Those who follow these things will by now have seen an article on this house in the June issue of Self Build & Design magazine. This was an interesting experience, in that the journalist, Debbie Jeffery wrote the article based on a phone conversation with us – and probably from information in this blog – and the photographs were taken by Caroline Bridges separately, taking most of a day, relatively few of which appear in the magazine. Impressive (apart from a picture of me looking worn out!) And we were sent a complimentary copy of the magazine – and I realise that this post should have been written much earlier. Anyway, I hope that, like the other articles in this magazine, readers found it useful. This is not a “stunning” house not, as noted elsewhere, a “Grand Design” – we doubted Kevin would have been interested and, having talked it over, decided not to submit it. And, as it turned out, there wouldn’t have been enough drama – thank goodness!
It just works. Here’s the wood usage graph updated. The log burner has been lit 5 times since the beginning of March and the 5th time only because we had a house guest and wanted to ensure there would be plenty of hot water. And it’s interesting to see that there were only 4 weeks when we had to light it every day. All the rest of the space heating and hot water comes from the sun!
Another few weeks and we’ll have the whole year’s record. I have been cutting, splitting and stacking quite a lot of wood lately for next winter. I’d stored what I thought were 55 barrowloads last year in 5 stacks and we used almost 4 of the stacks – 80% of the store. But I see that the graph shows 35 barrowloads. Hmm. The barrowloads being brought into the house were bigger – all I could get into the barrow each time! But much of the work is because we lost 3 large branches from the weeping willow in the storm last autumn and I’ve been working my way through this. It’s a substantial volume, all wet of course, so it’ll need storing for at least a couple of years to dry out – and won’t be very good wood even then, being very light – probably half the value for burning that other hardwoods are.