Roundhouse project

In November 2022 a friend of mine was driving with her husband and 1yr old baby past the town of Hatfield. Naturally, they thought of me (the spelling was close enough!). They messaged me to say it would be great fun to come and do some diy or project at my place…it didn’t take me long to say yes!

During lockdown, I had been researching how to build a roundhouse with a reciprocal roof – shout out to Tony Wrench and his great books on the subject.

Let’s build a round house, said I. OK said they.

There followed a flurry of texts and emails, diagrams and shopping lists

In February 2023, Kate Hudson, David Hudson and little Isabella showed up on my doorstep rather bedraggled and weary but we only had five days to make my dream a reality so after a good night’s sleep we unpacked the gear and got ourselves ready.

They came with 20 kegs of hand and battery operated tools, rebar, gaffa tape, nappies, baby friendly foods and cheese and pickle for me!

And we began. I had gathered a team of three men from my village; Youssef, his brother Mohammed and our dear friend and camel expert Ali.

Every day we set off to the location, about 7kms away where I had built a house by the giant dune of Erg Chebbi.

The local kids joined us and kept Isabella entertained.

I had preordered all the wood, so first we made a mock up at ground level to try and get the angles of the roof right – very glad we did that!

Once we were satisfied it would hold up we dug the holes for the posts.

Up went the henge and crosspieces

And tested the angles again

Back home for a bath

And so the days continued

At the end of 4 days we had the frame. It was decided the roof could be covered another time so Kate and Co could have a well earned rest on their final day (if a trip to the local market town of Rissani can be considered a rest!)

So now we have a most beautiful shady area for outside the wonderful house we had built for Youssef, Itri Tifawt (morning star).