Bit of a sketchy start to the year, following a late end to the previous one. Many thanks to all our friends for making our Hogmanay bash such fun! I’ve never seen so much success with my wooden Magic Egg. Inevitably, there’s now a touch screen version available for those who prefer not touch anything that once lived. Apologies to all for the amount of woodsmoke in your clothing today; you’ll all be invited again when I’ve dried the wood out properly first. Our chimney does draw but it needs to have a certain amount of heat below it first.
In a change to the published programme, the next 27 days will be renamed Month of Electricity. On 27th January 2012, I’ll be sitting the exam for the Seventeenth Edition of the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s Wiring Regulations. Most of my regular readers are probably reaching for their mouse right now! They are more familiar with these regulations than they realise, although they know them as BS 7671:2008. Anyone still reading?
With only the hardcore left, let’s pleasure ourselves with a selection of the sexiest images from the technical manual that I’ll be spending the next 27 days learning how to read. Proof that you cannot judge a book by its cover, this disguises its fearful knowledge in a friendly green jacket:
The morass of diagrams, charts and tables inside is my mountain for the next month. Blogging will inevitably be affected; I’ll write short rather than not at all. Spending the anticipated 14 hour days with this sort of thing is unlikely to produce much inspiration, unless you are an alien from another world who needs to understand best practice for wiring surgical units, for some reason.
Personally, I never really understood that particular persecution complex. Why do the aliens’ proclivity for kidnapping, surgical procedures and sex only ever seem to extend to frightfully ugly women in their sixties? There are some truly beautiful beings on this planet, some of them women and, yes, some of them in their sixties too. Why only pick the roughest mingers? Is space populated by fright monsters or does travelling across the immeasurable chasms of distance and time do something funny to your eyesight?
Oddly, if it were all diagrams I would have no problem learning it at all. I’d only have to read the book once and Blammo! it would be lodged in that part of my memory which is also demarcated for Ordnance Survey Landranger Maps and similarly abstract representations of reality. Unfortunately there are lots of tables and charts too. I’m rubbish at tables. Even now, I struggle with bus time tables to the point where I will frequently walk seven miles rather than have to deal with one. Charts are somewhere in between tables and diagrams. Don’t believe me? Check out this bad boy:
What sort of person enjoys this sort of thing? Perhaps it is my room 101. Despite my rebellious instinct when faced with apparently significant lines thrown around in an impressive looking chart, perhaps I must learn to love the wiring regulations as if they were my big brother? Which will be the bigger challenge: learning them or managing to blog whilst wading through them? Clearly, the former.
Every day from tomorrow until the day of the exam, I’ll post a single nugget of electrical information which is likely to be really useful to my non-technical readers. Some of it you might not think to be of much use to you but believe me it will be. Men will find themselves able to get better deals from electricians. Women will find themselves better men with their newfound technocratic conversational abilities. Either that, or scare them off altogether.
[braces self from onslaught of criticisms for being utterly unreconstructed]