We ditched the TV when we moved to ‘Treetopia’. Our philosophy was to connect with each other as a family, and be at one with nature. Yeah, Nah, that did not happen. It was more about lacking a decent signal or an ariel. What we do have here though, are trees. Big feck off trees, and a tin roof that is as hostile to mobile reception as Ragnor defending Valhalla.Cue gratuitous viking shot, (my blog, I do as I please mwahahaha.)
Nothing gets through the roof. It acts as a massive corrugated umbrella. I’m sure that come the alien invasion, it will save us a fortune in tin foil, not to mention the hassle of making all those pointy silver hats, so all good.
We also don’t have electronics, X boxes, Nintendo’s, Wii’s or anything else of a gaming nature. ‘Small but fierce’ becomes a hell of a lot fiercer, if you put a screen in front of her. Normal kids unsurprisingly, view my children as a bit weird and give them the same pitying looks normally reserved for kids starving in third world countries. Adults also look at me with rising panic, like I might be the kind of insane that boils my own eyeballs in bleach. What do you DO with them all day???
Before you think we are some hybrid mash up of ‘Amish Von Trapp meets the Addams family’, I should point out that we do watch movies and participate in a fair bit of Minecraft. We also have a monster amount of board games, puzzles, books, art and crafts, musical instruments, as well as my favourite pastime ‘throw the kids out in the bush with a stick.’ The worst consumer of the internet screen time here…that would be ME.
Every morning when I wake up, I check the Free world is still limping along. It’s my first task to tap ‘Trump News’ into my search bar. I am not going to get political, but in the likelihood of WWIII occurring overnight it’s a good bet those key words might turn up something for me. It is from that vantage point I assess the schedule of the day. Is it worth cleaning the toilet today? Should I leave it till after noon and see if any nuclear warheads are launched BEFORE I get down and dirty, round the bend with my plastic brush. Do I really want to do 6th grade composite angles this morning, if there is a high likelihood of incineration, or would I rather do Venn diagrams, plait my girl’s hair and eat Ben and Jerrys, It’s a tough call?
In the current political climate, I mentally veer between ‘la la la fingers in ears, I can’t hear you’ and ‘heck if we’re all going to die anyway, eat the ice cream…eat ALL the ice cream’. I am expecting imminent disaster in my usual morbid fashion.
This weekend we woke to find an unexpected missile had landed, not in the conventional sense, more in a great feck off tree demolishing the power lines to our street. I could not find out if Korea or Trump was responsible for my ‘no electricity’ situation, or if a zombie apocalypse had pipped them to the post. My initial relief in finding out we were not under nuclear or undead attack (evidenced by the Australia Post guy, stuffing pizza flyers in my mailbox) was soon overshadowed by the realisation that I was in a new sort of dystopia far more terrifying. Western Power had blocked off the entire road and I was trapped here without power and three kids. The kids were fine. Me, not so much.
In adversity, we discover ourselves. Know what I discovered? This. I need hot beverages, lots of hot beverages and it takes a looonng time to boil a pan of water for a coffee. I am ADDICTED to my internet. I use it from everything to, checking in how my buddies are doing, buying stuff online, to researching what a group of flamingos are called, (flamboyance-you’re welcome.) The other little gem of knowledge I unearthed about myself was this. I am grossly, recklessly under prepared for ANY emergency. My ‘live in the moment’, ‘joyfully embrace each creative passion’ philosophy, wilts when you are on your final soggy toilet roll.
My youngest does not tire of testing the light switches, EVERY THREE SECONDS. When night approaches, In the whole fecking house I can put together this. One torch, two of those flickering candle lights that you get at carol concerts, a Disney wand, and four birthday candles and that’s it. We are doomed.
This is the moment I bail, and go looking for an adult, a prepper, who has a mini generator, hydroponics, frozen banana bread and wi-fi, because whilst I might convince myself come the zombie apocalypse I will be skinning rabbits and living off the grid. It’s more likely I will be in among the throng of the undead softly moaning brains, brains..