Laneway Learning Workshop #2 in Melbourne

Awesome to have another opportunity to give a Happy, simply presentation / workshop / listen / learn / share session in Melbourne again with Laneway Learning!

Monday 20 May 6.15-7.30pm at the very cool Ferdydurk cafe/bar. Link here for blurb and registration and below a look at the Happy, simply project in video and poster format!

I will also be giving a workshop on Social Media 4 Social Change after at the same venue 8.15-9.30pm if anyone is keen –

Go to the link here to see the little 2min video of the building of the Happy, simply home:

Happy, simply.


Hopefully this give you all a bit of a visual and conceptual idea of how one person can live happy, simply. The model is there and idea free to spread...
Hopefully this give you all a bit of a visual and conceptual idea of how one person can live happy, simply. The model is there and idea free to spread…

First happy, simply customer

The first guest has stayed a night at the Happy, Simply home!

Their email to me was so uplifting and fantastic that I had to share it with you (with her permission). It also made me feel almost relieved, that someone is receiving hospitality and I have something to do with it as I have lived off others hospitality for so many years!

I think the email also captures some of the essence what I hoped and dreamed of for the Happy, simply project. That is for others to receive some learning, perspectives and qualities of simplicity! In this case it is more of reaffirmation of simplicity that it is OK especially in the very different world we live in and are surrounded by.

The email is a lovely mix of things that need attention in the home and what good it passes on to others!

Hi d’Arcy

Thoughts. Feeling pretty privileged to be the first guest to stay in the Happy, simply home.

Just to let you know I got on well at Happy, simply. The biggest mission is the fetching of water back and forth as the rainwater collection isn’t in the best condition. And for one of the female species, taking a shower was going to be a challenge but I managed on my last day 😀

(Editor note: the only shower at the moment is a camping solar shower of putting water in a black plastic bag with a hose at the bottom of it)

I showered after being truly challenged with my run up Paekakariki’s amazing escarpment track. Partway through, as I wasn’t expecting to do a big run, I got hungry… My early detour took me on a sheer cliffhanging experience! So certainly I would go back and do that track armed with more fuel for my body!

Anyway, a tip for women who are booking next – bring togs 😀 You should have seen how I strategically set up the camp shower. Ingenuity born out of the necessity for a good wash up!

Also, just so you know, a couple came all the way from Tangimoana (that’s like a few hours drive north of here up the coast) with your news article in hand, and grandson on tow on my last morning there. They share a few acres of land with caravans on them at the mo and looking to build a dwelling as simply as possible. I showed them around, talked to them and gave them the sample of the proclima product and a brochure so I think they learnt something 😀

But I digress…

My thoughts were on the frugality of living. For most this is usually born out of lack of necessities in life, hardship or perhaps plain miserliness. Much of the developed world anyway are used to material comforts and modern gadgets that deal with household chores, but being a low-tech user, I felt very much at home.

Only now can I claim my frugality out loud – thanks to this project of yours. It is absolutely acceptable to be absolutely low-tech.

So personally for me I take this away from my couple nights at Happy, simply – it’s OK to live simply…

Thanks, d’Arcy, I enjoyed being at Happy, simply. Take care and congrats on the home.


Oh pix of me at Happy Simply attached…Happy simply happy customer

Happy, simply. build – the video!

Great to see the blog featured on the Tiny House Blog here – and the hundreds of folks from around the world who have had a look at Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

But today’s blog here is with huge thanks to Dave T who not only was there volunteering with the building of the Happy, simply home but also filming throughout to produce the wonderful time-lapse shots and putting it all together in a great professional video…

Go to the link here to see on youtube:

Happy, simply.


Hopefully this give you all a bit of a visual and conceptual idea of how one person can live happy, simply. The model is there and idea free to spread...

Hopefully this give you all a bit of a visual and conceptual idea of how one person can live happy, simply. The model is there and idea free to spread…

Happy Simply Presentation – the information and inspiration

After an amazing response of over 1500 people visiting the Happy, simply blog, thanks  largely to the Tiny House Blog blog – I thought it best to share with you the best source of info for adding to your happy, simply lifestyle!

2013.04.12 Happy simply presentation email (17MB so will take a little while to download…)

This is a presentation I gave recently in Wellington and Melbourne on the Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

It looks at why, where it all came from, how it grew from idea, to concept, to poster, to project and finally to reality!

The idea is to share as much of this experience as possible for anyone and everyone to take a piece of the project and use it in their own lives.

Very happy to answer any questions specific to your needs, situation or one of the concepts of the project – just add in a comment at the bottom with your question.

Along with the PDF of this presentation I usually give folks at presentations the two documents I use extensively – the poster and the proposal (see below). I also show the youtube clip of the build –

Happy Simply – life model & education project email


Happy, simply.


