Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Sunday, March 9 – Shine on

I’m very scratched and very dirty, but I’m also very happy. Today is the first day for months that I have felt thoroughly warm, in fact I’m actually hot. I’ve been pruning roses and sweeping the garden clear of all the debris that the winter storms threw at us and the sun has been shining all day.

It has put us all in such a good mood. Martin has lit big bonfires to burn the twiggy bits that won’t make good kindling. I’ve been brushing off the benches and chairs on the terrace outside the kitchen so we have somewhere clean to sit in the sun. And the girls have made lamb kebabs and a salad of grated carrot mixed with early ground elder and bitter cress, tossed in a mint dressing. They’ve made flat bread to wrap around the meat and baked potatoes in the fire indoors. Stephen has lit the barbecue and although we don’t have charcoal, he has managed to make it very hot with our own wood.

We feel almost civilised again for the first time since the power cut began. The sun shines, we have good food, there is washing blowing on the line and we are really warm. The cats have ventured outside and are sunbathing when they tire from chasing leaves and birds. The dog has explored the garden and has now adopted Martin. Our hens are enjoying dust baths in dry soil at last and they’ve made a new nest where I found four eggs today. What more could we want for? Tomorrow there is a funeral, but today the sun is shining and we can eat an early meal outside and be glad we are all alive.

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