Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Friday, April 4 – Moans and weeds

Today I took soup along to the village hall in my large preserving pan. We are running low on vegetables this week, so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to produce anything, but then I noticed yesterday that the nettles had started growing, so I picked a stack of young shoots and made a nettle soup. It would be all the better for the addition of butter and cream, but those ingredients have not been available since this wretched power cut started.
There was talk at the village hall of more aid coming to this area soon, but no one had any definite information. One woman said she had seen an army truck on the A3, which is only a couple of miles away, but there has been no sign of the army in the village since the last delivery of supplies of bottled water and flour over two months ago. People were muttering about how they felt abandoned and how shocking it was that no more help has come this way.
But I don’t see the point in moaning. No one has starved. No one has died in the village because we don’t have electricity. People may have died here because they have been careless with paraffin or because they could not call for help, like the elderly couple in the woods, but the majority of residents are in reasonably good health. I think we must continue to be resourceful, work hard and help each other. Our lives are no longer those of the 21st century, they are like those of our great great grandfathers. We have to think how they survived and lived to tell the tale.
My great grandfather went to work as a shepherd boy on the South Downs, at the age of 13, then ran away to sea after two years. I feel that resilience in my blood and feel sure we can endure this crisis. So I came home and weeded the garden and threw a pile of greenstuff to the new hens, who are working hard and had laid four eggs. Three brown and one blue.

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