An eco-friendly home fit for a king

COSY and eco-friendly with a view of the harbour and a rooster called King Henry the First – that’s the interesting home of well-known swimmer and Herald Citizen of the Year finalist Charl Parkin and his wife Liesl.

The Parkins have been living in their home – which has three bedrooms, two lounges and a dining room – for the past nine years.

The idea to make the house an eco-friendly one arose when Charl was given just a few years to live after he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease.

“When I got sick with motor neuron disease, the diagnosis was that I was going to live for about three years more.

“That’s when I decided to go totally green.

“The idea was that my wife would not need to struggle with any bills or anything in this regard when I am gone,” he said.

To achieve ultimate eco-friendly status, the couple fitted the home with a borehole, rainwater tanks and a solar-powered geyser.

They also recycle water which they have used. And then they feed their surplus electricity into the municipal electrical grid.

Because of their efforts, Charl said, except for connection fees and rates, the couple “have not paid high electricity costs in four years”.

The couple have two pets, a dog, Tiekie – and King Henry. The rooster is locked up at night but the neighbours have taken quite fondly to him, Charl said.

The house is one of the few houses left in Humerail which were previously houses for Transnet employees.

Charl and Liesl have kept the basics of the house in place and only added their own interior design style and personal touch – including Charl’s appreciation for antique clocks.

“We’ve kept the house as it originally was and what we had to do mostly was just clean the wooden floors. Besides that it’s exactly the same,” Charl explained.

“The fascination with the clocks arose when my father-in-law gave me an antique watch and I took it to someone who checked it in Cape Town and fixed it for me.

“From then on the passion just grew,” Charl said.

The house offers a view of the harbour, a spacious front lawn and a full vegetable patch – the harvest of which is given away to passers by and sold to restaurants.

The home boasts gorgeous brown wooden floors and comfortable spaciousness giving it an antique and “homely” feeling.

Although the house feels like one from the Victorian era with its high ceilings, the modern decor and Liesl’s optometry consultation room bring it back to the future.

The most unique feature of the house, besides the myriad clocks, is the ceiling – or rather, the chairs hung from the roof where the ceiling would be, making this house as unique as its owners.

The house is on the market with Remax.

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