Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
We had a 4-car garage with fibro board walls and a corrugated iron roof built in 1982 and that was to be our home. The shed had three rooms; one quarter of the shed was a bedroom, one quarter was a multi-purpose room and half of the shed was the kitchen/dining/living room with a bathtub in one corner. We used rescued timber windows and the walls were lined with thin dark brown fake-wood panels. The shed was built on a concrete slab so the floor was made of concrete with bits of old carpet or linoleum in the three rooms. We had one external door that entered into the living room with an old fly-screen door that opened outwards and a thin paneled door (presumably designed to be an internal door) that opened inwards. The shed didn’t have any insulation so it tended to equilibrate with the temperature outside, it was dark and rustic but it had a lot more space than the caravan!
For a kitchen we had a rescued bench with cupboards, from a local school kitchen, and a small sink under an old wooden window. We had a slow-combustion stove that burnt pieces of wood. It had four chambers, a fire-box, an ash box with a drawer for carrying out the ash, an oven and a warming oven. The hot water system was an old tank that we connected to the slow-combustion stove. This meant that to cook and have hot water we needed to light the fire everyday of the year, even when it was 38C outside. Some days in the summer it was hotter inside than it was outside. We had an old gas-run fridge and we would get a very tall gas bottle refilled from time-to-time to keep the fridge cold. All of these devices were not run on electricity because there was no connection to the electricity grid. Our dining table was a rescued old sewing table from a textiles class-room at a local school. The bath-tub was a short, old, enamel tub and the feet were not exposed so unfortunately we didn’t get to enjoy looking at fancy bath feet.
We moved the wooden bunk beds into the bedroom for my brother and me. My parents built themselves a loft suspended from the roof above the slow-combustion stove in the kitchen and they slept on a mattress in the loft, accessed using a ladder. Can you imagine how hot it would get in my parent’s loft in the summer time with the fire lit everyday and no insulation under the corrugated iron roof?! We had some old wardrobes that we used to store our linen and clothes. It was rudimentary but it was home and the view across the valley was beautiful and the sound of the rain on the metal roof was very nice to listen to.