Sunday, 10 February 2013

A Home for Serf & Slave

Following on from last weeks post, I found myself back on the edge of my local woodland gazing upon another wonderfully simple building. With walls built from straw bales finished with a breathable render. The roof was adorned with timber shingles which moved with the irregular forms made by working with what is naturally near by. The little cabin was unfinished and still very much in a raw state, but it took little imagination to see the qualities it would hold as a finished gem set against the backdrop of the woodland.

I have built from straw bales myself and found them to be easy to work with, it was not long before I had a shelter working on my own with only occasional help from a willing friend or two. Yet again I draw the parallels to the modern world, it has become a strangely accepted norm to become a financial slave to buy a house built by developers and their army of semi skilled tradesmen. From planners, regulatory bodies through to insurers, rules and regularity all take their cut. The building process follows its path of least regulatory resistance with finances being stripped away like a stealth tax. In the end we are left with an expensive house Noddy would be most proud of.
I suspect many who have these homes are not entirely happy with them, a shelter with warmth is a welcome thing, but the costs in the modern world are a terrible price to pay.

Regulatory bodies seem to have the tables rigged in their favour. To deviate from the worn path of building a home becomes difficult. Construction groups have the taxation laws as they would wish and they lobby politicians to keep them in place with discussion of construction sector jobs and profit. A glance sideways would reveal a million empty homes which could be brought back into life by a skilled builder or tradesman, but the cost is rigged to be against the renovator.
For those seeking a life closer to nature they can find the planners and building inspectors are not always so accommodating. Last week I read of the difficulties an eco-village in Wales had with their council controlled building inspector who struggled to understand the concept of reed bed drainage due to limited experience and seemed to be trying to steer the group to a design which was against their concept and principles.

If we accept a degree of modesty it should not be difficult to build a home, a little understanding and empathy would allow us to work these homes into the natural environment. Perhaps then we can truly build in a way which would help both us, our surroundings and the creatures around us. Perhaps then we can take a place within the cycles of life where we are of benefit and where our responsibility is deserved and justified, or perhaps I expect too much of people and financial slavery is all most deserve.


  1. If we can break homes from the status of commodity just think how free we'd be!

  2. Your posts are always so deeply in wisdom! I so appreciate all that you share! How beautiful about building with the straw bales..wonderful! I would love to one day have a small place in the in harmony with nature and all have already described that so well here..pure beauty..shine on..I agree!
    PS: always love the art...gorgeous!

  3. ...may the five winds blow ever gently upon thine temple doors! ~ blessed be! ~ i send big hugs smiles! ~ dear kindred brother!...(0:

  4. I totally agree with EVERYTHING you have written here.

  5. ...hello dear heart! ~ thought i'd pop on over to have a weeeeeEeh chat and visit! ~ hope all's well! ~ blessed be!...(0:

    1. Hello Samantha, I am fine thanks. I hope all is well with you. I have been meaning to call into your blog for a while but work has been keeping me very busy & a little distracted ;o)

    2. ...greetings dear kindred brother! ~ may thee and thine have a beautiful week's ending! ~ blessed be!...(O:

  6. Many thanks for the kind words, I have been away from my blog working on a project so my apologies for the delayed reply.