Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Sunday, January 12

Martin is very ill. He came in from stacking wood this morning complaining he was hot and now, mid-afternoon he is wearing layers of clothes, is sitting on top of the fire and says he is freezing.

It is certainly colder today and this morning there was a hard frost which had even iced the waterlogged lawns, so they crackled as I walked. But then there was sun, followed by chilly and misty rain, so Martin is right in saying it is cold. However, I can’t help thinking that the first day I began to feel ill I still cooked our meal and kept the fires going, while he can’t even keep the water topped up in the kettle on the fire. I suspect his illness is going to be much worse than mine. Thank goodness the power cut means he can’t consult his symptoms on the internet. I still remember the time he had a rash and wondered if it could be meningitis.

Stephen has taken over the log splitting and stacking as we are in great need of dry wood. The logs that were soaked in the flooded bunkers and restacked in the garage are still very damp and although we are trying hard to have one side of the inglenooks filled with wood that is ready to use and the other with logs drying out, we consume such a quantity of wood now we no longer have central heating that it’s hard to keep pace.

Stephen will need help if Martin is indisposed for long, as they’d planned  to clear some of the dead wood out of the copse where the trees fell in the storm. The newly fallen trees can’t be burnt for at least a year, but they have exposed other branches and trunks that are ready to use, so we should then have enough wood to see us through the winter. I suggested he ask Neil for some help or maybe Tony in return for some of the logs.

And I have gone back to my old habit of collecting kindling every time I walk around the grounds and came back with an armful from feeding the hens, plus two eggs in my pocket.

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