Tiny Living Magazine UK OCTOBER 2018

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OCTOBER 2018 ISSN 2631-326X

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Contents 3 7 11

The Unsinkable Aimee & Jingle … Page

A Legendary Tiny House … Page

Really Thinking Outside the Box … Page

There’s Nothing Scary About a Crofter Cottage! … Page

14 15

For the Birds … Page

Published by: Tiny Living Productions Ltd, Glasgow UK Editor: Pamela Palongue Design by: Gilmour Graphics Email: info@tinylivingmagazine.co.uk On the cover: Jingle the dog Photograph by Aimee Ball



The Unsinkable Aimee & Jingle

Living on a boat wasn’t the first thought that sprang to mind for Aimee, who had just ended a long-term relationship. Instead she opted for the familiar comfort of her parents’ home as a soft place to land. After a short while, she and her parents discussed the prospect of building a small addition to their home to give Aimee a bit more space and privacy. Though a nice idea, living close to her parents’ home didn’t quite lend the independence that she was looking for however. So that’s when her auntie stepped in and suggested that Aimee might enjoy living on a narrowboat. “My auntie has a narrowboat for leisure purposes. And right beside her in the marina is a lady and her husband who live on the canal full-time” says Aimee.

“ If you find your passion, it can take you out of yourself ”


Initially, she wasn’t sure if she could cope with living in such a small space, but after some discussions with her aunt’s “next-door” neighbours, Aimee decided to try living on her aunt’s boat for a week. And much to her surprise, she felt it suited her lifestyle. What’s incredible, is that Aimee suffers from ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis, formerly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). This condition is characterised by extreme tiredness, sleep disturbances, muscle and joint pain and many other varied symptoms.

narrowboat she had chosen to buy. This was especially important, since she knew very little about the hull construction or engine of the boat. This ensured she was buying a well-constructed boat in good working order. Next, there was the renovation process – lots of renovation...

Her challenges with ME made Aimee’s decision to opt for life on a narrowboat even more remarkable! It was a tremendous leap of faith mingled with some bravery. But she was determined to make it work.

Aimee had renovated a kitchen before, but the narrowboat brought special challenges because of the small space. The original kitchen was gutted and she redesigned it to be more efficient. She had a plate rail installed above eye level, taking full advantage of the vertical space, with cups hung neatly from hooks underneath. She also placed hooks on the inside of cabinets for hanging cooking utensils, since there are no drawers.

Once she committed to living on the water, there was much to be done. First of all, she had a boat survey done on the

The interior was quite dark, so Aimee chose lots of light coloured paint to make the space feel more open and airy.


Her mother and father lent their DIY skills, her brotherin-law helped with the kitchen reno, and a family friend installed her laminate floor. The result, is a positively cheerful space that’s homely and well-organised. Aimee is not one to give up or quit because of a challenge. When a traditional work environment was out of the question due to ME, she found a way to earn a living on her boat as an artist, by crafting needle felt birds. These little gems are so lifelike, they look as though they might fly away at any moment! Owls, robins, bluebirds and doves, all come to life under her skilled handiwork. She created a pair of beautiful, life-size doves to grace the gates of the church at her sister’s wedding, and she has also created small birds for wedding cakes. The robins take about 5 hours to make, and the owls can take up to 7 hours! You can see her work on Etsy at MadeByAimeeUK.etsy.com, but be advised that there is usually a waiting list. “Crafting can be a very good thing for problems”, explains Aimee, whose ME can sometimes be unpredictable. “If you find your passion, it can take you out of yourself”.

Aimee lives on the boat with her best friend Jingle, who is herself somewhat of a survivor. Aimee describes her as a mongrel terrier that was a rescue dog from a shelter. Twelve perfectly healthy dogs were to be put down at the shelter by Christmas. Jingles’ name comes from the eleventh-hour rescue when Aimee brought her home safely for Christmas. Jingle loves the boat and has adjusted quite well to her life on the water with best pal Aimee.



A Legendary Tiny House By Pamela Palongue Whether you call it Halloween, Samhain, or Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) this is a time of year when the veil between the living and the dead seems rather thin. This makes the mysterious story of a 7th century Welsh princess, associated with a very special tiny house, even more appropriate. Winifred, or Gwenffrewi in Welsh, was a chieftain’s daughter who decided to end her betrothal to her intended, Caradog, in order to become a nun. Caradog did not take the news well. Instead of behaving like a gentleman, he opted for decapitating his would-be bride. This slightly macabre story has a happy ending however, when Winifred’s uncle was able to reattach her head and she was restored to life. -An incredible story to be sure, but according to ancient Latin writings, Winifred bore a large, visible scar on her neck as lasting evidence of the attack. The tiny house located at Woolston in Shropshire, dates from the 15th century and was once a chapel dedicated to St. Winifred. It is built, most unusually, directly over a spring, which has been venerated for centuries and is still visited by the curious. The house is a lovely, peaceful holiday let that feels surprisingly spacious inside, thanks to gorgeous timbered, high ceilings. It can be booked through a wonderful organisation, the Landmark Trust, and is listed as St. Winifred’s Well. The Landmark Trust rescues historical properties and then makes them available as self-catered holiday lets.


