What I do in my other Happy Simply life

Tiny home are not the new normal here they are just normal. The majority of people here in South Sudan live in tiny homes in large numbers and without clean running water, solar electricity, toilet (compost or otherwise) and romantic notions of Happy, simply living.20150323_140740

My inspiration and creation of Happy, simply comes from the time I spend living and learning in developing countries. I am fortunate to choose to live in a tiny home and live simply when in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia but the majority world (living on less than $20 a day) doesn’t choose to live in tiny homes, they just do because there is no other choice.

I’m not here to point an evil finger at the tiny house community in the privileged world because I would be criticising myself but I do want to share with people why and how I came to join the simple living / tiny house / simplicity movement.20150323_151013

I wrote a blog last night that helped sum up where my heart lies in life and wanted to share with you as it is important to me to recognise the information and inspiration that brought me to Happy, simply. https://lunny06.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/look-up-into-the-night-sky-and-think-about-humanity/

You can also take a look at the other life I live (usually for around half a year every year or so). Follow along if you like and any blog I write always goes through my Teaspoons of Change blog warehouse – http://teaspoonsofchange.wordpress.com/

I miss my Happy, simply homes especially when I have to live in UN security approved hotels here in South Sudan!

Also I will write a blog with more detail on the Teaspoons of Change global citizenship tour I’ll be doing in the second half of this year from South Sudan to Australia via the Middle East, Europe, Central and SE Asia, but here is the route map and dates at least: http://link.globalpovertyproject.com/2015ToChMap ToCh 2015 Tour - map

See you somewhere, somewhen? 🙂

Happy simply home Needs a little happy simply help to complete

A post here from my Happy, simply home ally in South Australia, Beau. He is keen to finish off the home in Aldinga so people can start staying there as there is a lot of interest around for people to experience the Happy, simply home and lifestyle. Please have a read and if there is anything or anyway you might be able to help that would be greatly appreciated by myself, Beau and anyone wanted to taste the Happy, simply home and lifestyle… Thanks Beau! Also see a little excerpt on Free Money Day that Beau and others partook in on Sustainable House Day…

Sustainable House Day

Sunday 14 September was Sustainable House Day (http://sustainablehouseday.com/).  It’s a national event where homeowners open their doors to the public to showcase the sustainable features of their homes.
The Aldinga Arts EcoVillage had 5 homes open, as well as one tiny, happy, simple home 🙂  We estimate that between 150-200 people visited the village.  It was a great opportunity to get exposure for the project and promote the Happy, simply lifestyle model.  A big thanks to Sam for helping out on the day.  His beautiful, hand carved spoons added a lovely touch to the home, which you can check out here:
sams spoons
Although I was excited to be sharing the project with people, I felt a little sad to have to keep repeating the line, “When the home is officially completed….” almost 3 months after we ‘finished’ the build.  Unfortunately I have been in and out of hospital in the past few months and not had the motivation or health to push things forward.  This combined with d’Arcy being overseas has meant that things have stalled and we are unable to open the home to the public.  I also want the volunteers who worked on the build to be able to spend a night in the home – something I remember many people looking forward to, particularly the Heathfield students.
So I’m calling on everyone out there reading this post to please consider if you can help us get the home to final completion.
The main tasks we need are:
  • Repair / replacement of the front door that smashed.  It’s an odd shape and new glass will be very expensive, so we’re considering perspex, a new door or glass replacement.  If you know of someone who has the skills and / or materials to fix the door, please email happysimplyhome(at)gmail.com – all suggestions and assistance welcome.
  • We may also need a blind / screen for this door come Summer, again suggestions and materials welcome.
  • Electrical work – we need to connect the solar panels to the battery system and then connect the lights.
  • A gas bottle for the outdoor stove
  • Installation of fly screen on the western window
  • Disassembly and disposal of a workbench that has an asbestos top
  • Installation of skirting and architrave
Please help to bring this project to a stage where it can be shared.  The construction was a wonderful education project but the happy, simply home can’t really be appreciated until the guest book has a lot more names in it.
I hope to hear from lots of you in the near future.
Beau
sustainability house day
Free Money Day
Monday 15 September is Free Money Day – an international event where people give money away to strangers on the street because sharing is fun and to perhaps engage in conversations about money and what it means to us.
We decided to celebrate a day early and incorporate Free Money Day into Sustainable House Day.  We offered people two, one dollar coins.  It was an interesting experience and a little weird.  I found most people were quite taken aback by the concept and felt very awkward accepting money.  Many wouldn’t accept it at all or offered to donate it back, some even wanted to contribute their own money to the pot.  I was left wondering if free hugs or free muffins would have been met with the less resistance.
Amongst the looks of confusion and scepticism, we did manage to have a few genuinely interesting conversations and brought about quite a few smiles.  About three people accepted the offering with gratitude and nothing more was said – my favourite response of all.  We began the day with $180 and only managed to give away $60.  Who would have thought giving away money would be so difficult?  Thanks to Amy for contributing to the pot and helping out on the day. 
I spent most of the day thinking about how $2 seems such a frivolous amount of money in our society.  Meanwhile, there are billions of people in the world relying on that amount to live each day.  To experience a glimpse of what that might be like, challenge yourself to Live Below the Line. https://www.livebelowtheline.com.au/ 
free money day
Editor note: I can vouch for both of these programs as I have helped design and participated in them often – great perspective and experience makers – Have a go!

