Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Saturday, March 15 – Life and lambing

I held a day old lamb today and felt its heart beating fast against my fingers. Its black fleece was like rough toweling and it smelt clean, like fresh grass. It was quiet at first then gave a pleading bleat, so once Neil had slipped the band over its tail I had to let it run to its mother, who was watching anxiously and giving that snickering cry which is peculiar to new mothers, then sniffed it all over to check it hadn’t been harmed as it butted her udder to suckle.

Days like these help us to forget what difficult times we are experiencing in this endless power cut. Life goes on when ewes give birth untroubled and the sun shines all day. Then Martin and I walked to the pub with our wheelbarrow to pick up potatoes and hear the latest news. There was talk of aid reaching Aldershot, but that may just be to sustain the army and there is still no sign of anything reaching us here. We will run out of flour very soon and candles and rice would be useful too.

But we are coping and the village isn’t starving. And there was good news today too. Neil thinks he may be able to get me a mangle! I never thought I would be so thrilled at the thought of such an old fashioned contraption, but if I can get it I will be delighted. To be able to wring out the washing more than we can do with our bare hands would be wonderful.

We had eggs again for breakfast as the hens are laying so well. They gave us four eggs today.

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