Diary:2015 August PART 1.

1st August 2015

I thought today would be a good day to pick my old diary back up.

We came home today.

We had a knock on the farm door a week ago asking us to re-locate to our own houses as the owners of the farm were moving home.

The soldiers who came with this message also told us they’d found our families.

Obviously we were ecstatic at the news but before long we had to think about what it meant for us. We’d become a family. Ali is now obviously pregnant and blooming with it. Brett is getting on her nerves by being protective – you can hardly blame him these days. Mike has become a brother to go some way towards filling the gap left when Ash left.

The old couple who lived there before we “adopted” their home are probably not going to be overly impressed with our modifications. We had a chat about this and we’ve all written them a letter of thanks and explanation and left genuine offers to help put things right. We started fixing the place back into a home rather than a fort.

Now we’re left to decide where we’re all going to live. Me, Rob and the girls are going home to be with mum and dad. Mike is going to see if his family is around, if not he’s coming to us. Ali and Brett are going to find Ali’s family first, then on to find Brett’s family. Again, they have the option to come back to us. In the meantime we’re packing and trying to figure out how to communicate when we’re all split up. The electric and running water is back but there’s still no mains gas, landlines, mobile phones or internet.

We’ve been in regular contact with the rescue groups since their first visit. They used us as a kind of base, every week they’d drop in and usually go off to do their business then come back in the evening and stay the night. They’ve become good friends. The Aussies went home this week, the Americans are due to leave next week sometime. I’ll miss them. They have been our only way of finding out what’s going on in the rest of the world. The UK is now being run by the remains of our old government and the UN. They tell us the population has gone from nearly 65,000,000 to 50,000. That’s a big drop. You could fit the entire UK population in Liverpool ten times over. The plan is to get all the survivors together then start up a new city for us all to live in. We don’t much fancy that. Anyone who wants to opt-out of the plan is able to but once you’ve gone you’re on your own. The people who were in the army camps are being allowed home to pick up their belongings then they’ll be moved out to the new location. I’m not sure where they’re planning on but I won’t be there. Mum and Dad are more than welcome to stay with us but we’ll understand if they don’t want to. We can always visit.

So we’re going home this morning to meet up with them. I wonder if the people who own the farm will pick up some stuff and leave again? They won’t find much. I feel bad about that. We’ve brought their things out of storage, I hope they don’t mind us crashing their home. I hope they realise that it saved our lives and if I ever get a chance to thank them, well I don’t know how I could.

One last thought, it’s me and Rob’s wedding anniversary today. I nearly forgot. How these things seem less significant now.

 

2nd August 2015

10am We arrived home yesterday evening and spent a large part of the night putting the house back together. Even though we don’t need the barricades anymore I can’t bring myself to take them down. The house had been “checked” before we came back but I haven’t noticed anything obviously missing although I can’t remember if I left much behind. There are signs painted on the houses from the clearance crews, I had a quick drive around this morning to see the damage and I think I’ve figured out some of the signs, others are still a mystery. Some houses must have contained bodies and others infected, those signs I can make out. There are minibuses arriving every so often, bringing neighbours back. Mostly people are going in, collecting belongings and having a cry then leaving. We’re waiting for mum and dad.

5pm Mum and dad are back and are upstairs packing. They’re not going to stay and have begged us to come with them. We’re not going. I can’t write anymore.

 

17th August

6am It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get the strength to pick up this diary again. I woke up early today and re-read it. It made me cry. I suppose I should fill in some gaps.

Mum and dad had never been in Ripon. They were in Catterick Garrison the whole time which is a very good thing. The camp in Ripon was destroyed. the infection was in the camp as I found out and it did indeed spread as we feared it would.  They bombed the camp. Thank god that Paul and the guys left when they did. All the people who were evacuated from our area were sent to Catterick and the surrounding area, why we were taken to Ripon I don’t know. Mum and Dad found most of our immediate family or got news of them through the “family link” desks. We’ve lost some family and friends but all the important people are ok we think. They weren’t happy about us staying behind. This is a massive understatement in fact. Mum and Dad are heartbroken that we’ve refused to come with them. In honesty I’m heartbroken too and so are the girls but we can visit. I told them I want to give it some time to see how things go in the new city. Because the population is so small they’re moving all survivors who want to go, to a couple of small towns around Barnstaple. I have no idea why this has been chosen as the location but in any case it’s a beautiful area and somewhere we’ll happily visit as often as possible. Fuel is our only issue as far as we’re aware.

