Hot lightbulbs contribute to the ambient temperature of the building and cause the thermostats to close earlier meaning that the boiler isn’t firing for quite so long. “Ah – but the saving in energy for the central heating system is negligible” I hear you say …


    The Environment is a gift to those who wish to tax us and bully us. Watch them carry on taxing and bullying us despite the fact that many of us will be cutting our lifestyles back to the bone before long. They’ve messed up our country and our economy so terribly that this is the only way they can control us.

    You’re innocent so stop feeling guilty, Ellee. It’s EXACTLY how they want you to feel.

  11. Good news on David. Stunning girlfriends are most often total pains in the arse – at least this should take his mind of his jaw.

    As for the lightbulbs – they are also full of Mercury. Apparently they need star-like properties to light them up ! Very careful disposal required too.

    The EU bods don’t know what they’re on about. Besides – our consumption is bound to go down dramatically in the coming recession, and yet they will still produce an array of exciting ways of extracting money from the hard pressed taxpayer.

    Never before have our politicians been so able to rip off the public and reward themselves with homes and junkets – ditto the celebs. It’s screamingly obvious that they don’t believe this eco nonsense – economies are only for the ‘little people’.

  12. I shall be devastated when the same thing happens here Ellee, as it will eventually. What about all my trilight lamps? Am I supposed to chuck them out and the dimmer switches.

    Good luck with you book. Everything sounds great for you including David’s news.

  13. Surely you don’t need a 100 watt bulb when you are working..Is it over head or a lamp… might want to read this..…hope it is helpful. 🙂

    Oh how it annoys me when people don’t have the curtesy to say Thank You, my sons do the same..even though they say later, why did I bother!

  14. I struggle in low lighting too!

    Everything else in your life sounds good at the moment 🙂

  15. I have the same issue Ellee. General areas are fine, but where I am working I often get a secondary light source. I am also with you, I feel that my environmental balance sheet is in positive. I should be able to make some compromises.

  16. What about LED bulbs? OK, you pay a whopping premium for them at the moment, but they’ll deliver something more like an old 100w bulb, and they last something like 5 times as long as the energy saving ones:-

  17. I can’t stand those awful new bulbs, but can’t find old ones anywhere. Do Brown and the EU not know the health risks these have with mercury, what it does to epileptics and how long it takes to get to brightness?

  18. Looks like 2009 is off to a flying start for you Ellee.

    p.s. I’m doing a couple of chapters for my book this week!


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