Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Monday, Oct 14

The forecast was right. It has been raining steadily all night and all morning. It is now 4.30 in the afternoon and the rain is still falling. There is just enough daylight for me to see to write this if I sit near the window, but in a short while we shall need to light a candle.
I have now realised that when I rushed to the village shop at the start of this crisis I didn’t remember all the things we would need. I didn’t get nearly enough candles or batteries. And I should have bought water. Who would have thought that in a rainy country where flooding is often a problem we would not have fresh water? There is no longer any mains water and Martin has been up in the loft checking how much we still have in the supply tank. We also have some in our hot water tank, which of course can no longer heat.

We luckily have two rainwater butts, which we installed the summer before last when a hosepipe ban was announced just before one of the wettest summers ever. And Martin and Stephen are now investigating the old well in the courtyard. They have removed the grille and are clearing away the moss and ferns growing inside. Then they are going to work out how to collect the water and check the quality. I’m hoping nothing is living in it and that it will be drinkable. We may have to filter it somehow and then boil it.

Maybe rainwater will be safer. I am collecting rainwater in bowls and buckets I’ve laid out on the lawn, just in case. Anna and Jane are beginning to fret about washing their hair. We have all managed so far to wash as best we can in cold water, but we have not yet washed clothes or hair. I’m hoping the next forecast will give us a dry sunny day for that. I’ve realised that without electricity our lives have jumped back a hundred years, maybe more.

4 eggs today

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About Suzanne Goldring

Suzanne Goldring writes the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Two of her novels have been placed in the Winchester Writers' Conference First Three Pages of a Novel competition. She is currently working on a novel set in Corfu and her blog is a diary, set in real time, called Powerless, The Year the Lights Went Out.

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