Happy, simply Left-Overs and Left-To-Do

Day 22 House warming (16)I’m very sorry I haven’t got any new photos to add since the last blog but I do have new information to pass on… Below are a couple of lists: the practical facts and figures of building the Happy, simply home; what still needs to be done; and a small list of needs and wants to finish it off.

In my next blog I will outline what will become of the Happy, simply home – especially now I have abandoned it and left Australia…

In practical terms the home took:

  • 3 days of deconstruction
  • 22 days of construction
  • Around $1000 spent on a few materials and other costs –  – the rest was salvaged, donated, gathered from leftovers, bits and pieces from people and more
  • Over 30 volunteers and around 10 builders
  • Many loaves of bread
  • Over 5000 views on the blog and probably similar on Facebook
  • Wide reaching support, resources, sponsorship, donations and generosity
  • Moved people from a group of people to the status of community!

List of tasks still to be done by anyone still keen to get in, interact and attribute their mark on the project. Plus I know there is very likely to be a solar workshop next weekend or at some stage to put in all the solar features:

  • fill gap in wall of toilet and shelter on the east deck
  • solar system
  • create a fold down desk
  • toilet to be built
  • paint polycoat on stairs and cedar wall, maybe stain or coat the bed – don’t use gloss finish it will make it too slippery
  • ¼ round the edges, door gaps, skirting, etc
  • Joining piece for the flooring
  • Door handles
  • Outside edge flashing if needed / wanted – important bits are done
  • Carpet tiles and/or black plastic under the home to stop weeds growing and so it can be used as storage space
  • Stabilise each corner of the home so not just resting on the original legs of the caravan – use the two axle stands and maybe get a few more besser blocks?
  • Tank stand reinforcement, cleaning and functionality set for human consumption
  • Fridge – I have a spare esky at my mum’s home that can be used but any hole dug in the ground covered will do the trick for the next few months
  • Fitting fly screens
  • Anything else you might want to contribute just check with Beau and Sam from the build and remember simplicity is the key!

List of needs (wants)  for the home:

  • Office chair
  • Compost bins
  • Door handle
  • Solar shower
  • Gas bottle
  • Double mattress under the thin top one we already have
  • Mosquito bed net
  • Wee container – something not see through and 2L is best with a big opening at the top and a lid
  • Fans 12v or small AC fan
  • …?

With all these jobs to be done and things needed (wanted) I personally prefer to live in a place and from that REALLY determine what is needed and then see what might be wanted and go from that basis – rather than guessing beforehand what I think will be needed and wanted (rarely the same list). Since I won’t be back at the Happy, simply home in Aldinga till probably Christmas it would be good to at least forecast a few of these things so it can adequately support anyone staying before then…

Day 22 House warming (7a)

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Happy, simply House (warming) Freezing

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Not the warmest day in Aldinga ever but the warmth from the community, participants and supporters made it the warmest possible house warming ever…

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The temperature was the only indication of the home freezing as it was insulated, warm and loved to make it toasty in and around. I couldn’t imagine anything that could have been warmer and more human than celebrating a community to come together for over a month to recognise the experience – and by the way there was also a home that was a bi-product of that process to show for it…

I know I will sound a little delusional and that usually happens when I am at 10,000 feet on my way from or two my next chapter of life, as I am writing this on a plane back to my ‘normal’ world of global awareness education and social justice.

The house warming day saw the Happy, simply volunteers building feverishly to try and finish as much as possible before the 11am champagne brunch and the 12 open-house celebration. By 11am we were still putting in the floor, adjusting tanks and constructing a temporary front deck but regardless of how complete we were we put tools down at noon to join a bunch of supporters, family and others to stop time and take note of the wonderful contribution of humans to put together a community project that produced a self-sufficient home.

This is what Happy, simply epitomises for me – bringing community, collectivism, cooperation, connection together to create shared time and experiences. Anyone who has ever done something collectively will know the post reflection and recognition of what was achieved when people come together behind a shared goal, identity or project.

For me the best things in life are not things and I have never seen Happy, simply as a project to build a house it is a community project to create an opportunity to learn, share and interact with people, a project to build a community – that happens to produce a house.

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I love the Happy, simply home not because it is beautiful or a tangible object that I will live in and share with others but because it was made with others who got to know each other and create quality rich experiences and friendships.

At this point I could go into a big Oscar speech of listing people, thanking them and being acknowledged myself but anyone who was a part of the Happy, simply experience – weather following online, making food for the project, donating materials, donating their skills and expertise or being there to use their hands and head to produce the home all walk away with some form of self-appreciation for their part in the Happy, simply project.

Day 22 House warming (11)

Popping the cork to ‘officially’ (prematurely) open the Happy, simply South Australia home!

We were all just as important and insignificant as each other and we now have something to show for our combined time and efforts that not only means something to us but to anyone who interacts with Happy, simply – a sustainable lifestyle model and education project.

