Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Thursday, May 29 – A walk to see the fray

The story so far….. the UK has been suffering a nationwide power cut since October, creating chaos in towns and cities, but out in the countryside Sandra and her family and neighbours have been coping well…. until now…..

Last night we all talked at length about the new arrivals and whether there will be a problem, then we decided that I should go into the village today with Tony and Neil to see for myself. Martin and Stephen really wanted to come, but they aren’t up to walking that far yet, so I left them to fetch logs and water and keep the fire going. It’s been chilly and drizzly today, so I can’t do any laundry outside and we’ve needed both fires for cooking, boiling water and keeping warm.
Martin thought we should go in the car or Neil’s Landrover, but I said that would draw too much attention, so we walked across the fields and I wore even drabber, scruffier clothes than usual. We all carried heavy walking sticks, just in case, and as we approached the village green we could hear shouting.
Then we rounded the corner and there was the green crowded with tents, looking like the end of the Reading Festival. The two young oak trees planted to mark the Jubilee and the Millennium had been snapped off and a crowd of men were cheering two others fighting near a smoking heap on which they had presumably tried to burn the young trees.
David Henderson and Rev. James were both standing to one side and when we joined them they said the fight had broken out over the distribution of rations, even though the refugees had been well fed with the hog roasts and were receiving equal shares of supplies. I noticed that there were very women in the crowd and no children to be seen. Rev. James said that families with children had either been squeezed into the village hall or were camped in the church and churchyard, as it was thought this would be safer for them. David said he believed some kind of alcohol had been circulating amongst the men and that it would be best to wait for the furore to die down. We left soon after that and returned home feeling troubled and gloomy. I shut up the hens as soon as I could and Neil said he would leave his dogs to guard the fields at night from now on.

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