Monday, 15 July 2013

hot water....!

For homes around the western world, turning a tap and running hot water is a daily, mundane experience. Since taking over the site in October 2010, this entitlement has been denied to us.

Back when we started, we had no water at all, and had to fill big plastic containers with water at home before setting off. And on arrival, I would light a fire and set one of Pete's old black kettles over a rusty mesh stand over the flaming logs to make drinks. Sometimes it was just easier to fill thermos flasks. The blackened kettles and flasks got us through our first winter - as did my unquestionned talent for starting a fire with a single match. 'Here comes old 'One Match' Carlyle' folks would say as I approached. It's a gift...

In April 2011, we had water piped into the builders' cabin. Builders. of course, could not be expected to exist in the neanderthal conditions I'd subjected my wife, sister and mum to.... So, we could boil kettles using the electric power that had also been brought in. But no hot water for hand washing, washing cups.... So, all dirty crockery was loaded each day into hessian bags and brought home for washing. And taken back to Cordwood the following day.

Although this doesn't seem the worst of conditions that mankind has faced, it certainly didn't make days easier and the chores less boring.

But today, hot water flowed from our new tap into our new sink.

hot water ...!
Of course, the Cordwood way is never straightforward.

Our water is heated by our outside Air Source Heat Pump. This squeezes heat out of the air, even on the coldest days and uses it to heat water. During the hours of daylight, the heat pump is powered by our 10 kilowatt photovoltaic panels and the water is pumped around to hot water taps. Hey presto! Zero carbon emissions!

But forget that malarky for the time being ... we washed our mugs in hot, soapy water today -and left them to drain. Luxury!!

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