Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Thursday, January 23 – Bad backs

Martin has been complaining about his back all day. I think he overdid it yesterday when we helped Neil with the sheep. It was a lot of work, lifting hurdles over fences and dragging them across the rutted fields. He often has back problems and we can no longer get the heat pads from the chemist that used to help. I’ve reminded him that he hasn’t done his Pilates exercises, which are meant to strengthen his muscles, since Christmas, but he just keeps saying he’d rather have a massage.

But despite the pain today, I know he rather enjoyed the work yesterday. In fact, I think all the men are finding the physical work they are having to do very satisfying. I always thought when we were first renovating our house and had to employ builders and workmen, how happy most of them looked. I particularly remember the man who came with a small digger to dredge the drainage ditches and think I’ve never seen a happier worker driving his machine all day.

I don’t think I can say the same about the women though as our chores have increased and are harder without electricity. I miss my oven, electric kettle, washing machine and tumble dryer especially. I can live without central heating, but cooking and laundry have become enormous tasks without the appliances we are all so used to. And of course I miss clean running water. We are managing to collect enough water and the well is very full since the heavy rain, but it may not be so easy if this carries on into summer and the supply dries up. To think we used to take tap water for granted.


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