Monday, December 9
We had the last of the beef stew last night and as Martin bagged another couple of rabbits yesterday, we shall have them casseroled tonight. He says there are a lot of pheasant around in the surrounding woods and fields as there obviously aren’t any organised shoots on the estates this year. So he plans to go out again tomorrow, once he and Stephen have stocked up our wood supplies and drawn water.
Stephen found another source of trees yesterday, only a mile or so down the lane. He has put our name down for one and as it is not too far away, he and Martin will be able to carry it back between them later this week. The price for a good sized tree of about 7′ is a brace of pheasants, which seems a bargain.
All of this is making me feel optimistic, but Stephen also quietly told me and Martin that when he cycled to the farm on the outskirts of the village yesterday, he thought he heard cars in the distance so he cycled up to the A3 junction to check. Very few locals are using their cars. We’re all saving any fuel we have for emergencies, so it’s very unusual to hear traffic now. And Stephen said when he got to the bridge across the road he saw two pickup trucks racing each other, each on opposite sides of the dual carriageway. There was a couple of men in each vehicle and they were waving banners out of the open windows and screaming.
Stephen says he kept out of sight and didn’t say anything to Anna, as she is nervous enough as it is. I don’t like the sound of this at all and said how could people waste petrol like that. But Martin said there’s fuel enough for those who want it. He said he expects some people have worked out how to access the reserves in the petrol stations, or they’re using central heating oil, like ours. Apparently diesel vehicles can run on kerosene. That’s as may be, I thought, but these people weren’t using their vehicles for emergencies, these were men set on causing mayhem.
I stopped to listen when I shut up the hens last night. Before the power cut we could hear the faint drone of traffic on the A3 as well as the rumble of the trains between London and Portsmouth. But last night all was still and quiet. And all was well this morning, though my hens laid only two eggs.