I wake early as usual. Victor is still asleep, so I get out of bed quietly and wake Manuela who has to get to school early. I go downstairs to put the kettle on and a few minutes later Monica appears, rubbing her eyes and yawning. Everything is normal, within the abnormality in which we are living. It is a cold, cheerless, overcast morning.

We have breakfast, Manuela and I, and set out for school. It isn’t far by car, but difficult to reach by public transport even if there were any. Luckily we still have some petrol. We are obviously the only people stirring. Everyone else seems to have decided to stay in bed, except of course the maids, who get up early and go to queue for bread at the bakery on the corner. Monica had come back with the news that Allende’s car has already raced down Avenida Colon accompanied by his usual escort, much earlier than usual. People in the bread queue and in the newspaper kiosk were saying that something is afoot.

Manuel de Salas is full of students. There is no sign of the strike here. Only a tiny percentage of families are not supporters of Popular Unity. On the way home I switch on the car radio and the news comes through that Valparaiso has been sealed off and that unusual troop movements are taking place. The trade unions are calling for all workers to assemble in their places of work because this is an emergency, a red alert.

A Day in the Life in El Salvador
The Country House