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NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 14 November 2006 | Views [1045]

October 23 - Monday

It was bright and sunny just a few moments ago but  now it's dark, completely overcast and, I think, it's hailing.  THe sheep have left the field below, for shelter, no doubt and our little caravan is swaying a bit from the wind that had picked up.  We'll be testing the latest patch job done by Ian toady after we returned from the morning workshop and stop by a friend's place to show Jon and I a different cob build house.
We were up bright and early at 0700 - ish, the earliest we've had to get up in quite some time - it wasn't that bad.  We were going to a morning workshop at nearby friends house who would be putting up a strawbale wall (demonstrated by Ian and Louise) while the owner, Eric, would demonstrate who to put up a cob wall.  Since Ian and Louise were putting on one of the demonstrations we had to get to Eric's early which allowed Jon and I the chance to get a good look around and take pictures before anyone else arrived.  We also got to meet their cat who is very sweet but likes to claw you when curled up on your lap, as Jordan explained.  There were quite a few people who showed up and they all seemed very enthusiastic to learn.  It was nice to be amongst people with similar interests as it's been difficult to find anyone to have a real conversation with about alternative building methods back home in the states.  Eric's house is massive and way bigger than Jon and I would build for ourselves but his place was really inspiring with it's glass bottles windows, entryway with a cob bench and area for plants, suspended laundry line to airdry clothes, pantry with the pipe leading to the outside for cool air circulation, and cob oven in the shape of a dragon with bamboo roof, just to name a few stand out features.
As the workshop started to wind down, one of the participants pulled out his guitar and started to play, I didn't catch the name but I did hear that it was eastern European and had a beautiful mother of pearl inlay in a floral design.  We left and stopped by Collin and Gwenyth's earth built home.  It's on a much smaller scale and is finished.  It's has an earthen floor, lots of wood, warm earthtone colors and tree trunks incorporated into the structure of the house.  They have a galley kitchen with a woodburning fireplace and gas ranges.  The kitchen counter/bar is one complete piece of wood and is beautiful.  They appear to be building an earth made hot tub in the backyard and cob oven in the front.  They have a large patio and the doors to the house open out to the patio making the house look larger.  There are no hallways, which is a feature Jon likes and the bathroom, and bedroom door open up off a small indention to the  main room.  There is a window separting the bedroom from the livingroom allowing more light to pass through to the bedroom.  Louise, Jon and I agreed that the house had great accoustics, was warm and inviting, it was a gathering place.
We all agreed that we wanted to just hang out for the rest of the day.  Jon and I took a shower, did some laundry, caught up on computer work and correspondence and will probably call it an early night.  It's Labor Day today - a three day weekend for the boys so it's back to school for them tomorrow and we may actually start on Ian and Louise's house tomorrow! 

Tags: Adventures

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