Wednesday, November 30, 2016

That was the [Financial] Month that Was


So back when I used to work at NYSE there was a quirky statistic: That none of our technical department used to invest in Stocks, nor in fact many of the actual traders. [ Then traders made their money on trades, you buy or sell, they earn.]

Why?

Because stocks could go up as well as down!  However in the last 5 years a disturbing trend has swept over Wall Street,  the ever upward movement of the Dow.

To sound like an old fart; there was a day when stocks were valued on their fundamentals, like Price Earning, or a bag of well know metrics.

When you invest in a painting, or an asset class like property the underlying value is often irrelevant.  It's basically worth as somebody else will pay for it.

And today the US stockmarket comes into that category.   Whilst other financial objects have been troubled and other countries' exchanges mostly up up and then down, the Dow just keeps rising.

Like Housing
If you study the UK property market; demand far exceeds supply, so no matter what measures the UK government implements to cool down house price rises, the fundamentals are against them.  What happens in a market rising far faster than inflation or wages?

- Guaranteed Asset Class
- Returns higher than say, really working to make something!
- People can't afford to enter
- But those at the margin, feel like they MUST enter, because if they delay they will be priced out

More Stats



Here is the full article
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-30/november-remember-unprecedented-month-markets-ends-weak

Will the Madness Continue
Yes

Longer Answer:
Yes, the Dow just will not Crash.  Even though the current numbers are insane.


What could Possibly Go Wrong



https://www.google.co.uk/finance?cid=983582


This is how happy traders must have looked when DJIA hit 19,000





Funky



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wednesday Sermon: The Tower of Babble



I had to update the firmware on my Swisscom TVbox this evening.  Now in 2016 all our Television, and also our Radio is delivered thru the Internet.   

Aside
I mention this because today this is optional.  I  predict that in the near future, as the Internet becomes exponentially important providers will cease to be interested in Terrestrial transmitters.  In our own lifetime the Internet will become the only medium.  Be warned to those of you with less than a half decent Internet connection.

What you see above is a consequence of Switzerland's multi lingual country.   3 Languages and Swisscom (thankfully to me) also add in English for a grand total of 4!


Why Different?
I've always been a strident critic of multiple languages in this world.  Of course the issue continues because no country would like to drop their own language, far rather others drop their language for yours.

In Switzerland we have a much worse situation, in that there are actually 4 official languages

Languages of Switzerland: German, French, Italian and Romansh

Switzerland like India and a few other countries are part of the select few where Nationals can be totally misunderstood simply by travelling to a different region of their own country.

Highlighted
The Ridiculous nature of the situation was highlighted when I goto the Supermarket.  When I buy something simple like Breakfast Cereal the instructions need to be printed in 3 Languages (French, German, Italian) so there is less room for any type of text compared to say the English version.



The Religious Explanation



I hope you find the Religious explanation as comical and stupid as I do.

Why So Bad?
My principle irritation against language difference is

- It leads to misunderstanding and conflict
If you don't understand somebody your first reaction will be to treat them as something apart from yourself.  Conversely if they speak your Language their is an immediate bond and something very large in common.

- So it leads to division and not bonding

- It's so wasteful
Mastering even your mother tongue to the full is normally a lifetime of continual improvement, imagine the waste of time that learning multiple languages involves.   You could use that time to more productively do something else: you could help disadvantaged people, or perform charitable acts, that sort of thing.

Many people try to conflate culture with language but IMHO the two can and should be distinguished.  Sure they are related but one can still imbibe the culture of a nation, say Switzerland, without knowing all 4 of its national languages.

Dear god
So my open question to God is surely:  The Tower of Babel explanation is no explanation at all.   If you perpetrated this situation you have just let to societal misunderstanding and conflict.  And since (by definition) you God are omniscient you must have know that your actions would have had this result.  Not very nice of you God.  Not Babel just Babble.








