Pure Planet Community spotlight April 2020 - G4RHL


This month the Pure Planet Community spotlight is shining on member @G4RHL! 🤩

A volunteering hero, @G4RHL has made waves in the Community with his quick wit and continued feedback on his smart meter experience so far. Great stuff!

Not only that, but his tips for a bad back have seen @Marc taking plenty of notes. Meanwhile we all eagerly await a review of his new electric bike once it arrives 😁.

Here he tells us some more about himself, including some of the incredible volunteering work he does, and his top tips for optimising a home thermostat! 👍

Thanks for agreeing to take part in this month's spotlight @G4RHL and for getting stuck in with the Community!

Spotlight on Pure Planet Community member @G4RHL

1) How long have you been a member and why did you join?
According to my PP profile I joined on the 19th August 2018. Why? It came up as the cheapest when I came to renew my energy contract. It was not the cheapest when renewal time arrived last year, but only a little more such that a degree of loyalty, the avoidance of hassle and being greenish had me renewing again. What was nice was that PP in renewing did not immediately up the cost as most other suppliers do after the first year.

2) Where are you from, and where do you live now?
​​​​​​​The same place as all of us. My Mother's womb!

Born in a Middlesex maternity hospital, lived in Thames Dutton for a few years and moved to the NE, when my father came North to start the Mounted Police Branch of Durham County Constabulary. I still have a copy of the training schedule my father inflicted on his officers. Indeed also his truncheon. A mounted policeman’s truncheon is quite a bit longer than the man on the beat’s.
I currently live a few miles East of Durham City.


3) What do you love doing outside of work/ with your free time?
I am outside of work! I was a lawyer and retired from private practice some years back, and then did consultancy and locum work for a few years. Mostly in Local Govt. I obtained two first class honours degrees – back scratching and buck passing! No need to go to college for those, you learn by people watching!

I do a fair amount of voluntary work for my local Hospice. That started well over 25 years ago with me doing legal work for it and being a member of its Board. Hospices are wonderful, happy places. The atmosphere is one of love, care and happiness. It is a privilege to see the nursing staff and others at work, to sit with patients for a few hours, hold a hand. Visitors who have never been before come in looking sad and worried but invariably they leave with smiles knowing their loved one is in good hands. It
is within all of us the wish to help another.


4) What are you currently reading or watching?
Just finished a David Baldacci book - reading is a little limited for me. An age thing. My eyes get tired such that I cannot focus well if I read for more than about 20 minutes. I do download the paper each day to read.

Watching? It varies. I never watch sport so groan when that is all that's on. Netflix has been a boon when there is little worth watching. When in zombie mode we watch The Iron Fist. Not quite rubbish but it’s watchable. We have though coming up another Killing Eve series and Line of Duty. It is a treat to watch good actors do their job. Sometimes I find myself watching their acting skills as opposed to taking in the subject of the play or film.


5) One thing nobody would ever guess from looking at you?
I have a 32 inch inside leg yet am only just over 5 foot 6 inches tall! Getting trousers with a 32 inch waist and 32 inch leg is a problem.
Many suppliers have regular as the size, it’s usually 31 inches and it looks like the cat has died, ‘cause my trousers are at half mast.

6) What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Nothing. I don’t usually have breakfast.
I might at a weekend when it may be a Jordan’s cereal with fresh fruit and if I can get it proper Greek Yogurt. Not “Greek style”.


7) What's your top tip for cutting carbon and saving money?
Walk! 😁
Over 5 years ago I removed the hall thermostat, as it is the last place you ever would want one. I replaced all radiator controls with wireless TRVs. Each room is its own zone so that I can have heat in one room without heating up the others. I don’t have a “house” thermostat but the TRVs do all that for me with the exception of the lounge. Whilst we have two radiators in there each with wireless TRVs I use a free standing thermostat on a side table to control the heat in that room as it is the one where we may want to adjust the temperature more frequently.
​​​​​​​ It all works and a major delight is if I am alone in the house working in my study only that room is heated if wanted. The system is Evohome. It controls my hot water as well as central heating. For me it has worked very well. Even away from home when I can switch the heating back on from afar when setting off to drive home if we have been away.




The Community spotlight is a regular feature to find out a little bit more about who we are, what we like, and maybe what we don't like!

Other members who've taken part include @25 quid, @Jowl, @David j, @Bev, @Scubaseahorse, @Gwyndy plus many, many more!

If you'd like to take part in the Community spotlight series, or you'd like to nominate a fellow member, send me or Marc a DM anytime.🙂

14 replies

Nataly;52320:
This month the Pure Planet Community spotlight is shining on member @G4RHL! 🤩

A volunteering hero, @G4RHL has made waves in the Community with his quick wit and continued feedback on his smart meter experience so far. Great stuff!

Not only that, but his tips for a bad back have seen @Marc taking plenty of notes.


Thanks for those back care tips @G4RHL
I'm pleased to report that ye olde backe is on the mend.
Even doing some (basic) pilates and having a daily walk, which feels good.
​​​​​​​Great spotlight 😃
Userlevel 7
Badge +10
Fab Spotlight indeed, G4👍👏. Loved reading that, especially the hospice work 👏👏👏👏. The trousers made me laugh 👍😂😂😂😂😂
Userlevel 7
Badge +9
Nice one G4
Userlevel 7
Badge +11
Great spotlight G4!
Sorry to hear about the legs..
Userlevel 7
Badge +8
Great spotlight G4- I particularly enjoyed the inside leg statistic ✔️✔️
Great stuff @G4RHL and special mention to @Nat for consigning the image formatting to the bin. By the way, I’m also a waist equals my leg person!
Userlevel 7
Badge +5
Thanks for that @G4RHL, nice to know a bit more about our fellow Community users.

