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Campo Life

Winter is coming

I’ve collected a lot of the Almonds off my trees but still lots to do this week to collect more. Not sure when the olives will need picking but it can’t be far off. I’m planning on preparing and storing the almonds for use during the winter .. I’ll look into what the options there are for next week’s article.

I’ve also started digging a trench to take the rainwater, that runs down the hill in the Winter, away from the house. The idea came from my mate Dustin who did the same for his place. Hopefully no more having the car bogged down this winter.

One week it’s too hot to sleep and the next week we’re in Autumn and winter is approaching. It’s a cold strong wind at night, early morning and late evening. The early morning light comes through a gap in the window inside shutters around 8am and reminds me that there is lots to be done to get the house ready for winter.

All year the house has strong winds blowing up from the valley to the front of the house and at night the wind blows from the back of the house which is lovely in the hot summers, but not so good in the winter. The gaps in the doors are such that the curtains over the back and front doors move even when the doors are closed, so this week it’s all about preparing for winter.

Here’s my checklist:

Collect all the dead branches from the Almond trees and root out all the old ones for splitting into small enough logs for the wood fires (three done so far and another thirty plus to go!!)

Order some more wood now!! .. should be cheaper now. I’m also looking into if the Government energy tax reductions apply.

Check the windows and doors and fill and fix the gaps. Plug any cracks or holes where hot air can escape and cold air from outside can enter with rubber, silicone or foam tape (Got some this weekend for less than 10 Euros for 18M of foam tape). Simple but effective and I just have to remember to air the house each day around 11 in the morning (It’s hot in the sun then) for a few minutes.

Get the log fires and flues checked and try them both out. They are both newly installed last year but better safe than sorry and I don’t want to find problems on a snap winter’s day. Best to try them now when we don’t need them.

Last year the main fire kept the house too hot so I’m going to have to learn how to keep a constant, moderate temperature. Not easy but wood may cost more this year.

Have a look at putting thick curtains in the windows to reduce heat loss through the windows. Also found at the end of the last winter that the wind was coming through a gap around one of the window frames. Might even put some insulation on the shutters.

Get the winter rugs out for a good beating and cover the floors with carpets and rugs. The tiled floors are one of the main sources of my heat loss.

“With a wood fire you get warm from chopping the wood, from hauling it back to the house, from the heat it gives when it burns and from hauling the ashes away.”

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