Jack Frost has been visiting…..

3 06 2016

When I first moved into my apple packing shed, I said living in it would be character forming….. well I wasn’t wrong! Tasmania has been influenced by a strong high pressure system all week which, ironically, is going to send very bad weather to South East Queensland, among other places, on the big island up north. The resulting clear skies have given us a frost every morning this week, but today’s was something else….. I literally woke up to a frozen wonder world!

I now have a digital thermometer that tells me how cold it is outside my den (as well as how warm it is inside!) so I can plan how many layers to put on before I open the door…. if you have the technology, I say, use it!  And this morning in the shed, it was -2.5C, a whole degree colder than the previous best effort…. time to break out my down jacket….

frost1

Brrr… one frozen Fanny Farm!

Everything in the shed that wasn’t alcoholic was frozen… this is the time you put stuff in your fridge to make sure it doesn’t freeze! Seeing as I couldn’t do so much as make a cup of coffee in my primitive environment, I decided to throw the Nikon in the ute and go for a drive to check out my new frozen Geeveston…. but, having started the motor to warm things up a bit, I first had to get the ice off the windscreen, and it was a good 5 or 6mm thick!  Needless to say the wipers would not touch it, but luckily enough, because it was definitely not foresight on my part, I was frost2soaking a good dozen bottles of milk within which there was sufficient liquid water to put into the electric kettle, and pouring the warmed water over the windscreen did the trick. NEVER pour hot water on a frozen windscreen by the way….

To say the place looked magical certainly is an understatement, because everywhere I looked was like a fairy tale scene.

It certainly makes you think how on Earth the people who first lived here 150 years ago or

frost3

Yep, frozen solid…

more coped without the white man’s magic we now all take for granted.  It’s now well past 10am, and I can get water out of my kitchen tap again, so I can now wrap my hands around a hot cuppa…… though I better drink it fast before it’s too cold to drink!

Now I’m not complaining you understand.  I knew what I was getting myself in for, and I’m actually enjoying the challenges, not to mention the beauty of it all…. But I am looking forward all the same to Mon Abri MkII being built right now! Waking up to a warm AGA with the ability to make a hot drink when I please really appeals.

frost4

Yep, frozen solid too..!

The good news on that front is that the excavator is seemingly fixed, and that the digging will restart tomorrow. The sawmillers won’t start again until mid next week at the earliest, when all this cold weather is supposed to be over, for the time being, though it could rain again. Such is life.

Back in Queensland, my better half has bought a car. It’s a Suzuki Alto, the same vehicle I rented many moons ago when searching for land with Geoff on Bruny Island.  That car returned 3.75L/100km back then, and I’m not even convinced it was filled with premium fuel.  It was a bit of a bargain, at altofour years old and only 40,000km on the clock; it should be as good as new and easily last until the petrol runs out.  With only three cylinders, it’s also cheaper to register, making it, according to motoring data, the cheapest car to run in Australia…. who in their right mind would buy an expensive hybrid or EV when you can have an Alto?

I’ve also made a new purchase for the shed…. after persevering (struggling?) with the stupid and badly designed oven/cooktop purchased from Aldi off their catalogue sight unseen for eight months now. I simply got sick of fixing it and replaced it with an induction cooktop; which you better believe really came in handy this morning!

Resistance heaters, such as the one in the previous unit, take what seems like forever to warm up, especially when in the cold environment I’m currently dealing with.  The whole time you’re waiting for the heat, the stupid things draw the whole amount of power they are rated at, wasting every bit of it.

Induction cooktops on the other hand heat up the saucepan directly, and instantaneously. Plus you can dial in the temperature you want it to operate at, so when heating milk to make a hot chocolate, you can do this at 80 degrees, ensuring you don’t burn the milk. And when you remove the saucepan from the unit, it automatically turns off, having sensed there no longer is anything to heat! The impact on my power bills will take some time to analyse, so watch this space….

 

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7 responses

3 06 2016
Don

Hi Mike,
Re the Alto.
A couple of months ago I inherited a much loved 1985 Subaru Sherpa with 74 K on the Speedo from an aunt via her son. There’s no rust and everything seems to be working perfectly. They picked an appropriate name. With its two cylinder 665cc engine, its small, hard working and uses almost no fuel. A fore runner of cars like the Alto without the six airbags and bluetooth etc. Actually I am feeling a bit jealous of it as my wife has taken a real liking to it and I have already had a bloke at the local supermarket wanting to buy it off me. Wouldn’t set out to drive from Mid Coast NSW to Tassie though.

With regards to the temperature I think one piece of clothing for the nether area may be every bit important as the down jacket.

4 06 2016
mikestasse

How odd you should mention a Sherpa…….. because after not seeing one for I don’t know how many years, there was one at the Geeveston markets this morning, and in pristine condition too…….

And don’t worry about the nether regions…… they’re well looked after! I stocked up on thermal underwear before leaving Queensland…….

5 06 2016
natural-emag.com

I really enjoyed reading your account of the cold! Living in Queensland and reading Huon Valley real estate daily I wrestle with the decision as my heart wants to move to your region but family and others just don’t think its sane! I’m 62! Thoughts?

5 06 2016
mikestasse

Just do it…. nothing exciting happens in your comfort zone.

My only advice is choose your real estate wisely, because there are a lot of land/house combinations that will leave you cold…… literally!

I wouldn’t recommend living in a shed like I do, unless you’re really prepared for some hardship. If I can do it at 64, why couldn’t you at 62?

Age is only a mental barrier, unless of course you have real health issues to consider….. everyone’s different, so your decisions will be different to mine.

Good luck, and let me know if you decide to come down…..

5 06 2016
Denice

While defrosting your water for the kettle Mike, just a reminder that we had about 5 months of humidity here on the Sunshine Coast, and no Autumn to speak of…just in case you were beginning to waver!

5 06 2016
Mike

No chance!

7 06 2016
Mark

Maybe not wavering but hang onto something heavy in the current wind and rain.
It might be another week before the sawmill starts up again.

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