Fancy! a yurt in in outer Stokers
By MADELEINE DOHERTY
THE circular dwelling known as a yurt can be found in abundance through the windswept plains of outer Mongolia.
So finding one in the hills of Murwillumbah really is a little unusual.
Yurts are the traditional tents of Mongolians, used to pack up and move on regularly in a nomadic lifestyle.
But in the hills outside Stokers Siding, this yurt is a more permanent structure and the fixed obode of Michael Foresell.
Mr Foresell, 77, has never been to Mongolia.
In fact, he claims he was not driven to build a yurt for any reason other than the fact he likes a challenge.
He said he constructed his home on a hilltop to deliberately take advantage of a stunning view of Mt Warning.
Built of mainly recycled timber, the yurt, while small, offers an efficient use of space with two bedrooms, a study, a bathroom/laundry, kitchen and back and front decks, a composting toilet and solar power.
Once inside, its round shape is comforting and with windows all around it feels spacious.
Mr Foresell describes himself as a "Mr Fixit" and has incorporated innovative aspects into the design to make life easier.
"You'll notice the centre piece of the roof has windows to avoid rain coming in," he said.
"I've designed it so the windows close by themselves during a storm and reopen once the storm has passed."
The kitchen pantry is tucked away while other cupboards open by way of a door hidden on the side.
The bedroom windows are vunerable to hail damage so Michael used crim mesh on the windows.
He also built screens that make opening and closing the windows a breeze.
Mr Foresell will soon head off on a tour of China with Friendship Force, which will undoubtedly open up a whole new world of challenges for him to solve.