I’m self-employed and own & run a small one-man/person/human business repairing bicycles and renovating used ones for sale. I’m constantly surprised as to how little people (especially those of my generation) can do for themselves. Although it’s in my interest to sell products such tyres, inner tubes, brake & gear cabling, brake pads, etc., hardly anyone of my customers can fit these. Most can’t even get their heads around fitting a bell or a light (one screwdriver, that all it takes).
When I went to university (a long, long time ago) I was armed with a basic toolkit. Most of today’s students seem to be assisted by an overdraft!
Don’t get me wrong, without my customers’, I’m nothing. I’m thankful for their financial input. That’s how I put food on the table, cloths on my back, keep a roof over my head and warmth around my body.
I wish that my customers sh/would learn to do the smaller repairs for themselves and use me for the more technical stuff.
Anyway, here’s another of Old Holborn’s take on self-reliance. In times of despondency and lack of moral strength he helps me. Please read his other works. Thanks Old Holborn.
From (with many thanks): http://www.blottr.com/columnist/old-holborn/where-are-revolting-peasants
Emphasis in red are mine.
” Where are the revolting Peasants?
I travel widely throughout Europe as part of my day job and when returning to the UK, I always ask myself the same question. Where are the peasants? Now before you send me more death threats, I’m not talking about a class war, I’m talking about the people who lead uncomplicated lives, without the need for an iPad or the ability to vote in Strictly Come Dancing via the red button. You know, the ones you see in France leaning over the gate whilst the chickens run riot, the ones you see in Spain tending over a vegetable patch wearing a cut up pair of curtains as a tabbard.
We’ve made them extinct in the UK. Sure, a few Eddie Grundies can still be found in the frozen tundra of Herefordshire if you know where to look and crofting in the Highlands and Islands hasn’t quite been eradicated by Politicians desperate for us all to sign up to the “third way“ or whatever bollocks they are espousing this week, but I’m predicting a massive comeback of home baking and log splitting in the next decade. As the austerity of State cutbacks bite, our false and vastly expensive false idyll of consumer Nirvana created by the endless borrowing of money our children haven’t earned yet is going to collapse, taking with it the dreams and aspirations of an entire generation. All those labour saving devices we were sold ended up with us using our free time to work more to buy more labour saving devices so that those lucky enough to have a job pushing bits of paper around a desk are now forced to do it 60 hours a week instead of enjoying life.
The rush for “equality“ saw those who lived on and from the land herded into Barretts hutches and sat in front of 52“ widescreen TVs lest they be “disadvantaged“ by a lack of cutting edge Eastenders, socially engineered to forget how to make pastry until they were rich enough to buy Delias book of “How to cook like a French peasant to impress your friends“. Skills passed down over generations lost to the great new God of TESSA Cohen and productive garden plots decorated to look like suburban theme parks with sustainable decking from B&Q.
We’re up a cul de sac. Fifty years of pointless consumerism has lost us the very skills we now need to survive austerity and get a little of our independence from the State. French peasants could’t give a toss whether the Euro survives as long as they can still shoot wild boar, throttle their own chickens and distill Eu de Vie from home grown plums. Not for them the daily grind of commuting with an iPod to relieve the boredom, they’re up at dawn to slaughter the pig and feast over the winter. They’ll have their feet up in front of a log fire with a brandy long before you’re picking up a copy of the Standard to help you avoid the glances of the stressed and ugly struggling to get back to Milton Keynes to catch up on Celebrity Big Brother in the Jungle.
I’m not suggesting we all return to the Good Life, I’m suggesting we look at ways to connect to real life, the life that doesn’t need a charger or upgrades. Fuel poverty? Install a wood burner and chop some logs with the money you would have spent at the gym. Ask your grandparents for a book on “How to Cook Something“ instead of reading the takeaway Pizza menu every night. There is no shame in knowing a little of what most of Europe uses to survive winters far colder than ours. It used to be called common sense, before it was made illegal in this country and served us well. Learn a few skills that will enable you to get by in lean times, and they certainly are not cheat codes on World of Warcraft, despite what your 22 stone teenage son tells you as he enrolls on a college course of Virtual Interpretive HipHop. Darwin tells us that those who adapt, will survive, so get adapting “like a boss“, because despite what you may read in the press, we are in for a very rough ride indeed. Our children WILL be poorer than we are, have fewer opportunities and will need to fight harder to achieve what they desire.
The very least we can do, whilst handing them trillions of our debt so wisely spent by our masters on creating utterly pointless shite for decades, is to equip them for a life in the rapidly arriving real world, the one that will feed them and clothe them and keep them warm in winter, instead of relying on a bankrupted State and the empty and worthless rhetoric of corrupt Politicians and Corporations. ”