We stayed at home for 3 days after Mum and dad left. It was too painful to see the remnants of our old life, too hard to find the things we needed. The girls were unhappy and so were we. We made a trip up to Rob’s parents house and were lucky to find them at home. They were also packing up to leave. They were so happy to see us and although they too think we’re crazy to stay behind they agreed we can visit and settle in the new location if we choose to when things get too hard.

After leaving Rob’s parents we wandered the North Wales coast and Snowdonia national park for a few days. It’s so beautiful here and utterly deserted. We did see some of the minibuses taking people home and army trucks ferrying troops and supplies. In some of the bigger towns we saw the clearance crews, removing the bodies left behind and switching off all of the electrics and water supplies to the uninhabited houses. There have been many fires since the electric came back on because of electrical shorts. We were advised by all of them to follow the vehicles down to Devon and each time we cheerfully declined. One group sat with us while we had a picnic lunch of cold baked beans straight from the tin, they told us that the last of the families should have been home to pick up their belongings by the end of the week, after that everyone who wanted to go should be in Devon. We were also warned about groups of troublemakers and looters. We’ve come across them before but apparently a small number of people never came back for their pick-up after being taken home. I’m not surprised. The whole country is lying around for the taking if someone wants to take it.

2 days ago we found ourselves sitting on the edge of Llyn Brenig. The temptation to go that extra few miles down the road to the farm was too much for us.

We Came back to the farm. It was deserted when we arrived. We pulled into the yard and parked in our old spot. The front door was still blocked by a 4×4 just as we’d left it. The back door in the yard had a note pinned to it inside a plastic bag.

To the survivors

Thankyou for your letter. We lived in this house for 53 years and were proud to call it our home. We raised 2 children and played with 5 grandchildren here.

We were shocked and saddened when we returned and saw it how it is now, however after reading your account of what happened here we are proud to think we helped a family survive these terrible times. May god forgive you for the crimes you committed to keep your children safe.

If you are reading this then you will understand that we have decided not to remain in our home. We are old now and could not survive the old life which you have chosen to pursue. We wish you luck and hope you can achieve your aims.

My wife was a schoolmistress in her younger years before our children were born and was greatly impressed by the school rooms you made in the wood sheds. She has left you some written instructions on schooling children.

I farmed these fields for all the years we lived here. You should move your cabbages next season into the lower field, the top field has always suffered terribly with powdery mildew. I see you found my farming almanac, I hope it is of as much use to you as it was to me. I fed the animals and left some food out for them. I suspect you will return before it runs out.

We spotted the slate by the gateway. Hiraeth is a beautiful name for our farm. Hiraeth is now yours for as long as you care to live here. Should you decide to come to the new settlement please drop by and say hello.

Good luck and god bless

Huw and Annie Nelson

19th August

Brett and Ali arrived back this lunchtime. They did not find their families and have left word with friends and neighbours that they are alive and well should anybody find them. I am so glad they are back. Brett read the letter we were left and laughed about the powdery mildew, he’d noticed some coming already.

20th August

Mike came home today. He’s brought his brother Steve with him. I like Steve. He lost his family and they haven’t found Mike’s parents.

22nd August

Today we had a big surprise. Ashley and Paul.

The explained why they left, although it makes no sense to me. They felt they were a burden, that we’d have more chance with less mouths to feed and they were both desperate to find their families. They succeeded. They stayed for about 3 hours then went on their way. Ashley gave me a beautiful machete as a parting gift. I was nearly as sad as when Mum and Dad left. It’s taken me hours to stop crying enough to write.

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10 Responses to “Diary:2015 August PART 1.”

  1. Genuinely brought a tear to my eye………

  2. Wow, a recovery of the farm! Amazing. I hope the couple were able to settle somehwere comfortable.

    I wonder if this is a lead up…. Hrmmmm

  3. there is one last chapter yet to come then diary 2015 will end.

  4. I said diary 2015 will end….

  5. well done sian enjoyed every page ,look forward to your next book love mam xxx

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