Day 1 in the Big Country

We were all up at half-four this morning, the littlest ones jumping on the bed demanding breakfast. The kitchen opened an hour and a half later where we pillaged and plundered, eating like an army then taking some more for the road before we left.

A lovely drive up leaving Halifax encloaked in its fog before, mountaintop down, Nova Scotia revealed itself to the boys. Not that they were interested as they were experiencing their first box of Tim Hortons timbits – donut centres to the unenlightened out there. The boys contented munching was only broken by their peals of laughter each time Charlie said ‘Look, I can see a tree!’, Yes, aged two and one, entertainer and entertained.

So Nova Scotia then – I couldn’t stop grinning. Laura and I both admitted to growing nerves as we got closer to the island. We passed familiar places, forgotten favourites, stopped once at a truck stop for Charlie to marvel at the enormous lorries and again in Antigonish to wipe Evan down so he’s be presentable when we arrived in Kingsville. We needn’t have bothered though as our neighbours weren’t in but they had left us the key under a margarine tub on the back porch.

It took us a few minutes to crack the locks but we got in and found that the radio was playing upstairs… for three years. Mice had moved into the sofa and also left small piles of food husks just where you step when you first enter a room. You know, when you’re scanning the corners for scary things then building up the nerves to look down and see what caused that crispy corpsy crackling noise underfoot…

With trepidation I inspected the basement and found that it was pretty much as we’d left it but with more stuff piled in the darkened corners. The big house was again the same, although someone had swapped our illegal shotguns for a load of louvred doors… fair enough really as I stand less of a chance of blowing one of my limbs off with the latter.

The strawberry patch still contained some strawberry plants, albeit dwarfed by triffid like weeds and our once grand vegetable patch  s only loosely marked out by the tattered remnants of a plastic tarp and a tincan scarecrow peering over yet more gargantuan weeds.

The same weeds have taken over the pastures as far as the eye can see and the once solid ground is saturated to marshlike levels by an apparently very wet summer.

As for the barns the big one is scattered across much of the eastern field and the small one which I thought could be repaired has already collapsed internally. I’m told that as soon as you stop putting hay in the loft the water doesn’t ever get out of the timbers, causing the wooden pins that hold them together to rot or pop out. As soon as one support goes the rest aren’t long to follow. I peaked into the little barn through a hole some animal had made and the only thing holding the two opposing walls up is the cracked timber that I noticed last time I was here.

Down in the void under the big house I stepped over some stray foundation stones and inspected the errant water pump. Well, in reality I flicked the switch on and off a few times, removed a cover and wiggled some wires but the blasted thing remained dead. I then went into town and bought a 1/2hp jet pump that my neighbour has promised to help me fit tomorrow.

Laura’s crashed out so we’ve yet to finalise a plan of attack but I’s like to get in as soon as possible… the $90 a night we’re paying for a motel room where we have to move the one working lightbulb from lamp to lamp o ceiling coupled with having to run the air conditioning unit to counteract the unswitchable off heating really hurts y pocket as well as my eco-cred.

All said and done we’re all healthy, happy and adjusting to life over here although eerily it has only been one day. Oh, and guess what? Snow forecast for tomorrow…

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2 responses to “Day 1 in the Big Country

  1. Tim Hortons, arrr I’m so jealous! Hope you settle in quickly ;o)

  2. Love your blog Jamie! You’re completely bonkers but it sounds wonderful! Enjoy every moment! x

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