Pennsif’s Progress #599 – Time for change Copy

I am not quite sure why but I feel it is time for a change.
It might be the life jolt as my two eldest daughters go off to university in September.
Maybe it is because I will shortly be entering my 25th year of trading with my business.
Perhaps it is reaching one year on steem.
Or is it just because I am getting ever older…
But it is time for a change.
Talking with @kennyskitchen on my Alternative Lifestyle Show yesterday made the idea bubble up to the surface again. Kenny spoke about how he had spent some years travelling around taking on new challenges, living on the edge of his comfort zone and always looking to be ‘levelling up’.
That gaming idea of levelling up really struck a note for me. To keep on growing you really need to keep on leveling up in life. Learning new skills, meeting new people, absorbing new ideas, experiencing new experiences.
As you get older and accumulate more responsibilities of family, property, business the possibilities for change seem more limited.
In another few years some of those limitations will be removed and the options for locational and experiential change for me may open up again.
For now the change will have to be about doing more and doing different where I am, with the resources I have and the time available.
That is not so bad for me.
While in my younger years my change experiences involved a lot of travelling around the world, in my later years my passion for change became more directed outwards.
I became a campaigner, an activist and an organiser.
In various shapes and sizes, and in various roles and guises, I have been doing battle for change now for 40 years.
It is in those footsteps I want to re-tread and redirect my current efforts.
That does not signal that I want to lessen my involvement with steem, in fact quite the opposite.
I am a strong believer in the potential power of steem.
For me personally I want to see greater uses of steem.
Through my work on the A Dollar A Day project I have witnessed glimpses of a powerful use of steem.
In little, tiny, small ways steem has changed lives.
But I believe it can do so much more.
Now I want to take out steem out on to the frontline, wear it proudly on the streets, thrust it into the limelight and even chose it as my weapon of choice in hand to hand combat if it comes to that.
I want to explore new ways to use steem as an agent of change.
I have no magic silver bullet for steem, but I am cooking up a few ideas.
In the next day or two or three I will be posting about my new project.
This will be my change for the moment. Not a full 180, but definitely an appreciable rebearing.
First though I’ve got to do some jiggling and some juggling with my rather overloaded steem schedule.
What gives…


You might also be interested in some of my other posts :
MY RADIO SHOWS
MY PROJECTS

[ images from pixabay.com ]

Pennsif’s Progress #599 – Time for change

I am not quite sure why but I feel it is time for a change.
It might be the life jolt as my two eldest daughters go off to university in September.
Maybe it is because I will shortly be entering my 25th year of trading with my business.
Perhaps it is reaching one year on steem.
Or is it just because I am getting ever older…
But it is time for a change.
Talking with @kennyskitchen on my Alternative Lifestyle Show yesterday made the idea bubble up to the surface again. Kenny spoke about how he had spent some years travelling around taking on new challenges, living on the edge of his comfort zone and always looking to be ‘levelling up’.
That gaming idea of levelling up really struck a note for me. To keep on growing you really need to keep on leveling up in life. Learning new skills, meeting new people, absorbing new ideas, experiencing new experiences.
As you get older and accumulate more responsibilities of family, property, business the possibilities for change seem more limited.
In another few years some of those limitations will be removed and the options for locational and experiential change for me may open up again.
For now the change will have to be about doing more and doing different where I am, with the resources I have and the time available.
That is not so bad for me.
While in my younger years my change experiences involved a lot of travelling around the world, in my later years my passion for change became more directed outwards.
I became a campaigner, an activist and an organiser.
In various shapes and sizes, and in various roles and guises, I have been doing battle for change now for 40 years.
It is in those footsteps I want to re-tread and redirect my current efforts.
That does not signal that I want to lessen my involvement with steem, in fact quite the opposite.
I am a strong believer in the potential power of steem.
For me personally I want to see greater uses of steem.
Through my work on the A Dollar A Day project I have witnessed glimpses of a powerful use of steem.
In little, tiny, small ways steem has changed lives.
But I believe it can do so much more.
Now I want to take out steem out on to the frontline, wear it proudly on the streets, thrust it into the limelight and even chose it as my weapon of choice in hand to hand combat if it comes to that.
I want to explore new ways to use steem as an agent of change.
I have no magic silver bullet for steem, but I am cooking up a few ideas.
In the next day or two or three I will be posting about my new project.
This will be my change for the moment. Not a full 180, but definitely an appreciable rebearing.
First though I’ve got to do some jiggling and some juggling with my rather overloaded steem schedule.
What gives…


You might also be interested in some of my other posts :
MY RADIO SHOWS
MY PROJECTS

[ images from pixabay.com ]

Pennsif’s Progress #612 – Can I build a local steem community (take 2)

Several posts back I wrote about the importance of local community as a key part of any good prepper’s security strategy.

That still stands tall in my planning for the bad times.

