Sunday, November 28, 2010

Living off the grid

Just a general update today, because I didn't take my camera out with me - more's the pity!

Which was somewhat of a shame because we had around 5-6 inches of snow overnight and I had promised LMB that I'd take her into the city today to buy a book with her birthday money. I was working yesterday, so hadn't managed to do it then.
What I hadn't counted on was that there would be enough snow overnight to bring the world to a stand still! Well, scrub that, this is the UK afterall, any amount of snow, leaf, ice, rain, sun, brings the UK to a standstill.
So, we decided to dress up warmly - because, there is no such thing as  bad weather, just bad clothing - and head for the main road as we figured we'd stand more chance of catching a bus on gritted roads.


Did I just say gritted roads?
Did I just presume that with at least 48 hours warning, that the council may have chosen to grit the roads prior to the snow fall?

I have spent too long in the US, where snow falls, and is dealt with and you're out of the house again by lunchtime.

The non-gritted roads meant that the buses were struggling with the hills that Edinburgh is blessed (or cursed!) with.

Bribes of hot chocolate at the Zulu lounge as an alternative were falling on sad and very deaf ears. No, she wanted that book!

So, we set off to walk -there and back!

6 miles in total!

My amazing, sturdy and resilient, newly six year old driven by the thought of a new book to add to her already bowing bookshelf drove her on through the six inches of snow!

I was just driven on by the thought of Dorian Amos and the type of weather and life he landed himself in when he arrived upon a Yukon winter. Scottish winter is just a sneeze in comparison.

One book, one build a bear (she spent the rest of her birthday money!), one hot chocolate and six miles later her head has hit the pillow this evening with a resounding thud!

I on the other hand, have my head back with Dorian and his choices of finding somewhere to live that is allowing them to go back to the foundations of life. Somewhere they can live off grid.  If you haven't read this book, it is a great read. It is quite humbling to read about how little some people can live on and how pampered most of us are. Of course, for Dorian, spending the best part of five months living in 40 below conditions was a choice, but for some bizarre reason, the whole thought of not being able to have something unless you can naturally source or make it, yanks on my heart somehow and one of the things I'm desperately seeking when we move to our farmhouse in Banbury, is that whole attempt to reduce our output and naturally source our input. I know I'll be doing this the "softie" way, I can't live without my computer, I can't live without the stuff I've collected from our travels, nor can we live without our car, but we are looking the source our heating by wood chips, put in solar panels, possibly a wind turbine (this may not be as possible as we hope due to our location), start growing our own veg again and we'll have the chickens for eggs. I already make some of the childrens and my clothes and source lots more through charity shops. It's not much, it's not as extreme as Dorian and his wife, it's not living off the grid, but it's what, at this time, we can do to reduce our output, maybe eventually we can go further.

I just wish I could lay my finger on what the romantic pull is to try to, honestly, make life harder for ourselves lol!

Now I'm going to finish that pair of socks I've started!

1 comment:

Digz said...

I know what you mean about America coping with the snow. Well not all of it but certainly those places that expect it. I was really impressed, but now it is back to the UK and we have a snow day at school because of snow that they have spoke about for days.