Totally sympathise with the long leg issue, I too struggle to buy trousers that aren't ankle swingers.
Badge +3
Brilliant Spotlight - loved the Hospice info. Something I'll think about to volunteer for. I always imagined them as sad place but it's nice to hear a different view
They are happy places. They are also relaxing places. Sitting with a person who is dying or terminally ill is not as depressing as others, who have not done it, imagine. Yes, there is sadness but more often a relaxed peace.

​​​​​​​Contact your local one and ask to have a look. Look at their website. Volunteers are always needed and the movement could do with more younger volunteers but usually they are committed with families and work. I wish more large employers would give paid day release to staff say once a month to volunteer. I can assure everybody gains, including the business, if that is done. It provides a wider experience and understanding of life.

Currently of course we are locked down. The inpatient unit functions but admin staff are furloughed or working from home. My visits to a Patel end with advanced dementia are verboten, so its a phone call every so often.

- - - Updated - - -

Looks like the cat’s died and I am in morning. Well it used to. Finding trousers that are 32” waist and 32” inside leg is a treat. Austin Reed used to do them. It don’t help either having one leg slightly shorter. It’s barely noticeable but it means one walks with a slight limp. Not quite Long John Silver but a parrot would complete the picture. Trouble is it would mess up the back of my jacket!

- - - Updated - - -

25 quid;52342:
Great stuff @G4RHL and special mention to @Nat for consigning the image formatting to the bin. By the way, I’m also a waist equals my leg person!


​​​​​​​I have got to ask, which keg?!!

- - - Updated - - -

Marc;52326:
Thanks for those back care tips @G4RHL
I'm pleased to report that ye olde backe is on the mend.
Even doing some (basic) pilates and having a daily walk, which feels good.
​​​​​​​Great spotlight 😃


Pleased to hear Marc the back is mending. Take the exercises slowly, there is never a rush but suppleness does come. I am nearly back to where I was after being banned for 6 weeks after a hernia op. 70 press-ups, 2 minute plank the Sun Salutation and a few more and you are there! About 30 minutes. The treat is the mug of coffee after!

For those locked in and not used to exercising at home take it slowly at first. 10 minutes perhaps for a few days, gradually building it up. Try to do it at the same every day. I prefer just after 05:30 each morning. Gradually, it becomes a habit and not a burden. I read once that those who go to the gym in the early morning are more likely to be still going a year later. Those who go at different times often drop out. But then I am a morning person. Talking of that as I type this it’s bedtime!
It’s an ex-keg, I’m more partial to a cask.
G4RHL;52355:

​​​​​​​I have got to ask, which keg?!!
In answer to the question which leg is short, it’s my left leg! Dare I say “not the middle one”!? And for Marc’s benefit it caused back trouble! Over all the years, it caused my spine to bend a little, that caused more wear on the vertebrae in my lower back with a tendency for the sciatic nerve to get caught and when that happens my vocabulary changed. The exercises mentioned have sorted the issue. It is not often it comes back despite the bend remaining. I did not know it was bent until shown the X-Rays.

Again a word of warning. We can all do a lot to improve posture and our backs, particularly lower back problems, but do such exercises gradually. Build up to it for if you don’t there will be some pain ahead.

Now, lockdown time, what tasks does my wife have for me?
Userlevel 7
Badge +11
So here's a question for all-
Are you a one leg is shorter or a one leg is longer type of person?
I think this need a poll so HERE is one...
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Lovely spotlight @G4RHL. It's a shame my father-in-law is no longer with us, he would have been really interested in your dad's career as he served in the force too. Good for you on the volunteering, incredibly noble.
NannyOgg;52576:
Lovely spotlight @G4RHL. It's a shame my father-in-law is no longer with us, he would have been really interested in your dad's career as he served in the force too. Good for you on the volunteering, incredibly noble.



Thanks NannyOgg. We can all do it. Volunteer that is. In the hospice movement it’s a system that works. Volunteers are not so easy to control as they are not employees but generally no issues. The fact they are volunteering gives a nice message to the person who is the recipient of the service. In our hospice we have over 400 volunteers doing various things. Last year the CEO worked out that if, for the time each volunteer works, he or she was paid the minimal hourly rate it would have cost us £650,000 for the year. We run with about 70 to 80 paid employees. The other aspect is funding. Costs us a little over £2,500 per day to run. A little over 40% of our costs are met by Government, the rest, around 60%, comes from donations, legacies, events and individuals doing their own thing. It is a system that works but it would be better if the funding was the other way round - 60% from Government.

The tasks for volunteers are many - driving a mini bus to collect people, collecting and delivering supplies, working in the shops, sorting donated goods, working in the grounds as gardeners, helping in the kitchen and cafe, helping with admin, supporting day patients coming in as well as those staying, supporting those with advanced dementia, counselling support.

Most hospices run the same way. A reader who is interested should just make contact with the HR department. Although at present it may not be easy as admin staff are mostly working from home or furloughed and volunteers like me are not allowed to visit but resort to making phone calls although we did have a Zoom meeting last week. Your local hospice will have a web site and you can make contact that way during the current crisis.

Please, please, please though don’t think they are places where you go to die, which is the view of many. You go there to live. Statistically I think about 50% of our patients may die when staying with us but we also have a Day Unit operating, well when the crisis is not with us, which has people coming in for help support and treatment including counselling.

Countrywide it is a superb service.

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