I have counted two frosts in Castlecliff this month, although the frigid mornings have given way to bright, windless, sunny days: perfect conditions for surfing and for our passive solar renovation.
One particularly stunning day early this month I was able to enjoy riding some of the best waves I've ever seen at the North Mole, and then return home to a solar-cooked meal and a solar-heated shower in a solar-warmed home.
It would have been the perfect day but for an unfortunate moment in the Tasman that left me with two halves of a formerly whole surfboard. Worse yet, it was my wife's board - still, I suppose sacrifices must be made.
Thanks to free sunlight energy, afternoon and evening indoor temperatures in our villa have been consistently between 20 and 23 degrees this month, and I've only run the wood burner two mornings. This is the type of performance we hoped for when we started the renovation nearly three years ago and, as regular readers of this column will know, it is the cumulative result of many small efforts and attention to detail.
I've written about most of them over the course of the past 16 months, and will continue to do so as long as community interest, my mental faculties, and the Chronicle persist. But for the time being, I want to turn it over to you.
Yes, that's right - you in the gumboots and Swanndri; you in the stubbies and rugby jersey; you in the jandals and board shorts; and especially you sitting in your lounge under a blanket with a woollen beanie on your head.
I'd like to hear what good old Kiwi ingenuity has to say about making cold, draughty houses warm, dry and healthy on a budget.
I'm sure there are heaps of grand ideas out there worth sharing. I reckon we are our own best resource, and by sharing our experiences and ideas we will all be better off.
Additionally, I'd like to hear from:
Anyone who has taken advice from this column and implemented it into their own home.
Anyone who attended a Project HEAT (Home Energy Awareness Training) presentation this winter.
Anyone who had a free home energy audit provided by Project HEAT this winter.
Please send a short description of your efforts at creating a healthy home to:
email@example.com or post to Nelson Lebo, 10 Arawa Place, Castlecliff.
Please include high quality photos of your handiwork as I'd like to share this wealth of information and experience in a future column.