Monday, 6 April 2020

We all need to make a pledge to change

Well we all know it's interesting times right now, but they do not need to be negative times. Yes of course we can focus on the things we can't do right now and yes there are some challenges (see my last post for such challenges) Please be assured in writing this I am aware for many working there are some uncertainties but again they can be turned to change opportunities? But what do we have to be positive about, well things will get better and return to something 'not quite normal' but that's how it should be. I'll come back to the return to 'not quite normal'... but focussing on the positives from this period of our lives...

  • In the main apart from our wonderful health and service sectors plus others we are getting a forced rest
  • Our planet is breathing fresh air again
  • We are talking to our friends and neighbours much more
  • Great acts of kindness and friendship are happening (see my free beer offer) 
  • Many of those 'jobs I'll do when I have time' are getting done
  • Our homes have never been cleaner !
  • Working at home  (and therefore less commuting  = less pollution) is now viable
  • We are appreciating the simple things such as reliable technology, food in the shops, sunshine, love, family, friendships, planning ahead, natture, remembering past holidays, playing games, spending time with the kids.... many many more positives...

So - 'something not quite normal' will be our future. But thats ok, life is constantly changing, events change lives, positively and sadly sometimes negatively, but life is about living and adapting. So what does this scribbler think will change, simply put YOU will change,  you will change based on how the world adapts post virus. 

The world will be poorer, but that's no bad thing. It will give new growth and investment opportunities and there will be a need and willingness to support such growth. There will be a levelling of wealth, sure not some communist dream but and here is an important point in MY pledge to change we need to be fairer and more supportive,  and here is the even more critical change point the support should be focussed on environmental humanitarian considerations... for ME that's...
  • More charity
  • More ethical purchases
  • More ethical investments 
  • More environmental considered purchases
  • More staycations
  • Less European and international travel
  • Certainly less air travel 
  • Constant review of how I can be a better human 
  • Add yours in the comments below to inspire me ?
It's ok me pontificating about all the stuff I can and will do, yes I'm retired, yes I have a small and believe me it is small pension but I HAVE to make changes otherwise this life lesson is lost and wasted on me and that will be the same for the billions around the world. 

So specifics from the list above for me as I've pondered this opportunity (please see it as an opportunity) ...

Critical point here and I've wrestled with it over the last couple of weeks is spending money. There is a lot of stuff we don't need but is sold to us as essential, I've blogged about this before. So targeted spending to support our economy is essential. Buy local (support all those shops that supported us during the lockdown) Buy UK products where you can. Spend money in pubs (yes) and cafes. Book B&B's and hotels for local trips no need to go to Barcelona for the weekend when you can do the Peak district, East Anglia, Wales and Scotland are beautiful locations for short breaks (use the money saved and take the train and talk to people ?) Spend but spend wisely and spend in a supportive way?

Back to my pledge to change.... 
  • Do I need two motorbikes when one does 45 mpg and the other does 80mpg..... 
  • I have Percy so staycations are a given (along with my 80 mpg motorbike)
  • The motorbike touring in this country will put money back into the UK economy
  • Make do and mend, I've amazed myself what I can turn my hand to and repurpose and continue to do so, it's enjoyable saves money and saves resources.
  • My Old Rover is financially worthless but is also a diesel 38 mpg very heavy large and in the main overkill for moving me and Leia around. It's high tax as its a relatively high emissions car so it needs to go.
  • We need to invest in an electric car
  • More efficient home power use. Need to get some low environmental impact  (wood) double glazing at home to both keep the fitters and makers in work and save ££'s and oil use.
  • We will grow a few more veggies. We don't have a large garden but are making troughs for summer veg and planting in our cottage garden borders also (how it used to be I'm told by Rachel) 
  • Other stuff I've not yet considered but will keep the 'change' option in the forefront of decision making.
That'll do for now. Putting these words down in my blog really is the start but an essential act to make myself the promise to change. Hopefully these changes if done in any small part by the rest of the world (and that's you dear reader) will make a change and send a ripple around the world and hopefully redirect all of our futures to a brighter place physically and emotionally ?

Stay safe and please please follow the government advice to protect all our essential worker by staying local  and minimising your personal contact.


nb Bonjour said...

