Friday, December 6

Heavy Winds & Sub Zero Temperatures

Two nights ago, it was very windy outside.  We were having a cozy dinner in the bus when we heard a loud thump on the roof.  A branch had fallen hard onto the top of the bus.  We ran outside with our flashlight to check for any damage.  Luckily it fell right between the 2 skylights.  That got us concerned about our skylights though, so we had to figure out a way to protect them from other potential falling branches.  And fast! as the wind was blowing violently around us.  

We did a quick inventory of the materials we had available to us.  Unfortunately, earlier that day, I had just donated all our extra towels/blankets/quilts to the women's centre store :(!  All we had left were a few small cushions and one extra duvet that we kept for guests.  We figured that we could somehow duct tape it to the skylights... But just as we were taking the stuff out of the shed, we saw our crashpads!

Crashpads?  What are those?  Well, they're for bouldering... a form of rock climbing... but not the type with ropes like this:
Where what keeps you from the ground down below is the rope and your belayer (be careful in choosing your belayer as it can be a very long way down!)...
When you are bouldering, there is no rope...
And what's between you and the ground (and/or rocks and other hard things) is a big huge foam pad, a.k.a. a crashpad... (and sometimes a spotter...)
tBOY's best friend spotting him in Fontainebleau, France
Crashpads also make a cushy spot for picnics...
They usually come with straps so you can carry it around on your back like a big backpack...
Sometimes you even forget that you have one on...
tBOY picking and eating berries with a crashpad on his back
tBOY riding to the boulder, ttDOG trying to keep up
And if you are feeling lazy, you can just make the young people carry the crashpad...
Our 6-year-old friend :)!
Anyway... we decided to protect our skylights with our crashpads.
So armed with duct tape, a flashlight and our crashpads, we climbed onto the bus (while the winds howled and threatened to blow us off!)

Main skylight protected!
Skylight over our shower

Apart from the wind, temperatures have been below zero these days.  This morning, we woke up and found that part of our water pipe had frozen :(!  When tBOY insulated the pipes with heat tape and foam, he knew that there was a small section that might freeze... but because it was an awkward area, we just kept our fingers crossed and hoped for the best.  It didn't work :(!

So, tBOY put this little space heater to work on the section that was frozen:

And then we turned the tap on and waited.  In about 20 minutes, water started to run again :)!  Phew!

Between now and real winter, we have to create a better way to protect the skylights.  For now, it is a bit darker in here without the sun shining in through the skylights (since we actually have sun these days!)  We also need to find a way to insulate the tiny bit of water pipe to prevent freezing again.  

*My friend just called while I was typing this blog entry and told me that we are going to have record cold temperatures this weekend - Eeks!  Sigh!  I miss hot summer days...
Today a visitor/neighbour knocked on our door and gave us a present :)!  She is from France/Switzerland (French but works in Switzerland)...
(Argh!  I rotated this in iPhoto... but it remains in the wrong rotation here.... Sigh!)
It's Saint Nicholas Day.  Happy day to all!

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