If only we could stop it!

Well, we can, if we want to, if we really, really want to, we can give up our super store convenience and go back to the – “good old days – the days before everything was pre packed and prepared for our ‘convenience’ – that’s right, back to the days when we had a true high street, where all the local shops were ‘local’, where the local shop keepers know their customers by name and their shopping preferences, where the butcher helps to select and cut your meat for you, the fishmonger helps you select the freshly caught fish, the green grocer helps you select the best potatoes or cabbage or cauliflower, whatever you need, the baker who saves for you, your favourite loaf.

Where the local shopkeeper serves their local community, where local shopkeepers are interested in you as a person and as a family.

Nothing pre-packed and wrapped in layers of plastic, laid on plastic trays, where fresh food means fresh food not food of all kinds, days or even weeks old, protected by chemicals for a ‘longer’ shelf life –

(and wrapped plastic to keep it ‘fresh’).

or do we just say

Damn! Damn! Good idea but I can’t do that, it would mean missing my favourite reality show.
mmm –
a cleaner, fresher, longer lasting planet for your children, grand children, great grand children to live on!

Even more of a reason that we should do something about pollution now –

– nah! Can’t miss my reality TV and soaps, the future will have to suffer, I need my convenience, let the tree huggers worry about it, it’s not my concern.

Is that the way to treat our future and our children’s future?

or should we stand up and be counted, –

before it is to late to save our beautiful planet.

In our very convenient world!

So here we are with our major major problem – dear old Global Warming – AND –

In order that we can all get home earlier to watch our favourite television programme, we need to have everything done for us, so that we can eat our pre packed, pre cooked, frozen dinner, re heated in a microwave oven, eaten off a disposable plastic plate, off a plastic tray sitting in front of our TV’s, (instead of eating at the table as a family and talking with one another about our day).

Everything we buy is supplied in cardboard boxes, plastic packaging, plastic film and plastic trays by the bucketful, it seems as if there is nothing that industry and business will not consider packing in order to save ‘our very important customers‘ (who need everything done for them) precious time and convenience.

A very big problem at the moment is the one the lack of recycling for these ‘convenient’ materials, mountains and mountains of the stuff which cannot be recycled and has to go to land-fill sites, polluting the earth, the seas and the oceans for years and years and years to come.

 

From then to now

 

I will not deny that many of the problems we have today have occurred because we, the elder generations, have been the cause of, and will continue to be the cause of many of the problems that exist, and will continue to exist and grow.

We cannot help it, ‘Progress’ is bound to happen.

As our knowledge and experiences appear to improve our daily lives, yes, appear to improve our lives. Like it or not, we, the elder generation are now ably assisted by our children, grand children and for some of us, great grand children, we all live in a world and moreover, wish to live in a world where convenience over-rides everything.

Much to my and possibly millions of senior citizens general lack of understanding and in our ignorance, as well as our ongoing search for an ‘easier and more convenient life’. Have allowed all forms of both local and national government and business to take over most of our thinking. We have become ”lazy’, we wanted and still want, the easy life, more money for less work, everything at our fingertips, no need to look or search, it has there waiting for us and to make things worse, we have passed these traits on to our children and grandchildren.

Yes, the era of convenience has well and truly arrived.

As a youngster, all that I can remember, when asked by my mum or dad to ‘nip up’ to the local shops and get a bit of shopping, was everything being supplied loose and given to us in ‘brown paper bags’ be it potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, bacon, liver, lamb chops no matter what it was. Wet produce, like meat and fish was in wrapped by the shopkeeper in waterproof or grease proof paper and put in brown paper bags. No matter which local or high street shop I went into, it was the same, waterproof or grease proof paper and brown paper bags except for the humble ‘white loaf’ now being supplied by the larger bakers. That came in its new form, sliced and wrapped in what was I believe either waterproof or grease proof paper.

It did not seem to matter that it did not taste as nice, it just stayed fresh for longer – convenience.

To my mind, with ‘convenience’ came the eventual demise of the local high street, the local individual baker, butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer and general grocer, etc., etc., etc., began to disappear from our local high street with larger stores taking over to ‘improve our shopping experience and convenience’ with all goods available in those stores ‘pre-packed, pre-wrapped’ ready, off the shelf self service for all.

WHAT A TIME SAVER.

In the beginning!

OK, a bit more of my history. Just to put you in the picture,

I was born in early 1938, which is quite a while ago I agree, but looking back, yeah! I know – ‘rose tinted glasses’ – and all. It did seem better!

