Diary: 2015 February PART 18.

26th Feb

4.30pm Got back about an hour ago from our little expedition. We left at 9am. I drove the landrover with the trailer to Ruthin to the outdoor store. The remains of the fire were still smoking slightly, half of the town is pretty much gone. the main street is just a mess of charred buildings. We saw the remains of a few zombies, burned and blackened in the streets. We drove straight to the store and parked outside the front doors. The shutters were down and it looked untouched. Me Ali and Becci walked right around the building, The metal back doors looked like someone had previously tried to get in and failed, they were misshapen and dented. As we got back to the front shutters we noticed they were slightly bent at the bottom. Someone had definitely been there before us with the same idea as me. We had the three crowbars, one each. I went along the bottom of the shutter on my hands and knees looking for where it might lock. I found two points where it locked into the floor. Becci and Ali got their crowbars into the lock points and I went to the middle. We all put our full weight onto our bars. The shutter moved slightly but wouldn’t open. 10mins later we were still bouncing on the crowbars with no luck. We gave up to get our breath back and sat on the concrete floor to have a smoke. We decided to give it one last try to if it still wouldn’t open we’d have a go at the back door. Again we jammed the curved ends of the crowbars under the shutters and straddled the crowbars. On a count of three we jumped slightly and came down, bum first, on the crowbars and started bouncing. Anyone watching would have probably laughed out loud, we must have looked a sight! After maybe 30 seconds there was a loud pop and a “wooooo” bump!

I turned to see Becci on the floor laughing, she’d fallen off her crowbar. The edge of her side of the shutter was slightly bent upwards. I lay on the floor next to her, laughing, and looked at the shutter lock. It had snapped. The three of us all put our bars by the second lock and together we all bounced on our bars. This one didn’t hold too long by itself and it only took a couple of tries before it popped open aswell sending all three of us on to the concrete. The shutters rolled up quite easily. Inside the store was pitch black, I went to the landrover and got us a torch each. Ali and Becci stood back while I smashed the glass door. It took a few tries and I hurt my wrist a bit with the first rebound off the glass. Once I’d cracked the glass the rest of it broke quite easily. I knocked the broken edges out of the frame and we stepped inside. The place was untouched. We shone our torches around and decided to back the trailer up to the door. As I moved the landrover and trailer into position Becci and Ali started breaking the chains securing the trolleys together. By the time I had the trailer in place there were 3 trolleys lined up inside the doors.