It’s nice to tour an historical property, but to be able to actually lodge in one for a few days, makes you a small part of the building’s history, and it in turn, will become a part of yours. Please help support the Landmark Trust by considering one of their properties for your next holiday. You can visit them at www.landmarktrust.org.uk

-A special thanks to photographer Jill Tate for her lovely photos of St Winifred’s shown here.


The Impossible is Possible. -Just Build!

Tiny House Meet Up in Edinburgh Sunday, 28th October, 3pm

Do you have tiny house plans? Would you like to meet other Tiny House enthusiasts to share ideas and possibly form a Scottish Tiny House Community? Come join us for a drink and a chat at Brewhemia, 1A Market Street, EH1 1DE. Please let us know you’re coming by emailing gabrielle.blackburn@hotmail.fr

Bristol Housing Festival 19th October – 4th November

Stourbridge Navigation Trust Open Weekend - Bonded Warehouse 20 Oct - 21 Oct 2018, 10 am– 5pm

Waterfront Square BS1

This important event will feature exhibits and expert lectures on the subjects of affordable housing and sustainability, including Off Site Manufactured (OSM) housing, intergenerational living and community led housing. For more information, visit www.bristolhousingfestival.org.uk

This is the 35th annual Open Weekend for historic Stoubridge Canal. There will be classic vehicles, canal boat trips, and a craft fair in the Bonded Warehouse. Don’t miss one of the last days to be outdoors before winter sets in! Admission is free! Click here for more details: www.thebondedwarehousestourbridge.co.uk


y l l a e R g n i k Thin e d i s Out x o B the 11

When Charlie decided to take on a shipping container conversion project in Norwich for his family, it required some original thinking which resulted in an ingenious way to insulate the home. Insulation is always a big challenge with containers which are made of steel. And there are strict planning requirements to make sure that your home meets high standards when it comes to warmth. What usually happens is that the insulation is added to the inside of the container, meaning that interior space is lost, which is already precious in most container homes. (International Standard Organisation containers measure just 2.43 metres in width!) Charlie’s engineering background came in handy when figuring another way round for getting the maximum warmth without losing space. Since he knew that he wanted to use larch wood cladding on the outside of the container, rather than the exposed steel, he wrapped the outside of the container in insulation, including the floor and the roof.

Then the openings were cut for windows and doors. This way he did not lose any interior space. The wood cladding was laid over the insulation, giving the structure a whole new look, and blending beautifully with the surrounding woods and nature. Charlie designed his home using scaled templates and a pad of paper on which he drew the shape of it until he was happy with what he had created. He then contracted an architect and a structural engineer to convert the plans for the planning application. Since the container home is for a family and two dogs, a larger space was needed than a single container, and he bought multiple containers in various sizes. All of the containers purchased had only been used for one trip, making them less expensive than brand new containers, but still in excellent shape. The result is a beautiful, natural looking home, that was much less expensive than a traditional brick home.

Charlie says, “I think people are conformed to what houses should look like…With shipping container conversions, there are no hard and fast rules. There is no [reference] book for building”. The planning process was tricky and took a year to complete! But he advises that it’s important to get an architect who understands the strengths and weaknesses of a container home in order to get the planning permission.


Small Can Be Beautiful!

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Plan Your Canal Trip! Narrowboats.org has an excellent canal route planner which has over 10,000 different points of interest to plan a personalised canal trip! The information includes the routes, location of bridges, locks, restaurants, pubs and local attractions. After you’ve planned your trip you can download a PDF of the route you’ve chosen. To plan your trip, visit www.narrowboats.org

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Photography - Martyn Richards, ‘Autumn fog’

-A Scottish croft by Angela Latham. To see more of Angela’s amazing work, visit www.celticmystery.co.uk

There’s Nothing Scary About a Crofter Cottage! There’s probably no other type of housing that’s so closely connected with the land than a crofter cottage. The families who once lived in them depended upon it for their very existence. The crofter and the land were inseparably joined in a dance of survival. The crofters cared for the Earth, and the land offered up its reward in the form of fruits, vegetables and wood for shelter and heat. Many of these homes still stand in the Lake District of England, and the Scottish Highlands, a testament to the desire of our ancestors to build things to last, long after the crofters were gone. The design of a crofter cottage is beautiful in its simplicity.

