Some things just need to be said...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Off the Grid

Sitting here in Ottawa, the week after Stephen Harper laid out his priorities in a throne Speech, I am somewhat surprised, at how little it really means to me and it would seem to many others here in the national capital.

I know all the stuff; the throne speech has no surprises. Yet as I have winged east from the warm Okanagan Valley to be here at the pulse of the nation, its very heart, I find the pulse is weak. It’s stronger where I come from, for me anyway.

What is Ottawa other than a place decision makers make decisions based on what the decision makers have already decided on Bay Street, the centre of the known universe. For Canadians anyway.

The people are nice, I have yet to meet a politician here, and you would expect I might, knowing me as some of you readers do. I have made it difficult actually to meet too many of the political folks. You see I actually am about an hour out of Ottawa near the prettiest town in Ontario, Perth. A small place famous for some things but a horse and his Olympic Canadian jumper/rider seem to be the latest pride and joy of the place. Look it up!

So here I am, situated between two places in Canada that Canadians love to gripe about, Toronto and Ottawa. That might seem like hell to some. Its not.

I have no cable TV; in fact I have no TV at all. The last TV I saw was on the seat back of the plane I arrived here on. I actually haul water from a well in 20 litre buckets and pack it to the house. Heat is provided via a wood stove which I have helped collect from the forest, yes the forest. Electricity comes via batteries, sometimes a generator, and lights are propane or solar.

The most interesting and fun bit is the bath. Like when I was a kid they are in a galvanized tub, though somehow the tub seems to have shrunk from what I remember it being. Water heated on the wood heater. Sitting down, knees above the tub, scrubbing away, beside the wood stove, you remain warm this way and close to more hot water. It has become a pleasure, reward if you like, after a hard day on the land, working,

I am off the grid! Now what is amazing is that I am finding I can live like that! Now don’t go getting worried, I won’t be starting any cult, don’t think I will be shooting at any one (I don’t have a gun).

What with Ontario announcing higher Hydro rates next week, being off the grid is looking better everyday!

Will see if I can get the squirrels to work harder, get the ground hogs spinning that wheel faster and I might be posting more soon.

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