This is not something you want to see:
That's right- ice on the inside of the windows.
K and I have grand plans for this old house.
It's going to be a cocoon of warmth and coziness.
Maybe not tomorrow or the next day but some day!
We have done a lot already and it had definitely made a difference!
We have covered all water pipes outside and in with insulating tape which has stopped the water from freezing in them and means you get to do that really civilised thing where you turn the tap and water come out. Pretty amazing that, huh? The outside pipes are also wrapped in electrical heating wires which are shockingly expensive to run (we spend more money on electricity for the outside of our house than the inside in winter!) but much cheaper than burst pipes!
When we ripped up the tatami we put insulation mats in the floor spaces and there is a definite difference in temperature between the floors with and those without. A whole carton of cans of insulating foam (if you've never used that stuff you've got to try it- soooo coool! It's like something out of ghost busters!) and we said goodbye to draughts.
This year's goal was double glazing but it doesn't have a great rap around here. I tell my neighbours that houses from Hokkaido to Siberia swear by double glazing.
All the new Japanese houses being built around here have them?
Pah. Useless. Waste of money.
K's boss at work used to work for a housing company so he is sure he knows all about this.
I have stayed in houses in Hokkaido, Canada and the UK.
So I think I know what I'm talking about too.
So, being scientifically minded (and probably sick of arguing around and around in circles with me) K agreed to a scientific experiment.
Rather than fork out the big bucks for the proper windows straight away we'd spend one season with el-cheapo bubble-wrap window covers to test it for ourselves.
I have been vehemently against this particular solution as I think the bubblewrap looks pretty tacky.
OK, very very tacky.
But if it's a step in the direction of double glazing I'm all for it!
And so we spent an evening bubblewrapping the house.
It looks just as horrifically tacky as I feared but I have been checking the temperatures at the local weather station each morning and comparing them to the temperature in our kitchen.
In years past it has been the same temperature or even colder which leads me to grumble and moan that there is no freaking point in even having a house if it can't keep you warmer than outside.
Well, this year it has been warmer - significantly warmer- than the outside temperatures every single day. Averaging six whole degrees warmer than outside.
Imagine someone bragging that it was only -2 in their kitchen. Crazy huh? But when it has been as cold as -8 in there previously I'm thrilled!
I reckon we'll get those double windows before next season.
And I reckon the neighbours can go jump.
They're the same people who told us that a woodfire wouldn't keep us warm, afterall.