It is timely to calibrate just how independent and resourceful each and every one of us is capable of being; how strong our communities and this country can be
We live at the end of the line; the power line. It is strung from old poles through pine woods, above a barranc crowded with dry cane, down into another far deeper ravine and out again. Winter can mean spookily quiet isolation when – fizz pop – everything dependent on Endesa is defunct for a few hours or even days after a lightning strike or a gale fells a tree.
We have candles in the well-stocked Mother's Garden cupboards. We have the warmth and dancing light from the wood-burner. The burner has an oven. Our rebost, stocked with our hens eggs, honey from our bees and other farm produce, is as cold as a fridge, and the books on our countless shelves don't need plugs and cables either. Our wood store is brim full after months of preparation. The spring runs ceaselessly. We are as ready as we can be.
There is something very significant to us about this degree of self-reliance for times of real challenge. One long disconnect, in January 2002 when we had 25 centimetres of snow for a month, blocking the way in and out, was strangely positive.
We were independent.
We have close friends, neighbours on the hill, who have established almost complete autonomy. For two decades now they have had solar power too. They are unplugged from the grid of dependency, save for their telephone line, and I'm not sure they absolutely feel the need for that either.
Not that they are isolationists. Quite the reverse. They are cooperative, compassionate, worldly and supportive, like people in our village, like most Catalans we know.
What will 2015 bring?
It is timely to calibrate just how independent and resourceful each and every one of us is capable of being; how strong our communities and this country can be and may well need to be as the world changes, as belief in and insistence on self-determination grows.
Taking direct control of our power supply starting with a vote will need fortitude and resolve as so many things are rewired, and because, inevitably, for a period of time there will be sparks, and the things we take for granted are put in doubt or even taken away.
There is, regretfully, a potent control of societies through fear. Was ever thus.
Expect this to be played out, and then weigh what we really want and really need. For all the things they say we have to lose, keep your mind on the question of what there is to gain, and how capable we really are when, together, we need to put our shoulders to the wheel.
I find it rather fortifying.
Have a good Christmas.