Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Saturday, November 2

  Such changeable weather I can’t risk putting any laundry outside today. There is breezy sunshine one minute and dark clouds and rain the next. But it is mild, so we must be grateful and I woke easily at 6.30am with the light. The days are getting noticeable shorter now, making very difficult to do anything indoors once the daylight has faded. 

We are trying to manage with one candle at night, to ration our supplies. The fires give a fair bit of light and once I have cooked and we’ve eaten, we can manage fairly well. Martin’s eyes are not good in the dark, so he has to have a candle to take upstairs to bed. The youngsters can cope and I find my eyes adjust quite well. I have always been used to shutting up the hens in total darkness, while Martin relied on a torch. A candle or nightlight set in front of a mirror is quite effective, so we are trying to do that wherever possible.

Neil returned safely by midday with his rams in a small trailer. He is going to cull one of the older ewes and butcher it himself. He has promised us some cuts and asked if we would like some of the offal right away. I’ve only ever had lamb’s kidneys and liver before, so I don’t know how good this will be from an older animal. The joints will be mutton of course, which will require longer cooking. We’ve agreed that it can hang in our big garage, to keep it safe from the foxes and vermin. As there is no refrigeration, Neil will estimate the hanging time according to the ambient temperature and thinks it should be ready in no more than a week. The thought of a good piece of meat is very exciting and as Neil has a 12-bore shotgun, he is willing to help Martin try for a deer soon.

Four 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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