Money…what a horrible subject to talk about, right? A necessary evil but I will discuss it here anyway because it’s on my mind quite a bit. In various ways. I read yesterday that my bank is investing in a gigantic chicken factory in the Ukraine – that was the final straw for me. I had contemplated switching to a more sustainable bank before but had not yet put my money where my mouth is. Why not? It seems such a hassle, when in reality it really isn’t! You request a new bank account at your bank of choice, request the transfer service and all your direct debits are automatically transferred to your new account. The only thing you need to do is let your employer know your new bank details in order to receive your salary. Easy! Just like we as consumers vote with our choice for honest, sustainable, animal-friendly products in the shops (or not), your bank of choice can also be one that makes sustainable investments – or not. Transferring to a sustainable bank isn’t just a worthy effort, it also reflects your responsibility. Moreover, it makes no difference to the interest rate and it’s not a hassle, as I’ve seen. So, what’s stopping you! Have a look at eerlijkegeldwijzer.nl to find out which bank would best reflect your own values.
It was never my intention to earn money through this adventure of mine, although I would be very pleased if it did lead to an employment opportunity at some stage. But now that I am running ‘Marjolein in het Klein’ and Tiny House Netherlands it is only costing me money, mainly travel costs. That doesn’t matter too much as I thoroughly enjoy the work, but I need to be cognisant of it. My salary falls into the category of project assistant and although it’s decent enough, it doesn’t really allow for endless travel through Holland in my free time. I also need to keep saving for my Tiny House too! Recently I was invited to speak at the Centre for Architecture Twente as guest speaker at their inspiration evening about Tiny Houses on the 24th of September. The evening is part of a project which also entails a design competition. Really cool! If you are interested, have a look at www.architectuurcentrumtwente.nl. Lena and Laurens are also attending. It’s in Enschede and that is quite a drive. Luckily, they are offering travel reimbursement this time, which is great. But now I have to raise an invoice…. Hahaha. This is something I’ve never done before, so I really had to research how it works. What do I include? What not? Do I have to register with the Chamber of Commerce, as a company or as a freelancer? I really never expected to be searching for answers to those questions. I don’t even do tax returns, as I am exempted and that suits me fine. But now I have to wake up in this matter it seems!
In some ways I find it quite amusing really – little old me being invited as the expert on Tiny Houses at an architecture firm. It does make me giggle, and in some ways I feel like a bit of an imposter. Me, an expert? I am naturally not a show-off and would sooner downplay myself. But if I consider it more realistically, it is true that I am a bit of an expert on the topic: I have read a lot about it, spoken to many people and done a vast amount of research. And when you consider that this phenomenon is relatively new in Holland, and that not many people are involved as of yet, then you could say I am, indeed, an expert. Not the only one, but one of them.
This weekend we (L & L and I) are going to Groningen where we will see Rox Menses and Paula den Hoed’s tiny house being built. They have a Facebook group should you want more info on their project: ‘Tiny House: klein huis (op wielen). In the evening we will be guests at the house of the van der Wal family, where we will have time for a design session for my own Tiny House. Hopefully we will make some progress, as time is flying! Oh, I’m sure it will all be ok.
‘t Hoeske van Thais Joapje is a single-room house in the countryside of Groningen that is well known for large and rich farms. The poor lived in much more deprived housing. The smallest house in Rottum is a good example. The little house was probably built in the 18th century as a diaconia (alms) house. See http://www.rottum.org/klein.aspx