Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Sunday, November 17

Although today has been less cold there is a heavy greyness in the sky which makes me think of snow. But surely it can’t come yet, can it? In mid-November? My feet have frozen in the last few days and I have chilblains again. They developed last year even with central heating, so this winter with only open fires and hot water bottles to warm my toes they will swell and throb painfully. I have a little ointment left over but must see if the chemist has more when he opens on his two days a week.

I used to blame Martin for the condition of my feet as he always rationed our heating and would not allow it to go on before the first of November and then insisted on it going off at Easter, no matter when it fell. But I cannot blame him this year.

However, we have had words about personal hygiene and I think this is the first time I have been really cross with him since this crisis began. I know it is difficult for all of us to keep clean when we have no mains supply and all our water must be heated on the fire, but I realised last night that he had not washed all day and when I asked when he last had a strip wash, he said he wasn’t stripping off for anyone in this cold house. And I said if that was the way he felt then I wouldn’t be stripping off for him either at any time in the near future, unless he had a jolly good wash with soap and water, as I had thought I detected a sour smell and it was definitely him. He grudgingly agreed when I said that if he fetched the water I would heat it for him on the fire. He moaned about taking it upstairs to our bathroom but I said he can have his wash at the kitchen sink if he doesn’t mind everyone seeing his bits and pieces. That soon shut him up and we are friends again now after a good hot meal of stewed venison and some of the Jerusalem artichokes. I must say, I never imagined we could eat so well during a national emergency.

I collected only two eggs today. As they are brown I know they are from the Rhode Island Reds. I do hope the legbars don’t all go off lay.

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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.

5 thoughts on “Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

  1. I am the founder member of B.U.M. – the ‘Bigging Up Martin!’ campaign. Martin is getting a rough deal in these troubled times. He’s doing his best, being the hunter and gatherer while his sniping wife is just the cook! As to ‘personal hygiene’ – what’s so wrong with a natural earthy aroma in these hot-water-challenged days? You need to learn to rough it a bit, Mrs! Get real and smell the sweat of manly labour!

  2. His wife is not just cooking, she’s also washing Martin’s socks and pants, along with other clothing, and drying them to keep him warm and healthy. If he wants this to continue he should learn to take a little bit of criticism like a man!

    • B.U.M. replies: this is exactly the sort of unsympathetic attitude that the supporters (now numbering 534!) of B.U.M. have come to expect. Hang in there Martin – we luv ya!

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