January 2, 2015

Cold weather blues

The last couple of days have been pretty cold, especially during the evenings and nights, although probably not as cold as it might get over the coming few weeks. So although I’ve now had 56NE’s new battery and spark plugs for a few days, because the mist has hung around over on Galinat’s north-facing hillside, much as I’d like to have done, I’ve not been tempted to go over there in the cold, clammy conditions to fit them.

Another source of concern for me is the rate at which I’m getting through my wood. When I look back to the picture that I shot on 14 December when I finished cutting and splitting the second batch of wood that I bought in, I’ve already used up all of what’s shown stacked in front of the vertical supports of my grenier landing. That’s in less than three weeks, and at this rate I can hardly see the stocks that I have left lasting me through the whole Winter.

I’ve been bringing in a good stock of logs every morning that I’ve stacked next to my wood burner to use that evening and I’ve been amazed just how much I’ve used every day. I wouldn’t mind so much if my house has been really warm as a result, but it hasn’t really. I suppose that’s the price that you pay for buying an old, poorly insulated converted barn stuck in the middle of the French countryside 🙂

The solution will be to put more insulation in, together with double glazing and, probably, shutters. But that won’t be possible until I can do the work to convert my grenier to make a couple more rooms in what is now my roof-space and that won’t happen for a couple of years or so because of all of the other more pressing things that I need to do beforehand. So that means that I’ll be stuck for at least another couple of Winters, but at least I should in the meantime be able to get around to doing some of the other essentials that will help, like fitting some insulating curtains for a start.

Until then, I’ll just have to keep doing what I’m doing now – my wood burner is already lit and on its way to chucking a good bit of heat out into my living room and also, as for the past few days, I’ve got a convector heater on a low setting to warm my kitchen up a bit. This takes me back to when I was a kid in the 1950’s – we were hardy stock then, so it isn’t as though I haven’t had a bit of practice, even if it was a few years ago 😉