I’ve been thinking outside of the box this week and trying to avoid reading the news.
Nothing to do with the local elections; I carried out my civic right and duty and put my ‘x’ in the box and it’s simply not possible to avoid seeing or hearing some sort of political party prattle.
No, the box I’m referring to is the one most people slot themselves into and shut the lid; that is most people who are sensible and weigh up the odds of things going wrong, those people who safeguard what they have and don’t risk it for a ‘maybe’. The box that I was in and decided to jump out with my aspirations of owning my dream house in less than 10 years.
Not so much a Jack in the Box as a jack-ass for making the wrong decision.
But that was then and now is now and I’ve been looking at alternatives to the conventional brick built, ready made, with garden & drive kind of house. I have also been thinking about the environment, which has always been on my mind eversince my dear old dad brought home the first ever recycled loo roll in the 1970s; it was rather like wiping your posterior with newspaper, but we all showed willing. But it has also been headline news; diesel cars being the latest villain and I needn’t tell you what sort of car I drive.
So I’ve been wondering about cheaper environmentally friendly alternatives to the two-up-two-down.
Apparently earth houses are making a come back and what could be more eco friendly than living in a mud house? There’s cob, rammed earth and due to technological advances, earthbags. The images I have seen of earthbags are reminiscent of scenes from Dad’s Army with sandbags piled up outside houses, but apparently it’s hard wearing and of course very cheap.
Or there are wooden houses but you need to be careful about sourcing the wood and make sure it comes from sustainable tree farms. I quite like this idea and have visions of Little House on the Prairie with me on the wooden decking surrounded by fields of buttercups and children happily romping around with our pet dog. But dreaming aside, there is a wooden boarded house being built just down the road from us. It’s a two storey property with plenty of roofing that would be perfect for solar PV. They seem to be taking forever to build it but that’s probably due to some planning hitch.
Then there are house boats; apparently they are becoming increasingly popular in London but the cold cramped conditions during our long winters doesn’t inspire me.
So having had my heart set and my aim fixed on a five bed detached with garden and drive, I’m no longer averse to the idea of something other than bricks and mortar and with this revelation, all I now need to do is find a plot and have enough money to buy said plot outright with enough left over to actually build my mud hut/house of sticks.
But as with all my ideas, something happened to change them all. I received a random email from a local estate agent attaching details of an ex-council house that was on the market for a very reasonable sum. It looks like it hasn’t been touched in decades, but that’s no problem to us.
So whilst I think about living like two of the three little pigs, I may just take a look at the bricks and mortar kind of house, it may not be earthbags but it’s more my bag.