“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau had spent two years in the woods and in doing so set a very important and life changing precedent for anyone game enough to live simply. I unfortunately cannot live that simply but I do appreciate the importance of living deliberately.
And so here we are building a house with our own bare hands deliberately and with a little help from our friends. Here we are, or shall I say, here is my husband, feeling every inch of the pain and sweat required to be able to create and bring to life a home that once was a simple thought, a mere subject, a simple cogitation and meandering of self expression.
For those following this blog the journey has already been a long one and we are fast approaching winter. Forget about that – the mountains already have seen snow and no one dares to be on a construction site while their bones freeze over. So the sense of urgency is pervasive.
It then made sense to make a weekend of it in order to get the ball rolling now that the roof was finally on, the gutters fitted and the facias painted. I was just teaming with joy particularly when I stepped onto the driveway and could see how the roof, despite being a Colorbond night sky black, still reflected a deep sky blue from afar. We had been a little hesitant about the black roof but once it was up we had no regrets.
So, together with my two brother in laws, one of whom came all the way from Canberra with his wife and 6 month year old baby, spent the weekend in the mountains with one task in mind – wiring the house up for the electrical and lighting. We also had Andy, also family, join us for a day and that was just splendid.
We were so grateful to our local and long time friends for letting us stay at one of our favourite home stays, the White House, a quaint and cosy cottage down the road from one of my favourite eating establishments in the mountains The Rooster.
While the men were busy on the house, my sister in law Nicky and I made some final and important decisions in respect to the light fixtures. It was so important that we understood the layout and the size and dimensions of our feature lighting particularly in the context of the home. I had already made up my mind that we were going to put in the Lampe de Marseille by Le Corbusier and I had to make sure that it also made practical sense. My mind rattled with different options and at one point I felt like giving up and letting someone else decide. Thankfully with a glass of red in one hand and some soft cheese in the other I persisted.
Lampe de Marseille by Le Corbusier
Even though I had drawn out an electrical plan which showed where the light switches were and what lights they controlled, my brother in law (our electrician) still had questions and recommendations. Thank goodness his wife is an interior designer with a lot of experience with specialised lighting. I don’t know what we would have done without the both of them being their on site to help.