March 31st, 2008


Playing at grown-ups

My stuff is all unpacked and placed around and about, the lawns are all tamed, we had a plantgasm on Saturday and consequently we now have gardens of floweriness (at least, they will be when they get a bit bigger) and I've caught up on my washing. When I got my clothes off the line on Friday evening, they smelled like Sunshine! I promptly replaced them with more, which have been hanging there ever since, getting well rinsed. *cough*

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In other earth-shattering news, I have accidentally changed my hair colour. I'm not sure how it happened but I used Napalm Orange, Atomic Pink and Electric Blue, and I've come out with some really interesting copper and some lovely violet, with blue lowlights and the odd pink/orange highlight. It's not what I intended but I quite like it. It may be because I was outside in the not-quite-rain with the foils in. Hmm..

Finally - a question. I know there are arty types on my flist who might be able to answer this. In my unpacking, I found a sculpture I did a few years ago in Oamaru Stone. Now, Oamaru Stone is crumbly and soft, and it needs some kind of coating/sealant to prevent it from shedding dust as soon as someone breathes on it. Can any of you recommend a product or type of product I could use?

A sign of things to come?

I have a BP Fuelcard through my work. Using this instead of paying at the pump means that, prior to today, I was getting a 9c/litre discount on petrol.

Petrol is currently $1.77 a litre (that's about $5.80 a gallon for you folks in the US) - the highest it's ever been.

I found out today that BP have just decreased the discount to 7c/litre. So, I'm still paying less than the pump price for petrol, but it's a substantial increase - especially given that the pump price has increased by well over three times the discount I'm getting in the last year.

I find this somewhat concerning. My personal transport cost has only increased by $5 a week since the move, since I'm now carpooling instead of catching the bus. But I'm looking at how coffee's gone up by a dollar a bag, milk is now more expensive than petrol ($3 for 2 litres is super cheap, in a country where dairy cows outnumber people), and everything in Fidels has gone up by 50c in the last couple of months.

Now, the actual rate of inflation depends who you ask. One site I looked at had 2.6%. This site says 3.8%. That's a big difference. Most people's wages aren't increasing that fast.

I'm not trying to start anything, yes I've heard of Peak Oil, yes I know the world's supposedly headed for a recession and that the US dollar is sinking like a lead balloon. Doom! Gloom! I think most people are aware of these things. But for me, today, losing 2c/litre discount on my petrol tells me that BP is no longer in a position where it can afford to absorb the increasing cost. And that concerns me.

(As an indicator, my company uses 360,000 litres of 91 octane fuel a year. This is mostly in site visits to apprentices to check and mark off their training, which helps to ensure that your house won't fall down. Anyway, it adds up to $8,140 in loss of discount. That's a tidy chunk of money)