Published on: Sep 17, 2018
Since I now live in the English countryside in an old house I’ve had some experiences of power loss, especially during winter. Even though something like that can serve as a reminder of how incredibly lucky we are in this day and age what really shook me was losing our tap water the other day. That’s when I truly realised how fortunate we are to not only live in our part of the world, but to live now with all of our infrastructure both digitally and “acoustically.” I can certainly understand why those who govern would regard the loss of this as our greatest vulnerability because once the water is gone what do you do? You can manage without electricity for some days, it can even have a certain romantic effect, but if your toilet stops working, and you cannot clean yourself nor your tools, well then things are starting to look very grim indeed…. Here is my list over things to be grateful for and things to look for if searching for a good location, etc;
- Water in the tap! It certainly tops my list over modern-day luxuries that you do not want to lose.
- Hot Water.
- Tap Water That Taste Nice. I regard this as a major luxury in this day and age, since much of the water that is out there is “contaminated” to a certain degree. In certain places we’ve lived over the years we only drank bottled water since the quality of what came out of the tap was so bad. Here in England you can in theory drink it, but it taste foul. I had a little bonsai tree that died once it got tap water, you also have to pour lots of chemicals into your aquarium if you keep fish as pets so that they don’t die. Norwegian water actually taste nice, so you could probably start a proper scam by bottling your own Norwegian tap water and sell it over the internet for good money. Norwegian mountain water is the only tap water I’ve ever had that tasted just like Evian.
- A functioning indoor toilet. You can certainly survive without it, just think about the infamous Norwegian “ute do,” but life is sure as hell way more practical indeed with indoor plumbing.
- Modern Day Kitchen Appliances. Think about all the time we save by having dishwashers and washing machines! Looking after a household today is certainly way more glamorous than how things were back in the day when women had to clean everything by hand – without indoor plumbing!
- A functioning fire-place! In England it isn’t uncommon to block ones fire-place, but if the electricity goes it will be your only heat source, besides dressing up, and laying close to a relative or partner to not lose too much heat during the night. Opting for an old-fashion Norwegian stove that you can cook on top of is also a good idea. An open fire has always been a priority for human beings, living in a high-tech reality doesn’t change that. It enables you to make food without electricity and heat up water. If you’re outside it can also keep animals away.
- Central Heating. It’s so practical to just push a magical button sadly that only works as long as everything else is operational.
- Electricity! Light, light, everywhere. We are incredibly lucky that we can use lightbulbs and take advantage of all of our electricity driven tools. How would we cope without them? We can but the transition would be horrendous and many would probably die in today’s society if the power all of a sudden disappeared for a month or two.
- Tools! The digital infrastructure that we have access to facilitates mobility, efficiency and make it possible to start a business with nothing but a phone. We can also keep in touch with people on the other side of the world and literally follow someone from their hospital bed if a relative is out of reach and ill. Our tools, the internet and the opportunities that social media sites offer would leave a gaping hole in the lives and livelihoods of many if destroyed.
- Glass bottles & other non-contaminated food and drink containers. I was always grateful for plastic because I perceived it as a quality stamp. When I moved to England and saw that people would prepare food without wearing plastic gloves I would be disgusted since I thought of it as unhygienic. Now that I’ve read that plastic leaks into our food and drinks I feel silly! I’m now collecting glass bottles. I clean them and re-fill them. Last time I was at Starbucks I thought it was ridiculous that their eco-friendly option was a plastic cup … Go for glass. Keep it and clean it, if you find it.
- Bottled water & wet wipes. If the water is gone you will desperately need these things. It is better to drink plastic-water than nothing. If you are thirsty enough you’ll drink anything.
- Flashlights, batteries & candles.
- Easy to consume snack & food stuffs that you don’t prepare yourself! Invisible hands or machines are hard at work to ensure that the Utopia is running smoothly. If you stop to think about how people used to work hard to bake and make these things you’ll probably also realise why obesity has become such an issue. In today’s world we can “comfort eat” and “snack” away as much as we want. You can eat because you want to eat and enjoy food for the sake of enjoying a good meal. The second that you see how much effort that goes into keeping a vegetable patch or cooking foodstuffs from scratch it changes your perspective completely.
