The days are passing by so quickly! We spent this morning packing the books into boxes and loading the trailer up. It was heavy work, lifting the book boxes and sorting things out. We were very glad of a rest and a cup of tea sitting under the verandah in the sun. The weather was lovely here today - fresh and clear with beautiful blue skies. The washing was blowing in the wind and was dry in no time at all and I Love the smell of line-dried laundry.
As the days are growing shorter now and the sun doesn't manage to rise as high in the sky, the shadows are lengthening and some areas of the garden don't get into the sun at all. This has meant that the time had come today to reposition the rabbit hutches for the winter. The winter position would be far too hot for them in the summer, and similarly, they would freeze if left in the summer position for the winter. Where we have them now, in the winter position, is in the best place for the maximum amount of sunshine and warmth for them during the shorter days. It faces south, so if the sun comes out at all, they will benefit. Once we had moved them, they positively basked in the sun - they had probably fogotten what it had felt like. I hope that they have a few nice days this weekend to enjoy it before it starts to rain again!
Gymnastics tonight, then we nipped off to Tesco before coming home to home-made fish and chips. We watched "Wire in the Blood" but I confess to not entirely understanding the storyline tonight, and now the FH is watching his all-time favourite programme, "Have I Got News for You". It is on the BBC, so you can probably get it in the US. Paul Merton is exceptionally witty in the FH's opinion, although I prefer Stephen Fry on QI.
So, I was going to mention stockpiling yesterday and didn't get around to it, so I am going to write my thoughts on it tonight. I keep a good store of things in the house for a number of reasons. The first is that we live about 10 miles from a supermarket and so I can't keep running to the shops every time I use something up. The second is that I am not that keen on shopping, so it makes sense to me to buy stuff in bulk and then have to do it less often. Between those two reasons, I generally do a "big" shop for the bulk of the stuff about once every two or three weeks when I will buy all the basics. More often than that, perhaps twice a week, I will stop by the supermarket and buy fresh fruit and some veggies. We do eat a lot of fruit, and so I need to keep that topped up.
Proper stockpiling is more than that - it would really involve having a few months' worth of provisions in stock, and I am aiming towards this in the long term. I do buy a lot of some things like loo roll when they go on sale - loo roll is a case in point, as we have about 10 packets of 4. There was a great sale on them a couple of weeks ago and so I bought them - we are always going to need loo roll!!!! However, that would also work for tinned and packet goods, flour, yeast and things that we need to use all the time in our cooking and baking, as well as paper goods in the house, female sanitary provisions, toiletries, etc. I do have two freezers and so I have a good supply there of stone fruits, apples, pears, berries, beans, peas - things we have grown ourselves or have been given by friends or relatives who have grown them. There is not actually very much in the freezers that I have bought. The danger with freezers is what to do in the event of a power cut! The answer is to keep them very tightly closed, and cover them with heavy blankets in a prolonged power cut in the hope of insulating them as long as possible - ours are outside under the verandah so they will be pretty chilly at this time of year! We don't have a lot of major power cuts where we live, so we get by.
So, why would I recommend stockpiling to any extent? First and foremost, it is a security blanket for me - I know that if money is scarce, I can still feed the family. Living what is called "hand to mouth" is a very precarious existence, where the wage earner is literally going out that week (or even that day) to earn the cash to feed the family. I would hate to live like that - and I probably have a month's supplies in the house - OK, I am sure that some of the combinations for meals towards the end of the month might get a little strange, but we would be fed! I know that if I want to set some extra money aside for something in particular, I can shop from home for a week instead of going to the supermarket, and save a lump sum quite quickly. The stores should always be rotated, so you are eating from the stock all the time and then replacing the food later. In the event of a disaster, emergency or fuel strike, I know that my family will be fed, and that makes me feel better!
My stockpile as it is at the moment has been built up over years, buying a few extra bits now and then. I have tinned fish, tinned fruit, corned beef, tinned beans, etc - I will do a complete list in the weeks to come. And I will get to the Chorley-Wood bread process soon too.
I will be busy over the weekend with the show and preparations for it, so I may not post again until Monday - have a good weekend, everyone!
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