Well, after much delay with our foundations (I thought I would spare you all the details) the frame of our lovely new wooden house is finally going up. And not before time. Our rental is getting entirely too cramped for 3 small boys. Well, actually they are just fine. We release them into the wild when they need more space. It’s just me and my cramped kitchen that’s starting to be awkward. And living on a first floor is not such fun at 7 months pregnant, but anyway…
It’s truly amazing watching our builders. I could watch them all day. My kids, naturally, are mesmerised. I took little Raviv to visit the men and he brought his hammer to “help”. He loved it. This is not just a matter of digging and pouring concrete. There is real skill here. These guys measure, chop and assemble with real skill. They demonstrate a whole other level of craftmanship from what you might see on a typical building site here. My older two also love going to visit. They take homemade biscuits along “for the builders” and then eat them.
Our lovely builders, Yoni and Sivan, have however, informed me they are a laughing stock. As the only people building on the new street from wood, they are surrounded by Arab builders who only know one thing. Concrete. Even from where I was standing I could see them sitting over their tupperware salads, watching and making fun. We however will have the last laugh, these guys are clearly laughing at something they neither can do nor understand. But come next winter, I know which house I would rather be in! Winter is not yet here in full force, the temperature is still in the 20’s outside and in the teens at night, and already some of the walls of our rental are freezing. It’s time for fluffy slippers and Jumpers, just because the windows and tiles are so cold. This is my number one reason to avoid a concrete house. After 5+ years, I still haven’t adjusted to the winters here. The houses are simply not cosy.
After years of living in rented accommodation, with that feeling that we are not really at home, my children are in the rather unique position of watching their house being built. They even got to help out a little with the tools, a moment which I am sure they will treasure. I believe it’s nice for children to feel they own their house, that their opinion and their help matters. After all, they are going to live there too. We have explained to them that building a house using natural material, which requires minimal fuel to keep it cosy, is the most ecological approach we could think of. The way I see it, if you are going to take the trouble to build a house in this holy country, you might as well build an environmentally friendly one.