Vili with his friend Ruby

Vili bought a site in Little Falls, NY, that had a house and two small barns on it, for $1. "The barns were more like sheds," he explained. After being told by the realtor that there was $23,000 owing in taxes on the property, he took the trouble to investigate and found that actually no tax was owing. The investigation, as one can imagine, took many weeks and much hard work.

The house was beyond repair but he has converted one of the barns into a residence. His friend Ruth and her family helped him with the conversion. Vili moved in in early December after installing a present of a wood burning stove. He has piped in water from a nearby spring. "It will be a one room apartment quite adequate for my needs," he says. The bottles in the photograph, found on the site and slotted in to a wood wall provide a gentle, diffused light and cost nothing. Propane lamps provide light after dark. The window below the bottles, gleaned from the barn, astonishingly had no broken panes.