I’m sitting here in almost-darkness, with a house that’s cooling rapidly – our third power cut this week, each lasting several hours. Power failure is supposed to be one of those rural pastimes we gave up when we moved to town.
I do usually enjoy power cuts. Being isolated from the virtual world, for one thing, can be very restful. And I love sitting by candlelight in front of the fire, in silent contemplation – in fact I can happily daydream hours away watching flames.
But it’s Sunday evening. There are school uniforms to be ironed, children to be bathed, their hair needs washing… I need washing! And I have work to do, for which I need a laptop on mains supply and not its ludicrously ineffective battery back up.
Added to this is the fact that we’ve run out of logs and can’t get a car out of the driveway to replenish the stock because the gate is electric with no manual override. So… no cosy fire, only one candle left, laptop battery almost dead, work stacking up and children dishevelled and grubby for school tomorrow. It’s not good.
Power cuts in town are different too. Not as seemingly expansive or silent as those in the country. When we lived just outside a village, I’d look out of the window and see absolutely nothing. There was something lovely and soothing about that. Here, I look across the river and see that the town centre is lit up (a sensible person might just grab her purse, in fact, and head to the nearest warm wine bar). And in the country, a power cut meant silence – but here, house alarms are triggered (a lot of them!) which in turn sets off the neighbourhood dogs and none of that noise stops until the power comes back on.
So, no. Power cuts in town are Not A Good Thing.
Think I’ll throw my smelly children into bed and head for the wine bar…