I knew when we decided to move from a suburban block to semi-rural acreage that there would be a lot more work involved in household maintenance, but when you move into a well maintained property it’s all a bit theoretical to begin with. As time passes, however, entropy asserts itself. We don’t have access to town water, so there are water tanks and septic tanks and pumps and an increased likelihood of things breaking. There’s a “greywater system” which is not in fact a greywater system because it involves no filtering whatsoever, but instead gathers all our water into a (festeringly horrible, due to aforesaid lack of filtering) tank which then gets directed over our patch of lawn with yet another pump. And we spend a limited number of hours at home during daylight. I’m sure you get the idea.
Occasionally I feel a little overwhelmed with the never ending list of maintenance tasks that need to be done. After heavy rain some months ago, the driveway needs a truck load of gravel spread down it. One of the water tanks has sprung a slow leak and needs to be patched, before our entire water supply trickles away. The garden and the paths host endlessly renewing clumps of weeds which spend their time laughing derisively at my sporadic attempts at removal, reminding me of those nasty flowers in Through the Looking Glass.
It is all rather oppressive, not in the least because my natural state is that of genteel laziness and I would prefer not to spend my weekends on Big Jobs, the sort that chew up an entire day. However, this is the trade off. In order to spend at least some of my weekend mornings peacefully sipping coffee, looking over the dam and listening the occasional sound of human habitation (the dulcet tones of my neighbour screaming “fuuuuck orrrrf” – aaaah, the serenity), there’s Big Jobs that need to be done. A bit of quality time spent with Google has provided a solution to the leaking tank and potential suppliers of rocks for the driveway. Soothed, armed with information, and making lists – onwards, ever onwards.