Saturday, 11 April 2009 - 8:14 pm


Everyone is feeling better today. An archaic issue might have come back to bite us, but we’re still here and we’re okay. Our bodies reminded us that they have needs and now we’re doing what we can to meet them. We’re survivors.

The kids bounced back first and brightest, of course. Dillon has been eager to go out with Matt and Alice in search of supplies – he’s pushing himself too hard, but Matt promised to keep an eye on him for me. For Nugget, the search for Jones is much more important. No-one has seen the cat in a couple of days and now that she’s better, she’s determined to rectify that. I’ve never known such a stern little girl before.

The rest of us have been up and around today. A few of us went to the chemist and looked over things we might need. We had already refilled our first aid supplies, but we turned our attention to the supplements this time. We took enough to last the group for a few months: multivitamins mostly, along with some of the fish and plant oils.


It has been a long time since any of us had fresh food. After the bomb went off, there wasn’t much fruit or vegetables to be found in the city. By the time we had left the carcass of the business district behind, the fresh produce abandoned in the stores had started to go off. With no refridgerators or freezers, everything turned to rot and putrid liquid before we could get to it. The rain made sure that there was nothing to pick in the fields, not even an orange on a tree in someone’s back yard. Fresh food is receeding into fond memory, along with television shows and the ease of the internet.

All we have now is what was preserved without any ongoing mechnical means. Canned, dried, smoked, salted, pickled. Quality and expense mean nothing any more; we just eat what we can get our hands on, ruled only by the stamp of the expiry date and the smell coiling off those items past the safety zone. I shudder at some of the tastes and textures that have crossed my tongue over the past three months, but better a shudder than the hungry cramp in my middle. It’s just another compromise that we make in order to keep living.

It’s no surprise that we developed scurvy. We were all thinking about food but none of us were thinking about nutrition. Today, we know better and we won’t make that mistake again. There’ll be pills for us every morning from now on, making sure that our bodies are fed what they need as well as our stomachs.

Is there anything else that we have been overlooking? Nothing that I can think of. We’re all running a little dehydrated, I think, but that’s because there’s never much water to be had. We’d fix that one if we could.


It’s such a relief to be on my feet again that it’s difficult to think of anything else. I never realised how precious energy was; now that there is no chronic deficiency sucking the vitality out of me, I feel alive again. I even got a smile and a kiss out of Ben earlier. He’s perking up now that the crisis is over.

Our supply scouts managed to find us some unspoiled oats earlier and that has lifted the mood here in the mall. Right now, some of the others are arguing over the best way to make porridge. I’d go over and join in, but I’m too busy enjoying the sound of them bantering over something so unimportant. Thorpe is frownily insistent; Ben is exasperated in his earnestness; Matt keeps making suggestions just to see what happens; Sally is fiddling with a wooden spoon as if she can’t decide which one of them to smack first (if only she had the courage); and Masterson is making fun of all of them. The kids are wisely staying well out of it, watching with interest and some impatience, while Sax is smiling quietly to himself over on his couch.

We’re not healed yet, but we’re getting there.