Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Tuesday, October 22

We all walked to the surgery in the village today, leaving Joe working on one of the dead trees. He’s not registered with our doctor so he said he will take his chances. When we got there, the queue stretched back almost to the green, but it was good natured, with people talking about how resourceful they were being and showing concern for their neighbours. It must be our isolation that makes us so resilient as many people remember the long power cut of the eighties and have coped with heavy snowfalls in recent years. Everyone seemed to think the power must come back on again very soon.

When it was our turn for the jabs, Martin and I were accepted, because of our age, but the girls and Stephen were told they were not considered to be a priority. Two of our regular doctors and the nurse were on duty, all administering the vaccine quickly and efficiently and also answering our concerns for staying healthy at this time. As I thought, we are being advised to boil the water from the well and to continue washing as much as possible.

After we left, we called at the village shop, which is also working restricted hours these days. It has little edible stock left now, unless you count cake decorations like hundreds and thousands and baking powder. But I thought it would be sensible to pick up more cooking oil, toilet paper, soap and washing up liquid, all of which are being rationed by Ken, the manager. He said he wishes he’d got more stock, but there is no way he can get any supplies. The last normal delivery was the day after the power went down and he daren’t drive to the nearest cash and carry as that is nearly 20 miles away and he could be risking his vehicle and his life, only to find an empty warehouse.

It was sunny this afternoon, so the boys finished raking and clearing the vegetable bed, while the girls collected more acorns to dry. I filled some seed trays in the greenhouse and sowed more winter lettuce.

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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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