I've been a bad boy. Really bad. I know I have a reputation as an easy-going, rather raffish gangster type, sort of Kray Twins with added charm and charisma, but this time I have done something really appalling. Even the criminal underworld which is my natural métier will be outraged and probably shun me for ever as an outcast, too dreadful even for their flexible morals.
If the thought of clubbing baby seals to death and raping the rain forest is too much for your sensitive Western mindset, then please unsubscribe from this blog immediately. Close this window and go to visit Casual Acquaintances Of The Earth or something.
I have purchased a product which, while not actually illegal (yet) is certainly disapproved of and deliberately unavailable through 'official' channels. Before long, buying it will be illegal and, soon afterwards, even owning one without a Government licence will bring fines and imprisonment, like firearms. It's going to make my life better, even though some will say that it will do so by making life for others far worse. All it took was a simple decision, and a visit to eBay, followed by a wait for the Christmas rush to die down and the postal service to return to normal.
Cocaine? Dynamite? Enriched plutonium? Nope. Here it is:
Genuine 100-watt light bulbs, bayonet fitting, clear, General Electric, dark spaces for the lighting of. Cheap as chips, four quid for ten plus postage. Should last me a few years.
I've had a couple of revelatory moments recently. The CFL bulb in the bathroom I use went phut (they seem to do this with depressing frequency, despite the 'long life' label) and all I had to replace it was an ancient 60W traditional bulb. The difference was astounding. Not only did it give a light you can easily read by (not that I ... never mind), but the light was instant. No more fumbling around in the semi-darkness until the bulb had reached its full, if modest, output. Just bright, cheerful light at the flick of a switch. Just how electricity ought to be, in fact.
Then the kitchen fitters smashed the 60W standard bulb that had been lighting my garage for the last ten years, and all I could find to replace it was a 100W version (amazing what you can find when you have to clear out the airing cupboard). Again, just 'wow'. All the dark and dingy corners of the garage are now lit up as if by searchlight. I have found tools I had forgotten I owned.
These bulbs are the way forward. I won't be using the 100W bulbs in many places, but my next move will be to buy several boxes of 60W ones. Then, as the current crop of CFL crap fails (as it will do, and with depressing rapidity), I am going to replace them with PROPER bulbs. If it puts a couple of pence on the electricity bill I will take the hit, although with the relatively short life of CFL bulbs I am not sure that the overall effect might not be a positive one. But we are children of the post-war era, and therefore pretty good at turning things off when we don't need them, so I don't feel particularly profligate about using a product that works well instead of one that works badly.
I will never buy a CFL bulb again. Traditional lightbulbs for the win!