The Trials of Living off The Grid

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,

Kooky x

24 thoughts on “The Trials of Living off The Grid

    1. You have to wonder don’t you. We are fine tuning our plans before they go off to be drawn up. Many, many, many more solar panels on the new one. We should be able to see it from space 🙂 xx


  1. Ooh, I remember one year before we got out generator that hubby had said before he left for his annual two month holiday, oh you’ll just have to manage without showers. Here he is traipsing off to a tropical island while we are in the middle of winter, with 3 of us working in hospitality industry and we couldn’t shower. Ended up having to visit friends and family and use their showers. Much better when generator was connected.

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  2. OMG! I don’t know how you cope! Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live away from the rat race, but then I get a cold sweat at the thought of the reality of it! I truly admire you for doing it though; look at all the material it’s giving you for your fab blog 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well the cold sweat would counteract the the hot sweat so it might be good if you moved ;). Let’s just say we are working on our house plans day and night xx


  3. I tried very hard to think on your yarn as a romantic story about a family ‘going bush’, but the images of snakes and darkness and now mice and maybe other things at night and no lights….well I am mid little panic attack. I hope the winter sun gives enough juice for your hair straightener. Good luck

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    1. We have a little bit of a mice plague happening at the moment and a fox is visiting Charlie and Pedro, the pet rabbits at night. Thankfully we hear him. But do you know what’s worse. Having a tv which is, for some reason ignoring the remote so we have to change channels physically! Thanks Sue, we’re going to need it.


  4. Oh my goodness. We have the odd blackout which renders our pump useless and so no showers, no lights, no electrical appliances. We have a gas stove so can boil water as long as we’ve a flame to light it. But the longest we’ve been without power is about ten hours. And I thought that was bad! But having it shutting off intermittently? My God it must be driving you mad! But hey, what great memories you’re making for your kids! It’s something you’ll look back on and laugh about. It sure does help to have a sense of humour. I’m pretty sure you’ve got that down pat. Hang in there Kooks!

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    1. It will be interesting to see what our kids do when adults. If they continue to live off the grid or if they re embrace electrical like there’s no tom. Thanks Shauna xx

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  5. You make it sound so tempting! I hadn’t thought about winter off the grid—let’s hope it’s not too cloudy! Of all the things you mention, the worst for me would be lukewarm showers—I love mine hot! Good on you, though—you’re braver than I am!

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  6. Firstly, ponytails. Forget about drying and straightening your hair. Winter will be a challenge though. I was quite depressed and worried about my lack of hope for you until I saw solar panels mentioned in the comments. Once you’ve sorted all that out we will all be jealous of you. I know what you mean about water pumps and electricity. You’d think there would be an alternative when the electricity went out. I’m sorry I’m so late to comment on your posts all the time. Why don’t I see them? Doesn’t FB want us to be friends? Chin up lovey. You are a pioneer woman xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Lovely, you are so popular you probably have loads of things to get through on fb. We have friends over for dinner tonight, new friends so can you say a little prayer everything stays on so they don’t think we are trying to seduce them with all our candlelight x


      1. I’m not popular at all! People unfriend me every week. I put a curse on those people when they do it too. B#%stards. I have finally noticed the box to tick to get email notifications and done it! I don’t really look at FB much during the week. Sometimes I don’t even open my laptop and I don’t use my phone for anything except Instagram which I only look at on Saturday.
        P.S. I will pray for you my child.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How very rude of them. Thankfully the power stayed on and they don’t think we’re weirdos x


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