Polio Eradication and Living Happy, Simply – Advocacy 24 hours a day!

with MP Dr Jackie Blue at the Beehive for The End of Polio presentation I gave...

with MP Dr Jackie Blue at the Beehive for The End of Polio presentation I gave…

While the Happy, simply lifestyle model and education was going on I was also working in a full-time role with the Global Poverty Project and our The End of Polio campaign. A nice little tie in here with the work I do by day to go with the life I live by night -which is now FULLY SELF-SUFFICIENT AND SUSTAINABLE!

I used to hate sleeping – thinking it was a waste of time and wishing I could stay awake every hour of the day to learn, interact and share in my work and time with The End of Polio campaign but now that I sleep in a volunteer made simplistic, happy and sustainable lifestyle model and education project then I feel much better about sleeping.

I now advocate for the end of extreme poverty and for the preservation of the environment 24 hours a day! So cool and I get to love every minute of it – what a privilege…

Beehive Pres 22So here is a link to a recent blog of mine for The End of Polio – http://www.theendofpolio.com/home/2013/03/great-buzz-at-the-beehive-now-we-need-the-sting/ and I am finishing up on the Happy, simply handbook over the Easter weekend to share with one and all if they want to build their own Happy, simply home or take a component of the model…

HS components and animationsFootnote: I must recommend NOT to do a project like Happy, simply. while working a full-time job it tends to get a bit busy with almost 2 weeks of 20 hour days!


Paekakariki and the lifestyle model components

So I am putting together the Happy, simply handbook for people who can come and stay in the Happy, simply home after I leave in a week and a bit from now (I know only get to spend two weeks in my home before I have to leave for the rest of the year!!! Polio eradication won’t wait…).

Anyway here are a few excerpts to let people know about the Happy, simply story from a dream to idea, concept, plan, project and now a reality… Also a slideshow of the incredible Paekakariki, Kapiti Coast (map) where the Happy, simply project is in residence.

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Lifestyle ModelHS components and animations – Components


The Happy, simply home is just one part of the model. To sleep, eat and be housed in simplicity is currently seen as unique, novel or almost a gimmick. The Happy, simply home is a way of living where we don’t need everything and therefore want very little.

The home is 10m2 with a loft for sleeping which determines just enough is plenty. There is no space for extras but it is enough to be warm, dry comfortable and to carry out daily needs (the real and essential ones).

The home was made by a group of volunteers from mostly reused, recycled, leftover and donated materials. It was a community-building and learning experience where the process was just as important as the end product. There is more info on the home later.


Essentials are local, seasonal, organic, natural and where people and environment are put first ahead of profits, wants and at the expense of humans and nature.

The idea for the Happy, simply model around food is to have our own organic garden either on the roof – fed by rainwater, filtering it in the process and usable for grey-water or a simple garden(s) surrounding the home.


We actually don’t need a huge amount of water per person as I have learnt from the world’s poorest who don’t have long hot showers to ‘wake them’ up’ in the morning or make showering a habit instead of a need.

The Happy, simply model tries to be self-sufficient in water. Capturing rainwater, storing it and using it as needed. Some of the practices around this are: drinking rainwater; using water twice – once for cleaner activities like face and hand washing, washing dishes, rinsing food, etc and then again for things like watering the garden, using for cleaning floors, bicycle, etc, and diluting toothpaste and urine for better disposal; having showers as needed (when dirty or smelly); and giving water a value.


Of course we rethink, reduce, repair, reuse and recycle but this is the starting point not the end point. The other more practical components for the Happy, simply model are a bio-compostable toilet, a worm farm, composting, not having a fridge and an aim to be as waste free as possible.

Reduction in waste is an important element to a Happy, simply lifestyle. This means not having too much to begin with. Our consumption of ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ contributes a significant amount to not only our carbon foot print but also to our unhappiness as we aim to have everything, updating, keeping up with others and then being ‘happy’ – even though it never really comes. Sharing and interacting with your community is key.


Walking, running, cycling, public transport, ride sharing, hitching and other human-powered or shared forms of transport has the biggest environmental impact and clearly contributes to happiness.

A difficult aspect to undertake in transport is to give yourself time to walk, ride and take public transport. Consider transport as an important part of your life where you don’t have to save time but appreciate it and choose your favourite happiest for of transport and the more human-powered and slower the better you can appreciate your community and environment. I think this is one of the happiest components of the model.


Volunteering is a very rich thing to do. The highest quality experiences I’ve been involved in have usually been when volunteering. Think healthy, happy and with lots of friends. Volunteering maximises community participation, active citizenship and usually interaction with others and nature.

The best gift anyone can receive is the gift of giving but really it is about doing meaningful work that is just a part of being a global citizen. Volunteering can be individual / collectively, sedate / active, short / long term, local / global and a great opportunity to meet new people, learn new things and do something for someone else.

