In January, a small mixed breed dog named Charlie was photographed at this location while standing on a mountain of food. Dog food. Charlie's owner, Helena, had stockpiled the stock as well as food for herself.
At that time, Helena (who doesn't want her surname published) told me, "I really don't trust the government to take care of me; I certainly don't trust them to take care of my dog." She had a food store for three months and one year for Charlie as an insurance policy in the event of default after March 29, the original date when the United Kingdom should leave the EU.
She had been meticulous about this, creating a color-coded spreadsheet according to what had been purchased (toilet paper, canned tomatoes), waiting for delivery (coconut powder) or waiting for testing (falafel dry mix). It was not just food but drink, treats and dog toys, and even makeup. I remember thinking of the band playing on the Titanic: look good and party while the good ship Britannia sinks.
Today, Helena is talking to me about her car at M4. (Don't worry: speakerphone, she says.) Since January, there have been some changes in your life. She was fired from the charity she worked for. "So I decided to start a craft ice cream business, which was absolutely crazy in the context of Brexit, because it's a risk in terms of issues like consumer trust and sourcing issues."
She tried to make it "Brexit-proof" by keeping expenses low, having no facilities and importing as little as possible. She swaps a traditional ice cream bike at the farmers markets. Popular flavors include peanut butter and caramel and tiramisu. "And if the worst happens, I can fool the deal a little," she says.
And all your stored things? The spreadsheet has been completed, with everything purchased and stored by March 29. And the stock remained intact – mostly – as Brexit's subsequent deadlines came and went.
Although supermarket shelves have not yet been emptied, she still thinks her inventory was worth it. "It provided a level of resilience. I don't need to worry as much as before. I know I always have something in the closet: whatever happens, I can eat. It was useful, although Brexit didn't."
How is she feeling about this? "There have been so many twists in Brexit history that it is not possible to predict what will happen," she says. "I think it's gotten to a point where you can only be stressed for so long about something. I backed away from that anxiety, because in the end it's not good for you."
There is an area where she has not been so diligent in keeping stocks stocked. "Charlie's supply has declined a little, to be honest, just because I'm a little depressed. I still have enough for three months." I may be wondering, but I think she lowers her voice when she says that. back of the car.
Another prepper I spoke to in January, Jo Elgarf, is desperately concerned about the election, a conservative majority and the possibility of being in a disagreement situation by 2020.
Jo Elgarf with his daughter Nora. Jo is concerned that her daughter's medications will be available after Brexit. Photo: Graeme Robertson / The Guardian
Elgarf had stored some things; the kitchen cabinets were full of pasta, rice, and milk powder. This is still there. But food is not Jo's big concern. His daughter Nora has a brain condition called polymicrogyria. She takes many medicines, but without two of them – Epilim and Keppra – she would have several seizures daily, which could be fatal. This is not political, it is about her daughter's life. Both are prescription drugs imported from Europe and she cannot store them.
She was worried when Theresa May was in charge, but didn't think we would leave without a deal. She is much more worried about Johnson. "Anything can happen if Boris wins," she says by telephone from her London home. "If they don't get what they want, they can just quit. They won't consider the very vulnerable. They won't: Ah, wait, if we do that, what happens to Nora?"
Since I visited, she has had no guarantee – from doctors, pharmacists or the government – that there will be a supply of Nora's medicines, whatever happens. "No one knows if they've done enough work to prevent problems. How is a moderate version of Yellowhammer going to impact Nora?" go to the voting section.
"My attitude is that it makes no sense to stay home moaning," she says. "I can do something too." So she is campaigning for the Lib Dems.
. (tagsToTranslate) Life and Style (t) Brexit