It’s not surviving, it’s living…

I’ve said before that I think I might be a secret prepper, but from January that might become true.

2016 has been a God-awful year. Yes, we’ve had some joy in the form of books being published, contracts being signed, and the best family holiday that we’ve ever had. But like the rest of the planet, it has not been all happiness and smiles. As well as Brexit, the US elections, and the deaths of numerous celebrities taking over the news, we’ve had  hard time ourselves. My daughter has been in and out of hospital with her on-going issues (although we had the good news that they think it’s only a lactose intolerance as opposed to anything life-threatening / changing), she had problems at school (again, dealt with but still stressful and upsetting), and someone I considered to be a friend sadly passed away only a few weeks ago. All of this, and more has forced us to re-evaluate our lives and we came to one big decision – something needs to change.

Hubby currently works for a computer consumables sales company, supporting his business as a photographer. He’s also fast-approaching 40. Life’s too short to spend it doing nothing but working. So, we’ve given ourselves two years, and then once Hubby has hit the big four-oh, we’re both going self-employed, full-time. No more working for other people. I will have finished my OU degree by then, and we will have the time and energy to push his photography and my writing. Unfortunately, it means a massive pay cut.

Money may not be the ‘be all and end all’, but when you have to pay rent, council tax, utility bills, and feed your family then it has to be considered. We already know that we live beyond our means, something that has to change. But we have 2 years to get ourselves together, save what we can, and essentially prep for a time when we haven’t got a steady income.

The first step is food. Our family is all about food. I even have a (not very well-kept) blog on food, specifically for children with allergies and intolerances. We have a huge fridge and two freezers, so my plan? Batch bake and freeze. For the next two years, I will be filling my freezers with pre-cooked and slow-cooker meals.

At the moment I’m planning and writing lists, something I enjoy doing anyway. It’s going to be a shock to the system when it all gets put into action in January!

If you have any tips, please let me have them…

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…