But community is for the now. It is a relish that gives more true flavour to the dish of life whatever your eating preferences or dietary requirements.

Like many on steem I have enjoyed and thrived in the community that has grown up on steemit and Discord.

But it is virtual and I suspect, alas, I will never get to meet the large majority of people I have met in the steem world.

I envy the steem homesteaders of areas like the Ozarks in the US where there seems to be a like-minded steemian at the end of every road.

How cool it would be to part of a local steem empowered community in the real world here in west Wales.

That is a great goal of mine.

I have long been active in the local community getting involved in organising festivals, establishing schemes to develop the local economy, serving as a trustee for local charities, and even running a community cinema…

At the turn of the year when I was setting up the first Wales steem meetup, I was also actively recruiting people in the area to steem.

I signed up almost a dozen at the time, including one well established YouTuber with 70K subscribers. A few of them came to the meetup in February.

I even developed plans to run steem training sessions and ‘Cooking with Steem’ classes for young people.

Then the steem price took a dive. Even with personal mentoring and upvoting as much as my steempower permitted I could not keep the large majority of those new recruits active on steem.

Some found it too difficult, others found it way too time consuming, and of course others just didn’t think it worth the effort for the tiny rewards they were getting. The YouTuber struggled with the limitations of the 7 day payout window.

I failed in my quest to develop a local steem community.

Now I am 6 months steem wiser, my steempower is twice what it was then, and I have a bunch of new steem dApps in the toolbox.

It is time for another go

How, who, what, when, where, if, maybe…

What can I do differently this time round?

With the steem price so low is this the worst time to try?  Or is the only way up from here?

Through my work with the @adollaraday charitable giving project I have witnessed the power of steem in helping people that really need it.

Is that a clue?  Is that relevant in Britain?

I am just starting volunteering with a local food bank. Is that a place to look for people that steem can help?

Or is that way off the scale of presumption and middle class arrogance?

In the thinly glazed steem community of the UK I am fairly sure nothing in this realm has yet been tackled or attempted.

Is their a role for steem to help tackle food poverty in this ‘prosperous’ nation called Great Britain?

Maybe I can mashup and stirfry my connections in the local permaculture community, with users of the food bank and a great big spoonful of steem sauce to cook up something that can taste good for everyone?

I am sure there are other recipes in the book, but for this first course, on the second sitting, I am willing to give it a try.



You might also be interested in some of my other posts :
MY RADIO SHOWS
MY PROJECTS

[ images from pixabay – Creative Commons CC0 ]

Pennsif’s Progress #622 – Security in Numbers – can we build a community on our homestead

Harking back to the topic of security once again might seem repetitive.

But security in all its forms and manifestations is fundamentally what prepping is all about.

Security of food, security of water and security of us – my family, our animals, our homestead.

Picking up once more on the comment by @bobydimitrov in a previous blog :

Your food stockpile is just a club swing away from being someone else’s. … Even if you keep an arsenal in your house, you cannot possibly keep a band of marauders from taking your stuff and your life.

This fact is so totally true, and must absolutely be addressed. In any ‘Bad Times Scenario’ it will most likely be a safety in numbers game. As @bobydimitrov says :

People will never survive as loners, or single families. At the very least I’m thinking groups of 10-15 families living together in a small space. And even that probably won’t be enough to fend off marauders.

I spoke in a previous post about [the importance of local community](https://steemit.com/steempress/@pennsif/pennsifsprogress627-security-itmuststartwiththelocalcommunity-b0myt42qpz). That will be important but it can only ever be part of the whole security solution.

We are blessed, and lucky enough, to be stewards, guardians and owners of a largish house, an attached coach house, two barns and 17 acres of land.

That was not just by chance. From the beginning of our time here I have always had in mind that the property might eventually become home for more than one family.

Although financial, time and family limitations have so far held back any major developments, we are soon entering a “new phase” as our children begin to move away to the next stages of their lives.

This presents the opportunity for developments I have long been contemplating to turn our property of one family into a community of several.

The starting point has been the old barns (and there is another one on the other side that this photograph doesn’t show).

These could readily accommodate at least eight people. Of course for planning reasons, in the here and now, these would not be permanent residences but temporary accommodation for holidaying family, friends and guests.

We even have had an architect draw up full plans for the renovation and conversion. He got rather carried away though and came up with a Grand Design costing over US$ 350,000. This included such embellishments as a glass atrium and even a lift.

This was a somewhat more extravagant development than we had envisaged. His plans have been carefully stored in a strong cardboard tube and instead we have begun the work in a more piecemeal, practical and affordable fashion.

The coachhouse at the end of the house has also been planned up for a more modest conversion to accommodate another couple of people.

With a fuller utilisation of existing buildings we could with ease accommodate 4 families, or around 15 people.

That still leaves the 17 acres around us. Erecting new buildings will be difficult with planning regulations but less permanent structures would be quite feasible.

