When the idea of building a new house first came to me, it arose out of a desire to increase the sharing and togetherness in our marriage by creating something together from scratch. We already had a house and dogs and there was no question of adding to our lovely families who were already adults, married and contemplating children of their own.
But I still had the urge to get it together in a more knitted kind of way and it was time to face the fact there was an ancient urge stirring in me that until now had been subliminal. While neither of us anticipated the length or challenge of the process, the eventual result was a wish come true.
Indirectly the somewhat lengthy journey led to where I am today: absolutely thrilled to foreshadow the publication of my love memoir, DARE TO BUILD IN A BOOM, a behind-the-scenes look at just what can happen when you decide play a major part in the design, building and finishing of your own house.
As anyone who has attempted it knows, building a house can be challenging at any time, but in real estate boom times – not unlike the one we’re experiencing in Western Australia at the moment – it can be a daunting process.
Wise after the event, building an unusual design on a difficult block was never going to be easy and it was further exacerbated by the complications of the sudden construction boom which took everyone, including ourselves, by surprise. The cost of materials rocketed and tradies were hard to attract at any wage.
But in among the frustrations of hard-to-source bricks and mortar, the long-held wish that gave rise to this project came true.
With huge thanks to Jess and the terrific team at Spiro Books for guiding this book into the world and Luke Harris for the great cover, the book will be stocked at selected bookshops in the near future.
‘I just wanted to say thank you for sharing such a beautiful story — it was like sitting with you over a glass of wine and listening to you speak. I loved it and it cheered me up in a low week.’ Vicki Curnow, Perth
‘Just came across this! Thank you! I thought I was the only one in this hands-on building wilderness. Love your own conflicted journey and lots of advice here.’ Jenny Watson, Joondalup.
Main photo: A view of the courtyard: courtesy Perth photographer Greg Hocking
Stock currently available at New Edition Bookshop, Fremantle and Crow Books, Victoria Park.