The dairy is situated in a little enclave, there are 8 houses here, mostly converted farm buildings and we are just over the railway line for a very large ‘new town’. The electricity supply has always been a bit delicate. This year we have been without power twice, once for 24hours and last Thursday for about 12 hours. Annoying you might be thinking, power cuts happen, “just get over it” i hear you bellow!….
Well, its annoying for two reasons, firstly and most obviously I am without electric and I have to resort to opening my can of beans with a manual can opener. Secondly there is the fact that after the first few cold turkey electric free hours…..you actually realise that its not all that bad and that dear reader is annoying….it was quite fun opening the can of beans by hand, the house looks better in the candle light and now you notice that so does the wife, hell even I might look better in the dim flickering of an IKEA tealight or 3. You can’t watch that TV docudrama about the global crash and how you were largely responsible, Ok…so how about an early night! The job, as they say around here, is a good one.
I have worked out that there is a timetable for electricity deprivation, an electric cold turkey, first annoyance, then fear, then acceptance…a few more hours of weeding the raised flower beds or doing something that’s been on the list for ages. then guilt about wanting, nay needing the electricity back…..
Being denied electricity is a reality check. Like someone’s stopped the clock (it probably has actually stopped) and made you look at yourself, what you are really made of, what is your life really about without the accoutrements that you have gathered around you. The television, the pepper grinder with built in torch, the electric can opener and although I hate to say computers and the internet. It’s like having your eyes opened onto a new life, one with other people and physical effort…one that we don’t really want to see.
It is a conundrum that I know my life could be better with less electric in my life but that I still cling to the security and ‘convenience’ electricity brings. I know that after a few days without electric i would be at a grubby street corner wearing a high collar coat and checking out a generator for a quick hit of the old sparky stuff.
My point is this….its not until we have the ‘essentials’ taken away that we really get a vision of what is really essential,
So what then has that got to do with bikes….really useful ones at that?
Really useful bikes enable you to do things and take trips on a bike that would not previously have been possible (or safe).
as part of this blogging journey we are taking together I have to confess that I use my car for short journeys to the shops. There I have said it, its out in the open. I will offer mitigating circumstances and point out that i am using the car a lot less though and using bikes more and more…..i am not sure I will ever fit into a lycra cod piece like ‘a proper cyclist’ but do have a nice time when I am bringing home the shopping in my slipper shoes.
Maybe its human (lazy) nature but why do I still gravitate towards the car when I know that once my arse is in the saddle I will be having a lovely time, feeling alive and at one with the world (it could be fast traffic, poor cycle provision and sh**y weather but that wouldn’t help the point I am making and rather misses the point).
Why do we feel compelled, to brush aside any social concience and the massive guilt of knowing that the loaf of bread and tin of sparkling apple juice you are driving to get, will actually melt Alaska. Why do we drive to the local shop, why do it?, the car temperature gauge sometimes does not even leave the blue section so how far can that actually be,
This is why really useful bikes is here, we know that with the right bike and inclination (sic) we can get fitter, save money, see more of the world around us and make a political point if you feel that way about it. The more cycles on the streets the more we make the point that cycling is a good thing. It brings us back to the good things in life, gets us out of the old tin box, gets some air in our lungs and sometimes even exchange greetings with others just like they did in them olden days.
The old saying ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone’ is so very true.
But sometimes less is more, without access to electricity and the motorcar we would be forced to rethink the way we live our lives. If we all take this time to think of using our convenient ‘essentials’ less, we might find a balance that will do us all a bit of good.
Although it sometimes isn’t comfortable to be without, sometimes less is more!
(quick precis ……buy a really useful bike from really useful bikes.co.uk, it will make you feel nice and probally save an iceburg from melting, one with a cuddly polar bear sat on, but not one that would rip you to bits for its tea, but one that would pose for a photograph with a fox like on the mints! )