About 80% of it was built using reclaimed timber, most of which I was given free or very cheaply. I had to buy the floor new and some of the superstructure timbers. The mollicroft windows were given to me by a friend who put new ones on her wagon. I was able to restore them. Getting them was a fantastic result.
It is 32 feet long by about 8 feet wide and, including the mollicroft about 8 feet high. The mollicroft is the raised part of the roof. It adds height, and the extra windows make the wagon nice and bright. Inside it has a bathroom, kitchen, living room and bedroom. More than sufficient space for my needs. There are two front doors, of the stable type. One opens into the kitchen, the other into the living room.
There was no planned design, no intricate drawings. Just a picture in my head of how I wanted it to look. It just grew from that. Organic is the word they use these days I believe.
It was there in my head for ages, and then one day I suddenly decided to go for it. Even though at the time I had no money to speak of. I just thought: 'Lets see what happens!. Maybe the Lord will provide?' Well sometimes you have to believe. It was amazing how the materials would turn up, once people knew about what I was doing.
There is still work to be done inside and out. I was advised not to move in until it was finished, because some of my friends thought if I did that I would neglect finishing it properly. I didn't take the advice. I moved in early.
They were right! I have been tardy in getting it finished. But on reflection I'm glad I didn't finish the work inside, because a design fault in the way I made the roof has shown there is a problem with leaks. Nothing serious, and I have worked out a way of sorting the problem. Imagine if I had done all the fancy decoration inside and had it ruined by water! Anyway that is my excuse. After lots of head scratching I finally discovered the problem was caused by capillary action, so I can sort it out.
The land it is built on is owned by me. I described in an earlier post how I came to buy it, and I am so glad I did buy it.
I think of this place as my haven away from the real world. A sanctuary. Not just for me but also for the wildlife that comes to visit. Even the pesky mole, who creates havoc with the paddock, and the cheeky magpies who raid the henhouse and steal eggs are safe here. The fox comes sometimes and kills hens, but he doesn't know he is doing wrong. The resulting carnage breaks my heart, and I curse his very bones, but the truth is, that in these instances it is usually my animal husbandry that is at fault.
It is odd this regard I have for wildlife. I think perhaps age has mellowed this old heart. I do dwell more on the sanctity of all life these days. I get deeply affected by animal cruelty. Here I go again, rambling away from the subject.
It's nice living here like this. It is certainly cosy, and I have lived in much smaller places. Of course I am close to Tricia and George and I am blessed with lovely neighbours. What more could a man want?
Hopefully it will be completely finished soon, and I will be able to offer proper hospitality to anyone who calls by.
I shall have a wagon warming party, with music and laughter! I hope you can come.