Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Saturday, March 22 – A basic need

I suddenly realised today that we are in real trouble. I don’t mean the inconvenience of this prolonged power cut, the burden of household chores or the shortage of staple foods, I’m talking about toilet paper!

Martin was able to find a large supply on an abandoned pallet at the big supermarket just before Christmas, but we are down to the last two rolls now and there are five people living here. I hadn’t noticed until this morning, when I went to pick up another roll. I asked Martin where the rest of the packs were and he just said, that’s it. That’s all we’ve got.

I’m staggered, because we had tons. Martin accused me and the girls of being profligate with the paper, but I said I’ve been very careful right from the start and have always used it sparingly. So we went off to the Saturday morning barter at the pub in a very bad mood and the conversation there put me in an even worse mood, when I explained our problem. Rob, who used to run the village shop said it wasn’t a problem, just use  newspaper. Well as we haven’t seen a paper since this darned crisis started I don’t know how we’re supposed to lay our hands on some.

I remember visiting an old aunt on her unmodernised farm in the 1950s, when I was a child and she had squares of newspaper hung on a string in what she called the ‘privy’. It was a seat height, smooth plank with two large circular holes over buckets. I was horrified, but now I’d be very glad of some handy newspaper.

Martin said he won’t bother, but I’ve told him not to be so disgusting. Stephen said couldn’t we be like the Romans and use a basin of water? It may come to that if we can’t think of anything else. We’ve managed to remain quite civilised so far, retaining our flushing toilet, but now we are being reduced to basic needs.

The pub didn’t produce any leads on hens either, so today was altogether a bad day.


6 thoughts on “Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

  1. TOW!!!! Fear not Aunty Sue, I has got the answer. Shave a sheep! Tow are the bits of a sheep wot you wunner want in you jumper. It were used in the NHS right up to the early days of the Thatcherite Tyrany and it are got natural lanolin so it dead soft on you bum. This time of year you can just take a lamb into the dunny wiyyou and then send it back to its Mum to get cleaned up. Practical or wot?

  2. Thank you for this excellent piece of advice. There’s some fleece lying around in the field from the sheep that died and were then mauled by the foxes. That should do the trick!

  3. If by dunny you mean an indoor flushing toilet, then we are well equipped, thank you. But we have no intention of taking lambs in there with us!

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