Happy Simply SA in Pictorial/Photo Form

Hi Folks. So this blog site will be kept up on an occasional basis from here on but I thought it would be nice to dedicate the second to last post on a pictorial look at the Happy, simply build in South Australia…

The next post (on the booking process for the Happy, simply home in SA) will be a last one in a little while as I am going on a 1500km walk in Japan for an idea I call Teaspoons of Change… which are personal choices, decisions and actions that have a positive impact on people and the planet one teaspoon at a time… http://teaspoonsofchange.wordpress.com/  https://www.facebook.com/teaspoonsofchange

Enjoy the photos from before to after of the Happy, simply home in South Australia!HS SA HS SA (1) HS SA (2) HS SA (3) HS SA (4) HS SA (5) HS SA (6) HS SA (7) HS SA (8) HS SA (9) HS SA (10) HS SA (11) HS SA (12) HS SA (13) HS SA (14) HS SA (15) HS SA (16) HS SA (17) HS SA (18) HS SA (19) HS SA (20) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA HS SA (24) HS SA (25) HS SA (26) HS SA (27) HS SA (28) HS SA (29) HS SA (30) DCIM100GOPRO HS SA (32) HS SA (33) HS SA (34) HS SA (35) HS SA (36) HS SA (37) HS SA (38) HS SA (39) HS SA (40) HS SA (41) HS SA (42) HS SA (43) HS SA (44) HS SA (45) HS SA (46) HS SA (47) HS SA (48) HS SA (49) HS SA (50) HS SA (51) HS SA (52) HS SA (53) HS SA (54) HS SA (55) HS SA (56) HS SA (57) HS SA (58) HS SA (59) HS SA (60) HS SA (61) HS SA (62) HS SA (63) HS SA (64) HS SA (65) HS SA (66) HS SA (67) HS SA (68) HS SA (69) HS SA (70) HS SA (71) HS SA (72) HS SA (73) HS SA (74) HS SA (75) HS SA (76) HS SA (77) HS SA (78) HS SA (79) HS SA (80) HS SA (81) HS SA (82) HS SA (83) HS SA (84) HS SA (85)

First Family Night in the Happy, Simply Home

The first guests and reviews are in for the Happy, simply home is South Australia. Have a read of a delightful sounding evening from Beau and his little family in the tiny home…

happy home complete outside

‘Last night the Summer family stayed in the Happy Simply home. We chose the windiest night of the year, which made for a good adventure. With no curtains in the home just yet, we had a great view of the trees outside being battered by the wild conditions. It made us realize how rarely we view the outdoors at night – normally huddled inside with blinds down and lights on. It was lovely to sit inside and eat dinner by candlelight and being able to see the moonlit surrounds.

Snug as bugs in a rug (very nice bugs though)

Snug as bugs in a rug (very nice bugs though)

 

 

hs family stayThe home is still lacking some features such as door handles and lights, which doesn’t exactly make things simple. Jodie was installing a drop bolt on the door at 7pm using a head torch for light. The home was surprisingly warm considering the cold, windy conditions and because the doors still require proper seals. We actually thought it was warmer than our own bedroom at home but wondered if this was because we were coming from the cold conditions outside, whereas at home we are going from a warm lounge room to cold bedroom. The wind was powerful enough to make the home rock around a bit but there was no creaking or groaning – evidence of a sturdy frame!

hs family stay3

We slept pretty well and all found the beds comfortable. Jodie and Gracie were up top on the double bed and I took the single. We enjoyed our stay in the Happy Simply home and think it will be even better once the finishing touches are applied. I think it will be best on balmy Summer nights, preparing meals out on the deck and watching the sunset. I look forward to more people staying in the home and sharing their experiences.

Beau’

hs family stay2

Note from d’Arcy: I kind of like an empty home, staying in it a little while and working out what exactly is a NEED and what is kind of a want… From this review it seems lights and door handles fall into the need category! There is still a bit to do but it is fine for now as an almost camping adventure…

Thanks for a great post Beau!!!

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)

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…

Day 22 House warming (12)

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.

Day 22 House warming (13)
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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