An update finally, and a breakthrough!
Well hello blog, how have you been? I have been so frustrated. I haven’t really written much about it here, but I was planning to build a smallish outdoor kitchen – basically just a cob oven combined with a garden bar and a roof on top – both as a test object and as an actual building made with cob that people could look at and actually touch. However, the authorities asked me to run the full building permit gamut, and they wouldn’t budge. I was exhausted and lowdown, and since cob building dreams do not (yet) constitute a very large part in my life, I was also busy with quite a few other things.
But. I have grown a lot over the last two years, and I’m not giving up on this dream. Period. I’m building a cob house if it’s the last freaking thing I do. And you know… whenever I look at this blog, at all the things I’ve written, I’m reminded that this is so. I am so glad I have taken the time over the years to write this – even if it isn’t much, it’s good stuff, and it has helped reinspire me many times already.
People email me! Wow!!
And also, amazingly, I have lost count of just how many people have actually found this dilapidated, neglected website of mine and taken the trouble to send me an email! Even now, two years after my last post, they keep coming – I just had one from a woman who lives like 30 km away from here! W H A T. This is also great, and reminds me of why I am doing this and sticking with it in spite of bureaucracy, and I am very grateful to every one of you, dear readers who have contacted me at some point over the years. So yes, I'm still here, I have grown and changed, and an now almost magical breakthrough has occurred!
A stroke of luck, combined with a stroke of genius
Some weeks ago I contacted an acquaintance who happens to be on the village council, and I explained my vision of a cob house in the middle of this village to her and my difficulties getting started on such a simple thing as a small outdoor kitchen. And at some point her partner chimed in and said, “You know what would fix the permit problem right? Just put that oven on wheels.” And honestly… I had KNOWN about that bit, but just hadn’t put two and two together, you know? A real stroke of genius, I’m so glad he happened to sit around!!
The thing is, you can build a small garden shed or similar permit-free, as long as it’s under 40 m³ and adheres to the local building plan (that bit varies and might not even apply). Plus – that was the problem – it must not have a fireplace installed. Now there seems to be some disagreement on whether a cob oven counts as a fireplace, because I have found projects on the web where it didn’t, but anyway my building council said it does count, and that was that. However, this only applies to fixed fireplaces – if it’s mobile and not built in, you can actually have whatever! A cob oven, a rocket stove, a pyrolyser, whatever!
So here we are now. I’m changing my original plans a bit to make room for a movable cob oven, and also waiting for better weather. Then it’s time to get some materials and a mini digger. This will be so much fuuuuuunnnnn~! :-D