Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Snow, wind and steamed up glasses

So we woke up to this this morning:

From the kitchen window


From the bedroom window

Up the track

From the road above - our house is pretty much in the middle of this photo
It's now mid afternoon and the snow has gone from the trees. Still plenty on the ground, but it's melting fast. Instead we're now on Red Alert for high winds coming this evening. Hope I get back from teaching flute in Scarriff before it hits.

We were supposed to be going up to the new house this morning to meet the carpenter, but we were delayed by the snow. As always it's the steep hills that are the problem. Anyway, back when we had the last Big Snow Joe bought chains for the car. Time to try them out. It took a good half hour and both of us to work out the instructions, but finally one front wheel had a chain on it. We decided that would be enough and set off. Out we went, slowly, onto the road where the snow had turned all slushy. No problem after that. Off with the chain and onto the house in Derrycon.

We were working in Derrycon on Monday and yesterday, putting rock wool insulation into the gaps between timbers on the internal walls and ceilings. This is the ceiling in the kitchen showing the gaps.

The rock wool isn't for heat retention but as a silencer between rooms, and the difference is tremendous. Walking around upstairs on the uninsulated floorboards was rackety and loud. Insulated bits were quiet. Simple as that.

Not a nice job though. Rock wool isn't as nasty to work with as fibreglass insulation, but it still makes you itch. The first day I wore overalls, lots of thermal underwear and woolly things, a face mask, a hat. I was too hot, but that was easy to deal with. Off with the woolly jumper etc. The main problem was the glasses steaming up because of the face mask - even though there's a nose clip, air escapes upwards and steams you up. In the end Joe and I both had to take off the glasses.

In order to place the correct size piece of insulation into the wall or ceiling they of course had to be cut. This involved measuring. But neither Joe nor I could see as we'd had to take off our glasses. We developed a method where the one up the ladder measured the gap and handed the tape down to the other, finger gripping the 40 cm mark or whatever. I was working in inches and Joe in centimetres - I could just about see the inch marks but not the centimetres.

When we got home after the first day we'd completed the study and some of the ceiling in the hall:

But we both had really itchy eyes. Boiled and cooled teabags on the eyes helped, but we were going to have to use goggles, especially as we'd be doing a big stretch of ceiling next.

The trouble is with goggles you steam up as with glasses, but years ago when I had a moped we used to put a bit of washing-up liquid on the visor of the helmet to stop this. Indeed it does stop you steaming up. Instead everything is smeary. However I did discover an interesting side effect. I have astigmatism, so writing and numbers are double or in triplicate. If I look at the figure 1 it's unclear whether it's a 1, 11 or 111. But with the smeary goggles the numbers magically revealed themselves.

Still steamed up in the end though. Amazing how much you can see even when half your vision is blocked.

Still a way to go. Let's hope the wind allows us out tomorrow.

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