Just make sure your volunteering is needed, wanted and a help not a hindrance as not all volunteering is necessarily good. We should want to match good intentions with good outcomes.

HS components and animations


Happy, simply. Workshops – Wellington and Melbourne

On the back of inviting you to the Polio-Purple Palace Potluck Party in Paekakariki!

I also wanted to invite you to a couple of workshop I will be running on Happy, simply in Wellington next Monday and then in Melbourne Monday 8 April.

Info for Wellington workshop with Chalkle (a great learning program based in Wellington) on Monday 25 March, 7.30-8.30pm, 18 Allen St, RSVP and more info please see Chalkle and the page here: http://www.meetup.com/sixdegrees/events/109332452/

Chalkle Happy, simply. workshopI’m also giving a workshop on cycle touring with or without a cause on the same night from 6-7pm, if anyone is keen.

And the details for the workshop in Melbourne with Laneways Learning on Monday 8 April, 6:15 – 7:30pm, Ferdydurke: 2/239 Lonsdale St, RSVP and more info see Laneways Learning and the page here: http://www.lanewaylearning.com/2013/03/13/living-happy-simply/

Laneways Learning Happy, simply. workshopI’m also giving the cycle touring with or without a cause workshop there as well on the same night 8-9.15pm!

Seeya there?

Happy, simply.


Polio-Purple Palace Potluck Party in Paekakariki

Final resting place for home and me!

Kia ora one, all and many!

The Happy, simply home has been finished, has found a home, has solar, has an occupant (me!) and has a plan for the future…
I would love to invite you all to a little-house warming Friday 22 March 5-7pm, Paekakariki – contact me for address details lunny06 (at) yahoo.com.au
The theme is polio-purple as it is the colour of the palace, so please come along with little sample of purple snacks and drinks – like purple (some may call it red) wine or your choice of beer in a purple drink holder or bend the rules as much as you like!
I’m not sure how many we will fit in the abode if the weather is testing but we’ll see what we can do and as a back-up we can head down the road and support the local café’s and pub – maybe even the Bowls Club.
I will be acknowledging the many who have contributed to the project, celebrating all those who have interacted with it in some way and introducing it to the community for all to share…
Would be wonderful to see you all there and live the model it tries to portray of: place and people being the best ‘things’ in life!
I do have a wee list of little bits and pieces the Happy, simply home is looking for and please only bring if they are second hand, unused, leftover, unwanted, etc…
  • Folding sofa bed to accommodate guests or have up to 4 people in the HS home
  • One tall stack of drawers or cupboard with drawers – like the plastic tub things and about 180cm high by about 45cm wide
  • Small drawers and cupboards with drawers – think bedside size
  • Thin foam double mattress or underlay to put on the slightly solid futon bed
  • Outdoor toilet shelter – like a pop up tent or self standing privacy thingy
  • Cooker or burner with gas or metho or camping stove as I have to take mine with me in April
  • Tap for 200l plastic tank that will be cut and put in place
  • Big frypan lid for my big frypan that doesn’t simmer and cook on a small single burner
  • A pillow and pillow slip
  • Steel thermos for holding hot or cold liquids/food for an extra day without a fridge
  • Bicycle tube for a reg 26” x 1.95 mountain bike
  • 6 coat hangers
A bunch of allgood Fairtrade bananas for any of those items and raptured excitement, plus knowing it will go to a community project that aims to share ideas and blend information with inspiration…
Happy, simply.

First Night

Oh what a beautiful morning waking up in your OWN NEW HOME!

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Finally after an amazing amount of time, logistics, stress, work, love, attention and interest I managed to have things set up enough where I could spent the night in my own simplistic, sustainable and (mostly) self sufficient Happy, simply home!

The happy simple loftWhile there are still many things to do like adding an eave on one of the decks, getting the toilet system up to scratch and waiting for it to rain so I have self-sufficient water capture it is certainly the right time to move in (editor note I now have a full barrel – thanks rain!).

I am trying to start simple and stay simple – this is the great sophistication of simplicity. Yes I could do with an easier way to have my kitchen sorted and with more gadgets but starting with less is a great way to work out my needs from my wants. How long will I think I will need this item, how often will I use it, can I afford a small space for it or do I live without it, improvise or share, borrow and use with others. This is the art of living more with less.

Anyway back to last night, my first night, in the Happy, simply home – the most amazing thing while lying in bed with a smile on my face up in the cosy loft above the rest of my life below was the feeling of humility, gratitude and love.

  • Humility – so many people have given so much for me to be in this amazing space in time, hospitality, expertise, supplies, effort and more…
  • Gratitude – without all of these people, efforts and materials it wouldn’t happen
  • Love – why should I be so lucky to have all of this done for me to live here and all I can do is put all of that love back into the world, pay it forward and share it

Go team!I am currently composing the Happy, simply handbook which incorporates all the components of the model and project but will also aim to look at the building experience.

