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: 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.




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!

Progress – but only because of so many others!

It feels like progress…

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skeleton nearly doneJavi the wonderful Spanish designer, builder, good-guy has been saying to me just you wait it will grow quickly… I have been waiting and I am not good at waiting but today wait no longer as we have a skeleton and it is being wrapped up in it’s amazing pro clima membrane which is like a super gor-tex jacket for houses (all donated I must say to from pro clima).

Today in a nut-(house)-shell: the team grew with some more volunteers on the ground and a wonderful all-star appearance of Alex the builder; we received sliding door, glass door and windows – thank you locals from nulook windows & doors; IMG_0887we cut timber too short (Dave actually ;)) which now requires a new strategy; we have been eating fairtrade organic all-good bananasIMG_0899 and supplied by bread and scones from the Paekakariki Beach Rd Deli; had the presence of Patrick from Cycling Advocacy Network mainly for building but also lets us know how we can enjoy riding more often; had a bride pass through on her walk to her wedding; IMG_0897had interviews and photos with the Kapiti Observer (due for print on Monday); have been joined by collaborator and influencer Tim from SHAC – Sustainable HAbitat Challenge; just generally enjoyed being with other people who are learning and doing; and taking on the challenges of building a home!

Amazing how happy and simple a day can when you look at it as people getting together to do something they are all interested in… Having said this it is from an outside perspective as it is in essence HARD work physically and mentally.

It is a constant struggle to thank people but I have highlighted just a few of so many who have done so much in contributions and support so please have a look at who they are know that they have been incredibly generous and unquestionable in their giving with no expectations – just humbling and amazing…IMG_0873

Here are a few others on top of those named so far:

  • Sustainability Trust for floor and ceiling insulation and their curtain bank
  • Bunnings Porirua who helped with timber we couldn’t source and kicked in a bunch of screws
  • Placemakers in Paraparaumu who have been very understanding with our last-minute requests for the things we can’t so without
  • Dulux for a bunch of paint and supplied that will come in handy when we reach that point
  • Karma Cola also from All Good that have been keeping us alert with fairtrade real cola nut cola
  • Radio@ctive who I had a great interview with the other day and have always supported my crazy ideas and initiatives – listen here to the interview I had with them on Tuesday

There are more and I will name them all as I go along and then there are the volunteers who not only work 8-14 hours a day (like yesterday) but also help with food, cleaning, organising, etc but I will reserve a big flowery email for them!

Have a listen to the podcast about Happy, simply. and also a bit of polio stuff I do outside building a 10m2 home and will be in touch again tomorrow!

Happy, simply.


A community-BUILDING project

While I have spent most of the past 24 hours away from the build site it doesn’t mean I haven’t been contributing… (well I haven’t in the build and only put in my token 3 screws and cut some wood).

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A project like this needs relationships. My main role has been to beg, borrow, sleaze  con and coerce anything and everything from people, not really and nicely put it is communication and relationships. With an interesting and altruistic concept you have to build the image and make it of worth to others. The poster, the pdf, the emails, the phone calls, the text messages… they are all as much of the project and build as the actual physical components to it.

All Good bananas - happy and simple of course

All Good bananas – happy and simple of course

The beautiful thing is that people are good, kind, helping and generous. Basically all I have to do is create a space for them to put those atributes into something for ultimately my gain but also for their self worth and purpose. We love helping people no matter who we are and when given opportunities to help we more often than not cherish them.

I am completely overwhelmed each and every time anyone has contributed to this project. Already it is a huge list of people who have added to this in some shape or form… I am trying my best to capture all of this generosity but honestly it is difficult as it pours in from everywhere. Just a couple of examples – we have building supply places giving us things, local cafes giving their end of the day goodies, the volunteers of course, people who know people, expertise, accommodation, support and never ending goodwill and encouragement – a very privileged but slightly scary position to be in when other do so much for you.

A proper and decent thank you will happen but for now I am just in awe of how wonderful and fantastic so many people have been and we haven’t even got walls on our home yet (but half the skeletons have been made!).Javi teaching the ways

Many, kind, heart-felt thanks and gratitude to those so far with a lot more humbled thanks to come!

Happy, simply.



A little list of thanks thus far without thanking individuals yet (as that is a whole other long list…): Sustainability Trust, Habitat for Humanity, Bunnings Porirua, Pro Clima, Dulux, Cycling Advocacy Network, Paekakariki Woodoven Cafe, Nullok Windows and Doors, Kennett Brothers, Radio@ctive, Kiwa House, Chalkle, Paekakariki weavers group, All Good bananas and Karma Cola, builders, communities, citizens, Paekakariki and massively the volunteers…