When common sense and being human doesn’t prevail

The best in the west is not always the best…

I am always a long believer that the west has more to learn from Africa than it does helping Africa. I know my life if significantly ‘richer’ from having spent some time in parts of Africa. I have learnt invaluable lessons on resilience, resourcefulness, community, sharing, etc…

IMG_0593 (1024x512)This learning and these perspective turned into total frustration in the past week or so. I got news that the Happy, simply self-sufficient tiny home that I built with a group of volunteers in Australia in June last year will need to be moved. It needs to be moved because of ‘litigation and insurance concerns’. I have agreed with the group and I even understand where they are coming from and why, and if I was in their position I would be making the same decision so I don’t have ill feelings towards them or the eco village community. What it does though is sicken me to the bottom of my heart that humanity and common sense cannot prevail.

20141215_160406 (1024x768)It have been 1000x harder taking this news while being in South Sudan where common sense, personal responsibility and being human is still the normal way of life. Example: if you trip on the footpath (if there is one or there is one without most of it missing) you are the unlucky one and it is your fault for not watching out more closely while walking. Even if you are in a building that was not well made and it collapses on your head you are unlucky but still it is your personal responsibility.

I do agree there needs to be standards and we should try to meet those standards but in the end if you have made a decision to walk down the street or enter into a place, you are responsible for the consequences – just as humans had been until about 100 years ago in the west and as they mostly are in place like here in South Sudan.

When the line really goes off the chart for common sense and into pure inhuman, made-up, artificial, this-has-somehow-become-the-ridiculous-norm territory is when litigation and insurance worries override human common sense. If you stay in the Happy, simply home and in the very highly unlikely minuscule chance you get hurt, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for it to happen but you are responsible as you took the choice to stay there. If it was because of my fault I would be a good human and help where possible and apologise appropriately. What I wouldn’t do is go beyond that owing you all I have, forever. Accidents happen and unlucky consequences should be dealt with as a human not as a programed inhuman money-wanting victim role-play. I certainly know that there are a lot of people dead, maimed or hurt in South Sudan because of accidents and unlucky situations but their natural mandate is to not make others and the system a victim along with them.

20150322_190139 (1024x540)Western countries should use setting standards as a good service tool for communities to try and lessen accidents where possible but what we have is a system to create fear, scare people and allow the worst case scenario to dictate decisions and actions.

I don’t want to continue this rant as I could for a long time and a lot of people would probably follow along agreeing with me. So referencing my current surroundings in South Sudan  – I love the way of life in the countries I have been in Africa. It is sometimes raw, rough and unforgiving but it is real.

20150322_082745 (1024x768)I am very sad that the Happy, simply home won’t remain in the eco village and I wish being human and self-responsibility won at the end of the day. The best news is the Happy, simply home might have found a new wonderful spot so you will be welcome to stay – as long as you take responsibility for yourself!


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.
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)

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!

Happy, simply Presentation / Q&A 13 June

Keep this date free for a Happy, simply presentation at the Adelaide City Library in collaboration with Adelaide Sustainable Building Network and Adelaide City Council…

Happy Simply South Australia

Self-sufficient sustainable tiny home off the grid (and under $2000!)

Adelaide City Council with Adelaide Sustainable Building Network are hosting an interactive presentation on the sustainable Happy, simply tiny house community project.

Event Details:

  • Friday 13 June; 6-7pm
  • Adelaide City Library – Level 3 Rundle Place, 77 Rundle Mall – access via Francis St lifts or through the carpark lifts (map: https://goo.gl/maps/DFAfH and more info here)
  • Free!
  • RSVP and questions: happysimplyhome@gmail.com  or see you there on the night

What’s it all about?

This presentation will explore the ideas of simplicity, self-sufficiency and sustainability.

AAEV Day 06 (17)d’Arcy Lunn will talk about his own project ‘Happy, simply’: a sustainable lifestyle model and education project promoting simplicity, sustainability and self-sufficiency. The end product: a ‘tiny house’ built for less than $2,000!

What will we cover?

  • The components and a holistic approach to a happy, simple life – where the ideas came from and the practical application of simplicity – where less is more and just enough is plenty.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe “Happy, simply” home – how to build a 10m2 home in 2 weeks and for under $2,000. This involves considering design, materials, building and resource consent, water capture, renewable energy, bio-compostable toilet, edible garden, transport and community participation.
  • Take away ideas and the practical application of simplistic, self-sufficient and sustainable living practices – it will be a matter of laying it all out on the table for people to choose, adapt and modify what is useful and practical to them
  • A detailed look at the new Happy, simply home built in Aldinga just before this event!

Who will be teaching?

Sharing the Happy, simply idea with a group at Laneways Learning in Melbourne

Sharing the Happy, simply idea with a group at Laneways Learning in Melbourne

d’Arcy Lunn is enriched and enthusiastic about simple living. ‘Happy, simply’ came after 14 years and 64 countries of learning and experiencing that less can be more (when you get to choose it). For him the project and this workshop is about sharing the learning he has received from his experiences around the world and applying them at home in SA, where we can choose sustainability, self-sufficiency and simplicity and be richer for it.

