When we lived under plastic…

Day 12 of colour experiences…. living under plastic!

A chance remark today reminded me of the time we had to relocate for various reasons, a few years after we started running our school in India. My husband had to quickly construct a makeshift dwelling (hut) that was a living room, bedroom and kitchen all in one, on the rented land where he had built the school classrooms. Our shower and toilet were located down the path. As it was only going to be temporary, we had a green plastic tarpaulin stretched taut over the top to act as a roof, secured by pegs at various points (or tied to a tree or two). We did have a couple of sheets of tin over our bed area.

It is incredibly wet during the monsoon season (which lasts over five months) and over the next three years, while our current house was under construction, our makeshift roof would leak around the edges and sag at various points with the weight of the rain. It ended up being covered in masking tape in an assortment of colours and shapes in an effort to control minor leaks. By the end of those three years another couple of tarpaulins had been added to the mix in an effort to keep the water out.

We were fortunate that there is not a lot of wind during the wet season or that roof would not have lasted as long as it did. The worst moment was during a storm one night when a sudden gust of wind blew one corner of the plastic off and water poured in. The power went off and I used a torch to grab my laptop and a couple of other electronic items and my pillow and ran up to one of the classrooms for the rest of the night!

Fortunately I did not have to wait much longer till we could move into our house and relax at night to the sound of rain beating down on a tin roof!

Our plastic roof in its early days.

The hut has now been remodelled into another wonderful classroom with its own colorbond roof.

And today I was reminded again of how thankful I am to be able to sleep under a roof that is secure and leakproof.


6 thoughts on “When we lived under plastic…

  1. Oh wow! I can’t even imagine, but thank you for sharing this! Your imagery was so vivid. Today, as I sit here in my warm house while the snow falls again in New Jersey, I’m thankful for the solid roof over my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your experiences – and your courage – amaze me. I am in awe of them. What a life! What a stunning natural setting as well. I am glad it wasn’t long before the plastic roof gave way to one made of tin. My grandmother’s childhood home had a tin roof and when my dad spent nights with my great-grandmother, he said that the rain on the tin roof made such a lovely, lulling sound. Sometimes, he said, it sounded like dozens of little squirrel feet running.


  3. Thank you Fran! Sometimes one just does what one has to do given the circumstances and then when you look back, it’s a case of ‘glad that bit’s over’! We spent two and a half years under plastic, but mostly only leaks except for that big storm. Tin roofs are commonplace in India outside of big cities and in a lot of places in Australia too. It used to be very noisy in our classrooms before Mark put in insulation, more like elephants stomping than squirrel feet (love that description!) and students would put their hands over their ears! At night time though it can be very soothing!


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