XTC: Dear god


Monday, November 28, 2016

Considerably Richer Than


Harry Enfield: Considerably Richer

Subtitle:  Smartphone Wars

In the more genuine I would argue old days, Smartphones used to compete on Specifications.  But with the technology curve and app ideas reaching a sort of plateau there is a new game in town:

Price!

Smartphone manufacturers are now competing with each other to produce the highest price, and therefore,  least competitive smartphone.

I'm assuming the audience is the "My Smartphone is more expensive than your Smartphone" end user segment.


Not convinced?


Google Pixel XL
819 GBP


Apple iPhone 7 Plus
919 GBP

Above prices from UK Clove Technology

Huawei Mate 9
(Porsche Design)



about 1200 GBP

- Well Apple, of course it is expensive
- Well Google, so now I need to be rich to be a fanboy? Shame on you
- Well Huawei, so you are admitting you need an expensive European Brandname to bolster your product? Shame on you.

I really stress to the youngsters reading this:  Don't attempt to save up for one of the above 'ultimate' Smartphones.  Leave them to the likes of the Business customer, who more often than not has their company actually buys them this astronomically priced phone.

An remember that all of the above will be /The old Smartphone/ in town in 12 months time.








Harry Enfield: Not Considerably Richer

The Internet: Don't Home without IT




If you think it is merely foolish to leave home without your portable Internet connection then it may follow that to buy a quality home without a convincingly strong Internet connection, in 2016 is


The height of insanity


The Exclusions

- You currently don't have any Internet connections and no computers or smartphones. You are proud of being a technological neathandatal

- You are extremely old with no interest in technology and about to exit the planet

- You are living in a fantasy world where you think a large house in the country does not need an Internet connection. Just like in your parents age the quality of the staff is what is important.

- The Bible did not mention the Internet and consequently you don't need it. [Note, other religious texts are available, they also exclude any explicit reference, how strange]



In 2016 best practise would be to have

- A smartphone with an unlimited data plan, ideally for your country and all you regularly travel into

- A home Internet connection, uncapped with at least 30 and ideally over 100 Mbps downstream connection.

- If you make extensive use of Cloud Services, WebHosting ideally 100Mbps+ upstream

- For the home a backup Mobile 4G LTE connection in case the Fibre Drops


In reality

Marcus has found a property, in a really secluded location. No fibre. But with Satellite and a BT copper connection. Let's look at









Can you see the satellite latency! So using any interactive application, for example a Web Browser !!! results in a tedious user experience.


Mobile 4G LTE
With this current dismal Internet connectivity the only possible saviour would be a 4G i.e. Long Term Evolution (LTE) connection


After some hours of fiddling success:














Quite a few networks were found and some notable exceptions





Base equipment used for testing. Our trusty Asus 4G-N12


Now time to vary the position and height of the reciever














This is what happens when you run SpeedTest and each 50-100MB test download eats up your 2GB data allowance in literally minutes.




Finally a half decent result with Marcus doing some acrobatics on a rooftop. I hope the potential new neighbours don't think a crazy person is coming to stay.


Other Considerations

In the UK it might be difficult to find an uncapped PAYG or Pay Monthly plan for mobile data. Even if it says uncapped there may be a small asterisk saying, uncapped means please don't exceed 15GB per month. As a counter example, Marcus recently uploaded 7000 GB to a Cloud provider in 3 days, just as a test, at home in Switzerland. This could not be achieved in the UK via any Mobile or Land Fibre connection. Hmm. Taking a step backwards in life is always painful.


Summary
Stepping back below uncapped 100Mbit/sec download, ultra low latency Internet, is almost your only choice in the UK, is going to be a tough one. To be continued.


Links
Acceptable Internet Speeds in 2016



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Where Were You When




For the younger reader I might ask:

Where were you and what were you doing when on 11 September 2001 Islamic terrorists flew planes into the New York World Trade Centre.

