The main picture is of a little wall hanging I have, made for me by a lady in her 80s. Its intricate and beautifully detailed, and a lovely thing to have, but its also a useful reminder about prepping in terms of the community at large.
The second picture is a detail of the reverse, to show how she engineered a really simple way of making a little “rail” to support the picture as a whole, and to provide a lengthy attachment that could be used with a hook. I love this: she used two thin knitting needles, and sewed them into the fabric of the hanging, you can just see the painstaking hand-stitching. This is what any good prepper does: minimal work to adapt the resources at hand, so the job gets done with a minimum of fuss.
Most elderly people are women, but some are men, of course they are, and the generation currently in their eighties were the last generation in the UK – currently, at least – to be conscripted. Those gents sunning themselves in the beer garden or taking a little walk in the park, they may well have skills that you really, really didn’t expect to find. Don’t underestimate them, any of them, male or female.
Because of our ageing population, older people make up an increasingly large part of our numbers. And quite a few of them are pretty healthy, even in their 80s. This wall hanging is a reminder that even though they don’t have the physical strength or stamina of younger people, many of them still have skills and knowledge and dexterity, and will be willing to help in all sorts of ways in emergencies.
Those emergencies might be ordinary, everyday emergencies today – passing on messages, feeding the dog, being in the house to take in a delivery, watering the plants, collecting the post, that sort of thing.
But if times got really hard, for instance if the economy collapsed and local communities had to become more self reliant or go under, they might be called upon to do all sorts of other things. Here are just a few:
– providing space – to store goods, to grow young plants of various sizes, or even to have people bunk with them for a while, if need be.
– babysitting/watching the children.
– monitoring radios.
– monitoring solar battery chargers.
– darning and mending.
– information on local people and resources.
There’s a bit of a philosophical point as well: what kind of society do you want your kids to grow up in? How would you want to be treated if you or your kids are ill, or get an injury, or you manage to survive what life throws at you and you just get old? We’re all looking after each other, in the long term.
Health, wealth and happiness to us all.