Land of the Survivors

Readers, I write this post during a brief pause in our heatwave here in the UK. It’s coming back, don’t worry. Does this beautiful weather conceal a secret? Are we doomed?

Way back in 1954, the celebrated science fiction writer, and door to door salesman, HG Bragg in his novel The Land of the Survivors painted a picture of a future world devoid of hope, full of crazy people and extreme heat! In this short excerpt, see how spine chilling and accurate his prediction was and is there more to come!!?

Waking up on Sunday 9th September 2018, there was a disturbing quiet. Even for a Sunday it was just too silent. Life had been different since the start of the long hot summer of June 2018. Emerging so gently in late May, the sultry weather crept up on the UK population. Lulled into a false sense of security, earth had begun to take revenge on a society that had started to take our spinning world for granted!

The early signs of trouble were first observed in late July, when a plague of wasps caused BBQ fanatics havoc. Accident and Emergency centres were overwhelmed with men in shorts, carrying hot tongs, awaiting treatment. This amused the females in society, who earlier in 2015 had become heads of the family driving men into underground groups. These groups would take up cycling, and spend their time hounding car drivers and horses.

Little did the public know that the government had already started “disaster” planning. Their key idea was to place on an Island of Love, “elite” members of society who would be able to continue humankind in the event of extinction. Trusting blindly in the truth of the written CVs submitted, officials chose the few and they were placed on the Island under the cover of a reality TV show, a new form of entertainment in the 21st century. 

The earth continued heating up, and on August 23rd, now known as “the day of the infinite heat” more wasps attacked. This time there was no mercy. 

The government’s plan was put into action and the participants on the Island were released to progress mankind.

I am trying to find HG Bragg’s sequel to the book to see what actually happened and understand whether it could help us.

Fear not readers, I am sure everything will be alright. What a fantasy!

It’s been an exciting week here in onein400 land. We have recently acquired a bigger car. One that can easily absorb my growing contraptions for everyday life and, of course, our dogs. So we had our old car to sell. We all know selling a car can be a daunting experience with the challenges of, how can I politely put it, attracting dubious inquiries and dealing with humans of slightly suspicious scruples. I think that was polite enough?

So as a canny salesperson I did all the usual planning, pricing at the right level to allow for flexibility, preparing the car and writing some notes for Jean on how to handle questions regarding price etc. With my appalling voice I needed Jean to answer the calls.

After we placed an ad in a national car emporium, we waited for the stream of enquiries. They duly came. Arranging for the first to view, we waited in trepidation. Jean was to take the viewer for a test drive. I am just too much of a burden these days to drag into a car quickly, and if Jean did get attacked, I wouldn’t want me slowing her escape!!

Leave me darling, I will survive the joy ride. Is there anything we need from the shops?”

However, the viewer was totally thrilled with the car, and totally restored my faith in humanity. His very words were

This car has been looked after, a great example of the model I have been looking for. I won’t insult you by negotiating, but just put what you would have come down by into a charity for MND!

Gulp!” Thanks!

I promptly hit the donate button!

It was sad to see our old car go, but great to see her go to a person who would use and look after it.  A good deal all around! Win, win as we say! Perhaps the EU and UK Government could learn a lot from my car selling! (Oooh political Lee, careful).

Before we showed the eventual buyer the car, we wanted it spruced up. Cleaning our cars is a bit of a logistical event now. This involves me shifting between two cars or Jean dropping me off at the garden centre entrance after leaving one car at the washing area. I then use my rollator, or scooter, to venture into the garden centre whilst Jean returns the second car to the cleaning zone. It’s a bit like the chicken and fox crossing the river……, or as in this case a wolf,  goat and cabbage..

am not – CC BY-CA 3.0

I must admit walking around a garden centre makes me feel old, so I amuse myself by trying different garden furniture whilst waiting for Jean to come for a coffee in the cafe. I am told off by an attendant for sparking up a gas BBQ! It was nice and hot and only slightly singed one lady’s shiffon summer dress, although it took a while to extinguish. Fortunately there was enough of the inappropriate dress left and everyone went on their way. Nothing to see here.

I sat down safely in the coffee area next to a person eating unnecessary cake! I do find garden centres spooky places to drink and eat, with all that insecticide and manure around.

We left the garden centre just in time to see the lady whose dress had got burnt catch the remainder in her car door! We made a sharp exit. I told Jean, we’d stick with our current BBQ.

By the middle of the week, the heat was building, and people in our village had begun to melt! Villagers were seen in the Co-Op with empty baskets, shirts open, exposed to the cooling breeze of the chiller cabinets!

Back to the survivors! First this lot!

This week has been a time of real survivors with intrepid people raising money for Motor Neurone Disease taking part in some long planned events. Little did they know this heat was to happen!

On Wednesday night we travelled to London to see off my brother-in-law on Thursday morning on a 300 mile cycle to Paris over the next 3 days!! Yes, over 25 people in Lycra for 3 days in this heat! What heroes!  I would jump at doing this event (if I could), and it has certainly inspired me.

We had a great dinner with the chosen victims, sorry, cycling fundraisers. As the only person with MND attending the dinner, the organisers had arranged a room inside for everyone to prevent me having to go down steps!! However, I was NOT having this and insisted we all eat outside, and decided to transverse the steps with assistance. No way was it going to beat me and I did not want the guys and girls have to sit inside just because of me.

We had a wonderful evening, with the cyclists returning to hotels one by one until there was just Jean and I, and a few left. One cyclist mistook a bottle of red wine for a hydrating drink, and proceeded to absorb the lot. I thought, ooops, she might be trailing along at the end tomorrow.

To my complete and utter surprise, she turned up as fresh as a daisy at 6am, slightly hysterical, but ready for action!

We met a great number of people, and as always at such events, some fantastic new contacts for campaigning and developing ideas. In particular Jo and Katie from Virginia, USA. We will be talking soon, and thank you for a great evening.

After cheering on the cyclists at the start, and a 27 mile pitstop, we left for home to pick up our dogs. But first we took our new friend, Jo, to a wedding that was co-incidentally near our home. Saving her taxis and trains, and allowing us to have a good long chat and coffees!

The fun wasn’t over, and on Friday afternoon Jean and went to welcome some of the swimmers who had just swum across the Solent in aid of raising funds for MND. Real heroes again! Thank you so much.

Were these the escapees from “Love Island”?

The heat is great and I am sure the land is turning into a Mad Max waste land. Well certainly, Crystal Palace Sports centre (the start of the London/Paris cycle ride) has that look now. Once a venue of great distinction, it is now looking quite tatty.

Hold on readers, the door bell has just rung!

Err, its a lady in corset and thigh length boots!

Is it Sexy Susie from Mad Max? I thought I had just ordered a curry online! Clumsy fingers with the menu options!

She can come in, but she is not touching my bhajees!

Must go readers, see you next week in the remains of Apocalypse land!!

“By the way, there was no need to bring the daggers and guns Susie! I can pay cash!”

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