Monday, 5 September 2022

Things on my Mind.

When I finally rolled out of bed this morning, a little later than normally because I had no plans at all for today, and filled the kettle for a cup of tea I looked at the smart meter which sits right by the breakfast counter. At first I thought it had gone wrong, perhaps it was broken? But no, everything else looked fine and I had to believe the rather alarming figure the meter showed. By midday, the total consumption for the day so far, without using any electricity except that first cup of tea and things like fridge and freezer, clocks and other stand-byes, had reached the charge that even last week would be my total cost for an ordinary day without laundry, vacuum cleaning or other heavy uses of electricity. Twice the cost already and in October energy prices are increasing by another 80%! And again in January. There are people in this country whose income is less than the cost of their energy. How are they going to manage? It's utterly frightening. And winter's just around the corner.

At the same time there are "preppers", millionaires and billionaires, I read this morning, who are discussing among themselves and with consultants, how best to organise life in underground bunkers come the inevitable collapse of society, for whatever reason. Climate change, mass migration, nuclear winter, a plague worse than Covid, you name it, they are preparing for it. Or so they think. Several of them have already retained small armies to defend their underground fortresses. When it's all over and they crawl back into whatever light of day there still is, do they think that their money will see them through? Money will be worthless in a post-apocalyptic world and they themselves will be surplus to requirements. Strikes me that only skilled people will survive, bakers, gardeners, engineers, etc. and any Navy Seal who knows the whereabouts of the preppers' food and water stores will make damn sure they will get their share of it, by whatever means.

For those of you who say 'don't believe everything you read' this very long and reputable article named names, quoted sources and was signed off by a 'consultant' who had been hired to advise the tech titans.

Some of you have asked "is the shroud + scaffolding gone?" No it isn't, and not likely to for some time, the very least until the end of October. As if I weren't miserable enough yet. I have cut small holes and gaps into the shroud, but I will soon be cutting larger windows. I have asked my solicitor to explore if I can have compensation. If only it weren't so expensive to involve legal experts like solicitors and judges.

On a lighter note: I watched the 1940 film of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' with Greer Garson, Maureen O'Sullivan and Laurence Olivier on TV at the weekend. (Do those names mean anything to people nowadays other than to such as me at my advanced age?) I have seen many newer versions on the BBC, some very recent, and I have to admit that the MGM 1940s version was a bit of a letdown. Large chunks of plot were left out, the women wore clothes from different eras, Regency customs were mercilessly adulterated, and the characters hardly developed from beginning to end of the film. Jane Austen's old dragon Lady Catherine de Burgh was turned into a fond aunt, I ask you. Mr. Darcy did not rise from the lake in his frilly shirt as Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy did in the 1995 version, much the best in my opinion of all the many adaptations. 

And then best news of all: it's finally raining!



27 comments:

  1. Hooray for rain. Hiss and spit at the rest of it though.

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  2. Hi Friko - great post ... and yes we have had a heavy shower down here ... really need a lot more - and promised for the week ... who the hell knows where we'll be in a few months ... not a happy time ... and I'm poor! AThankfully I don't have a meter sitting in front of me ticking down . All the best - Hilary

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    1. It's been worrying me!! I didn't acknowledge your mental hassle with that shroud and the building works ... you should be able to live in peace and quiet, but life for all (most of us) has decreed otherwise - with thoughts that your garden can become yours again without interference or noise. With thoughts - Hilary

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  3. That fuel cost, going into winter, is frightening. I hope you can keep up!

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  4. I try not to buy into the fear the preppers spread. Not that I say disasters couldn't happen that would cause people to want underground living spaced and lots of stored food, but if it did who would want to live like that when millions of others are up top dying? That said, I really like reading dystopian fiction because it makes me feel like life isn't really as bad as it could be.

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  5. We watch BBC News. So unlike the vast majority of Americans, We are actually deeply concerned about what you folks are facing. Our thoughts are with you which is called comfort I'm sure. I hope your new prime minister and government will find a way to keep everyone warm and fed this winter. Gosh sounds like world war II all over again doesn't it?! I have to say I agree with your comment:
    Strikes me that only skilled people will survive, bakers, gardeners, engineers, etc. and any Navy Seal who knows the whereabouts of the preppers' food and water stores will make damn sure they will get their share of it, by whatever means. Living on a small tropical somewhat companionable island. Seems wiser all the time. I'm hoping for a soft landing for all of us. Don't forget to enjoy your hours and days. Best wishes

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  6. Our news are full of "Entlastungspaket" which the German government is currently bringing on its way. People like me won't get a single euro out of it, but I am now better off financially than I have been all my life. How much that will still be true next spring remains to be seen. I definitely am NOT up to suffering a cold flat and cold showers, if I can avoid it.
    It's been raining good and proper during the night here, too, such a relief!

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  7. Humans are very good at creating their own disasters but have some faith as we are also very good at solving disasters, depending on governments' commitment. Somewhat younger than you, I know those actors. Laurence Olivier has always fascinated me.

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  8. Unfortunately, I did not see this version of 1940, Friko. And I really like the 1995 film and the actors play well. Our bills for maintenance of an apartment building are also rising, especially for garbage collection.

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  9. Oh yes, I recognize the names of those actors. I still have special memories of Olivier and the first time I saw him in the film "Hamlet". Glad you had some rain. We surely could use some of that wet stuff.

