Friday, 30 September 2011

Planning and Distraction from Planning

My hunch that getting your own house built involves you in an apparently entirely new set of webs/experiences/processes (and consequently drives you to the internet where you find other blogs where you recognise the shock) is being borne out by the fact that as two fairly sane adults we have managed to have our detailed plans examined right up to the wire (not our fault but a long story which could only be expressed quite offensively) at the same time as we move out of our two separate homes (one sold, other rented) so far apart we can't help each other, at the start of term (me), in need of a new knee (Rob), to live together for the first time with cats (Rob's) and dogs (mine) who will not get along. It doesn't read like an ideal recipe but somewhere typing it out makes me see the funny (hysterical) side!

In absence of photos of the plot here are gratuitous shots of said pets:

I thought about having a separate entry to describe my research ideas but actually they are so entwined with the ongoing rollercoaster experience maybe I should do it here:

I'm interested in the experience of building/dwelling a house/home ('dwelling' in Heidegger's work includes both building and living in a house so it seems really useful here although I'm not at all sure how to deal with Heidegger or how deep I wish to go!) and how it might provide an interesting perspective on human interaction with our environments - perhaps dispelling in all its harsh realities both romantic ideas about nature and any human ability to transcend it. Thats the broad bit...

In my current role though and as a trainee archivist I have to drive the research into 'outputs' and the 3 areas I'm thinking about are 1) an exploration of blogs as useful records of self-builds and examples of intertextual use of records 2) using local historical research in combination with theoretical ideas about sense-of-place when thinking about dwelling/home 3) exploring the records created by a self-build and the processes and destinies they are subjected to - what are they used for, by whom, where do they end up? What repositories and archives do you need to go to to retrieve as fuller account as possible of the self-build in question?

Thats how I'm distracting myself today anyway. Should get some comments from planner by Monday.

Friday, 23 September 2011


Well, it began with "just looking", with the odd website, etc and then we went and fell for a view which is hard to grab in pictures but here is the plot last spring...

It is ours now for better or worse and
next week we should hear about
detailed planning.

We've found that the learning curve
is so steep that reading other
people's blogs (check the roll) is
sometimes the only way to see
if we're normal!

My fave narrative of recognisable
fury and a beautiful build (I must 
get better pics!) is Steve Carter's
From Here to Eternity: