Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Sunday November 3

We had a long discussion with Neil and Linda by the fire last night. He has always paid us in kind in return for grazing our fields and we have always appreciated the cuts he has given us. But now we and he wanted to come to an agreement over how we could help each other.

Whilst they are happy to live in the caravan, they would appreciate sometimes being able to warm themselves by our fire, have access to the well water and to join us for food cooked over the fire a couple of times a week. They will make do with a campfire most of the time, but we have the ability to cook bigger and better dishes with our great inglenooks. We also have hens and can share our eggs when we have some to spare.

After practicing their shooting, the men have also agreed that Martin is the better shot and that he stands more chance of bagging us game. And in fact he has already done so, bringing back two pheasant today which I’ll teach the girls to pluck and draw. Then we can make a casserole of sorts to share.

And the final bonus was Neil pointing out that he can still get milk from the six ewes that lambed late this year. They will soon dry off, but he thinks they may be productive for another two or three weeks. This will be a great boost to our supplies and we all agreed that it would be best used as cheese, which will keep well and be a wonderful addition to our diet through the winter. We all tried to remember which cheeses are made with sheep’s milk as Stephen was pulling a face and saying he didn’t think he’d like to try it. But when Anna came back with a recipe book to check and found that Feta, Roquefort and Manchego are all made with milk from ewes, he had to change his tune.

Today is colder and windy, but it is bright and sunny and we have kept warm outside gathering more kindling and acorns. The first batch is drying off so we shall try grinding them down into flour tomorrow.

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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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