Hello and welcome to the latest blog of The Olivia Rose Diaries on 6th March 2022.
We found ourselves in a slightly odd situation earlier this week. There was a power cut early in the evening in the small hamlet in which we live. We knew nothing about it as we live off-grid. The next day our neighbour came round, told us that they were without electricity and wondered if we could charge her ipad for her. Our solar panels and batteries were fully operational and so we were happy to oblige, but there was a certain irony in that she was coming to us for help when we had no connection to the national grid at all. It made us realise how very fragile the conventional systems that distribute electricity are and how quickly life can change when the lights go out. Given the current state of world affairs and the concerns about the supply and price of oil and gas since Putin began his war in Ukraine, this was not a comforting thought.
As we drove into town this morning to pick up some bread we saw that the price of diesel had risen yet again, now standing at 1.99 euros a litre at our local garage.
In fact everything in our lives suddenly seems to have become a fragile thing since this war began. The ability of one man to throw the rest of the world into turmoil is both astonishing and terrifying. The unfolding horror in Ukraine is being shared in a way that has never happened before because of social media and so we feel involved, drawn in to a story with Putin as the villain and Zelensky as the hero with the brave Ukrainian people fighting for their lives. It could so easily be a book, or a film, but it’s not, it’s real.
We can give clothes and money to help the refugees but it doesn’t feel enough. We found another way of getting money to people who are stuck in the cities of Ukraine was to book Airbnb accommodation, with no intention of ever taking up the booking. Airbnb has also waived their fees in this situation. Of course there is a possibility of money being paid into bank accounts that they might not be able to access but it is an alternative to the umbrella donations that are collected by organisations like DEC, the Disasters Emergency Committee.
Standing by and watching feels wrong but for the moment it is all most of us can do, our hearts aching for the Ukranians and wondering what it will mean for the rest of us over the coming weeks and months.
Fragile times indeed.