I have long had a dream to build two cabins of some sort – one tucked in the corner at the end of the old pig garden, the other down by the lake.

Exactly what form these buildings might take I am not yet sure.  I have been looking at a number of options – straw bale houses, log cabins, timber framed, extended sheds…

On The Alternative Lifestyle Show last week I listened with great interest to @basicstoliving’s plans for aircrete dome houses.

Another route, which would certainly be easier from a planning point of view, would be to go for semi-mobile tiny houses.

It is certainly going to be an interesting journey exploring alternatives and eventually turning them into actual dwellings of some nature.


Who will live in them?

Once all the living places are complete we should be able to accommodate 6 families with around 20 people in total.

That still doesn’t achieve @bobydimitrov’s suggested 10 – 15 families but it is a step in the right direction.

The big question is who would live in the various buildings?

In good times some would be reserved for our children and their future families. The rest would be ideal for AirBnB lettings which would also bring in a little extra income along the way.

But what about if the Bad Times come.

The starting point of course would be our children.

By the time all these developments come to fruition they will likely be starting their own families. They will be given first refusal.

Our extended family are all in other countries and other continents so it is probably unlikely and impractical that they would want to come here.

The next port of call would be friends. We don’t have a large circle of friends. And many of our friends live on similar properties to ours and would likely be staying put.

So that begs the question who would want to come here and who would we want to come here?

It is a question that best needs answering long before Bad Times might come, not when they happen.

I wonder, I wonder, I wonder…

Maybe we should start a little steem prepping community?

Perhaps some sort of steem ‘timeshare’?

There was a very good project proposed some months back on steem – Kin-Shep – Steemit Hospitality Engagement Platform – for people to swap temporary ‘work’ for accommodation on homesteads around the world. Alas it seems to have faded away, but I think the concept still stands strong.

This is just the beginning of this story.

Much, much, much more thought, contemplation, discussion, exploration and perhaps experimentation needs to come next.

Whichever way it cuts and falls it presents some very interesting possibilities.

I would be happy and a half to hear your thoughts and ideas on this..



You might also be interested in some of my other posts :
MY RADIO SHOWS
MY PROJECTS

[ all images by @pennsif ]

Pennsif’s Progress #627 – Security – it must start with the local community

In my previous Pennsif’s Progress post about food security @bobydimitrov made a very good comment about security and being able to defend one’s food stockpile against the marauding masses if a society breakdown occurs.

Your food stockpile is just a club swing away from being someone else’s. Your greenhouse is a magnet for hungry bands of pillagers. Even if you keep an arsenal in your house, you cannot possibly keep a band of marauders from taking your stuff and your life.

That is of course a big concern. In that sort of situation we can only have food security if we have security.

Our remote location is both a blessing and a danger for us. Our nearest neighbours are one mile way in one direction and half a mile in the often.

The neighbours are too far away to even know if we were having problems… or are they?


OpSec

Before I joined steem I wrote my daily Pennsif’s Progress posts for many months on a UK Preppers forum. Discussions were always informative, often educational, commonly enjoyable and sometimes quite frank.

Security was a common topic for discussion – but ‘OpSec‘ was the always the watchword.

Operational Securty was of the outmost importance – never give too much information away, least you would be ‘uncovered’ and hoards of undesirables would be beating a path to you door.

So my big takeaway from that preppers forum was to keep a low profile and never say too much.

That is sound advice. So in answer to @bobydimitrov I will keep it general.

One family in a remote farmhouse – even with a truckload of guns – couldn’t mount any effective defense against hungry people with bad intentions.

But this is the UK, with very restrictive gun laws, so our truck won’t be full guns… maybe just airguns, catapaults, sticks and stones and bows and arrows.

But this is rural Wales where every knows everyone, most people have the same surname and sometimes you really have to keep up with the Jones.

The Local Community

So that is where security will start … with the community.

We moved here nearly 20 years ago and in that time we have been involved in a lot of what goes on in the local community.

Our children have attended the local schools, my wife has learnt Welsh at local classes, I have been been involved in organising festivals and other community events. In any ways and all ways we have got to know people in the local area and they have got to know us. My mother being born here has given us a free pass in some areas as well.

And our near neighbours have always been helpful – pulling our car out of the floods, lifting delivery vans that have slid off our lane, coming by in their 4x4s when we have been blocked in by snow.

The local community, and our neighbours, are the foundation of our security strategy.

Distance can be an issue, but that is nothing that some CB radios or a network of walkie-talkies won’t be able to deal with.

So that is our Prepping Security Strategy, Part I.

Tomorrow, OpSec permitting, I will reveal Part II, and maybe even a glimpse of Part III…



You might also be interested in some of my other posts :
MY RADIO SHOWS
MY PROJECTS

[ images from pixabay – Creative Commons CC0 ]

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