Friday, 30 September 2011

Tropical temperatures

I heard on the radio that this weekend is supposed to be hotter than Hawaii, that's nice, the only problem for me is that our house, and now the garden, is like a cave. It may be gorgeous out there everywhere else in the country, but in my little empire it's dark, cold and pretty miserable. Thats not really true but it illustrates my need for light, the potential for sun and nice outside space. One reason for the lack of sun in our garden is the giant birch tree in our neighbours garden. It's a lovely tree but it's makes our garden a sun free zone, so for me our forever house needs lots of light, the garden needs not to be overshadowed by anything and I need to be a neighbour that does not impact on other peoples space.

That's it


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Location:Snodland,United Kingdom

Friday, 26 August 2011

What no towel??

Today I'm in a spa. I have forgotten my towel and they don't give them out. I'm not going to pay any silly prices for a towel I won't want after today so I am sitting in the cafe waiting for Tim to have his massage(!!) so we can go! Why are you telling us this you ask, well, says I, it's a bit of a tenuous link but I want my forever house to be really welcoming. I don't want our visitors to be sat in the cafe with no towel, metaphorically speaking obviously. I like to be a good hostess and I would want this to be a fundamental part of where we eventually live.

That's it really. Thanks for reading my ramblings


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Location:Marine Close,Pevensey,United Kingdom

Monday, 1 August 2011

Blog momentum

I was thinking about our blog and the lack of activity for a whole month, I thought this was a bad thing and that people must have got bored and the momentum had run out already. What I have now come to think is that it's ok. If the forever house is ever going to happen or work well people need to have been considering it for a while, but it does not need to be top of their 'things to do right now list'. So the blog has not failed, far from it, it's a space where people can come back to, add to even, when something occurs to them or they realise something important that they want or need in 'their' forever house. So there you go, that's something that occurred to me.


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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Mortgages and co-op's

I hope people aren't feeling overloaded by my blogging. I guess i must have more time on my hands than most.

Anyway, I have come across an organisation called The Ecology Building Society. They lend money for eco-building projects, housing co-operatives, and such like. Here's a link to their mortgage leaflet for housing co-operatives - clicky!

Another site worth looking at is Radical Routes. It is a network of housing co-operatives. There's loads of info on here about how set-up a co-operative. Legal structures, etc..

Negotiables and non negotiables.

Hi there

Sorry I have been quiet for a while- been super busy!

I haven't spoke to my friends yet about it, as they couldn't meet the other night due to work issues.

I think it is a very interesting point you raise Martin about negotiables and non negotiables- this is a conversation i think that would have to be had if we all met.

One thing I feel quite strongly about is the location. I am really keen to locate somewhere in west sussex- Brighton, worting way-ish, as Jon's family is here and it is really important to us- for reasons I will explain at a later date. This is not intended to sound selfish, but I guess its important for people to air their honest preferences. This may not be a place other people want to look at....but I have to put it out there.

I also like the idea of having individual living spaces, but with shared grounds and maybe a spare large living room that we can all hang out/eat together in when we want to. In terms of building our own, converting old farm land buildings- I don't mind, as long as we are all in agreement and happy with the process. I would be interested in what other people think about how we would build/share the living space?

Thanks, Miche x x

Low Impact Dwellings

Hi everyone, I thought i would write a post about low impact dwellings. I have been doing a lot of reading about these recently, particularly because they appear to be one of the only ways to legitimately build on land that doesn't already have planning permission. If no body has seen the Lammas Community then you really should check them out. It might be a bit too hippy for some, but its a really good example of a low impact dwelling. I think the criteria is that is must be 'eco' and kind of temporary, and you must prove that you are living off of the land. Pembrokeshire in Wales have become quite sympathetic to these kind of projects, but recent legislation means that in theory other councils should begin to follow suit. Some of you may have seen Ben Law on Grand Designs? He was the one who made his living from copicing and making charcoal in the woods. Because he had to be in the woods for so much of his time, he was allowed to build a low impact dwelling. One of the stipulations was that if he ever stopped doing that as a job, then he had to demolish his house.

Another low impact dwelling worth looking at is this one.

I think that personally these examples might be slightly too 'rustic' for me, but i find the whole concept really inspiring and proof that anything is possible.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

I saw this.......

I saw this property in Headcorn, which is about 10 miles south of Maidstone. Its a 5 bedroom farm house, but it comes with quite a few derelict farm buildings and 20 acres of land. It also comes with 2 sitting tenants in the way of static caravans on the site which each bring in £4K a year in rent.

The other one that i saw was this. This one is in Detling, has 7 bedrooms, 5 cellar rooms, 2 loft rooms, plus a whole host of reception rooms. It also has, for an extra cost, some land that has planning permission for a number of large houses - see here.

