To anyone who struggles to pitch a tent, the prospect of building a grand design of straw bales - in France Profonde - could be somewhat unsettling. Some will tell you that building their own home is an enjoyable and rewarding experience; Mark Sampson will tell you that it was hellish. Based on his journal of building the house seen on frequent re-runs of Channel 4's 'Grand Designs', this is a darkly comic account of a year of living uncomfortably close to the edge.
Less about the technical aspects of construction, this entertaining book is more about the de-construction of family life in the face of a looming deadline, a shrinking budget, capricious conditions and a motley crew of tradesmen.
Laugh, cry and wonder why.