Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Saturday, May 10 – Big babies

The men are hungry and bored but we women are exhausted. Jane and I have fetched water and boiled it, scrubbed clothes and hung them out, weeded the vegetable beds and fed the hens, brought in dried kindling and stacked damp wood to dry, piled logs and stoked fires, as well as sweeping floors and dusting. Anna cannot undertake heavy work, but has folded laundry, watched the fires, boiled kettles and prepared our supper. And the men have moaned.
I know they both have injuries which could have been serious, but they are of their own making and my patience is wearing thin already. Martin keeps asking for tea, which Anna can make for him and Stephen, as we received supplies a week or so ago, but at this rate they will soon consume our stocks and leave nothing for the rest of us hard workers. Stephen was proving to be fairly resilient before Martin’s accident, but now he too is indulging in the moan fest.
I told Anna to ignore them when she is busy. It is more important to keep the fire hot and prepare a good meal than make constant pots of tea, which only result in frequent trips to the loo that produce enormous groans and hobbles from the two of them. Anna is a good cook and has made a tasty mutton tagine style stew for us, which we’ll have with some of the rice ration. However, bending over a hot fire is not the easiest task for her with her baby bulge and she must take care.
Jane and I picked lots more ground elder, which is still flourishing because of the sun and showers. We’ll have this as our green vegetable with our meal. Other weeds from our hoeing have gone to the hens, which laid overtime today, producing six eggs. With the longer daylight hours I think one of the Rhode Island Reds must have laid one yesterday evening and then another today.

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