What do we realy need? What can we do without? If you think about the things we seem to see as indispensible to our modern lives the list is endless:
I suppose thats not really a very long list compared to some buteven so I've discovered just how difficult it is to live for any length of time with these things.
When we first arrive at the house I feel quite positive;after all we have electricity even if it is only through one long cable with a socket on the end! We have cold water through a single tap at floor height (thanks to a very stupid plumber) and an old gas stove. Keeping everything running smoothly requirs lots of effort.With no sink it's most practical to take a bowl of water outside and wash up there, transfering all the clean stuff into another bowl and taking it back to the kitchen to be put away in lidded boxes to stop it getting covered in dust.
A solar shower that gets laid on the van roof all day to heat up is then fixed ,with a stretchy elastic cable, to the branch of an old olive tree.
Two clay roof tiles form a primative base and stop your feet getting muddy and an old seatless chair stands close by to hang towel and clothes on. At first this seems a brilliant solution to our lack of an indoor shower but as the days wear on it becomes more and more irritating;the floor tiles get invaded by ants that crawl up your legs and nip you. The soap slips out of my hand and falls into a pile of dry olive leaves(thank God for Lush shampoo bars) which then stick to it.And even more annoyingly a neighbour who normally choses the early morning to walk past along the lane changes their routine and now has to be accounted for when deciding on a time to set up the shower!
I end up showering in the dark with a wind-up torch giving off a weak ray of led light -illuminating the ants.And if I'm really unlucky the Hornets which always fly out to investigate a light.
In the end the effort of performing these everyday tasks under such circumstances starts to become almost unbearable and each day they seem to take up more and more time which I feel that I am wasting.Yet if I was living 100 years ago I would just accept them as part of my normal routine.The difference is that I have got used to having all of the things I think that I am entitled to and doing without them seems in some way unfair.Very childish I'm sure.It certainly makes you think about how we take things very much for granted.