Thursday, June 29, 2006


We want the following basic specifications for our house;
  • Minimum of 2x6 construction, but preferably 2x8 or higher.
  • Minimum of double glazing, preferably with wood frames. No aluminium.
  • 4 kW solar panel system.
  • Passive solar design.
  • All electric with Eco Cute heat pump.
  • Underfloor heating and/or radiators.
  • Rainwater storage and reuse of household water with external pond.
Other "wants" that are probably impractical include;
  • SunMar composting toilets (wifely opposition, no experience on the part of housebuilders)
  • Wind turbine (the area is reasonably windy but the turbine maker was not helpful when I asked about installing one, and the thing may be noisy.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

House mockups

Mockup - from the entrance

Mockup - from above

Weekend slashing

On Saturday, the rain cleared up so I and Hinata went to the plot in the afternoon with our scythes and sickles. We slashed away at the sasa bamboo and thorn bushes. After 30 minutes, Hinata hit himself in the shin with his newly sharpened sickle, causing a 5 cm gash that oozed 'mashed jelly' according to him. He promptly freaked out and fell to gibbering, and had to be admonished sharply. We drove to the Hojo Hospital for Fools Who Can't Use Tools and had it dressed. He had lost his taste for slashing by then and mooched about the site looking at the insects and the graves in the graveyard.

The densest thickets were like something out of a fairy tale - dark, and prickly, and impenetrable to all but those utterly pure of heart, like me. I had some very large blisters on my hands when I finished for the day. The evening's beer tasted especially good.

Sunday was rainy, but I felt drawn to my land anyway. I went on my own and got a lot of slashing done, opening up a swathe almost to the Northern Border. I also found an old metal trailer that might make a nice ornament with some planters around it. There were a lot of mosquitoes in the thickets.

The view to the north looked very good with rain clouds swarming over the mountain peaks.

Kajiwara-san of Fonte sent me a mockup of the house, that I hacked around a bit in Photoshop.

The green blob behind the house is a pond for collecting rainwater and recycling household water. There will be a lot more trees left than this suggests.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hojo land

We found out that the land near the architects was subject to landslides so we gave up on that. Thank the Lord.

Then our estate agent friend found us some land in Hojo. We bought it last Thursday after a lot of humming and hahing about whether we can get water in and waste out. We find we can. The idea is to process our turds with a baffle tank a goldfish.