Thursday, 29 March 2012

Half the Sky

I have spoken many times of how reading Half the Sky changed my life. I've lost count of the number of copies of the book that I've bought and given to people to read but it is that kind of book. You can't read it and carry on like before, it shows you things that you could never imagine happen in the world today. Things that we should know because we have the power to make them stop.

In October Half the Sky will be shown as a documentary on US TV and I had to share the trailer with you. I am assured that we will get it in the UK sometime in 2013 but I will keep you up to date.

I was lucky enough to meet Nickolas Kristof when I was at the UN summit with Save the Children, only briefly but it sure beat interviewing Nick Clegg for ITN.

I've said it before but if you only read one book this year, make it Half the Sky.

You can find Half the Sky on Facebook and Twitter. Follow them and make a difference.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Close Up : The Gallery

For this weeks Gallery. But do you know what it is?

Do stop by the Linky over on Tara's blog

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Smart Meter Questions Answered

A very big thank you to the team at E.ON for answering all of my Smart Meter questions live on Twitter today.
I've collated the full Twinterview for you here so that you can come back and read at your leisure.

From E.ON we have Malc and from the #eonsmart team it's Jean ^J

Please remember that the Q & A took place on Twitter, so all questions and answers are less than 140 characters!

Me: To kick things off... What is a Smart Meter?
E.ON: Same as normal meter but they can talk to us. Also talks to display in house so you can see what you’re using ^J

Me: How does it differ from the meter I have now? @EONhelp #eonsmart
E.ON: Sends readings electronically, no more estimated bills, no need to read meter & see what you’re using ^J

Me: How does the Smart Meter work? @EONhelp #eonsmart
E.ON: Intelligent gas and elec meters allow two way comms between supplier and home, ours use SMS ^J

Me: What does it monitor? @EONhelp #eonsmart
E.ON: Exactly how much gas and elec you’re using real time or in a week/month/year ^J @geekisnewchic #eonsmart
Me: .@EONhelp I can see that watching it could easily become a new addiction #eonsmart 

Me: How will a Smart Meter help me to reduce my energy bills? @EONhelp #eonsmart E.ON: How you use energy in your home. Helps you spot where you can make savings eg kids leaving lights on ^J
Me.@eonhelp yes I have 'issues' with that. #eonsmart

Me: What do energy companies do with the data recieved from Smart Meters? @EONhelp #eonsmart
E.ON: We make sure we send you accurate bills, can help you work out how to save more energy, we don’t share your usage data. ^J

Me: There's been lots of health complaints from people following Smart Meter installation. What is your view on this? @EONhelp #eonsmart
E.ON: I have #eon smart meters at home & I have 2 kids.......^J @geekisnewchic #eonsmart E.ON: ...#eon conform to Health Protection Agency standards so I've no health concerns for my family ^J
E.ON: And #eon wouldn't install anything in your home that we knew would have an impact on your health ^J

Thank you to @cahmn for the bellow comments during the session.

@cahmn: @EONhelp @geekisnewchic I've had a smart meter since Oct. It's good for seeing how you're doing: get obsessed with keeping lights green!

Me: @cahmn Did you have to make a lot of changes to the way you use you energy to soothe your green light obsession? @EONhelp #eonsmart

@cahmn: @geekisnewchic @EONhelp My better half was a bit obsessive about it anyway...but it has helped to bring the children in line too! #eonsmart

Me: @cahmn what kind of savings have you made to your bills? @EONhelp #eonsmart

@cahmn: @geekisnewchic @EONhelp Difficult to know as has been over winter period + price variations. Savings won't be huge, but more conscious now.

So that was our hour. 
If you have any other questions about Smart Meters or E.ON, please leave them in the comments and I'll badger them for a response.

I'm still eager to hear from people that already have a Smart Meter.
How does it work?

Are you obsessed with the green lights like @cahmn is?

What happens when the green lights go out?

Do I even want to know that? I picture the whole run of LOST flashing before my eyes and I cannot cope with that again!

I'm still undecided about making the move and I'd like to hear your views good and bad.
I have previous Smart Meter posts if you would like to follow the comments. If you are interested, I suggest you do.

Please Note : This is not a sponsored post. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Gallery : Colour : St Pancras Station

I've had a long term love affair with St Pancras Station and this staircase to the underground has always felt like a doorway to an exciting new world.

For The Gallery
Do stop by the Linky and loose yourself in this weeks celebration of colour.
Comments and views are appreciated... as always!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Smart Meters: Good or Bad?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an E.ON event that I went to and how I was considering having one of their Smart Meters fitted at home. 
A reader left an in depth comment about the health dangers associated with the Smart Meter and I started to have second thoughts. As anyone would. 
You can read the reaction here.

