Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Sunday, February 16 – Sunshine and nonsense

When I shut up the hens last night, just after dusk, the full moon was rising behind stark black trees. And this morning we woke to a frost and bright sunshine. I rushed to get some washing done and was tempted to stay here and put more laundry out as it was so sunny, but the girls told me they’d take care of it so I could go to church.

We walked in such bright light that Martin and I were quite cheerful after yesterday’s downpour and wind. He even held my hand as we waded through the pool at the end of the lane. Maybe he is turning into a romantic after all these years. He surprised me on Friday with a gift of a red balloon which he found in a village shop when he and Neil were coming back from Dorking. There was little else there for Valentine’s Day but the enterprising proprietor was offering balloons to any customer in exchange for goods or money, so Neil and Martin agreed to give him two lamb chops as they hadn’t had to hand them over at the corn merchants.

I was very glad we went out today, not just because it was so lovely and warm, but also because everyone in church was talking about the ludicrous posters. We didn’t see them until we walked back, but pinned to the oak tree with the circular seat on the green and also above the seat outside the church, there were notices advising the public to ‘boil water before drinking’. Honestly, everyone is laughing at this, as if we didn’t have an ounce of common sense and haven’t been doing just this since the mains water went off in October. No one knows who put the posters up, but we all think the army sneaked through in the night, wanting to avoid confrontation. This information might be necessary in towns, where sewers could be contaminating fresh water supplies, but out here, where most of us have cess pits and wells, we don’t need to be told how to look after ourselves.

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