We are just about to open for our first full season, and we are full of ideas for the coming year, having learnt so much from our short but fantastic opening season. To say it was a ’learning curve’ is somewhat an understatement, but we welcomed so many wonderful, enthusiastic and supportive guests, that made the whole experience so much easier!
Probably the most difficult aspect for us has been getting to grips with ‘offgrid’ living during the winter months. We were spoilt last summer with wall to wall sunshine – our battery storage was always full, and we were even able to charge our second hand electric car from the excess solar produced.
As Autumn moved through to Winter things were very different…….. short days and overcast weather for sometimes weeks at a time has meant that the battery storage of 10kw is rarely full, and we have learnt the hard way what equipment and systems drain what we do have very quickly! It has been a struggle sometimes to explain this to guests – because we have created a building that is as comfortable and ‘normal’ (apart from no TV or WiFI!) as a standard home, it makes getting the message about consumption much more tricky. We have felt like Swans – gracefully gliding through guest’s stays, but paddling furiously underneath to make sure we have enough power and hear for everyone! This has meant that we have been forced to use the generator (which we bought as a last resort Plan B) more than we would like – and when that failed after only a few hours of use, we had to find another very quickly! The system has drained of power inexplicably overnight, despite leaving it with almost full charge, leaving us pretty stressed and anxious. Our wonderful suppliers ZLC have equally been stumped – it is as much a learning curve for them as us as we all try to understand the complicated ‘knock on’ effects of the various loads and demands.
However, we wouldn’t truly have had it any other way – we are still completely convinced that this is the way forward, and we are the advance guard – making the mistakes and discovering solutions, before you have a go! We are also very keen to be honest – it’s not all Instagram perfect, we don’t always get it right, but that helps us to improve, understand the technologies and options, and be able to give our guest a true and honest account.
With this in mind, one of the ideas we have had is to offer a two night stay for those who are interested in going offgrid, or making sustainable changes to their lives, and we will talk you through what we have done, what we would do differently, and what we hope to achieve in the next few years. So if you think this might appeal to you, or a group of like minded people, please get in touch to discuss.