About me

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8 years 10 months ago #35604 by Short Plank
About me was created by Short Plank
Hi from the new guy.

Guess I qualify to be here in that I own and live on 10 acres of good land in one of the loveliest and most remote parts of New Zealand - it's a two hour drive to the nearest 'town' over a nightmare road - but alas I feel I fall far short of the ethos so many others here display, and perhaps am here under false pretences.

Yes I milk my own cow - two actually - but that's because it's the only way to get drinkable milk out here as the RD man only comes this way twice a week. Because of the need to keep the cows in milk I have a calf a year which goes into the freezers the following year, but I have to get a man in to do that and go for a walk while the deed is being done. I get the occasional egg from our chooks, too, but actually killing one of them for the pot is beyond me. There are fish in the bay at the bottom of the road but fishing bores me silly and anything from the sea in a shell makes my gorge rise. I have a sizeable vege garden but gave up growing things in it as the effort required to maintain the local weka, rat, mouse and hedgehog population in the manner to which it seemed to think itself entitled seemed excessive. I did put in five avocado trees, three of which grew, two of which produced fruit for a couple of years and one of which might survive for perhaps another year before it joins the others in adding an angular skeletal dimension to the garden. Olives I planted at the same time are doing well and are profligate, to the delight of local birds.

Fortunately none of the above matters - at the moment anyway - as I am what Jayne Austen would have called "a gentleman of independent means" and could spend twice what I spend now on a weekly basis for the rest of my life and never come close to running out. However I'm here because during 20-years as a highly-paid professional in UK's biggest cities I saw the veneer of civilization beginning to crack and splinter. I saw the GFC coming, cashed up and fled to New Zealand for safety. The old and powerless in Greece - the cradle of European civilisation - today scavenge for food in dustbins; the careful, frugal and responsible in Cyprus and Iceland have been stripped of their savings to pay for Bankster's greed; 40% youth unemployment in Italy, Spain and Portugal; the pensions of public servants in rotting Detroit and a hundred other US cities halved and halved again in futile attempts by corrupt bureaucrats to stave off bankruptcy; workers in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh driven by sticks and starvation into factories that maim, poison and collapse on them; new, gleaming, empty, silent cities in China. Frenetic entertainment and gloss in primary colours everywhere battling the miasma of despair and pointlessness.

Global warming, peak oil, nuclear plants on faultlines, religion, no more Wheel of Time novels - the list of mankind's disasters is almost endless.

It's my fear that thanks to the incompetence, corruption and short-sightedness of a generation of politicians - my generation - we are going to see within a decade a global convulsion worse by far than that which followed the fall of Rome or the arrival of European looters in South America. It will be a new Dark Ages - for the Internet and fragile network of Global communication will be among the first casualties - and if it happens I can think of few better places to be than a life-style block far from the madding crowd in New Zealand.

Discuss.

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8 years 10 months ago #466317 by wandering free
Replied by wandering free on topic About me
Welcome, and I agree with you, I still have friends in the UK and am amazed how the place has changed in the 46 years since we left, what with religious problems and over population the future looks bleak.

I believe self-sufficiency is the only future we have, communities being self supporting, local markets with no food miles. The statistics on food miles and the energy required for the US food chain is frightening and probably similar here, and yet people still flock to the cities, and the government spends millions on more roads to accommodate the most wasteful form of transport ever devised.

I am waiting for my spring seeds to arrive and might go and do a pressing of granny smith apples for juice, you can't get much more primative than that, but they can't tax me on it or change me GST.

Just me and the cat now, on 2 acres of fruit and veg + hazel nuts, macadamia, chestnuts and walnuts,
www.youtube.com/user/bandjsellars?feature=mhee

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8 years 10 months ago #466322 by muri
Replied by muri on topic About me
Welcome short plank, at least I see you are no thick plank.
Your lifestyle sounds idyllic but do you have any neighbours or are you just like Dr Doolittle who talks to the animals?

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8 years 10 months ago #466324 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic About me
...I have to get a man in to do that and go for a walk while the deed is being done...

Really? How unsupportive of you. [;)]

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8 years 10 months ago #466339 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic About me
Gidday shortplank and welcome. The more the merrier, and the more interesting.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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8 years 10 months ago #466429 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic About me
Welcome. I love a guessing game :-) My first guess is East Cape, North Island.
Re your global concerns, these cycles have been going on for centuries, and are usually 'cured" by a world war, or a natural disaster. Personally, I hope for a disaster because that will divert the attention away from the war. With a war before the disaster, the disaster will still happen so we may as well not bother curing ourselves with the war. My guess is either a volcanic caldera explosion, of which 6 of the 7 are well overdue, or a radiation blast from the sun which will stuff all electronics. The last decent sized one was about 150 years ago, before electronics. It too is well overdue.

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8 years 10 months ago #466452 by Short Plank
Replied by Short Plank on topic About me
Hi LongRidge. Guess is wrong. As you enjoy a guessing game I'll give another clue - part of my email address is inclova.

I agree mankind has survived disasters before but I'd argue that the last one on a par with what what we're facing now was the eruption of Mt. Toba 75,000 years ago. That does seem to have taken homo sapiens along with a lot of other species down to the wire. Since then there has been nothing on a global scale and while things have frequently gotten very bad in a local scale, a) humanity was far better equipped to hang on and survive, and b) there was always a pool 'beyond the horizon' able to move in and fill the gap. War or disaster, if bread stopped reaching the supermarkets how many of the world's population would survive a fortnight?

