Hardly had I posted the previous piece and was busily surfing the Web when computer, lights and radio all went off: the electric current had failed.
As always in these cases, there is a moment of doubt: the the power failure in my house only or is it more general? Looking out of the window I saw one of my neighbours at the gate and went out to ask him if his current had also failed. He confirmed it had.
After 10 minutes there was no sign of the power coming back on so I phoned the power company. They confirmed that there was a local power failure and that “engineers are on site”. They took my number to call me back. The time was now nearly midday.
It’s amazing how deprived you find yourself when the leccy goes off: No lights, so it’s difficult to do anything; no computer, obviously; no electric kettle, so no tea; the toilet is in darkness, so you have to “go” with a torch.
We waited. Tigger dozed; I did sudoku, with the book turned towards the window to catch every last lumen. We waited some more.
Around 1:30 pm grumbling tummies were demanding to be fed. Even Tigger can’t use a microwave when the current is off so there was nothing for it but to go out to eat. We went to the local chippie.
Tigger was by now feeling not at all well so we made our way back home and she went back to bed and dozed. I went back to sudoku, though it was becoming harder and harder to see.
Tigger left the room and after a while came back with a lantern. She had bought it in 1996, one of those Tiggerish purchases of the “in case I ever need it” kind that she is so good at. It didn’t work: the batteries had long since given up the ghost. I went out and bought some from Superdrug expecting the power to be on by the time I got home. It wasn’t.
We got the lantern working. It was about this time that my mobile rang. I wasn’t quick enough so the call went through to voicemail. I can’t imagine a more pointless message. It was from the power company and it said “Engineers are working at the site. If your power is not on already, hopefully it will be soon.”
At 5:05 pm, the power came on. “Yippee!” we cried. “You can make me a cup of tea, now,” said Tigger. “Willingly,” I replied gallantly and hurried to our kitchenette. I had time to switch on the light and fill the kettle before the power went off again.
It came on again a few minutes later and so far (at 6 pm) is still on. A few minutes ago, I received another phone call from the power company, apologizing for the power outage and asking whether everything was now in order. I could have mentioned the useless earlier message but it seemed hardly worth it.
What were we saying recently on Ideas Man‘s blog about being dependent on technology? We certainly are.