Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Saturday, June 7 – Wild weather and wild life
We were woken by a crash of thunder at 4am and the rain poured down. It poured again right after breakfast and then turned into hot sun, masked by the occasional cloud from midday for the rest of the day. We quickly put out buckets to catch the rainwater this morning and are glad the water butts filled too, in case we get a prolonged spell of hot weather.
Martin remarked that the heavy rain should quell any rebellious spirits on the village green today, as he prepared to go to the market with Tony and the boys. I didn’t want to go, in case there was any more trouble, so I kept busy hoeing the vegetable beds and sowing more salads. I’ve picked our first lettuce and spinach and need to sow more to keep them coming. I’ve also sown courgettes in the greenhouse, where they should get off to a rapid start if I keep an eye on the watering.
When Martin and the lads returned from the pub, they said there was some grumbling from the encampment, but that generally order had been restored and the usual traders had been able to distribute their wares. They brought back carrots, onions, broccoli and beef, so I’ve started a stew simmering slowly by the fire. Martin had also picked up a large piece of pork belly and wants me to make crackling, which is a bit challenging but I think I might be able to work out how to do it for tomorrow. But the most exciting ingredient they found was yeast. Not dried yeast or fresh yeast, but a yeast culture that one of the WI members has been cultivating and sharing around. I’ll have to keep it alive with a little sugar, while I decide how to use it.
And the rain and sun are encouraging the wild flowers and wild life outside. The garden is full of foxgloves, both pink and white, their tall majestic stems have shot up in the beds, round ponds and the borders of ditches. There are ducklings on the front pond again, but I’m afraid they won’t live long as the magpies are swooping. But my broody is hot and cross and dashes from her nest to eat in a bad temper when I check for freshly laid eggs, leaving her the five she has been sitting on for a week and a half now. Hens sit for 21 days, so her babies should be due around mid-summer and she will be a better mother than the careless duck.

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