Many of the younger generation will say that (in their innocence) “it is all in the eye of the beholder”, simply because they were not there to experience it and even more sadly, appear not been taught anything different in their schooling.

When I was a nipper, virtually every home had either wood. coal or peat to fuel the home fires, hot water came from a kettle, gas or electric boiler or maybe a coal fire back boiler. Some wealthy families had hot water central heating, powered by the local coal fired electricity power stations, meals were cooked in or on ”coal gas” cookers or if you were lucky an electric oven. Most of us had electric lighting but some houses still had gaslights and even paraffin oil lamps. Our local transport systems were, as they are today, cars, lorries, trams, trains, buses including the newest transport system – aeroplanes, were and in the main, as we all know, still are, powered by fossil fuels. Quite a lot of us youngsters were fair weather cyclists, bad weather though saw us on the local buses with our local council issued bus passes. There were though, some youngsters who went to school in their family car, yes, even back in the 1950s parents had started the now all to common, school run. I can remember being amazed when my mum came home from our local grocery store, the ubiquitous corner shop with a presliced white loaf wrapped in what I think was either grease proof or waterproof paper, the start of ‘convenience shopping’.

So there we were, not truly realising it but already both our homes and industry polluting the atmosphere and giving rise to Global Warming – it’s gone down hill rapidly, seemingly faster and faster each year.

Should we protest and complain?

Before I get to that, I think I should tell you a little bit more about myself:

 Just over three and a half years ago, I retired from a working life at the age of 78, old age and failing eye sight, not that I can’t see, just that my eyesight was no longer good enough for a professional driver, well, as professional as a taxi driver needs to be.

 The first lesson I learned in retirement was:

Retiring without a personal pension, (which allows one to continue living the ‘good’ and ’carefree’ life), living’ purely on a state pension, in retrospect, is not the fun option. One has to drastically change ones lifestyle. it’s not true, you cannot live on fresh air, sustenance is an essential.

 So to those who find this blog, if you are still young or not so young, get a pension, save your pennies as much as you can, you will need all you can save and maybe more.

 I used to live in a small flat where all the facilities were powered by electricity. For what, in the first place may have been basically financial reasons, I have realised that I had to change my lifestyle drastically. Not just for financial reasons, for now I have realised, that like most of us in the modern or ‘first class’ world we are helping to destroy our beautiful planet.

 Today, I live in a caravan, in a field, lighting is supplied by batteries which are charged by solar cells, my cooking is done with propane gas because so far I have not been able to find an alternative source of heat, (sometimes I do use a barbecue, but not a lot and not in winter).

 I have not owned my own motor car or motorcycle for a decade or more, I either walk or cycle everywhere or jump on a local bus if I need to travel some distance or am in a ’hurry’.

Now it’s back to my heading – Should we protest and complain!

the simple answer is – YES

 

Why should we protest and complain!

A bit about me so you all know where I am coming from –

It is sad to say that I am of an age where the saying – “it was better when I was young” now seems to me to be more true than ever, to me, life truly was, so much simpler and easier when I was a child.

So, Yes, I am bashing this out on a computer, so that even though I may seem to be “of this time”, I am in fact over 80 years of age and have seen much that I would wish to forget.

Back when I was a member of the ‘younger generation’, disregarding the war years – say 1938 to 1945 – suffering the stresses and strains of my junior schooling years, just like the youngsters of today, my major concerns both before and after lessons were – what will my dear old mum give me for breakfast or my evening meal. Did I have enough paper, pencils or pen and ink to complete my homework. Which of my school friends would be out in the evening playing in the local park, climbing trees which the park-keepers tried to stop us from doing – (by invoking the wrath of the local bobby) – or racing around the green park areas which the park-keepers also tried to stop us from doing.

Sometimes we would be like racing cyclists or long distance runners charging up and down the local roads and of course getting into fights over nothing at all. Well, not really fights, more like pushing and shoving each other around, until we became bored with that and found something far more important to talk and argue about.

 If we were lucky we would be allowed by either our ‘mum’ or ‘dad’,, if we had been well behaved, to listen to the family radio, programmes such as ‘Children’s Hour’ or ‘Dick Barton Special Agent’, but that was only if there was no programmes that mum or dad wanted to listen to.

There was no such thing as television, computers, tablets, mobile phones, (very few families had a landline telephone and even fewer a motor car), all we had were our friends and our imagination to keep us entertained.

However, what we did have, even though in our innocence at that moment in time, we were not aware of it, was the beginnings of Global Warming.