As I sat here this morning, I reflected on my new life. I am no longer able to control my environment like people do in the city, but I am controlled by the land. Nature always prevails and we are mearly visitors borrowing the land, we do not own the land. There is such a different mindset between city and country thinking and a need to realise that we are unable to control our lives.
The romantic idea of living in the country came and hit me straight in the face with the harsh reality that the beauty was hiding the harshness of what I had right in front of me. Coming from the city a small cramped unit with brand new facilities fresh clean running water, air-conditioning fans and all the modern cons that comes with city living to the shock of no fly-screens, no aircon and 42C days.
Arriving in the cottage hot heavily pregnant and alot of work to do. I look back now and the staff at Mitre 10 have taught me so much about how to manage life out here, they must have thought what has this woman got herself into!! There were many things I needed to fix up in the cottage from loose taps, water pump issues, no water, a broken sunken in tank where an army of mosquito’s were breeding, the house was filthy, holes in the floors and walls, dead bugs everywhere and frog poo all through the cupboards, oh and the rusty old car left in the back paddock.
The work begun, settling Joshua into the local school uniforms paperwork so at least I could organize the house while he was at school. He settled in really easily and quickly, I am so blessed to have an amazing little boy who loves learning. I also had to organise my anti-natal appointments and start the visits to the clinic and check ups. The little boy growing perfectly in my womb was healthy happy and would be brought into this world with a pretty little cottage, that was the plan. My new son was the motivation for the move and the new lifestyle, he was the hope of a new future.
Knowing I only had 4 weeks until the baby was due I got to work. I organised maintenance on the cottage, plumping, plugging up the holes with steel wool as I had heard horror stories about the mice plagues. I did research on how to get rid of mice, buying plants and peppermint oil to make sure these bloody mice would not invade my space. I even looked at buying electrical devices to scare them off. I spent hours researching how to rid mice.
Then I was told about the brown snakes, so I cleaned up the garage the cottage and took all the boxes to the tip making sure there was nothing where the mice or snakes could hide. I began to get everything off the floor, moving the food to the higher cupboards behind glass and also putting food in containers. People would say good luck “I have a snake in the garage the other day and went into the car”, or “The mice last year were shocking they ate through the rubber and plastic containers then someone had them running up the windows to get in”. “Whatever you do won’t stop them!”
I did whatever I could and then thought right, I just need to pray and ask God to look after us until I get this country gig sorted. Then I had to deal with the bugs as we had no fly screens.. it was boiling hot and I could not leave the windows open. One night I just had to leave it open and boom a bloody cat jumped it. I quickly got it out, and it sat outside the back door, it must have been the previous occupants cat. Then I started hearing stories about feral animals, and people would just say “Oh I just shoot the bloody things”
I was told to leave it as they are the best thing to get rid of mice, but I thought I am not having this cat around, so I got a cat trap from the the council and caught the horrible creature. Yes, I can put that in my list of things, catching cats in a cat trap. I called up the council to say I had the cat. I dragged the angry cat in the cage under the house to keep it cool, gave it water and the left over food and told them to pick it up. I started to worry as the days became hotter and I thought the last thing I need is to come home to a dead cat!
So finally the cottage was getting into some sort of shape, however I was still unable to open the windows due to the bugs and mosquito’s. I learnt that you use turps in tanks to get rid of them, so I brought a bottle and tipped the whole thing on the top of the broken tank. What a mistake that was, with the heat during the day, I could smell the turps and I thought “oh shit, hope this doesn’t catch on fire”. I was told later you only need a small amount and even if it went into the water it sits on the top. Another country lesson.
Finally I was able to get some sort of relief, with fans going the windows now open, no cat, not as many bugs we were able to finally get some relief. Then the rain came, oh the beautiful rain, and so did the bugs. Joshua and I were running around the house shutting the windows as the bugs appeared from no where and started to invade the house, the walls, TV everything. I nearly lost it! So we ended up again windows shut all the fans on and I had 3 fans on me going full blast.
I found out the next day that the rain hatches the bugs, so you always need to have the windows shut after rain or flyscreens. One of my friends calls it “Bug night” as the bug bang up against the windows. Thanks for telling me… There are so many more stories like this that I will endevour to share on this blog.. What an adventure from a city girl with a country hope to the country with no hope.. lol… there was hope.
Until the next post.. peace xx