Powerless – The Year The Lights Went Out

Tuesday, October 8

The power’s been off for five days now. Everyone’s saying it’s like this all over the country and they don’t know when it will come back on again. Some people are saying the national grid has been sabotaged and we’ll be without power for months. At first there were radio bulletins declaring a national state of emergency, telling everyone to stay calm. They also announced that the Government has been moved to Chequers and the Royal Family have been evacuated to Balmoral. But now we can’t get any more news on the radio, as apparently they were relying on backup generators which could not last forever.
The village shop sold out of fresh bread and milk the day it happened. People were anxious but not panicking, though some were struggling to understand why they couldn’t pay with debit cards. Luckily, Martin had sold his record collection on E-Bay for cash only a week ago, so we actually had money in our pockets. We stocked up on dry goods and longlife milk and I’m now beginning to think about what else we will need if we are stuck without power for a long time. Being used to bad weather in the country I’ve always laid in a good stock of food for the winter, but I can’t rely on the freezer now and must think carefully how to use what we have.
It is strange to live without TV and the papers, or any kind of diversion. So I’ve decided to keep this diary, partly to record what we learn in case we are in it for the long term and also in case, for whatever reason, I am no longer here. Life has suddenly become very different to the way it was before. There are no trains, no commuting to London, no television and no computers. We can still charge our mobile phones, but the transmitters must be down now and the landline is dead. We no longer know what it is happening in the world, let alone our own country.

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