So rudely interrupted…

Bit of a late post today! I had something different planned, but we have just had a lengthy power cut. I know for some, maybe those living in more remote areas, this is perhaps hardly worth a mention. But in South London it seldom happens. We are plugged in to just about every bit of kit and technology going. The ground under our pavements is more connectivity and cable than it is soil and rock.

When everything when ‘phut’ (technical term, find it in any electrician’s dictionary) early this evening I was happily wandering through blog land, checking in with everyone. I was just commenting on something lovely I had seen and ‘click’, the world went dark.

I did all the usual checks and it became clear it was an area outage. Because these things happen so rarely we don’t have one of those emergency kits ready and waiting. You know, wind-up torch, battery torch, batteries, rations (chocolate and wine water), space blanket, emergency generator…. So, with dusk rapidly approaching I am scavenging for and lighting scented candles like it is the final hope for civilisation. I didn’t even consider if the scents would go together. Desperate, I know!!

And then what? What do you do when you have no power? Well, within about 20 minutes you turn into a grounded teenager. ‘I can’t watch TV? I can’t use the internet?’ So. Un. Fair. Seriously.

Now last time such an outage happened, several years ago, I remember the power was off for about ten hours. I didn’t plan on being awake that long today, which meant candles were not a good, safe or sensible option past bedtime. I had two torches but that was not going to be enough.

So, on a cold mid-November early evening, I am digging out the battery operated strings of Christmas fairy lights and distributing them: not in the places where they look prettiest, but just where, without the benefit of dimmed lighting, I might otherwise fall and break my neck. How did it come to this?!

The irony of having made a few lumieres this year was not lost on me.

One hour into the power cut. Safety (twinkly) lighting installed. The heating won’t work except for the fire in the living room, so sensibly emergency fuel (a croissant) is ingested. Just to be safe, you understand, as there will probably be no dinner. Now. What. To. Do? Housework is not an option without electricity and you can’t do any paper crafting without at least half-decent lighting.

I could clear my craft desk a bit though! Hurrah! Doesn’t need much lighting for that, surely. Hmmn. Two paper cuts and a puncture wound from my previously mislaid pokey tool later I am heading to the pitch black bathroom for a plaster. I step in something moist. Turns out the cat has chosen the cover of darkness to barf up a fur ball. Peachy. I retire grumpy and bloodied to the sofa. A book, by torchlight, seems the best option.

Then the land line phone handset started bleeping. ‘Do we have juice again?’ I think. No. The phone is just telling me that the battery is low. No matter what buttons I pressed, it continued to do this every few seconds. You can hear it from under several cushions. Or from a room away. Trust me. Power restoration could not come quickly enough.

Now obviously it is the fact that I couldn’t use electricity-reliant technology that just frazzled me a bit here, but also it was a daylight issue. If it had happened hours earlier, or in the summer, it would have been only a mild inconvenience. Light, power and warmth are still pretty basic needs, even now, with all we have at our fingertips. Maybe it is good to be reminded of this.

Oh, and if it was your site I was commenting on, so sorry if you got half a comment, or a ‘like‘ but no comment. I am so traumatised I am not sure what happened or where I was! I think I might be a bit giddy from the scented candle clash too…

 

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48 thoughts on “So rudely interrupted…

  1. Because I’m a ‘planner’. (read: over-thinker who thinks of all the bad things which could happen, then plans for them so that I’ve got it covered, then I can live a happy life)… I actually rather like power cuts. I go instantly into action….

    I have a battery operated gas lighter (with a long reach neck) in the kitchen drawer under the hob.
    Spare batteries for most things, in another kitchen drawer.
    Candles – in various forms and in various places around the house. (and I know all of their hidey holes).
    We’ve got battery operated candles – and not only the t-light variety, but big church type candles.
    Spare dog and cat blankets – so that they’re kept warm.
    Enough throws, quilts and knitted type blankets for about 8 households (Mr.Cobs complains about the amount of these regularly – and I tell him that they’re all seasonal! Which is true – but they’re also for ’emergencies’)
    Hot Water Bottles.
    Socks. Hats. Various gloves and mittens, all kept in a drawer in the porch.
    An Oven which works on Electricity. But a Hob which works on Gas – if one of those powers goes ‘out’, I still have the other one!
    Torches.
    And finally .. (I think) … A big old lantern, suitable for outdoors, which has three different sized battery operated church candles inside it, so that I can hang it outside to light the porch, so that no one trips up the steps to get to the door, in the dark.

    As for entertainment … we play table top games, cards and read and .. best of all, … if it’s electricity which has gone out, we wrap up warm and go outside to sit and look at the stars without any lights mucking up the view. (Take drinking chocolate, to keep you warm).

    I’m not sure if I’m anal; got an OCD (in that I have to have a plan, then I can forget about it); or if this is one area in my life where I’m being a proper grown up, and can be depended upon to always know what; how; when; who; why … and how to get hot food on the table which ever power is gone, if it’s winter or cold outside.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Oooooo, yes, I hadn’t thought of that.
        Tip: Keep your BBQ near the house and enough charcoal to keep it going long enough to cook enough foods for however long you think it might needed.
        WARNING: Do NOT BBQ inside the house or anywhere inside (shed, garage, playroom, etc) …. it gives off fumes which are harmful to all living creatures.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sounds like the voice of experience talking! Maybe I need to source some space rations. Amazon sells everything….

