Monday, 16 March 2015

"They need to build a different sort

of house," the Whirlwind told me yesterday. She had come around to cut something else out of our newspaper "because I need two copies" and was also looking at the utter devastation left by Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu and beyond.
Such disasters worry her. She worries about children being left without their mothers most but everything bothers her. I am glad it does worry her and I hope  she goes on feeling like that - but I also hope she can do it in a way that she can handle it. Yesterday was not such a good day. She was close to tears.  
So we talked about it. What sort of house? She didn't know.
"But think about it," she told me, "We all build our houses the wrong way. We make them up and down because it's easy and we  use up all the space."
"Up and down?"
"Yes, the walls go straight up so the wind goes bang into it because it doesn't have anywhere else to go. It's not like rain. If that comes down on our roof it just sort of slides off. The wind needs to be able to sort of slide off too."
I told her to look up "dome houses". There is just one that I know of and, quite by chance, it is not far up the hill from here. I told her about that as well.
Later in the afternoon her father took her up to see it during their afternoon bike ride. It's an oddity that does not sit well with the much more conventional houses on either side. I haven't been past it for some time and, on their return, the Whirlwind's father told me it is in need of some attention. 
I wonder if it will last? The Whirlwind is right of course. We build houses rather like boxes because it is easy to do that. It is easy to use the space in them as well. Our lives, and the objects in them, tend to be set out in squares and rectangles. It is harder to make a circle.

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