Wear and Resist is now solar powered? Solar panels on the roof of Apsley Barn.

Solar-powered! 🌞 and a bit about our house journey

I'm so pleased to announce that Wear and Resist is now solar-powered! 

The batteries used by Wear and Resist to store solar power.

Wear and Resist is now runing on solar energy.

Matt (my husband) has fitted more than a few solar panels and we have several large batteries. It's incredibly satisfying to see that pretty much all of the electricity we are using now is coming from the sun. 

We bought our house as a bit of a wreck in 2008, and over the past ten years Matt has been painstakingly renovating the original building. The more work he did, the older we realised the house must be.

Apsley Cottage renovations by Matthew Day Design.

While he was sanding down and stripping the old wood beams a piece of folded paper fluttered out. He had already found a key hidden in another beam, and nearby he found a little iron fish hook. 

The piece of paper, we deciphered thanks to Twitter help, is a tax receipt from 1603. We knew the house was old, but that told us it was older than 1603. We had already had an architectural archaeologist come and look at it before the walls were removed, but we invited him back again. From the way the ceiling timbers but up against the central beam, he thought it might date to as early as pre-1450!   

The tax receipt, key and fish hook were most likely 'cache's' objects hidden in beams or walls to protect the house from evil spirits, which was a popular thing to do in the 16th and 17th centuries. 

I found this out with the surpise help of Elizabeth Garner on Twitter. I hadn't realised at first that I was talking to the daughter of my favourite writer hero of all time! You can read more here.  (I went on to take a writing class with her over lockdown. Her new book Lost and Found, a retelling of 15 treasured folk tales is incredible, and so weirdly relevant.) 

A medieval key and tax receipt from 1603 found hidden in a beam in Apsley Cottage by Sarah and Matthew Day.

So, back to the house! There was already an existing workshop in the garden, which the previous owner had used to store his classic cars. Matt tackled the renovation of this first, so that we could live in it while he worked on the ‘old house’. This has allowed us the luxury of stopping and starting work when we need to, because it's a huge job. 

As well as solar energy, the old house will have a ground-source heat pump running through the well, which will also provide all of our water, and a super high-tech wood burner that we will use in the winter for extra heat, fuelled by oak off-cuts from his oak frame business.

He also built my beautiful oak frame writing studio, and he's looking forward to more projects like this.

Sarah Day's writing studio designed by her husband Matt of Matthew Day Design.

(As soon as we move back into the old house I will be looking for a couple small creative businesses to share Apsley Barn, which is a lovely clean, white open space. So do get in touch if you know anyone or might be interested!)

The interior of Apsley Barn

It's also an amazing party venue (as evidenced by Hector and Eliza's party this Christmas. Almost a Project X, but we intervened just in time 😅.

Wear and Resist making an appearance at the party!

(My Resist sign from Primadonna Festival making a brief appearance at Hector and Eliza's party)

But that does remind me I still want to have that Wear and Resist party. I have the DJ lined up... just need to finish the house. 

I also want to start running workshops and maybe have inspiring talks and classes. What do you think? I can't wait for this next stage of life and business. 

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