Escape to the country

I wrote this post on the eve of the Christchurch mosque attacks, fully intending to publish it on 15 March. The country stopped on that day, and we have been reflecting since on the horror that occurred. It’s still raw in our hearts and minds, but we are moving on, and I now feel ok to write about trivial and frivolous things again.

The ride on mower has now arrived.


Today marks one month since His Lordship and I relocated to the country, and so far so good. This has brought compromises, but some benefits as well. Among the compromises are the fact that we are commuting to the city a few days a week, and one of these trips we do together. His Lordship takes the bus a couple of days a week, and I go in once on my own as well. Of course, we do hit the traffic on these days, so we haven’t escaped completely. And we aren’t used to the early starts yet either.

In terms of benefits, life is very peaceful when we are at home. The nights are dark and quiet, and the days I work at home are lovely. In the near by towns there is pretty much everything we need, and the online grocery shopping gets delivered to our door. There is good dining out, including a world class French restaurant in town, and today I drove 10 minutes in the other direction to go to the lovely Italian bakery on the main road for crusty ciabatta and hot cross buns. While I was there I picked up some sushi for my lunch and some raw dog food for the hounds. Very civilised. For everything else, there’s the internet.

Last week our neighbours gave us a giant pumpkin and we returned the favour with some (speckly) apples and peaches from our trees. Today, domestic goddess that I am, I turned the pumpkin into soup in between doing some work, taking a spa, feeding the chooks (we have two) and eating my sushi lunch.

I’ve reflected on whether I am bored or not on the days His Lordship is in the city, and I don’t think I am – yet. Even in the old house I tended to lurk around home, but there is a difference between not going to the shopping mall or catching up with friends because you can’t be bothered, and not going because really, it’s a bit too far. The school holidays will be interesting, and I may come down and feed my dogs through Darling Daughter’s front door and do some city things.

I am finding rationing resources takes some getting used to after our seemingly endless city supplies. We are nearing the end of a very long and dry summer and a truck has been to top up our depleted water tank. It’s strange knowing that at this time of year water is not limitless. So after the rain and the refill, I treated myself to a bath after His Lordship and I had spent a long day shovelling topsoil and attempting to mow a very large and sloping lawn by hand (the ride on mower has been ordered). There was a feeling of guilt as I watched the precious water pour into the bath. When we run the washing machine, we bucket the water out to the garden which so desperately needs it, so was I tempted to do this with the bath water? Yes, briefly. Did I? No. I watched it run down the plug hole and justified this with the thinking that the waste water tank probably needed it too.

The next time I tried a bath, the water ran cold. The gas bottle was empty. Sigh. In the end I decided splurge and fill the spa pool with precious water from our tank, thinking that might be the best way to soak until we sort out what we are going to do about a better energy source. (Note, the spa pool has a leak somewhere, so that is now on the shelf too until we figure out our next move.)

Since arriving a month ago we’ve had the “water crisis” – let’s call it watergate, and the following week we had an unplanned power cut. And when the power goes out in the country it is DARK. Thankfully this city girl had prepared and knew exactly where to locate the candles and matches. Apparently this very rarely happens. Hmm… we will see.

The pets have all settled in well, and new dog spends happy hours herding the cows and sheep in the paddock and letting them know he’s in charge of where they graze. Old dog wanders around after him doing his own thing and is as happy as can be. They are both exercising themselves as and when it suits them, and they look pretty well and happy. The ancient cat has found a daytime spot to bask, and at night she has a favourite chair. We don’t have any farm animals yet (apart from the chooks), but the neighbours are grazing a few sheep and cattle in our paddocks. We are still thinking about what we would like.

I think I can say that we have all the comforts of home here, and we are working out how to adapt our living to be more aligned with our surroundings. This includes making pumpkin soup! I will keep you posted.


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