But for those of a certain age I'd reference 2 other rather worrying and dramatic world events

Bay of Pigs invasion April 17 1961



Cuban Missile Crisis October 16 1962


These events come to mind with the death of Fidel Castro,  something that even /the Donald/ managed to fact check correctly ...



With both Fidel and Che Guevara now deceased student T shirt manufacturers are expecting a terrible downturn in business.

That aside, although I'm not a fan of their politics I offer this vaguely in time 80's musical protest epilog






Stranglers: No More Heroes

#Castro


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Busy and Insomnia AND


If you have been tuning into the Blog in the last 2 weeks you may notice the verbosity of articles dwindling and this is for a very good reason.

Nearly all hours during the day has been spent on practical property research, leading along the way to the following update to the right side of the blog quick link Property Heading


Was has this meant?




Faithless 2.0 Insomnia

For the most part an absence of sleep, at a time when in principle Marcus is supposed to be taking it easy and doing things in my own good time godammit!

Instead:

I missed Black Friday


Logging on at 9pm and I had missed nearly everthing from the local Swiss shop




I was too busy in Sainsbury's to do anything but get some food.


Something in Cheltenham








Something I looked at in Cheltenham.  It was not to be


Yes all the driving, viewing, analysing, cross checking, speaking to agents, owners, developers.  It is really quite stressful


And yes, Insomnia included at no extra charge




Faithless remix: Insomnia2 avicii


Friday, November 25, 2016

The UK Snoopers Charter



Rockwell: Watching Me


For those of us who are just a little bit worried about Google reading all of our gmails, the UK government has now set the bar substantially higher

The Investigatory Powers Act

Status: Awaiting Royal Ascent

In picture for those too lazy to read the articles from the links below:







The Links

http://theconversation.com/how-the-uk-passed-the-most-invasive-surveillance-law-in-democratic-history-69247

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/investigatory-powers-bill-act-snoopers-charter-browsing-history-what-does-it-mean-a7436251.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/investigatory-powers-bill

http://www.computerworlduk.com/security/draft-investigatory-powers-bill-what-you-need-know-3629116/

etcetera.


Marcus Analysis
So the bill has passed thru the UK Parliamentary framework and the last Royal Ascent phase is just a formality.

Essentially if you read thru the linked articles it's basically a travesty and a shit show.  Anybody using the Internet in the UK via their fixed line or mobile phone will be compromised i.e. recorded.

- Whilst I am a very public person, and happily divulge many aspects of our boring lives I'm not convinced that this Bill has its heart in any shape of form the right direction

- The Bill essentially says: We're collecting all this personal information so that we can track the bad guys!

- I'm pretty sure all ISP's and mobile providers have a real headache on their hands.   Maybe the UK gov should get Marcus and Agata to audit these guys.  Boy would that be fun

- I remember when I turned on Packet Inspection on our Firewalls and watched the Speed Drop like a stone.  So yes UK ISP's are probably shitting themselves.  Will they pass these added infrastructure costs onto Joe Public I wonder?

- But wait, if I just VPN  (Virtual Private Network) my Browser Connection thru a remote non UK provider won't that hide everything?

- Wait, if I use something like a Tor anonymizer won't that hide everything?

- Is the UK in a Snooping Race with the USA and embarrassed that the NSA has had similar abilities for years.   UK is merely placing catch-up

- Whilst the Government reserves the right to Snoop it wants to heavily penalise UK business who have lower security standards via GDPR.  Oh the irony.



Overall,  as usual the technically savvy, and I hope this includes Marcus and Agata, if we reside in the UK,  will just side stop all of this crap, and hide everything or anything that we want to.  And logically then we have to suppose the Bad guys really know nothing much about Encryption Protocols.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

More Thanks are Due



Bokka: Town of Strangers



Subtitle: In England, everything is easy.
And perhaps better?



