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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Cold Christmas

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell keep on exploring Britain. As we go we watch our carbon footprints... This post is by Nicola

Staying in the gorgeous country town of Buntingford over Christmas, we couldn't resist a detour (in the car club car) to a well-named, nearby hamlet. It may have been minus 2C at times over the Christmas holiday, but my mum's new cottage is lovely and snug. She has a new condensing boiler - and barely uses her electric oven - which may well make her house's energy requirements more efficient than mine.
On Boxing Day I was given a tour of an astonishing wood boiler (provided by Rural Energy)which is fed with wood chips. The plan is for it to provide all the hot water and heat a house, office and swimming pool, saving around #4-5,000 a year in bills. It's big - you need a large barn to house it in - but this is a real energy pioneer's gadget. The big switch on is due in February 2009.