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…