In the last 14 days,  Marcus has asked total strangers for

- Tips about the area
- Directions
- Advice on Buying Property
- The Weather
- How to Open a Bank Account
- About Property Refurbishment
- Directions to the Pub
- The local walking path
- About Supermarket points system
- Local Cycling Club
- Running and Cycling Routes








In All Cases  the great British public have been so so helpful.  I even got chatting to a local specialist car dealer (in Oakham)  who gave me his card and told me I could contact him to send me any property we found and he'd pass on his evaluation to us.  Wow.

A good friend from London on hearing about the mandatory Swiss Wealth Tax and Healthcare costs told me:   Are you f****ing crazy, come home immediately.

So whilst the jury is still out,  the return to Blighty becomes more likely with each day I spent back in wonderful, wonderful Engerland.






Mike Posner: Arms of a Stranger






Madonna: Into The [Scottish] Groove



See Also
TED:Talking to Strangers

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Seeing Things Your Way


Subtitle: On President Elect






Tess Rafferty comments


Will Wheaton comments

Marcus Comments
In the best case: Trump may shake up the government, in a good way, but if he shits on the minority that you fall into it will not be fun, and Will's point is that even if it's not your minority, you should indeed be outraged.

But my view of human nature in practice is.  We all have principles.  But for most people 'defending the rights and freedoms of others'  always falls behind supporting somebody who claims that they will fight for you, against a different group, it could be the government,  foreigners, the church  that you feel have made your own life hell.


To put it into a one liner:


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

On Liberty



Preface
One might ask why Marcus should choose to share the following rather personal information on the Interweb.  I can only say that it further defines me and also can be a comforting pointer to others in my situation.

Who Can You Trust?
Somewhat early in life Marcus became sure that it was an error of the gravest proportion to take the words of my parents as in any way factual without verification.

Now today in 2016 this verification would be easy with tools such as Google and the wider Internet.  Then, back before you could spell Arpanet: not so easy.  But the path to self knowledge at an early age is a stony uphill one,  it's along the lines of Descartes  Cogito Ergo Sum

I did however fall in like  with John Stuart Mill  (JSM) a philosopher whose pushy childhood upto the age of just 8 and even Birthday seemed to have an uncanny resonance with young Marcus.

In later life I even studied JSM at University Level where the resonance was cemented and especially because of course I was supposed to be studying, writing and excelling in Engineering not Philosophy.  Like Mill in later life it was good to exercise my mind studying a passion I could choose instead of one that I could not.

I'm rambling onward to say that I recommend IMHO his greatest work

On Liberty

to all troubled yet thinking souls and as my starter for 10 his famous classification of self regarding and other regarding actions.




Thanks for reading this, now how about some JSM?




Links
Meanwhile: On Utilitarianism

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Analysis: Property Shame




Subtitle: Are you taking the P**s?

In the shortlist of hated or might I say distrusted professions Estate Agents i.e. people who help you buy or sell your property are up there with the worst.

Marcus has now spent over 6 months searching for the next property to move into and it is time to start documenting some of the biggest fails that we have come across.





It is a sort of comedy catharsis  because thus far our search has not been successful.

Who are you to tell me anything?
Many Estate Agents don't take the time to understand that when Marcus and Agata investigate a topic we go into it with 110% commitment  [I'm using the footballer scale here]

- We do the research
- I mean we really do the research
- I mean Agata has spent not just tens or hundreds but over 1000 hours researching the possibilities
- The areas, rainfall charts, security, sunlight, aspects, resale value, flood risks, chav-ability, snoot-ability, (the neighborhood).
- We remain open to new ideas of course, but telling us a basic fact about the area, or about the construction of a building is unlikely to result in a 'Eureka moment' for us

Why Compromise?
Finding a new property usually involves a compromise.  Firstly if you are buying as a couple there may be some differences between you.  Example:

Agata insists on some sort of view.  Example:  Your apartment windows only look out to other apartments or walls.  No deal.

