Save Our Skills

Pig For Victory for us highlighted some worrying trends in the modern world; it wasn't just a case of a throwaway culture or a tendencies toward concreting our gardens. We all knew that, we only have to see the rubbish blowing around outside supermarkets to know something has gone wrong. What is more worrying are the simple things. The tiniest things we all may have once taken granted and this was highlighted for us when we visited Claire Fleetneedle before Christmas and she let Little D play with her button tin.

#saveourskills #bakingbread

In those two words, 'button tin', something was revealed. We sat and chatted about how no one seems to have button tins anymore when everyone we knew growing up had one. There's a reason for this and it does stem from having cheap clothes that we can literally throwaway as soon as moths, nails, chairs and doors attack them.The reason is very simple, many of the people who throw things away do so because they have no idea how to mend them. We know that some people are just lazy, we are all lazy but we think that laziness is borne of apathy and that apathy is borne of a lack of know how. A lack of skills. They can't sew, so there is no need for a button tin. We can sew but to be truthful we never really did it before our foray into Dig For Victory. We, like you, simply went and bought new clothes but back then we both worked long hours and had disposable income. The idea of any income being disposable is rather sickening, and is akin to all that rubbish blowing around outside that supermarket. Disposable suggests you don't like it and need to get rid of it quickly which is why most of us buy shit and then wonder why that shit is just simply, shit. Unfortunately, the skills our parents, grandparents and ancestors had have also become disposable. You have to wonder whether there is an afterlife and anyone born after 1970 is going to meet all their ancestors and spend an eternity on the naughty step for being wasteful and disposable. The lack of family skills, passed down from mother to daughter, father to son and  parents to children isn't a creeping problem because there are now probably more of us in the UK who wouldn't know how to darn a sock, bake a loaf or fix a spade handle. You may think that these aren't valuable skills, that you have that large disposable wage and that disposable part can be spent on the luxuries of life, like frozen food full of a cocktail of chemical crap to make the pizza that bit more pizza like. For want of a needle and thread we could lose it all. For want of some flour the whole of society could collapse. For want of some string to fix a handle, to dig the soil, a whole generation could forget the importance and fragility of food production. We are on a razor's edge. This is not tightrope walking we are literally walking on the blade, and slowly bleeding out. We bemoan the loss of community, of streets full of cars and doors that stay firmly locked and the reason is simple, you walk the razor's edge and you do so scared. We want to stop this, stop the negative news, stop the focus on all that is bad and doing something positive, something we can all share and get involved in. We bake bread, you don't, we'll show you soon how to do it. We'll also tell you now, things do not always go right, so sometimes our bread doesn't rise or is a bit knobbly, or is too soft, too hard or sometimes, more than often with practice, it is all just Goldilocks - just right. We think it is time to share, not just with you but you with all of us. It is time to share our skills, form groups to share in the community, to create a living, breathing archive that celebrates those things we all take for granted so we can share with those who haven't a clue but have a real desire to learn. If you want to get involved, if you make things that are useful, have top tips for good life living, can darn, sew, knit, skin, fish, forage and aren't afraid to be on camera, get in touch and rather than bemoan the present, cherish the past, let's make a better tomorrow. 2015 for us will be our campaign to save our skills.

#saveourskills #lifeonpigrow


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