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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How do you do it?

Blogwise, how do you roll?

How do you plan your posts? Do you schedule well in advance and have it all written and ready to go?

Do you have an outline plan, to which you add detail as you get close to posting?

Do you post on set days?

And, seeing as we are on the subject, do you set your posts to publish ahead of time?

Or, do you think, write, post as the mood takes you?

So, I’ll go first. That’s a given, right?

Generally, almost everything I post here is spontaneous, off the cuff, however you want to call it. I very rarely have any cards made in advance, or even planned, so if I want to post I have to make something in the evening after work, then the following day take a photo or two, think of a title, write the post and publish. Plus go have a look at what everyone else is doing (in fact I usually do this before posting myself). It can take a lot of time. Don’t get me wrong – I am not complaining. This is a voluntary undertaking and I am having a ball. I also love to visit other blogs and check in with my bloggy pals. It’s the whole flipping point of this after all! But I do wonder if I could do it better?

However, this is one post I did actually plan a bit in advance, mainly because I am really, really interested in knowing how everyone else goes about the task. If you are someone who has to ‘make first, post second‘, how do you do it? How do you make it work? I know some people post WIP, and if you garden, grow, draw, paint, knit, sew, crochet or stitch this makes absolute sense, because your projects can take weeks or months to complete. But if like me your end product is a relatively quick thing, but you also work, have a household, a social life etc etc, well I can‘t help thinking that I should be more organised. Or is the answer just to post less?

Sometimes I have an idea in advance, and then I can plan better, and write something (which I generally change radically anyway), but not often. Usually I sit down, and think hmmmnnn….for quite a while…..

Thing is, this is so against my nature! I am someone whose comfort zone is firmly in the ’be prepared’ department; I am the woman who sends emails to the boss explaining everything I have done and covering every possible scenario when I am away from work for a week. Flying by the seat of my pants would definitely require a sick bag. I have no idea why I am ok to abandon all my natural tendencies when it comes to blogging. Maybe it is just time pressure.

I would love to have nice posts, all neatly lined up and ready to go, like little glittery packages sitting, waiting to be picked up by virtual carrier pigeons. Maybe one day! In the meantime, here’s a quick card, and yes, I had to rustle it up before I could post this!!

cb-elliecb-ellie-detail

Supplies: Clearly Besotted Baby Shower and Mini Basic Banners stamps and dies; Lawn Fawn ink in Hippo

 

Gettin’ reflective

Not another post about mirrors. I have been blogging for exactly 6 months today, and thought I might do one of those ‘looking back, what have I learnt’ posts. Hmmnn.

Firstly I have learnt not to look back too quickly, makes me dizzy.

What else? Well, OK, I have learnt that I like blogging, which is actually a surprise, because I didn‘t think I would. I don‘t know why I had felt that way, maybe just the whole ’social media’ thing daunted me a bit. I cannot cope with Facebook: it is just too ‘busy‘ visually and literally. But blogging is different. It is BRILLIANT fun to have little chats or exchanges with total strangers. Blogging puts you in touch with amazing people you would never normally meet.

Some of my preconceptions have been challenged. People I thought were super-cool, or super-talented, or super-funny and would therefore never look at my blog, or comment, or click to follow have done just that. It’s a lovely thing.

I have had some of the most fun and funniest ‘conversations’ here or on other blogs. There’s a wealth of wit out there.

People are nice. The times I have posted about a (creative) disaster, or dearth of ideas, bloggers ALWAYS step up and say something kind, or supportive, or just laugh at the disaster with me.

I should have read the manual. Is there a manual? Blogging for the Inept? I didn’t read it. I got talked though my first post over the phone by my sister and then got typing. If I had read the manual I might have saved myself a LOT of time. I would have found that I had email followers as well as WordPress ones. It took me a while to find the WordPress ones too! I would have worked out what the Notifications button did, instead of flicking back and forth from email to other sites to comment or reply. I would have learnt earlier to search using tags to find other blogs that would be fun to read or follow. I should probably read the manual now anyway…. Based on this track record I think it is fair to assume I am still probably doing a bajillion things wrong!

Anything else? Oh yes, blogging is starting to creep into everyday life a little too much. I have found myself typing replies to work emails and then realising I have gone way too heavy on the exclamation marks, and smiley faces are really not an appropriate response to a Senior Partner. Nor is telling him that I ‘love his work’. He took it pretty well though.

Lastly I have learnt that no matter how hard I try, I cannot break the internet. Good to know.