Living without owning an internal combustion engine

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Bmblbzzz
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Bmblbzzz » 22 Aug 2019, 11:56am

slowster wrote:I too would like to hear more about Morzedec's way of living.

There have been a couple of articles on the BBC website about people living without modern technology.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-43113400

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-48202236

To what extent would you say Morzedec lives without modern technology? More relevantly, what would he say? He has electricity and mains water, he also mentions CDs. It seems reasonable to assume, though he doesn't mention (why would he?), that he has a fairly normal kitchen with fridge, freezer, some sort of cooker (presumably electric), also hot water. What he doesn't have is a car, a phone and internet. And we know (cos he's posted on this forum!) that he doesn't actively eschew the last two at least. He's not Amish! (The question of spiritual or religious motives to live off grid is an interesting but probably separate one.)

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Morzedec
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Location: Cornwall/Deux-Sevres

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Morzedec » 22 Aug 2019, 2:10pm

Goodness, I'm almost becoming famous!

My way of life is not that different to many others in France: rural people tend to stay close to where they were born, and often only visit a large town when they absolutely have to - making hospital visits when the get older, for example. My nearest commune posts a list of residents who have died in the previous year, the average age is always well over 80 years - simple living, no junk food, less stress, and lots of family support, all perhaps contributing.

I don't think that I am that different to many other people, but that many other people are just different to me. I have the self-confidence to be on my own, don't feel threatened by solitude, and have enough intelligence (I hope) not to be influenced by so-called celebrity nor uninformed, knee-jerk journalism.

I can cook quite well (having owned restaurants before my semi-retirement, as well as many other businesses), and considered by those I help as being quite 'handy' with a toolkit (having once run an antique furniture restoration business), I can dig the garden and pick fruit, which means a whole heap of jam and chutney each year which I either swap for anything else that I might need, or just give away as presents at Christmas and birthday times. Semi-retirement? - well, I still buy and sell small antiques, the limit being what I can fit onto the trailer.

Yes, I have electricity and water (although the electricity supply can be erratic during the winter months) and I also have a wood-burner, which I use for cooking and hot water if the electricity goes off. The house is quite old (1889), single glazed, and not too well insulated, which means hot water bottles in the beds to keep everything aired through if it turns cold. Like almost everyone else in rural France I use bottled gas for cooking. I've a lawn mower and chainsaw, both of which need fuel, so I do get funny looks sometimes when I roll into a garage with the bike and trailer to fill my cans up.

CDs are cadged/borrowed/donated, and I rarely return from the UK without a pile of second-hand books in the trailer or my panniers (a good pick up in Bodmin yesterday, when a charity shop were throwing out a pile of old railways books: sociology, technology, human interest, old maps, and geography in each volume).

In the season, I can swap five kilos of apples from my garden for a bottle of wine at my local shop. Muscadet: double yum.

All very simple? I don't really think so: I was brought up in very rural Berkshire just after the war had ended, and life then was very similar to what mine is now. No-one had very much money (if any at all) so barter, exchange, swaps (and poaching!) were the way of life. People helped their neighbours if problems arose, looked after the elderly, and peer pressure kept most of the youngsters out of trouble (I'll tell your Dad!). No-one apart from the Doctor and Squire had a car so we cycled everywhere (my school was eight miles away, which meant a sixteen-mile round trip on a heavy old (and probably ninth-hand) 'sit up and beg' in all weathers. Holidays? - none, apart from the once a year day trip to somewhere like Weymouth or Littlehampton.

If I feel like a trip back to the UK I just load my tent and other kit into the trailer, hop on to my old Holdsworth (40 years and counting) or the Pavone (42 years and counting), and get going: five days to reach Roscoff, or four to St Malo. Always meet some jolly nice and interesting people in campervans along the way, and the questions are always the same: where are you going? where have you come from? how old are you, then? really? you don't look it. I can't ride THAT far on my electric bike! Glass of wine?

Enough: I've been waffling on far too much already. Go turn your televisions off, cancel the newspapers, switch off your mobile phones (I'm on the bike!), say hello to your neighbours, teach your children what responsibility means, cancel your appointment with the tattooist, learn to cook, cycle or walk for an hour a day, and you will soon feel fitter, better balanced, less stressed (how dare you say I'm stressed!), and find out just how much fun having a simple life can be.

Happy days (now then, where's that corkscrew?).
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Cycling - anywhere!.jpg

brynpoeth
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby brynpoeth » 22 Aug 2019, 7:25pm

Plus One for Morzedec, my retirement shall be a bit like yours, thinking of getting a tiny home, a trailer to live in
Do people speak of 'La France Profonde'?

A cheeky question: how do you post on these fora, do you have a Device, or do you use the library?
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Morzedec
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Morzedec » 22 Aug 2019, 7:45pm

Bryn, 'jour,

I cycle back to the UK(Cornwall) about four or five times a year, there to have the benefit of an Internet connection for a few days.

Been back since last Sunday, and due to return to France after the Bank Holiday - so will soon be offline again for a few months.

