Power cut – first published 1 September 2014

Electricity is something we all take for granted. In fact we barely think about it as we go about our day to day lives. You don’t know what you’ve got ’till its gone though, as we found out on 1 September 2014. 

1 September 2014

We had a power cut this morning around about breakfast time. Commando had just made his breakfast and a cup of tea (yuck) and I was reading and replying to comments from my blog post last night. Suddenly the lights went off and the TV news disappeared from the screen. Then the house alarm across the road began to wail.

Once in a while, in really stormy weather, the power will flicker on and off for a moment and it was drizzling a bit so we weren’t unduly worried until it didn’t come back on after a few minutes. CJ was just getting up to get ready for work. Luckily there was enough hot water in the kettle for his cup of coffee and my hot chocolate. Slowly it began to dawn on us just how lost we would be without electricity.

At the start I’d felt quite smug that my iPad was still working and I’d charged it fully the night before. Then I came to actually post a reply and realised that, without wifi, I could look but I couldn’t post. Not knowing why the power was out was annoying too. The TV news had gone along with the power so we weren’t going to find out from that. Google on the iPad is only good with a wifi connection. When I tried to use my phone to access it I discovered the iPad may have been charged but my phone wasn’t. Neither was Commando’s or CJ’s.

The blasted house alarm kept wailing as other things dawned on us. There would be no shower as it runs on electricity. Still we could wash in the sink or have a bath couldn’t we? Actually no. Even though the combi-boiler uses gas it has an electronic ignition to light the flames. Turning the taps on would not, therefore, ignite the boiler and provide hot water. Oh well, cold water washing it would be then.

The more we thought about it the more things we couldn’t do. Cooking was one of them. The oven and hob are electric as is, obviously, the microwave. No cups of coffee from the electric kettle and no boiling water on the hob. The washing up would have to remain in the sink due to a lack of hot water and although Commando could do his customary morning polishing, he couldn’t vacuum. CJ’s electric toothbrush was out of charge and he couldn’t charge it with no power. The washing machine had stopped churning away so we’d have no clean laundry.

Obviously the lights had gone out and the dull wet day outside meant the house was dim and dingy but no so much we couldn’t see. The big jar of tea lights in the kitchen meant we would have light if the power stayed out until the evening. When I went to make my cocoa, using the last of the hot water in the kettle, the light inside the fridge didn’t come on because the fridge and freezer were off. Still, I knew they’d stay cold for a day if we kept the doors shut, after that food would start to spoil.

As it was the power came on after about half an hour so there was no real damage done. We are lucky, we don’t need electricity for medical equipment, no one died. We were a little bit inconvenienced for half an hour, that’s all. It did make us realise just how much we take power for granted though. It also made me think of all the people in other parts of the world who have no electricity at all. All of the above is their reality every day.

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Writer, walker, coffee drinker, chocolate eater, lover of nature, history and the little things that make me smile

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