Stop The World, I Want To Get Off!

This blog post is more an apology for my lack of presence throughout 2015.

So much has happened over the last six months that I’m not sure whether I’m coming or going. My feeds and timelines have always been flooded with preppers telling me that I should be preparing for the apocalypse (a variety of scenarios are mentioned from alien invasion to the more believable, total economic collapse), and I’m starting to feel like I really do want to GOOD (apparently it means, Get Out Of Dodge). Not because I actually think we will have a SHTF (Sh*t Hits The Fan) event, but because I need a break and off-the-grid, away from it all, back to nature living sounds pretty darn good right about now.

Back in December, my dad died. I am executor of his will so have spent the last six months fighting with solicitors and organising finances. Add that to being a full-time mum and housewife (is there really any other kind?), working part-time as an admin and teaching assistant, job-hunting because that contract was about to end, volunteering for the Girl Guides Association, completing the first module of an English Literature & Creative Writing degree, finishing my next erotica novel (currently under submission), and trying to promote, market and publicise my other five books, I have been left feeling utterly drained. The rest of the year doesn’t seem to look any less hectic. I’m still a full-time mum and housewife, I’ve just agreed to be a supply teaching assistant and midday supervisor at two schools (the original primary school I was working at and a specialist school nearby), the next module for my degree starts in October, I still need to promote, market and publicise my books, and I’ve started writing a new fantasy series (which will be published under a pen name). Not only that, but I’m still dealing with my dad’s estate, I’ve got a couple of courses that I’m taking as part of the Girl Guides, and I’ve started a new company – R W Literary Services (www.rwls.co.uk). I feel exhausted just reading through all that.

Something needs to give.

I’ve started to make some changes. One of these is the day job. I can’t go into too much detail, because the right people haven’t been told yet. We’re lucky that hubby has a good job, and my books are selling quite well **Seven Dirty Words is available for 99c / 99p** so finances aren’t really an issue. I need a break though, something bigger than just getting rid of a few stresses. But, thanks to the fridge dying at Easter and other unexpected expenditures like having to pay vet and crematorium bills after editing cat died (RIP Harry-Bo, **sniff**), our savings have been eaten into over the past few months, so no holiday this year. We have done day trips to places like Longleat and Lego Land, but really what I need is a desert island or a cabin in the woods, away from reality.

I’m not religious, but I’m praying for a change in luck right now. 2015 has been nothing but bad luck after bad luck. I’m hoping that 2016 will be a new year and new start, but I still have the next four months to get through…

Why I might be a secret prepper

I’ve read the books, I’ve seen the movies, and I’ve watched the documentaries. But I’m still not convinced whether the world is going to end any time soon. Even so, my husband seems to think (and I’m inclined to agree) that I might be a secret prepper, setting up  for survival should the SHTF (Sh*t Hit The Fan) at any point. I’ve even said to him that perhaps we should consider it – not to the extremes that some go, but you know, have a supply of food and water for any emergency reason that could crop up.

Our cupboards are already pretty full of food – mainly because soup was on offer so I took advantage of saving some money while I could. We also have several bottles of water – because the water company were doing works on the pipes and so gave us X amount of litres every day, even though the taps were fine. We are also trying to set ourselves up as near to self-sufficient as we can buy growing fruit and veg. (Although this is a new venture and so want come into fruition until next harvest.)

We also have basic survival gear and skills. Hubby was in the air cadets and did a lot of survival training with them, and I’ve done some basic training with youth club trips, and an excessive amount of reading my Dad’s books. We have pocket guides to foraging, types of mushroom, and SAS survival, and we have books on how to create our own remedies using herbs and essential oils (of which I have a lovely stock). Our attic and sheds (we have 2) are full of equipment that could be useful at some point – Bergen rucksack, bivvy bag, trangia stove, camping gas stove & table, and sleeping bag (I did the Duke of Edinburgh Award and went camping a lot as a teenager) and extensive first aid kit (I have a 4 year old boy who insists on throwing himself off things, doing stunts, and everything else a 4 year old boy does). We also have extra blankets and duvets (lots of visitors), extra oil radiators and electric fans (we live in Britain and get stupid winters and summers).

Weapons we lack in – although we do have things like an axe, pick-axe, lots of sharp knives (my husband likes to cook), and I do own a very heavy griddle pan as well. My husband would jump at the chance of owning a gun, but we live in a small village, not on a farm. We have no need for a gun. Yet.

So if the SHTF tomorrow, we might be able to survive for a few days before needing to venture out and go looting.

Clearly we’re not as well prepared as others, but I have to ask myself how prepared they actually are. Most of the documentaries, the preppers are only thinking about one possible disaster. I think about ALL of them. How do I survive in an economic crisis? What about a solar flare? Floods? Earthquakes? Viruses? Zombies??!?!  (If a zombie attacks me, I’m giving up, rolling in a ball, and being eaten.) The only possible solution that we could come up with was to buy a nuclear submarine and isolate ourselves entirely. But then how will we know if civilisation returns??

Oh there is far too much to think about. Perhaps when I win the ultimate lottery (remember by £100,000,000 blog post?) we will build our dream home to include fortresses, panic rooms, and underground bunkers…