Check out blog for more about the project in SA – https://happysimply.wordpress.com/and the Happy, simply SA facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/happysimplysa/

– Friday 13 June 6-7pm and then beers after at the Metro on Grote St – see below for all the details!

Happy simply presentation poster with Adel City Council

Happy, simply Dance Floor!

The SA Happy, simply home has a dance floor!

A great day of building, community and progress. We had a bunch of keen volunteers who all contributed to framing, floor wrapping, floor insulation and floor covering leaving the day with a completed dance floor!

Tomorrow we will be erecting the framing and getting ready to raise the roof with the school students on Tuesday! (please note and roll your eyes at the double pun in the last sentence).

It also seems we have most of what we wanted on our wish list and while this time it has been a little tough and tense asking people for things human nature and generosity has shone through again – that is a whole other blog as is a blog on the incredible wrap for the home we are using…

For tonight just enjoy the dance floor and Dani and Sam using it to its full potential!

Back to the Build (tomorrow)!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi Folks and a Happy, simply happy day to you all!

We are back building again tomorrow. I have to say we are still struggling to find all the bits and pieces but at least know where we can buy them as we need them… so still keep an eye out for materials – see below but in particular plywood sheets, insulation and roof rafters.

Building will now be everyday till completion (hopefully June 9!). Tomorrow and for a couple of days will be putting the wall frames together and then we move into wrapping the building with our amazing gor-tex like wrap from Laros. From there is it a matter of outside cladding, roofing, windows, doors, insulation, inside cladding, solar and more…!

A reminder of important info for volunteering:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  • Start time 9am at Clematis Walk at the Aldinga Arts EcoVillage (AAEV) https://goo.gl/maps/3c3rk
  • Days are usually 9-4
  • We have an empty house in Willunga for people to stay (with electricity and water) just need to bring your camping gear (bedding) with you and let me know if you are staying so I can keep track of how many
  • We have heaps of soup and bread for lunch each day (vegetarian) but bring other food if you need/want and snacks and stuff if you need/want
  • Bring tools with you if you have them
  • Bring gloves, safety glasses, ear protection, closed shoes, suncream, etc with you if you have them – shoes and gloves as a minimum
  • Call out if you need a lift from Adelaide and see if others can answer your call

Let me know if you still have any more questions and keep up to date with the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/happysimplysa/ and/or blog https://happysimply.wordpress.com and did you see the youtube clips Mike has been putting up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iik0JVCIK3o

Take a look at the wish list below and get in touch if you need more info or have any questions!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking forward to seeing you there tomorrow and beyond!

Happy, simply


The Wish List! As at Wednesday 28 May

Need Have Wish list







3@2700x90x45 (got them I think)

7@2400x90x45 (got them I think)









2@2100x90x45 (got them I think)


16@2400×120 or greater x35 or greater


9 – 16@2400×120 (or greater) x 35 (or greater) (need)

Roof battens



6@4800x70x35 (or 45) (need)

Lintels – Think if needed can use random lengths of 120×35
Noggins – Not sure if what is left to be enough. But if not we need 13.2m of 90×45  

13.2m of 90×45 (got them I think)

Ply bracing



OR 14@2400x1200x5-11


2@2400x1200x5-11mm (need)

8@2700x1200x5-11mm (don’t think they exist in 2700 so extra 12@2400)

Ply ceiling



4@2400x1200x5-11mm (need)

External battens

22@2700 70×35

10@2400 70X35


22@2700 70×35 or smaller section (need)

10@2400 70X35 or smaller section (need)

Insulation Floor only Need for walls and ceiling (need)

14 L / U shape brackets



14 L shape brackets or U shaped brackets 100mmx50mm (need)

Bolts (galvanized)



46 washers

None (need)



Bolts and washers mush suit brackets

Bugle screws

Box 100@100mm

None Bugle screws (need)

Box 100@100mm

3x bugle driver bits None 3x bugle driver bits (need)
Big box 30mm galvanized clouts None Box 30mm galvanized clouts (need)
3x roofing screw driver bits None 3x roofing screw driver bits (need)
Big box of 90mm galv nails None Big box of 90mm galv nails (need)

Nuts, Bolts and Extra

  • Grey calking for corrugated iron around windows and doors
  • Whirlybird to extract hot air from roof
  • A single window that can open, dimensions 200mm x 600-800mm (or something similar) basically a longish horizontal window, again we will try and find second hand
  • 4 x axle stands 1500kg or above and best if second hand
  • Solar adaptor and converter
  • Solar batteries – 7amp closed cell batteries
  • Masks
  • Disposable suits for insulation
  • Chalk line and some chalk for chalk lines
  • Some more drills
  • Hand saws
  • Squares for drawing 90 degree angles
  • Misc drill bits
  • Spanners/ shifter for bolts
  • Straight edge 3m long