Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Monday, November 18

For some time we have been worrying over the whereabouts of our nearest neighbours, Tony and Gail. We had not seen them since just before the power failed, but today Tony turned up, knocking on our kitchen door. He was even thinner than usual, dishevelled and unshaven.

He said they’d been visiting their married daughter in London and became stranded, without enough petrol to make the journey home. But now they are all here, with Zelda, their daughter, her husband Brad and their young son Alfie. Their son Flynn has also come back with them.

Tony quickly told us how terrifying it had been, hiding in the house in South London, venturing out when the streets were quiet for what little could be found. He said he’ll tell us more when the family have rested, but they are in need of food, water and warmth right now. He has managed to light their wood burning stove but has very little wood stacked for the winter, so Martin will take them dry logs and kindling. I gave Tony eggs and soup and promised them stew and vegetables later. Stephen will fill any containers they can find with water.

They are also in need of milk for the child, who is about 18 months old and we shall see if he can tolerate fresh sheep’s milk. Neil has been bringing some up recently, but we were waiting until we had enough to make cheese. However, this is a greater need and we must share what we have.

In a few days, when Tony feels stronger, he will join Martin and Stephen in splitting logs and gathering more timber. They may eventually use some of our precious petrol to tackle a fallen oak in the field with a chainsaw. We are so glad to see our neighbours again as they have become good friends in the time we have lived here. But as we must all work together to survive this difficult time, we are also thankful for Tony’s practical skills in building and repairing as that could prove invaluable.

Only two 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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