Fighting Poverty in Ireland!
It’s a hard winter for many people across the western world as the recession digs deep. As the utility companies have increased their charges, wages have remained static and in some cases fallen. As I predicted, food costs have risen and fuel charges increased. For myself, I am having a “Pay As You Go,” electricity meter installed, as the bi-monthly bills have created financial chaos in my accounting! Even with this, the Electricity company, (State-owned…that’s me, by the way!), charges 37 cents per day for the meter. So, before the light is switched on, the monthly charge is over 11 euros! Add that up over a year, over 135 euros, and the meter is paid for…however, the cost continues, year after year, so that’s profiting from people who are struggling! Politicians have not a clue! However, I am not a woman who embraces being a victim and so I am now very pro-active in finding and using alternatives (I can afford), to utilities. (No, I cannot afford wind power.) Oh, how this little Rocket Stove works at boiling my kettle…all day boiling! As I type I hear the low whistle from outside, reminding me that tea, coffee and home-cooking is available, for the no-cost of a few bits of dry wood, my rebel heart lifts… As Alice Walker once wrote, “You Can’t keep A Good Woman Down!” (Brilliant short stories by the way!) Time to get a big pot of soup started!
It’s hard all over the world, except for most of the rich, who keep getting richer. But I agree, we must cut our coats to fit our cloth. The old generations knew/know many ways of making do with less. We need to learn from them before they are all gone. There are new ways, too, but many, like solar power, cost too much for the poorer people who could use them. ~ Linne
It is hard everywhere, I agree and learning from the older generation, especially craft skills, is important. The power lies with us!
Perhaps a better way to look at this ‘thorn’ is to realise that maybe just maybe the universe is showing those who are aware and paying attention that the rising cost of mains fed supplies means it is time for change.
Moving away from mains fed supplies can be very easy to downright terrifying. Mains fed has always been ‘sold’ as the best way, if not the only way to go and as a result we have all become dependent upon them.
What does get my goat is there are many alternative technologies ‘out there’ that if brought to the market would instantly render mains fed obsolete.
The term you use, “mains fed,” sums up the problems inherent in current living really well! I agree with your analysis!
You are right!
I hadn’t thought of it like that but the term mains fed sums up all governments in two words.
Synchronicity at work?
I was in Scotland in the summer and visited an abandoned village called Auchindrain, The last family left it sometime in the 60’s I believe. Apparently an old lady had lived there for many years in her cottage, and the Factor for the Duke of Argyll had visited her on a regular basis and made sure she had enough coal and tea. I’m sure the poor soul lived like a church mouse, but it’s comforting to think that at least she could sit by her fire with a cup of tea.
The Highlands lost so many people and Ireland is fast losing many here in the west, where work is in short supply and the cost of living is higher, with little or no public transport etc. However, cloth has to be cut accordingly!
We just inquired about solar power a few months back…we aren’t “entitled” to install full solar power because we have power to our gate – live in a fully wired neighbourhood. We can only go up to 40%. We would have to pay $75 a month still for basic charges etc etc. No subsidies to get it. Doomed if we do, doomed if we don’t. I get so sick of trying to find ways to save money long term on basic necessities. Rates $45 a week, insurances etc.
I love your blog, your photography of a beautiful home and your ethos. I have heard of the Zeitgest Movement and shall make an effort to actually read about them!
The best solar is found in trees, plants, passive like glass and stone and water…many ways to channel energy…it’s just the wee things that need the direct stuff! No worries…more important things to think about Lol!
You wrote that government has no clue – I’m sure they have. What they don’t have is a shame, yes they have no shame of ripping people off.
I’m struggling to cut my electricity and gas bills as well, and the standing charge of the meters is a headache of mine as well. One tip that can probably help those who have electric stoves and ovens (I know, electric stove is not on a frugal side, but at the moment I can’t change it) – first, reduce the heat (from 6 to 4 or even 3) once it has started to rolling boil, secondly – usually you can switch the hob off before the dish is done – it still continues to boil for some time. And when you use your oven, try to plan ahead and bake several things at once. I usually bake bread on one rack, while I put muffins or pizza bases on other. Making half baked pizza bases in advance, saves time and electricity later (and they do not get soaked as if when you put topping on unbaked dough).
I love reading your blog, I love the ambiance you have created here, it’s almost as if I can smell the bittersweet aroma of autumn leaves and wonderful wood fire smoke….
Superb advice and practical tips…thanks Kristine!
You are right about governments not caring, for if they did, then war would be privately funded by the corporations and elite and our tax monies would be kept in the country for the good of the people!
A “straw box” can help too for things like stews and soups. You can actually put insulating material in a box several inches all around bigger than your pot, put the boiling pot in and wrap a blanket round the whole shebang. Or you can cheat, like I do: I just take my pot of boiling soup and set it on a thick folded towel, then wrap more towels and blankets around it to hold the heat in. Like a non-electric crock pot.
Yes indeed, Jo, I was using a colloquialism much favoured in my hometown of Omagh, meaning they don’t care and don’t want to know and I agree with you, as a result they have no shame either!
The haybox method is very useful and your take on it got me thinking…I like the practicality of it!
Old sleeping bags are great for setting the box into; you can pull the bag up, then fold it down again and tuck in below the box. I used to tie a string or something around it before folding it back. ~ Linne
One of my favorite quotes:
“The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, “If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.”
If you can’t make more, figure out how to need less! Thanks for the inspiration!
Absolutely…and it’s so empowering!
A lot of the blame of poverty is to be put on the governments. I do know that our government gives so much money to the oil companies, instead of helping people with solar and wind. The rich get to pay no taxes while the poor have to go on the dole and the rich complain about it. I remember the days in Ireland when peat was delivered to elderly peoples homes and help was there for people in need. Is that gone too? Help is here for people in need but it just isn’t enough anymore.There are ways to overcome this we just have to find them. A pay as you go system makes sense, at least you know where you stand money wise instead of getting a bill you can’t pay. The rocket stove is a gem, thank you so much for introducing them to all of us.
Blessings to you
There is no more turf delivered and the EU have stopped many people in Ireland from cutting the turf, claiming it is bad for the environment…the same EU that is engaging with Monsanto, allowing Fracking, paying farmers to plant massive plantations of Spruce, so close together that a bird can’t fly through…poisons the waterways too…and I could go on! I’m happy to enable people to find solutions in order to live well!