As some of you know I am into Permaculture, recycling, saving the the world, things sustainable and ecological, and all that that entails. I don't write about it much because I reckon there's a lot of people writing much more erudite articles than I could, but sometimes I need to air me thinkses, and now is one of those times! So if this kinda bumpf bores you, go make a cuppa tea!
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to turn out the whole house, spider sanctuary by spider sanctuary, and re-home as many items as possible in the course of this year. (Notice, I didn't say 'throw away' items? A few years ago I read a phrase which has remained with me: 'With Rubbish There is no Away.'...or words to that effect. Everything I throw away has to go somewhere and what gives me the right to clutter up your back yard with my unwanted stuff?)
Anyhow, over the last few years, as I have read and considered the state of the planet and the way things are headed, such as Post Peak Oil and the necessity for Sustainability, I have found myself hoarding all sorts of things. Old jerseys, bits of fleece and wool- might need to make blankets, or coats. Endless plant pots, plastic containers and tin cans- planting seeds, trees for firewood, fruit, veg. Clothes; worn out, too small, wrong size, cast offs- they could be cut down and remade. Oh! you name it, I probably have one stashed away somewhere: who knows when I may need exactly that item? Or ten of them?
That sort of mentality may have come from a Mother who grew up during the rationing of WW2, or even perhaps, from growing up in the west of Ireland, where prosperity didn't really arrive until the 1990s: but however I came by my thrifty notions there comes a point in time when its either them, or me. Why? Because this house just ain't big enough for both of us.
However, in the course of my recent turning out, I began to think about the way I/ we respond to prognostics for the future and what it holds for us. Us, in particular, since we are the ones who will see the changes as they become everyday reality. For the next generation the changes will be normality, a thing of the past.
How do we prepare for a future where life could be very, very different? Supposing imports from other parts of the world become impossible, or just too expensive for ordinary folk? What should I be saving? Supposing there are no more books because we need trees for heating and cooking fuel- perhaps I should keep all the books and magazines I can lay my hand on.
Supposing I need information but electricity is a problem- I'd better file all the articles I've torn out of papers but never read, just in case there's a piece of information I need.
I'd better find out everything possible on foraging in the wild for food, the shops may run out of supplies.
Oh golly, what about a getting a horse as we're an awful long way from town for when petrol becomes scarce?
Laugh, go on, its daft, I know. But can any one of you honestly say that none of these same thoughts have caused you twinges of anxiety? Ever? That you view the future with complete equanimity? That you don't keep back anything 'just in case'?
I'm calling it my 'Medieval Siege Mentality', and I am definitely trying to curb it. So, no horses, yet. But I'm wondering whether we should move to a house nearer town, preferably a fortified house with a spring in the garden, and space to keep hens, some sheep (blankets and coats), grow all our own food, maybe an orchard, and of course a few windmills (electricity).
See what I mean by Post Peak Oil Anxiety? Or am I the only one suffering from this disorder?