Five months ago we moved onto fifty acres and into a tiny cottage with only two bedrooms. Not only does the house have only two bedrooms but it also has only one bathroom and to top it off, we’re off the grid. Five people, a tiny house and off the grid? Well, let’s say life’s been interesting.
During the summer months we were left without power twice, at night. It was rather novel as the cottage lit up by candles is very pretty and being forced to play board games can be, if everyone is in the right head space, a positive experience. We lasted twenty minutes.
Mr Smarts did have conniptions though, the first time I used my hair dryer. He was convinced the batteries were going to explode as they were making a dreadful noise. He even had the gall to insist I turn it off. Immediately! Honestly, what was he thinking?
So really summer wasn’t so bad and if the power turned off during the day it would be on again within ten minutes. We could all live with that.
But then autumn came bringing along with it dark mornings and grey overcast days and it changed everything in the blink of an eye.
At night the power can turn off early, say 6:30pm, depending on how overcast the day has been. Last night though, for some unknown reason, it stayed on overnight. We were very excited this morning when it stayed on for a whole half an hour. Honestly, it put a little spring into our steps. Funny how those little things, like electricity can make your day.
We quickly learnt that the tv and the toaster couldn’t be turned on together. As for the kettle, it’s been packed away until summer. We’re still holding out hope for the sandwich maker and in reality the toaster works sporadically. Bye, bye toaster.
The shower isn’t excessively hot, more like lukewarm but we can cope with that. Alright, I’ll admit, I’m complaining relentlessly.
I have to strategically pick my hair drying times, usually in the middle of the day. As for my hair straightener? It’s being a cantankerous bastard and won’t even turn on most of the time. Like I wrote, bastard.
The washing machine can only be turned on when it’s sunny which, as the pile of stinky clothes grows as high as Mount Fuji, is obviously not often enough. My deep breathing is so deep it’s causing me to hyperventilate right at this very moment.
You might ask what about the dishwasher? Well, we don’t have one. Why I hear you ask? Because apparently they use too much water and blah, blah, blah, white noise, white noise. I refuse to believe it!
The time wasted on washing dishes, even though I do attempt to cook one pot wonders but fail miserably by using four pots, is astronomical. Let alone all the arguing, fighting, screaming (teens that is) and greasy, dried dishes. Plus the water from the taps takes so long to warm up we have resorted to boiling it first on the stove top. I have to stop there otherwise my language will put the computer into melt down arghhhhhhhhhhhh……….
The power turning off in the early hours of the night has caused all sorts of issues in the bathroom as the water pump also ceases to work. Five people, one loo, no water to flush? I’m not even going to go there because, at times, it’s been rather traumatic. Let’s just say we have to use a torch in there instead of a candle.
But it has not all been doom and gloom. We no longer wait in fear of the dreaded electricity bill and even though it’s tough, revolting and stinky at times, what’s life all about? It’s about adventure and even though I can’t believe where life has sent me and nor can anyone who knows me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus the solar man is coming in two weeks to set the generator up and possible/hopefully put more solar panels on the roof. Praise to the heavens above!
If you’re living off the grid please share with me any tips you might have. Please save me from moving to a nudist, paper plate using, hot shower camp.
Yours in anticipation,