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Simply. The best?

bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
edited June 2007 in Campaign
So cause I feel like censored & can't get out. I'm sitting in the kitchen [other half not happy] cleaning one of my bikes. I'll spend time on this bike and spend time messing about with some of the others. Then I need to do a job on my m/cycle and then jobs around the house to be done. And on and on... I once read some statement of some famous thinker [but I can't remember who] "be careful that your possessions do not possess you". I beginning to think he's right. This reminds me of something I read on another American cycling forum. Basically it was about possessions. I'm sure I have too much. Days like today I wish I didn't and can see the sense of living with very little. So I unashamedly copy the question from that other forum. To hopefully see the British view and hopefully find some tips on my quandry. What do I do with all this stuff. Clothes on a beach syndrome? Maybe? Tell me.
<b>How simply do you live</b>[?]

Jim

Nothing to prove.
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Posts

  • AsterixcpAsterixcp Posts: 6,251
    It's a good question. At the moment I live <i>quite </i>simply in a small caravan next to an ancient, obsolete barn.

    Main possessions are a cooker, washing machine, fridge, 2nd hand cupboards for food, a kitchen table and some garden chairs, a cement mixer, 3 wheelbarrows, digging and building tools, garden tools, a TV, a laptop, some books and maps, clothes, an old van and a bike. I do more miles on the bike than in the van.

    Today I knocked a hole in an 80cm stone wall ready to put oak lintels in for a door (scary - it could fall down[:0][B)][:(!]). Tomorrow I will concrete some foundations for a wall to be built from the stone that I take from the wall (non-scary[8D]).

    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
  • mr_hippomr_hippo Posts: 1,051
    Mrs Hippo and I live a simple, uncomplicated life, happy in each other's company and rarely go out. There are very, very few Westerners in this part of Bangkok and for that fact I am grateful! Some Westerners seem to think 'I am a foreigner here and so are you, let's be friends' The same thing can be said about cyclists, just because 'you' cycle does not grant you automatic friendship.
    We live on a 'want or need' principle. Look at any shopping mall here and you will find lots of stalls selling second hand mobile 'phones - why? Nokungola have just brought out a new model and you must have it. "Your old phone is only one month old and it has MP4, bluetooth, camera, e-mail, TV remote and coffee maker, oh, I see it does not have a trouser press." I see the same thing on here - 'Help me to upgrade my 2006 Planex-T carbon super-duper race bike', ' Those new Campimano brake levels are half a gramme lighter than my present ones, will they make me go faster?', 'I've just bought a new œ1000 bike and I'm thinking about changing to new œ500 carbon wheels.'- You have a new bike, half a gramme will not make any difference, if you have œ1500 to spend on a bike. get the frame and then build it up.

    Modern day life is complicated enough, most of the things that we have we don't need, we want them but we don't need them. I am not saying that I don't see the need to upgrade or get the latest team jersey because I do.

    Talking about upgrades, always reminds me of 'Old Bill' in our touring club, great chap, in his 70's then and a demon hill climber. He kept promising that 'Next week, I'll come out on my new bike.' Months went by and he was still on his old hack but one Sunday, he turned up on his 'new' bike - "Well," he explained, "It was new in 1937!"

    So, simplify your life, forget keeping up with the Jones's and live - this is your life, enjoy it, it is not a dress rehearsal.


    http://bangkokhippo.blogspot.com/

    Ex-XXL weigh-in 26/27 May: Update published: Monday 28 May
  • cookiemonstercpcookiemonstercp Posts: 1,050
    <font color="blue"><font face="Comic Sans MS">I couldn't agree more with what Mr Hippo said. I was in a very well paid job until I was made redundant in 2002. It was then I realised that I had been working my censored off but had no time to spend doing things that I enjoyed, even my cycling and my Thai Boxing went on the back burner for a while. I had a fair amount of money in the bank at the time which helped until I found a new job and I then realised all the material things I posessed. Most of them I never used or even needed but I bought them as they were 'the latest thing', or to justify the huge amount of hours I was working at the time.

