All But Powerless

Yesterday was a very odd day. Nell overslept by an hour – it must have been the previous day’s romp with a float that wore her out – and so we too woke late; Nell is our alarm clock  and we need no other, normally. I had barely opened my eyes and registered the fact that it was 08:30 by the clock on the bedroom  radio. Mr L was getting out of bed to let the dogs out and liberate the chooks, when the emergency light in the hall came on and the radio clock went off. A phone call revealed that work was already under way and the supply should be back by 10:30. There was nothing to do once the dogs came back in but to return to bed, coffee-less, and await the power’s return.

The supply was returned pretty much bang on schedule and we then got up and showered and breakfasted etc. I set myself to catching up on some housework and was making good headway. Mr L took the dogs out to play and lost the frisbee when a gust transported it into the field next door. We stopped for coffee and cake. I then went back to my domestic drudgery.

Having retrieved the Dyson from the front end of the house  I returned to my room intent on cleaning up the half dog scattered about the carpet. I heard a beep. It failed to register. I reached for the light switch, and received no illumination. The UPS beeped again and a different light dawned. The power was off again and yet… something was wrong. Yes, there were lights in the hallway… and yes, the radio in the bedroom was still alight.

I might have been tempted to think a fuse had gone, were it not for the fact that lights and sockets are on different circuits, and Mr L’s office on yet another – and his UPS was chirupping too. Odd. I attempted to find Mr L to raise his awareness but could not find him. It transpired that he had donned his wellies and gone frisbee-hunting. By the time that he returned he was too late to switch off his kit safely and his UPS had run out of juice. That in turn meant that he had no access to shut down the server safely. Whoops.

Mr L  got his multimeter out and it transpired that we were running on about 134 volts – so enough juice to power the energy-saving bulbs but insufficient to boot the fluorescent tubes. Also enough to power any dual-voltage devices designed to work here and in the US. So we had radio at least. Not bad.

I guess this was about 2pm. Not sure.

The fault reported provided us with odd feedback from the Hydro, suggesting that it was a local issue and that felt wrong to us. They said men were at work elsewhere and were due to finish at 3:30 and somebody would come round then. We had later feedback saying another household had reported the same issue, so that was good.

It was of course our local spur that runs over to Elsness, and in due course it was the transformer over there that was declared to be at fault.

As work progressed, it was becoming increasingly dark outside. Also, and as we anticipated, the power went right off in the course of repair work. What to do?

We lit the fire in the sitting room, lit candles, made sandwiches and reached for a bottle from a case of white. We had no idea what we were drinking but it was very good with our ham salad sandwiches. Mr L found some batteries for the transistor radio and we had our tea by the fireside accompanied by Johnnie Walker and Annie Lennox (sadly, not available on the iPlayer). A bit of a result, that. Not a bad way to spend a power cut at all – cuddled up together and listening to those two.

Another progress report said that parts were coming on the evening boat and power should be back by 8:30 so when Annie was done we slipped under the duvet and watched silly TV on the laptop as we had some unwatched episodes lingering from testing a few series that failed to measure up. The power came back right on schedule, enabling us to identify our wine as a South African Chenin Blanc and to complete download of the film that had been in progress when the lights went out. We watched the film when it was ready.

So, that was yesterday – wholly unproductive, very lazy, somewhat dark and chilly overall, but not un-enjoyable at all. It seems appropriate to leave the featured image blank. Perhaps I should black it out.

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#livereportingfromtheroad #france #autumn2020

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