Today saw the first breaking news of the discovery of a planet which is theoretically capable of sustaining life. It’s called Kepler 22-b, it’s 600 light years away, and it could well contain liquid water, which means it’s warm enough for life to develop, or, more excitingly, for life to have already developed.
So, if we leave aside the relatively trifling problems of how to get there without dying, how to breathe an atmosphere which could well be different to our own, and how to get a decent wifi signal on arrival, the next big questions are “when can we go?” and “what shall we take with us?”
So, assuming we’re going to want to recreate a few home comforts once we get there, here’s a list of things without which no British colony would be worthy of the name:
I’ve no idea what the growing conditions on Kepler 22-b are like but if you can’t create a small plantation (let’s just ignore the negative connotations of the world for a second, we’re building a utopia here, not raking over our inglorious past. Although, to be clear, it was very inglorious indeed) and get a decent crop of tea going it’s probably not going to be worth making the trip.
2: Fishing rods
Having flown all that way, the Brits on board will want to take a little time to decompress and get their bearings, and there’s no better way to do this than to stand on a riverbank, staring at a float dipping up and down, in the sure and certain knowledge that you are not about to be disturbed by anything, least of all a fish. British fishing is not like American fishing, in that the object is very rarely to catch a fish. Not while there’s all that standing about and thinking to do. Cows must look over at us and think we’re chewing the cud.
3: Simon Cowell
It’s a new territory, he’s going to want to begin appraising it for exploitable talent at once.
4: A football
Or a soccerball ball, as you’d call it. We’re going to want to get a league up and running as soon as we get there, so we’ll need the right equipment.
5: Bits and bobs
Nothing so defines an Englishman as the various pots of old screws, nails, bits of dowel and drill bits he keeps in case he should ever need them, and his ability to turn those things into (almost) useful devies. Given an infinite amount of time, an infinite amount of bits and bobs and an infinite amount of Englishmen, and we could build our own Kepler 22-b as a ramshackle spare.
6: A shed
And here’s where it would be built. It’s a place of retreat after a hard day’s fishing, and somewhere you can tinker with things, undisturbed. If an Englishman’s home is his castle, the shed is his Fortress of Solitude.
7: Brewing equipment
We’re all going to want a drink when we get there, and who knows what Keplerian beer tastes like?
8: A guitar
Someone will need to come up with a new international anthem for Kepler 22-b, and acoustic instruments would be best until a power station can be constructed. Something Beatley would be nice. We can dubstep it up later on.
Keplerians will either love it or hate it. We love it. And as the adverts say, it’s the richest natural source of Vitamin B, which they may not have there.
10: Black pepper
It’s not even native to the British Isles, but most of our best recipes have an abundance of it. Once we start exporting Keplerian pasties back to Earth, we’ll be glad we took a decent supply of peppercorns with us. And a space grinder.
Now, let us populate the very heavens!*
*once we have developed faster-than-light-speed travel, obv.Read More