    So, new job, less pay, smaller flat, stopped keeping up with the jones's to use a cliche and a massive clear out of all the items that I didn't need/use. Result, felt much better health wise and money wise. Used my savings to clear off my credit cards, I now have none and I only buy what I need, cash (or debit card) only.

    I'm off to University in September and already my bank is hitting me with letters and offers of credit cards. When I graduate, I'm going to be in enough debt with the student loans, I certainly don't need the extra burden of Credit debts as well.

    I really now detest the ads I see in mags/TV/billboards which basically say that you are a nobody until you own such and such an item. Then we wonder why we have such a huge debt problem in this country, or a huge problem with bankrupties/depression etc.

    Sorry to go on but this is a subject that always gets me going.







    PS. I'll be in Bangkok in December, wanna meet up for beer or two Mr Hippo?
    [:)]</font id="Comic Sans MS"></font id="blue">

    If I had a baby elephant it would keep my baby giraffe company.
    Yeah but no but yeah but......
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    Asterix
    What do you live on? Plus 3 wheelbarrows? A bit excessive. Looking around me I reckon I could easily lose half of my stuff and not really notice. I'm beginning to think that too many possessions makes you a victim not a winner. Probably better to have more friends and experiences than more posessions.[:)]

    Jim

    Nothing to prove.
  • AsterixcpAsterixcp Posts: 6,251
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by bigjim</i>

    Asterix
    What do you live on?

    <font color="blue">In 2005 I was made redundant from an IT job and fortunately was working for a company which gave me early retirement at 51. This provides a small pension plus we spent many years living well below our incomes in order to pack up work asap and do our own thing. We are doing all the work ourselves except the electrics will be done by a professional due to recent French regulations.</font id="blue">

    Plus 3 wheelbarrows? A bit excessive.

    <font color="blue">My achilles heel[:(] I only really need 2. One is for building and is bent and battered, then we have one for gardening, a deluxe Chillington model with galvanising[:p] (I think my neighbours are rather envious about it), and a cheapo that comes apart with any sort of heavy use.</font id="blue">

    Looking around me I reckon I could easily lose half of my stuff and not really notice. I'm beginning to think that too many possessions makes you a victim not a winner. <b>Probably better to have more friends and experiences than more posessions.[:)]</b>

    Jim

    Nothing to prove.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Agreed.

    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
  • Flying_MonkeyFlying_Monkey Posts: 8,708
    Not as simply as we would like. But we're happy.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

    Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
    That I got no cerebellum
  • mr_hippomr_hippo Posts: 1,051
    bigjim says "Probably better to have more friends and experiences than more possessions." How right you are. That nice shiny car in your driveway that you lusted after will be a battered, old wreck dangling from the scrap-man's grab, prior to its drop into the crusher, in about 10 years time but the memory of your first ascent of the Snake Pass, Holme Moss or the Cat & Fiddle will be with you forever.

    Cookiemonster, Mrs Hippo and I will be pleased to meet you - or any other forum members in Bagkok.

    http://bangkokhippo.blogspot.com/

    Ex-XXL weigh-in 26/27 May: Update published: Monday 28 May
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"> the memory of your first ascent of the Snake Pass, Holme Moss or the Cat & Fiddle will be with you forever.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Ahh yes. Even now I can still remember descending the snake pass in a mixture of exhiliration and absolute terror on my 5 speed Sun racer when I was fifteen. Happiness is.. I also remember the time of my life when I had to sleep/live rough in the middle of winter in an old car because I was homeless. Stuffed newspaper inside my clothes to keep warm as it was snowing like hell outside. I had very little but do not remember being particularly sad or unhappy. Funny old life.

    Jim[:D]

    Nothing to prove.
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    Hmmm. Not many of us living the simple life then? Sugar! I was looking for some tips! Seems as if most of us UK based lot are on the treadmill of wash the car, pay the mortgage, cut the hedge, buy a new DVD lifestyle. Oh the possessions, possessions. In the words of that classic singer "Oh how I want to break free".

    Jim[:(]

    Nothing to prove.
  • Rigid RaiderRigid Raider Posts: 1,568
    Words spoken to me by a colleague recently:

    ".....you know how it is, when life's getting you down, your wife's been having a go at you, your neighbours have got something you haven't...."