For those of you who are in Wellington next Monday you can come along to the Happy, simply workshop – thanks to Chalkle, 7.30-8.30pm, Monday 25 March, 18 Allen St, RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/sixdegrees/events/109332452/ and if you are really keen you can also come to a bicycle touring workshop I am running the hour before that 6-7pm – cycle touring with or without a cause

Inside viewLet the inside photos speak for themselves – if that is what they are doing positively for you as excitedly as they are for me!

Happy, simply.



Solar is cool!

The sun is out and apparently you can get power from it… !

While the building process has slowed up little bits and bobs continue for the Happy, simply home, like solar.

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The response since the move to the front lawn at Wellington Rd has been amazing. Lots of people are stopping by and I now finally have time for a chat to explain the building, the learning experiences and the components of the model and project encompassing simplicity, self-sufficiency and sustainability.

the source of energy - the sun

the source of energy – the sun

Yesterday the spotlight was on the sun and to grab its rays to use for power. Really it was only yesterday that the amazing reality of the sun’s potential hit me – every second the sun hits the earth it can be used for our power needs. Luckily thanks to the knowledge and skills of many in the area of solar power I have been able to understand in easy terms the concept, the components and the practical application to power my entire power needs in life, with the sun.

However the process to get this point has taken time, understanding and confusion (as well as frustration I’m sure for those trying to teach me!). In the end I came to know I needed a solar panel, a controller, batteries, an inverter and few extra components like wire, connectors, fuses, brackets, etc…

organising the connections

organising the connections 

In essence I need to show you the photo and get someone to draw a simple diagram but as far as I understand this is how it works…

the original line diagram for my solar needs

the original line diagram for my solar needs but more than I needed


  • The sun hits the solar panel (95W) mounted on the top of the home

    95W solar panel

    95W solar panel

  • The panels are connected by wires (old stereo wires) inside through a hole in the door to a controller

    sorting out the wires

    sorting out the wires

  • The controller controls (technical term) how much energy comes into the batteries and then once again out of the batteries

    the wire to battery plan

    the wire to battery plan

  • The batteries store energy for when there is no sun (night-time, rainy or cloudy – other technical term)
    • You don’t want to overload the batteries with sun energy nor drain too much from them hence the need for a controller
    • I have a series of 8 small lead-acid closed cell batteries of 7Ah each

      the set up at Paul's place

      the set up at Paul’s place

    • From the batteries and through the controller I have two 12v car socket points that I plug an invertor into to convert 12 volts into 240v and the usual three pin socket

      the Happy, simply system - batteries, controller, inverter and set to use

      the Happy, simply system – batteries, controller, inverter and set to use

    • Here I then run a laptop and any other device (up to max 100W) and other 12v devices like lights

      with my 1W LED light for dinner

      with my 1W LED light for dinner

Hope this kind of makes sense and did take me a little time to get this far but it is pretty easy when it is laid out in front of you or photographically as hopefully this does.

One of the interesting and biggest issues I faced in setting up the solar was trying to get people to speak to me as a 5 year old so I could understand the concepts and then to understand my power needs which are minimal and simple. Often I had people try and tell me I had to have extra panels, extra batteries, extra bits and pieces but luckily there were a few people (Paul especially!) who understood my concept of Happy, simply where just enough is plenty and if I run out of power then so be it – get out the candles or just go for a walk and go to bed!

Now that it is here I am very excited to have my own solar system set up that will easily power a laptop, charge a phone and run some lights. This does mean life needs to be without any need for of powered heating devices – toaster, hair dryer, water boiler, heater or cooling devices but again this is the point of Happy, simply where less is more and I eat what I need to eat daily, stoke a fire to keep warm and cook and use the odd gadget or camping style devices (like solar radio, portable light, camp stove and solar shower).

Many might think I am missing out on luxuries or conveniences but for me it is a simple, pure, connected, happy and rich way to live where menial tasks have value, need time and are just as important as the time they are meant to ‘save’ to theoretically enjoy the ‘extra free time’ we accumulate.

Anyway the sun is way cool (hot actually) and I now only use the power of the sun for all my electrical needs – awesome!

the sun setting in Paekakariki - beautiful eh and it gives you power!

the sun setting in Paekakariki – beautiful eh and it gives you power!

Thanks Paul, Tim, Dean, Pete and Stan (in order of confusion! 😉


Finally at rest…

The Happy, simply home, and I, are now at rest…

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It has felt like a lifetime but this time a month ago we had just bought the boat trailer and decided that we would go ahead with the project after the original location pulled out at the last minute of hosting the Happy, simply home.

what do we do with this...?

what do we do with this…?

