Way back in the 1990s, my ex and I built a mud brick house near Bellingen. As the construction progressed, I created a vision book of how I wanted our home to look. I designed a massive garden with a veggie patch and an orchard. I cut out pictures from magazines, drew plans and wrote notes. Some of the ideas made it off the page into 3D reality, but as things turned sour with our relationship and we returned back to the big smoke, my mud brick home remained unfinished. I still have the book. It reeks of 1990s style with flouncy curtains and frilly bed covers. Some of the ideas remain timeless, but most are passe.
Lately, I have been thinking about what I will do about my present living arrangements. Where am I going to live? Will I stay in Armidale permanently, or will I move back to Wollongong? If I stay here in Armidale, what sort of house do I want? New, or old? Urban or rural? Shared or on my own? So many options.
Planning for my ultimate shed?
The only common theme coming through is that I want a shed! A big shed (or workshop/studio)! The ultimate shed! I’ve already roughed out a design. I could live in a tiny house if I had the ultimate shed. It would be a place for all my hobbies to co-exist. A big open-plan space with lots of benches and storage. It would have a commercial kitchen, so I can make jams, sauerkraut and pickles. I’d need a cool room and a warm room so I can ferment all year round and not have to put my SCOBY on hold during winter. There would be a woodworking bay, a place for my fabric crafts and another for bookbinding. I could teach classes there.
It could have a loft with a bedroom and bathroom for myself or guests. The passive solar north-facing design would capture the light with its big windows (double-glazed, of course) facing north, south and east. No heat would leak in through the solid western wall. The roof would be covered in solar panels connected to a battery of batteries. It might even have a wind turbine of some sort to make good use of the winter wind. The rainwater tank would collect all the dew as well as the rain. I’d sit in the cosy north-east-facing nook on the verandah to soak up the winter sun or recline on the chaise on the south-facing verandah in the heat of summer. The satellite powered internet would ensure I stayed connected and could still write this blog.
It would be surrounded by a garden stocked with indigenous, drought-tolerant plants, and a trickling water feature would add to the peaceful ambience and be a place for frogs.
This time I’d finish it but I’ll skip the wind chimes because, after all, this is Armidale and not Bellingen.