    Honestly!

    Global TH1.5 Ti hardtail.
    Global TH1.5 Ti hardtail.
  • ArchcpArchcp Posts: 8,987
    I like to think I live a fairly simple life. Small flat (well, bedsit actually), no car (don't need one), black and white telly, no DVD player, no video, no washing machine. Do have a laptop, for the PhD. Allotment, on which I grow a few spuds and onions and so on. I don't eat out all that often, and in the last month or so, have barely even been to the pub. Holidays are usually cycling, in this country. Decided sometime ago that I'd rather live simply than have to struggle to keep up with a certain lifestyle. When I finish the PhD, I'll be looking for a job that pays the rent, but desn't require me to take it home with me at weekends - have gone off post-doctoral research on that basis, having watched those around me race after funding and grants.

    Ok, I have 2 bikes (one summer, one winter) and a trike (which I have to store elsewhere, and almost thought about selling, but have decided not to). That's probably as extravagant as I get. I do have a lot of clutter, I know that - but nothing of any great value - all second hand books, sentimental ornaments, stuff like that.

    When you lose someone, like I have recently, I think it puts 'stuff' in perspective. Sorting through someone's possessions, you realise that the things you want most are often the 'worthless' things, like letters, photos etc, not the 'valuable' things.

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
  • AsterixcpAsterixcp Posts: 6,251
    ..have a go at this if you think you are hard enough! You could both go, of course.



    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
  • Joe SaccoJoe Sacco Posts: 4,907
    I keep it very simple. I live in a small 2 bed place that was only fit for poor farmworkers a few hundred years ago, none of these s****y new flats/houses for me.
    Even sold a Porsche so down to just the one now, how simple can it get.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I live quite simply I don't own any flashy things one car which I hardly use two bikes and a kayak.
    In contrast I have just spent the long weekend at my niece and her husband place 1.5million indoor swimming pool along with stream room gym ect, from the kitchen to the lounge is 40 yards away I kid you not, and by the time I got back to my rabbit hutch (flat) my legs ached with all the walking
    To sum them up, they have everything, but they have nothing for I don't think they even love each other and don't even appreciate what they have.

    Non Omnis Moriar
  • ajevansajevans Posts: 373
    Too many people get caught up in a consumer lifestyle; they don't know any different.

    I'm not a great deal different but at least I'm self-aware. I don't buy lots of censored ; an expensive car, designer clothes etc but I don't go without things I really want. This usually means spending moderate amounts of money on well reasoned and researched purchases of sports equipment, i.e. not spending money for the sake of it but on items that will increase my enjoyment and performance in my hobbies.

    I'm fully aware that posessions don't make you happy, but a nice bike every 5 years or so for example can add a bit of icing to what does make you happy.
  • The BosscpThe Bosscp Posts: 647
    I live in a cave, and I survive on a wholesome diet of dock leaves, bugs, and rabbits which I kill myself using a bow and arrow. I was perfectly happy until yesterday when Morris, the guy in the next cave, came out with his bow and arrow to kill a rabbit and it looked like a newer model than mine, it had a little tab to hold the arrow so I immediately had to whittle one into mine, there's no way I'm letting him get away with getting one over on me.
  • ajevansajevans Posts: 373
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by The Boss</i>

    I live in a cave, and I survive on a wholesome diet of dock leaves, bugs, and rabbits which I kill myself using a bow and arrow. I was perfectly happy until yesterday when Morris, the guy in the next cave, came out with his bow and arrow to kill a rabbit and it looked like a newer model than mine, it had a little tab to hold the arrow so I immediately had to whittle one into mine, there's no way I'm letting him get away with getting one over on me.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'm not sure what the point you're trying to make.

    At first you seem to be taking the mick from those who live a frugal lifestyle, then you seem to be agreeing with them by making fun of pointless one-up-manship.

