Our Bold Intention

Welcome to Bold Intention, a log of our personal transition towards a more sustainable lifestyle. We take small steps and the odd large leap towards our ultimate goal of living a much more self sufficient, rural lifestyle in the not too distant future. It’s not going to happen overnight, but unless we start somewhere, it’s not going to happen at all.

Having started a few years ago, we have already installed a more efficient gas boiler at our home, along with a Lovenholm wood burning stove which has seriously lowered our fuel consumption and fuel costs. We have changed many of our light bulbs for more energy efficient types, but not all, due to the costs outweighing the benefits. Raised beds and a polytunnel help provide us with some of our food needs, but we still have quite a ways to go. We are considering new alternatives for improving our chances all the time.

Eventually we will own a more fuel efficient car, hopefully generate a large proportion of the electricity we consume for ourselves, and have a smallholding or plot of land where we will keep our own hens, maybe keep a few other animals and pets for the granddaughters, and grow much of our own food. Those days are getting closer all the time.

The rules are though, that whatever we do must not compromise our current standard of living, so instead must either maintain or improve it. So that means our energy and money saving activities must pay for themselves in a reasonably short period of time, as we will also need enough income from various sources to be able to fully enjoy our new lifestyle. We’ll explore some options for generating revenue along the way.

Share your views, watch our journey or just laugh at our failures. We’ll share it all :)

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Mar
26
2013

An Old Fashioned White Easter

Just a few short years ago, many people had been complaining that we no longer get Winters like we used to here in Britain, and quite a few of them were putting that down to global warming, air pollution, mass urbanisation and all manner of different causes. Well, the last three Winters have proved something of a return to those “good old days”, what with the prolonged deep freeze of 2010 into 2011, the snow and month long deep freeze arriving in November that same year, and then there’s this season’s warmer, but longer Winter.

Old style Winter

This year is proving to be a long, slow, cold affair, and now the Spring blizzard has brought a surprise cold snap with it. Although still not as severe this year in terms of sub zero temperatures, it is having far reaching consequences on everyone’s fuel usage since it seems to have been cold for a longer period of time. In fact the first day of spring has been and gone relatively unnoticed in terms of temperature rise and sunny days, on the contrary, we have had the first Spring blizzard since I was a lad. This area of high pressure over Scandinavia is pulling in cold Arctic air is the cause apparently, meaning we’re all tending to spend more time indoors in front of the fire. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.boldintention.com/thats-life/an-old-fashioned-white-easter

Mar
24
2013

Turning Up The Heat With Smokeless Fuel

A while ago now, a regular visitor to Bold Intention enquired as to how he could get his Lovenholm traditional stove to belt out the heat using smokeless fuel. His main problem seemed to be with getting  the fire lit and burning hot in a relatively short period of time. Well patience and a good handful or too of kindling is the key.

Set it up

Ensuring a reasonably clean stove is always a good place to start, but by clean, we’re only really referring to the airways. The ash pan should be emptied and air from the lower ash pan chamber should pass freely into the firebox. It’s not necessary to entirely empty the grate every time we light the fire as there could well be some residual unburnt fuel from the last fire still there. Pointless throwing money away. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.boldintention.com/self-sufficiency/energy/turning-up-the-heat-with-smokeless-fuel

Mar
16
2013

Fancy Fish And Chips ?

Saturday morning was bright and sunny, a welcome reprieve from the long slow Winter we’ve had this year. Eager to give the new (to us) set of wheels a run to test it’s fuel economy numbers, I thought today was a good day for a run out, and see what it can do. We called at Tesco first, to fill the tank up, and added a bit of Redex to give the engine a bit of a clean through with a good blow out, and also we could gauge our fuel usage properly. I allowed the first click whilst holding in the nozzle fully, and then waited a few seconds for the fuel to percolate down into the tank, then slowly filled the tank till the nozzle auto shut off again.

Chippy tea

Setting off out of town, we had no real idea of where we were actually going. First we headed up onto the moor tops around where we live and coming to a junction I asked Lin if we should turn left or right. “Well where are we going she asked ?”, “How about the chippy ?” I replied. “Left then” says she, so it was decided. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar
10
2013

Money Saving… Moving It Up A Gear

Having considered many other alternatives for reducing the cost of travel to work over the last few years, and saved a fair bit of cash through our smaller scale money saving projects…. it’s time to take on something a bit bigger, something with a much bigger payback too if the numbers are correct. Time to see it this project’s got wheels :)

What car ?

Having done quite a bit of research regarding various different types of car we have decided on a used Citroen C3 as being the pick of the crop for us, as it offers good fuel economy, very low road tax and a much reduced insurance by comparison to our current vehicle. Sure, there are also downsides related to having a much smaller car than we have been used to, but it’s all about balance. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.boldintention.com/self-sufficiency/money-self-sufficiency/money-saving-moving-it-up-a-gear

Mar
07
2013

Finding Ways To Reduce The Cost Of Commuting

With the cost of living continuing to rise much more sharply than the average rate of pay, the gap between living expenses and take home pay is closing fast, if it hasn’t already been surpassed in many cases. Fuel, in the form of petrol or diesel, is driving a good proportion of that rise, and although I can do little about it in relation to the goods we buy on a weekly basis, there may be a more direct approach which we can do something about.

On the move

For the best part of the last seven years I have been clocking up around 70 miles every working day, travelling to work and back… doing nothing else. During that time I have seen fuel prices rise from around £0.90 per litre to around £1.45 per litre today. That’s an astronomical price rise of over 70% in just seven years. If savings rates had kept pace with that rate of inflation we would all be living in a very different world to the uncertain economic future which we still face, lurching from one recession to the next as we have done since 2008.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.boldintention.com/self-sufficiency/money-self-sufficiency/finding-ways-to-reduce-the-cost-of-commuting

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