Saturday, 29 January 2011

Our Shack :: where the living is easy...

Most of my friends who go away at Christmas, go and stay in gorgeous holiday houses over the Summer break, most are owned by their parents, but still, they head on down the peninsula or the coast and stay in a house {possibly} nicer than the one that they live in year round. I've always thought that the digs that we camp in over the Summer holiday is unusual, that maybe we're the only ones who do it this way.

shack :: simon griffiths

According to a new book on the market, this perception that I've been harbouring is not so... Simon Griffiths has put together a beautiful book celebrating the iconic Australian Shack, in it he says:

"... todays shacks are cheery places. Many people choose to live in one rather than a 'proper' home, or to take a break in one rather that a luxurious holidays house. They opt for an uncomplicated life and a place that makes few demands on them. Many also want to help reduce our footprint on the planet - it's an ecological as well as a lifestyle choice to consume less, to reduce energy usage, to make family and friends rather than possessions the centre, and to enjoy the simpler pleasures. Shacks make people happy."

piles of 'good' stuff

tropical shackscoastal shacksfancy shack
{+click image for larger}

I heard Simon talking about his book last week on the radio, and he talked about the years that it had taken to fossick out all of these hideaways, the traveling around Australia and meeting these people who choose a more simple approach to life {or at least a part of their life} and of course it made me think about our 'beach shack'.

Considering that the book has flown off the shelves over the Christmas period, it goes to show that we really do like looking at other peoples spaces, not just the architecturally designed, and designer appointed spaces, but also the more down-to-earth spaces that make us feel closer to nature, where the taste of the food, the sound of the wind and waves, and the converstations with family and friends are what take centre stage.

So on this basis, and before that Summer vibe totally fades away, I thought I'd give you a little look around our 'beach shack'

shack :: this is it

This is our actually camp, there is a toilet and another caravan {the 'back-van' for guests} behind it, but this is the space that we eat in, sleep in, play in and relax in. Our queen size bed is in behind that brick wall, and has a massive mosquito net over it which keeps the bugs out, while we lay in bed with our fluro light on, reading. The kids all sleep in the old caravan, it has two rooms, the back on with two single beds where Angus & Daisy sleep and store their clothes, and the front one which has Mia's full-size cot and her clothes. We bath the kids in here each night, and sometimes hide in here if their is something going on outside that we don't want to be part of {ie: a swarm of bees passing through springs to mind}.

shack :: hang out space

This is where we hang out. A couple of lounge chairs that get the midday sun, a school desk for the kids to draw or paint at, the table {because I must have one} where we eat, read magazines, chat, and dump our stuff on.

shack :: breakfast time

We have a massive fire-place {you can see the chimney at the top right of the photo} that we use for kitchen purposes, a camp-oven roast perhaps. I think we'll use it more in years to come, when the kids are a bit more aware, but for the moment it's just had an overhaul to make it draw better. For most of our cooking we use a three-burner gas cooktop... so cooking at the camp is remarkably similar to cooking at home.

shack :: cooking

Right at the top you can see our dishwashing space, that's the only tap in our camp and carries beautiful cold rainwater in, we boil the kettle on our gas stove for hot water, but the cold is great for drinking, and handy that it's right there. The sink is 'plumbed' so that the water is carried off down the hill when we pull the plug out {so much easier that lugging a tub of water outside to chuck out}.

shack :: helping

We didn't build this camp, I have my Dad to thank for that, but since we took it over we've certainly changed it a lot on the inside to suit our family... and now we are lucky enough to have a totally relaxing space to escape to for a month at the end of yet another busy year and reconnect with each other and with the environment that surrounds us.

shack :: locals

Of course there are always some of the 'locals' that are glad when we finally pack up and leave, I bet they missed their comfy-cozy home that they moved out of the first night we were there.