Last week (10 Jan) Rodrigo and I celebrated 6 years of being married and 1 year living in our dream house. And what a year it has turned out to be…
We have now experienced all 4 seasons in our passivhaus-inspired home and have seen how comfortable it is in freezing -2°C or boiling 30 degrees and more. We have discovered how important it is to use the sun is for heating in winter and how crucial it is to keep it out during the boiling hot summer months. While writing this post, it is 34 degrees outside in the shade, but a much cooler 26 degrees inside (with no aircon or fans).
All in all, we could not be happier with how things have turned out and we feel incredibly grateful to have been able to pass this crazy pandemic year here in our little piece of paradise.
I think my motto for this year has definitely been “day by day…”. When the pandemic hit Chile at the beginning of March, we truly had no idea what was in store for us all, so we took life one step at a time and focused on things that were completely in our control.
We focused on starting our garden, which really was hit and miss as our soil is clay, with poor drainage and I just googled what plants would work well with these conditions and the very hot summers and frosty winters. So far most things have survived, so I can’t be doing too badly.
We also put a lot of energy into our vegetable garden.
There really was nothing more satisfying than picking lettuce, spinach or rocket leaves daily for lunch. Watching things grow from seed (or in some cases not grow) taught me infinite patience. Some crops were not a great success for us, such as the carrots and broccoli. But right now we are enjoying a very abundant crop of cherry tomatoes and zucchini. I am also managing to grow raspberry bushes but am in a daily fight with the local birds as to who gets to the red berries first. Most of the time the birds win.
Spring was a great time for watching nature, especially the birds in their mating rituals, such as the male Chimango Caracara fighting for the female´s attention in the nearby eucalyptus trees. One day Rodrigo and I must have spent nearly half an hour watching the aerial acrobatics, it was better than a WWII movie. We had 3 resident Southern Lapwings who made our plot their home. We named them the Three Stooges as they followed eachother around everywhere in a very comical way.
While preparing this post I was browsing through all my photos that we have taken over the year, either with my camera or phone. It is amazing to see the progress we have made, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. Due to the pandemic, we have had many challenges and delays and have not yet been able to finish the appraisal process with the bank to then be able to do the final reception by the Municipality and based on that be able to apply officially for Chile’s Housing Energy Rating (which comes into force in 2021). We will qualitfy with an A+ rating, so are really keen to get the process underway. But as I said, day by day…in the meantime, we will keep putting our energy into ourselves and our little piece of paradise.