Happy days,
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A new project .....jpg

mattheus
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby mattheus » 23 Aug 2019, 9:06am

Morzedec wrote:Goodness, I'm almost becoming famous!


I think folk hero might be the better term!

francovendee
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby francovendee » 24 Aug 2019, 8:43am

Morzedec wrote:Goodness, I'm almost becoming famous!

My way of life is not that different to many others in France: rural people tend to stay close to where they were born, and often only visit a large town when they absolutely have to - making hospital visits when the get older, for example. My nearest commune posts a list of residents who have died in the previous year, the average age is always well over 80 years - simple living, no junk food, less stress, and lots of family support, all perhaps contributing.

I don't think that I am that different to many other people, but that many other people are just different to me. I have the self-confidence to be on my own, don't feel threatened by solitude, and have enough intelligence (I hope) not to be influenced by so-called celebrity nor uninformed, knee-jerk journalism.

I can cook quite well (having owned restaurants before my semi-retirement, as well as many other businesses), and considered by those I help as being quite 'handy' with a toolkit (having once run an antique furniture restoration business), I can dig the garden and pick fruit, which means a whole heap of jam and chutney each year which I either swap for anything else that I might need, or just give away as presents at Christmas and birthday times. Semi-retirement? - well, I still buy and sell small antiques, the limit being what I can fit onto the trailer.

Yes, I have electricity and water (although the electricity supply can be erratic during the winter months) and I also have a wood-burner, which I use for cooking and hot water if the electricity goes off. The house is quite old (1889), single glazed, and not too well insulated, which means hot water bottles in the beds to keep everything aired through if it turns cold. Like almost everyone else in rural France I use bottled gas for cooking. I've a lawn mower and chainsaw, both of which need fuel, so I do get funny looks sometimes when I roll into a garage with the bike and trailer to fill my cans up.

CDs are cadged/borrowed/donated, and I rarely return from the UK without a pile of second-hand books in the trailer or my panniers (a good pick up in Bodmin yesterday, when a charity shop were throwing out a pile of old railways books: sociology, technology, human interest, old maps, and geography in each volume).

In the season, I can swap five kilos of apples from my garden for a bottle of wine at my local shop. Muscadet: double yum.

All very simple? I don't really think so: I was brought up in very rural Berkshire just after the war had ended, and life then was very similar to what mine is now. No-one had very much money (if any at all) so barter, exchange, swaps (and poaching!) were the way of life. People helped their neighbours if problems arose, looked after the elderly, and peer pressure kept most of the youngsters out of trouble (I'll tell your Dad!). No-one apart from the Doctor and Squire had a car so we cycled everywhere (my school was eight miles away, which meant a sixteen-mile round trip on a heavy old (and probably ninth-hand) 'sit up and beg' in all weathers. Holidays? - none, apart from the once a year day trip to somewhere like Weymouth or Littlehampton.

If I feel like a trip back to the UK I just load my tent and other kit into the trailer, hop on to my old Holdsworth (40 years and counting) or the Pavone (42 years and counting), and get going: five days to reach Roscoff, or four to St Malo. Always meet some jolly nice and interesting people in campervans along the way, and the questions are always the same: where are you going? where have you come from? how old are you, then? really? you don't look it. I can't ride THAT far on my electric bike! Glass of wine?

Enough: I've been waffling on far too much already. Go turn your televisions off, cancel the newspapers, switch off your mobile phones (I'm on the bike!), say hello to your neighbours, teach your children what responsibility means, cancel your appointment with the tattooist, learn to cook, cycle or walk for an hour a day, and you will soon feel fitter, better balanced, less stressed (how dare you say I'm stressed!), and find out just how much fun having a simple life can be.

Happy days (now then, where's that corkscrew?).


Very interesting lifestyle. Not for everyone for sure.
Living in a rural part of France myself (Pays de la Loire) some ways of life here have changed in my 16 years living here. There are still a number of families who have lived here for generations and I remember my children coming home from school amazed that all the other kids seemed related. This has slowly changed and more and more families are leaving farming and their children moving on to pursue careers all over France and the rest of the world. If you look at the list of previous Maire, the same surname is repeated many times in the past but less so now.
My house was built around the same time as yours (not very well) and our nearest neighbour, now in his 80's ,was born in the house he still lives in.
French friends tell me that a lot of children were born with difficulties because the limited gene pool, cousins marrying. Today I think there's not much evidence of this.
One thing that I have here and it's priceless is silence. After the sun sets you'll rarely hear a car, just the sound of wild creatures, lovely!

brynpoeth
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby brynpoeth » 24 Aug 2019, 8:50am

Apparently La France profonde is losing population, is that a problem? I read about 'Grande Paris', a project to upgrade the capital which is already dominant, is that necessary?
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Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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reohn2
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby reohn2 » 24 Aug 2019, 9:02am

mattheus wrote:
Morzedec wrote:Goodness, I'm almost becoming famous!


I think folk hero might be the better term!

Or perhaps an ordinary chap living life as he chooses,without the straightjacket of what some would call a 'normal' life.

