How to Build a Nuclear Fallout Shelter in your Local Pub #1

Is it just me, or does the world seem a slightly more unstable place at the moment than it did, say, last year, or last decade come to that?  It’s a valid doubt on my part: the booze sometimes gets me feeling a tad paranoid; it is entirely possible that it is only me experiencing this heightened sense of global anxiety.

Whether I am alone in my fears, or not, I am not someone to rest on my laurels.  I am not going to wait passively submissive while Kim Jong-un builds up his nuclear arsenal; not going to stand by and do nothing while Donald Trump tweets machismo soundbites; not going to hold my breath while the UN, the Security Council and President Xi play three wise monkeys: I am going to take positive action.

But what form will this action take?

Well, I have never been a campaigning individual; never had sufficient belief in either politics, diplomacy, charity or common sense as a force to change the world.  So my action is going to be of an entirely selfish nature.

I am going to build a personal nuclear fallout shelter.  And where to build it?  There is only one choice.  In the place where I am surrounded by all the things most precious to me.  In my local pub.

So, where to start?

I have a handbook, of sorts: Raymond Briggs’ When the Wind Blows––a classic graphic novel from 1982, published when the spectre of Cold War nuclear Armageddon posed a similar threat to world––and mental––stability.

Given the choice, I would ideally build my shelter underground, but I find myself denied access to my local’s cellar: here the preservation of beer has precedence––perhaps entirely rightly––over the preservation of humanity.  However, I have a first-floor room placed at my disposal.

This is my canvas.  And now to work.

© Beery Sue


Beery Sue was never a girl guide, but she likes to be prepared.


  1. […] Four blogs, which I wrote back in September 2017 have become something of a barometer for the state of the world’s stability.  As accurate as the Doomsday Clock, which the members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists recalculate each year, similarly, the reading figures of How to Build a Nuclear Fallout Shelter in your Local Pub reflect how close the world is to some kind of global catastrophe.  The blogs were intended as a light-hearted muse on dealing with adversity by downing a pint and blotting out your worries; now they have become something altogether more serious.  At the time, the ‘crisis’, which had got me thinking along these lines was the posturing that was happening across the Pacific between Donald Trump, then President of the USA, and Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea.  Since then we have had differing degrees of nuclear angsts, in Iran, between Pakistan and India, in China, in Russia, in the US, in North Korea again, plus several retractions from and several rewordings of various important nuclear treaties, each time with the effect of increasing anxious Google searches for “How to Build a Nuclear Fallout Shelter” and so pushing unsuspecting readers towards my blogs. […]


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