Thursday, October 21, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night...

This post was written the day before yesterday.  I didn't post it because the three times I tried, the electricity went "poof!" and stayed off  until I'd shut down and unplugged everything computer, so I gave up.  Today seems to be working, so just imagine that it's two days ago, OK?

[or reading and writing by rechargeable flashlight]

"It was a dark and stormy night," I am currently writing on a yellow pad, trying to be erudite in the glow of three candles and a rechargeable (blue light) flashlight.

Yes, the power is off again, and my faithful companion (the dog, not T) is keeping me updated on the fluctuating shifts in barometric pressure.  Who knew Bernese dogs had a secret side as "weather canaries"???

So finally after much sighing and tossing and turning - the dog successfully managed by 5 AM to wake me up enough for me to decide to get out of bed, fix some tea and a piece of toast and settle down in the wing chair for a couple of chapters of my latest read (actually re-read). 

T got up shortly after I finished my toast.  Bleary eyed, he wondered what insomaniacal thing was keeping me up at this ungodly hour. 

she would really like to be much smaller
The dog backed out from under my chair, yawned and turned soulfully guilty eyes up at him. 

He sneered, (at me or the dog, I wasn't sure!) went off to make coffee and turned the TV on to check out the state of the world.

Just as he settled (fortunately WITH coffee), the power went off.  No blinking, no; nor half hearted flicker of maybe coming back, no.  Just off. Period.

So comes the long blind search for matches (that work!), to light the candles (which ARE everywhere, but really hard to see in the pitch black). 

The the job of lighting candles through the house is an art, so as to maximize being able to see as we wander though the house; and so to light the last one.  Usually, at which point, the power will come back just as we finish lighting the last candle. 

Cleverly, T filled the buckets, which lately we've been keeping outside by the kitchen door, for just such an occasion, with water from the swimming pool (ahem, for the bathrooms... to flush?)

[I can't tell you how useful we find owning a swimming pool!  Its versatility - apart from a fine place to swim and cool off on hot days- is only limited by imagination during power outages.]

Sitting, each with our respective hot drink and a cowering dog, in the study with the glow of the 3 candles and the one rechargeable flashlight,  T shook his head and morosely said, "I'll never have any confidence in electric cars".  I raised a questioning eyebrow, tho after these forty-gazillion years of marital bliss, early morning non sequiturs are standard from both of us.

"It's the rechargeable battery... you know, like the cellphones? only bigger!"

falling up the steps
"Ah," I said, "you mean it would be difficult to build in a big hand crank to get it up and going again to get you home should the car die on the road?"

He shook his head. 

"No, it's because rechargeable batteries always die eventually, and for things like cellphones and laptops, they're impossible to find  for that particular year or brand or they don't make them anyway, because it's not cost effective."

The last time we went looking for a battery for one of our cellphones, we were told it would just be cheaper to buy a new phone!

Potentially I suppose, T's right.  You could spend what you thought was a small fortune on an electric car, only to be told a couple of years later, when the battery died for good and no longer could keep a charge for longer than 22 minutes, that it would be cheaper to buy a new electric car!

Whenever there is a long power outage, I generally find myself in sympathy with T.  He has little confidence in technology.  He functions well enough in the 21 century and does email and finds things well enough on google, but he is deeply suspicious of these 'bright shiny' bits of tech.  He would never buy a new computer (he usually takes over my old ones with the outdated operating system,,,) and tolerates my passion for these "things", the way most men tolerate their wives passion for buying shoes, or salt and pepper shakers, or Troika glassware.

His life would never revolve around a computer or an I Phone, or for that matter ANY cellphone. (I have enough trouble getting him to remember to turn it on when he's off and about for the day doing errands!)

He just walked past the doorway with a cup of coffee in his hand and quizzically asked me what I was doing.  I told him I was writing a blog post.  He said "Hmm.  What are you going to do, mail it in?"

dawn, finally.
Years ago, (in that other life), one of his managers remarked that T's cellphone was never turned on!  He replied, "That's because my cellphone is for MY convenience, not yours."

Actually, he was right about the cellphones, maybe he's got a point about the electric cars!?


  1. Great post Jes. And I so know what you mean about fumbling in the dark for matches that work and going from one room to another to light the strategically placed candles...then the power comes back on! We are suffering the same at the moment, and my modem was fried again by a bolt of lightening. Phone's kind of sorted...but this is Turkey so you know what I mean!!

  2. I have no idea where our spare torches or candles are in such an event. I suspect that I would refuse to come out from under the duvet in a power cut. Much safer all round.



Related Posts with Thumbnails