The story so far…… there has been no power since October. Generators are gradually being brought into the cities, but in the countryside villages are relying on their own resources…..
Saturday, February 8 – Water and wellies
Thank goodness for wellingtons. We waded through deep water in the lane to get to the village pub for the Saturday barter and market. After yesterday’s sunshine, the weather reverted to wind and rain and the roads are flooded once more.
The water has risen over the fields again too and the sheep’s grazing is still restricted. I walked across to see how they looked after their recent treatment and noticed Neil was waving his stick at one of them. I climbed over the fence and realised it was Stalk, the last of my own sheep, standing in a very flooded corner of the field, with the water up to his chest. Neil yelled that he couldn’t get him out, so he was going to fetch a rope from his trailer. As he strode off, I called to Stalk in the way I used to when I brought him food. His head swiveled, his ears pricked up and he trotted out of the flood. That made Neil laugh when he returned with his rope, to see Stalk standing there, wondering where I’d hidden his treat.
At the pub, the old gardeners were dispensing advice again, but this time it was mainly the incomers who have fled the towns who were listening. The village hall, where they are billeted, doesn’t have any ground for cultivation, but there are a couple of spare allotments a few hundred yards away which can provide them with a good crop of vegetables if they get to work.
Martin and I chatted to a couple who had come here from Guildford. They said that although life in the village is basic, it is far safer and healthier than staying in the town. The town’s sewers are overflowing with the recent rain and presumably because there is no power pumping waste. They had seen rats, dogs and foxes in the streets and felt intimidated in the early weeks by looters raiding shops and then moving on to filch from private homes. We felt fortunate as we pushed our wheelbarrow back home, laden with kale, potatoes and cuts of beef. All we have to worry about here is the flood water and whether the hens are laying.