Oh, how wonderful this summer has become. While we steeled ourselves for the baking heat, oven-like conditions, lack of water, dry and dust…Mother Nature instead has given us a beautiful reprieve of cool temperatures and rain. Blessed be this unusual summer where every day feels like spring!
December and January both had their share of showers, rain to penetrate and soak into the ground, to still the dust, sustain the plants and seep into our water tanks. To replenish and renew the landscape when everything was getting ready to die.
Our usual plan of Operation Lock Down, to go into Survival Mode, hide away and conserve our energy from the heat outside has been unnecessary. Beautiful cooler days have allowed us to continue working outside on the house. Our newest project, now that Stacy has some days free from work, is to finish cladding our ramshackle weatherboard home. Long gone is the ideal of building our passive solar dream home at the back of the block. That dream faded after the first year when we realised just how windy and difficult that part of our property can be. Instead, we have decided that this little weatherboard house can indeed be our home and can be retrofitted to increase its thermal mass, jazzed up, insulated, clad and lime rendered to look like one of those gorgeous lil’ houses on the Greek islands. Our Greek island house to go with our inland Mediterranean climate. We;ve already painted the windowsills in Mykonos Blue (yes, that’s a real paint colour!)
Not only has the weather helped our struggling plants, but also our mental well being. It’s so nice not to be hot and bothered. To have enough energy and enthusiasm to get outside and get lots of projects done.
I’ve watched friends lament the rain and weather of this inclement summer in Melbourne. For ruining their picnic or curtailing their trip to the beach. For us it’s a blessing, the loveliest summer that we’ve had here yet. A wonderful chance to squeeze more into our busy year when we would usually have to down tools and hide.
Our water saving measures are still working well however. Our grey water system – a series of two IBC tanks that filter the water through sawdust and then charcoal, is working beautifully. The reed beds that have been planted around it and the pumpkin planted on top has erupted in growth! And clear, nice smelling water comes out the bottom. Tada!
Who knows how long this reprieve will last. All we know is that we are very much appreciating it, the animals are definitely enjoying it and we are making the most of it while we can! Now, time to get back out there…