Friday, March 23, 2012


Henry Thoreau, that doyen of simplicity, in his book 'Walden' [I spell this book title W(alden) because I agree with much of what he has to say : > )] stated that the smallest abode a person actually requires is a warm and well ventilated structure about the size of a coffin.

Thoreau, who at the time owned only the clothes he stood up in and a fist full of pencils (he made his living for a while making and selling pencils) would have found a coffin to sleep in somewhat commodious I should imagine.

In the United States there is a growing 'Small House Movement' no doubt borne out a new "Green" imperative and the new 'hard times' driven by the faltering world wide economy.

When I look at the size of these dwellings they look very small indeed, But! a lot bigger than the accommodation of my small yacht 'Mariner'. Placed on the back of a truck (as in the video) these small houses become rather commodious 'land yachts'.

I think the key to living small is to have a great view of the wide open spaces as well as ready access to the same and / or, the ability to be mobile (house trucks and boats) so that you can move around if the fancy takes you. Without that combination a small sized house could become a burden.

Given what we 'need' rather than what we 'want' perhaps the ideal 'Thoreauean' living solution for one such as myself would be to have a tiny house amidst beautiful native bush backing onto the sea or a river, with a little jetty at the bottom of the garden to moor my little boat to. I could live on the boat, but when I got weary of the small space, I could go and live in the relatively huge space of the tiny house.

But. Such a scenario is something that I 'want' rather than 'need' - like Thoreau I only need something the size of a dry well ventilated coffin - the cubic capacity of the accommodation area of my small boat would be equivalent to about a dozen coffins - If I lived on my boat it would feel, relatively speaking, like the Ritz.


1 comment:

Katherine said...

Of late I have been feeling more and more constrained by the large size of my house.
I'm tending to live, work and sleep in my studio out the back: it's 2.3 metres by just over 4 metres and is very cosy!
I have a kayak, and overlook the river which is still tidal here. I could sail anywhere!