Hi Muri. Well, my lifestyle ought to be idyllic. It probably could be idyllic. But it isn't.

Neighbours? Yes, though hardly next door. We get along but I doubt they'd be comfortable joining lsb. And I do talk to the parrot.

Hi Ruth. The butcher who comes to knock over my beef and a couple of lambs once a year hardly needs my support. He seems perfectly cheerful, as was Albert Pierrepoint I believe. I can't stay for it, though, as it's my betrayal of the creatures who had learned to trust and accept me.

Hi Deanna. Merrier would be good. Can't type your name without thinking of the USS Enterprise and the wretched Will Riker who wasn't half good enough for her. And that time she was in the bath....

Hi Wandering Free. You left the UK in 1967? I suspect you'd find it unrecognisable now - God, that was even before Thatcher.

My final years in the UK were spend on a fabulous 2-acres in Suffolk complete with thatched cottage and the books of John Seymour. It was 2 miles from a picture-postcard village with a pub that sold Adnams ale, brewed in heaven - sorry, Southwold as it's known in Suffolk. Then the farm beside me was sold by its fifth-generation farmer (kids would rather have the millions) and bought by an agric conglomerate which ripped out all the hedges, filled in all the ponds, 'accidentally' sprayed the copses with Roundup and recouped what it spent to buy the place and then some by bribing and strong-arming a soulless maximum housing-density development in a paddock next to the village. Fair broke my heart.

From what I hear from friends still in the UK things are pretty grim, especially for the young. Not that they're much better here.

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8 years 10 months ago #466453 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic About me
Well, it beats sitting by the dying embers of an old wood range in the small hours of the morning, staring morosely at the last empty bottle of barcadi and contemplating "What is nothing"

Welcome to both NZ and the LSB

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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8 years 10 months ago #466456 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic About me

Short Plank;468658 wrote: ...The butcher who comes to knock over my beef and a couple of lambs once a year hardly needs my support. He seems perfectly cheerful, as was Albert Pierrepoint I believe. I can't stay for it, though, as it's my betrayal of the creatures who had learned to trust and accept me....

Funnily enough, I'd read what you wrote as having to walk away while someone inseminated your cow. "I have a calf a year which goes into the freezers the following year, but I have to get a man in to do that ..." I'm an inseminator more often than a provider to slaughter, so was concentrating on the other end of the process.

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8 years 10 months ago #466461 by Kiwi303
Replied by Kiwi303 on topic About me
Hmm, you could be either somewhere in the hilly backblocks on a gravel road out between taumaranui and stratford, or down towards Jacksons Bay south of Haast. either would be isolated enough with bad enough roads to require a couple of hours to town. Or maybe Paerau across the Rock and Pillar range from Middlemarch.

NZ has plenty of isolated places to hide in :D

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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8 years 10 months ago #466462 by Mousewhisker
Replied by Mousewhisker on topic About me

Short Plank;468658 wrote: .....bought by an agric conglomerate which ripped out all the hedges, filled in all the ponds, 'accidentally' sprayed the copses with Roundup and recouped what it spent to buy the place and then some by bribing and strong-arming a soulless maximum housing-density development in a paddock next to the village.

GRRRRRRRRRRRR[:(!][:(!]

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8 years 10 months ago #466463 by Short Plank
Replied by Short Plank on topic About me
Hi Stikkibeek. Thanks for the welcome. And I've reached that stage in life when sitting in the old rocker next to the range contemplating the meaning of life is about all there is.

Is that a Burman in your pic?

Hi Ruth. No, the girls go for a honeymoon with the neighbour's bull when the time is right. But I'm there for the birth and worry about the calf more than they do usually, which is why it's so hard when I have to call 'time' on them.

Hi Kiwi303. Not close. It's 20km to town as the crow flies - and 125km by road.

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8 years 10 months ago #466464 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic About me

Short Plank;468669 wrote: Hi Stikkibeek. Thanks for the welcome. And I've reached that stage in life when sitting in the old rocker next to the range contemplating the meaning of life is about all there is.

Is that a Burman in your pic?

Hi Ruth. No, the girls go for a honeymoon with the neighbour's bull when the time is right. But I'm there for the birth and worry about the calf more than they do usually, which is why it's so hard when I have to call 'time' on them.

Hi Kiwi303. Not close. It's 20km to town as the crow flies - and 125km by road.

A Birman, yes indeed. Avatar and pen name. Stikkibeek (the real one) has had about 140 of his 9 lives and just adores bringing home outrageous vet bills slung around his neck in Beau Brummell fashion. Luckily his overdraft has managed to keep me out of complete penury or I'd be scrabbling with Zeus for the last morsel of food from the dustbins of Greece.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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8 years 10 months ago #466477 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic About me
I would survive a fortnight, even without power. Bread making skills good enough, and stores, big enough. Not that I'm a doomsday prepper or anything. But I'd like to think I'm up for the challenge. After our EQ, thankfully the Navy were in port, as we had no food, water or power. And I had no home, possessions and only what I stood in.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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8 years 10 months ago #466479 by Short Plank
Replied by Short Plank on topic About me

Stikkibeek;468670 wrote: A Birman, yes indeed.

Thort so. He's a dead ringer for one of ours - Possum by name. Died a couple of years back - I suspect 1080 poisoning. We still have his half-brother, tho. A red-point, Rufus, who surivives as he's too lazy to leave the house unless pushed.

Hi Deanna. I'm not a survivalist either. What would have been the point of escaping from the Titanic onto the iceberg?

We've a few silkies, too. And began with three peafowl. Had fourteen at the last count.

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