All the best to you Morzedec(nice biblical handle BTW :wink: ),ploughing your own furrow,kicking back ain't easy in this crazy world :)
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Oldjohnw
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Oldjohnw » 24 Aug 2019, 9:23am

Doing your own thing. Beholden to no-one. Excellent.My admiration.
John

Cycling and recycling

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Morzedec
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Morzedec » 24 Aug 2019, 3:51pm

Bryn: bit confused (not uncommon, most days). France pro - what?

Paris, of course, is not in France; in the same sense that London is not part of England.

Us country boys doo'ent think 'em there is concerned with the loikes o' we.

I'm all for pro-me.

Happy days,
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freiston
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby freiston » 26 Aug 2019, 10:10pm

I've never had a car, never had a (full) driving licence, never taken my driving test. Never had a problem that imho is worse than many friends and acquaintances have had with vehicles that do drive/have vehicles. Sometimes there are problems and I have to admit that I have relied on friends with cars, but saying that, if I couldn't rely on them, there are ways around it that though expensive, would still be cheaper than owning and running a car. (I also do them favours where I can do things that they can't).

A big problem with this country (but not as big as in the US) is a lack of good public transport/railway provision - it is in the same vein as the problem of no decent cycling infrastructure. The politicians and profiteers have worked against anyone looking for a different route to private motorised vehicle usage. The crook Ernest Marples being probably the most notable but by no means the only person to turn the country into a scat-hole to grow and protect their own obscene wealth. IMHO, the cult of the private motorised vehicle (at the expense of the alternatives) is responsible in part for the selfish self-entitled and uninformed attitude that prevails today and is allowing this country to descend into the uncaring scandal of increasing poverty of the many and increasing wealth of the few that we have today - it makes me ashamed rather than proud of this country and it's getting worse - but that's a whole different topic.

And I would rather live without an internal combustion engine than within one (I realise the title says without owning an internal combustion engine but it didn't say that when I first intended to reply to this post back on July 31st).
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

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Morzedec
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Morzedec » 27 Aug 2019, 10:26am

Freiston, 'jour,

Your post reminded me that poor old Dicky Beeching took all the blame, for doing a job that Marples - as nought but a useless politician - couldn't (or wouldn't) do.

At least the UK still has some rural railways and branch lines, unlike France where the 1960s cull was almost absolute.

Liskeard to Looe: timeless.

Sad days,
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Rural railways Carhaix to Saint Meen, now VV6.jpg
Rural railways Parthenay 1882 - 1939.jpg

Oldjohnw
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Oldjohnw » 27 Aug 2019, 10:32am

In the Scottish Borders they actually built a brilliant new line - more or less on the course of a Beeching cut old line (The Wavereley Line)
Last edited by Oldjohnw on 27 Aug 2019, 11:25am, edited 1 time in total.
John

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pwa
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby pwa » 27 Aug 2019, 10:38am

freiston wrote:I've never had a car, never had a (full) driving licence, never taken my driving test. Never had a problem that imho is worse than many friends and acquaintances have had with vehicles that do drive/have vehicles. Sometimes there are problems and I have to admit that I have relied on friends with cars, but saying that, if I couldn't rely on them, there are ways around it that though expensive, would still be cheaper than owning and running a car. (I also do them favours where I can do things that they can't).

A big problem with this country (but not as big as in the US) is a lack of good public transport/railway provision - it is in the same vein as the problem of no decent cycling infrastructure. The politicians and profiteers have worked against anyone looking for a different route to private motorised vehicle usage. The crook Ernest Marples being probably the most notable but by no means the only person to turn the country into a scat-hole to grow and protect their own obscene wealth. IMHO, the cult of the private motorised vehicle (at the expense of the alternatives) is responsible in part for the selfish self-entitled and uninformed attitude that prevails today and is allowing this country to descend into the uncaring scandal of increasing poverty of the many and increasing wealth of the few that we have today - it makes me ashamed rather than proud of this country and it's getting worse - but that's a whole different topic.

And I would rather live without an internal combustion engine than within one (I realise the title says without owning an internal combustion engine but it didn't say that when I first intended to reply to this post back on July 31st).


Since about 1990 every job I have had has needed me to do quite a lot of driving. They haven't been the sorts of jobs where you could find a way round it. Driving myself, other people and tools / materials to site has been part of my daily life. So I drive a lot. Where I can exercise some choice is in my private driving. I don't do a lot of private miles. Less than most, I think.

cc1085
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby cc1085 » 27 Aug 2019, 8:41pm

Morzedec wrote:
Goodness, I'm almost becoming famous!

Your lifestyle is amost a mirror of mine here in rural Ireland. Mother Nature grows all that I eat on my one acre "farm", I just throw out a few seeds and she does the rest. Fruit nuts veg.etc.no dig. Cycle and walk daily. Swap this for that,buy/sell a few things, use hand tools mostly. Have electric light and a few, hardly used, appliances. Easy life and hardly any money required. Haven't worked in job for years. Have 16yr old car, would like to go car free full time in the near future. Life is fun and easy, some people make it so hard for themselves in pursuit of that uncatchable pelothon.