Enough rare-air rambling but I can say I am extremely thankful to all who have been a part of the experience and feel proud in what we have achieved but best of all is I walk away with a group of new friends and a rich experience that will last with me for a lifetime.

Day 22 happy simply family

Infinite gratitude, love, happiness and thanks to all who have stepped into the Happy, simply space in the past 6-8 weeks – time for me to step away from the building space and back into the comforts of education, empowerment, global citizenship and youth inspiration for seeing an end to extreme poverty and a happy simple world for all.

Super thanks to all and I’ll follow up with a more practical blog on where to from here for the Happy, simply South Australia home…

Day 22

If you want to keep in touch with my propaganda in my other life of global education and social justice…

Please feel free to use any ideas, resources, information and inspiration from Happy, simply and just get in touch if there is anything specific you would like to know…

First Night Home!

Tonight will be my one and only night in the Happy, simply home for now till the end of year as I head off overseas again on Monday and it is finished enough to stay the night!

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Happy, simply will be open tomorrow! Maybe not completely finished but open anyway. https://www.facebook.com/events/1434264183502485

The idea of the completed home is for anyone to come and stay for a night or two to have a taste of the Happy, simply life or at least a component of it… It won’t be quite ready just yet as it is without toilet and solar at the moment but a month from now – open to all to stay!

Hope to see you all tomorrow and I will put some words into what will become of the Happy, simply home soon along with booking procedure…

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Happy, simply became a HOME today

Happy, simply became a home today.

Cladding inside painted, toilet shelter completed, front deck on and most impressively we have custom made steps, ladder and bed rail!!! To see how that was put together have a look at the youtube clip here:

With just a couple of days left before I head off I think the Happy, simply home will be almost 90% done… I plan to stay in it tomorrow night anyway!

See you on Sunday for the open day? https://www.facebook.com/events/1434264183502485

Shelter to toilet in and hang a bike

Unfortunately I got held up at the bank this morning for a few hours in the city when really I didn’t give a crap and wanted to be helping build the toilet shelter… (enough of the bad dodgy uncle puns and jokes).

Luckily there were people who we hard at work this morning while I was sorting a few things out before I depart the country on Monday. Not only were they doing work they were building a toilet and bicycle shelter and giving the final coat of paint on the inside of the home!

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We also had a couple of very smart people who knew how to use computers that control machines that cut wood into great shapes on the router.

I’ll let the array of pics tell the story for today as things seem to be coming together nicely for a mostly finished product by Sunday.

 

Volunteers wanted and needed for the final couple of days if you are around!

Happy, simply SA – Final Week!

Just a quick update as Happy, simply enters it’s final week (officially but with probably more to do after…)!
  • Tomorrow (Wednesday) sees a builder out for the day to help us put on two eves/pergolas/awnings/shelter thingies on to the front and back deck plus last plaster inside and maybe guttering and tank stand…
  • Thursday – first coat of paint for almost all the remaining surfaces, door handles, toilet shelter completion and hopefully maybe second coat of paint
  • Friday – any last painting to be done so then cornering, architraves and final door/window frames and then laying in the floor
  • Saturday – whatever is left over plus: custom shelving, skirting, door and window painting, day couch/night bed, temporary front deck and steps – I even hope to spend a night in it on Saturday night!
  • Sunday – Happy, simply Open Day – open house from 12 noon followed by solar workshop from 1pm
  • Monday and beyond the Happy, simply home open to one and all – plus for the first few weeks some minor things that I am sure will need doing…
Looking forward to the weekend and the last few days of the build before I head off on Monday but hope you can make it at some stage or all the stage from now till Sunday!

Clad Outside and In!

We have nailed and screwed in the last piece of cladding (probably to be unnailed or screwed later) and it feels like some kind of accomplishment!

Sam putting in the last nail of the inside cladding!!!

Sam putting in the last nail of the inside cladding!!!

In the end the inside is half plasterboard and half western red cedar tongue and groove cladding. I wish I could share with you the smell of the home now that it is half clad in the sweet aromas of cedar like a Swedish sauna – see the photos of the sauna corner…

Now with inside clad and window and door frames done we can plaster, paint, put in the floor and we will almost have a home ready to live in!

Day 17 (8)We are still lacking a couple of decks with verandas, a toilet room, gutter and water tank, outside edge flashing, solar power set up and a few other things but we are nearly there… Volunteers and builders still welcome!

Only a few more days of doing what we can so come join in or come see what stage we get to by Sunday for the Happy, simply  Open Day: https://www.facebook.com/events/1434264183502485/

Also I must mention Beau’s day of nail-gunning and power-sawing. Having given him mission impossible yesterday to make a box out of ply and awkward L-brackets he was the man of powertools today – not only that but he always prepares lunch, runs around and make countless calls, emails and requests to support the Happy, simply home build – this build would have been totally impossible without him and his two ladies, wife and daughter…

The background glue and no more gaps of the Happy, simply home - Beau!

The background glue and no more gaps of the Happy, simply home – Beau!