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Lockdown paradise despite bat droppings, ants and geckos

My Queensland lockdown living headquarters

I read somewhere that the one thing a person was missing the most was her housekeeper during this lockdown.

This made me smile as I thought I would be very hard pressed to find a housekeeper who would do my morning routine and return the next week.

Let me explain.

I was visiting my son in Northern Queensland when everyone started talking about closing borders.

I have my own self-contained bus parked on his property where I stay during frequent visits to spend time with my two beautiful granddaughters.

It is a ten acre paradise with horses and surrounded with tropical bush, sugar cane farms and a delightful swift-flowing rocky creek unusual for Australia.

The fresh pure waters come down from the Great Dividing Range Mountains up at the head of the valley. No crocodiles but maybe a platypus if we are really lucky.

Staying put

My family decided I should stay put here instead of risking three airports to get home to Wellington and spending two further weeks in self isolation.

It’s a tropical climate here, hot days in sleeveless cotton shirts and nights only requiring a sheet. I swim in the river each day with the girls, down the rapids on a bodyboard and lounging in a rock pool.

A refreshing dip in the river with one of my granddaughters

They always say nothing in this life is free. The downside is that there is always some little critter who wants to nip you as you swim, garden, sit anywhere outside, relax in the evenings, sleep in your bed or venture outside to the toilet.

The jobs list

It’s always good to get your feet on the ground before sunrise so I’m usually up before 6am.  I’ve read it is good for your health to see the sunrise and sunset every day.

First job each morning is to empty the night time pee bucket onto the lemon tree.

I have a bathroom in the bus with shower and vanity. Grey water goes into the garden, but no storage tanks for the toilet. The outside toilet is 20 steps away under my son’s house.

Next job is to brush all the tiny ants and moths and the odd squashed mosquito out of my bed before I make it for the day. All have usually bitten me during the night so I show no mercy.

Sometimes there is a trail of large green ants marching up the window or along the window groove ready to break the barriers into the bus. They must suffer the spray as they bring way too many friends inside.

Then I move on to wiping gecko poo off my bedside cupboard which also has my phone charger, glasses, and speaker.

I don’t see them much but I see where they have been during the night. This place is something else when it comes to small night-time visitors leaving their calling cards.

The bus is a haven for little critters

But wait it gets worse. I had noticed in my outside toilet under the house that every morning there were three patches of small animal droppings in a damp place on the floor.

I needed to sweep these up each morning, but it was a mystery who had left them and why it was damp.

On further investigation and conversation with the locals they suggested this probably was bat’s poo. Bats are already in trouble concerning this coronavirus outbreak but the thought of bat poo on my floor was quite disgusting.

Being the DIY woman that I am not… I decided I must stop these bats getting in.

The window had glass on one side but the other side was broken and was wide open for anyone or thing to enter. I found an old fly screen and some duct tape and yes job was done.

Would my housekeeper have swept up that bat poo every morning?  And then washed my floor with bleach several times just in case?

We have heard bats can carry all sorts of nasties. While I was cleaning I decided to redecorate the whole bathroom as it really wasn’t a beautiful spot to be or sit.

The mud wasps had also been visiting through the open window leaving their carefully constructed cone nests for their eggs on most of the walls or beams. These also had to be removed before painting and they are constructed of tough dried mud made to last.

I found some paint left over from another job, painted a feature wall first in rough sea looking paint with a roller then continued on with a border. I had bought two small rolls of border wallpaper at the second-hand shop for 50 cents each ages ago so they went up to.

It’s a glamorous space now, or I think so any way and I bought a trendy toilet seat just because I could.

My new glamorous bathroom

No more bat’s droppings and I made some trendy vases out of 3 baked bean cans with the same aqua blue paint around the rims.

Well,  must make a coffee and sit under a shady mango tree for a bit before it’s time to go the river with the girls.

Think I’ll just keep doing my housework…

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