Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Tuesday, July 1 – Looks aren’t everything

Jane and I managed to finish drying yesterday’s washing outside this morning, while it was warm and sunny. But the clouds started drifting across at lunchtime and I decided to bring it all inside, rather than risk a soaking.
Anna is restless and uncomfortable, but I don’t she is starting yet. She wanted to wash her hair, so Jane warmed water and washed it outside for her, on the garden table. We’ve no shampoo left, so it has to be done with soap or not at all. But I let her have a dash of vinegar for rinsing and her hair looks soft and lustrous after being brushed dry in the sun.
I wish my hair was half as thick and shiny. My highlights grew out long ago and I know it is lank and dull, so I tie it up in a knot most of the time and wear a scarf, looking for all the world like an old fishwife. And though my hands are clean, my fingers and palms are calloused. I’ve run out of hand cream and cuticle oil and a manicure seems another lifetime away. But at least my hands are strong and are capable of doing anything from digging the garden to washing linen, from kneading bread to feeding lambs and chickens.
Martin and Stephen went into the village this morning to see if this week’s rations had arrived. They came back with bacon, cheese, more long life milk, flour, rice, tea, cooking oil and butter. There was also a delivery of toilet paper, which was lucky, as we are running low and I think a pregnant lady should be spared the indignity of rummaging through a paper back book for a page to use. And to our great excitement, there was also dark chocolate! We are all going to have one square each after supper.
With these extra supplies I feel I can afford to continue making bread, which we are all enjoying. We had fresh rolls this morning with boiled eggs as the hens are continuing to lay well. I collected another four eggs this afternoon and the chicks are thriving.

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