We had dinner at the White Horse in the village while waiting for EDF to call. Yes, the British energy company sold the electrical subsidiary to the French. This move fortunately did not change the personnel much. They still speak English. The cell phone rings and we are told they are incredibly busy.They can come maybe at 3:00 in the morning, or, for a 50 bps reduction in our next bill, we can wait until 7:00 AM the next morning. Having no great wish to be awake at 3:00 am, we choose the 50 pounds. We went to bed in flannel pajamas and extra blankets and were cosy and warm.
Next morning was even colder than the day before. The glass roof on the conservatory was covered with lacy ice patterns, and the hedges and trees were crisp and white. We started stoking the fires in the kitchen and sitting room as soon as we got up. I cooked the defrosted rabbit in the now warming refrigerator first thing in the morning. About 9:30 AM the electrician’s van arrived and found that the failure was at the end of our drive, just under the street. They would have to dig. Had to wait for the equipment. Then had to wait for the traffic lights to regulate traffic on our narrow street. At one point, 6 men in green reflective jackets were standing around looking at the hole in the street. Is it the same everywhere? How many electricians does it take to change a light bulb?
I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll have electricity for our party tomorrow night. At least with 25 people jammed into our little house, we should be warm.
I take Tasha out for her walk a little later than usual, and by the time we reach the top of the field it is nearly dark. I turn into the narrow path through the woods. Mist lies close to the ground, draping the trunks in ghostly strands. Blackbirds caw and call. I can’t see the path, which I know is treacherous with roots, holes, stones. I feel like Snow White fleeing the huntsmen. I am beginning to regret setting off on this path instead of turning around at the top of the hill. But finally I reach the open fields again and head down toward the ford and then to Upper Street. As I approach East Burdens, I see the lights from all our windows glaring out into the frosty evening.
I am so grateful, I load the two workers who are still here with the remaining home-made mince tartlettes I made for the Cappells last Saturday. For which it seems they are pleased enough to take few minutes to rearrange the barriers so that we can get the car in and out of the drive.
- Living Without The Light —
- The Season