Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Friday, January 3

There is no let up to the rain. We have never seen the fields flooded for so long in all our twenty years here. An elderly villager told us on Wednesday that it has not been this bad since 1964, when he had to carry his wife into the village on his back, the water was that deep.

Neil has been fretting about the sheep. A group of a dozen or so became confined to a small dry corner of one of the fields, both before Christmas and again yesterday. But today, as the waters declined they cleverly joined the rest of the flock in a slightly higher and therefore slightly dryer field. They may still get some foot rot but at least they won’t drown now. But Neil is also concerned about the lack of grazing and says he will have to go off in search of hay and feed tomorrow.

Early today there was bright sun, but it soon clouded over again and there were several heavy showers. Stephen and Martin are moving wet logs out of the flooded bunkers and into the garage. It is heavy tiring work, but if they don’t do it now and there is a whole winter of rain, the logs won’t have a chance to dry off. Where there were once neat stacks of wood on pallets, labelled according to how long they had been seasoned, now there is debris and the logs have been tossed together like matchsticks by the force of the water.

The girls have ‘undressed’ the Christmas tree today and put away the decorations. Tomorrow Martin will cut it into small pieces and the dry branches will make good firelighters to kindle our fires. And I am cooking a curry to keep us all warm, using the remains of the lamb from the other day. It was so good, there is little left, but I have scraped the bones clean and am simmering them for stock.

My hens all have rosy red combs and should all be in lay, but they don’t like rain and so there were only two eggs today.

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