Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Damp and dry

I had thought cold might be an issue in Komorebi – it is not.  I’d been expecting a harsh winter, but the wind direction swing from south west to east never materialized, with the result that we’ve had a mild, spring-like January.

Even so, we’ve had some cold nights – a hard frost last night, the grass stiff and crunchy this morning.  But it’s warm and cosy in Komorebi, still embers in the stove this morning.

Though the cold is no problem (thanks to Terry getting that little stove installed), the thing I have to watch like a hawk is damp.  Thinking back to the days when I lived with Bernard in his little cottage on the edge of Flatropers Wood, it was the same.  His woodstove kept us warm and toasty, but every morning he went round the cottage, meticulously, wiping the condensation from the windows.  In the same way – breathing, giving off moisture through the skin, heating kettles of water – I have to be careful about condensation in Komorebi, because it’s a small well-insulated bubble of warmth in a cold winter world.

Damp of itself is not a big deal – hey, you get damp, you get dry.  The problem to guard against is mould forming.  To prevent that, air circulation is the big thing.  Mould likes life to be still and moist.

I sleep on a floor bed, choosing to pass up the benefit of under-bed storage space in favour of something low enough to feel like a sofa in the daytime.

It is essential – not desirable; essential – if you sleep on a floor bed to have a slatted base to permit air circulation.  I learned this the hard way when my twins were babies.  From the time of their birth, their father and I rarely had a bedroom of our own – our houses were always small, for economy and preference.  So mostly our bed was on the living room floor.  We began this when out twins were little, sleeping on a folding foam futon mattress.  After a short while the carpet underneath it went mouldy.  Duh! So that’s why people have bed bases!  I learned my lesson.

But I do like a comfy bed, and don’t want to sleep on a charpoy or a camp bed with a thin mattress – I like the deep squidgy sort.

This means that on a regular basis it’s important to air the mattress. 

Today is laundry day in Komorebi.  On the shelf are the things piled up ready for washing, and the clean sheets are on the table airing near the stove.

Once the mattress is lifted for airing, my under-blanket (an old quilt) is also set to air. 

I chose today to do all this because I’m off into town to meet my friend Sue for coffee and hear all about her wonderful Christmas – she stayed with the Poor Clares at Arundel.  While I’m out, the mattress and bedding will be airing and the clean washing drying on the line.  The stove is alight and the damper closed up to keep it running very low.  Notice that the mattress is tipped backwards towards the wall and the folded under-blanket stacked in the direction of the shelves.  I don’t want anything to fall while I’m out and left like this, nothing will.

This afternoon I’ll make up the bed and leave a hot water bottle in in when I go out to the church evening meeting.  So my bed will be clean, warm and cosy tonight.


Ganeidaz Knot said...

Nothing quite like fresh aired sheets! We had the same problem with damp when we lived in Toowoomba. Essential to air the mattress every week.

Pen Wilcock said...

Toowoomba. I LOVE Australian names!

Elin Hagberg said...

It's been a delight to read about Komorebi. Being a small space it might be hard to get rid of the damp, as you say it is partly caused by breath and none of us want you to stop that! Perhaps you could consider some extra ventilation though to remedy the problem.

San said...

It's the simple things that really count and you cannot beat line dried sheets!

Happy zzzzzing!

San xx

yiayiaann said...

240ml of white vinegar, 240ml of water and 10ml tea tree oil mixed in a spray bottle is really effective at keeping mould at bay and killing it off.

I think that is the right proportion, doing it from memory.

We had a bad outbreak of black mould in the bathroom and this really sorted it

We just spray it around every few days.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Hi friends!

Yes, I keep a window slightly open almost all the time and wider open part of the day. It seems t sort things out.

Thanks for the recipe!