Powerless – The Year The Lights Went Out

Thursday, October 31

Today is Halloween and Stephen and the girls say they are going to sit by the fire tonight and tell ghost stories. I think life is frightening enough at the moment, without trying to scare each other with silly tales, but it may do them good to have some amusement. With no prospect of power returning soon, their lives are in limbo, unable to work, study or meet friends and, in Jane’s case, a partner. Anna is a lovely girl and I can see that she and Stephen are well suited. I couldn’t wish for a nicer girl for him.
It was raining this morning, but much milder than yesterday, so I felt able to shed some clothes for a really thorough strip wash and also washed my hair. The girls were quite envious when they realised I had managed to clean myself from top to bottom, as it were, and decided they would follow suit, which I am quite happy for them to do if they fetched and boiled the water for themselves. It is hard work when water is no longer on tap, so we find ourselves thinking carefully about every drop and are no longer careless with our resources.
Last night’s meal did not go down well with Martin, though the others laughed and said it reminded them of happier times. I found some packs of Pot Noodles and Super Noodles lurking in the back of the larder. I think they had been there since Jane and her friends went to Glastonbury last summer. So I cooked some bacon and mushrooms in a wok with shredded cabbage, then threw in the softened noodles. I thought it worked very well and was quite tasty, but Martin grumbled so much that I was quite cross and told him we have to be thankful for anything we can get right now and that there must be people in desperate need who would be more grateful. But I don’t want him in a bad mood, especially now he and Stephen are working so hard, fetching heavy loads of wood and water. So I am going to try making pasta with the machine that he gave me for Christmas two years ago which has sat in the back of a cupboard ever since. I will need to use a few eggs, but the hens laid well again yesterday and I collected 5 eggs, so I think I can spare enough for the dough.

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