Since then we have scratched around for materials, people, places and faced every kind of challenge but as of today the Happy, simply home is now moved and set in place at its new location in Paekakariki!

Final resting place for home and me!

Final resting place for home and me!

It has been a tremendous effort from all involved and we have relied so heavily on luck, commitment, hard work, persistence and finally creativity to get over each and every hurdle (of which there have been so many). Having said how wonderful we are it is only because of community that there is now a self-sufficient and sustainable home built into the slope of the front section on Wellington Rd, Paekakariki.

vol team day 3With out the support of community, sponsors, favours, donations, VOLUNTEERS and anyone or everyone who contributed in some way we would have absolutely nothing. As the proverb goes – ‘it takes a town to build a purple home’ (I think that is it?).


And so from the reality to the inspiration… it is only now that I can fully comprehend the experience and the incredible gathering of ideas, people, skills, learning and sharing. Many lessons learnt, grey hair multiplied and stress at all-time highs but vision realised and now to my expertise, which is to share the learning and model as an education project so others can interact with it, learn from it and take thought and action from it.

I’m totally overjoyed and cant really believe that from today I will live in the dream I have had for a long time, where I can be in my element of simplicity, self-sufficiency and sustainability – being more connected and integrated with community and nature. The best thing is that I will only do it for three weeks and then it is over to anyone who wants a taste of the simple life and experience a small home, solar power, water capture, bio compostable toilet, edible garden and a happy, simply way of life!

Very Happy, finally simply.


Oh to be stress and pressure free and be at rest – time to go for a run!

5 conniptions

It moves! The Happy, simply has moved on from its place of being built next to the weavers hut to towards where it all started on day one of the build on Wellington Rd.

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The maiden voyage was mostly successful and I did see that it can actually move which I wasn’t so sure about.

My 5 conniptions came from:

  1. Firstly having to move it has had me wrecked since it was first being built
  2. The moment we were touching the gutter of the weavers and it scraped a little on the side of the home
  3. The brief moment I thought we had backed into the power line and but it was just a portion of the back deck being ripped off on the power pole
  4. As we scraped along the gutter trying to avoid an overhanging branch which we did scrape and collect the branch anyway
  5. As it was making it to its temporary resting place mounting the curb as certain wheels were off the ground at certain times

A part from those conniptions I had minor heart attacks each minute and we still haven’t got it to the tricky part of the slopey lawn yet! D-day to final destination will be 6am Sunday morning when the road will be empty and we can back in slowly.

It was amazing to see it out of its born habitat and see the front side for the first time away from the side of a building… It looks smaller now that it is out from under the weavers hut but so beautiful and ready to be lived in! It is now purple on the outside and yellow inside as painting has finished.

These kinds of days just need a lot of thanks to those who can do what I certainly couldn’t do – Dave on painting and potbelly stove brushing, the incredible Bruce on towing skills, the neighbour Tania for allowing it all to happen next to her home, the Paekakariki weavers, Doris and Bob for the potbelly, Richard for the flue, the Beach Rd Café for bread and the list could go on and this is just one day!

Hope to next be in touch from my home, at home, Sunday!

Happy, simply. 



Happy, simply from idea to concept to project to actuality

Please see the bit below on some questions that have come my way and I would love to dedicate a blog to questions about the project, the build or anything Happy, simply.!

GWRC presentationHad a great little presentation to the Society and People Well-Being Committee from the Greater Wellington Regional Council this morning.

I spoke about the Happy, simply idea, concept, project and reality! It featured where it had all come from, how it had conspired and then how the house side of the project was done – bit by bit over two weeks and finished with the collaboration from a number of people, groups and organisations.

The questions after were thick and fast which is encouraging and the Councillors mainly wanted to know what the difference was between this and a caravan, how much it cost and what is the future of the Happy, simply home…

If anyone is following this blog and cares enough I can do a blog on questions you might have as well…

Please see the links below for the full presentation, which is essentially a series of photos and words of Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project from birth to now (and a lot more to be continued, just not as intensely!).

http://wp.me/a2QDeP-6M PDF version (5MB) – I also have a PowerPoint version if anyone would like to download (27MB): https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0_52b_5-FrvaFBkYWJ3ZzY5eDA/edit?usp=sharing and Keynote: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0_52b_5-FrvY2J2Q1V4MDVsVTg/edit?usp=sharing

Happy, simply.



draft – Happy, simply presentation – background to idea, concept, project, reality

Happy simply presentation – draft for Wednesday

This is the start of a presentation I am preparing for the Greater Wellington Regional Council – Social and Cultural Wellbeing Committee meeting.

Nice to do these things so you get a chance to put all the ideas and efforts together. Here is the first rough draft anyway… I wil be adding some slides from a bunch of the people I have collaborated with.

There is news of a location but I am now going to wait until it is actually there before I put it out there to everyone!!!

At least you should enjoy the pictures!