For the past eight-and-a-half years I've been used to living with a street light practically in my garden. In Wickford the street light really was in our front garden (though I believe technically the first two or three feet of our front grass did belong to the council. I know, an odd set up but there were grass verges along our road - which the council would cut - and somehow, at some point in time, our front grass had incorporated this grass verge.) When we moved back to Bristol, yet again there was a street light right up against the wall of our garden - and very handy it is too for jamming the wheelie bins against when they go out for collection. Without that lamp-post, I fear our bins could go hurtling down the precipitous hill we live on.
Anyway, I digress. After having lived in such close proximity to street lighting for so long, I've become incredibly used to the house being bathed in the orange glow from said lights all night, every night. It makes nipping to the loo much less fraught when there is ambient - albeit VERY orange - light to see by. Not any longer. South Gloucestershire Council have decided to switch most of their street lights off at midnight (and switch them back on at 5.00 am - when necessary.) It has been quite a change - though I'm amazed how much I can still see despite the area now being like the black hole of Calcutta - and I've noticed (on my nocturnal wanderings to the bathroom) how many people now seem to have landing and / or bedroom lights on at night.
According to the council website they are doing this to cut down on their carbon footprint - a sentiment I heartily agree with - though I suspect the £250,000 savings on electricty may have an awful lot more to do with their decision in these austere times. Personally, I quite like the lights being off - and the consequent saving of our collective carbon footprint - but have heard that there are rumblings from people who are going to complain about the decision.
Apparently, it has all been done in strict consultation with the Police and the Highways Agency and lights on major roads are still staying on all night. If the crime rate soars the council says they will think again about their lights out policy. What do you think? Does your local authority switch lights out during the night? Or are South Glos. the forerunners of such an idea? (they are draconian when it comes to recycling, so that may be a possibility.)
Photos - or lack thereof. Apologies for the lack of photos on the blog of late but Typepad changed something a few months ago which means I can no longer add photos because my Internet Explorer seems to be too old for the updated Typepad (no idea why that should be as I'm using a loptop that is less than one year old.)
I know I could a) change from Typepad to Wordpress or Blogspot, or b) upload another web browser to solve the problem. P did look into uploading Firefox for me when he was home on leave but it wanted to usurpe Internet Explorer totally so he decided not to proceed with the download. Anyone got any other ideas about how to solve this problem? All suggestions gratefully received.