Many people are finding these cottages an affordable living alternative, that offers a more relaxed lifestyle for themselves and their families. Present-day croft owners are frequently engaged in careers which allow them to work from home, such as IT, graphic designers, writers, artists, and owners of cottage industry businesses. Though many crofter cottages are derelict and in need of repair, they can make a lovely home when renovated! If you think that they may be a good option for you, there is plenty of help available. The Scottish Crofting Federation has tonnes of information on crofting and offers courses in practical skills. Visit www.crofting.org to begin your adventure! Vecteezy.com


There are also emotional benefits from our interaction with them. Interaction with nature on a regular basis helps us to turn our attention away from our problems and focus on something outside ourselves. For many, who live in urban areas surrounded by concrete and pavement, birds may be the only chance to engage with nature on a daily basis. No wonder so many people love to feed the birds! But it’s not just food that birds need, but also clean water for drinking and bathing. This is especially true in winter when lakes and other sources may be frozen. If you have even a small garden, a bird bath is a welcome respite for our feathered friends, and will add beauty to your home – not to mention hours of enjoyment watching them. Even a shallow dish will work as a bird bath. And for those seasons when the temperature drops below freezing, try adding a lightweight ball that will float. The movement of it across the water will help keep the water from freezing. Do not add salt! This can be poison for the birds! One other caveat, be sure to clean the bird bath frequently, using gloves, and thoroughly rinse it to remove any cleaning chemicals. In the autumn and winter, it’s optimal to feed birds twice a day if possible, but if the food is not being taken, cut back based on demand. Try to set a regular feeding time and the birds will visit on schedule. In winter, birds need food that is high in fat to maintain their body temperature. They can eat unsalted bacon and mild cheese which will help and whole unsalted nuts are also good in winter. The type of food you put out will attract different species of bird. Sparrows and finches especially like seeds, while robins and thrushes favour fruit. Wrens and dunnocks will eat mild cheese and nuthatches love peanuts. You may even see a few migrant birds who drift in from Scandinavia, Russia and other northern European climes.

For the Birds Many people feed birds in winter when food for them can be scarce. But are we helping the birds, or are they really helping us? Birds help pollinate plants and flowers, and they eat annoying insect pests, including mosquitoes, keeping them in check. They also add an incredible amount of beauty to our world both visually and audibly. -How sad it would be, never to hear a songbird’s solitary warbling ever again.


If you have a garden, you will have a plethora of bird feeders to choose from, but in the city, be mindful of the pedestrians below. Never set a dish on a ledge where a strong wind could blow it off. There are urban feeder boxes that attach securely to a wall. If you live in an older building, you may have casement windows with a second set of windows in your flat. If you raise one of the outer casement windows, this can provide a safe space for birds to feed in between. You’ll find that making bird friends can be fun and before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to their regular visits. For more information on British birds, as well as products for purchase such as birdseed, bird baths and books, please visit the charitable organisation, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) www.rspb.org.uk

Big Facts About Small Spaces The average size of a home in the UK is 76 square meters, which is the smallest national average in Europe Over 15,000 people in the UK live on the water on narrowboats and canal boats, with several thousand in London alone A shipping container home can be converted into a permanent dwelling with building regulation compliance for around ÂŁ15,000 + VAT There are now over 80 companies building shepherd huts in the UK, with an increasing number of them used as granny (or grandpa) annexes for aging parents According to the British Property Federation, a record 8,000 ‘micro homes’ were built in the UK in 2017 16

Tiny House Builders in the UK Tiny ECO Homes UK Ltd

Mark Burton – Tiny House UK

This company specialises in producing road legal tiny houses. They create bespoke designs for their clients and even have an architect on hand to help in the design process. They also offer courses in building your own tiny house! www.tinyecohomesuk.com

One of the most well-known tiny house builders, Mark Burton produces structures known for their quality and will build them onsite. He also offers a kit for tiny homes which allow the client to design the interior space to their liking. www.tinyhouse.co.uk

Sam Booth – Echo Living

Ric Frankland – Wudl (formerly dwelle)

Sam’s clean, contemporary designs feature hand-built structures with sustainable materials. They contain elements of playfulness and originality. His 30+ years of building experience, and his mission to “Build small, build smart, build beautiful” has made him a trailblazer in the world of small-space living. www.echoliving.co.uk

Ric Frankland, a seasoned architect has created at least three models of varying size and design for tiny houses, including a mobile version. The homes are built from a kit, but many features can be customised. The homes are affordable and sustainable in both building and function. www.wudl.co.uk

Niall Burke – Humble Homes

This Northern Ireland-based builder sells plans for Tiny Houses which include the foundation plans and schematic for electrical wiring. His plans are both innovative and reasonably priced. www.humble-homes.com

Jonathan Avery – Tiny House Scotland Jonathan’s designs are clean, attractive and highly functional. His ‘Nesthouse’ was chosen for the Social Bite Homeless Tiny House Village in Edinburgh. tinyhousescotland.co.uk


The Wee House Company Based on the west coast of Scotland, The Wee House Company builds cleverly designed tiny houses that have a warm welcoming feel and sustainability. www.theweehousecompany.co.uk

For more small-space living resources, visit The Marketplace at: www.tinylivingmagazine.co.uk/the-marketplace

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