- A house built with rocks. It keeps cool during the summer, it heats up easily during winter, bad weather have a hard time knocking it down, and it will stand for years.
- Fertile land that is good for farming.
- Access to edible fish.
- Access to edible game.
- Knowing how to hunt. Farm animals run when they see strangers, wild animals jump if they hear you or see you from afar. I don’t even know how it would be like to catch one of these things in total desperation due to hunger, without any prior hunting experience at all. It would certainly make for a comical spectacle I’m sure.
- Weapons that enables defence and the acquisition of nutrition. One thing is to prep, another thing is to be able to protect what you’ve gathered. A good (or bad) thing to know, depending on how you look at it, is that there are many who are completely unaware of that milk comes from the cow and that potatoes are grown in the ground. This means that there will be many who’ll stay put in the cities or in the towns if everything breaks down, but there will still be some who’ll trek into the country to go where the food is. You need to fortify your position. That is obviously not easy if you live in a territory where it is illegal for you to protect yourself and what is yours. It is also an interesting thing to keep in mind that many population groups were “nomadic,” in the past. Having the ability to move around in order to find good “hunting grounds” and water, is only possible if flexible and armed.
- Opportunity for foraging. Nature provides; it is up to us to see it and take it.
- A “mud cellar.” Also known as “potato cellar.” Basically a “cellar” dug deep down in the ground where you can keep your food if your fridge becomes useless. If you have access to ice and snow you will be more fortunate as you can just use the outdoors as your natural fridge.
- Rainwater or a water well. If you can’t get access to water through the tap and the bottled water is nowhere to be found, then what?
- Proximity to real farms that sell genuine food stuffs. No imitation meat, no synthetics. You are what you eat and in today’s junk food reality that is truly scary. Just think about industrialised agriculture and the wellbeing of the animals that we end up consuming; that being said if you are hungry you’ll eat anything, even pets and other humans! 😮 If you are alive today then it is very probable that your ancestors were extremely brutal at one point or the other.
- Low population density. More resources, more space, less fighting and less conflict. The more people, the more problems.
- Lack of light pollution. You can watch the stars! Once you get out of the city you’ll be amazed at the beauty in the skies!
- Lack of noise pollution & other sense pollution/disturbances. It is so quiet where I live that I can literally hear the gold-fish play with the rocks inside their tank or pigeons fight each other with their wings outside in the garden.
- Fresh air. This is so hard to come by in this day and age that I consider this to be a major luxury just like water that taste nice. You are lucky if you don’t have to smell the foul smell of cars and other transportation vehicles. If you have access to air that doesn’t stink or “feels dense/greasy/heavy” you can consider yourself very fortunate indeed.
- Being able to order products online that just magically appear at your door. In this day and age you don’t have to leave your house at all if you need something. You can just click some buttons on your device and this will initiate a whole chain of events that you’ll never have to witness or deal with until your desired product just materialise at your location. What would you do if that all of a sudden vanished?
- Making your own tools and clothes in case it all breaks down. Our ancestors had to get the wool off the sheep that they had the responsibility for. They then had to spin this wool in order to create yarn so that that in its turn could be used to make clothes. The amount of effort that went into everything that was produced by hand is incredible to fathom. Our clothes are made by invisible hands in the East or machines, God only knows where or how the materials are sourced and what kind of process they go through to gain their colour, texture, etc; Most mainstream fabrics seem to be mixed or synthetic. We don’t have to gather any of the materials, nor do we have to make any of it either. This can probably explain in part the “shopaholic” phenomenon and also the habit of throwing things away rather than fixing what is broken.
- High quality footwear and clothes made out of wool. Nothing beats having a Norwegian “sheep-jacket” it might not look trendy, but you are literally walking around with a “bææææ” on you. Norwegian traditional sweaters, wool mittens and super underwear will make sure that you’ll be ready for the winter. It is of interest to contemplate that wearing fur used to be done out of necessity. Having high quality boots so that you can walk for miles is very important too. What do you do if your car breaks down and all other transportation opportunities are out of the question? Your feet are there to be used.
So with all of this being listed I think a Thank You would be appropriate to God and humans alike who tinker away in order to come up with new tools and gadgets. At the end of the day it could all be gone tomorrow which is why being grateful is of such great importance. You never know!
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