Marcus insists that a minimum Internet Connection of 30Mbps is provable and that ideally it would be > 150Mbps.  And by the way, that is the smallest fraction of our current speed in Switzerland

No Specifics Just Yet
The Next time we get a spectacularly bad experience either materially or via un-professionalism of parties involved, there will be photographs, and names!  Until then think about

Agents
- Who don't take the time to understand our needs
- Don't arrive on time or at all to the viewing
- Show basic lack of knowledge of the property we view
- Don't have the keys to get into the Property
- We just cant tell you the Room Dimensions sorry
- Or the Area of the Property, or supply a floorplan
- Don't have a business card and/ or won't leave us a contact phone / email address.
- Go with unconvincing, make it up as they go along, explanations for questions that have factual answers
- Promise a follow up call but never bother
- Promise follow up answers but never bother
- Leave your viewing early to go to somebody else
- Take other calls whilst in your viewing
- Belittle us in respect of budget
- Give us contrary expectations of price trends to push towards a sale

For Our Part
- We know our Budget
- We tell you honestly we are Cash Buyers ready to buy now
- We'll view the property and only ask for more information that we can't establish for ourselves
- We exactly know about quality construction methods for household equipment, flooring, heating techniques.  As Engineers we will tell you: Please don't give us any shit!
- Within 7 days we'll always tell you directly if we are no longer interested.  We commit to not keep you hanging on

So yes, we are still looking, but watch out crapsters, we plan to tell on you.






AC: Dirty Deeds

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Relaxing with Friends


Those of us who have been intolerably busy for extended periods of their lives like Marcus and Agata usually have a /too busy/ story.

Marcus tells the story of how he did /not even/ have the time to cut and trim his fingernails.  I recall [the comedian] Frank Skinner used to tell the tale he was so busy that he bought /grated cheese/ because he had no time to grate cheese.

We all have our tales!  And stories and recollections, hopefully of busy times past



So here, today, this is just a wonderful thank you to the many Friends and Family members that I've had wonderful conversations with in the last 2 weeks. Actually, not just meaningful talks, but dinners and cakes and coffee.   The sort of timeless hospitality that I and many over-stressed time poor executives was never able to appreciate whilst younger.

Roll on old age.


Thank you again to ALL.


Over to you Orbital



Orbital: Halcyon

Friday, November 18, 2016

Decathlon Wed'ze


I know what you are thinking, why did Marcus spend all those decades as a Professional Engineer when it is clear from this photograph that he could have instead made it big as a top flight Underwear Model :-)


This is just a short post to say that in Europe the winter nights are drawing in and temperatures are dropping.


Last week whilst driving thru France from Switzerland I visited my favourite sports store with sensible prices

Decathlon!

Side Note
Decathlon promised to open a retail or online presence in Switzerland, but you can see from this web store  that at the time of writing November 18th 2016 it has not happened yet in Switzerland.   One word: Cartel!  Discuss.


Decathlon Wed'ze

This is a base level and I mean base level in price of Ski Clothing


Wed'ze all == 646 Products   http://www.decathlon.co.uk/C-308260-wed-ze

Wed'ze less than 10 GBP  http://www.decathlon.co.uk/C-308260-wed-ze/N-66476-price~less-than-10



Simple Mens Warm trousers Black 3.99 GBP





Simple Mens Top Black 3.99 GBP

So I am just giving 2 specific examples that I invested in, not for snowboarding, but for winter warm pyjamas.  I am currently giving them a workout whilst living in the Motorhome in England as Marcus evaluates new homes.   At night time with temperatures outside at about 5 degrees and inside not much warmer they are able to keep me warm very effectively.  And for a combined price of less than 10 GBP.  Yes, it is absolutely bonkers.

In Summary

- Decathlon Wed'ze is a snowboarding brand from Decathlon
- Warm Clothing at pretty insanely low prices
- You don't have to use it for snowboarding
- I recommend Decathlon for their no nonsense, pretentious free product line
- Wed'ze offers me good simple clothing, that actually works, at fair prices

Please don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

8 weeks and 2 Days




Background
Yes, 8 weeks and 2 days was the time that it took the firm Digitec  (via its service repairer MobileTouch AG) to return my broken Nexus 5X.

