Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Messing about with our tarps

Am a mucky pup after spending the last few hours underneath the tarpaulins sorting out the tangle they got into after a storm at the weekend left them all bedraggled and looking sorry for themselves. We are going to hose the tarps down tomorrow so they look tidy. They are very muddy. I could do with a hose down myself, but will make do with a flannel job.

The awning on the kitchen caravan took a beating in the last storm we had, and ripped. Lester was deliberating on whether or not to buy a new replacement, but I looked at the huge pile of tarps loitering in the tall barn, left over from the tempest in late January. They were supposed to be up on the tall barn, but the wind tore them off. So in a heap they have lain.

So I thought to myself: self sufficiency!
And I began.
Out from the pile I dragged three. My thoughts: to tie them together to make a big one. Then drag it on top of the caravan, over the old tarpaulin, or rather, the remnants of it.

That was the easy way.

That was MY way.

However: Out from the office comes Lester and reviews my enterprising attempt to keep us dry. Without a tarp on the caravan, the awning leaks like a sieve. Everything inside will get wet. He says "I'll go and buy a new one tomorrow", and I says, "No you won't, we will use what we have already." We are seriously earnest self sufficiency trainees, and that means that we do not charge off to the shops and buy whatever we need, but try instead to have a go at using our own resources.

Which was why, at that particular moment, I was lying flat on the ground, tying three tarps together with string, with Boolie licking my ear because he thought I was playing.

This didn't go down too well with Hubs. 'If you are going to do a job, then you may as well do it properly' is his motto.

Well, I WAS doing it properly. 'Self-sufficiency' properly!

He goes back into the office. Gives me ten minutes or so, then simply has to come and take charge. He says "That won't work. There's holes in those tarps".
Oops! Hadn't seen those. Was too busy sorting out how to jigsaw puzzle fit three tarps of different shapes and sizes to make one big enough for the caravan roof.

So we have a bit of an argument with each other about which way is the best way to proceed. Hubs wins. He has noticed the tarp covering our belongings in the tall barn. It is the last of the huge tarps we bought after the roofs came off last September. It was never used, so came in handy when we had to evacuate the half barn when the building work commenced. Anyway, it has been covering our stuff. It is filthy! Dust and water, making mud, which it is covered in.

In great gungho manner we tackle the job. Remove tarp from our stuff. Good to see everything still dry and in good shape. Apart from my box of shoes, the contents of which have acquired a nice green sheen. They should polish up again, so no probs. Recent rain had made some puddles in the tarp to moisten our tarp removing endeavours. Sort of oiling us along.

Over to the kitchen caravan. Tarp held down by loads of big stones. Hubs orders that "All the stones have to be put in a pile over there". My heart sinks. The intended pile is miles away. "Why can't we just put them here. I won't have so far to walk" I say.
"No" he says. "If a jobs worth doing......etc...."
"And those pots needs moving, and those plants, and all of that stuff" he says waving his arms at a quantity of gardening paraphanalia.

"Crikey" I thinks to myself, "I wish I had left the b******y awning to rot!" No P word today, you notice, it being not a strong enough word to used when messing about with one's tarps.

Stones over in far-away pile. Energies at zero. Need food. Stop. It's nearly dark. "Sandwich then?" I say to Hubs.
"Great idea" he says. "Can I have a sardine sarnie?" That's not too much effort. But I have been thinking of a quick slice of bread and homemade jam each. Not much effort attached to that. Sardines require the tin to be opened. "And can I have an onion chopped up in it?" I glare at him. Ungracious, I know, to treat one's Hubs in such a manner, but chopping onions, albeit a minor task during the morning's cook-up for lunch, but messing about with onions late evening becomes a major task of epic proportions.
"Oh don't bother then!" he responds. I huff off.

But soon perk up once fed. It is getting dusk. We look at each other. "Let's push on and get the job done" we say.

Off comes the old tarp on the kitchen caravan. We drag the other tarp into position. But hit a prob: It is immensely messy and wet, and is hard to get hold of so we can haul it over the roof of the caravan. Nothing for it, but to get under the tarp and push it up onto the roof from underneath it. Yuk! Yuk! Yuk! Hubs has already unpeeled a humungous slug from it. Yuk! Rubbing against my back, my hair, and then over the top of my head, the b****************y tarp slides. I can feel myself getting wet. I yell at Hubs ungraciously to "Get a move on why can't you!" He yells back "I can't get a grip on it!"

And so the evening procedes. My thoughts are: 'There are certainly a variety of adventurous experiences to be had here in France, I want to go to bed, I don't think I will ever be clean again, etc' as the acres of tarp are pulled over my head.

And then the moon came out. Huge. Yellow. Surrounded by a froth of creamy-yellow haze. I saw it when I finally got out from underneath the tarp. It was magic.

I would have probably missed seeing it if I was still living my old life. I would have been indoors. TV,PC, whatever.

So I am off to have a flannel job with soap and a bowl of water, which is heated up by a kettle.

And I saw the hugest of moons get up for its ride across the night sky.

Hubs and me stood and watched it for some time. It made the day a good day. And the kitchen caravan will stay dry until this tarp decides to decease itself probably with the assistance of a playful wind. Hopefully not before next spring. Plus we saved ourselves 250 euros, which is the cost of a new tarp.

Things I have learnt today: That nature has a way of lifting one's spirits if one cares to take time to observe what nature has to offer.


DUTA said...

The huge , yellow moon.is a superb finish to a very hard day.
And, as you put it so beautifully, nature is indeed " lifting one's spirits if one cares to take time to observe what nature has to offer".

Vera said...

The moon was awesome Duta, and coming out from under the messy tarp and feeling messy myself, made the experience even more inspiring. I still have that moment etched in my memory.