Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Save Energy With One Simple Step #5

Hello Thursday!  It’s nearly the weekend and I’m back with another in my series of really easy energy saving tips.

If you are reading this post on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone at home then chances are you have a wireless router, so tip number five is another quick and easy one that anyone with a router can do:

switch off router to save energy

Switch it off : it’s as simple as that.  But wait – not right now!  I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the rest of this article: but instead get into the habit of switching if off when you go out and go to bed.

I would never dream of leaving my laptop switched on when I’m not using it, but that thinking never quite applied to my router.   I never switched off our router, ever, until very recently.  Mostly this was due to a mix of laziness and because I had always wondered whether you should switch off your router at night or not, and had a long-standing belief that switching off your router was damaging to it (so do quite a few people it seems). Then I had a bit of lightbulb moment, and thought why would they put an on/off switch on most models of router if you weren’t meant to switch them off?  So now I’m slowly getting into the habit of switching it off.

I personally wouldn’t switch off my router every time I finished using the internet because in our house we are quite heavy internet users – between listening to music, my toddler demanding to watch “Pat” (Postman Pat) on YouTube, searching for random information on the internet throughout the day, checking emails, writing blog posts, and so forth.  So in that sense it might be damaging to the router to keep switching it on and off throughout the day, but switching it off at night when you go to bed, and when you go out certainly won’t hurt.  And it’ll save a bit of energy, and money, which is never a bad thing.

I won’t lie: you won’t save a tremendous amount of energy or money individually (maybe a few pounds a year) but if everyone in the UK collectively got into this habit we would save a massive amount of energy and carbon – so spread the word!

And remember to look out for tip number six next Thursday!


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Food & Drink, Summer

Alcoholic Rhubarb Cordial

rhubarb ideas

rhubarb ideas

Aah, rhubarb, that seasonal summer delight.  Field grown from April to September, August is a good month for finding fresh local rhubarb in the shops.  But what to make with it?

My rhubarb repertoire extends to a rhubarb crumble, which quite often ends up a bit too wet (any tips on how to avoid this gratefully received!).  After too many soggy crumbles I was after a foolproof rhubarb based recipe about as far removed from a crumble as you could get.  Then last month I came across this really easy no-cook boozy rhubarb cordial recipe on Food 52, which sounded amazing and crucially, foolproof! The rhubarb cordial does take a whole month to make so it’s not one for the impatient, but trust me, patience really is a virtue on this one!


My rhubarb cordial after one month

Alcoholic Rhubarb Cordial Recipe

Boozy Rhubarb Cordial

This alcoholic rhubarb cordial is the perfect grown up treat - tasty, sweet and decadent, it's perfect on the rocks or mixed with tonic, soda or sparkling lemonade.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 500 ml


  • 900 g of rhubarb stalks roughly six large stalks
  • 750 ml of vodka
  • 250 g of granulated sugar
  • A sterilised 1 litre capacity large jam jar.


  1. Wash your rhubarb stalks and chop roughly into one inch pieces.  There's no need to peel the rhubarb.
  2. Place your chopped rhubarb pieces into your jar, and add the sugar.
  3. Pour in the vodka, until all the rhubarb is covered. You'll end up with a fair bit of vodka leftover - that's ok - as long as the jar is filled to the top with vodka.
  4. Give it a good shake until as much sugar is dissolved as possible, and then leave the jar in a cool dark spot for 4 weeks.  Give it a shake every now and again to help dissolve the sugar.
  5. After four weeks sieve the mix into a bowl and discard the rhubarb (we tried to eat it.  In one word: don't!).  Decant the liquid into a sterilised bottle and enjoy responsibly!  Bottled up, it can last for around 12 months, meaning you can enjoy a taste of summer on the dullest darkest days of winter!


The rhubarb cordial is deliciously fruity without an overly vodka taste, and really refreshing when served with a dash of lemonade or tonic water on a hot day.  When served neat it’s smooth and warming and will make a good autumn and winter treat to warm up cold evenings.  Alternatively, for a sophisticated Bellini type drink, you could add a shot to glass of Prosecco or Champagne.

 Sidenote: I used demerara sugar as it was all I had to hand, so mine has coloured up a bit differently to how it will when you use granulated sugar.   Yours should be a little bit lighter and more pink in colour.

Main image from here, all other images my own.