Here’s another classic on the theme of living a more simple life.
Though the idea for this blog actually comes from something that happened yesterday, while getting on with the daily task of trying to market El Pocito to a suitable buyer. Working my way through the infinite number of Facebook pages and groups, I came across yurts. Not something I thought there would be much about, maybe a few makers, but turns out this is a whole new sub-culture which goes by the name of glamping (remember I don’t have access to the media). Apparently Portugal and many parts of Spain are now covered in them. Which in turn answered another perennial question, how do all these people who have suddenly emigrated from the wealthier parts of Europe, to Iberia (and cheaper), survive financially? Money, pots of it. They come, build an instant showcase organic smallholding, then as soon as possible run holidays and courses from them. Which is fine, I have no objection to that. But what gets me is they labelled this enterprise as organic/ ecological/ sustainable/ or some other green ism. And that is not right. In the same way claiming to be a vegetarian/ vegan/ frutarian (or whatever) doesn’t help save any animals or plants.
What am I talking about? Sustainable/ self-sufficient/ being compassionate about other species, can only be achieved when you remove money and reproduction from the equation, anything else is simply a distraction.
The book charts the life of a family from the end of the Second World War until 1981. Who by choice leave London to be closer to nature, and how that requires sacrifices. For example nine years without running water, and forty years with only enough income to live a day at a time. And which they revel in. Such a refreshing read, especially today, when everyone is so fixated on what they haven’t got, it should be prescribed instead of antidepressants. I found it a real tonic, especially with all the people contacting me about El Pocito, wanting to buy something ready-made, it is getting me down. A life like this is an ongoing process, not an instant fix to sell off (at a massive profit) once the novelty wears off. A place where you put down roots and there is no rush.
Two other things struck me recently also.
What happened to all the concern about mobile phone masts? When they first appeared (1G?) there were public campaigns to remove them from schools and places where people would be subject to radiation for hours at a stretch. Now we have wi-fi in our homes, 24 hours a day, and the intensity is up to 5G, probably several tens or hundreds of times more harmful.
And the other is, don’t wait until it is too late. Many of those contacting me recently are 50+ and finally in a position where the mortgage is paid off. They are desperate to escape the craziness of urban living, but now find they lack the courage to make a move. Do not be afraid. You are only middle-aged, plenty of time left to acclimatise and settle into a better way of life. Go for it.