It’s Tuesday, 3.30 in the afternoon, it rains cats and dogs and it storms outside.
I’m sitting under a warm duvet and furry blankets, just lit some candles and I’m reading a book about two French farmers “Mariculous Abundance” by the light of Dorus’ e-reader. Phone off. Cats sleeping next to me. Sounds cozy, right?
True picture is: the electricity fell down, regardless the generator. Probably because everything is damp and wet at the moment, there must have been a short circuit somewhere.
Since Sunday we have bad weather on Mallorca due to the Atlantic storm Gloria that rushed over the south of the mainland of Spain and she didn’t let the Balearics untouched either.
On days like these, it’s immediately clear the Mediterranean houses aren’t built for bad weather and having solar panels (and poor batteries) to get electricity, obviously isn’t much of a great help.
To live sustainably with solar energy isn’t comfortable on such grey, chilly and rainy days. It’s getting problematic when we have this weather for more than two days in a row. People who say it’s still comfortable, the “green way” of living on days without sun, just aren’t honest — unless they have a rocket stove that also warms up the water.
Dorus constructed such a rocket stove for our Eco tiny home on Ibiza and that worked wonderfully well and gave so much comfort (I realize even more now, what an awesome job he did:).
It’s simple, our comfort depends on the amount of sunshine — and we have heaps of it on the Balearic Islands, except for a few weeks a year.
We, modern people, are incredibly dependent on water, electricity and warmth, the three things that don’t come naturally (for me) these days and which take more effort to get them.
It’s obvious, if one day a natural disaster happens in the modern world and as a result there’s no electricity and water and everything is sold out in the supermarkets, we are completely fucked. So, for that reason, the importance to become self-sufficient cannot be made any clearer. But, it takes effort, commitment and hard work and living in a colder climate makes it more difficult.
In the Eco community on Ibiza where we used to live, we were cooking on a gas stove, which isn’t particularly sustainable or “green” (one day I was told to hide the empty gas bottle for the film crew..!) Also in our home on Mallorca I currently cook on a gas stove, like most people do. Of course, this is far from sustainable.
Gas bottles like hotcakes
Last Saturday we went to the airport to pick up Howard, our English friend who’s part of our small community (also Nicky, another friend and community’s member arrived on Mallorca, so it’s getting real now).
On the way to the airport with our friend’s car we went to the gas station to buy gas bottles for him and bring back the empty ones. All gas bottles were sold out, right before the prices have been increased due to winter when more people need gas to stay warm, to cook and sometimes also to keep their fridges running.
We went to two more gas stations, and at the last one, Repsol, the man referred us to a huge site around the corner where we had to wait in the car for our turn. The site contains thousands and thousands of gas bottles to be sold to customers and they are selling like hotcakes.
There’s a long road ahead of us to become independent of fossil energy. Will we, humans, ever succeed? As long as we want comfort in our lives and the alternatives don’t seem to give us that (yet), I don’t see it happen. Unless, we will give up pieces of our comfort?
Unless, we will go back to the times when our grandparents were young and who didn’t have the comfort of daily warm showers, central heating and the amount of electrical equipment we have these days? Let alone, the cars we drive and the planes we take that fly us to our next holiday destination.
It’s kind of ironic, it’s the only thing that works for me today: making a cup of tea on the — unsustainable — gas stove.
Moist, damp, wet
All our things feel damp inside the house, especially when Liefje, our cat, pies inside, because he’s stressed or too lazy to go outside. More wetness….
But it’s not all misery. Dorus has started to install a small wood stove, so that keeps us warm in the evenings and the moist will disappear. The sun will be back soon and probably is my positivity.
The landlord is working hard to locate which electrical outlet caused a short circuit and together with Dorus he was able to find it. I’m happy, especially for the landlords and their little girl. It’s just getting dark, so the timing couldn’t be better.
It seems Gloria has calmed down. After some wild days, especially along the Majorcan coast, she finally lost her rage.
All storms settle.
Today it’s Friday and the sun is back! My levels of happiness are doing much better now, also because of our wood stove. Our home is so much more comfortable with the warmth of the crackling wood fire. On the stove I put the kettle to make coffee and tea. It takes more time to boil the water, but I’m not in a hurry. The small things count for me; they make me grateful for being here.
Have a beautiful weekend!
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