Good read Nev, well done.
If you need seeds, companies are doing mail order but also see if your local nurseries are doing seeds by post - one of ours is.
And if you buy (if you can even get!) potting compost, please ensure if you can that it is PEAT FREE - if peat stays in the peat bogs it locks up a massive amount of carbon which gets released if it's dug up. Not to mention the wildlife whose home is destroyed. This year I am trying to make our own out of garden compost, leaf mould and loam (aka molehill soil!)
stay safe

Carol said...

Thought provoking blog Nev, thanks for sharing.

Barry and Sandra said...

Hi Nev. I thought I'd stop by to read your post and share my pledge. I love yours! Lots of great reflections on where you've been, where you are now, and where you see the future. For us on board and off Areandare:

* buying no new clothes, apart from underwear or shoes. I was shocked at how much we spent last year, despite being thrifty, or so I thought! I have more than enough clothes in the wardrobe and under the bed, shouldn't need to even search the charity shops (though I do enjoy 'looking'!).
* aim to travel by land, not air - though heading back to NZ every year or two would be challenging, as we have children here in UK and in NZ so for us that's 'essential' if possible.
* as you say - more staying in UK for trips. we had planned a ten-day tour of Scotland end of April with my younger sister and brother-in-law which has been cancelled. Hopefully, we'll be able to re-book next year and support the small hotels/Air BnBs there
* Spend even less on socialising, meals out, pubs (I hear you about supporting them, but alcohol out it's just too costly imho)
* keep brewing our own!
* appreciate nature more, watch the sunrises and sunsets, the moon phases, listen to the sounds of nature - the bird-song, the animals, the bees, whatever surrounds us as we travel along the canals.
* appreciate health - I do anyway, just even more so now and in future.
* celebrate the fact that we chose to let go of lots of 'stuff' and attachment to bricks and mortar, over seven years ago.
* keep spreading the word, through our blog, that letting go and living on less actually brings more into your life. Not more wealth, just more. Of so many things - too many to list.
* to 'be' more, rather than 'do'.

Thank you Nev, for inspiring me to write this down. Keep safe and well and good luck with taking your pledges forward.
Kia kaha Sandra (& Barry)

Nev Wells said...

Debby, thank you for taking time to read and comment. One fo the benefits of this time is the ability to crack on with those 'one day' jobs (and I'm retired !) so the garden front and back is getting work done and Rachel is enjoying her gardening once more. She ordered a load of organic seeds from a nursery in Devon we are waiting for so thats good. Good advice re the compost, we made some standby stuff by sieving some bagged soil. I did get some from Morrisons but will have to check it's peat free before I buy more. Rachel always buys the peat free for the very sound reasons you advised. Take care

Nev Wells said...

Hi Carol, thank you for taking time to read and comment. I hope the current slow down does not delay your move back to land too much and back to an area where we may one day be able to meet in person. Enjoy the Thames while you can. Take care

Nev Wells said...

Hi Sandra (& Barry), thank you for taking time to read and comment. First let me thank you for your excellent daily blogs, they really are refreshing and much valued daily read.

I like the clothes pledge, I'm not a big consumer - tee shirts and jumper plus jeans and walking trousers suffice and I've never been in Primark ! But it's another area for many where a small slow down could easily be managed.

When I was younger (and skint) I brewed my own as did my brother in law. I've fond memories of going round to his (they lived a couple of streets away) to drink and compare home brew and play chess.... simple low cost entertainment priceless and thanks for digging that memory up.

Nature is free tv - I spent some time photoing the moon the other night and listening to the owls in the valley. I've been working in the garden and have a new friend a little sparrow who has been singing his heart out for a mate to attract to a hole in our house wall. great watching.

Now stuff - I am terrible for owning stuff, must learn to let go. I have some therapeutic letting go to do and have done some since moving to the cottage. I have lived aboard for 2 years and enjoyed it but I have to be honest I could not do it full time - unless I had to and I'd still be happy. We are fortunate we can have the boat and the cottage very fortunate. Rachel still has a calling to work training the nurses of the future and doing some bank work also. All very worthwhile and while she gets a buzz from it she'll continue to do it I'm sure so that limits our time onboard.

Some great pledges, a great way to add some reflection to life and plans for the future. Be strong (I had to google it !)