During that time I have been using a temporary Apple iPhone 5S as my daily phone 


About Digitec
In another more dramatic post I'll give you the user the chance to decide whether it was reasonable under the circumstances, or any circumstances for a company to take 8 weeks 2 days to

- Take my phone for repair
- Return it without repair
- Send me a bill for over 50 CHF  (40 GBP) for inspection and non repair

For my part I will aim to show in a future post that it is quite the worst service I have had from any Swiss retailer, in over 10 years, and the fact that this agony is still not over, ...  well all will be revealed shortly

Why iPhone Marcus?
If you followed this Blog you may know that

- In the Summer my backup phone Nokia 950 was stolen
- Insurance did not cover the theft, my funds are now modest, so I was waiting for a new Google Phone
- The plan was to keep the Nexus 5X as a backup, and buy a new Google phone
- I also had a emergency backup phone a Oneplus One, but that was gifted.

So the sudden failure of the Nexus 5X left me completely phoneless

The retailer Digitec has a procedure allowing you to 'buy' at reduced price a phone during the repair period, and then when your phone comes back repaired you take the phone back and get a refund.

On the day of handing them the Nexus 5X,  still only about 6 months old, they only had

a) a shitty and I mean really low entry level Android Phone
b) an Apple iPhone 5S

I took the iPhone 5S.    Had I known it would take MobileTouch AG 8 weeks and 2 days to return my phone un-repaired I would clearly have done something else ... for example immediately buy a replacement phone that I wanted

Apple iPhone 5S review
So let me say in summary that almost every one of the 58 days I spent with the iPhone was agony, but it was not totally Apple's fault.

The screen was just too small for me.  Even in maximum squint mode, in a brightly lit room I could barely make out the text of say a Webpage or RSS feed.  I can see if you had better eyesight then this would not have been the ballbreaking issue I found it to be.

But then, every day after the first few days I was expecting to get an email from Digitec or from MobileTouch AG, the service centre, with the good news of my phone repair.  But no.   8 weeks and 2 days.  I ask you!


- Fragile Screen
The aesthetically pleasing but raised front screen with 100% raised edge is just asking to get a nick, crack or break.

This loaner phone was not supplied with a case, and though as usual I kept the phone in a waterproof plastic bag, this would not protect it from a fall.  So for 8 weeks I was shit scared I would damage it.

+App Support
Unlike my Nokia 950 Windows Phone, iOS does a 110% great job of providing application support.  What I mean are all the big name applications are supported.  It is in every way as good as Android, and both Android and iOS are several magitudes as good as Windows Phone.

= Speed of Operation Okay
It was not noticeably slow.  I could not find any fault

--Mandatory OS upgrade
The phone came with iOS 9 and when iOS 10 was available there was a constant nagging screen asking an upgrade and it then forced you to type in an unlock code (not fingerprint to proceed).  I think it was once per day, but I did not want to jinx anything and upgrade.  So every day for over 1 month I had to dismiss the upgrade 'request'.  Come on Apple!

+ Fast Camera
The camera was only 8MP but to be fair took pretty decent photos.  Also it was very quick from shutter press to taking photo

+ Disk Support
I liked that I could plug in the phone via a Lightening to USB cable and have the photos show up as a drive on my Windows Server computer.   So daily I would cut paste them away and do the edits on my Workstation.    CF Android where you have to become an Android developer and then set Picture Transfer mode  (not the case for Cyanogen but it is for regular Android)

- Chrome Extensions
On the phone (or on an iPad) you can't add a Google Chrome browser extension.  Very Painful.

- Google Locations is removed. You have to use /find Your friends/  Guess what, this is an Apple only app so if you have Android Friends you can't locate them.

