Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Wednesday, January 15

Today is Martin’s birthday and he is feeling much better. We are all trying to make it a special day for him, although it is a very different kind of celebration in comparison to previous years. No birthday cards and parcels have been delivered because there is no longer a postal service since the power cut started. There will be no funny email cards or messages, because there is no internet.  And he can’t listen to renditions of ‘happy birthday’ over the phone because the phone lines no longer function. I can’t even make him his favourite birthday dinner of roast turkey followed by a fresh cream Victoria sponge.

But we can still make him laugh and have a happy time. Jane has made her father a crown of ivy, so he can be ‘king for a day’. Stephen has tied bundles of twigs and cones into handy firelighters, Anna has made him a warm scarf and I have given him a fragment of a Victorian clay pipe that our pig unearthed in his paddock, which must have been dropped by a local farm worker over 100 years ago. We have all made Martin cards from scraps of paper and shall play charades by candlelight after supper. In some ways, because we are all making an effort and we are all here together, this must be a better and happier birthday than many people are having in these difficult times or indeed, have ever had.

The weather is drizzly and grey, but there is a sunny atmosphere here today. We are all relatively well, we are surviving and our hens are laying. Three eggs today.

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