Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gaping Holes

Due to the phenomenal success of my weekend bulk cooking experiment I now have time hanging on my hands. Last night at five o'clock I went to bother visit my neighbour to drop off a newspaper and pick up a child, and was able to sit and enjoy the experience of watching her cook, and feeling rather smug. It's actually a wonder I have any friends at all, really.

So today, in all my spare time, I am turning my thoughts to heating. We like a warm house here at Chez Blueday, and I'm not sure I can achieve a 20% reduction in our heating bill, but we will try. Actually, I just remembered that we had insulation put in the roof FINALLY last September (yes, just after winter, very clever), only twelve years after we moved in. This is not because we have philosophical objections to roof insulation, just that every inch of electrical cable in the house had to be replaced, and it was a long, slow, very expensive business. Some of it was the original (now perished) rubber coated cabling from 1930 when the house was built. Oh, and we also kept pulling ceilings down during the renovation, which made insulation rather pointless. So we have never been through a winter with insulation. Last year we also enclosed our verandah, and it is now our dining room, and installed double-glazed windows all along the front wall, and every time we had a wall down (frequently) we insulated it before we put it up again, so really, the house is a lot better insulated than it ever was.

However, there are gaping holes (literally) in all this marvellousness.We are still renovating three rooms downstairs, and there is a teeny, tiny two square metre hole still open to the under-house crawl space. There is also a broken window letting a gale in, and a cat flap taped permanently open in the downstairs door, because we have a clever cat and a stupid cat, and the stupid cat can't work out how a cat flap works, so he sits next to it and whines loudly to be let in or out, usually at two in the morning. Taping it open was a brilliant solution during the summer, but now it feels like a decision that needs a little work. All this would not be such a problem, except that there are no doors downstairs yet (we really do live in a hovel), so the gale blows right upstairs, and I can feel it eddying around my feet as I type in the super well-insulated dining room.

A quick house tour reveals a gap under the back door that shows daylight through, ditto front door. An open window in the laundry (don't shut that door because the kittly litter trays are in there), plus the tilers have left the downstairs bathroom window open to dry the tile grout. Which would probably be more effective if it wasn't raining. Hence the gale. Oh, and The Boy has also left his bedroom window open downstairs before leaving the house. I nag him all the time about airing out his vile teenage boy bedroom, and now he is finally doing it, two days after I turn the heating on... in the rain.

Plan of action: turn the heater off. Clearly I am heating the entire street. Shut all the windows, haul the slipper basket down from the back porch closet, because I think that's where I stored the door snakes. Try to genetically modify the cat to increase its brain power..

I am thinking there is plenty of room for improvement here. The tilers keep leaving the door open, as well as the window, but they will go away tomorrow, leaving a sparkling new bathroom, happy, happy day.. soon the carpenter will arrive, and will no doubt constantly leave the door open too, but hopefully will also install window frames, new windows and also doors, can you imagine. So, net gain.

Subject: heating               
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