This week at art class my teacher told us about one of the not so fun aspects of country life – being talked about and it getting back to you. She and her partner are renovating a house, and mainly due to a lack of funds but also due to a desire to be environmentally friendly and use materials like straw bales and paints which are not damaging to the environment with unusual paint colors, some of the aspects of their renovation are being discussed at various dinner parties.
She knows many people in the town, and somehow at these dinner parties there is always a friend of hers who lets her know what is being said. There’s probably equal amounts of positive and negative, and many of the developments and other renovations in the town end up being discussed as well. But she admitted it is a little unsettling to know that people are talking about you.
Another major difference I’ve found when living in the country is the stuff you carry in your car. In the city I rarely had anything in the boot or backseat. In the country most people and now even me tend to have a lot of items which need to be carried. In my car boot for example, I have a bunch of green shopping bags, and a cooler bag which you can put cold items in for drives – on hot days I use these to carry home cold things from the supermarket, even though it’s a short-ish drive. We have a little cooler bag which we put cold cans in anytime we’re going on a daytrip type of drive.
In one of the green bags I have my little kit of assorted things you may need –
– latex gloves. Useful for many reasons but my major one is to check the pouches of roos, wombats and other pouch animals – babies can survive up to three days after the parent is killed and they can be rescued. If you’re in Australia and you see an animal by the side of the road with a green stripe spraypainted on it, this means someone has already checked the pouch. Also useful in case of first aid situations.
– wet wipes of various kinds – anti-bacterial, glass cleaning, ones to clean hands, yes I am a germophobe but also these are handy when fishing!
– First aid kit. One night back in the city when we lived on a main road, we were just sitting down to a lovely chicken roast when we heard this huge bang. A couple of elderly people were driving along the road and they ran right up the back end of a car parked on the side of the road. Having done first aid for many years as a St John’s cadet, I grabbed the little kit we had there and ran out to help while the other half called the police. This poor old couple, I felt terrible for them – and it was a dark red car under a tree which meant you really couldn’t see it very well. It turned out ok, they were fine, and we even went to the hospital to stay with them until their family got there and then visited them at home once they got out because they were so lovely. Imagine being the first one to an accident scene in the country, where help can be quite a drive away and mobile phones don’t always work. You bet I carry a good first aid kit.
– a rug. Useful for injured animals, like the time I sat an emu on my lap for 30kms till we got it to a vet. It had been hit by a car on the hay plains and was grazed and stunned. We weren’t sure it could walk, so we wrapped it in the rug and it became my new best friend. Emus are not small birds, you know. They can also be extremely aggressive. But it was worth it because the bird was very calm and seemed to know we were helping, and ended up being fine.
Another big difference is you have no hesitation buying things in bulk. We go to a local feed store here and buy two 20kg bags of kitty litter every couple of months. This costs us $30 in total. It works out to .75 cents per kilo of kitty litter, it’s one trip where you have to lug something heavy, it lasts us ages, we put it into these big buckets and use it as we need it.. We never run out because we always go back when the second bag gets opened. It’s a great deal. ;) So if we go somewhere and we see a great deal for buying in bulk we usually just grab it.
And the feed store, I love it there. It’s like a trip back in time. They have a lot of really great stuff you’ve never heard of before. They sell feed for every animal imaginable. THEY HAVE LIVE CHICKENS. I really want to have chickens of my own one day.
We now have a rule for shopping in the country. If you see something and you want it, grab it because it is not likely to be there the next time you’re looking for it.
The kitty post will have to wait because I want to try and get some photos to go with it. ;) Keep an eye on the blog over the weekend to see photos of our trip posted by Sephy. Be good ya’all and have a great weekend, I plan to. ;)