Loose ends, 16/04/14

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so get in a comfy chair with a good strong cuppa, and tell me: which part of the house below is made out of toothbrushes?

image: http://arts.brighton.ac.uk
image: http://arts.brighton.ac.uk

It’s the Brighton Wastehouse, a house made (very nearly almost) entirely from waste materials. The toothbrushes were used for insulation. Here is a lengthy blog post documenting the whole thing (start from the bottom) with many videos along the way.

Back in December, Michael Lyons, the man tasked with providing an opposition housing plan said that the UK needs ‘a post-war spirit to tackle the housing crisis’. (link) The call for submissions finished in February, so keep your ears open for big announcements some time later this year.

This fascinating article ‘Life in London’s houseboat slums‘ gives a well documented view of how it is possible to (quote) “live” in London for as little as £200 per month with no bills or agency fees. But also no electric, heating, clean water, space or privacy! Eye opening if grim.

We’ve briefly covered Help To Buy before, and some of the likely downsides, now the scheme has had months to get working, what have the results been? Nearly a 7% rise in the cost of housing you say? A 30% rise in London? Well, that’s brilliant! This quick write up from that notoriously left-wing, socialist, anti-free-market publication The Economist (hang on, what?) gives a good overview of the wider economic doom that may yet occur as a result.

Finally, what is Hugelkultur aside from a word that is fun to say? (roughly ‘hill culture’ in German) A really interesting approach to raised beds, check it out in action here and here. (as much as a pile of rotting logs can be said to be, ‘in action’… which at a microscopic level I think is probably ‘quite a lot’ actually!)

Anyway, see you next time! Don’t forget to subscribe.

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