Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How I hate CFLs!

Photos: J. Cooper

Totally unprepared for this!
What shock it was to discover what appeared to be snowflakes on the carpet when I walked into my living room early this morning. Of course, on closer inspection, the 'flakes' proved to be, not snow, but scraps of some other weird, almost transparent material of an indefinable substance which disintegrated between my fingers as I tried to pick them up.

Then, looking up, I was horrified to find shards of the stuff hanging from the shade of a standard lamp...All that was left of the once exquisite silk lining!

Not many months ago I facetiously wrote:
Whooping with joy, I’ve just removed the detested Compact Fluorescent spiral from the lamp on my desk, and replaced it with a nice, fat, familiar, round, incandescent light bulb that once more surrounds me with the glorious golden glow that spells ‘home’ to me like nothing else can. (Incidentally, until I did this, I had never noticed how that 'cool' CFL was maliciously beginning to destroy the gorgeous, silk lining of my lampshade - which had survived years and years and years of incandescents before it! I was quite proud of myself for having intervened in time! )

But clearly I had spoken to soon! The rot had already set in!
Responsible citizen that I am, I’m trying to be as ‘green’ as possible, so, as a writer who very often gets so involved in the affairs of my characters that I can easily lose all track of time and work right through the night – sitting less than two feet away from the lamp on my desk - I made sure only to use CFLs. (How much is two feet in centimetres?)

As a romantic, I have thrived, since I was a child, on poems and novels that describe how the hearts of the poor, lost stranger stumbling through a thick mist, and the sailor who is finally home from the sea, are gladdened by the golden light of the flickering candle on a sill, or that of the welcome beam streaming from the window of a ‘croft on moor’. – I sure don’t see that here any more. Certainly not from my own abode!

Few things irritate me more than the harsh ‘whiteness’ of most automobile headlights boring into my eyes in heavy traffic to blind me, whether it’s raining (or sometimes not!) in Vancouver, but we bear these things stoically for the love of the planet. … Besides Al Gore says we have to!

So what had brought this on? - Five months ago?
I was sitting at this very desk that morning, typing away to finish a novel, when the news reached me from the radio in the kitchen. And guess what? It’s now considered harmful to be within 30-something centimetres from a new-fangled Compact Fluorescent lamp, for longer than a certain amount of time. (Didn’t catch how long, but I’m sure it's less than the time I've been spending!)

Sorry I can’t be more specific! I haven’t yet learned to think ‘metric’, and I was in such a hurry to get a ladder and take my old light bulb down from the top shelf in my kitchen, that I didn't hear the whole thing!

So much for Global Warming!
Victoria, historically the warmest part of Canada, was colder last month than it was at the North Pole!, on Vancouver Island
UPDATE JANUARY 7, 2010 "Frozen Iguanas falling out of trees in Florida!" -- Can you believe it?
Britain in a deep freeze; Arctic cold sweeping down through the United States as far as Louisiana?


Anonymous said...

I came across your blog on Facebook, and yes, I have to admit that I also loathe the darned things. Lured to do so when they first came on the market and there were all those special offers, I bought a whole lot, but I did not like them, and also soon replaced them with the old kind of light bulbs. Somehow my home did not look the same, and I think you’re right. It was the stark WHITENESS, instead of the mellow yellow of the light, that changed the whole atmosphere. – By the way this was not the first time I had heard about possible destructive properties of these things.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all you have said. I also loathe them and have read warnings about them. I'm hoarding the old-fashioned kind in case they are taken off the market permanently in favor of CFLs.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could write next about how much lint there is in Canada!

Brenda Louw said...

I follow all your blogs and find them really interesting. May I point out, as I have done with your others, that the URL part in th "Name/Url" thing is misleading. I bet that many people don't realize that all it means is that you can use your name or a pseudonym