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Utopia

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Utopia

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:47 am

I'm sure there are many who quietly plan as an insurance to live in a yurt in the woods, living off nettle soup and rabbit and waiting for the inevitable collapse of society. (That might include 99% of bushcrafters?)

I have to admit I've always felt a healthy degree of cynicism and detachment from mainstream society, but have never yet gone so far as to reject contact with it and try to start a radical alternative. Instead I've kept one toe reluctantly dipped into conformity and the others in the wood. Since the dawn of civilisation there's been a portion of non conformists who think the whole thing is imminently about to collapse.

The following cautionary article had me creased up laughing, much of it skirting uncomfortably close to my own near-experiences and characters I've met. A thoroughly recommended and entertaining little read if you've ever for a moment dreamt of getting away from it all. I've concluded its best to keep your options open; perfect the nettle soup recipe but don't give up the Tesco Clubcard yet, those vouchers are well useful for buying thermal socks and firelighters in 'Utopia'.

Might buy the book, another recommended for would-be Utopians is 'Walden' by Henry Thoreau, an American classic about a guy who lived in a hut in the woods as an experiment in the 19th Century.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/31/i-quit-my-job-to-set-up-commune
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Re: Utopia

Postby smudge » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:23 pm

Great story, I thought I was a bit strange until a schoolteacher came to my woods & asked me if I owned it as he was interested in buying the part of woods next to me & wanted to see if he liked me before he put a bid on it (something about neighbours) we got talking & he said he had talked to the trees & asked them if they wanted him to be there custodian that was the last I saw of him, often wonder if the trees told him to p..s off !!!!
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Re: Utopia

Postby Dexter's Shed » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:08 pm

smudge wrote: & wanted to see if he liked me before he put a bid on it that was the last I saw of him, often wonder if the trees told him to p..s off !!!!


no, he just didn't like you :lol:
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Re: Utopia

Postby boxerman » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:22 pm

Makes for a lovely story.....

I'd suspect that, at some time, everyone here has dreamed of 'living the good life' and being self sufficient in our own bit of paradise but I'd also suspect that, most if not all, have grown old enough to realise that we're just too comfortable, spoiled and soft to actually do it to any great extent.........
Phil

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Re: Utopia

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:34 pm

I'd suspect that, at some time, everyone here has dreamed of 'living the good life'


Err...never had time for the dreaming bit, just gave it my best shot and did it, if that counts ?

Packed in the exciting office life of 'underachieving meaningless quarterly targets and ticking irrelevant check lists' in my 20's, became a potter, loved it, bought a wood and lived happily ever since. :D

My motto- 'Go for it !'
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Re: Utopia

Postby boxerman » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:54 pm

Hmm... I'm not sure being fortunate enough to be able to afford a wood and working for yourself consists of 'living the good life', or does it? If it does then I got half way there 30 years ago when I gave up working for others and began doing what I enjoy to make a living but I still live in a cosy brick built house with heating and have to rely on customers to pay the bills... The big downside tho is they don't pay enough to buy me a wood.... :D
Phil

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Re: Utopia

Postby oldclaypaws » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:02 am

Paying bills and having the essentials is of course important, but we live in a consumerist society which attempts to brainwash us that you can only be happy if you have a big house, large salary, lots of gizmo's, the latest car and a fat pension plan. I find that sadly shallow, and many of those who have all of those materialist things then hire a psychoanalyst to work out why they still aren't happy. All we have is a modest house and income, 2 wonderful dogs, lifestyle that keeps us fit and stimulated, fresh air, genuine friends, mutual trust and affection and modest expectations (and a small wood, which I confess helps greatly). My car is 17 years old and 'we buy any car' offered £125 for mine, which is generous if they saw it, although the dog fluff in it would fill quite a few duvets. Contentment comes from being happy with your lot and not taking the important stuff for granted. There are many wonderful things in life that are free; sunsets, cuddles, feeling alive, the stars, a good book or happy song on the radio, and freedom of speech. There are also wasteful ways of blowing cash that could be otherwise put to good use, we have a friend who always complains about being hard up but spends £400 a month on ciggies.

If you haven't got the right circumstances to acquire your own wood yet, there are still many free public woods in the UK to visit and enjoy, where you can experience similar sensations without the responsibilities. In some senses provided you have the basic essentials, lack of additional property is freedom, the more you have the more responsibility and effort it is to look after, protect and maintain it. If you want to be at one with nature, small gardens or allotments or even a window box are a start. My first ventures into plant cultivation started with seeds in yoghurt pots on a window sill, followed by a 3ft x 6ft radish patch. I miss my radish patch, think I'll do another.
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Re: Utopia

Postby Lincswood » Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:10 pm

Wise words, well written. Sounds like you're already in that place we're trying to reach OCP?
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Re: Utopia

Postby Dave and Verity » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:35 pm

I couldn't do it, I don't even volunteer to be on committees anymore, so a commune really wouldn't be a good idea. I'm one of those people who loves to luxuriate in a long bath and be squeaky clean at the end of a days work. I like to be comfortable, well fed and warm and want my family to have the same basic needs met.

I've done a bit of preparation for minor armageddon, I can hunt, fish, grow vegetables, I know how to raise chickens and rabbits and prepare them for the pot. I can light a fire with a firebow or even Glycerol and potassium permanganate. I've got a property which can be adequately heated with solid fuel and we have a water source.

If it all starts to go really pear shaped though I'm afraid respect for property boundaries will quickly dissapear. My little patch of woodland 25 miles away will be harvested by anybody who has a family to keep warm, and lives close enough to it to drag it's contents out (and frankly good luck to them). I think if this happens, I'd best move nearer the equator, I hate getting cold these days.

This why the whole commune/Utopian vision can't work. It has never succeeded, there have been a plethora of documentaries and books on the subject, "social experiments" by the dozen, they all go the same way. It's the human condition that makes us all see things through different coloured glasses.

There is another issue when projects like these become more long term, George Orwell summed it up quite well: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

I like all the nice free things in life, but I still like to drive my car to the shops. I couldn't live with a beard and the colourful hippy trousers just don't suit me. If they're your thing man, it's cool with me, no pressure. And if you're the sort of person that could or does live in a commune, I take my hat completely off to you, there must be some wicked parties.

Dave
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Re: Utopia

Postby Dexter's Shed » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:09 pm

it makes me chuckle when I see posts on any forums about if the s*** hits the fan, a third world war, doomsday etc, and peoples plans to bug out and live off the land, as unless your prepared to protect whats yours by blowing someone's head off, I can see those people lasting a week or two, being a pest controller and killing stuff on a daily basis, plus having an armory at home, makes me think I'll last a lot longer
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