The Nook @ Wordwood

 

The Nook(Watercolour: Margie)

 

 

nook:

  • a corner or recess, especially one offering seclusion or security

  • any secluded, remote, sheltered or obscure spot

  • every nook – every part or aspect of something

    The Nook renovation 1

The Nook is our microhouse weekender on Wordwood. This page records its set up.

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Location – Echidna Meadow

The Nook is in a small meadow that was already cleared when we purchased Wordwood. We call it Echinda Meadow because on the day we first visited the property we saw an echidna (tachyglossus aculeatus) there – and a few since. There are established trees and shrubs around the edges and lots of native grasses and herbs. In Spring, there can be up to a dozen wildflowers blooming in and around the meadow.

We positioned The Nook to make the most of the meadow and a gully falling away from it. We intend to put a dam in the gully. The building was positioned right under a beautiful Brisbane wattle (acacia fimbriata) (see the photo on the right). Yellow-footed antechinus (antechinus flavipes) used the wattle to enter and exit the building. Sadly, the wattle died in 2017. Although we have replaced it with a tree trunk as a ladder for them, we see them less often now. The wattle’s babies are slowing coming up around where it was.

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Construction

The Nook is a recycled building formerly used as a land sales office. We purchased it in December 2011 from Panorama Offices (see the link on the right). The company tidied it up, including repainting the outside in colours of our choice and repainting the inside to undercoat. Then, they delivered and erected it in less than 1 day (see the photos on the right and below).Nook Floor Plan The Nook construction 1

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Ongoing improvements continue. In 2015, we turned over The Nook’s decking boards to extend their life, added a cover to the deck pergola and repainted the outside (see the photo below left). Over the Easter break 2016, we added guttering and a rainwater tank (see the photos below).

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Fitout

We started decorating The Nook with a 1950’s pantry cupboard that we purchased in a junk shop. We decided to paint it bright. The pantry meant we were going retro and colourful. An ebay retro laminate table and Ikea chairs followed. Then, Pete made a retro bunk bed adapted from an old plan he found on the internet (see the link on the right). To complete the bed, we added a wall decal to make us hum Fleetwood Mac at bedtime  … sleep easy by my side. The bed inspired Margie to write a story (see below). We turned the underside of the upper bunk into a magnet facing the lower bunk to use for Magnet Poetry (see the link on the right). Pete’s daughter outgrew the bunk bed by December 2017, so we took the top bunk down. We are yet to find a new place for the Magnetic Poetry. Pete made a trolley for the gas oven and cooktop from old ladders that have been in his family for 3 generations. He has leftover ladder for a kitchen bench but at the moment we are making do with a timber workbench from Bunnings. We’ve had one other great find – a picnic table and seats on a hard rubbish pile. It belonged to the lichen when we picked it up but its better than new after Margie pressure cleaned, sanded back and re-oiled it.

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Bedroom (before removal of the upper bunk)

The Bed He Made

As he erected the bed he’d handcrafted, I thought he was becoming old-farm-man-like. A warming thought. Before settling in, I stepped outside into the breathy coldness of the winter’s night and looked in at him sat alone, eating his omelette in the shadows of the lamp lit one-room. The warmth rose again. This picture aches for a woman. A woman delighted by the gift of the bed for her and for them. A woman to share the aloneness: to be coddled in it with him. Being that woman, with that man, is my soul. Yet it tests my 21st century mind and body. Too simple for a mind so strained. Too simple for a body so unstrained. 
– Margie

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Spare bedroom 1

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Spare bedroom 2

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Kitchen

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Cooker

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Dining room

Picnic Table

Outdoor dining room

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Bathroom

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Cloakroom

Pete’s Shed

In mid-August 2012, we added a 3m x 3m shed to The Nook. We purchased an Australian made kit online. Pete and his Dad put it up in just over 1 day, not counting getting the base organised. Pete’s Mum and Margie provided an occasional balancing hand, much sage advice, and tea and Anzac biscuits. It was pretty straight forward, although some momentary confusion regarding the roof had us calling for the hacksaw. Fortunately we didn’t have one, so we reread the instructions instead and fixed our mistake. Our shed shelves came from hard rubbish.

A concrete slab base was out of the question because we are quite a ways from civilisation and, at the time, had no power or water tank. Instead, Pete and his Dad laid a ‘poor man’s slab’ of crusher dust mixed with cement, stamped-around-on and sprinkled with many a watering can from the dam. It took a few days but the result is good. We laid rubber floor tiles on the base inside the shed, so we have a grit free floor.

Thanks Dad

Thanks Dad!

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Ablutions Building  

For at least a year, Pete has been planning our ablutions building and reading DIY books and websites to learn how to build it. Construction commenced early September 2018, with building of the deck over a week of holidays by Pete supported, again, by his Dad and Mum. Pete built the toilet back in Brissie over the few hours he could find here and there. It is a simple composting toilet based on a wheelie bin from a design on the Milkwood Permaculture Blog (see the link to the right). As of mid 0ctober 2018, the toilet is operational, if drafty. Still to complete the walls, roof, doors, water tank, gas heater, shower and basin area. We’ve found an old enamel shower base at the Toowoomba Tip Shop – an amazing place!  Watch this space for promised 2018 finish …

 

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The Blessing of the Long Drop

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