VANCOUVER — Sometimes we all need somewhere for a little alone time. 

Vancouver resident Anne Bruinn found hers in a tiny “Hobbit Hole” that her husband built in their backyard in the neighbourhood of Dunbar, complete with a grassy roof and round doorway, and now she wants to share it. 

She’s throwing open the doors to the Hobbit Hole to anyone who needs an hour or two to study, nap, meditate or even have a good cry.

The bright yellow Hobbit Hole, which Bruinn also calls her “she shed,” is eight feet by six feet with a comfy chair, small fireplace heater and porthole windows. There’s an extension cord for power, and a plate of cookies baked by Bruinn on the doorstep. 

Bruinn says she considers herself “the luckiest girl in the world,” happy with her family that includes two children and three dogs. But sometimes she needs some space, even if it’s only about 50 square feet. 

“I just needed an hour to myself, whether I want to read, listen to music, just uninterrupted. One hour is all I need, but I had nowhere to go,” says Bruinn. 

So her husband spent two weeks building the Hobbit Hole. 

“In the she shed, I like to play Scrabble on my phone. That makes me happy. I write books that nobody reads,” Bruinn says with a laugh.

But Bruinn doesn’t always need the space, so she’s welcoming anyone else who needs it, albeit for only a couple hours at a time, since there’s no washroom.

The rules are simple – no smoking, vaping or drugs. Reservations can be made via the Hobbit Hole’s website, https://bit.ly/3Rsu6dx

So what does Bruinn want from her guests in return? 

She says a “cool twig” might suffice. Or a flower. Or a painted rock.  

“Please show me a card trick or teach me some dance moves,” says Bruinn. “I am open to anything. Just give me something from your heart.” 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 3, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Nono Shen, The Canadian Press

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