We’d already discussed what order to grab things on the journey there so we headed straight for the camping equipment. We got cookers, gas, barbeques, cooking gear, thermos flasks, everything on the shelves. We filled the three trolleys and went back to unload into the trailer. It takes longer to unload than it does to fill up. Becci offered to stay and unload while me and Ali filled up so once our trolleys were full we left her to it and went back inside. Our next target was the shelves of other camping kit. Tin openers, wire saws, tent pegs, torches, while Ali was filling up on these I got a handful of each map and a selection of good compasses along with map cases. I saw a stand of various batteries and got all of them, then moved on to the waterproofing sprays and insect repellents. Next on my list was the packages foods. Freeze dried meals, kendal mint cake, it all went in the trolly. Ali was loading up with sleeping bags and hiking socks. We took the trolleys back to the trailer. Becci had unloaded her trolly by now and had also managed to snap the chain on another while we were inside so we left our 2 full trolleys and headed back inside. We picked a few tents and went over to the hiking boots and walking shoes. Ali ran out to check Becci’s shoe size while I got a couple of pairs each for me Rob, Ash and the girls. I got a few extras in larger sizes for the girls to grow into. Ali came back and got a pair of boots and hiking trainers each for herself and Becci. Next we went to the clothes. I said to go in order of getting dressed so we didn’t miss anything. We started with the thermals. Ali got what her and Becci needed, I got stuff for us. Next we went to t-shirt and shirts, then trousers, fleeces and jumpers and finally coats. It took two more trolleys to get all we needed. Our last trip was for hats, sunglasses and every knife we could find. We smashed the glass display cabinet for the expensive knives and took a couple of watches each too. Once we were done we went back to the trailer and helped to finish unloading. Our next stop was Tesco. it was on the other side of the road and we could see the doors were smashed. “we need to be careful in there” I warned. “The first sign of anything moving and we get out” With this agreed we pulled up outside the door. Ali got out and shone her torch inside “Oh it stinks” she said, holding her nose “Is there really anything we need?”  “Lots of tinned food” I replied “but don’t go in if it’s going to make you ill, we have enough freeze dried stuff to last you”. She decided it wasn’t worth the smell and got back into the landrover. As we were pulling out of the car park I swear I saw someone on the roof of one of the industrial units opposite, next but one to the outdoor store. I only saw them for a second then they were gone. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks. We started back to the farm, going slowly through the town, looking at the shops that had been looted already and those that hadn’t. There was definitely logic in the looting. Newsagents, food shops, kitchenwares, all gone. The wedding dress shop was intact as was the older ladies clothes shop. The pubs were smashed but the butchers was untouched. The burned area of town looked so depressing, such a shame to see a historic town ruined like that. As we came to the roundabout at the bottom of town we heard a shot. I carried on driving as a second shot was fired. We heard it hit the trailer. I put my foot down hard on the accelerator and we bumped across the roundabout towards Clocaenog forest. More shots were being fired, I could see 2 men in the road in my  side mirror, the trailer blocked my rear view completely. The men were firing shotguns at us as we drove away and shouting. I kept driving as fast as I was able with the trailer on the back. the last thing I wanted was to tip us over. As we pulled up the hill we took 3 more shots to the rear of the trailer. I was looking in the mirrors and muttering under my breath “Please don’t his the gas canisters” As we rounded the corner we were out of range and out of sight. I kept the speed up and barreled down the road into the forest. I glanced at the petrol gauge, nearly on the red. I daren’t risk stopping now so I slowed down slightly to conserve fuel and we cruised home at 50mph. We’d been out just about 3 hours. When we got back Rob and Ashley were in the yard with the girls. I’d left them a list of jobs and they must have been working hard because most of it was done. The girls were on the back step with a bucket each and a big wooden spoon in each hand stirring up the contents. Rob was hammering while Ash supported the wooden frame they were making. I’d told them to get a move on with the pig sty. The chickens were loose in the yard and scattered as Alison opened the gate for me to drive through. We all pitched in to unload our stores. It was all dumped in the dining room and Rob got to work on making brews. The girls had done a surprisingly good job, they’d been churning cream i’d separated from the fresh cows milk and were well on the way to getting a good bit of butter. The poor babies must have been at it all morning. Once they’d showed us their work we all sat down at the kitchen table. Ash had made us all a sandwich and as we ate we filled them in on what had happened while we were out. They hadn’t noticed the bullet holes in the back of the trailer as I’d dropped the back down before they got to it. Some of the clothes which had been at the back had slight charring and a couple of coats had holes in. I gave Alison my sewing box and she got to work repairing them. I left her and Becci to take their pick of the stuff we’d brought back and got to work in the kitchen. I finished off the butter, giving it a bit more churning then squeezing out the buttermilk. Once I was happy with it I wrapped it in wet baking parchment and put it on a plate then got the days eggs out of the basket they’d been collected in and got to work making some mayonnaise. I had some jars ready sterilised and filled 3 jars with mayo. Carys and Seren helped by washing the bowl and whisk while I started making some more bread dough. Once it was set by the stove to prove I went into the dining room to see how Alison and Becci were getting on. They’d packed a large rucksack each and had got changed into some of the new clothes. I gave them a map of the area and a compass and briefly explained how to use it. Even just knowing how to orientate the map correctly could prove a lifesaver. We had a bit of a laugh about the days adventure, it was nice to talk to other people. I like Alison and Becci, I’ll miss them when they go. Tomorrow we’re going to get them a car.

After tea we’re going to play cards. Ashley and Rob are reading to the girls while I finish cooking. I should really get doing something more productive than sitting here writing. I’ve hardly thought about Mair and her boys today, they are one worry on a long list of fairly major worries. Apart from the fact the world has fallen apart and been taken over by crazed zombies, our families are goodness knows where and possibly dead, there are mad men in Ruthin trying to shoot us (nothing too surprising there) we also have to deal with keeping ourselves alive and potentially killing two kiddy zombies and possibly murdering their un-zombied dad so he doesn’t kill us. I’m not surprised we got shot at in Ruthin today. All along I expected there to be two groups of survivors, people like us and bandits, goblins, nasties whatever you want to call them. I really hope they don’t find us. All my stores must be a jackpot to people like that. I do wonder sometimes if I’m being fair by hoarding all this stuff but I don’t care about fairness really. My only concern is keeping my girls safe, warm and well fed. Everything after that is a minor triviality.

The pan of potatoes is going to boil over if I don’t move myself. Hungry now. Fingers crossed for a quiet night.

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2 Responses to “Diary: 2015 February PART 18.”

  1. Glad to see things are up and running. Keep up the great work.

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