On Sunday we had a family lunch which was to celebrate our move to the Smart Home and a birthday. There was general pandemonium (this is the normal state of affairs at such gatherings – there are eight adults and six children aged between four and nine on my side of the family). It was a special celebration made even more special for the fact that in the eight plus years that Michael and I have been together we have never had a house spacious enough to cope with such a rambunctious bunch. This was the first time we’d ever had all of them over for lunch.
“I reckon this rubber floor will be hard to clean. And that splashback. They look cool though.”
“They found the kitchen bench at the tip!? Which tip?”
“I love these cork stools.”
“Concrete floors, hmmm.”
“Are these cork chair things supposed to wobble like this?”
“I’m loving the paving.”
“How much for the solar pergola?”
Ditto for the fabulous recycled rubber floor in the kitchen. Dirt, hair, bits of dropped food tend to cling to it. And it’s not easy to sweep or swish a mop over. In fact I believe Michael may have got down on his hands and knees to clean it (there are some benefits to being a working mother!). So if you have kids and pets or you are the aforementioned messy cook, cleaning it might do your head in. On the plus side, it won’t do your child’s head in if he or she climbs on a bench and falls off it headfirst. However, you may have to brush trodden-on mashed potato mixed with cat fur out of his or her hair. But let’s face it; if you have little kids, you probably spend half your life doing that anyway.
Oh, btw the adults managed to eat their Barra without getting food all over the floor, not that it would have mattered too much as we ate at the “big table” and the polished concrete floors in the lounge and dining area are aesthetically pleasing and very easy to clean. Perhaps next time the kids can eat at the big table too.
For now I’m willing to give both the rubber floor and the glass splashback the benefit of the doubt because: it’s not like we have 14 people for lunch every day; I didn’t attempt to clean the splashback until the sauce was dry; they are recycled and that is good, and well, shoot me for being so shallow, but they are so damned good-looking!
And if you ever wondered what the impact of having a bunch of friends or family over for lunch is, then let me enlighten you. That day we used 28.5kWh of juice, much more than usual and our highest so far in the house. We used the dishwasher three times, which consumed 30 percent of our appliance power that day (and gets six thumbs up, which I’ll also discuss in a later post) and the oven, which contributed to 10.3kWh on the circuit meter. As it was cold we had the heaters on and given it was overcast the solar pergola only mustered 2.5kWh of power. Our next highest consumption (on a comparable day when we were at home all day) was only 16kWh and the solar pergola offset that consumption with 5.3kWh of power.
Stay tuned for a more comprehensive assessment of our power and water usage. And once it stops raining and the sun is finally shining we’ll report on how we go with that great Aussie tradition – the BBQ.