unashamedly all about me.... Wendy
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

ME - PART THREE - IT BEGINS...AND THE OUTDOOR DUNNY

So we have got to the point that my husband and I wanted to be debt free and try and live our lives supplying as much of our needs as we could. Today these things have names like - down shifting, down sizing, frugal living, sustainable living and on and on and on. We actually in true form to my usual ways just jumped in feet first with no plan at all really. I am sitting here and racking my brain trying to work out when and how this decision was made. The mute husband just din't talk of plans and I suppose we must of been so in tune with each other that we just did it. So we sold up house and even made a few extra thousand dollars on the sale after only a year and a bit in our house. Yep all the other things we did happened in such a short span of time.

I think the move was seated in some of the ideas we had been shown through our involvment with the end of the world people. We let them go but ideas formed in our heads and we just ran with it. I had of dream of not getting bills in the letterbox. I was also married to one of the cleverest men I have ever met. Not the worlds communication expert but a sheer genius when it came to technology and inventing and engineering. All without a degree and all self taught. He didn't even finish school and only went to grade 9 at the age of 14.  He could just look at how something was made and get his head around how it works and then he would go of and make his own version. I can tell you that visual appeal was not high on his list of priorities but boy could he make stuff and fix stuff.

So we sold the house and after looking at many blocks of land in the area we bought 13 acres not far from where we actually lived. It had never been cleared, Was high at the back of the block and gently slopped down towards the road. It had no driveway, no town water, no electricity connected and no fences. It had a lot of rock up the top of the block and generally crappy soil on most of it and WE LOVED IT. We paid cash for it. We owed no one anything.

We bought a very small caravan with an annex and moved into a local caravan park for a short period of time. I don't know why now as the memory is all a blur. I do know that we moved to the block in that caravan. We simply moved to the back of the block and set up camp. We had no neighbours. It was winter. We had a solar shower and we showered outdoors. I have no idea now what we did with our furniture and stuff. We must of stored it somewhere but I can't remember where. Funny the things that you forget over time. Now the story of the outdoor dunny.

We needed a toilet. It was the thing on the top of our list. Outdoor showers and outdoor living were fine but I wanted a toilet and I wanted it now. So my hubby built me a toilet. I can't find any pictures of it and that is such a shame. He just said where will we build it. I said over there. He cemented a floor and used second hand timber to build a building around it and a roof made out of second hand tin. He made a toilet seat and cubicle that the toilet bucket went into. He would empty it as often as needed. I was the only female so I was the only one allowed to pee in it. We would cover it in ash and sawdust. He never once complained about emptying this bucket and digging holes to bury it in. Remember too - we had no power so no power tools. He built this all with hand tools and hand saw. I never really understood this till writing now. He was a clever man.

But the toilet building was HUGE. Sandy never really measured things. I actually assume he owned a tape measure but I never saw him use it. He had such an eye for levels. He painted it in and out with a lovely white/cream paint. The way it was built it had a ledge all around the middle of the walls inside so I could add little ornaments etc. It was the cleanest and neatest toilet ever. But when you opened the huge door to enter you had to walk to the toilet. I think it was at least 2metres long  to the toilet and 1.5m wide. The other thing we didn't do was check the boundary. When we ended up selling this place we found that the toilet was on the boundary line. One foot further back and we would have had our toilet in the neighbours block.

So the lesson finally learnt when we moved to this place a few years ago - get your block surveyed. We did this within 6 months of moving in and I am so glad we did. We gained about another 2 metres down the back of the block and more on one side than we realised. It cost money I didn't want to spend but it was worth it.

I don't have an outdoor dunny at this house but it is on the agenda. I will now get a composting eco loo. I am researching. The reason being is that it takes electricity to run the pump to use the toilet and in the event of power failure I have no toilet. Annoying and I hate being reliant on things like electricity. Better to have a toilet I can use with no electricity and also get to use the waste after time as fertilizer.

So at this point I have two small children - a toilet - no running water - no electricity or solar - a 14 foot caravan and annex. And you guessed it - we were happy - we didn't argue as a couple or a family. We actually didn't feel deprived at all. Obviously we didn't want to stay living this way and we had some plans in the pipeline - so we just got on with it. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can survive like this. It is something I tuck away in the back of my mind and I just know.

More tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

Cheers,

Wendy

3 comments:

  1. I finally got around to reading this Wendy. Really enjoying it, and I love that you take a chance on things and dive in! I envy those qualities. :)

    It is a shame you don't have a photo of that outdoor dunny!

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  2. Hi Wendy! Sorry it has taken me so long to get around to commenting on your blog- I love this post, mostly because I grew up with a composting toilet, and I loved it! My parents built their house on a giant slab of bedrock, so they couldn't have had septic if they wanted it, but they like having a composting outhouse so much they wouldn't have built anything else. As my mom pointed out, it is much more civilized to compost human waste and put it safely back into the earth than to mix it with clean water and then spend lots of energy and resources trying to purify it again...
    Thanks again for writing (and I'm tickled to see my blog on your reading list...I will return the favor :)

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  3. Welcome Liz and thanks for the comment. Part Four will finally be written in the next few days. Cheers, Wendy

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