To be honest, a bit of shit week to move into a tent! Heavy rain and thunder storms, then again, we now know that the tent can withstand it all, we just need some snow and I can relax. So here is a little diary I’ve kept on the iPad of the first few days in the tent:
The first night: It’s late by the time we finish unpacking, setting up the beds etc, there is no food or water, so Sam has gone out to source some. Meanwhile here in the tent I’m becoming increasingly frustrated as I cannot get the fire to go. The generator that Sam has left on for me, so that we can have lights, is so incredibly loud and I end up turning it off, it feels so invasive in the quiet bush. The boys and I are left in the dark, cold and hungry. I give up on the fire and we rug up warm in our coats and hats, grab the lantern and take a walk. We make up silly games that involve star jumps, we run backwards and play a game of tag in the moonlight to warm ourselves up. It works and it also helps the tension and frustration leave my body, it’s not until this point that I realise how tight I’ve been holding my shoulders and jaw for the last few hours. Once Sam returns, the is fire lit and we have dinner cooking away, I feel a deep sense of relief and my happiness returns. I spend the rest of the evening swinging between feeling really happy that we are finally here and feeling panicky about it all. At this stage it really feels as though we have just gone camping for a few days, there is no place to shower, to brush our teeth or even have a face wash. The water tank is yet to fill, the kitchen still needs walls (it’s only tarpaulin at the moment) and the kitchen sink installed so I can do the washing up. I am glad to be here, but it’s a giant shock to the system that I knew would happen, but still was never going to be fully prepared for.
First day: Well it didn’t really feel like our first day, we still needed to go back and collect two more loads of our stuff at the old place and none of it fits into the tent. After downsizing so much over the last few months, it still wasn’t enough. For now we have placed it all in my Sister in Laws car shed, but it means spending some time over the next few weeks doing even more sorting and all I really want to do is be at home in the tent, in my track pants, organising the complete shambles that is currently our living space.
Last night we woke in the early hours quite cold, the fire had gone out as it cannot be shut down and the wood we have burns really fast. So today we purchased a bag of coal, with the aim that it’ll hopefully burn a little slower and the fire will last a little longer, also Sam will have a fiddle around with it and get it so it can shut down over night. With no insulation in the tent, once the heat dies off, the temperature drops fast. I feel completely exhausted by the end of this day, though it is amazing what food and warmth can do for the spirits!
Second day: Last night was first lot of really heavy rain! Like really, really heavy and we had a thunder storm too. I will admit that I was a teeeeeny bit nervous, even though I have done lost of research on the type of canvas you’ll need if you want to live in it (another post I will do) I still had thoughts as I drifted off to sleep of waking to a leaking tent, of wet beds and something akin to Chinese water torture happening on our heads. But the tent held up just fine (thank the Gods!)
And the rain continues into the day, so much of it. I’m feeling a little lost to be honest, there is a lot that needs to be done, it all feels a bit overwhelming and the rain is not helping! I need to be able to pull everything out and put it back in an orderly fashion, but I cannot, there is too much mud, EVERYWHERE, oh jeez so much mud. The worse thing about it is the cats walk it into the tent and up on our beds. Wish I could teach them to wipe their feet.
Sam has been out most of the day and since we only have the one car and it’s so wet, we have been sort of stuck in the tent for most of the day, I am beginning to feel a bit cabin feverish to be honest. The boys have a lot of energy to spend, as kids do and it’s starting to drive me into a bad mood. Trying not to yell at them! Gentle parenting. Gentle parenting. The moment Sam got home we jumped in the car and took off to my Mum’s to use the washing machine and take a shower, and visit of course, the adult conversation was quite good!
I have a lesson in tent living to share with you all: don’t stoke the fire up with too much coal! We had a rather scary 20 or so minutes last night as the potbelly glowed brighter and brighter! Feeling rather thankful, that a few days ago Joey said: I think we should buy a fire extinguisher, so we did and we kept it very handy tonight! The inside of the tent got pretty intensely hot too, we ended up unzipping both doors (there is one at each end) to let some cool air flow through. Finally the fire calmed itself and began to de-glow and we breathed a sigh of relief that we didn’t burn it all down.
Third day: More rain, more mud. Perhaps we shall sleep all day . . . But that seems impossible and not because of the boys, they are playing quietly with their toys in front of the fire, it’s the body, it needs to pee and it needs coffee, also the fire needs wood.
So I found out on the way to the long drop, as I stepped in one of the numerous puddles, that my gumboots have a hole in them. Shit. All my other footwear is in storage in the SiL’s shed, not that any of them would be in anyway helpful in this environment, but in saying that I should probably pull a pair out as it is a tad embarrassing that I’ve only got these muddy as hell boots to wear out. Time for new gumboots though. Yesterday afternoon, I did sort out a lot of stuff despite the rain. I pulled on my wet weather gear, a handy left over from farming and sorted, sorted, sorted! I put together two sets of shelves for the kitchen and fixed the wonky, um . . . ‘floorboards’ (actually just pallets) Felt pretty good! Now it’s organised chaos, not just general chaos, big difference.