I’m writing this in darkness. Groan. Another power cut. Zed was in the middle of a promising sentence “do you want a dri..?” when the kettle stopped. Time for candles, torches, another eccentric evening in Quinta Blackberry.
I move closer to the fire remembering from my childhood the English power cuts of the seventies, wintery nights spent in darkness while the miners went on strike. Candles came out. It was exciting. Thrilled at being sent home early from country dance class at school because there was no power.
Forward to the noughties and er…progress. Power cuts in our Cambridgeshire village happened every time there was a storm, which wasn’t surprising given the way the wires lit up across the road potentially electrocuting every bird perched on top.
Our burglar alarm would go off. The first time this happened I expected the police to roar up with a view to apprehending burglars. I waited with panic and embarrassment and then what happened? Er…nothing. No-one came. For that extra service, actual help and rescue, we would have to pay an exorbitant fee. That first night we called the alarm manufacturers and they charged triple figures to stop the noise. After that we just let it carry on and after twenty minutes the alarm went off by itself. It didn’t seem to matter since no-one was planning to rush to our aid. We bought a large, black dog instead.
Neither did we escape power cuts when we moved to Spain. We only had a certain amount of power on the system so if we had a heater on and boiled the kettle we would be thrown into darkness should we decide that oh, we’d rather like to make some toast too.
It’s late now and I want to get to bed but it’ll be cold in the room with the electric heater off. This series of power cuts started during a storm several weeks ago but now they continue through milder weather. Zed’s braving the cold upstairs but I’m remaining by the gas heater. Next to it I can hear a snuffling in the darkness, a soft furry body and then heavy breathing. A large black dog to keep me warm. Burglar alarm, heater and dog all rolled into one.