Tiny House Blog for the US

I’m lucky enough to have been asked to submit a blog for the hugely popular Tiny House Blog Here is my summary for them of the project and wonder of it all!

Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

Debt free – healthy, happy and with lots of friends. Where the best things in life are not things, where less is more and where just enough is plenty!

happysimply banner pic

The lifestyle model includes:

  • Sustainable living – shelter, food, water, energy, transport, waste, environment
  • Community participation – volunteering, active citizenship
  • Education – learning, simple sustainable choices, self-sufficiency and rich experiences

A model for life and an educational project to learn from with information and inspiration.HS components and animations

Of most interest to the Tiny House community and this website will be the Happy, simply home – a 10m2 house built by a group of volunteers using mainly reused, recycled or left-over materials in two weeks for under $8000 NZ ($6700USD).

To live simply is the ultimate sophistication and luckily I have been fortunate to live and learn from the world’s poorest who, unfortunately don’t get to choose simplicity but are masters of living simply and being more connected to their families, communities and the environment around them.

Simplicity has so many amazing benefits to the individual, the people around them, the environment and towards a more just and connected global community. This was the starting point that I wanted to have a home that implemented these ideologies in a tangible way through a dwelling to live in and be an active part of a community.

In the almost 60 countries I have been fortunate to experience on top of my native home of Australia I stumbled upon a town named Paekakariki (where the girls are cheeky – as the local rhyme goes) and fell in love with the surrounds of beach and mountains and also the community – a small but distinct community that cared about where they lived and those who lived within it. That was this time last year. I then had to leave for the remainder of the year and arrived back in late January to set up the Happy, simply project and in particular the home.

I first held a community meeting to share my idea and listen to the community and to try and find a place, a team of volunteers and learn of the materials and resources available. From that first meeting I had enough to put plans into action and have a Spanish couple create the first designs.

final look

labelled Structure Drawing - prop 2.3 text

View from the left the side where the sleeping loft will be!

View from the left the side where the sleeping loft will be!

After many changes in venues, materials, people and of course plans we had decided to build a 10m2 home on an old boat trailer which meant it could be moved easily – due to my nomadic ways and avoid a couple of council regulations like a having a toilet.

On February 16 we started the building with a group of around 10 volunteers, two builders, a designer and not much else!

IMG_0820In an incredible two weeks of stress, joy, mistakes, creativity and everything else possible we had a completed home ready to live in with loft, decks and a whole lot of learning, laughter and love poured into the foundation and structure of the Happy, simply home.

online article photo I can now live almost completely self-sufficient with:

  • Solar power to run some lights and charge a laptop
  • Water capture for drinking, cooking and cleaning
  • Passive lighting and heating
  • Bio-compostable toilet
  • Worm farm
  • Cycling for transport – and public transport if further afield and
  • Well connected with the community around me who saw the birth and raising of the Happy, simply home

The building process was truly amazing with so much to learn for the participants and so much interaction with the community and others so they now have a point of reference to the home – ‘I saw it when it was just a boat trailer’ or I remember seeing it when the door arrived with a catflap’, etc… and they also have an affinity with it and feel connected to the home – just wonderful!

Read more on each day of the build on the blog:

sharing ideas and learningSo in all it was not such a simple experience in building your own home on an old and wonky trailer with left-over wonky wood but it was certainly a rich experience that now gives me the opportunity to live my ultimate dream of being happy, simply; and it also now allows me, as an educator, to share this experience and model with others so they can adopt one or more of the components into their lives for more happiness, simplicity, self-sufficiency, sustainability and of course happiness!wedding!


Happy, simply.





Footnote: I actually have to leave the Happy, simply home in a few days 😦 because of a volunteer assignment I am doing overseas till December but the Happy, simply home will be open to the community and others to experience for a night a taste of the happy, simple way of life and components until my return next near…

Happy to answer questions in the comments if you have any – thanks!

Happy, simply. Melbourne Presentation & Fireless Cooker circa 1925!

Had a great Happy, simply presentation in Melbourne last night and will up a pdf of the presentation soon… I also got some great feedback on a few additions for the components of the Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

This would be the perfect addition to the Happy, simply home… Love the appropriate technology from 1913 and 1925!

Enjoy the 1913 recipes and make sure you see the ‘fridge’ as well…

Wonderful Follow Up Article in the Kapiti Observer

Hi Folks!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m going to be a little less frequent on this blog site from here on in as the Happy, simply project will now run itself while I am away till the end of the year.

On a beautiful end note for my time in Aotearoa New Zealand, this time round, a great article from journalist Randall Walker from the Kapiti Observer.

You can see the article in a number or formats:

The house that camaraderie built

The house that camaraderie built

Plus a few extra photos here Credit: Randall Walker, Kapiti Observer…

Sad to be leaving the Happy, simply home and lifestyle - but know I will be back!

Sad to be leaving the Happy, simply home and lifestyle – but know I will be back!