Welcome to new member blue_jez.
I have spare batteries for my phone now, and a stand-alone charger that talks to the solar panel. So, all my mobile use is solar-powered now. Woot. It's also quite handy to be able to get away for longer than overnight without having to drag a charger with me; three spare batteries are still much smaller than a big plug and lots of cable.
When the time comes for me to get rid of the phone (hopefully not for a while!) I'm sure the shop will take the spare batteries back for recycling with the phone.
Soon I will have a dead-computer-resurrection day, where we take old bits of half-dead computers and make them be useful. If you're in the London area and you want to come along you'll have to look for details over at my journal; I haven't written the post yet (but might come back and edit this once I have).
I learned more mushrooms this year. I have eaten russulas, boletes, puffballs, shaggy ink caps and fairy ring champignons - well worth the effort even though they are a bit small. Oh, and also Amethyst deceiver, which don't taste of much but are a beautiful purple colour. I also learned that it's best to check if the mushrooms are wormy before taking them home and washing them. Oh, and that there are some mushrooms that are not easy to identify with any mushroom books, no matter how many you have. And lots of poisonous ones, but I knew that.
We have turned the heating on at the Isle of Cats. The radiator in my room is still off, though; I actually prefer to sleep in a cooler space. mstevens and I are playing that game where one of us turns the thermostat up and the other comes along and turns it down again; this seems to be more about when the pump makes noise than anything else, though. It's time for me to hang fleece blankets in the windows again, and I do really want to get around to getting reflector foil behind the radiators this winter as I think it will help, our walls always feel cold.
A lot of my gardening in the past year has been of a communal nature, really; the foraging, as well. Lots of people came to help me with the garden on a few separate occasions, and got fed in return - sometimes produce from the actual garden! Yields were not what they might have been due to half-assedness and illness on my part. I'm set up to do even better this coming summer, though, now I have the vegetable patch dug properly. I'll just get the garden how I want it and then it will be time to move... but setting up a good veg patch for the next person is a fine thing to do, too, and I'm still gaining skills.
I'm also thinking about where to live after I finish my degree. One part of me wants a cat. Another part of me wants to live in Islington, because for various reasons it would be one of the more convenient locations for me. Another part of me wants to try being a guardian for vacant properties, because of the savings on rent it would involve... but then I get a lot less choice about where I live, and wouldn't be able to have a cat at all.
The idea of a houseboat is also appealing. London moorings would be beyond my means, though. Before making any more plans in that direction, I need to talk to more people who have boats about what the typical costs are like... and just how much could be grown on a roof. Certainly the idea of a network of semi-independent narrowboats is quite nifty.
So... what are you up to? How was your summer? What are you doing to prepare for winter?