    I'm not having a go, I'm just curious about what point you are trying to make?
  • The BosscpThe Bosscp Posts: 647
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ajevans</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by The Boss</i>

    I live in a cave, and I survive on a wholesome diet of dock leaves, bugs, and rabbits which I kill myself using a bow and arrow. I was perfectly happy until yesterday when Morris, the guy in the next cave, came out with his bow and arrow to kill a rabbit and it looked like a newer model than mine, it had a little tab to hold the arrow so I immediately had to whittle one into mine, there's no way I'm letting him get away with getting one over on me.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'm not sure what the point you're trying to make.

    At first you seem to be taking the mick from those who live a frugal lifestyle, then you seem to be agreeing with them by making fun of pointless one-up-manship.

    I'm not having a go, I'm just curious about what point you are trying to make?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    I guess that one-upmanship and consumerism are two different things, and the former doesn't necessarily require the latter...
    Neither is perfect, they both have their misgivings.
    One-upmanship is pointless when it's just to get the better of someone else, but equally, stubbornly refusing to make good use of available technology when it's there on a plate is also pointless.
    I actually think the OP is a poor example of consumerism - he's servicing his bikes/motorbike because he wants to ride them, this isn't consumerism - this is SAVING money by not taking them to a bike shop, not wasting it. Consumerism would be buying a new one. He whinges about his 'possessions possessing him', yet he's presumably only servicing them because if he didn't he wouldn't be able to ride them and would have to walk everywhere - which would take ages, therefore all he's doing is saving time in the long run. So really what he's whinging about is the mechanical soundness (or lack of it)of his bikes.

    Consumerism is women buying unnecessary prada handbags from stupidly posh shops.
  • Joe SaccoJoe Sacco Posts: 4,907
    Buying a nice handbag is just like buying a nice bike, car or whatever. It is appreciation of the quality and design. That is why I buy nice things. Nothing to do with image/keeping up with others etc,. If you asked people what watch I wore or what bike I road they wouldn't know because I don't make a point of telling them.
  • Flying_MonkeyFlying_Monkey Posts: 8,708
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by The Boss</i>
    Consumerism is women buying unnecessary prada handbags from stupidly posh shops.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Consumerism is buying things for the sake of buying things, or more accurately buying things because you think that the act of purchasing something will make you happy and complete. It does of course, for a short time, until you feel empty again. So you have to buy something else. It's an addiction, a compulsion, a desire...

    The alternatives require self-control of some sort, whether they are aesthetic, ethical, religous etc.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

    Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
    That I got no cerebellum
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    I think we have to consume or a lot of people would be out of work. Things that serve us do need replacing but only when they have outlived useful life. Not because it is not this years colour or 2 grams lighter than last years model. I don't neccessarily disagree with spending wads of money if you have it. It will find it's way back into the economy anyway. But do we need two or three of everything.
    On another note I always think that the more you have the more you have to lose. I don't want to lay awake worrying about my shiny new car/bike in the drive in case somebody wants to take it away from me. Don't even mention insurance! Thats just another cost because you are now a victim to be stalked by such companies let alone the government. Anybody see the homeless guy the other night on TV? He seemed a realy nice guy. Proudly stated that he loved his life. Is less more?

    Jim[:)]

    Nothing to prove.
  • AsterixcpAsterixcp Posts: 6,251
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"> I think we have to consume or a lot of people would be out of work.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    That reminds me of a science fiction story I read years ago. It described a future society where everyone had a duty to consume for similar reasons. Failure to reach your quota was a misdemeanor.

    In fact the whole situation was inverted so that the lower your socio-economic status the more stuff you were obliged to buy and use. Only those at the top of the heap were entitled to live simply and not constantly buy and use goods.

    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
    Pour vivre heureux, vivons le v‚lo..
  • Brock_71Brock_71 Posts: 775
    Simple is definitely best!
    people accumulate junk because the media tells them it is what they need to be happy.
    I've realised only fairly recently that 90% of the censored I own is just a bloody bind. I'm in the process of flogging it off so that my lady and I can spend a good year or so riding our bicycles around France and Spain enjoying true freedom while we're young enough to enjoy it. When (if) we get back we won't be in any worse position than we are now. Life is for living, you can spend a lot of time trying to show off if you're not careful, I don't need a shiny car, I don't need a forty eight inch plasma TV.. What the heck can you sell me that will make me happy? Good food, a bicycle and some decent ale and wine. Everything else is bullsh<font size="2">i</font id="size2">t.

