Ghosts, Curious Cows and Cock-a-doodle-SQUAWK!

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The night sky....believe it or not I could SEE millions of stars. I just couldn't photograph the bloody things

Sorry guys, I tried. I really, really, tried.

I pushed every button on the damn camera, clicking this, clicking that. Adjusting things like ‘macros’ and whatever else I could find. But I couldn’t take a photo that gave justice to the sky I slept under last night. Every photo I have is rubbish; blurry black with the odd white spot.

What you’re seeing looks like I took an accidental photo of the bottom of my handbag, as I’m inclined to do about a million times a day with my phone.

What I saw was something much, much different.

Although here is a halfway decent shot of the moon

And the sunset was pretty cool

From inside the house.

I have to admit I was a little apprehensive as bedtime drew near as it had been many a year since I’d slept outside at night. I watched as one by one my hubby’s family retired to their soft, warm, under-a-roof beds.

Outside there was a little wind. Nothing major, but I nearly used it as an excuse to call the whole thing off. Then I remembered why I was doing this, took a deep breath, and set about pumping up the airbed. Well, I instructed hubby to do it which is basically the same thing.

Brushed teeth and toileted, (nine or ten times to try and prevent the need to pee in the middle of the night. Probably, in hindsight, less wine may have also helped) we settled into our sleeping bags on the back courtyard (no roof), and waited while everyone inside finished their nightly routine and one by one the lights of the house were turned off.

While we waited I, ever the comedian,  made scary ghost faces and oooooooooooh noises with the torch

Not my most attractive moment

But succeeded only in scaring myself

Finally the last light clicked off and we were left with the glow from the crescent moon and the stars and Oh! The stars! The Milky Way was splayed out across the sky above us. Like someone had taken a paint brush dipped in white paint and flicked it energetically across a black canvas. The Pot to the left, the Southern Cross to the right. I couldn’t take it all in. It was purely majestic and I found myself just breathing deep and absorbing it all. Everything in my world at that moment felt carefree. Every worry I had – unimportant. I was transported back over the years, to other starry skies I had seen. With my family, with friends, both here in New Zealand and overseas. Simple times.

I elbowed hubby – “if there was any place in the world you could be right now, under such a beautiful starry sky, where would you choose?”

“Right here, beside you,” he said. Aww.

‘You?” he asked.

“Oh yes, right here mumble mumble mumble…” I murmured in agreement, although secretly I had been thinking the deck on a yacht in the Mediterranean with Ryan Gosling by my side wouldn’t have gone unappreciated. Hmmm.

I admired the heck out of that sky until I couldn’t keep my eyelids open any longer. I saw two shooting stars, upon which I wished of course. I’ll let you know at a later date whether either comes true.

My lovely readers – sleeping outside is something you need to do. I mean yes, obviously there were some drawbacks. Like my husband fidgeting beside me all night, (next time I’m taking my own airbed), and little mosquitoes finding the only areas of skin poking out my sleeping bag which means right now I have about 14 buggery little itchy bites on my hands and fingers and one beside my left eyelid.

Still sleeping the next morning

But the breeze was like magical little kisses on my face while I slept, and the air was pure and crisp, not hot and stuffy like it can often get inside.

The delicate pink sunrise and the country dawn chorus were only slighted ruined by the unhinged rooster at the next farm-house who proudly declared “Cock a doodle SQUAWK EEK PLEH POOTEUY HOICK *gulp* doo” about a million times until I very nearly climbed the fence, electric wires be damned, and wrung its scrawny little neck.

And the cows who ‘magically’ appeared in the paddock beside us sometime during the night (I swear they weren’t there when we went to bed!) and woke me with their curious stares were cute, in their own special cow kind of way.

I am really glad I did it. And I’m planning on doing it again. Very soon. Seriously, this is something I hope that I can continue to do during every hot summer I have left in my life. Under that huge sky, imagining all the things that could be out there in space, and all the things that could be happening right then under that same sky everywhere else on earth, I was reminded not to take some of the things that I let stress me out every single day, so seriously.

I felt content…

Lying on the Trampoline today and admiring the clouds

…and inspired. I’m starting to think that this project might not be enough. That the weekends, though becoming lovely, are far between, and that there are things I could be doing during the week to make myself feel this wonderful. Less like life is all about work and more about the enjoyment in simple, often taken for granted, things.

I’m debating continuing to follow the books suggestions for weekends, but maybe introducing some other things occasionally during the week. Ideas from you guys, or google. Whoever is more vocal.

Anyway, will mull it over and let you know.

If any of you decide to sleep under the stars tonight please let me know how you get on!

x

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5 responses »

  1. Sometimes we simply turn all the lights off in the house, pour a glass of something lovely and go and sit on the garden loungers. Mind you we are very, very lucky and live out in the middle of the forest so we can see the milky way and the satellites and so on. Another thing we often do is a winter barbecue, lunchtimes or early dinner, with scarves on and hats and as long as it’s not too cold or windy it’s great fun. Glad you had such a lovely time. I noticed you referred to the pot, I imagine that is what we call the Big Dipper. Cheers – Diane

    • Oh Diane that sounds lovely! I am envious that you live in the forest and can see the stars as well as you can. After the other night I know that what I can see here in town is nothing like what is actually out there! My dream is to move to a smaller, coastal town. That could be a long way off though.
      The Winter BBQ idea sounds lovely, I’ve never thought about having a BBQ in the winter! I’m not a huge fan of the cold but I don’t mind it as long as I’m warm, so a rugged up BBQ sounds terribly romantic 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting! x

    • So glad it inspired you 🙂 You should definitely do it! Tip though – make sure you have some kind of citronella candle or mossie repellant on, I had itchy bites all over my hands and around my eyes and I looked like Rocky for a few days! Loved it though, it was so peaceful such a magical experience 🙂

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