- App Support
In General Apple pursues the strategy that if they supply an App that does a good job then why bother letting a competitive app into the store.  Google Locations is an example.  Personally I think Apple should let competitors in, especially when the home grown app is not functionally equivalent

= Connectivity
Using a Lightening cable instead of a USB C connection was a little painful.  In general my 2016 smartphones make use of the high USB-C charging capability, so I found the 5S slow to charge.  Though despite its proprietary nature which I hate, physically I like the Lightening connector.

-- No Back Button
In Android there is a place for the Back button to get back thru an App that you might have descended some levels into. But in iOS the app developer is responsible for its position and size and so of course its in different places for different apps.  Occasionally the developer mis codes it too, so to me there were cases in the BBC Radio Player app that I got confused.  Come back Android!

The Apple Standard
Some people criticise Marcus for holding Apple to a high standard than I expect from say Google and Android.

Yes I do.

And why?  Because Apple themselves, and their fanboy following are always so smug and superior, it is positively the least I can do:  To hold them to the standard of superiority that they claim.


Back to Android
Right now Marcus is in the second week of Android phone ownership.  It feels so good to be back to a phone OS that I can delight in.




All About the Electricity

Subtitle: Life on the Road

In 2016, now more than ever Marcus would like to postulate that our, and by that I mean our Western Civilisation is critically dependent on Electricity.

This week I am travelling, principally house hunting, but my purposefully modest lifestyle is still critically dependent upon the Volts and Amps that power just about everything.

(Oh, and there is the Diesel as a motive energy source too don't forget)


Heating
After a decent mountain run this afternoon the hot air vents are drying out my Salomon trail shoes



 Inside it is 25 degrees C

Outside it is a staggeringly warm for the season 12 degrees C


The main Heating is provided by a Truma 6, i.e. 6KW heater.  This can be powered by Gas or Electricity and the obvious rule is:  Use Electricity whenever possible!  Here the Inside thermostat is set to 25 degrees.

Whilst touring in Europe the strange but terrible truth is that Gas Bottle standards are different.  So you need to set out with full Gas Bottles and since you can't normally exchange them as you would do in your home country when empty  (at a Petrol station), then conserve that Gas!



 We are using Electricity on the most powerful setting


The Electric Circulation Fan is set to Eco meaning a soft quiet, non hurricane airflow.



Converter
Under the drivers seat is some Electronic gubbins that is able to take the Main electricity Supply and

- Intelligently feed and Charge the Double 12V Heavy Duty House Batteries.

Motorhomes typically have a Car Battery for the Engine and a separate circuit with one or two, separate House batteries.

Whilst plugged into the mains your 12V rails are being powered from the mains whilst the house batteries are charged and also mains diverted to the heating system, so that the Gas backup is not used.

Gadget Charging
My Laptop is charging and also my Headtorch battery.

Also not shown but charging are the GPS watch, step trackers and Smartphones


The Kitchen
It's modest.  Whilst the hob is Gas powered the sink uses hot water from the Electric Boiler   (there is a Gas backup).


The Music
Going Simple I am able this week to just use a regular FM radio to receive BBC Radio 4,  ah so wonderful!




The SmartphoneThe Smartphone, aka Phone, Camera, Torch, GPS is all powered by Electricity.   At the end of the day using the Android Debug Mode I transfer all my pictures to my Laptop and then after editing to the Internet.




The Internet
Made possibly by the Mains powered Asus 4G-N12 SIM router I have a pretty decent 7Mbps mobile internet connection tonight, literally in the middle of nowhere

 The Web Browser from my Laptop

 Not bad for the middle of absolute nowhere tonight!


In Summary
Whilst out on the road it is possible to 'Wild Camp' wherever legal; using Gas Heating,  and 12V electrics.  But not for long.  It's much easier when there is a Mains 240V feed that can supply you with ample heating, hot water, and enough juice to power and recharge all the equipment that one now needs for even the most rudimentary living in 2016.