“While modern capitalism constantly develops new needs in order to increase consumption, people’s dissatisfaction remains the same as ever. Their lives no longer have any meaning beyond a rush to consume, and this consumption is used to justify the increasingly radical frustration of any creative activity or genuine human initiative — to the point that people no longer even see this lack of meaning as important.” - Pierre Canjuers, Socialisme ou Barbarie #27

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Preliminary Investigations

Having lots of money would make my goal of transcending the need for it considerably easier.  I'm well aware of the irony here, but I'm determined not to let it stand in my way.  So, I've started looking at options.


My first choice would be to live in a tiny house.  If money weren't an object, I'd buy myself a small plot of land right now, somewhere peaceful, and put a tiny house on it.  Then I'd live in it, 100% off-grid, generate my own electricity and grow my own food.  I would spend my days reading, writing, gardening, exploring, living.  Tiny House UK makes "custom built...fully mobile and static tiny house cabins".  They even deliver them, and lower them into place with a big crane.  For a 12ft-long house with a shower, toilet, kitchen, light fittings, raised sleeping area, and electrical sockets, they charge between £16,500 and £19,000.  Having downsized my possessions to the absolute minimum, such a house could very easily accommodate me.  I'd settle for that.  No mortgage, very low expenses.  Not clear from the website whether they provide solar panels, so that would be additional cost.  However, electricity isn't always necessary.

Some "tiny house" sites and articles I've been looking at:
As is always the case with things, there's more of this sort of thing over in the new world.  It also seems to be far easier and cheaper to buy land in the USA and Canada, so emigration is something I need to consider.  But I'm getting ahead of myself here...

What am I talking about?  My first choice would actually be to live in an earthship.  Go to google images this instant and look up "earthships".  Now investigate some more.  

SOURCE: http://hobowithalaptop.com/tiny-house-porn-earthships/

SOURCE: http://bioluminescence.typepad.com/biomimicry-and-sustainabi/2011/09/earth-ship.html

SOURCE: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g47224-d4049484-Reviews-Earthship_Biotecture_World_Headquarters_and_Visitor_Center-Taos_Taos_County_New_Me.html


Now you want to live in one too, don't you?  Why aren't we all doing this?  Bollocks to mortgages and careers.

Again, much more of this in the USA, where the idea comes from.  Here's a documentary about the man who invented them.   [Also available in youtube].  There's a 3-day course down in Brighton that teaches you how to build one of your own.  Tickets start at £230.  This is affordable, even if actually building one myself isn't so I think I'll try to go.  If nothing else, I'll learn something.  Brighton is a 228-mile walk from Manchester, which at current speeds would take me about 12 days and three sets of replacement legs.

Further off the edge of the map, there's full vagabond-hood.  What if I lived in a tent?  The only costs then would be food and the times when I used an actual campsite.  Wild camping exists, and isn't always illegal.

Someone on gumtree was advertising land for rent at £50 a month.  Ideal for "developing a garden" apparently.  In the West Midlands, of all places.  I wonder if they'd let me develop a garden I could sleep in.

Something I've given a little more thought to is long-term residential volunteering.  This is where you live and work in a community/farm/commune/cult in return for food and board.  I've been firing off emails to people like the Pilsdon Community and exploring the possibilities of "WWOOF-ing".  In theory this is something I could do indefinitely; trekking from once place to the next, volunteering, eating, and moving on.  I've never been much of an outdoors person, but I suppose I could become one.

These are just things I've come across so far.  There are six weeks left until I stop working full time and "earning" money, at which point I'll be able to look into all this a lot more thoroughly.  If there's any readers with ideas, contacts, questions, I'd be very interested to hear from you.  Do you have a vacancy for a back scrubber?