        Like

      3. ROFL!
        It does rather.

        Thankfully not the voice of experience. I saw a news report on someone who’d done that very thing using one of those throw away bbq’s, in a tin foil tray type of thing, filled with charcoal.
        Charcoal and some other bbq products produce huge amounts of carbon monoxide.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sadly not saved. That’s why it was on the News.
        I found out afterwards that it wasn’t the only time it’s happened.
        Shocked and upset me to the core. Hence the reason I’ve never forgotten it.
        Well now… hasn’t that taken the mood down to ground level. :/

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d have to get a bigger home to accommodate all this preparedness!! Or lose some craft items…. New home it is, then!! Seriously, you are very prepared. I am totally in awe.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Is it prepared or is it an OCD thing. The jury’s out among my own dear family members, who use it as a great source of entertainment at my expense. In fact I’m generally a source of entertainment for them in one way or another.
        They’re horrors, but what can a gal do? I’m their mother. meh!
        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, but, come the apocalypse, who will be holding all the candles, energy bars and protective clothing?! And, being the gracious soul you are, you will only remind them of their mocking a few (!!) times….

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I just about died laughing at the “within about 20 minutes you turn into a grounded teenager.” This is so true! Our power rarely goes out. Though the last time it was out for about 36 hours in freezing weather. I found myself in about 6 layers of clothes, wrapped up under 3 blankets in bed, reading by flashlight (torch) like a child refusing to sleep.The beep and humming of the electronics coming on was the most beautiful sound I ever heard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It;s true! That lovely whirr and click and normality being restored is a thing of beauty. You go from some strangely silent twilight world back into the 21st century in an instant! Your 36 hour outage sounds awful though. My few hours cannot compete!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my how we have become so dependent on our technology! Last year we lost our power for 3 1/2 days! And it was between Christmas and New Year’s! I just happened to look out a window as we were having an ice storm and saw the neighbor’s tree slowly, and I mean like in slow motion, fall toward the street bumping into another tree that just happened to bump into the light pole which just happened to fall across the street pulling down two more poles and all the wires with it. One of the wires was across our drive blocking both of our vehicles in. Instantly, the lights went out and the heat went off. Because one of the larger wires was laying across our driveway, we couldn’t get either of our vehicles out. We couldn’t go anywhere unless we walked. And it was freezing outside. We do have a fireplace, but the firewood outside was under a couple of inches of ice. One of our neighbors has a generator, so we were able to go over there to at least be able to get a little warm and get something hot to drink and eat. We spend all three nights in our home under a number of blankets, wrapped in heavy sweaters. The last night it got down to 52 in our home. Luckily we have a brick home that does keep the heat in quite well. We had a couple of lanterns that we used and I was even able to color! I didn’t want to bring out my Copics, so I used my colored pencils by lantern. I even posted one of the pictures on Instagram. LOL! Because of the huge power outage and the number of trees and poles down, it took 3 1/2 days to get our power back. Being without power is no fun! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my goodness, I am such a wimp! I only had a few hours, nothing like your experience. It must have been very uncomfortable and unnerving, especially if you didn’t know when power would be restored. I do think I might buy a lantern though, just in case!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the giggles, this was so well written! I think you touched on just about everything I feel and go through during a power outage. Of course, I have good examples of how to be a teenager from the one living with me. It is a crisis if the wifi gets buggy for a couple minutes let alone a full power outage. I am glad you are back up to write a post with the sage reminders to check my battery,candle and chocolate supplies.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s not until it happens you realise how much we rely on electricity for everything. Fab post although I have to confess I did giggle because I was thinking, whilst reading, oh, been there! Even had the dangly battery operated Christmas lights out. Not the cat fur ball though…Ooooo! Our power goes out regularly this time of year. A little bit of rain…it’s gone. I now have wind up torches in every room and candles at the ready. Luckily we have a gas range so we can eat and drink hot food. In the beginning with the wood burner alight I thought this is romantic. That idea soon went! I feel for you. Hope everything is ok.
    Hugs Flo x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everything is back to normal, thanks. I feel like such a city softie, whinging about a few hours without electricity. I though I was being so ‘Ray Mears’ with the fairy lights idea too!

      Like

  6. Oh no! Hope you recover from the trauma soon. We often get power cuts here, and where my husband lived they had a generator as geese kept flying into the power lines! Fingers crossed that normality has resumed and the cat doesn’t produce any more protests.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We are on our own also – we have a backup generator, and purposely bought a Kindle and kindle fire so we can at least read while power is out. We used to have a fireplace…it is sorely missed during those outages – just glad we have the generator.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a Kindle too but, typically, I didn’t have the battery fully charged! If I lived somewhere rural I think I would definitely want the back up generator too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad you got your power back on; been there and done that stepping in wet hair balls unexpectedly. I was thinking, though, if it happens here, I could still die cut and run the embossing folders through the Sizzix Big Shot, which runs on good old fashioned hand cranking rather than electricity – huzzah!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I know this wasn’t a funny situation but you did make me laugh!!! Treading in a nice fresh cat fur ball can’t have been nice! I have 2 cats and one is prone to barfing one up now and again! Next time she leaves me a present it will make me smile because I’ll be thinking of you treading in one – in the dark – and wondering what the hell it was!!! I’m nice like that….:-) Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, you can laugh – I did!! If there is a fur ball, even if I know where it is and am just coming back armed with tissue, wipes, cleaning fluid and a baggie, somehow I will almost certainly step in it!! It’s a skill not everyone possesses…..

      Liked by 2 people

  10. We’ve had a fair few power cuts, including one when the nearby substation blew up! Despite that, we only have a wind-up torch for emergencies and a few candles. There is something weirdly comforting about reverting back to the ‘dark ages’ if only for a few hours!! Not very technologically advanced here in Waffle Towers, the puter is still steam powered!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. When your power cuts out, you can always join me and Samantha in our thatched roundhouse. We’ll sit around the hearth, wrapped in fur-lined cloaks, nursing cups of honey mead while the daily loaf cooks on hot stones and the barley parritch bubbles. A Dark Age version of Kumbaya might also be sung.

    Liked by 1 person

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