We had an earthquake last week — not unusual here in the Shaky Isles. It was easily the biggest I’ve felt while inside our tiny house.
It’s weeks since I last posted. I didn’t mean this to be a slow-moving blog, so I shall explain.
We went away. For a month. For our first full-scale, long-form holiday in many years.
We planned and we booked and we packed. We locked up the Mustard Yellow House, turned off the electric system and the gas connections, and caught a plane to … Europe.
Don’t worry, this isn’t an excuse to post travel pics. Well, maybe one.
This trip was a fruition, part of the POINT of changing our way of life — going tiny, downsizing, giving up Stuff in favour of Experiences.
Frost, frozen pipes, muddy boots, drums at solstice, new life, new growth, new knowledge. Such has been our first winter at Makahuri in the Mustard Yellow House.
The coldest day of the year so far was June 22 — the first morning after the southern hemisphere winter solstice. The supposed “middle of winter” in fact comes early in the season, with two-thirds of it — and probably the coldest part of it — yet to come.
That morning, our paddock showed a new colour. Summer had brought dry brown, autumn bloomed greenly, but last Friday the grass and our outdoor possessions all gained the white of frost for the first time in our nine-and-a-half-months here.
Alexa, Tom asked, what’s the temperature? Minus two, she replied.
The Tiny House Movement seems to be caught in a cruel cycle that many fashionable things go through. Here’s a rough guide to the phenomenon:
- Wow, look at this new thing, never seen that before!
- This is great! People say it’s the answer! It’s everywhere!
- It’s everywhere.
- Sceptical or vaguely hostile articles start appearing.
- Someone in the media declares it a “fad”.
- Hipsters and others sprint to say “I’m over it.”
- Advocates get defensive, feeding hipsters’ self-certainty.
- The onetime fad either settles into obscure middle age, or becomes radioactively passé.
- “Where Are They Now?” and “Whatever Happened to…?”
- Revival, with irony.
With tiny houses, I believe we’re at the middle of the cycle. After several unopposed years of chic, tiny houses are now getting the “fad” label.
The image you often see: Mt Hood tiny house village in the US.
So people like me who live in tiny houses should not be surprised at any waning in media enthusiasm for how we live. It’s the circle of life.
But there’s more to it. (more…)
Some strange things have happened to me since we moved into this house seven months ago. Until the past few days, I haven’t had a name for whatever’s been going on.
If you’re a regular reader, you know our tiny house is parked in the grounds of Makahuri, formerly the Marycrest Catholic girls’ school.
Makahuri from above, taken before our tiny house was placed in the paddock at the bottom of the picture, centre.
Near us stand old buildings, with some in use or being restored.
Around the campus are signs of the land’s earlier use as a farm, such as a stock run, and pockets of ancient forest.
But the place has a deeper history.
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 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.
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.”
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…)