Turned out it wasn't new meters that were fitted, but 'smart meters', in that these were not obligatory (at this time), but however, am SO impressed. Can't say I understand everything that happens, but have ended up with a sort of small screen that when touched can slide things around (a bit like these modern smart phones I suppose), and I can read exactly how much it costs when switching on the electric kettle. We checked the oven at 200C, and it showed 50p. Ovens controlled by thermostats do switch on and off, so it will be interesting to see how much the overall charge would be when I next roast a chicken. It could well prove to be cheaper to buy a ready-roasted chicken from the supermarket than cook one.
Also want to find out how much it will cost to cook a casserole (lower heat) in the oven, and then cook the same on the gas hob. No doubt Les will have already done that (he is a fount of knowledge when it comes to costs/temperatures etc), but want to prove it for myself.]
A few things came to light, some lead piping has to be removed and replaced with copper (new regs), and also need some work on the fuse box. Our Gas service contract also covers water/drains, gas AND electricity, so am having them come to see if they can sort it (or at least find out what needs to be done then get someone else if it works out cheaper). Seems to make sense to get the house in full working order in case I wish to move. Give a prospective owner a reason to lower the price and they want it reduced by thousands even if the repairs would cost only hundreds.
By the way, I have been allowed an Attendance Allowance, so that means I will now be able to afford the occasional taxi (to take me to the spiritualist church again) as well as other venues. Nothing like a few more pennies in my pocket to cheer me up!!
Another thing I'm going to do - and this is pure luxury - is to have an electric log-effect fire fitted in our living room, in the Art Deco-style ingle. I'll hardly ever need to use any heat that can be blown into the room from the fire, just have the flame-effect flickering. Not that expensive to fit if directly into the wall, although I may decide to have it fitted into a fireplace surround. A lot less trouble to deal with than a real log stove, but will still give the feeling of heat and the pleasure of what seems to be a 'real' fire is worth paying a few pence a week (running costs).
Thanks for your comments. Was very impressed with your 'extended' vegetable soup Jane. Just shows how we can turn one dish into several different meals.
Regarding sharing a meal with my neighbour. We have discussed this and the problem is that she lives in a first floor apartment and I could never manage her stairs. She does come and have coffee with me every week, and am hoping to have a small dinner party for a few neighbours now and again that I am sure she will come to. Think I mentioned she is selling her flat and moving to Shropshire, soon as possibly, but this could be months, both the flat above our and her flat (priced much the same) are lovely and worth a lot more than the asking price, but no-one seems interested. Viewers always seem to want a garden as well, and we are the ones that own a garden and not prepared to sell any of it.
As far as B and I was concerned, we were happy to let any new owners 'upstairs' do some gardening if they wished, or just sit in it now and again, but this freedom would not necessarily still be given by any new owners of our apartment should it then later be sold.
Anyway, one of my plans this year is to re 'landscape' the small garden we have and have wider herbaceous borders and hopefully some plants and shrubs that will flower all year round. All being well should have a busy year ahead of me. At least now I can dig up and discard that awful rhubarb that B always hoped would grow thick stems (the stems are not much thicker than ballpoint pens). Plant a rose there instead. Hurry up spring, can't wait to get started.
Meanwhile, will keep a check on the running costs of fuel, and will be interested to find out how much it costs to do a load of laundry in the washing machine (not counting the detergent). Have run out of fabric softener, so am now going to make my own using water, vinegar, hair conditioner, and will let you know if that works and - of course - is cheaper than the manufactured softeners.
Was not intending to write today, so that's all you are getting. Might be back tomorrow if I can find time between doing all the interesting things that now keep occurring to me to do. Maybe I will get the occasional low day (after all it is still less than 3 months since the shock-wave hit me), but am definitely improving and feeling more like the me that was, now more inclined to start thinking about myself (for the first time) and mean to find some pleasure from life without feeling guilty about it. It'll feel strange for a start, but bet I'll get used to it sooner rather than later. TTFN.