Friday, 16 August 2019

Living In A Shed - A Book Review

 



This is a good read, looking at one persons experience of the national housing crisis.

Catrina Davies is 31 and was renting a box-room in a house in Bristol, which she shared with four other adults and a child. Finding the rent is always a problem and finally homesick for  the far west of Cornwall, where she spent her childhood years Catrina decides to give up the box-room and head west.
 As a child, her family were torn apart by mental health issues, divorce and bankruptcy and she has spent her time since university moving from rented room, to caravan, to van and back to room and now in Cornwall she decides to make a tiny, dilapidated shed, once used as an office by her father, into a home. This is the story of the several years (condensed into 1 year) she spent rebuilding and furnishing the shed, writing, watching wildlife, making music and surfing and sometimes working to earn the little she needs to live on.

This is Catrina's second book and it was while living in the shed that she wrote the first. She uses lots of references from all sorts of sources to show all the problems caused by second homes around the country. I had no idea that many people in seaside areas of Cornwall move out of their homes into tents/caravans so that they can rent out their homes to visitors and earn enough to live on for the rest of the year as there is no employment for them in winter.

I'm not good at book reviews, I read a passage and think........that would be a good bit to quote in a book review.......but then of course I forget by the time I come to the end of the book. But if you are at all interested in how people get by without a home this is a good read.

Back Tomorrow
Sue

24 comments:

  1. That really does look like an interesting read, now in my Amazon wishlist, love seeing and hearing about the books you read.

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  2. I saw her talking about this on TV....or maybe it was an article in the paper, I can't remember!....a few weeks ago and thought it was a book I'd like to read. From what I remember, the shed was bigger than a normal shed, but it's still a shed, although she's done it up very well.

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    1. Yes, it was an article in the paper, I've read it too. When I saw the heading I thought it was a small gardenshed but it was in fact quite substantial!

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  3. There are second homes in my village just sold for over £600,000. Of course, local youngsters don’t stand a chance, it’s immoral and obscene. I do like the sound of the book.

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  4. This does sound interesting. I have been watching a US programme called "Tiny House Nation" this week, about Americans who convert trailers into homes. I am concerned about people who genuinely struggle to find a home of their own.

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  5. Sounds like something I would like to read. I'll be searching Amazon. Got a few books second-hand yesterday outside the supermarket. An Agatha Christie which I'd never come across before, although I used to collect them; a Josephine Cox and I can't remember reading any of hers; one by Elaine Everest, who I'd never heard of and a book on toddlers, which I think is a tongue-in-cheek, humourus one. So plenty for me to read, plus four others already here which I've picked up recently. Got to stay out of mischief, lol.

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  6. I think I may recommend this to my online book group.

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  7. Sounds an interesting book Sue. I am so sorry for youngsters now it is so hard to get the deposit for a house. I have been thinking about trying to help my grandchildren (2) to get on the ladder, my bungalow is small but is paid for.
    Hazel c uk

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  8. I too worry about the younger ones getting on the property ladder. My middle son (29) and his wife have only ever rented - they were paying nearly £700 a month in rent for a tiny terraced house on the outskirts of Leeds. They decided to move in with his wife's parents in order to save -and there's now their first baby on the way. Our house is paid for - I'm tempted to raise funds on it to help them out - but at 55 I worry that we might not be able to repay a loan. It's got so complicated these days.

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    1. It is a problem for younger people these days in raising money for a deposit to get on the housing ladder. They prove that they can pay the mortgage by the high rents they have to pay, so it is just the deposit that's the problem.

      We helped our daughter and her partner by lending them the deposit for their first home. As Mrs LH's son and wife the rent was £700-750 per month and there isn't any security as the landlord can decide to sell. That happened to our daughter and they had four to six weeks to find another rented house, which was difficult in the village they live in where they wanted to stay to keep our grand-daughter at the same school.

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  9. Like the sound of that, have just ordered it from the Library, thanks for the post.
    Briony
    x

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  10. I live in an area with a high percentage of holiday homes, and it does make it difficult for locals to afford their first home but as far as I know, people here haven't started moving out into tents to rent out their own houses.
    There are so many issues at play though. Rows of tiny cottages where there is no close parking, let alone right outside, are never going to attract people wanting to unload the weekly shop. They are 'cute' to stay in for a few weeks, but to raise a famly? Places so remote that locals know they could be cut off for days on end in the winter. You don't choose that if you want to hold down a 9-5 job. Public transport? Mains services? Distances that look short on the map can take ages in areas like Cornwall and West Wales - something that politicians seem to overlook!
    My husband always comments "Well, someone was happy to take the money." Cynical, but he has a point. How many of us, if selling granny's cottage, would turn down an extra £100k because we knew it would be used as a holiday home?

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  11. Sounds interesting. There are a rook of videos on youtube about tiny house living, I often browse them. The possibilities are endless. PS shed in my back garden for rent, no water no electricity, ha ha.

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  12. It just shows how everything is spinning out of control, there are too many humans on the planet and when we start owning two homes then the young are deprived of a place in the scheme of things. I really hope the bottom falls out of the house market it would jolt us to be more serious.

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  13. Thanks for this. It looks really good and I have downloaded the Kindle version.
    xx

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  14. And I love the banner photo.
    xx

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  15. This looks interesting so have just reserved it from the library.

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  16. Sounds interesting. I often think about moving into my shed. Everything but a loo... so thats out. But it is of concern to me that young people cannot afford a place of their own either rented or to buy.

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  17. I used to think about living in my parents' shed, in Cape Cod MA---think summer resort, $$$, to get away from an abusive husband. The no-running water, no toilet always put me off the notion.

    lizzy

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  18. This sounds so interesting....

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  19. Very interesting.

    God bless.

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  20. Compared to the housing cost in America (at least in my area), homes in the UK are SO expensive. My friend in the UK could not believe how little I paid for my home. She told me how much her daughter paid in 2018 for a home in southern England, Berkshire I believe. Shocking. I feel for the young people, really all around the world.

    This book sounds interesting. The price on Amazon in America is high right now but I’ll keep it on my list and check the Amazon used book sales in six months.

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  21. That sounds like a really interesting read ... I may be tempted :-)

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