Thursday, 27 October 2011


I was planning on writing a post yesterday to whine about how hung over I was after a hen party, but then all the power went off - and stayed off for 9 hours - so I didn't. 

It was a very odd day.  Having no electricity makes life uncomfortable and awkward when you're utterly used to it.  I kept thinking of things to do:

"I'll do some laundry...oh, no power." 

"I'll just put the hoover round...oh, wait...."

"I'll do the ironing this morning....oh, no I won't."

"I'll make some cushion covers...gah, no sewing machine..."

"Cake! I'll bake something...oh...can't light the oven without the power*.  Bugger."

So it went on.  In the end I cleaned the windows (inside).  By mid afternoon I was stressed and grumpy, so tried to chill out and read a book, but it was really very strange. 

And of course my fallback "thing to do" - dick about on the Internet - was completely unavailable.  I'd failed to charge my iPhone overnight, so couldn't even play Angry Birds on that, a favourite time-wasting activity.  Oh, the horror. 

The reason for this all-day trip back to the Dark Ages was the upgrading of the local power supply, which mostly seemed to involve men in high visibility coats standing in our front garden, pondering where to put the new power lines.

We were given prior notice, to be fair. A man came to the door a few weeks ago, handed me a letter telling me that the electricity was going to be turned off, and asked me to sign a sheet pf paper to confirm that I had received the letter. All very organised.

It would have been even better if I had remembered that yesterday was the Big Day.  As it was, Mr WithaY and I were enjoying a lie-in - his first morning of "Not Being At Work Any More" -  when there was a knock on the front door, and there stood a cheery man in a high visibility coat and sunglasses, grinning at my dishevelled appearance.

"Sorry, love," he said.  "Did I wake you up?" 

I thought about saying "No, we were engaging in wild, uninhibited, unimaginably hot monkey sex, it being Wednesday and all," but decided not to. 

"Not at all, I was just about to get in the shower," I said with what dignity I could muster.

"Ah, well, we're turning the power off now, love."  His grin broadened.  Bastard. 

I went back upstairs and dressed - no shower, no hair wash - and reflected that I would be spending the day festering in my own filth.  Not for the first time, dear readers. 

Mr WithaY carefully wrapped the fishtank in towels to try and keep it warm once the power was off, and scampered away to find the camping kettle in the garage, checking the mousetraps while he was there**. 

When we had our kitchen renovated we decided to have a gas cooker installed, as we tend to get power cuts in the winter.  Top tip.  It means you can make tea, or even cook a meal when there's no electricity.  We have to remember to replace the gas cylinders, but apart from the occasional panic (There's no gas!  It's 6.30pm on New Year's Eve!  Crap!) it's a very efficient and useful system. 

Our long term plan for the sitting room involves replacing the open fire with a log burning stove for much the same reasons; it'll be more fuel efficient, and we can cook soup on top of it. 

Anyhoo.  The workmen set up a series of huge crane type machines all around the village, and started taking down all the power cables, which was quite interesting to watch. 

I was disconcerted when I went into the bathroom later in the day, and was waved at by a workman up the power pole in next door's garden.  Usually we don't have anyone overlooking the bathroom, so our curtains are the sort that only cover half the window.  The lower half.  He was waving at me over the top of them. 

The pwer was restored at about 4pm, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  The kettle was put on, the lights came back on, I put washing in the machine, and all was well with the world again. 

Today I have been catching up with the domestic drudgery that a combination of hangover and lack of power had prevented me from doing earlier in the week.

Thank goodness I have an acoustic guitar, that's all I can say. I made my own entertainment. 

*I think it is possible to light the oven with matches, but anything that involves me sticking my head into a gas oven with a lit match in my sweaty paw is classed as "too bloody dangerous, matey."

**7 mice caught so far.   They had set up a nest in his bushcraft supplies, and are therefore being terminated with extreme prejudice.  And peanut butter.


Z said...

That'll learn you to use your iPhone as it is meant to be used. Our power lines were worked on a few weeks ago, and I put it on the phone calendar with an alert 12 hours before. Still, you're young, I'm old and I used to take life as it comes too, at one time.

I always charge my iPhone, iPad and have a cordless Kensington charger ready at all times. Just in case.

I'm feeling rather pathetic.

A Heron's View said...

What a life of luxury you country bumpkins have in being able to have a lie in on a weekday.

By far the best is a paper calendar by the fridge with all the events marked on :)

So did you wave back to the sociable linesman ?

livesbythewoods said...

Z, I am suitably chastened by your wise words. And thanks for the "young" thing.

AHV - We were celebrating not having to get up at stupid o'clock, and very nice it was too! And no, I hid, shamefaced.