I went back to E.ON for a response and they sent me lots of information and the offer of a Twinterview with one of their Smart Meter experts. 
So on Thursday at midday I'll be grilling the said expert about everything to do with Smart Meters.

Do you have one in your house? 
Has it helped to reduce your fuel bills?
Do you have any positive comments on Smart Meters?

Have you any concerns that you would like me to raise?
Have you had a negative experience with your Smart Meter?

Is there anything you would like to know?

Please do leave any questions in the comments and I will pack in as many as i can during the 30 minute Twinterview.

Monday, 19 March 2012

I Can Dance!

After 18 years and a random meeting with a poster in our local Co-Op a few weeks ago, I found myself back in a dance studio. 
It was emotional realising that I could still dance and I really don't know why I've been fighting it for all these years. It makes me happy. It makes me, me. 
And I'm so proud of myself that I'm ready to share with the rest of the world! Vid's a little dark but enjoy!

If you reside near me, there are spaces in the Monday morning class that need filling so that the class can continue. Message me if you would like details. x

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Build A Better Future With E.ON Innovation

As a large, working from home family it does concern me how much money we spend on our energy bills, so when E.ON invited me to hear about their Innovation campaign I jumped at the chance.
I spent the morning getting excited about Home of the Future, the Channel 4 show co-funded by E.ON that follows an everyday Sheffield family whose lives are transformed after their home is given a state of the art modern tech makeover.
It's really exciting to hear that some of the 'space age' gadgets incorporated into the house are only a few years away from becoming everyday reality in all our homes.
Exciting, if you're a tech geek because if you are the other way inclined I can see that it all seems a tad Buck Rogers.

So after seeing the Robot vacuum cleaner and see through toaster in action it was time to get stuck into the E.ON Innovation site.

Billed as being a creative collaboration between E.ON and the public at large, the Innovation site is a vibrant community hub, bursting with new energy saving ideas and services that really could make it to market.

Think of it as a social energy network where community members support, encourage and build on ideas.
Even at this early stage you can envisage some of the amazing crowd sourced products being used in homes across the UK.

There are prizes too and if you submit an idea that's chosen as a winner in one of the four (out of five) remaining challenges, you'll win a home energy makeover worth up to £2,000.
Judges then choose one of the five challenge winners to receive the star prize of a home energy makeover worth up to £10,000.

In addition, E.ON will develop each of the five challenge winning with the view to bringing them to market later this year. Pretty amazing stuff.
Interested? Here's how you can get involved.

Each of the challenges are linked to Home of the Future. You don't need to have seen it but you can watch it online on 4OD. (It's brilliant, addictive viewing and brimming with inspiration).

E.ON's aim is to work with the community to create some amazing new products and services that will be practical and profitable whilst making a real difference to the future of energy.

There are three ways to get involved.
If you've had a lightbulb moment of your own you can submit an idea. It can be big or small.
Think small acorns and let the community help your idea to establish and grow.
You can comment and help to develop other people's ideas and you can vote for the ideas that you like the best.

It's about the community working together for a better future but if you have an amazing idea that you'd rather not share publicly due to it being the next best thing to sliced bread, then there is the ability to submit via a closed route.

Get your ideas in before 9th April and the winning ideas will be announced by 25th June 2012.

In the next couple of weeks I'm having an E.ON Smart Energy meter fitted. I'm pretty excited about this (I know I need to get out more) because my children are rubbish at switching off lights and TV's when they leave a room.
With the help of the Smart Meter I'm going to challenge them to save energy. It isn't going to be easy but we will chart our journey and treat ourselves with the money that we manage to save.
Wish us luck!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Since falling in love with Instagram I've become slightly obsessed with tube tunnels. This is my current favourite shot, especially as it hit the Instagram Popular page on Sunday with over 800 likes. 

I like it too! 
For this weeks The Gallery : Light. Do check out some of the other photographs on Tara's Linky

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

I'm not sure how I randomly realised this but it seems that my blog is 3 today!

My first post was lacking in just about everything but I was just starting out, I didn't have a clue what I was doing and I figured that no one was going to read it anyway! 

After a couple of months stumbling along writing about products that I love I started to write about my life and I got comments, followers, friends. I was hooked.

The last three years have been mind blowing. CyberMummy, Blogladesh, a UN Summit, a trip to Downing Street and the huge decision to move forwards with my first solo event, Cybher at a time where my faith in human nature was shattered after being deceived by those around me.

At my low ebb I was picked up and dusted off by some of the most amazing people I've met on this journey. People who have become my friends, people that I would never have met if I hadn't started blogging.
So on those days when you're thinking of jacking it all in because of the latest Twitter trauma, think about those friends and the experiences that you've shared, they are worth holding on to. 

Claire, Ryan, Susan, Nat, Gigi, Eva, Jay, Tara, Laura W, Erica, Nickie - thank you. xxx


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