    <hr noshade size="1"><font size="1">A bicycle is for life, not just for Christmas.</font id="size1">
    <hr noshade size="1"><font size="1">A bicycle is for life, not just for Christmas.</font id="size1">
  • FnaarFnaar Posts: 1,985
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Brock_71</i>

    Simple is definitely best!
    people accumulate junk because the media tells them it is what they need to be happy.
    I've realised only fairly recently that 90% of the censored I own is just a bloody bind. I'm in the process of flogging it off so that my lady and I can spend a good year or so riding our bicycles around France and Spain enjoying true freedom while we're young enough to enjoy it. When (if) we get back we won't be in any worse position than we are now. Life is for living, you can spend a lot of time trying to show off if you're not careful, I don't need a shiny car, I don't need a forty eight inch plasma TV.. What the heck can you sell me that will make me happy? Good food, a bicycle and some decent ale and wine. Everything else is bullsh<font size="2">i</font id="size2">t.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    If you decide to give owt away, I'll have the telly [;)][:D]

    <b><font color="blue"><font face="Comic Sans MS">kinckers kanckers conckers</font id="Comic Sans MS"></font id="blue"></b> [:D]
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"> That reminds me of a science fiction story I read years ago. It described a future society where everyone had a duty to consume for similar reasons. Failure to reach your quota was a misdemeanor. <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Another moneyless meritocracy exists in another science fiction story called Star Trek.
  • The BosscpThe Bosscp Posts: 647
    I don't really get what counts as consumerism and what doesn't. Everyone's very keen to jump on the 'simple' bandwagon and proclaim what a simple life they enjoy leading, yet the debate started with a discussion of possession, the possession in question being a bike. So, with a bike being the example of an item of consumer goods, then assuming everyone here has got a bike (why else would you be on a cycling forum) then we're all consumerists. The fact that you can point to a bike that's lighter than yours that you haven't got doesn't automatically make it non-consumerist.

    So I guess my question really is (a) how do you all claim to be non-consumerists when you've all got bikes, presumably which you BOUGHT at some point, and (b) what counts as consumerism and what doesn't?
  • ajevansajevans Posts: 373
    The Boss:
    Fair enough, I agree although Flying Monkey's description of consumerism is the more correct ;)

    Asterix:
    Is that science fiction book you're referring to "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley? He wrote it after returning from the USA in the 1930's, alarmed at what he saw there.
  • Some random thoughts on this topic:

    Possessions, beyond a certain minimum, like a roof over your head and a warm bed, don't make you happy but socialising with other people, especially your friends, will.

    I think I got as much pleasure out of my first bike, a single geared (trendy now!) heavy steel job, as any of my fleet of four modern bikes.

    The most extreme form of consumerism may be buying stuff that you won't even use, like women who buy clothes/shoes/porcelain figurines and then store them away. I guess this is an obsessive-compulsive disorder and/or they are trying to fill holes in their lives.

    To some people shopping is an enjoyable or even their only leisure activity, for example in hot places like Houston and cities in the Middle East people drive to the Mall and wander round aimlessly, may be buy something with a designer label on it. OK you would get covered in sweat outside but is not a life style that I fancy.
  • The BosscpThe Bosscp Posts: 647
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by pme</i>


    Possessions, beyond a certain minimum, like a roof over your head and a warm bed, don't make you happy<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Don't quite agree with this. Possessions do make you happy to a certain extent, or more accurately they enable you to do things that you enjoy, which is pretty much the same thing.
  • Joe SaccoJoe Sacco Posts: 4,907
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by The Boss</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by pme</i>


    Possessions, beyond a certain minimum, like a roof over your head and a warm bed, don't make you happy<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Don't quite agree with this. Possessions do make you happy to a certain extent, or more accurately they enable you to do things that you enjoy, which is pretty much the same thing.


    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I don't think it is up to others to tell me what makes me happy. For example, driving sports cars makes me happy, it is something I greatly enjoy yet that doesn't fit into your roof, warm bed and friends criteria does it.
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