Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • For some years now, I have wanted to emulate Thoreau and build a hut in the woods.

    For various reasons (as you can imagine) this is not entirely practical... but I have got close to realising the fantasy of having a hut on the edge of a wood.

    I wanted an eco hut, and submitted a huge dossier to the Mairie in the next village with all my imaginative plans outlined, plus photos. (This is the photo of the intended site).

    They turned me down. I was distraught. Then it so happened that the deputy mayor was also the man who fixed my roof... so I had a quick word...

    Just build a hut, he said. Nothing too flashy. Needs to look "demontable" (untranslatable French word. Meaning easily removed..)

    Put it on stones, he added. Then, a few years later, when everyone's forgotten about it, you can pour a concrete base in underneath...

    So I'm going to have a boring hut from the local DIY store, suitably adapted of course. Maybe a green roof. And I'm going to line it with cork. (I gather a film is out, in which this is referred to as "Prousting").

    Then I'm going to live on the edge of the forest, just the edge, aspiring to the forest but not quite in it. I'm not brave enough yet. I'll watch the woodpeckers, the black kites, the red squirrels, the occasional deer. I'll hang bird feeders and put a bird bath just where I can see it from the door. I'll install a woodburner (don't tell the Mairie) and maybe a compost toilet out the back. I'll sit at my desk, and write, gazing at the view across the valley to the next village to the east, where I can see a chateau and a church aspiring through the trees.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.