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reflections…Week Twenty Five

canstockphoto8630797Today I have come back from a weeks holiday with family, and it has just                       re-affirmed the idea I could live in a small space.

The living/dining/kitchen area was approximately 18′ x 12′ and this was roomy for four, large for two and when I was on my own, it was huge. The ceiling was about 7.5′ at the apex and it did not at any point seem low. The bedroom was the usual size but this is not really relevant, this will become clear in a little while.

The second toilet was a bit close in, about elbow room each side and no chance to pick up anything by your feet, flushing, washing hands and drying on a towel was a twizzle around, the flush behind, sink, little too big for the space, to the left and towel to the right. The other shower/ toilet was a little wider but the sink cabinet got in the way of my left leg, the shower was wide, but the head was over to the left, you could stand on the right to be out of the water spray, there was this weird little shelf in the middle that frankly just got in the way of my right hip.

On the outside was a space for a shed at the back, a 10′ x 6′ shed, and by the side was a patio area,10′ x 10′ with grass, 40′ x 10′, in front of that and to finish the outside tour, the car had a space at the front to park so lets say 6′ x 22′.

This works out at around the same square footage as the last house I lived at, including the outside. The caravan was also a three bedroom sized one, this is why the bedroom sizes are not relevant nor the toilet size, they could be altered within the space, But, and this is a big but, all this space would not be equal to the downstairs volume as the ceiling in the house was 11′ tall and then it had the upstairs and then the loft space. So cheaper to heat.

The following is from several conversations…

But that’s not big enough for a family! I have had this statement when talking about tiny houses, and this would not be a tiny house, just a small one.

It’s not for a family, it’s for one maybe two people.

But what if they want a family?

They would not be looking at this house.

But if they want something small they can get a flat!

They want all the outdoor space, the storage, the patio, the veg plot area and a place to park their car. You can’t get that with the flat. Oh, and they want to own the land and their home, cheaply, with the opportunity to be semi sufficient with resources.

You have to compromise, if you want all that you need to buy the family house.

So what you are saying is a single person or a couple that could easily live in a home this size and have the outside benefits, needs to have the expenditure of the larger size building that they don’t need, are to have the running cost, or rather waste, of heating/lighting space they don’t need or use very little and have less space outside, that may be in the shade due to the house height? Which would impact the heating/lighting cost.

Also if the home was smaller, they could work less and live more. And with these changes, even with a car, their environmental impact would be much, much, smaller. Growing 10% of their food would also reduce their environmental impact too.

Oh, I suppose..but it’s still not a family home.

Let me ask you this question…

Did you leave your mums as a married 2.5 child family? 

If the answer is no, then there is a need for an affordable small house. There is a want for them and the future will require them. There are lots of empty plots of industrial/residential land around me, some have been this way for years, why are the small houses or static caravans for homes coming up against such resistance? Taxes could be paid the same as for the family houses and they could be connected to the grid just the same. We accept the idea of caravan parks for holidays, even owning one for such, but to live in??? Unacceptable!

At some point the penny will click. Usually it appears just after retirement, when the time has gone past.

But here is the kicker for me, I’m an antisocial person who seems to be drawn to a lifestyles that have a community base at its very core. Maybe it’s because they seem like me. Or have I become more like them?



A meal with the dog

A meal with the dog

my mealtime view

First one pub, meals were sold out. Then another, once more sold out. A change of tact, try a restaurant, fully booked, we didn’t think it would be this hard to get Sunday tea. I remembered a restaurant (Dylan’s*) at the end of Criccieth , the place we were staying near, result we could get in.

This is the first time we have been here and with no expectations we entered. The inside was inviting and the staff welcoming, but Spot was left in the car, safe but alone, we both suffer from separation anxiety at times like these. The rain was starting to stop but the seating outside was sodden from the near constant downpour we have had all day. After the meal was chosen from the menu, a varied choice of meals and an even wider choice of prices, I went out to check how spot was doing. She was doing her usual peering out of the window and then started running up and down the car when she caught sight of me, I thought about how I could eat outside without having a sodden butt, dogs are allowed at the outside tables, they even have a bowl full of water, then it hit me, I have a thick blanket in the car that is for emergencies; I have broken down numerous times in some remote places!

So off from the carpark to the tables outside the restaurant, blanket over one chair and I was sorted. Spot looked up from the floor with her big sad eyes, pleading to share the blanket. I cannot resist, I know the whimpering is next, along with the Jack Russell shake. Another chair pulled up and the blanket shared between. Spot did the normal laps of honour before lying down with a satisfied look upon her face before falling asleep.

Truth be told I think that saying spot is the reason to eat outside is more an excuse than fact, I had the sea breaking onto the shore with the occasional bird singing as the background music and the view of the sea, castle and colourful buildings of Criccieth as the backdrop, a little rain is not a problem, even in shorts, and a low wall blocked nearly all the wind.

So this is the scene as people walk from the carpark to the restaurant. A shaven headed middle aged bloke with a fleece and jacket on, sitting under a dripping cloth patio umbrella eating a wooden boxed chicken burger and fries in the light rain wearing shorts. This got some strange looks as they walked past, even if they tried to not look it was evident they were trying not to do so. And then they rounded the corner, saw Spot and, the ladies went ahhh. From weirdo to making sense, in one footstep.

The meal was delicious and I even finished my dads’ drunken muscles, well, I had to try them, so I can say that they were worth having as well, large portions seem to be the norm. As the meal settled down with a nice cup of tea, a chocolate was spied hiding behind the cup, unusual for tea, it’s normally a coffee drinkers treat, but not one to turn down a free chocolate it was eaten. The wrapper caught my eye, it was the castle that was my meals backdrop and on the flip side the restaurants name. How many free chocolates have I eaten and not noticed this little detail? Is it common? Can you collect a full set of Welsh castles? Many a question as to the validity of advertising this way, but they are in a blog, so for them it might just be working.

Before I left I took the photo at the top, but as always the camera did not capture the colours I saw, they are so muted. I sat contemplating a painting whilst eating and the photo will help with the composition, the colours will probably be more ‘free range’.


It may seem strange to go out for a meal with family and then sit alone with the dog, but then family meals are common, a meal with a view is not. Although my family don’t quite get sitting outside on sitting inside weather, they understand it’s me, after making sure I’m ok that is.

*I have no affiliation to the restaurant and have not been bribed in any form to put them in this blog, but I would not turn down a seafood platter if you wish to try.