Saturday, 25 April 2015

Simple Unhooked Living

“The Truth About Simple Unhooked Livng” is a book by Estar Holmes and published through Smashwords – the same people as my own book, and it can be purchased either by going through the link on here to my book (when I get a very small commission without detracting from the author’s share) or direct through Smashwords.

You know the expression “Been there, done that”? Well this lady has. My pet hate about lifestyle books, particularly those involving rural life, is where people with a journalistic background and friends in the right places to promote their books get an international publishing house to publish and push their writings on something they have as an idea about, or only limited years of experience. This is not one of them. Anyone who publishes with Smashwords does not have a publishing company behind them – apart of course from the unstinting help of the Smashwords team.

Although aimed primarily at the USA resident, virtually everything suggested by the author (she does not ram things down your throat and say you must do it this way) is applicable globally. All good, sound, practical advice from an experienced person. Much of it is essential reading for those people in urban areas where they are reliant upon electricity to run their homes. One power out without the information in the book will cost you a lot more than its price.

I have practiced what might be called “Simple Hooked up Living” for decades and still learned from the book. My wife and I have had the need to collect, melt and boil snow for a cup of coffee; we have had need to make 190 miles round trips for shopping; bathed under roof runoff in a rainstorm, and a waterfall, etc.; but we prefer an indoor bathroom and toilet (yes, we have carried buckets of water for flushing it too) and my wife likes her washing machine and dishwasher. We have never had to do the things Estar Holmes has merely to survive. I admire her, and others like her, who either by choice or necessity have managed to do so, and I thank her for the information on the numerous things included in the book that we have not had to do. I hope we never need to, but at least we are now armed with the information if the lights go out quicker than I planned for in  earlier posts – Dec. 2012 and Feb. 2013.

Estar gives a very generous free sample, but as with all books, this necessarily includes the background and introductory portion – nevertheless with very sound information and advice. There is a wealth more in the remainder of the book. Go on, buy it. Then read it thoroughly, even twice as I did, and then remember and apply the information in there that will take you through the next failure of your electricity supply. A few readers might even take things further and decide to follow either my planned survival strategies for longer term power failures, or even Estar’s no fail methods whatever happens.

One of the highlights of the book for me was the ability to get by in life with the minimum use of potable water. The world at large wastes more than it uses, and there is a shortage. It is even affecting parts of mainstream USA at the present time. Think about how you can help to conserve this dwindling essential of life.

I take every opportunity to try to persuade everyone that a daily morning shower is one of the worst modern phenomena ever to have been inflicted upon the planet. I grew up in Britain, being born at the end of WWII at which time enormous numbers of houses did not have a bathroom, many not even running water, and those that did, did not have a shower. Sometime in the 1970s or 80s people began to fit various contraptions above the bath and were able to shower. When we bought our Australian sheep and cattle property in 1979 the house had two bathrooms containing a bath and sink, but no shower. No indoor toilet either. That was soon fixed. There were people around about who we knew did not have a shower in the house, sometimes barely enough water to drink either, but it was commonplace for them to say “I am off home for a shower” as if it was expected of them to say so.

My present house did not have a shower cubicle until 2 years ago when we extended the living space and added an ensuite bedroom. There is another bathroom with a shower head over the bath. It was 1993 before I owned a house that had a shower and that was a house we had built for us. None of us died from not having a shower. So far as I recall nobody smelled particularly bad either.

I have recently had the misfortune to be hospitalised for a few days (not life threatening and I will recover) and it was considered essential that every patient had a shower immediately upon rising in the mornings. Since tens of thousands of Portuguese houses do not have running water it seemed weird to me that they expected people who had never showered in their lives to suddenly have to have one every single morning. Obviously I did not comply with the expectation. I did wash thoroughly. I was spending the day lounging about on a bed in a pristinely clean environment so how could I become dirty enough to need a shower every morning? I was really impressed with the place. Apart from the cleanliness, the food was good, the staff were good, and the beds were comfortable and fully adjustable by the patient for inclination and height.

For those of you who do shower every day, why do you do it? I suspect peer pressure began it all. Somebody somewhere decided they would boast about their new shower a few decades ago. Everybody else has to keep up with them, then somebody decided they would claim to shower every day. Soon everybody had to claim to shower every day and some people thought they actually had to do it. Talk about lemmings!!

Potable water is not in infinite supply. It is extremely costly and wasteful of other finite resources to make some supplies from really unsuitable water sources. Take a stand. Stop having as many showers (or baths) and encourage everyone you know to do likewise. I am not looking forward to the time when I expect that the lights will go out, because the world is using its resources far too quickly, but running out of potable water is certain death to all it affects. We must have water to survive.