Powerless – The Year The Lights Went Out

Tuesday, Oct 15

Anna found a use for the beech nuts which made us laugh. They can be used to make a cooking oil, which I think could be very useful, or roasted and salted as a nibble to serve with drinks! We thought that very funny in the circumstances, but she is determined to make them and says if it is still like this at Christmas we should have some treats.
It is about the only thing to make me laugh today as I have been fretting over water and washing. I heated some of yesterday’s rainwater to wash my hair and underwear. Late this morning it looked as if the sun was coming out, so I hung the socks and pants out on the line, then an hour later there was a heavy shower of rain. I could have cried and I know it seems so trivial, but I really miss my washing machine and tumble dryer now. Everything is now hanging over the fireguard to dry, but I really think we must get used to having a second fire lit so we can dry clothes away from the one that’s boiling water and cooking food.
Water is very precious now. The dirty water we’ve used for washing is recycled in the downstairs toilet cistern. We keep a bucket of water in the cloakroom for topping up and have made it a rule that we only flush when it’s really necessary. Hard to remember that sometimes when we were so used to mains water that we took for granted.
Tomorrow I’m going to call on Robin down the lane. He knows a lot about the countryside and I want to find out which of the fungi growing in our grounds are edible. There is so much around and it looks tempting, but I am terrified I will kill us all if I pick and cook the wrong ones. From the book I have I think we’ve a lot of honey fungus, horn of plenty and beefsteak fungus. It would be wonderful if they are all safe to eat.
No eggs today – the hens always seem to go off lay when there has been a lot of rain.

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