Tiny living

Tiny house photo
Tiny but home: Caz and Lulu enjoying their special space.

Caz Warner has brought the tiny house revolution to Gordonton.  She shares the joy.

She’s eight metres long and 2.5 wide with a cupboards-galore kitchen, cosy dining room, bedroom, new shower and loo. Her name is Morepork Manor and she’s a circa-1980s Coronet caravan.

She also features original artwork on her walls, a newish full-sized fridge that hums along at night with the mozzies, a water pump that kicks in with the sound of a colicky bull, and creepy wee colonies of stealthy spiders in the window frames. And she’s all mine!

The time came to consider living options. Son leaving home (sob!), pension in place and many years of solo dribble-down-the-drain renting behind us.

Buying a house was out of the question financially. Pensioner flat? There are none. Had to get it sorted and dearly desired a space of my own, preferably in beautiful bucolic Gordonton where we’d enjoyed living for five years.

Impossible? Not when two dear Gordy people said “What about behind the old chook house?” And so it came to pass. I was elated.

There’s been a positive and creative shift in thinking in the past decade regarding living space, largely brought on by frighteningly high property prices and the rising costs of rental accommodation. Many are asking “How much do we really need?” I do feel for the younger generation who are struggling to buy a place of their own in the current ever-ballooning market. There have to be real alternatives and I believe they’re attainable with a little imagination and a cheerful willingness to down-size.

Tiny house - the kitchen
“Is that a cow?” Lulu keeps watch.

The pioneering tiny house trend is here. It’s fun, it’s challenging and it’s very affordable.

Part of the challenge is indeed all to do with how much we actually need to be comfortable. The accumulation of usual living accoutrements and trappings needed to go; they simply wouldn’t fit! It was an enjoyable exercise in restraint, made easier by bestowing the furniture to my son for his house and by choosing small things of sentimental value.

The first painting I did for my Mum, her empty perfume bottle (one sniff and her spirit is with me), my favourite CDs, books and tiny bookshelf, sewing machine, loads of cushions, hats and scarves for wearing and for decorating, bedside table and enough kitchen paraphernalia to keep me in fine cooking fettle. The internet is accessible via mobile broadband with a small ‘hotspot’ modem. Unfortunately this is more expensive so I keep my online activities to a minimum.

As I write, my scruffy, bossy pooch Lulu is exploring ‘her’ paddock. It’s all hers until the cows amble in, when she admonishes them with loud arfing. They ignore her in their inimitable ho-hum way. I love this peaceful pastoral setting with the squish and huff of grazing cows, magpies quardle-oodling-ardling in the mornings (apologies to Denis Glover), and pukekos prancing and screeching.

Morepork Manor is a work in progress. I continue to faff around, painting and planting and decorating. I must be careful not to overdo it! Thankfully gnomes and flamingos are banned by order of a decree from ruling resident Patrick the gargoyle. He shall be obeyed.

What more does one need? Oh… a ballroom! But that will have to wait.

outside living area

  • Caz Warner lives in Morepork Manor, a caravan nestled in an old chook run in bucolic Gordonton. Word wizard, wise owl and artist, Caz writes a regular column for Number 8 Network.
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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

One thought on “Tiny living

  • March 1, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Fantastic solution and article! Marvellous work at all levels, Caz.


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