Dear fellow Roman slaves,
Here we are in dying days of the 2,020th year of our enslavement to the ever deceptive Empire.
We are astonishingly numerous now.
The bigger the Empire the greater the number of us.
Where is the resistance?
The debt slaves cannot break free.
It was a devious move by the Empire.
As religion ceased to control humanity there was a slow shift towards creating more & more national debt.
When a nation pays huge interest on debt it has less with which to improve living standards.
Poverty leads to personal debt.
All the wealth vanishes from the entire nation as it is funnelled up to the Empire.
But that is materialism.
Didn't Jesus say "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”?
I always imagined this means to give the Empire only that which belong to it but claim, use & develop a relationship with all life out of respect for God.
Just my personal take, I could be wrong, of course.
It was the impetus which drove me to sell up in 2003 & lead a travelling life.
I wanted to avoid the Empire as much as I could, it had harmed me enough by the time I turned 50 years of age & I needed a break from it & some communion time with nature, my two dogs & cat in particular.
I wanted to be out of touch, Out & about with no destination. Seeing what went on directly with my own eyes, rather than through a tell-lie-vision screen.
I purchased a hitop LDV & a good friend took it apart & rebuilt it until he could guarantee the vehicle for at least 10,000 miles. He loved that opportunity to work on a vehicle.
Good guy, near neighbour, Paul was an alcoholic & so he never could hold a job due to his binges.
I struck a terrific deal with him.
I bought all the tools he needed & he worked on my van. We became great friends & he helped me out in many other ways. Like taking my dogs out with him when he went to the pub. This would attract all the girls & he would not get so blazing drunk! The dogs loved all the attention they were getting & I didn't worry that the dogs were home alone & bored. Everyone was getting something out of the arrangement.
Fitting out the interior of the van was done in stages because small spaces need experience first, decisions later.
On the 30th January 2004 I finally put the last of my furniture into storage & had thrown the last of the rubbish away.
I took the keys to my house to the Estate Agent & I was free.
It was a freezing clear night. Hardly a breath of air moved. I drove to the open car park at the foot of our local park & let the dogs run. The cat, Pearlie & I sat watching them through the windscreen.
I made coffee & enjoyed the heat from the gas cooker. I thought about where to go for hours.
By the morning I had decided to stay within range of my friends so that I could get help if I needed it but that insecurity did not last long.
I drove all day, heading south & visited my son who was living in Totnes. I revisited old haunts from my travelling days, ruefully noticing the deterioration. I couldn't miss it. The sand dunes were stripped away by tides & winds leaving bare rocky beaches.
I went through Wales, battered by stormy weather. I toured the Lake District but felt unwelcome in that slate grey harsh environment.
It was March before I decided to drive to Dover & get the ferry to France.
Driving on the wrong side of the road was terrifying. I was completely discombobulated for days. Driving was much more stressful & so I did less of it daily & spent a lot of time finding parkups where my dogs could roam & I would not attract unnecessary attention.
I followed a convoluted route until the Pyrennes & from there I crossed into Spain. The heat as we summited the mountain range hit us & my van overheated on the descent.
It was time to stop & feel for my next direction.
It turned into an odyssey of mountains, lakes & rivers. Some of the most treacherous driving I have ever done & long periods of playing house in the back of my van while my dogs & cat explored.
We had it so beautifully organised with great ventilation that we lived & slept very well.
In this escape from the Empire I had limited my interaction down to fuel & food but I soon realised that if I ran out of money things would become sticky. Also I did not have indefinite time to spare. Once the paperwork on the van, MOT insurance & Road Tax expired that would be the end of the journey.
So I searched all of the Spanish sierras for an off grid home. I called in to Inmobiliaras (Estate Agents) & everywhere I went I had a vague idea of what I wanted but I was not seeing it.
Eventually I made friends with a rancher who owned a beautiful lakeside place where I parked up for many days. He recommended me to go up to the Vera of Extremadura. He got me an appointment with the local estate agent & I was shown a number of properties between a string of tiny medieval villages. The soil was black & there were so many rivers & streams that the whole ledge around the mountain Almanzor was lush & verdant.
The Alardos could go from cool blue flat calm to a raging torrent overnight.
Then I saw my dream home. It was a 3 bedroom bungalow with a wrap around verandah, car port under grape vines, swimming pool, exterior dining room & barbeque nestled under two mature cherry trees in the corner of a wildly overgrown fruit farm.
The three months of waiting for the paperwork to be done was a fun time.
I put a notice in the van window that I was looking for work & a guy offered me a job helping him restore an old barn & turn it into a home.
This gave me somewhere to park overnight, a donkey to wake me up at dawn, physically demanding work from 7am til 1pm & then the afternoons swimming & lazing on the river bank.
I got to meet the locals & found out they had already named me Pocahontas due to being followed everywhere by my two dogs.
When we eventually did occupy the house I was tidying stuff away when I looked around & could not see the dogs.
They had gone to bed in the van!
It took them a while to get the message that our wandering days were over & this would be our new home. The cat absolutely loved it from the very start. Her favourite food was lizards which she had hunted on every mountain in Spain by then. My new property was loaded with them & moles, voles & mice.
Having spent the bulk of my life savings buying the fruit farm I had to be careful to make my money last until I had got the place organised. I worked as a night watchman at a vast gravel extraction pit for the winter of 2004/5.
That was the easy life. I would arrive on site at 7pm, park up, lock the gates & let the dogs do the rest!
I would stay in the van with books to read, blazing gas cooker keeping me toasty & texting my friends back in the UK about my adventures.
The nights were amazing & frosty in the plains below our mountain range & the silence there was profound. I would sleep, cosy & warm & at 7am I would unlock the gates for the workforce, go home & work on my land.
The following Spring I was offered a job teaching English in a private school in Madrid. This was only part time work but the pay was brilliant & I had free accomodation nearby. Holiday periods were so frequent & long that I was always able to drive home to my fruit farm & continue improving it.
I built a natural irrigation system that diverted water from the river alongside & fed it though a network of channels ending at a large pond which drained back to the river. From this I was able to pump water into the swimming pool, up to the washing water tank on the roof & to hose down my baking land at sundown.
I learned how to use a chain saw & I created a wigwam wood store which defied the wind valiantly but eventually succumbed!
After two years teaching I felt I had enough experience to start my own evening school in the village near to my fruit farm. I got a lot of help from the local Alcalde (mayor) who was keen to see local youngsters take advantage of learning English in their spare time.
I was paying the Empire very little at this point in my life. It was heavenly. I was not wealthy materialistically, but in terms of communion with nature & all of that community, my life was full to the brim.
It is possible to extract yourself from the Empire but only to a certain extent. You will still have to pay land taxes, buy certain essentials like solar panels, batteries & fuel but you can get it down really low if you find the right hermitage, like I did.
I had all sorts of deals going on. I cared for sick & abandoned pets for the local vet in exchange for her services.
The local butcher gave me bags of offal & bones to cook for my dogs.
I swapped my fruit produce for credit at the local food shop & gave fruit & eggs as presents.
I received a fabulous pair of handmade riding boots for caring for an elderly horse.
It was a community that kept its wealth within itself & yet was friendly & warm to me, a foreigner.
So where was I going with this? Oh yeah.
"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s."
I guess what I am driving at is that in this the 2,020th year of the Roman Empire,
why are we still paying Caesar while he uses our wealth to destroy the things that are God's?
Yeah. That is where I was going with this.
Much love as always,