    I read that same article you mentioned. The 1% can do what they please with all their funds. They may not end up with what they think they have should this worst case scenario come to pass, but I'm not going to fret about them in any event.

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  10. Well, Friko, I cannot be a prepper. We do keep enough water and possibly canned soup to last us for a week or two, but that's about it. And I certainly don't plan to go underground. And I also refuse to worry about it. Yes, it pops into my head on occasion, but outside of being aware of possibilities, I prefer to go day by day. Some planning may be good, but dwelling on what may never happen is a waste of what little time we have left (IMO of course).

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  11. I have been known to mention that if war was declared or some other global crisis, I would dig up my entire garden and plant potatoes and cabbages. My husband tells me that wouldn't be enough. I agree with you that the people who would survive devastation of one sort or another would be those who can DO and MAKE.
    The shroud business sounds dreadful and I would be counting the days until it's gone. Energy costs up 80% in October - how will people live?

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  12. I'm glad I don't have a smart meter to alarm me through out the day. I just wait for the bill at the end of the month to practice my profanity:)
    I almost hope I survive long enough to see those with lots of money realize it will buy nothing. You are right, skills will be in demand.

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  13. I've seen all versions of P&P also and the Colin Firth remains my favourite and the most true to the original material which I have read many times.
    Full sympathy on your next door construction. I lived something similar and it was so stressful I am baffled I live to tell the tale.
    Your new PM resolved to cap the heating costs. Let's see.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. The world is in a sad state of affairs. A friend said their utility bill doubled per month to $800, and they don't know how they will make it. I see no reason to go underground as it will be dig eat dog then. Try to have a pleasant day and don't think of the what ifs. And isn;t it time for that construction prokect to wrap up?! You have endured enough.

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  15. It's a pity that the so called "preppers" dont put their enormous wealth towards solving the many problems that are facing our planet.

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  16. LT, PM says she is going to cap energy costs. LT seems to acknowledge the problem and US newscasters say she has a track record for getting the job done. Oil, gas and food prices are high everywhere. Prices seem to go up weekly. When I was a child, we had a neighbor that had a bomb shelter built in their basement. They had a stockpile of food and water as well as an air purification system. I remember exploring the shelter with amazement. It felt like science fiction.

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  17. I'm an optimist. I think someone will figure it out.

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  18. I agree with you, the best news being the rain. What a state our country is in, but we battle on. And yes I agree with you, I haven't seen that version, but Lady Catherine de Burgh as I fond aunt!! ­čśŐ

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  19. Those names do mean something to me. I was speaking to a contemporary of mine who did not know who John Huston was/is. Treasure of the Sierra Madre, anyone?

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  20. Seems that I can only post to your blog if I drop my ad-blocker! Sorry about your electric bills and you are correct in that when chaos comes, money only works for so long.

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  21. I've read that article. If not that one, a similar one. Yes, building their bunkers, hiring their security forces, stockpiling food. All well and good until the security forces decide that they could use the food and shelter better. You're right. When they emerge, if they survive, they will not know how to survive...how to grow food, how to build anything, how to make something as simple as soap or how to weave. Instead of using their fortunes to help mitigate climate change they spend it trying to survive it.

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  22. Funny how folks the chief matter of life is to survive, not the quality of life per se.

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  23. That's my favorite version of Pride and Prejudice. Hands down. Greer Garson is luminous. That's a creepy article, though it doesn't surprise me. I suspect we have a load of conspiracy theorists here prepping for the same thing. Our world is a messed up place, for sure. I'm sorry about the scaffold. They're certainly taking their own sweet time. I hope you can get some compensation.

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  24. I simply must begin using my reader, as that's the only way I know you've posted. There are several blogger users I risk losing track of, since there's no way to follow by email. That's not your problem, it's mine. Discipline! I tell myself.

    You're one that I've worried about as I've read about the energy situation there. I monitor my energy use closely, as it's one of the few places I can skimp: that, and food. I could drive myself crazy with worry, so I've chosen not to worry: at least, not now. I do have occasional flashes of rage when one or another rich person begins going on about how we should "just buy an electric vehicle." One electric vehicle is equivalent to one year's income for me. As soon as someone figures out how to make that happen, I'd be more than happy to join the hordes celebrating that particular technology.

    Can't believe the scaffolding, etc., is still hanging around. But at least you've had rain, as have we. There's nothing nicer than the smell of the ground after a nice rain.

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  25. I write this from America and I share all these concerns. Here I also worry about mob violence released by the immoral unhinged man who once was President. It's scary enough that I actually wonder about learning to use a gun, as his "patriots" are far more combat-savvy than we peace-loving progressives. jeez. I do think it's important to pause to be grateful too; that's energy that contributes to the well being of the planet.

    Best wishes to you and our electric bills this winter, Friko.
    love kj

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  26. I was glad to see your post pop up on my feed, it has been a long while. Although I am less in Blogland than I used to be. I agree with you about the rich who think the world will be worth living in after whatever apocalypse they are expecting. I understand that the real problem about climate instability is that you CAN'T prepare for it after a certain point. I mean, who they think is going to be making their clothes and food and transporting it to them in their bunkers? Who will be supplying their electricity and fuel?

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