Going Small

Two weeks ago, Tom and I became homeless. That’s “homeless” in the statistical sense, in that we don’t rent or own what the census takers in New Zealand call a “home”. But we own a house, and soon we’ll live in it.

Here it is:

North side

Cute, isn’t it? This is the Mustard Yellow House of the blog title. It stands in a builder’s yard. And the vigilant among you will have noticed that this house has wheels.

It’s a Tiny Home On Wheels, or THOW as tiny-home enthusiasts call it. To me and my husband Tom the important word in that title is “home”. Because that’s where we’re about to live in the coming few weeks. Along with our dogs. 

But in many ways the crucial words are “on wheels”. This is a house built on a fine, road-registered trailer and towable by any reasonably grunty car or truck. This state of affairs means that our Yellow House is defined as what the census takers call a “vehicle”. Several important facts proceed from this definition, and in later posts I might talk about them, if you’re interested.

There’s a lot I want to tell you about the house, what’s in it, who we are and why we’re going small. But today, first, I wanted you to meet our vehicle, our THOW. By the end of this southern hemisphere winter, it will be our home.

Oh, and if you don’t know me, I’m Nick.

The Gypsy Quest

Please don’t worry that Tom and I and our dogs are “homeless” for a few weeks. When we moved from our ground-rooted, terrestrial, census-defined home this month, we set off on a mini-adventure that comes before the maxi-adventure of living in a tiny home on wheels.

This mini-adventure is our Gypsy Quest, and though it has its challenges it’s also fun.

The Gypsy Quest is halfway through. Every few days we stuff our little station-wagon with our clothes, food and dogs, and drive off to another short-term rental that we’ve found through various online BnB services.

Last week we stayed in a little square holiday bach that trembled when we walked around and shook in the storm that hit. The front door possessed the quirk of not shutting properly, so it flew open at night in the gales, sending stuff falling and convincing us in bed that prowlers had broken in.

Quaint and charming, you might say.

Right now we’re in a one-bedroom cottage with a terrific view, a big-arse TV, and a fully equipped laundry (vital for gypsies). It’s up a lot of steps but once you’re there, it’s a perfect refuge from the storms that seem to be roaring by every few days. (Though, again, the front door doesn’t shut properly; is that a requirement?) The driveway, with its Everest slope and sliding drifts of shingle, proved to be impossible (for me) to park on, and I came as close as I’ve ever been to driving off a bank on to a road.

This weekend we’ll pack the car to its gills again and head a few miles up the coast to the next rental. No word yet on what its front door is like.

So during our Gypsy Quest we always have a roof over our heads, even if the roof varies; the dogs are safe, and I cook a dinner every day. Getting used to lots of different kitchens stretches and builds my adaptability muscle, I reckon.

What happens after the next rental? Well, as far as we can tell, if all goes to plan, if twelve other caveats come to fruition … the next roof we’ll sleep under will be that of the Mustard Yellow House.

There’s so much more to talk about. Please like, comment, save to your favourites — and come back soon.

17 thoughts on “Going Small

  1. Hi Nick and Tom,
    I will be following this with great interest.
    It was so clear how much you were looking forward to this when we visited in February (before you became homeless!).
    Much love and the very best of wishes to the four of you as you embark on this new phase of life and living.


  2. Seriously jealous. Been looking dreamily at these on the net for a while now, just love the ergonomics of it all and the thought of shedding the unnecessary. Best wishes to you both.


  3. Very jealous as we contemplate another winter’s night wit the bathroom renovation nowhere near finished and the old wallpaper hanging valiantly to the wall behind the TV. My wife, Debbi, loves the idea of downsizing, thinking it would be fun in a 6×4 (I hope she means metres, not feet) box on wheels. But I know she’ll soon realise there’s nowhere for her artworks, let alone her shoes. I’ll be following your journey with interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Nick, sounds a wonderful adventure that you are all having. Looking forward to heaps of pics xx I shall ertainly be folllwing your blog. Love to Tom x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gosh, how exciting. That’s decluttering on an industrial scale, and I am in awe. I look at pictures of those tiny houses with some wistfulness. On a practical level, though, where will you park up? Is there a trailer park for tiny houses? lol. Also, in your round-the-houses, how did you find so many that would take dogs? Blog on, you crazy diamonds.


    1. Tom worked really hard to find the rentals, across all kinds of places, not just AirBnB. An itinerary came together. We have a site to put the house on, will blog on it when we’ve signed.


    2. Re finding places that would take our mutts, that was difficult but it has surprisingly fallen into place and worked quite well so far. They’re getting to stay near beaches which they love so they’re taking it in stride I think. Nick has been so good at being at home and taking care of their needs in houses though dog friendly aren’t exactly set up as we would in a permanent place.


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