I have no kitchen. It’s mostly in a pile in the back garden ready for a new one to start being fitted tomorrow. Some parts are in the garage – I’m upgrading the very shabby storage in there. The Greek kitchen-bloke amazed me by pulling the oven out and laying it on the floor. On his own! Last time that thing came out was when I had to replace an element and it took two of us to shift it.
Anyway, I’ll be surviving on microwave meals and plums for a few days (the tree is not as laden as last year but there are at least three carrier bags’ worth on there). Also a decent crop of eating apples this year. Those are very good for your insides, you know.
During kitchen dismantling I had about an hour with no water. It’s much easier to take taps off without that pesky wet stuff spraying everywhere. Even so, it drives home just how important that water supply is. Fancy a cup of tea? Oh wait, there’s no water. Need the toilet? Careful now, there’s only one flush in the tank. Hands dirty? Tough. That was just one hour!
If, when I replaced the sink taps some time ago, I had thought to use little valves instead of straight compression joints, there would have been no need to turn the water off and drain the tanks completely. Oh well, the pipes have valves now.
Imagine a world where your water could be turned off remotely, or automatically when you’ve used your week’s ration. Along with your electricity and gas supplies. That happens a lot in Panoptica and there is no point asking the neighbours for help. Their supplies are rationed too. It does not occur to the drones that the stuff falling from the sky is the same as the stuff coming out of the taps. It hasn’t been processed so it can’t be safe.
Many people are like that already. I have offered around bags of free plums and often come up against ‘Can you eat them just like that? Don’t they have to be processed?’ These are people in their 40s, who must have surely, as children, picked the blackberries and raspberries that grow wild all around here. Very few people do that now (I’m one of them!).
When water becomes scarce, as it will – artificially, of course – I might make a fortune selling small beer made from rain. For the alcohol-scared, I’ll just sell bottled boiled rainwater. I have filters aplenty.
To achieve such control, the establishment will have to install smart meters (already under way for electricity) and similar water meters. That’s also already under way in southern England which has been declared an ‘Area of Serious Water Stress’. That makes meter installation compulsory. For the rest, there are the usual ‘it will save you money’ claims that cannot be true for everyone. Currently the cost is averaged out based on house size. If I use less water than expected for the size of house, someone else in the same sized house must be using more. Most likely the families with small children. So if the meter saves me money it will increase someone else’s bill. It will increase the bills of those who can least afford it, as all these measures always do.
Meanwhile we are being exhorted to waste water by pouring it over our heads in the name of some charity or other. Not just water, but iced water. In a few months, iced water is going to fall from the sky here. It does it every year and I am in no hurry to experience that again. We have a few months of non-ice now, I say we make the best of them.
It came as a shock to hear that supermarkets are running out of ice. People buy ice? In Scotland? I have a thing called a freezer that turns tap water into ice for free. Sometimes I have to turn it off and clear out all the excess ice. I’ve been throwing it away. I had no idea anyone was willing to buy it.
I agree with Longrider on this one. I have not been nominated for the cold and wet game on Farcebok and if I am, the answer will be ‘no’ if I answer at all. Besides, I think that charity’s administrators are paid quite enough already.
It’ll be hard to convince the Scots that there is a water shortage. As far as I know there has never been a hosepipe ban in Scotland. One very dry summer, years ago, the water company did write to everyone asking if we’d mind not using our hoses too often but there was no actual ban. It’ll be the ‘cost saving’ angle here. Start with those who really will save money. Then profits will decline so the non-metered rate will have to rise to compensate. This will push those whose nieghbours are saving money into joining the metered gang. Profits will decline again, non-metered rates will rise… last one in is going to be paying a fortune!
It’s a good thing I have no world-domination ambition, isn’t it?
It’s very easy to control the baying mob. Most of them are too lazy to think and want someone else to think for them. Socialists like to do their thinking for them. Unfortunately, when it comes to thinking, socialists aren’t really very good at it. Well, they have their schemes but they never think them through. That’s why they fall apart.
One scheme that seems to be going quite well so far is population reduction by mass immigration. So it’s probably not the socialists behind this one.
What’s that? A logic lapse? How can you cause population reduction by mass immigration?
Easy. You make it very hard for anyone productive to live here but very easy for anyone who wants to live on benefits and stab passers-by. Keep that up and it won’t be the UN calling for population reduction. It’ll be the baying mob. Again, as with all such measures, those calling for an end to free benefits, free healthcare and so on never imagine it will apply to them. It’s just for the ‘other people’. No. Family size will be restricted, as in China. Wait a while. My bet is it will be two children per couple. It won’t be easy to apply since so many are born with no visible father these days but that’s another step on the way to Panoptica anyway.
The Calais issue could be solved at a stroke. These people are not EU citizens so are not automatically entitled to the benefits system of any EU country. Just tell them ‘Sure, come here if you want but you’ll starve to death in the streets and be eaten by seagulls and crows. We’re not even going to bury your corpse. We’ll just dump it where the rats can find it.’
Callous? Maybe. But it’s the freebies that call the world’s wasters to these shores. They certainly don’t come for the weather. The freebies aren’t even officially available to these non-EU folk. The opportunity to say ‘no’ is there. Why don’t they just say ‘no’? Could it be that they want the people – the mob – to demand it first? Then they can say ‘Hey, you wanted this, there’s no point complaining about it now’.
Since I decided on Scotland for Panoptica, the story is flying. There are things I wish I could blog or even hint at but they would be major spoilers. I am not at work again until Saturday – my new hours are concentrated into Saturday and Sunday with, very likely, some holiday cover. But that’s okay. Holiday cover is a reciprocal thing. Someone has had to cover my almost-month off. If it starts to get a bit too regular I can always quit again.
This week I will be disturbed by noise in the kitchen which will slow my writing down. Can’t be helped, I’m getting it on the cheap so I can’t complain. Still, the most productive writing comes when I have the peace to be in the imaginary world of the story. Any intrusion of reality can pop me out of that world and it can be hard to get back in.
Then again, reality can be helpful sometimes. A random browse brought me to a short story idea – it’s been a long time since I rattled one out and it would be a nice break from novels. This one involves a very scary monkey.
Here we have an artist with a scary face in her head. It won’t go away until she sculpts it. A few years later it demands she makes hands. Then a body. When it’s finished, the entity that sent the images can take control of it. I considered putting a comment to that effect on the blog but decided that was far too cruel, even for me.
I’ll have to make adjustments though. It would have to be built with mobile limbs at least. I’ve never been a fan of doll-coming-to-life stories where moulded plastic hands become suddenly dextrous.
So maybe an animator rather than an artist. Puts me into ventriloquist-dummy territory and those are ideal. Even the real ones can be scary.
Real life… fiction… it’s hard to know where the real horror lies sometimes.