Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Saturday, November 30

We all came back from our visit to the pub feeling quite jolly. Not because we’d over indulged, although Martin did have a second drink, but because there was a good selection of produce there and Robert Proud, our farm butcher, had come with cuts of beef. He is not demanding goods in return, but is taking note of what everyone has and says we will put it right when life gets back to normal. We all think it’s very decent of him and all agreed to honour what is owed.

No one took very much, as everyone worries about meat going off, but I came away with minced beef, several pounds of chuck and skirt and, as a real treat, some steaks. The vegetables were good too, with carrots, cabbages and potatoes available, so we shall do very well this week. I  exchanged my confit duck legs for two dozen eggs as my hens are doing so badly at present.

Yet in spite of the cheerful atmosphere and the plentiful supplies, there were frowns as well as smiles. We learnt that there had been a terrible fire in a house in the village. It seems the owner had tried to use paraffin in an old oil lam and it had exploded. The occupants escaped, but the house is burnt out. And Mick, our publican, said some of the younger residents are struggling to fend for themselves as they simply don’t have the know how. It really seems that the older villagers are managing very well, as long as they can get hold of supplies, because they were brought up to cook properly as well as make do and mend.

I overheard a few mutterings about scavengers too. I’m not sure if that means people local to the village or from outside, but I suppose it is inevitable.

When I was feeding the hens and collecting eggs ( 4 today)  I thought I heard rustling in the woods nearby, but I expect it was just a deer.

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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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