Sunday, 3 January 2010

The Cost of living a simple life


2009-12-30 2009-12-301

Today in the mountains it is complete white out and with warnings of avalanche’s across the highlands the wind turbine going at full belt it is heaven on earth for this old dafthermit
Yesterday i managed to get the solar panels (as seen in picture above )fitted to the side of the horsebox which now produce power for a battery inside to run the laptop ,but living up to my name i left the light on inside and drained the battery ,simple mistakes up here in the mountains can cost you both money and your life if you are not alert ,yesterday our friend the woodsman delivered us some more wood and told me how because of the snow he has lost two of his huge polly tunnels costing him £10.000 to repair come the spring .
Today we are busy gathering snow and melting it on the burner to fill the water containers something so lovely about that simple wee task.(picture above)
I want to thank once again the many people that have sent me emails of support and placed wonderful reviews about my work
I was thinking today about the  cost of living a simple yet rewarding life and i thought i would try and put it in detail for you :
bins bins 030
insurance                                     £135.00 for the year this is through Towergate insurance

Recovery                                      £100.00   Autohome assistance  header

mot                                               £50.00
i pay this even when the bus is in one place for a long time i believe it is good to keep the old girl ready for action

Insurance                                     £150.00
Recovery                                      £100.00
Mot                                                £50.00
Tax                                                £160.00
The truck to me makes so much more sense than a car the ability to collect a few tons of supplies in one go, and the fuel consumption is not that far of a car
both the vehicles i maintain myself saving hugely on garage bills.

Fuel costs :
this varies but on average         £20.00 a month ( £240.00 a year ) depends if Mel gets the shopping urge ..
one of the benefits of running a truck is that i gather more supplies on one long trip

Food                                            £1200.00 a year but this can be a lot less
baccy                                           £1,000  a year

Pet food                                     £500  we buy large 25kg dried food ( they also get what ever is left from our dinners etc mixed in
Communications :
Phone    :                           this is done via top ups but roughly £10.00 a month which is used mainly for the internet if the satellite is down (this is covered by a text link ad )
satellite broadband    :  provided by Beyondsl      after the initial expense for the system it costs me £165.00 a year to run it (This is covered by 1 ad placed on the bus ) via Text link ads
Tv is via a satellite system i bought this one at Maplins    maplogo costing £80 and works well

Water is collected via streams and rain water harvesting  no cost

Electricity is collected via solar the panels on the truck and the bus i got from Maplins and
wind power was via Navitron homelogo_1
also a small petrol generator ( which is used less and less as i gather more batteries )

Heating :
is via a wood burner but as i add more and more insulation the need for this will drop away and hopefully by next winter all the vehicles will be fully insulated the the cost of heating will be £0.00 a wee lovely figure

so at the years end we have spent on average £3,565 but hopefully with some more ads and better food supplies this cost will drop a lot this year ..

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A wee film about us on STVs the HOUR SHOW click on STV logo to see the film

A wee film about us on STVs the HOUR SHOW click on STV logo to see the film
Andy the Daft Hermit lives 45 minutes outside Inverness with his wife Mel in an old bus parked in a layby. This current home of theirs is the longest they have ever stayed in one spot. “I’ve been travelling now 25 years,” said Andy Lowe. “Mel’s been travelling 15. One of the reasons we’ve come and stayed up here is because of Mel’s health. I wanted to bring her to the mountains for fresh air and clean water and just a slower pace of life.” Mel has had breast cancer twice, skin cancer once, and for three years believed she had bone cancer after being wrongly diagnosed. Andy’s belief in the restorative powers of the north made them pack up ‘The Black Bus’ that they live in and cross the border into Scotland. New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel “I think we both believe in trying to get to a more simple way of life,” said Andy, “but it’s strange for us because we are sort of hermits, or we like to live separate, but it’s not being anti-social… it’s just the way we are that allows us to be creative.” Andy first began travelling when he left the army. Fed up with bureaucracy he packed a rucksack and left for France and has been travelling ever since. By investing any money the couple have earned into solar panels and wind generators they now live a self-sustaining existence, without electric bills, and collect rain water “straight from Heaven”. “It’s not easy,” said Mel. “There might be time when there might not be enough facilities around, but you always find a way, you know?” Rather than rejecting technology, Andy blogs about his travels online and collaborates with artists from around the world via his ‘Scratchy Heid Film Studio’, which he runs from a static trailer next to the couple’s bus. He explained his philosophy: “My belief is that if you can go through life and you drop dead and you’ve got a balance there that slightly outweighs the good than the bad, you’ve done alright. “Yesterday, with what Mel’s been through with the cancer and all that, I had a woman on one of my sites there that thanked me for the writing, for the positive things, and to me that’s worth everything. You can keep your millions, we’re not interested. That is what we do.” To check out Andy’s artwork and video projects check out his website. MORE FROM THE NORTH

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