If the old saying “a change is as good as a holiday” holds true, then my life has now become one big holiday. Since the end of last year, not only have I moved out of Sydney, but I’ve pretty much been living the life of a vagabond. So, everyday has brought about a new change. Luckily because of my work and all my years spent on the road I have become very flexible when it comes to change; all I need is my laptop and an internet connection and I’m away.
While my plan is to eventually make a home for myself in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, until I work out exactly where that will be I’ve decided to house sit. So for the last week, I have been hiding out in a lovely house in Ewingsdale, a semi rural region just a few kilometres outside of Byron Bay.
My first official stint as a house sitter went very smoothly… well, apart from an unfortunate incident with a chicken roost - I somehow managed to lock myself in the roost and the chickens out… Yes, you read that correctly. I locked myself in a chicken roost. Apparently while I may be able to navigate my way solo around the world with my eyes closed, it seems my skills don’t quite stretch to collecting eggs from a chicken roost without a major incident!
Yes, I know, it is hilarious – I’m still laughing about it now myself! Though, it may not have been so funny if I hadn’t managed to get myself out, as I was pretty much out in the middle of nowhere, so could have been stuck in there for days!
It all began so innocently on my second day at the house when I went out to the chicken pen to collect the eggs from the roost. What I didn’t realise was that I was supposed to use a latch that was on the inside of the roost to hook onto the door to keep it ajar. Hence, before I had a chance to think the door had closed and locked itself behind me.
Trying not to panic, I attempted to push my fingers through the appropriately named chicken wire to see if I could reach the outside latch. But as it turned out my fingers were not quite as long or as thin as I had previously thought. I then searched desperately for a stick or bit of wood that I could use to shove through the mesh to no avail. Meanwhile the chickens gathered around outside the roost watching me scratching about in the dirt – quite ironic really. But the strange way they cocked their heads and looked at me with that curious, deadpan stare made me think they were really laughing at me on the inside.
In the end, with only four raw eggs and no tools on hand, I decided that the only way I was going to get out was to do a MacGyver. Looking around the roost, the only thing I could see that might be useful was the metal latch on the inside of the door (yes, the same latch that I was meant to have used to prevent the door from slamming shut behind me in the first place). It was longer and thinner than my fingers - perfect.
Fortunately, with a bit of effort, I was able to stretch the metal enough so that it broke fee. I then pushed it through the fence and used it to knock up the outside latch and let myself out. Mind you, it only just reached and I thought for sure I was going to accidentally drop it.
OK, so I was pretty stupid for getting myself locked in there in the first place. But I am obviously much more resourceful than I thought – MacGyver would be proud!