I am not good at peeing in a bucket. I’ll spare you the details and let you imagine all the things that can go wrong with a rather generous sized bottom and a small bucket.
Apparently I am good at storytelling… I collect colourful characters and each person gives me a lesson. The more I observe them the more I understand myself and no this story is not about how I became good at peeing in a bucket but that was a big part of my lesson.
My friend Ruby lives on a remote beach in the South Island in a house truck. Recently I had a wonderful visit to her little slice of heaven .Walking on the windswept beach with her three dogs as the sky turned red over the sea, she told me.
“I’m living the dream.”
There’s a bleak wildness to this place. Makeshift buildings and buses are painted multi colours, textured with rust as the sea air reeks havoc in great gusts of wind.
Ruby is the most colourful person I know.Picking me up from the airport she was dressed in a 1950s turquoise dress with a banana design and a bright pink net underskirt…She had a smile from ear to ear and as we hugged I commented on her plastic banana ear rings.
Her little Morris Minor “Gladys” is eggshell blue.It was crammed with things and dogs. Teeny the oldest chihuahua nestled onto my lap covering me in dog hair while Daisy the whippet squeezed between my legs.
“yep that’s why I don’t wear black “ Ruby laughed at the hairs and marks all over my top.
Ruby converted the truck herself. Doing most of the work, putting in a kitchen, solar panels on the roof, storage, a bed, and a potbelly stove. Everything is painted with artistic flair or covered in quotes and pictures.
Her section is a work in progress, industrious projects everywhere, from beautiful flower beds, to drift wood fences, to teacup sculptures. For someone who lives a simple life she has an overwhelming amount of stuff.
Looking around I casually asked,
“Ruby where’s the bathroom?”
“ Oh I don’t have one” she replied simply.
Panic started to take over me as the need to pee was the only thing I could think of.
“ What do you do?” I asked trying to act cool.
“ I just use a bucket.” She replied.
“ Or you can pee in the garden, or there’s a ten minute walk to the public toilet at the end of the beach” she said.
I was feeling ever so slightly like a princess who couldn’t cope with out of her palace.Away from my “creature comforts” anxiety was creeping in.
After one wobbly bucket attempt and peeing on my feet in the garden I have to admit I mainly walked to the toilet but I had a lovely time photographing all the interesting properties on the way. Slowing down, enjoying my observations and laughing at myself yet again for having a “wee” little adventure.By the second day I didn’t even worry about it.
Reflecting on my stay, Ruby said she enjoyed hearing how alternative I found her life. She said she thought her ways of doing things were ordinary because she’d lived on a house boat or a bus for the last twenty years.“More like extraordinary!” I chuckled.
Then we both smiled and said at the same time.
“ just different.”
Thank you my dear friend for a wonderful holiday and insights into my funny self.
Much love Claire xx
P.S Thanks Steve and Ellen for my funny house warming present! Just what I needed!!!!