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Tuesday 14th November 2023

Back to the 1970s tonight as emergency work on the electricity supply in the village plunged us into darkness. The kids were bamboozled. Not only did the lights go out, but the internet didn't work. "Can we watch TV?" asked Phoebe. Ah the poor lamb!
Luckily we had a torch and our phones held a little charge so we didn't have to go searching for the candles, as I remember we had to in Loughborough in the mid-70s when such a thing was a regular occurrence. We couldn't get online back then either, but of course once the power cuts were over the wifi didn't come back on. In some ways the 2020s are better than the 70s.
There was talk on the village whatsapp of the cut off lasting three or more hours, but lights sprung back to life after less than an hour. My kids don't know they're born. They still found this minimal interruption to their lives terrifying.
I'd been looking forward to an early night. I'd got in late last night and then slept badly and the day was a bit of a blur. I'd talked to my Farah Karim Cooper about her cracking book, The Great White Bard for Book Club (we met on You're Dead To Me and should really have recorded a podcast during the long cab ride home that we'd shared. But aside from that I tried to take it easy, at least until the evening when I took Phoebe to football training.
My idea of taking it easy was to watch The Yorkshire Ripper Files, an absolutely devastating take down of the terrible police work, sexism and prejudice that allowed Peter Sutcliffe to carry out so many appalling attacks. It's true that the police had to deal with a mountain of evidence without the assistance of computers, but their intransigence and disrespect for sex workers meant that the Ripper was able to carry on with impunity and was, of course, caught due to a bit of luck (and his unnecessary decision to be using false number plates). It's an utterly devastating watch, which shows what happens when a society starts to view any portion of itself as not important or (pretty much) not human. It shows how far we've come in some ways, but then again how bad things still are.

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