If there was a blackout could I survive?

I have pasted below details of a chat on twitter around community and food (two of my favourite subjects) which was prompted by the programme Blackout. Could we survive? Would people really behave like that? What would we do? 

  1. Steph Clarke ‏@Essitam9 Sep
  2. Where’s the scenes of community coming together? Because they would, there’s always people willing to do good #blackout
  3. Karen Strunks ‏@karenstrunks9 Sep
  4. @Essitam that was horrendous! The only hint of community was the old lady staying in the flat downstairs. The rest were animals
  5. Steph Clarke ‏@Essitam9 Sep@karenstrunks it was an awful portrayal of society. We’re not all monsters.
  6. Coral Musgrave ‏@travellingcoral9 Sep
  7. @Essitam @karenstrunks I agree in my terrace we would support each other i am sure. well we all have keys! and veg and lentils and rice.
  8. Karen Strunks ‏@karenstrunks
  9. @travellingcoral @Essitam it would be very interesting to see who helped who. Just remembered a gas camping stove in the cupboard! 🙂
    1. @karenstrunks @travellingcoral in case of #blackout l I’ve already proposed a massive street party to use up all the perishable foods 😀

    2. @karenstrunks @Essitam pretty sure in my terrace we could cobble something together as we have logs and open fire and they have veg
    3. @Essitam If someone hasn’t syphoned my petrol, I’m coming to your street party! 😀 @travellingcoral

This led me to think about the food I have in the house and whether, like Steph I could plan my meals around what I already have.

Coral Musgrave ‏@travellingcoral9 Sep

the irony is that most of us have enough in store cupboard to make a basic meal if there really was a blackout. #blackout

Steph Clarke ‏@Essitam9 Sep

@travellingcoral I’ve done food calender for this week using what I have in the house. All I needed to buy in was mushrooms.

Coral Musgrave ‏@travellingcoral9 Sep

@Essitam wow that is organised! i need to do a food audit

And of course I invited A Girl Called Jack into the conversation.

A Girl Called Jack ‏@MsJackMonroe9 Sep

  1. @travellingcoral tinned toms essential! 🙂
    A Girl Called Jack retweeted you
  2. 9 Sep:

    if i sent @MsJackMonroe a list of my store cupboard she’d feed a family for a month (may need to stock up on tinned toms) #blackout

The food audit has taken me a couple of days to complete and I am sure there is some things I have missed out. I was shocked at just how much I have. I consider myself good at cooking on a budget, shop almost daily for basics like milk and bread and cook low cost meals, stretching the chicken from Sunday dinner to chicken pie on Monday and make stock with the carcass for soup for lunch for the rest of the week. I hate food waste. I have taken up the Live Below the Line Challenge and have writting about surviving on £53 a week.

Yet I am hanging my head in shame. If you are interested the list is here.

Too much food is clutter.  I have written elsewhere about my mission to simplfy my life by getting rid of stuff that I don’t need and why I need to declutter. I am not saying we don’t need food, of course we do, but buying food because it is on offer and then not using it is wrong and wasteful. It is clear to me that I need to plan better and only buy what we need.

I have this week started to plan around the food list.

Yesterday I used up some of the vegetables and passatta left over from when we made pizza on Saturday. I had a half pack of pasta, so all I bought was 500g of mince, used half of it,  and made this. The rest of the mince will be for another meal later this week.

Pasta with leftovers

Today I bought some potatoes and we will have sausage from the freezer, use some of the fresh veg, with mash.

The carrots have been made into a soup for lunches this week, using up stock made with the chicken from Sunday.

Perishables are the priority as the street party isn’t going to happen unless we really do have a national disaster.

And it looks like I need to find ways of using all that pasta, rice and lentils. And buy some tinned tomatoes.

What would you cook?

Twitter talk

I was going to share my happy bus experience today. I am not as I am not feeling that happy now. Outraged, astonished and bemused is closer to what I am feeling, all because I dared put my head above the parapet on twitter.

It followed my visit to West Bromwich and The Public yesterday. And my blog post. Not really sure how it all started as there were quite a few of us involved in the conversation.

  1. morning @westbrompaul hope you are going to help save @_the_public .Its contribution to health & wellbeing on many levels is important

  2. @brummytaff The council cannot afford to subsidise it. The Public will still be there but is likely to end up with a smaller arts offer.

  3. @westbrompaul @PaulSandars @brummytaff health, wellbeing, culture not high on the councils agenda just more tesco and poundlands

However it seems that because I live in Birmingham, I have no right to have an opinion of decisions made by Sandwell Councillors. 

@westbrompaul: @travellingcoral @PaulSandars The people of Sandwell are my priority. I make no apologies for that.” < Rt Indeed Paul

While I absolutely accept that they are not my elected members, I do not accept that I should not be able to voice an opinion about Sandwell, its councillors or The Public.

I also dared correct @sandwellleaders grammar in response to this: I couldn’t help myself.

@westbrompaul @travellingcoral @PaulSandars Paul just ask where they pay there Council Tax !

And so it continued:

  1. @sandwellleader @westbrompaul @PaulSandars i am shocked that you are confined by boundaries esp now bham is labour controlled

  2. @travellingcoral @westbrompaul @PaulSandars When will you have something positive to say about Sandwell.. There their

    And there is more:

    1. @sandwellleader @westbrompaul @PaulSandars I have a lot to say positively about Sandwell: libraries the first but need to be marketed better

    2. @travellingcoral Your off again Coral but they need better marketing.

      Grammar is clearly not the strong point of Darren Cooper. Others agree.

      @travellingcoral And you’re/ your 😉

       I just hope the advice is taken on board.

      @loveourpublic @westbrompaul @travellingcoral @PaulSandars Thanks for the tip useful 🙂

      The message is clear here. Am wondering if I will need a visa to visit Sandwell.

      1. @travellingcoral @sandwellleader @PaulSandars You can always go to Birmingham if you’re that unhappy. Bearwood & Cape Hill are busy places.

        At least Paul can spell.

        If not take advice.

        1. @westbrompaul @loveourpublic @travellingcoral @sandwellleader @PaulSandars Suggest you setup separate personal & professional accounts guys

        2. @re7ox I don’t need two, thanks.
        3. @westbrompaul No need to thank me. Just an observation. Most employees have a statement to differentiate their public/professional views.

          Interestingly, only one Sandwell councillor attended Hyper WM when it was held at The Public. She has since been reprimanded for improper use of social media. (IMHO she didn’t). Darren and the Pauls may have found it useful. I suppose I should be glad that at least they are having a conversation and not just sending messages.

          And in case I don’t understand that my views are not important to them.

          1. @sandwellleader @westbrompaul @PaulSandars 2/2 and what happens in Bearwood impacts us in B17.parking and litter. empty shops.

          @travellingcoral @westbrompaul @PaulSandars Moan to Birmingham then.

          I already have expressed my concerns to my local councillor on how what happens in Bearwood has an inpact on those that live on the border. I don’t think I have moaned to him or a Sandwell councillor. Ever. Expressed my views and challenged decisions perhaps. And got the refuse collected because my councillor understands that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. To listen twice as much as you talk is the making of a great communicator.

          Amusingly, it ended thus:

          Next week I am volunteering. On Bank Holiday Monday. For Sandwell Library and Information Services. At the Sandwell Show. Promoting the wonderful services that are available in lovely Sandwell Libraries. To the people of Sandwell.

          I will be letting Darren et al know that, of that you can be assured.

          And bringing my passport, just in case.