the dimming of the light (Part 9)
A new use of the wood burner has been mastered by the girls and it has improved the existence of us all - hot drinks and food now routine, the double-sized fourteen kilowatt unit belting out heat and cheer - all we can hope is that the supply of logs holds out
additionally we can light a good fire outside when weather suitable using the large brick barbecue my ex-builder friend Ron constructed for me, to use up the surplus materials after we had the house extended.
I cannot help wondering haw he and his wife Susan are getting on they live in a very much more urban area, near London - but as Ron is one of the most resourceful men I know
I expect he is coping
but there is no way of finding out
Much of the food from the freezer remains still frozen due to the extremely cold whether and was now stored in the garage rather than risk keeping it in the freezer cabinets with the unknown effects of their insulation - while this cold snap lasted the main problem was how to defrost it
the food would at least be edible for a few more days.
I have run out of pills for my high blood pressure - don't think that it will prove too much problem
we have far more to worry about I am more concerned that I have only a day or two's supply of Metformin left. Having taken them for twelve years, I have no idea what effect stopping them abruptly will have on my diabetes
but there is no alternative.
I have already used up my aspirin substitute, which I take to help prevent repetition of the three strokes I recently suffered, but still have plenty of statins which I swallow to reduce my high cholesterol.
At the midday meeting two more villagers had approached me for fish - trout, carp or pike- offering a variety of trade - eggs, a pigeon, and some preserves. This side of things is looking good
not ideal - I would have preferred bacon
My depression has lifted slightly due, no doubt, to the above things in the circumstances I think we are so far surviving very well.
News circulated at the meeting that two old ladies had died the previous day - apparently somewhat prematurely - lack of warmth - shortage of food?
The council chairman and another guy had made an attempt to help one of them - kindly using part of his remaining petrol to take her to the nearest town to see if the District Hospital could help. They did not quite get there - driving through the almost deserted town they were stopped by a gang of twenty of so young men lined across the road'Where are you going to?' Demanded the apparent leader.
The chairman explained the situation and also asked how their own people in the town were faring.
'A lot of them have died' explained the leader, not showing any obvious concern 'If you want to pass you'll have to give us something, preferably food.
On our refusal he declared; 'then you can't pass - in any case it would be no use. The hospital's closed - no electricity and the gang that's taken over is living there - and are far worse than we are
you're much better off turning back.'
Before they were back in the village the old lady had died. The chairman organised three young men as a burial party
they used the churchyard burial patch
before we learned of the unpleasant encounter with the gang in The Town I already had sensed a hardening of attitudes in the village - with comments at the daily meeting suggesting our little group was too well off regarding my resources some of it apparently light-hearted but I felt, or might have imagined some more sinister undertone. Both Chris and the Colonel agreed with me that we need to be very alert and not make any assumptions of goodwill.
Chris and I made a start at splitting logs - taking it in turn with the axe
too hard for me, as I am very weak these days.
Still no sign of any improvement, the restoration of electrical power
no sign of a helicopter - passing traffic now extremely rare on the main road - almost nothing
What was happening in the rest of the country? By now we were becoming reconciled to it continuing
(To be continued)
Peter Hunter 2012
are you with me - have you worked it out yet? The clues are in
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