From Notes About The Findings of Abraham Maslow and Manfred Max Neef on Needs by David Seagrave

These eminent psychologists analyses the needs of people worldwide their findings concur with those of Erich Fromm which he has set out in his magnum opus To Have,or to Be…

I may be exceptional in the way I have evolved a mental discipline which orcherstates my behaviour by means of an imaginary device called the scrutiny box It is opened whenever I have a bath and on my Sunday hikes or strolls In the bath I review what I have done since my previous bath and think about what I shall be doing until the next bath. Every Sunday I plan ahead till the next Sunday I RESTRAIN MYSELF FROM RASH OR IMPUSLIVE BEHAVIOUR by this means If in doubt about any expenditures below £1.

Eric Fromm
Eric Fromm

I refer the matter to the next Scrutiny Box opening and think about the Opportunity Costs of any expenditures – what better value for money would I get by spending the money on something else. Likewise with decisions to go anywhere; What better alternative ways of spending my time ? What tangible outcomes from each course of action ? If there is something happening of interest to me which involves both cash expenditures and my time is there anything to show for it ? Generally no, so that is why I almost never go to the cinema or performances of plays and attend fewer events at the Edinburgh Festivals

I am supremely lucky that following the paradoxes of my accident in 1981 I am the outright owner of a detached cottage near Dunfermline with a big garden conveniently close enough to the city centre which is all electric and the electricity bill is paid by direct debit. Also I travel for free on the buses which substantially mitigates the loss of driving licence and vehicle NON -car ownership saves about £700 per year

FOOD for me is a means to an end NOT an end in itself I do not consume foods which I disliked as a boy for every good reason and eat FISH most of the year and MEAT just once a week – a quantity roughly equivalent to that available in 1949 when the adult meat ration was reduced to 8d worth per adult – about £1 today -per week.

Chocolate coated biscuit

Likewise I restrict CHOCOLATE intake to ONE chocolate coated biscuit per day except when on Sunday hikes. My sugar intake is roughly that for adults during food rationing I dislike potatoes so eat rice or pasta always Tesco Everyday value and on that point I choose Tesco everyday value for as many commodities on offer which I NEED I think that it is plain daft to pay several times as much for the same product with tiny additives in fancy packaging.
Due to my medical conditions I MUST HAVE baths on alternate days and concurrently wash my clothes in the hot water. During broadly the GMT period I must have heating on and in very cold spells there is A 2 Kw heater on throughout each night close to the bed. It is also on in my darkroom since it mitigates cooling of developers and rarely do I have a heater on in my model railway room I do NOT drink or smoke nor do I have a TV or other entertainment devices which consume electricity. There is my enlarger with its 150w bulb switched on for no longer than 30 seconds per exposure a soldering gun likewise and my model trains consume minute quantities of electricity when running. This therefore is my energy consumption.
I have a superfluity of clothes which includes considerable numbers of wearable garments found on fly-tips. I enjoy the challenge of making Gripperbreeks resembling riding-breeches to hold my false leg on securely painlessly and comfortably. I have made about 7 pairs from cloth found DUMPED for the price of the thread since the brace buttons and calfstrap buttons are made of car number plate.
When I bought my present home it was fully furnished – the relatives of the late owner not bothering to remove furniture, crockery and cutlery. Some items had to be replaced. Some furniture came from my previous home and one item was handed down from my maternal grandfather who made it. I enjoyed the challenge of making furniture from dumped timber and structures built of Dexion full size Meccano which cost me about £1 per metre bought second hand.

David Seagrave at Remade in Edinburgh
David Seagrave

Other timber items include darkroom equipment and folding trestles to support model railway baseboards which like the baseboards include items made from fly tipped timber. There are now Dexion -built structures to support model railway baseboards in my garden which is full of items recovered from fly tips which I am using both indoors and on my outdoor model railway

So with huge quantities of spare cloth, timber, Dexion, plastic sheets, photographic paper, model train chassis, and undercarriages and spare motors, cameras given to me or bought for pittances; developing tanks I have bought; second hand model railway track maps of most of Scotland and my home crammed almost to capacity with all the fruits of a lifetime’s compulsive creativity. I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE THINGS BOUGHT except FOOD.
My greatest NEED is for dignified roles and recognition for my struggle to lead an exemplary life. This has been denied to me since graduation in 1973 primarily because of the inexcusable prejudice attached to mental problems. Whilst for a time after diagnosis with Aspergers Syndrome in 2004 and also in a certain way since my leg was amputated in 1981, I was rid of the stigma I was RESTIGMATISED by people of a certain religion in my Cumbernauld years and also by people in the corridors of power who rejected me for voluntary work because I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN for every good reason.
When I was maimed I met Stafford people setting up an unemployed people’s Centre where I had intended to teach everybody there my thrifty habits. This fell through as did my attempts there to organise Sunday excursions. Upon moving to Cumbernauld so centrally located I was to set up what amounted to a one man university for unemployed people and fellow sufferers from mental problems. I discovered not only that I was treading on the toes of Christian people in the corridors of power but that potential beneficiaries often had not mastered the elementary arithmetic of my primary school years. They totally lacked the motivation to improve themselves I dropped out of Day Centres for people with mental problems because far too many of the Service Users were almost like overgrown children content to fritter away their lives in front of computers.

By 2004 I had ceased to have dealings with these people. For about a decade I found roles of a kind with Asperger people until something ugly happened in Jan 2015 and since then I have witnessed the collapse of Asperger support groups to hardly quorate numbers lacking leadership or initiative or imagination and stuck in convoluted circles of futility.


Whilst I had been active in the protest movement in my Stafford years and in the Green movement for much longer I observe that the momentum has all but died out and I am very worried indeed that I might be branded as an ECO-FASCIST for holding a strictly consequentialist attitude towards current affairs. I have to refer Readers to my literary magnum opus The Socrates Of Charford and step into the shoes of the character who bears that soubriquet, Alan Moelwyn Wright.
I now feel that concerned individuals and environemtal activist groups have a negligible chance of preventing a worldwide catastrophe which will happen around the centenary of my birth as a result of population increase, resource depletion and climate change. The storms which have smitten Britain in recent months simply herald natural events that will be far worse. What I say will surely offend many Readers.
There is a real danger that Civilisation as we know it will collapse in the wake of a concatenation of catastrophes around 2041. The only way to prevent this is to set up LIFEBOAT ECONOMIES in countries such as Japan, New Zealand and Ireland which have to SHUT THEIR DOORS till perhaps a human lifetime after the catastrophes there to set forth in SAILING SHIPS to recover what they can from the ruins of Continental cities and the U S A after most of the world s population has perished.
As the quality broadsheets report lorries full of refugees entering Britain daily I fear that some of these refugees will bring them my accident or design infectious diseases which will wipe out most of the British population. By then I will have lived three quarters of a century and will perish knowing that I have lived through the zenith years of human achievement.