Is this what it will be like Post Collapse?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2011 by Stay-At-Home Anarchist

Yesterday evening was eerie. Supermarkets, pharmacies and shops closed early and some boarded up, with confused and hungry people lingering outside, trying to figure out where they will be able to buy dinner from. Groups of youths running down the street. Private security contractors standing outside corporate properties. Reports from locals about fires and looting happening just down the road. Rumours that they are coming here next. No sight of the police.

We hunkered down. It is my plan for most any situation. Our cupboards are stocked well enough to ride out a night of unrest or an apocalypse of considerate length.

Three days of rioting in London could be considered a test run for the collapse. If you went hungry last night, maybe you should start thinking about storing more food and supplies in your home.

What I am finding most interesting from the riots is stories of communities banding together and protecting themselves in absence of the police. Near me, shop owners got together to protect their property and their neighbourhoods:

“We do not have any trust in the local police, our shops are next on the target list by the thugs who have ransacked Tottenham, we will protect our property”

Groups of Turkish/Kurdish shop owners were meeting on street corners in Green Lanes this morning planning what would be the best course of action if rioters were to target their shops. (via

The same thing happened in Dalston, where the community chased rioters away:
The Turkish community of Dalston are chasing away rioters.Wha... on Twitpic


TV Licensing misleads and threatens students

Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2011 by Stay-At-Home Anarchist

It is coming up to that time of year again. Students are getting ready to move back to university, and TV Licensing is gearing up for another campaign of bullying, misinformation and intimidation. As well as the usual letters from the TV tax company demanding £145.50, this time last year we also received a flyer directed at students, letting them know that if they are leaving their parent’s house and heading off to school, they’ll be subjected to the £145.50 fee themselves. This year I noticed the above Google Ad.

To fill in those outside of the UK, UK TV tax pays for all those Dr. Who episodes you torrent. Anyone who watches live TV needs to pay it, and the collectors are under the misguided impression that every household watches live TV.

When it comes to students, what the Google Ad campaign or letterbox ephemera don’t make clear is one little four letter word: “live.”

You only need to pay if you watch programs live, as they are being broadcasted. Those streaming TV at a time outside of the TV schedule are free from paying. This most likely includes many students, who catch up on TV between classes and part time jobs. Of course, the letters and ads don’t make this clear. Although they do find the space to go into detail about courts and fines and other threats.

The letters demand a reply, and over time get increasingly blunt. You are under no obligation to reply. And they have the obligation to obtain proof that you are breaking the law. Fuck TV Licensing and ignore their empty threats.


Billboard image via Big Brother Watch

For more information on fighting TV Licensing:

Banned Food: Illegal Plants

Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2011 by Stay-At-Home Anarchist

Here are six frustratingly banned plant-based foods.


Ch-ch-ch-chia is not doubt recognisable to anyone reading from the US. Seeds from the Central American plant are eaten as a snack in the south west, and across the country they were a regular kitchen counter accessory, as Chia Pets, in the 80s and 90s. But in Europe, Chia is illegal. In 2009 the EU approved (link – PDF) the use of Chia as an ingredient for bread only, and as long as it doesn’t exceed 5% of the total ingredients. When buying the seeds, importers use stickers, like cigarette packet warnings, to remind customers that it is for bread use only, in case anyone gets the idea of sprinkling it over breakfast porridge! Like most banned plants, there is no good reason for it to be against the law. Although it does keep Monsanto’s monster corn at bay, EU legislation against “novel” food items can keep delicious natural non-(European) traditional foods away from the public.

Raw almonds

I had never seen these before. I found them in a local market and was told they were almonds. Turns out the “raw” almonds you buy in shops are actually pasteurised. Following a couple e-coli breakouts in 2007, Canada and the US banned raw almonds, and now almonds need to be subjected to fumigants or high-temperature heat before they hit the market. This is what almonds look like.

Salvia divinorum or just “Salvia” isn’t illegal yet, but they are working on it. Smoking the plant gets you mildly high. In the US, Brett’s Law wants to prohibit it, and in the UK, the right wing media are working to demonise it.


Derived from herb Artemisia absinthium, I stock up on absinthe whenever I visit Europe. The high alcohol makes it good, but it is the chemical thujone what makes it fun. Absinthe was banned in the UK for 70 years, but joining the EU opened the door again. In the EU, maximum thujone levels in the drink can be 35 mg/kg. Compared to 10 mg/kg in the US and as low as 5 mg/kg in Canada, depending on the province, clearly the absinthe on the American side of the Atlantic isn’t as enjoyable.

There’s enough clichéd rants about this on the web. All I will say is that if you live in the UK, please visit:

Magic mushrooms were banned in the UK back in 2005. They are illegal elsewhere in the world too. It is another excuse to move to the countryside. BBC: “Exceptions will be made for people who unknowingly pick the mushrooms in the wild or find them growing in their garden, and critics have argued the act will be difficult to police.”

Easy sprouting

Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2011 by Stay-At-Home Anarchist

Sprouts are cheap nutrition, and should be a staple in any frugal household. Dried beans, cereals and seeds can be bought in bulk and stored, then germinated and eaten as fresh produce. The sprouting process brings the plant to life, increasing fibre, protein, vitamins and essential fatty acids.

The trademarked sprouting jars, lids, Hessean bags, grow systems and specialised organic seeds marketed on infomercials and on the web are bullshit. They add a false barrier to entry to sprouting that can be intimidating if you don’t have $75 to waste on kit. In fact sprouting is easy, and if you haven’t done it before, here’s how to get started for less than $1.

An old jar – wash and use
Anything lying around that can act as a strainer – a kitchen sieve, pantyhose, a cloth, anything that will let water pass through while keeping the sprouts in.
Seeds – pick up some whole dry lentils, mung beans, chick peas, alfalfa or radish seeds from a local shop.

Cat with jars in kitchen

Step 1.
Soak overnight.

Step 2.
Rinse & strain the water out. Leave somewhere bright, but not in direct sunlight.

Step 3.
Rinse & strain twice a day for a few days until soft, edible and with a sprout growing a couple times longer than the bean.

Step 4.
Store in fridge. Rinse before eating. Use in salads, stir-fries or just eat.


Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2011 by Stay-At-Home Anarchist

This blog is about the things I get up to in my house. Growing things, finding things, reusing things and getting into mischief. It is about spending less and living more. It is about not being dependent on supermarket supply chains and supporting local. And it is about living freely. I am writing about it to encourage me to do more of it. I hope to post recipes, guides, rants, experiences and photos of my cats.

Cat in Basket