Monday, 21 September 2009

Red Diesel Tax Calculator for Narrowboat

The IWA has a Campaign to keep derogation on Red Diesel. Something that is close to my heart. They have on their site a nifty spreadsheet which can be used to calculate the amount that people should be paying... but I needed to calculate how much we were using for propulsion or other purposes; not being a continuous cruiser it'd not be anywhere near the 60/40% split that HMRC reckons (60% for propulsion and 40% for other purposes such as hot water and electricity generation).

Being a bit of a novice when it comes to spreadsheets I thought I'd try to work it out myself and, with a little (okay, a lot of!) help, I came up with the following schema on Google Docs:

  • Column A - The date, watch out for the localization here, make sure it's British (DD/MM/YYYY).
  • Column B - Purpose, if you want this to act as something of a log make sure that the non-propulsion purpose is obvious, mine is "Electricity & Water", everything else is ignored.
  • Column C - Is the hours on the clock when you turn the engine off.
  • Column D - This is calculated by entering something like "=CX-C(X-1)"; so it you're on line 10 the formula would be "=C10-C9".
  • Column E - Is the total hours used, or "=sum(D:D)".
  • Column F - Is the total hours used for non-propulsion reasons, or "=sumif(B:B, "Electricity & Water", D:D)".
  • Column G - Is the percentage used for non-propulsion reasons, or "=(F1/E1)".
Spreadsheet illustration

I started doing this ages ago (08/10/2008) and I'm now onto my second sheet so I've had to alter columns E, F and G to:

  • Column E (Sheet 2) - Total hours used: "=sum(sum(D:D),Sheet1!E1)".
  • Column F (Sheet 2) - Total hours used for non-propulsion reasons: "=sum(sumif(B:B, "Electricity & Water", D:D),Sheet1!F1)".
  • Column G (Sheet 2) - Percentage used for non-propulsion reasons: "=(F1/E1)".

Dead easy isn't it?

Saturday, 19 September 2009


We're back from Tallinn in Estonia where we spent 5 nights. It's a jolly good place though I was a little nervous when we got off the plane... the bus into Tallinn seemed to be full of Stag Parties and Babooshkas!

I'd spent ages looking for books on Amazon but finally downloaded and printed the TALLINN in your pocket guide which was excellent.

We went on Wednesday 9th September 2009 and came back on Monday 14th September 2009 and stopped at the Domina City Hotel, breakfast was provided at the hotel so we went out for tea usually and ended up drinking in the room reading and watching Estonian TV... which is jolly cool!

Upon arriving we were hungry and so we ate at the Schnitzel House and managed to overhear a number of people using English as a lingua franca which was funny as they were criticising the English for talking about the Second World War, most especially after their 3rd drink on an evening.

On the Thursday we went on a cycle tour which was also really rather good and got nattering to some TA guys who were on a "lads" holiday (apparently this means they can burp and fart without censure!). One was talking about the history of Estonia and for a people who've been invaded and occupied by nigh on every bugger for centuries then they're remarkably not bonkers... apart from the focus on singing.

The Saku was nice as was the A. Le Coq.

Cool name!

Overall a jolly good place to visit!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Flying Dog Brewery

I'm really looking forward to a bottle of Gonzo Imperial Porter tomorrow morning when I get in from work.

When I first picked it up, along with my customary bottle of Poacher's, I thought it was brewed by Brew Dog (incidentally the only site served using PHP and quite possibly the slowest one), but it is actually from the USA instead.

Think this is top! The beer wasn't so nice though.

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.