September 14th was the day, or should I say deadline, by which everything was going to be on display.
My 1960s brick veneer home is supposedly a model of modern retrofitting in progress, complete with chickens and a developing food garden and might well inspire others!
I decided to double glaze my windows for the occasion, a retrofit for a more sustainable future and reduced carbon emissions, as well as energy bills, that I had been intending to do for a while. My garden was in need of "work", or more to the point, extensive weeding. Thrown in for good measure was the offer and commencement of a new two day per week job teaching marginalised students "at risk", all in the lead up to "the big day"!
These things should all individually read as a recipe for extra workload and stress, but I was well and truly swept up in the romance of helping and guiding others equally concerned about minimising their carbonn footprint, so windows got double glazed, the dust from sanding and window fitting cleaned up, several times over, the new job was started and with the help of wonderful friends, my garden was looking its best, by the time I flung open my home to strangers!
Yes, for the last three years I have been progressively retrofitting my place as a model house, to model ways of sustainable living while I, er muddle through life.
My petsandplants.com.au blog contains much more about the process of this journey and is worth a visit if you want to know more about double glazing, creating an edible garden, permaculture and more.
If I'm honest about it, I want to create a haven, which will sustain me, beyond when oil runs out, or should we face shortages and rationing due to war or other disasters, in comfort and self-sufficient security. I do not want to contribute to climate change, as I want to see a positive future on this glorious planet we inhabit. I want habitat left for other creatures and fabulous ecosystems sustaining life in perpetuity.
Meanwhile I can only say the visitors that came through my home affirmed and renewed my intent to minimise my use of the world's scarce resources. I would not hesitate to do the open house day all over again, but of course next time the double glazing will already be in, my garden will not need a big overhaul and I won't be in the midst of starting a new job....no doubt though, something else will come up.
Nothing ever goes quite to plan and its probably a good thing it doesn't. Without the chaos factor, my life would not be half as rich and rewarding as it has been. I thrive on challenges. Deadlines mean I get things done, usually!
Chaos at my place is organised, and overcoming the challenges is the stuff of life.
As for the role modelling I can only hope I illustrate what is possible for others to achieve in their own way!
Here's too a little madness!