Today is the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. As I write this, I can hear the birds outside, the sun is shining even though there are grey clouds, and it just rained a little. The plants in my Tiny House garden are thriving! Many plants are in bloom: primrose and blackberry are growing lavishly. On the little island opposite my Tiny House the gigantic flowers of the hogweed are growing. Every now and then a boat sails by and sometimes people wave at me and I wave back cheerfully. I’ve been living in my Tiny House for almost a month now and I really love it. Municipality of Alkmaar, I am grateful to you for giving me permission to temporarily live on this little piece of heaven! It is such a beautiful place and my self-sufficient Tiny House fits in so well with the Gasfabriek and the Urban Earthship. I’m very happy with my new neighbors, and my Tiny House!
On the last Sunday of my 3-week holiday I travelled to Vienna for my work. Tuesday night I came back and the next day I travelled to work on my bicycle. Previously I always took my car but now I live so close. At work I immediately went full throttle, as usual, and after 3 hours I was finished. I couldn’t carry on! I took the afternoon off and went home. My brain was foggy and I was exhausted… I realized that I couldn’t go on like this; I was at my wits end. I called in sick and made a doctor’s appointment, with the result that I am now on sick leave for two weeks. Still, I feel guilty…that’s just the way I am. I don’t like to call in sick if I’m not at least lying in bed with a fever. But I also know, that if I don’t do this now, I will really have a breakdown.
This is the second week I’m home and I can’t just sit still; I have to get my water supply working. With the help of Niels Koning, Boy Bakhuys and Rene Peters I now have a good system for rainwater collection and grey water filtering. I am so proud of my helophytes filter, following the example of the 12 Ambachten.
Yesterday the rain poured down. Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about where all that water had to go, as it runs neatly into an IBC tank so that I can pump it back into my Tiny House when I need to shower. For that, I bought a Flowjet pump that is strong enough to make the geyser work. That was another problem: I have a Cointra geyser that is big enough to fill a bath, but the Flowjet pump I borrowed wasn’t strong enough to let the geyser work. Apparently, the flow rate was too low. I’m learning new things every day now that I live in my Tiny House. Water is really most complicated if you live off-grid. The solar panels installation works perfectly, cooking with gas is simple, and internet with my mobile phone as a hotspot also works well. But regulating water management is a feat on its own! I almost have it working. I must connect the pump and then I can finally have a shower in my Tiny House. No more boiling the kettle on the stove to wash the dishes. I must still buy drinking water and plan to buy a filter for that too in the near future.
I’ve been busy with more than getting the water supply going. I have also gardened a bit; I started a vegetable garden and a herb garden. It’s wonderful to put my hands in the dirt again! I planted broccoli, zucchini, maize and tomato seeds from the largest seed bank in the Netherlands and the seeds have germinated. Hella and Jack are now also used to their new home. Hella has already killed two field mice. I’m not thrilled with that, but its nature…
And other than that, I am doing nothing besides resting. No email, Facebook, Tiny House Netherlands, lectures, interviews. Only this update to let you know that I’m still alive. In addition, writing usually gives me energy.
These are a few things that make me happy in my Tiny House:
- I’m outside a lot and have a lovely tan. My deck is a really fantastic extension of my Tiny House and I can be found on it often.
- The cork floor is so beautiful and lovely to walk on and I have no cold feet.
- The compost toilet works well; there is really no stench.
- There is pure solar power coming out of my sockets, and I have plenty of it.
- I have enough storage space.
- I love my seating area – what a lovely spot to curl up with a book when it gets chilly outside.
- The skylights make my Tiny House so light, and I love the fact that they can open up when it is warm.
- And so much more….
And now a few things that are a little less fun:
- It gets dirty quickly, especially with two cats. I have hair everywhere and have no vacuum cleaner, so I clean with a broom. It seems to get dirtier more quickly than in a big house.
- Getting drinking water; the 20-liter jerry cans are rather heavy.
- Making the bed is not the easiest job.
- I don’t have a hallway: so, no place for muddy shoes. I must come up with a solution to address that problem.
- That’s all I can think of.
I have nothing more to write. I’m going to curl up with a good book. I find it hard to wind down. My head is still racing. I must slow down and rest. But that’s easier said than done.
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