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 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

Day 22 House warming (16)

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…

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!

Day 19 (18)

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 Open Day Sunday 22 June

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Building update. Today saw a ceiling painted, raised bed reinforced and put in, front deck extended, inside of two walls clad – one in plasterboard the other in red cedar tongue and groove and we learnt about how to not make a box for solar batteries!

But this blog is for you to mark in your diaries next Sunday 22 June when the Happy, simply SA will have it’s home warming day / open day / thank you supporters day / happy, simply day!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1434264183502485/

Come and see what it might be like for someone to live happily, simply, healthy, with a little more sustainability, self-sufficiently, debt-free, with lots of friends, connected to people and planet, active citizenship and lots of community participation and MORE!

Once properly finished in the near future the home will be available for people to stay a night or two to have a taste of the happy simple life.

It has been a wonderful community project where people have given so much in the way of time, materials, working, sharing, food, etc…

Sums it all up!

Sums it all up!

Sunday will be a wonderful celebration to take note of what has happened in the past month and share with others why living in a small but happy place can be a ‘rich’ thing to do – where less is more and just enough is plenty!

Hope to see you there for a look and a chat!

Happy, simply

Happy, simply

Happy, simply home #2 – South Australia…!

HSposter_animationThe Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project looks like it might be building another Happy, simply home!
This time in Aldinga, South Australia (just near Adelaide)…
And so this is what we are proposing for a Happy, simply home in South Australia – please get in touch if you want to be a part of making this happen!
Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project. 
Tiny house, community living and where just enough is plenty!

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The Happy, simply home – want to participate in a community building project?
We are proposing constructing a small, mobile house of approx. 10m2 that is ‘off the grid’.
A similar project was done last year in Aotearoa New Zealand with great success and we want to see if we can do something similar (and better) this time in South Australia
  • When: Late May / early June 2014 (approx. 2 weeks total build time) Major build is 24 May – 8 June with prep and finish before and after those dates
  • Where: Aldinga Arts Eco Village map: https://goo.gl/maps/jlRvp
  • How: Using volunteer labour and recycled / donated materials
  • Why: To learn, share and participate in a community project that demonstrates how people can live a happy, simple life in a sustainable, self-sufficient home
If you can contribute any skills, time, materials, support, please contact us via email – happysimplyhome@gmail.com and keep up to date on the Facebook group if that is what you like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/happysimplysa/
Ideally what we need…
  • Builders – especially students, retired or passionate sustainable builders and one major builder who can share and teach others
  • Designer / Architect
  • Skilled tradespeople
  • Volunteers keen to participate and learn new skills
  • Car trailer / boat trailer / tandem trailer or similar
  • Left over building materials – windows, doors, timber, cladding, insulation, building paper, etc…
For now we would love to see a show of interest to get off the ground and see if we can make it a reality.
To learn more about this project, please see the project in Paekakariki from Feb 2013  and be sure to see the YouTube Video of the Happy, simply build in NZ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl8safGwXhQ
Be sure to pass onto others so we can get a couple of builders and make this fun, educational and inspirational home a reality!
Many Thanks
Beau and d’Arcy.
Happy, simply home

Global Citizen

Hey Folks – I’ve been busy in the past month doing my education, advocacy and campaigning work with the Global Poverty Project and The End of Polio campaign.

While I am away from my beautiful Happy, simply home (sobbing…) I still live by it’s ethos, concept and ideology no matter where I am. As I travel around I can’t always be in a home that uses renewable energy or in a city that allows me to ride a bike everywhere. Consciously I make a priority to think of the impact of my actions. I then act upon on them, live them, enjoy them and refine them as much as possible.

A recent example of this is using a smaller hand towel after showering (military style shower of course – get wet, soap up, then rinse). A small towel is requires less to wash, dry and pack!

I believe all the small actions make a difference and that they can and should be fun, habitual and as simple as possible…

So in the past month I have presented to over 2000 people on the concept of Global Citizens so here is a little list I often share on what I believe being an active and caring Global Citizen is all about:

I THINK A GOOD GLOBAL CITIZEN DOES THIS…

Has a strong sense of…

  • Social justice
    • Youth development
    • Community development
    • Gender equality
    • Human rights
    • Leadership
  • Environmental justice
    • Sustainability
    • Transport (walking, cycling & other non-polluting forms)
    • Waste management
    • Water consumption
    • Electricity use
  • Trade justice
    • Consumption and consumerism
    • Fair-trade / Ethical purchases
    • Local production
    • Working conditions of the people making those goods for you
  • Volunteers
  • Know about the Millennium Development Goals and what they try to accomplish
  • Is aware of the positive qualities of life in developing countries
  • Gives aid, charity and donations to suitable projects and causes that they have researched and taken ownership of so it is inclusive not a guilt off-set
  • Thinks about their consumption – 
  • and the unnecessary over-consumerism of developed nations today
  • Have an awareness of Indigenous culture, perspectives and way of life and also has empathy and compassion for the problems they face in their society
  • Actively advocates for positive change in our world → locally and globally
  • Thinks about some or all of these things from time to time
  • Engages in discussion about these things
  • Acts upon their thoughts and discussions for the betterment of people and places anywhere / everywhere

A nice phrase I like to keep in my head is a lyric from Spearhead’s Michael Franti: ‘are you a part of the pollution or are you a part of the pollution?’

Being a thoughtful, caring and active Global Citizen is great fun and never ending…

Happy, simply for me is a great part of me living my global citizenship.

You might like to see the Global Poverty Project’s Global Citizen website for more info on the topics, issues and actions people can take to see an end to extreme poverty (no it is not a fundraiser – just an awareness and action bank if you want be involved) – http://globalcitizen.org/