Note:- compared to the rest of the UK, the North of Scotland has a high level of social problems particularly affecting men. Unemployment, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and suicide are on the rise due to the decline of fishing, farming and the oil industries. Men are feeling increasingly powerless as they lose their traditional roles. So although it is a beautiful part of the world, the Highland region is a tough place to survive.
I met the friendly guy in the photo while I was trying to photograph a window display in the tiny shopping precinct in Wick. He offered to pose alongside the rather creepy mannequins. He’d just bought cat food as he does voluntary work for a cat rescue charity.
In the aftermath of the Hawaii ‘whoops apocalypse’ fiasco, here are a few tips for surviving a nuclear war gleaned from the internet. (A good sense of humour, a vacuum cleaner and a four leaf clover are also essential):-
Thebest advice for surviving a nuclear bomb is to be somewhere else when it goes off. If that doesn’t work out for you then remember ‘duck and cover’.
Think of radiation as dust that can be consistently and carefully cleaned and disposed of. Twice daily vacuuming of house hold surfaces is recommended. Warning! Do not dry dust or sweep because this will cause dust, and potentially isotopes, to become airborne where they can settle onto surfaces or be inhaled. Feather-type dusters should especially be avoided. Internal Contamination is 20 to 100 times more harmful than external exposures. Run the air conditioner 12 hours a day on the re-circulation setting. Warning! Do not use fans or AC units to blow outside air into the house. Be sure to try and keep indoor air from becoming too dry.
Some careful kitchen habits:-
Keep your dinnerware in clean cabinets with doors, or place in containers such as Tupperware bins. Remove covers carefully so dust doesn’t land on clean surfaces. Rinse your cooking utensils with clean filtered water before use. The best filters use activated charcoal or reverse osmosis which are very effective against radioisotopes. Rinse the outside of food cans before opening them.
Survival Checklist:- Think of radiation as an invisible layer of dust on all surfaces that needs to be carefully cleaned away and managed.
Create an air tight seal in your home. Seal all external doors and windows. Duct tape is handy and comes in twenty seven different colours and patterns to match your décor. I recommend Penguin Invasion and zebra print for a modern funky look. The glow in the dark option will help you find your way around when the lights go out.
Aggressively clean off surfaces in your home without creating dust (wet wipes and water filled vacuums essential). Keep food in clean, sealed containers.
When you go outside, wear a set of coveralls, goggles and good quality dust masks to cover your mouth and nose. Shower every time you return from outdoors. Sleep at least two feet above the floor.
Carry young children while outdoors.
Fight fall-out with duct tape, mop, water filtered vacuum, sponge, paper towels, plastic bags, sturdy trash container, hand-held radiation detector.
Essential reading: Step-by Step Home Butchering, A Beginners Guide to Hunting, Self Defense for Dummies, DIY Burials.
For the city that speeds, tail to nose
to a scalloped shore and meets with light.
For the city in frozen motion, tarnished
wings poised to embrace the night.
For the city that parties with a glittering heart
but is never satisfied and every morning seeks
enlightenment, the river unwinding
a scrambled horizon to the rising sun.
For the city that guards south from north,
brick to chink, indivisible, a fortress spawning
iron ships for capitalist wars.
The great angel grounded hope
for these iridescent folk seeking stars
and rainbow moons shining in the gutters
of wet streets between discarded kebabs and shit.
The city folk way too stupid, way too smart
to give up looking for an out, in black and white
running easy, gunning for a fight, living
for another goal and one more Saturday night.
For the city where shops are poly-chrome heaven
and bars ooze overflow. The coffee bubbles
froth and bile, the stories spike with rhyme
and folk soak in the sun at picnic tables
while dogs scamper on green swards.
Rebels serenade and lovers dance
unashamed, in the city, for the city,
for the brave.