Category Archives: whinging

Turning ourselves in

The last three shops we’ve been able to get into had nothing left that was edible.  Most supermarkets are occupied, and their inhabitants go to even greater lengths than Elaine to defend their stores.  The last time we attempted to get near to a large Tesco we passed the gutted shells of burnt out cars.  I’d just caught sight of the charred corpse in one of the wrecks when Sarah swerved suddenly and accelerated towards the exit as a gout of flame sprang up on the tarmac behind us.  We don’t go near the larger shops now.

Last night we ate our penultimate tin of kidney beans with boiled nettles, and Sue suggested, again, giving up and going to the quarantine camp.  At least they’d feed us, she said.  At least they wouldn’t shoot at us for wanting to eat.  The quarantine time period’s long past – perhaps families are allowed to stay together now.  The question on my mind is, if the quarantine period’s over, where is everybody?  You can drive for an hour on any road and see nobody.  You’d think people would be leaving the cities, if they were free to do so.

We argued until past midnight, Sue pointing at maps and reading blog testimonies from various cities in the region, me pointing out how little those testimonies mean, Sarah unusually silent, lying on the bunkbed with her headphones turned up, chewing on her sleeves.  I don’t want to lose the caravan and the car, and our independence.  Sue feels we’ve gone beyond that now.
She said we can go to the city, or we could keep raiding until we get shot, or we can watch our daughter waste away on nettles and dandelion leaves.
I said that if we can hold on for autumn, there’ll be blackberries and hazelnuts and chestnuts to eat.
And she said, it’ll get colder, and darker, and we’ll get sicker.  None of our attempts at snaring or trapping or fishing have had much success.  There are a few mushrooms, roots and berries that I know for sure are safe, but it takes a more expert forager than me to actually find enough to live on for any amount of time.  We’re almost out of iodine, too, and unlikely to find more.  There’s nowhere else to raid within walking distance, and moving on means using the last of our fuel.

Sue stayed up searching the W4 and running down the power, and this morning told us that Chester’s called an amnesty on quarantine refusers.  We could join them now, and be kept in isolation for 28 days before joining the general population.  They say they’ve got basic industries running and they’re working farms in the surrounding area.  They’ve got security, food and jobs.  They need workers.

There was nothing else I could say.


Posted by on August 26, 2026 in giving up, planning, whinging


Tags: , , , , ,

Going nowhere

There are a lot of patrols out on the roads now – an attempt to round up stragglers, we think – so we’ve found somewhere we can remain relatively concealed and we’re staying put.

To amuse myself I thought I’d try out that Utopia quiz.  I suppose I can live with the result.  I read it once, and it certainly reminds me of a few people I used to know.  Well, we were right that another world was possible.  It just isn’t the one we expected.

Pastoral/Primitivist Anarchist Communism, e.g. News from Nowhere by William Morris.

Pastoral/Primitivist Anarchist Communism, e.g. News from Nowhere by William Morris.

We don’t need money, hierarchies or laws. Neither do we need structures, processes or new technology. This kind of utopia appeals to those who find conflict frightening, and prefer revolutions that have a definite end resulting in a static society with no further change or development required, ever. The harvest never fails, nobody resents anybody else’s foibles and everybody is happy in their work. Doesn’t “work is play” have a slightly Orwellian ring to it?

See the story behind this quiz at

Which Utopia are you building?


Posted by on June 14, 2026 in memes and quizzes, whinging


Tags: , , , , ,

The Journey Begins

It appears we’re going to be on the move, sporadically, for a good deal longer than we thought.

We were lucky to get out of London at all.  We hit the first blockade when we’d barely passed Brent Cross. As the ‘Slow’ signs and flashing sirens emerged from their forest of cones, Sue narrowed her eyes and said, “Well, so much for getting out early.”

