It is 335 days, 7 hours, 59 minutes and 40 seconds until 1st January 2018 – the start of our year of semi-self sufficiency. I’m so excited. I’m going to wake up in the mornings and have a cup of tea in bed. I’ll put on a hat and take my dogs for a walk in the forest. By late morning, I’ll make a cake with whatever fruit is on hand. After lunch…nap time! Then maybe some late afternoon gardening in the warm glow of the setting sun.
This is what I told my husband when he came in for lunch last Saturday. I expected him to smile affectionately, wrap me in his strong arms and share my dream.
“Don’t romanticise it!” he frowns, shoving past me to the sink, grimy drops of sweat dripping on the floor boards, mud caked on his right cheek. It’s 35 degrees. Etienne has just come in from the paddock where he has been clearing a block to build a stable for our milking cow. He’s been digging, tractoring, mattocking… all that sweaty stuff.
“It’s going to be hard for you, love,” he said, raising his eyebrows and smiling. “Really hard.”
“Well,” I said. “We will have to make some goals and some… rules! We’ll have to agree on things that so both of us are happy. Let’s start.” I grab an old school pad from beside the phone and write Goals at the top in large letters.
“I think we should be freetarians,” he offered. “We live only on what others give us.”
“No-one is going to make a present of 20 litres of fuel, love. Are we seriously talking about giving up the ute?” It’s clear that decisions have to be made. I think I’ll start posting them as we go.