The hut is now stylish and very kiwi with our latest addition: insulation. We first looked at the pink synthetic wool available in Bunnings, but the colour wasn’t that good. So instead, we got ourselves a real wool, rented off a real sheep. It’s very good, because if you happen to put your head in it, you won’t get a head cancer, and because wool handles humidity and water well. This seems to be important with all the rains that we are having recently.
On Saturday we loaded ourselves into the famous Toyota painted in oils and embarked on 59 minute drive to Glentui. The hut looks great and we Wellingtonians haven’t seen it for some time. It literally shines in the sun.
During the course of the day we’ve been putting the woolen insulation into the roof, with Denise and Niki doing the heavy job of cutting the material – whole 200mm of it, now stapled to the beams and secured with blue stripes of plastic. We have almost gotten enough to finish the whole roof, just small bit that was missing. Fortunately Chris got a brilliant idea not to put the wool where the chimney will be. He pointed out the important fact that fire and people don’t go together well.
The highlight of the day was the famous sandwich built up by Niki using secret ingredient: a sauce that probably every Kiwi knows well, but foreigners don’t. Ah yeah, and we also had a massive rainbow, but this is normal with retreats I hear.
Because we liked it so much, or rather because we don’t like to leave things unfinished, we got back there on Sunday. Just as well we were working upstairs under the roof, as it was raining kiwis and pukekos all day. We have put an upstairs floor in (a special floor-variety chipboard) so our goal of the day was actually achievable now: to cover the wool with plywood from the inside. Our fantastic girls Agata and Niki measured the tricky uneven roof so well, that putting battens was a pure pleasure. And they also found a way of pushing the 240×120 ply upstairs – it wouldn’t fit straight in because beams are too close, but with some trickery it was possible to fit it in sideways.
The highlight of the day was first meditation ever to be done upstairs – we discovered the space up there is very cozy and warm, especially in the rain. When we will finally close the hut it will be really good place to sleep, especially with all the heat from the woodstove downstairs. One of the window boasts a view on the plains of Canterbury too, so we don’t need to hang any pictures.
The battens were in place, so we really had no choice but to come again on Monday (it’s a national holiday in New Zealand). Adam came with us and in no time we had the first ply up and screwed to the walls. That was just the first bit though – the rest of the day was spent on fitting the remaining parts of the southern roof (Team A+M), and putting battens and packing them on the northern roof (Team A+N). We got up to the point where we would need further advice from Chris, so we left the site at sunset.
The highlight of the day was the realisation that you can eat a kiwifruit with the skin. Actually, Niki knew it very well, but I didn’t, so it was a discovery for me. Especially golden kiwifruits are good for that, as you don’t have to shave them beforehand.
So Glentui now has a woolen hut on top of it (also known as Dechen Ling) and we are sure that anyone who stays there for the night will be nice and warm.