Ahead of us, a steady stream of traffic was guided through the central reservation and back towards London. There was nowhere to go except up to the checkpoint, where one of the three armed police officers approached my window and asked where we were going.  I told him we needed to get to Windermere, and he looked at me like I’d just told him I was aiming to fly to the moon.
“You want to go on holiday in the middle of a National Crisis, do you, sir?” he said.
I thought about pretending we couldn’t go back home because of an outbreak, but luckily I thought better of it, even though we didn’t know about the quarantine camps at this point – nobody did except those who were in them – I just had the feeling that going back to any major centre of population wouldn’t be wise at this juncture. Instead, I said, “We’re trying to get home – we’ve been on holiday, and we need to get back to my elderly mother.”
He went off and spoke to his superior officer, then murmured an incomprehensible stream of words and numbers into his radio and listened intently to the incomprehensible crackle that returned.
“You can get to the M1,” he said, “but you’ll only come up against another road block before you get past Birmingham, and I don’t fancy your chances of getting there tonight.”
“We have a caravan,” I pointed out.
“Well, you can’t camp on the M1.”
The whole country was in the process of being locked down, and he wasn’t having any argument. He said we’d be given somewhere to park the caravan in the city.
“Go back to Brent Cross, and they’ll escort you to a safe waiting zone – I’ll let them know you’re coming.”
He opened up the near barrier and pointed us through the gap to the southbound lanes, while flashing sirens warned us from attempting to go further North. But as soon as we were underway, Sarah looked up from her handset with other ideas.
“Get off at Junction 4 and take the A41. We’ll see how far we can get out of London avoiding the motorways,” she said, with more confidence than I’d expect of somebody who I was initiating into the arcane art of road navigation less than three months ago. “Set the W4PS to check for updates from UKfluweb for towns that’ve been locked down,” she told Sue. “It looks like we can still make it past Birmingham tonight if we hurry.”
Despite my little deception, this level of civil disobedience hadn’t quite occurred to me.  I wasn’t sure whether to be shocked or impressed, but I was definitely a little wary at the suggestion we actually go on the run.  Sue made the necessary decision.
“We didn’t just pack two months’ supplies into a dilapidated caravan so that we could be herded into a secured scout hut to die within a week”. She’d been silently catching up on socnet statuses from her cousins in Wood Green, where the clampdown on travel had come in quickly and ruthlessly that morning. They’d been at their grandmother’s when what they called “pigs in spacesuits” came door-to-door, grabbing anybody who so much as took a breath deep enough to cough with. They were demanding to see everybody registered at the address; thankfully Kelly had the presence of mind to hide, but Tracey had stomped out to give them a piece of her mind when they began interrogating her gran, and they’d been dragged into a van full of aged neighbours. They were given face masks for protection. “It looked like they were being gagged” was what Kelly said after peering through the curtain to see her sister and elderly grandmother bundled into a police van. Sue shared this with us sombrely as I followed Sarah’s directions.

For the first three hours, I drove while Sarah tapped away in the back with a workset, the W4PS and a road atlas, negotiating a route around the exclusion zones. Then Sue took over the driving and I did the navigation, while Sarah kept track of newsnets, having been refused a turn at the wheel.

That’s taken us as far as here – a field in “Wedgnock” which is precisely the middle of absolutely nowhere, identified by Sarah as being set far enough back from the road or any inhabited building that we can safely stop for a few nights without being reported. Our assessment is that we’re in for the long haul. I’d never appreciated how much geography is bypassed by simple means of a motorway. It could take us another two days to get as far as the Lakes, and that’s if a) all these little roads are traversable with a trailer, b) no extreme weather makes them impassable and c) no more of them get closed off in the meantime. Then there’s the possibility of hitting traffic again. We’re not the only ones who turned refugee just before it was too late. What will they do if the roads get blocked with us? Herd us into quarantine camps? Leave us to walk home or starve?

But I’m getting morbid, and that does none of us any good. So, it’ll take a little longer than we thought.  It’ll be a journey to remember, whatever happens.


Posted by on May 14, 2026 in planning, whinging


Tags: , , ,

Catastrophic Contingencies

This is my result for that apocalypse quiz that’s going round:

You will survive: A Cosy Catastrophe

You will survive: A Cosy Catastrophe

Well, you are fond of your creature comforts, aren’t you? And maybe a little bit too smug about the possibility of Civilisation As We Know It going down the drain.

You’re just itching to create a better world now that the pesky majority of the population’s out of your way. I’m willing to bet that with a stiff upper lip, a healthy dose of denial and an unwavering determination to recreate a British pastoral idyll that never really existed, you could survive anything from Triffids to the Death of Grass.

All you need is a nice little farming community and an appreciation of the simple things to keep your spirits up. But what will you do when the simple things get complicated?

See the story behind this quiz at

Which apocalyptic disaster will you survive?

And speaking of complications and catastrophes, we’re implementing contingencies at work in case of a Bird Flu outbreak in London. As frontline medical staff, we’ve been assured that we’ll get anti-virals, but we also know that these drugs were developed for a very different strain and we’ve no idea how effective they’ll be. We’ve got an isolation ward put aside and Type 2 biohazard suits for all staff – we’ll all look like we’re working in a nuclear power station. Hardly reassuring for the public, and not so comfortable for us, but hopefully it’ll provide some more meaningful protection than those flimsy masks they’re giving out.

On top of that, everybody has to sign up for a three hour training session over the next month, which sounds riveting and will no doubt do wonders for our other targets, not to mention patient care (nobody mentions patient care).

Oh well, I suppose when it all goes to shit, the execs will be able to hold up a document saying they made adequate preparations before retiring to their sealed quarantine facilities. The rest of us will just have to make do the best we can.


Posted by on February 1, 2026 in memes and quizzes, planning, whinging


Tags: , , , ,

Seasonal Vegetables of the Living Dead

Our beans got extra genes, they're lean, mean protein machines.

Bright Horizons

The ground, the sky and the things between

Life in the Fast 'Laine

I'll set my own pace. Try to keep up.