Welcome to the neo-peasantry!

The reality is that this winter, as I\’m sure you know, has been exceptionally harsh. Just doing the animals takes hours. All the water butts and hoses are frozen, so whoever is on duty has to come inside the house and fill up endless buckets and watering cans, lugging them outside to the various troughs and drinkers. It\’s almost impossible even to open the doors of the coops, as latches are frozen. One door has already broken. And cleaning out the animals requires a lot of muscle, as all the dung is rock hard. Our hob has been broken, too, by having something frozen dropped on to it.

Other jobs also take twice as long. We\’re at the end of a long, steep cul-de-sac which the car simply can\’t make it up any more. So we\’ve been walking the girls to school and going shopping with rucksacks on our backs. We\’re constantly lighting fires and so spend a lot of time splitting logs for kindling, bringing more wood indoors, and so on. The wood-fuel boiler gets through two or three barrows a day. Only now we\’ve run out of wood. It sounds daft, as we live in a wood, but we didn\’t fell anything like enough last winter to have sufficient seasoned logs for the boiler this winter. I knew we were going to be short at some point, that we would have to buy in some logs towards the end of the winter, maybe in February or March. I didn\’t expect that all the log sheds would be empty by the New Year.

There\’s cunts out there that want to force us all to live like this.

Hang them all.

14 thoughts on “Welcome to the neo-peasantry!”

  1. So his free range chickens were ranging free looking for food under a foot of snow?

    And his animals, as soon as it gets a bit nippy out, start to poop ready frozen shit. That’s some weird shit, man, unless you’re just a lazy arse.

    And instead of stabling the cows in the ground floor of the house and using them to heat the living room above, he puts them in an outhouse.

    Medieval peasantry isn’t rocket science, you know.

  2. “In a way I relish the challenge. I like the brutal realities of struggling to keep warm and to get food on the table.”

    I like popping in to Waitrose. Each to his own…

  3. Know exactly what you’re talking about there BiF. Used to live in a house in the Midi-P would have worked that way. Animals go in the ground floor, hay in the loft. Inhabitants lived snug & cosy between the two.
    But I don’t concur with your disparagement of mediaeval peasantry. It’s its own rocket science. To live it is a highly complex process that was perfected over umpteen generations. Doesn’t look like tosspot’s got past the firework in a bottle stage.

  4. “In a way I relish the challenge. I like the brutal realities of struggling to keep warm and to get food on the table.”

    No, the brutal reality, is doing this when the lives of your family *depend* on it’s success, where failing to make sure you’ve got enough wood for the winter means that you’re at a real risk of dying.

    It’s still a life that expects to make use of the infrastructure that’s maintained and paid for by the people who lead much less ‘admirable’ lives.

    It’s about as risky as your average fairground ‘thrill’ ride, and probably about as useful.

  5. Luckily, articles in progressive newspapers about his ‘struggle with brutal reality’ help to make the struggle less brutal.

  6. He doesn’t tell us why he didn’t cut enough wood last season. (Does he really “fell” wood i.e. fell timber and then cut it up?) Yer medieval peasant had the sense to coppice.

  7. I think ye medieval peasant was also restricted in the size of timber they could take for fuel, so coppicing might have had another benefit.

    But yes, this is theme-park living, not exposure to anything brutal. I rather like it, myself, having a smallholding and being prone to cutting wood – there have been enough dead trees to take down this year to make anything else unnecessary.

    But it’s a lifestyle choice made on the back of the knowledge there’s a supermarket on the way home from the field.

  8. The medieval peasant used to cut wood from coppice on a very quick rotation, as little as four years, that’s probably a little too much like intensive agriculture for the modern pretend peasant.

  9. “The wood-fuel boiler gets through two or three barrows a day.”

    Anyone else think that this doesn’t sound very “sustainable”?

  10. Coppicing is an excellent system, but if the woodland hasn’t been managed that way previously it will take time to restructure it for thT purpose, assuming that the FC or LA will let you do the required felling.

    Burning lots of firewood is ok provided you’re burning it efficiently and you’re replanting faster that you’re felling.

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