Life on The Shire is beautiful. Ok, you know that one, but....
Admittedly, it is not easy. Adjusting to the change from a town to village is actually taking longer than we expected.
Things that are hard to adjust to in no specific order:
- People are always staring at us. They literally stand all around our fence and gawk. I know, I look different, and I'm amusing, but after a while, I would like some privacy.
- Bathing takes hours. First, wood must be collected, then a fire made. I'm not great at making fire. Fortunately, water comes out of the tap to fill the pot through a neat thing called plumbing, then we heat it up, pour it in a bucket, and take a cup to splash it over our head.
- We have to pump water every week to fill the tanks. That can take a huge hunk out of a day.
- It's very windy and cold up here. Living almost 7,000 feet up on a mountainside makes for very cold days. I'm wrapped in a polar fleece blanket now and wearing two sweaters as I type. The next house must have a fireplace.
- Dirt floors are messy. We didn't have time to make smooth cob (dirt) floors. Instead, we just moved in without doing anything to the ground the house was built on apart from sprinkling water on it and compacting it down a bit. It's obviously messy all the time. We can't change the floors without moving out. So that's on the list for the future house. Plus, there is no 5 second rule when some one drops food on the floor. And sweeping is hard!
- No electricity in the day is actually quite nice. The house is quiet. There is no power bill. There are no power poles or lines outside in our view, but I must admit making purées and mayonnaise takes a lot longer by hand. Kneading dough, mixing cakes, etc... All take more effort. I've adapted well and don't mind, but when visiting a friend, and they just heat up food in a microwave, or better still, put ice in a drink or pull food out of the fridge, I'm still in awe. I do miss those conveniences.
- Our toilets work beautifully. They save water because they are just buckets with saw dust... But they fill up and have to be emptied. It is just one more thing we have to do.
- We don't have glass in our windows. I love the indoor outdoor feel of windows opened, but admittedly, it's a windy place and the shutters are always banging around, plus the animals are always popping in the house stealing food off the table!
- Not having a car out here in the bush means I'm forced to take beautiful long walks with my family. That is a perk! However, those walks are not a choice and they take a great deal of time and energy. A simple errand can take all day. We do have motorcycles, but I'm not brave enough to drive on the highway yet, plus our groceries and whatnot will not fit on a motorcycle.
- Communication and blog writing is harder. Firstly, I'm spending so much time trying to do everything mentioned above, and secondly, battery power runs out often. Plus internet is sketchy often or nonexistent.
- Lastly, baking is a blast and extra tasty in our clay oven, but it takes a lot longer to get the oven ready. Fire wood, fire, prepping of doughs, then removal of fire, then mopping of oven floor, then guessing temperature, then baking not just one item, but many because we don't want to waste the heat.. Baking pizzas turns into baking bread, crackers, biscuits, pizzas, and anything else I can put in before the oven cools.
I love living on The Shire so much, that I really don't like sharing the downside, but this is just the reality we live with.