Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Tuesday, February 18 – Boiling over

We’re still laughing about the official advice posters on boiling water, which we saw on Sunday. When Martin came down this morning while I was heating water and coaxing fires, he joked that I’d better make sure the water was boiling before I used it. And everyone who came into the dining room during the morning made the same joke, till I was quite bored with it.

If we’re drinking the water we use rain water wherever possible, so we know it’s as pure as it can be. We still boil it, but if the water is for washing then we heat it only as much as we need. It’s such hard work fetching water, logs and kindling, building fires and keeping them stoked, that we can’t be boiling large quantities of water constantly. However, I do always keep a kettle hot by the side of the fire once it has boiled, ready to make drinks whenever they’re wanted. I’ve been using a catering size blue and white enamel kettle, which previously idly decorated the kitchen and has now been called into active service. And an old copper kettle which was left behind after a church jumble sale has also proved useful.

Obtaining water is not a huge problem for us at present, as we have two rainwater butts as well as the well and, of course, have had an endless supply of rain for the last couple of months, which we have collected in buckets. As the rain has been so heavy in recent weeks, the water table will stay high for a long time, so the well should keep us supplied even if we have a dry spring.

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