I think i still prefer the idea of building from scratch, but in terms of getting planning permission, i think an old farm with lots of old farm buildings might be an easier option. I think that the farm in Headcorn could have this. It clearly already has a precedent for camping, and i think it comes with a river. Ticks all the boxes??? Well, it ticks my boxes, but then i've probably got a whole load of different boxes to everyone else. What we probably all need to do is to each write a wish list. It should include 'negotiables' and non-negotiables'

Eco Kit House

I saw this in the Guardian today. It gives an idea of how much these things cost.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, 20 June 2011

43 Principles of Home

For my birthday i was given a Waterstones voucher from everyone at work, so today i was having a bit of a browse in the 'build your own house' section and i came across this book. Its not really a build-your-own-house book at all. Instead, its more of a philosophy of everything we call 'home'. I don't have it yet as i wanted to save a bit of money by ordering it online, but from what i saw it explores many of the questions that we will all probably need to be talking about. Anyway, I'll tell you more once I've received it and had chance to digest some of it.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Okay- I am just seeing if this works, as I am new to google blogging! I have really enjoyed reading people's posts. I cant stop thinking about this Project, what it would mean and how exciting it would be to see something become reality. I keep thinking 'could this actually happen??' and then remind myself 'why, not, if people are on board and care enough about it then it can'. I am meeting the other family next week, where I will bring up this concept with them. Best to do it face to face then over the phone I think.

Martin- I know we don't know each other very well (yet), but am loving the idea of building our own space. Whenever Jon and I watch Grand Designs- we think 'if only', but if a group of us was doing it together it suddenly becomes more affordable and makes sense. When people are committed to exploring the idea maybe we could visit a community (as i have chatted about with tim and kate) and perhaps someone who built their own 'grand design' to gain an understanding of the processes involved.

thanks, miche x

Saturday, 18 June 2011

To Build or Not to Build........?

I have always quite fancied building my own house. I don't profess to have any of the required skills to do this, but it can't be that hard.......... Can it?

Maybe i've watched one too many episodes of Grand Designs, but there is something quite attractive about creating something yourself that is fit for purpose, meets all your needs, and incorporates 'green' design features. The other advantage is that it would seem as though you get a lot more house for your money.

If there were 3 or 4 couples wanting to be part of this, i'm guessing that we would be needing about 8 bedrooms as minimum. To buy something of this size that has a bit of land around it is looking pretty expensive (although there are a few surprises out there). By creating something yourself you can make spaces that work. It may be that it is designed with 4 separate family spaces that all join to a central living space and large kitchen. I would also love to see things like rainwater harvesting, ground source heat pumps, grey water recycling, under floor heating, and lots of solar or other renewable energy generation.

From a quick bit of internet scouring, it would seem that you would probably need to spend at least 600K to get a decent size property that would still need a lot of work, but i wonder what 200K on land plus 400K on the build would actually get you?

Anyway, these are just my thoughts - i'd love to know yours

Friday, 17 June 2011

Do we really all want to live together??

Is that a good place to start? Dunno, but its a question that needs answering.

So today got from catching up with an old friend to communal living and all within a few hours!

We were discussing how fed up with our church/work/stress/distance we were, and as normal we concluded that we should just start a community and then we would sort it all out. The only difference this time was that we were serious, and here begineth the 'this is our forever house, it's definitely not a church or a hippy commune' (working title) blog.

The idea of the blog is to be an internet hub for the project, to document how things are going, and to hopefully generate some healthy discussion between those who are considering or would like to become involved.

This is no quick fix for many of the situations we find ourselves in now, but is designed to be a long term solution for our housing/social/spiritual/general living needs.

Sound good? Then come along for the ride!

Internet scouring

This is me having a nose around the internet. Its potentially an exiting prospect, but I know its just getting an idea at the moment. I have also been looking at the internet site posted by Martin, thanks Martin, it seems like this is not an uncommon thing to do and on the diggers and dreamers site they are actively looking for people to join their 'projects'. Should we just join one that already exists then?? I personally like the idea of making our own, but what do other people think?

ps. What do you think about the houses above??

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Day 3 in the forever house

So we are 3 days in. 3 days in and 2 followers already! This is exciting as we have 'evangelised' and got another person on board. The group is growing and this means that it's a real possibility.

It's my hope that as the group grows, the momentum will be kept going by everyone involved, that means it might actually happen.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Our forever house

I was thinking about this in the shower this morning, mostly about the prospect of living with other people/families. I got to thinking about our house and what we love and hate about it and what we would want from our forever house. I figured everyone would have different things they wanted from their forever house and if a project like this were going to work well, everyone's wants and or (realistic) desires would need to be catered for or have the potential to be achieved in the future. For me this is definitely my own space, I like being social, but I also like it on my own terms, no expectations from me or my time would probably have to be a must.

I also think all that embarked on this 'journey' would also have to be in it for the long haul. I know things and peoples circumstances can change but I think in order for this to work, everyone has to have their whole heart in it and not be planning for their next, better, lonely house.

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