Saturday, July 27, 2013

Home Front: Winterising

I really don't like the cold. That's one reason I have stayed in Melbourne, its very mild here in the winter. it rarely drops below freezing, had only snowed in urban areas perhaps twice in the last 20 years and winters, whilst chilly and et at times, blustery and overcast, are short, and pretty much a doddle. Especially when considering I compare those to Calgary, where i lived for two winters, having been evacuated from Dubai, UAE on New Years Eve 1990, or living in England for three years in the 1980's in an old Edwardian house.

My current house is a poorly insulated, rendered weatherboard with wide sliding windows.  It gets hot in summer, and in winter can get cold enough to see our breath indoors. 

Lacking central heating, or even functional fireplaces, we have two options: use the aged wall mounted electric heaters of dubious qulaity and upkeep, or portable heaters like oil radiators.

The third option is to improve on what we have!

I have used long strips of electrical tape to create flaps to cover the seams of our windows, which in turn has reduced the drafts, as well as rattle. We also make judicious use of our venetian blinds, and the available daylight for passive solar heating and heat retention at night.

I have the Pot Belly Stove working nicely, but its purely an outside solution in the rental, in this non-disaster situation, although i could install it, and flute it pretty easily. 

We also tend to cook longer, slower, bulkier foods, partially to provide bigger, hotter meals, but also as the cooking process again acts as "passive" heating, as well as being more likely to use candle-light accents around the house, which also put out heat.  Just recently I inherited a clothes-dryer, which we put in the lounge room. Noisy, but that added heat is very welcome.

Rugging up is the simplest option, and I have a collection of coats (my Platatac Harry 1.2 Softshell is getting a lot of wear this season), gloves (like the Condor Combat Nomex gloves, which have been great on the frosty mornings, like when i scraped enough ice from my window to make this snow-ball) and more often the Ironclad landscaper glovesbecause I've cut the iPhone/iPad because I've cut the finger tips off of the index finger and thumbs for iPhone/iPad touch screen use. Headsox, bandannas and Headover are also the go. I'm not shy of wearing my LazyPatch doona suit either.

The cold totally killed my late crop of tomatoes too .... but at least it doesn't look like i'll need to take "The Day After Tomorrow" steps just yet.

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