Normality, or whatever comes close to that, I am finally getting there, I have started to catch up on all those niggly jobs that have been piling up, whilkst I have been out of action, and a few more besides. I have tol watch how I move, sit and climb, but in the main they are all doable!

Our furry friends have not given up, one gave Marcela a fright the other evenikng, she went to the bin, and there was a possum walking across our patio polycarbonate roof, I found out last week that these animals are protected by law, I’m not sure why, and when I mentioned it to my neighbour, he couldn’t understand it either, as he said everyone around here dispatches them. Suffice it to say, not only have I ordered electric fencing, but also laid bait for the ‘Rats’ in the area!

The other day, I was resiting one of my solar lights, when I had a good view across my solar panels, the possums have been using them as their toilet!

Disgusting creatures, must be the warmth from the panels, so this morning whilst Marcela held the ladder, I cleaned them off with a broom and the hosepipe.

Unfortunately I then noticed that the solar panel we had crazing on, has also changed shape, whether it’s still working at full capacity is beyond me, but it certainly isn’t right (the panel at the top of the above picture).

We have been taking advice from other Solar Companies in the area, and it appears that NATAM Colombia, the company who installed the system, doesn’t exist, it’s a bogus Company, which is still advertising, the advise we were given was rubbish, the system installed will never save us money, because it will always draw current from the Grid, but on the good side, as long as it works, it will fulfill the reason we had it installed in the first placed, it will supply us with electric when there is a power cut.

We were also informed, that we could never get the system legalised by the Public Service Company, because they don’t recognise the invertor that was installed, so there is no point continuing that route, it just means that unused power will not go back out into the Grid. We have three options, stay as we are, as I say that will give us power, when there is a powercut, to all except the showers, which had to bypass the solar system because of the power needed, secondly, replace the invertor with one with a bigger capacity, and have the system legalised, or thirdly, replace the invertor, add panels and batteries and go totally off-grid. We have decided that we don’t want to spend any more, so will stay as we are for now, although we might have to replace the damaged panel at some point.

Another problem we had encountered was that because we are an all cold water system here, with the exception of the electric showers, when things are washed, such as pillow cases, they are clean, but leave the grease marks from hair, so after a bit if internet research, I have my own hand powered washing machine.

It works on the principle of the old dolly system, I bought a toilet plunger (yes, a new one!) and drilled holes around it, I also bought a 5 gallon bucket with lid, and drilled a central hole for the plunger handle.

You fill the bucket with cold water, add Aerial washing liquid, which is stronger than our normal soap, also colour restorer, which is the same as Vanish under a different name, them hand plunge the material for a few minutes, leave it soaking for 10-20 minutes, plunge again, then put in the washing machine with the rest of the wash, hey bingo! it comes out clean!

Yesterday, we had a new car alarm system fitted, I think the current system has been there since new in 2008, and the remotes were giving up the ghost. The Lad came to the house to fit it, and did a great job, now we just have to remeber not to leave the keys in the car and shut the door, because it self locks after 20 seconds, I wonder which of us will be the first to be locked out!

We have also made a decision to have some more work done by Jaime, we are having a balcony built on to the back of the house, which will give us 10m2, it will be accessed from the Dining Room, and when the sun goes off the covered patio, we will be able to sit for another hour or two, and have the benefit of the views down the valley. We’ll confirm it tomorrow, but I think work is starting next week!

Again, that just about brings us up to date, now we will have to see what else I can find to do.

Published by Phil Sale

I moved to Colombia from Spain in 2012, and I am happily married to a Colombiana.

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