When I finally rolled out of bed this morning, a little later than normally because I had no plans at all for today, and filled the kettle for a cup of tea I looked at the smart meter which sits right by the breakfast counter. At first I thought it had gone wrong, perhaps it was broken? But no, everything else looked fine and I had to believe the rather alarming figure the meter showed. By midday, the total consumption for the day so far, without using any electricity except that first cup of tea and things like fridge and freezer, clocks and other stand-byes, had reached the charge that even last week would be my total cost for an ordinary day without laundry, vacuum cleaning or other heavy uses of electricity. Twice the cost already and in October energy prices are increasing by another 80%! And again in January. There are people in this country whose income is less than the cost of their energy. How are they going to manage? It's utterly frightening. And winter's just around the corner.
At the same time there are "preppers", millionaires and billionaires, I read this morning, who are discussing among themselves and with consultants, how best to organise life in underground bunkers come the inevitable collapse of society, for whatever reason. Climate change, mass migration, nuclear winter, a plague worse than Covid, you name it, they are preparing for it. Or so they think. Several of them have already retained small armies to defend their underground fortresses. When it's all over and they crawl back into whatever light of day there still is, do they think that their money will see them through? Money will be worthless in a post-apocalyptic world and they themselves will be surplus to requirements. Strikes me that only skilled people will survive, bakers, gardeners, engineers, etc. and any Navy Seal who knows the whereabouts of the preppers' food and water stores will make damn sure they will get their share of it, by whatever means.
For those of you who say 'don't believe everything you read' this very long and reputable article named names, quoted sources and was signed off by a 'consultant' who had been hired to advise the tech titans.
Some of you have asked "is the shroud + scaffolding gone?" No it isn't, and not likely to for some time, the very least until the end of October. As if I weren't miserable enough yet. I have cut small holes and gaps into the shroud, but I will soon be cutting larger windows. I have asked my solicitor to explore if I can have compensation. If only it weren't so expensive to involve legal experts like solicitors and judges.
On a lighter note: I watched the 1940 film of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' with Greer Garson, Maureen O'Sullivan and Laurence Olivier on TV at the weekend. (Do those names mean anything to people nowadays other than to such as me at my advanced age?) I have seen many newer versions on the BBC, some very recent, and I have to admit that the MGM 1940s version was a bit of a letdown. Large chunks of plot were left out, the women wore clothes from different eras, Regency customs were mercilessly adulterated, and the characters hardly developed from beginning to end of the film. Jane Austen's old dragon Lady Catherine de Burgh was turned into a fond aunt, I ask you. Mr. Darcy did not rise from the lake in his frilly shirt as Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy did in the 1995 version, much the best in my opinion of all the many adaptations.
And then best news of all: it's finally raining!