Masterplan revisited

The masterplan to build a nissen hut this year has not come to fruition. This has not been the only part of this years plans which has not quite panned out.

However, the measure of a person is not whether they make all their plans work out, but how they adapt and react when their plans go awry. So here we are adapting, rethinking and making new plans.

This year we have learned even more about the best possible location to build on our croft. We have acquired plenty of new skills in a building method which perfectly meets our needs – low impact, green, using very local materials, creating opportunities to learn and offer others the chance to learn alongside us, cheap, sustainable, within our reach. We have spent the last few weeks practising and testing with our small scale build of a pizza oven and we can now spend the winter observing how that copes with the Rum climate and conditions.

We have also had hours of discussions, stacks of research, plenty of reading and lots of sketches and agreed on a design that all four of us are delighted with. We have done some really interesting exercises based on some of the self build books we have about how you use the space you live in and thought really hard about what works for us in the various spaces and places we have lived and stayed and worked in, including our static, our campervan, various homes we have lived in and visited. We have created lists of essential and desireable features, thought about our relationship with indoor and outdoor and bridging the two, functions of different areas and what works specifically for the four of us – the people who have to live and work in a space.

We mapped out patterns of our days, times we are all together, times we are apart, worked out where the sun rises and sets in relation to our activities, which spaces need to feel cosy and be easy to keep warm, which need to feel light and airy and spacious. Places to snuggle up, places to spread out, places to relax, places to get privacy, places to be sociable. We talked about the sort of quirky, specific to us areas we need – somewhere for Bonnie’s dog crate (not too far from the front door so she can be put straight in there if she comes in to the house wet or muddy), the Christmas tree (it is up for approx. 1/12 of the year so deserves a logical space rather than being simply in the way for a whole month every year), Ady to have his morning coffee, me to have my hour or so after everyone else has gone to bed. How we don’t want the bath in with the loo, how open plan works well for us so the person cooking is still hanging out with the rest of the family in the evening, how we want the oven close enough to the table that I can nip across to check the bread I almost always cook after our dinner is served. How the radio needs to be kept near a window to get signal and we need to gather round it for Popmaster every weekday morning. This will be our space and it needs to feel as comfortable and tailor made as the perfect pair of boots.

So, we have our design. We have our location. We have our test model. Next we need to start working out timescales and putting together a masterplan as to how it will all work, when it needs to happen and what order everything will go in.

I love it when a plan comes together. Or falls apart totally and gets superceded by a brand new plan!

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