What a week it was: Monique and I have given two presentations and two workshops. We might not be neighbors – hopefully in the future we will be – but we get to spend plenty of time together!
My week started with a visit to Mill home this Tuesday. I’ve known Gerard of Mill Home for a while now; he’s such a kind man and every few weeks we call each other to catch up on our Tiny House activities. I spent a day in the factory with Gerard and Rob in Mill last year, but it was high time for an update – they’re on a roll with their project in Hardegarijp! I’ll write more about it in a while; there’s so much to tell that it deserves its own blog. Thanks so much for the warm welcome Rob and Gerard!
On Tuesday evening Monique and I were invited to inform the city council of Zaanstad about Tiny Houses, together with architect Paul Kramer. In June last year, local parties Rosa, GroenLinks and SP have tabled a motion, commissioning the council to explore Tiny Houses or as they are called in Zaanstad ‘klaine hoissies’. The motion was carried and as an exploration this meeting was organised. Monique and I explained what Tiny Houses are, what the basis of the movement is, what the advantages are for residents and municipality, and what the possibilities are for the municipality to create room for Tiny Houses within the current regulations. Paul told everyone about his plan for Tiny Houses in Zaanstad. The council was very interested and they are open to the idea, but the location remains a puzzle. No actual decisions have been made yet, but the council is investigating the possibilities, and interested parties with a proposal are encouraged to come forward.
Wednesday we went to Harderwijk where ‘Stadspartij Harderwijk Anders’ had organised an information meeting in hip beach pavilion Walhalla. The city council of Harderwijk has also carried a motion to explore the possibilities of Tiny Houses in Harderwijk. Walhalla was filled with people and Monique and I told our story. At the end of the presentation we asked who would be interested in living in a Tiny Houses, and about 25 hands were raised. The councillor that was present at the meeting was very interested. I can see this happening in Harderwijk! A few weeks ago I gave a lecture at the Landstede MBO in Harderwijk, where students are working on a project about Tiny Houses. Part of the project is a site survey, so the municipality and interested residents can use this to their advantage.
This kind of information evening is a really good starting point for realising a Tiny House project. The next step would be that a group of interested people come together and envision how they see living in a Tiny House in their municipality. What are their desires, how big is the group and therefore how big would the location be, what do they have to offer the municipality? Monique and I have noticed that the process isn’t followed through at this point. We think it would be a good idea to have a coordinator helping the group and monitoring progress. We would love to do that. So municipalities, if you need someone for a project like this, think of us!
Thursday night was the second part of the workshop ‘Realise your own Tiny House’ in Alkmaar. Because we gave the workshop at the Gasfabriek this time, the participants got to see my Tiny House at the end of the evening. In two separate groups though, or they wouldn’t fit ;) That was the icing on the cake of course! You can talk about Tiny Houses forever, but you don’t know what it means until you see one for real and can experience the space. The participants were super excited and Monique and I enjoyed it so much. After the workshop we asked everyone to fill out an evaluation form so that we can improve our skills and the contents of the workshop where needed. Our score is an 8.3 so far and we’re super happy with that grade! And it can only get better!
On Friday my new doors from Jacobs Timmerfabriek arrived. Gerard came all the way from Kruisland to install my new patio doors, the old ones started tearing due to a defect. Peter Jacobs paid me a visit personally a while ago and instantly decided he would make new ones for me. Because of my occasional damp issues in the house I asked if he could add ventilation grids. ‘Done, on the house!’, he said. That’s so great, thanks Peter! So now I have gorgeous new doors and extra ventilation. It was pretty cold inside while the doors were being installed though…
On Saturday Monique picked me up at 7. a.m. to go to Zwolle. A whole day workshop! We didn’t check the location beforehand, but everything looked good and there was even a sign in the lobby saying ‘Tiny House Workshop, welcome, 3rd floor’, or something like that – I forgot to take a picture. The workshop in Zwolle was completely booked. It was another great group of people and, as far as we could tell, everyone went home completely satisfied. Lovely people, those Tiny House enthusiasts! So diverse, you can’t stick a label on us. We prefer it that way, if I may speak for everyone ;)
Sunday was my rest day. A well-deserved day of hanging out on the couch, watching my series and playing games. I really need to give myself permission to do that every now and then, otherwise it’s all work, work, work and that’s not really ok is it? Less house, more living. Well, I sure do live, and how! I need to get used to the fact that promoting the Tiny House movement and helping people realise their own dream of a Tiny House is actually my work now. And a lot of that work I still do for free: my work for Tiny House Nederland is mostly voluntary. And that’s ok, it’s a cause I’m devoted to. As long as I have enough to eat and can do something nice every once in a while, it’s fine. I think it’ll be ok, and it’s even exciting sometimes. And then I just need to pause and realise that everything I need is there. And how much do I really need anyway? Breath in, breath out, just relax Marjolein. Look at what you have and what you can be grateful for. That’s a lot, really a lot! And now it’s time for another bit of rest. Until next time!