Tuesday 21 November 2017

My dream doomsday

With the apocalypse seemingly nigh, Julia Molony has been busy daydreaming about ideal locations to build a cosy bunker

The tree lined streets and cafes of Palermo in Buenos Aires
The tree lined streets and cafes of Palermo in Buenos Aires

Here's a pressing question I've been asking myself quite a bit recently - what are the chances I could build an entirely new life for myself off the grid?

Perhaps you have been thinking about it, too. As things get increasingly hairy on the humanity front, it's becoming a bit of a thing. Not so long ago, people would have flight-of-fancy conversations about moving to Buenos Aires or Tokyo. Now after-dinner talk has changed to handy techniques for constructing a bunker in the wilderness from tree bark, or how to divine water using only a coat hanger and a spoon.

If I want to escape this slow-moving train wreck that (it's quite clear from my Facebook news feed) we're all riding on, where would be the best place to go? And once I get there, do I have what it takes to see it through? Do I have it in me to wring the neck of a wild turkey with my bare hands? Could I track voles or hares, or whatever other furry edibles they serve out there? Could I bring myself to eat them?

The first point to address, of course, is location, location, location. When contemplating the end of civilisation as we know it, being in possession of an Irish passport feels like a bit of a trump card. This is not a time to dream about a villa on the Riviera, or a beach house in the Hamptons, but a time to fantasise about putting a sizeable landmass and/or a large body of water between you and anywhere remotely fashionable.

Basically, I'm after a nice bit of bog. Some uninhabited island far off the north-west coast would make a good bolthole. Somewhere with no infrastructure, that can only be reached by currach and then on a donkey's back. Somewhere so windswept, rain-soaked and forgotten that it will never, ever be the centre of any international territory disputes. A place where the most abundant locally available natural resources are isolation and despair.

Not to boast or anything, but along with my Irish passport, I have a second ace up my sleeve - I'm also an Australian citizen. In fact, my Aussie nationality may well become my most attractive asset in the face of the coming apocalypse. If Ireland becomes draped in nuclear fallout, or gets taken over by Kim Jong-un, I've got a back-up plan.

Chances

I can always try my chances in the outback of Oz instead. At the time of writing, the jury is still out on whether my boyfriend (who also happens to be the father of my child) deserves to get the nod to come with me on the boat. So please note, I may be available for marriage to the highest bidder - or, indeed, to anyone in possession of especially useful skills such as archery, animal husbandry or wood-whittling.

Because frankly, whether it's Ireland or Australia, I'm going to need all the help I can get. I don't have the hard-bitten survivalist gene. If I was stranded in the desert with nothing to eat or drink, I'd rather curl into a ball and await the sweet release of death than attempt to roast a live lizard in the midday sun, or drink my own urine, or whatever indignities one must undertake in order to scrape through alive. You wouldn't catch me sawing off my own arm with a plastic picnic knife if I fell into a ravine.

Which is why, after location, the second key point in my post-apocalypse survival plan must be personnel. The best hope I have of making it through will be by coasting off the talents of people far more capable than I. In the past, I've glibly chosen my friends and close acquaintances on the basis of things like their sense of the ridiculous, or striking personal style. But from here on out, I'm in the market for mates with good muscle mass, decent fat stores and who are good with their hands. Who's with me?

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