A Tiny House In A Cyclone?

It started raining about 45 minutes ago. A winsome, windless, garden-moistening fall of rain of the kind that nobody objects to.

But these sprinklings are the outer petticoats of an overdressed battleaxe whom the meteorologists have named Gita.

Gita colour

Gita goes in for a hippie colour scheme.

Gita was a cyclone, officially speaking, as she tore through several Pacific island states in recent days. Since then the old cow has lost a bit of polish, a few outer layers of couture, a bit of her previous puff and force, as she traipses across the Pacific in the general direction of me.

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Cower, Weeds, For I Am Gardener

Gardening was on a list of things I’d get around to at some advanced point in my life. “I’ll give gardening a try [or whisky, or baking, or Wagner’s Ring Cycle, or tai-chi] when I’m 60. Or maybe 55, ha ha.” That’s what I’d say, thinking I had all the time in the world — so much time that I could schedule hobby-epochs as though my life were a study timetable.

Life doesn’t go like that. Better to use the time while you’ve got it. Now that I’m mumbly-seven years old, it’s looking as though there aren’t enough dispensable liver-years remaining for me to discover whisky, nor enough wet Sundays for me to penetrate Wagner’s Ring.

But I have become a gardener. Every day, I work in my funny-shaped ornamental garden, and most nights before sleep I imagine what I need to do next and what that little precinct of mulch and shrubs might eventually become. So that’s a physical and a mental commitment.

Garden low view

The desert blooms, a bit. My ornamental garden in December 2017. Notice our then-first sunflower, held to its stake by a snippet from an old business sock.

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The Day I Walked Away From My Tiny House (But Came Back Again, Slightly Later)

After two years of our tiny-house journey, something finally made my optimism wobble. This thing, which I’ll soon describe, made me walk away from my beloved tiny house, thinking “I cannot stand it.”

Can't adult

In comparison to the challenges Tom and I have wrestled with (finance, land, power, water, downsizing etc etc), this thing was not a biggie. In fact, it is no bigger than your fingernail, if considerably more numerous. (more…)

The Year Of Living Differently

This is the last day of the biggest year of our lives. “Biggest” is a bland and insufficient word but it’s all I can think of to gather up a string of more exact words.

Of the years Tom and I have spent together, this has been the most complex. Most stress-laden. Most change-filled. Most challenging. Most unguided. Most exciting. Most unexpected.

Add them together and you get “biggest”.

House front nov 17 2

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Our First Tiny House Christmas

Have you ever had one of those times when a “hooray” and a “boo” are equally valid? Christmas Day 2017 was like that for us.

Let me explain: it rained.

Yay, because it hasn’t rained noticeably for seven weeks, the grass has gone from lustrous Kiwi green to bleached Australian blonde, and an official drought was declared just the other day. In short, the land needs rain.

Boo, because it was Christmas Day. Could there have been, I don’t know, any other day in the past month when the drought could have broken?

But never mind. Our first Christmas in the Mustard Yellow House, our first Tiny Christmas, was a pretty joyous day.

Rainbow vertical

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What Should We Name Our House?

Yesterday, our tiny house was host to an actual social gathering, with multiple people, for the first time. It was a kind of coming of age for us and the Mustard Yellow House.

The occasion was … none, really. Well, in a sense, the occasion was alcohol availability.

Last week our landlord/neighbours spent a few days in Australia and offered to bring us something back from the duty-free shop. The only thing we could think of was a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin — not because we’re ginnoisseurs or ginheads but because Tom remembered the brand from a memorable B&B we stayed at.

Bombay

The icy-blue bottle was brought to us — a full litre, enough to keep us in G&Ts for months. But then Tom said “We should have a G&T party,” so we did.

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Hot Days In A Tiny House

Paddock World is hot and dry. Rainless days and constant spring winds have left a burnt, crunchy crewcut where a month ago there was moist, long grass.

Burnt paddock

You in Queensland, and you in Saudi Arabia, would laugh at the temperatures we’ve been having lately. But for us Kiwis they’re suddenly hot.

So now, though it’s still officially spring, Tom and I have some experience of what life is like in a tiny house in summer.

Bottom line is, it’s fine. You’d think that a tiny space like ours would get hot, like a shed, and this is certainly a danger with houses the size of ours — 23 square metres (250 square feet).

Two things save us. (more…)