A Little Piece of England: A Tale of Self-Sufficiency

Overview

A Little Piece of England, tells the tale of how the author's family, living in a sliver of countryside in London's commuter belt, came, over some ten years, to make itself, in its 'spare time', self-sufficient in its requirements of milk, meat, eggs, vegetables and some fruit.

The book can be read in two ways. One way is for those, particularly urban folk, who are interested in growing their own food or contemplating a life style founded on their own smallholding. In this way, ...

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Overview

A Little Piece of England, tells the tale of how the author's family, living in a sliver of countryside in London's commuter belt, came, over some ten years, to make itself, in its 'spare time', self-sufficient in its requirements of milk, meat, eggs, vegetables and some fruit.

The book can be read in two ways. One way is for those, particularly urban folk, who are interested in growing their own food or contemplating a life style founded on their own smallholding. In this way, it is a book for those who wonder about the practicalities of living in a self contained, permacultural way and for those who dream of making their own bread or even, perhaps, of eating their own mutton stewed with their own onions and carrots.

The other way is for those, perhaps particularly anglophiles in other lands, who are in harmony with the stubborn, Saxon streak which runs strongly in the character and culture of the English. The streak which showed itself when London was fire-bombed night after night in the early 1940s and also when John's self-taught grandfather told his children 'You don't know what you can do until you try to do it'.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Reading it was like being transported to my own little patch of the English countryside.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780956921208
  • Publisher: JJ Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2011
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 238
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

JJ's Childhood

John Jackson (JJ) was born in 1929 in rural Devon. In 1931 he and his younger brother moved with their parents - who were 'flat broke', out of work and in poor health - to a rented cottage in Lyme Regis, Dorset. There the family survived on what they could grow and rear on a small allotment and what they could catch in the sea. For cash they took in lodgers.

In 1937, the family left the West Country to look for work in London. There JJ's father found a job as a salesman. Six months later, JJ's brother was killed in a road accident.

That death had a traumatic effect on the stability of the family but the man responsible for it offered, by way of compensation, to pay for JJ, who had only been taught at home, to be educated privately at boarding schools until the age of 18. The last of these was The King's School, Canterbury. From there, JJ won a scholarship to study law at Cambridge University.

JJ's Career
JJ left Cambridge in 1952 and took a job with the British branch of Philips, the Dutch electronics company. In 1953 he took a further Cambridge law degree and qualified as a barrister.

JJ stayed with Philips for 29 years, joining its board in 1966. In 1981 he left to start a new career as a self employed consultant. In that role he joined the boards of a number of companies, both public and private in different industries, becoming chairman of many of them.

In 1981 he organised the rescue of the popular history magazine History Today. That experience intensified his interest in small businesses, particularly those in difficulty, and cemented his belief in the importance of personal freedoms and the dangers in pressures to conform.

In 1992 he became the first non-solicitor chairman of the law firm Mishcon de Reya, a position he holds today.

JJ's Campaigning Work
In the 1990s, JJ helped to create the Countryside Alliance which, under his chairmanship, campaigned vigorously for liberty and livelihood in the countryside. During that period also, he chaired a working party of employers, trade unionists, academics and journalists studying the impact of new technologies, particularly web based technologies, on the work place. Their report was published in 1996 by the Fabian Society as 'Changing Work'. At that time he also became a trustee of One World Action, a charity which campaigns and works for the rights of women, particularly in developing countries.

In 2011 he founded JJ Books.

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