Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Diddly Squat Shack

We've been on Steve and Estelle's property for three weeks; living in their holiday accommodation. We live in Diddly Squat with the four cats who sleep there all day being let out in the afternoon. Skabenga stays in his large pen with plenty of shade and his plodging bowl and comes in to sleep next to Grant at night. 

Diddly Squat has been built and furnished exactly like a sqatter's shack. I've posted photos of the interior here below and also how this specific shack is built partly underground. This is the cats' delight as they can get onto the roof of "their" house straight from the lawn! 
 The entrance to our temporary home: Diddly Squat
 Here the roof is at knee-level to me
 A warm area for the kitties to enjoy their afternoon outing 
 Here you can see how easy it is for the cats to hop onto the roof from the garden  

There is passage around the shack; the works for the solar system and batteries are kept here. It's also where Chappie was stuck the first day we moved there. The window under the roof eves looks into the kitchen.

 Shadow and Ambrose jump from the grassy bank into the kitchen through this window.  Ginger and Chappie are unable to perform this acrobatic feat and enter through the door !

 Chappie on top of the roof 
 Resting in the warm sunshine 
The shack's interior is typical of one in a squatter's settlement. This is the kitchen
 The tiny  bedroom
The shower, wash hand basin and loo is "open plan" 

Diddly Squat is ideal for us as a stopgap while we wait for the cottage building to be completed. We are deeply grateful to Estelle and Steve for providing this for us when we needed it.

When we vacate it, Estelle will be able to rent the shack out as holiday accommodation again. It's very popular with people from the city and with foreigners. 

However, the reality of squatter shacks in South Africa (and globally) is harsh. A decade of democracy in South Africa and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs and homes and now live in squatters' settlements. 
 A typical squatter's shack on the outskirts of a large South Africa city 
The interior of a real squatter shack

This situation is the same for all races in South Africa that have fallen on hard times. 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here


  1. I enjoyed seeing your squatter's shack. I agree it is good as novelty accommodation for short term lodgings but if one has no option but to live in it for a long time it is not so fun. I actually saw a documentary about such squatter's settlements which followed the lives of several people living there. I think it may have been in SA but can't quite remember.

    I can imagine the cats are loving lying on the roof top of the shack after the sun has warmed the stones. What heaven for a cat :-) What is the locked door next to your bed leading to?

  2. Yes, Penny I agree; the reality of having to live in a squatter's shack must be horrific. I checked on the photo about the door. It's the OPEN door leading out of the shack. it touches the side of the bed. I took the photo from from kitchen table after I'd snapped the kitchen sink. All rather small and cramped with two adults, four cats and a large dog occupying it!

  3. I must say living in the shack is an adventure, but only if you don't HAVE to like the squatters do. it would be fun for a vacation and this one is better than the others. every country has its poor and here squatters are called homeless and they don't even have the shacks, they live under bushes and trees. very sad seeing those who have to live like these. your diddly squat is really cute, I like the tie back curtains of CD's

  4. It would have been a wonderful experience for you. You would have faced many challenges to stay in this house. It looks awesome. Cute and small...

  5. Hello Jo, I enjoyed the tour of your squatters shack. It looks cute. It reminds me of the popular tiny houses that are popping up here lately. As far as the other shacks maybe it is better than being homeless. We see many homeless in the cities around the USA. Enjoy your day.

  6. Hi Jo, What an interesting little 'home' for awhile.... I'm sure it would be fun living there --if you were doing it because you could and because you wanted to... On the other hand, I feel sorry for those who HAVE to live there due to poverty... That is SAD.


  7. I would love to live there it is such an interesting little place and is so much part of nature. I love it. Diane

  8. That's very interesting Jo. How you show the contrast between your temporary Diddly Squat and then the reality of those poor people who live in such accomodation on a permanent basis.

  9. Oh dear ~ hard for so many people ~ your 'little temporary home' looks delightful short term ~ we are so spoiled here is the USA but many are homeless and major problems ~ Do hope your new home is ready soon ~ You are brave people and adventurous too probably ~ ^_^

    Love and light,

    A ShutterBug Explores ~ aka ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  10. Thank you. Interesting information about a reality which is most uncomfortable for too many.

  11. It's one thing to do it for awhile, but on the long term it would really get to you.

  12. What an interesting little spot to stay in...and yes...I agree for a short time. We were in Capetown in 2015. Such a beautiful part of the world...and yes...making such dramatic changes in the country's structure are especially hard for the less fortunate.

  13. I sure like your stone roofed version better than the tin shacks I saw when in SA. They look terribly hot and dark.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo