It’s a hard winter for many people across the western world as the recession digs deep. As the utility companies have increased their charges, wages have remained static and in some cases fallen. As I predicted, food costs have risen and fuel charges increased. For myself, I am having a “Pay As You Go,” electricity meter installed, as the bi-monthly bills have created financial chaos in my accounting! Even with this, the Electricity company, (State-owned…that’s me, by the way!), charges 37 cents per day for the meter. So, before the light is switched on, the monthly charge is over 11 euros! Add that up over a year, over 135 euros, and the meter is paid for…however, the cost continues, year after year, so that’s profiting from people who are struggling! Politicians have not a clue! However, I am not a woman who embraces being a victim and so I am now very pro-active in finding and using alternatives (I can afford), to utilities. (No, I cannot afford wind power.) Oh, how this little Rocket Stove works at boiling my kettle…all day boiling! As I type I hear the low whistle from outside, reminding me that tea, coffee and home-cooking is available, for the no-cost of a few bits of dry wood, my rebel heart lifts… As Alice Walker once wrote, “You Can’t keep A Good Woman Down!” (Brilliant short stories by the way!) Time to get a big pot of soup started!