Readers’ Letters: 14 January 2015

Introducing the Culticycle, brilliantly combining the small tractor with the bicycle. Plough Monday was never such good fun!

Sir: I found this little gem whilst browsing through the internet and thought it might of interest to you: 
“A pedal powered tractor for cultivation and seeding, built from lawn tractor, ATV, and bicycle parts. Speed is 3 – 4 mph depending on choice of gearing and pedaling speed. Better for operator’s body, less soil compaction, no fuel use, cheaper than a tractor; easily adaptable to specific needs.”
This is the first time I’ve mailed The Idler, but have been following your works for years. How to be Idle was a welcome comrade to the younger me that actually led me to the path of writing and homesteading that I am currently having a wander down, so thanks for that! 
Hope this finds you well. Look forward to your future offerings!
Sion Lidster


Sir: I am very much pro the 4 day week. This summer I returned from travelling and was offered my own full time job back. I declined, saying that I needed flexibility. They offered me flexible freelance work, and a better rate. I was sub-letting a small room off of friends for £150 a month, earning £300 pounds a week for three days work (sometimes four). On my extra days off in the week I had time to go to the market, buy cheap fresh food, cook large batches which would sustain me all week for lunch and dinner. I realised that the money I was saving on food alone probably amounted to days work (pre-payrise). I also learnt meditation, mushroom foraging and started painting. Life has been very good! Thanks for the great articles, just found your site today.
John Hammond


Sir: I just thought I’d extemporise something at this early hour. It’s -14 degrees outside, here in northern Sweden, and The Idler is in my thoughts as I watch the snowy wastes. Your influence has reached far – my architecture MA is (I hope) to be based on trying to apply the theories of the ol’ Winstanley and the Diggers and Kropotkin to create a new, sustainable economy in the north. At the moment, food stocks will last perhaps four days if a disaster occurred. Formerly of course, peas, beans, vetches and all the rest were common currency up here – now it seems a ‘fresh’ avocado is more à la mode. Anyway, you have much to answer for. A shared delight in medieval music is also pleasing, as I hadn’t twigged that from the Idler books I have. This Christmas was television free, despite the Grandparents’ usual desire to watch Downton Abbey and instead a night of carousing followed with many a D’Urfey tune. And ‘black stripes’ – rum, treacle and hot water. Fantastic. Gott nytt år!
Joshua Taylor, Sweden

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