Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Sunday, November 10

We walked to church in chilly sunshine this morning for the Remembrance Service and although it was not as full as it has been in past years, there was a good turnout. At the door we were each offered a homemade red poppy, a simpler version of the ones that are normally sold on the streets. It was very touching to see this tradition being maintained.

Although this is always a serious service, this year we could all feel an air of quiet resilience. There were families present whose predecessors names are recorded on the village war memorial; they are determined their names will continue, despite the current hardships.

After the service we walked to the memorial for the silence and the bugle call, which always touches me deeply. And then we stayed to talk to some of the people gathered there and heard that the village pub, The Golden Lion, was open for business, so we all walked across.

The publican, Mick, apologised for not being able to offer beers and lagers on tap, but he still had some bottled beers and wines which were most welcome after our enforced abstinence. He had lit open fires too so there was quite a cheering atmosphere.

Our vicar, James Dyer joined us and said that a number of people are concerned about vulnerable villagers. So far, there have not been any unexpected deaths, but some of the elderly are finding life very hard. James and Mick have suggested that the pub could act as a central distribution point for surplus produce. After some discussion we all agreed to try making Saturdays a bring and barter day. Donors will bring in foods and exchange them for other goods or services. But it was also agreed that anyone who is unable to make a donation for reason of age or ill health, may receive supplies. And Mick is willing to trade his drinks for produce if people no longer have any cash.

I suppose we shall just have to see whether people can be reasonable and fair, but we shall certainly have a surplus of meat in the near future, particularly if our cockerel continues to misbehave.

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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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