power failure

We are slaves to electricity. The other night the power went off and stayed off for hours, probably due to the storms.

When I wake up in the middle of the night I always glance across, over my husband’s shoulder, at the digital clock radio to see what time it is. But this time there was nothing, only darkness. Not even a glimmer of light from the street sneaking in under the blockout curtains. Because he had to go to work, I suggested he set the alarm on his mobile phone. No problem there, as he cleverly keeps a torch under the bed for just such emergencies.

Fortunately there is always cereal for breakfast, and to make my very necessary cup of tea I utilised the gas hotplates and a saucepan. Planning to ring my husband at work, the cordless phone stated it was “out of range.” Later I remembered we still have one of the old type of landlines that actually plugs into the wall. Relief.

I had the house to myself for the morning, but nearly everything I planned to do involved electricity. At least I could use the laptop for an hour or so before the battery needed re-charging, although I couldn’t access the internet. Luckily I am working on a novel.

It’s a good excuse not to do washing (as hand-washing is something I am unfamiliar with; if it can’t be washed in the machine in one of those special little wash bags for delicates, well I don’t really want it), or ironing (not that I ever do that anyway), or even vacuuming (although having a Dyson makes that not such a difficulty).

Gardening was not an option since it was a miserable day outside. In the end, because I had to go to work myself I elected to take my laptop and go to McDonald’s for a wrap, a cappuccino and the free internet.

Of course I went out to the garage with my water bottle, having already locked up the house, as I like to get chilled water from the automatic dispenser from the fridge out there, but it uses electricity, doesn’t it? So I unlocked the house, went back inside and got filtered water from the kitchen.

Then I was finally ready to go. Uh-oh, the automatic garage door does not lift when there is no power, and I couldn’t reach the deactivation cord from the ground. Climbing up on a stool, as the ladder was much further away, I managed to disconnect it, and then drive the car out of the garage. Then I had to return to close it, but now it was too high to reach from the stool, so I had to get the ladder anyway, and climb up to manually put the door down. Out the side garage door and into the car, which I had left running. Luckily nobody walking past thought to jump in and drive away!

I wonder why I ended up being a few minutes late for work? And I couldn’t even call them to mention it because I hadn’t put my phone on charge and it was dead as a doornail!