Taking Electricity For Granted…

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My plasma ball – these are clear glass balls filled with noble gases and a high voltage electrode in the middle. When electricity is supplied, these beams of coloured light are created

We had a series of little power cuts a few months ago. Now, this didn’t bother me too much, as it was summer, and if you have pen and paper you can write pretty much anywhere. However, the goings on in the street were quite amusing to listen to …

One by one, house alarms started to go off. My partner’s mother was screaming because she didn’t know how to turn her alarm off, next door’s kid was yelling because his computer had gone off… in a matter of minutes, the whole infrastructure of the street had been compromised.

It’s so dark!” “Burglars’ll be round..” (cue screaming from my partner’s mother..) “I didn’t save my level!” My most pressing concern was the freezer, although there wasn’t actually that much in it.

But it just gave me pause for thought, about just how dependant we really are on our ability to create light and power at the flick of a switch. Granted, electricity has been around for, well, for ever, and early humans even managed to utilise it in the Baghdad Batteries – although these are now more commonly thought of as a rudimentary method of electroplating – but I bet William Gilbert never thought his discovery would become a mainstay of modern society.

I noticed, for example, just how really dark it is in the countryside. There is still some relatively unspoilt countryside between here and Loughborough, when I go to visit Alex, that is quite pleasant to pass through. It was dark, though, last time I came home on the bus … A primitive kind of blackness, only illuminated for a few feet in front of us as we travelled down these narrow country lanes in our juggernaut of a bus, speeding centuries into the future…

Any big city has a permanent glow of electricity around it, so true darkness is very rarely seen, due to this light pollution. I remember the power cuts of the seventies… mainly because my father couldn’t find the candles in the cupboard under the stairs and banged his head, swearing loudly and expressively…

it’s quite scary in a way, to think just how helpless we would be if our power supply was threatened… I must go and Google how to make a generator –

B*&%$r!! The electricity’s gone off…

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19 thoughts on “Taking Electricity For Granted…

  1. Ooohhh it is bad to have electricity issues in heart of winter! Perhaps too many light ups added to the load and trip at the power station. I love a peek at the street decorative lights. Plse do not venture into dark. Be careful as UK may not be as safe as lil red dot. I send Guardian Angel Police to walk with you.💕🤗🤗

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  2. In 2005, we moved aboard our catamaran for a sabbatical. This is pertinent because we lived without electricity and loved it. When we were sailing at night, the stars were amazingly clear. That said, we did have a solar panel and battery bank to keep the laptop charged. IF you’re serious about building a generator, I advise that they are loud and need fuel – if you live in an area with sunlight, solar panels are peaceful. You can also minimize your power consumption by replacing light bulbs with LEDs.

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    1. We applied for solar panels but unfortunately don’t have sufficient roof space facing the right way apparently…I am also in the process of changing all our lights over to LEDS too, which really does make a difference. My partner used to be a builder so we do have a small generator, but I just think they would be useful to have…

      Your sabbatical sounds fab! Thank you for stopping by and your interesting comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Do you have windows facing the correct direction to collect solar light? I’ve heard that some research is being done about using windows – don’t know if a film is used or what, but I thought it sounded interesting.

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  3. A few years ago, my country (South Africa) had a hectic electricity shortage, and we were subjected to “loadshedding” (i.e., we had our electricity turned off for 2 hours at a time, in phases). There were different levels to this loadshedding, depending on how much electricity needed to be saved. So sometimes we would lose electricity once every couple of days, and sometimes it was once or twice a day. People would move around the suburbs following the electricity so that they could do their work, and we all stocked up on generators, torches, etc.
    We now have a severe water shortage, and there are threats of watershedding…
    Resources should never be taken for granted!

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    1. It takes something like a water/energy crisis to really make you stop and think about how dependent we are on these resources and think how best to both use and conserve them.

      Interesting comment, thank you for sharing 🙂

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  4. We too had a power cut of electricity supply about two weeks ago but it didn’t over bother me other than hoping that the blog post I was working on was saved and didn’t go AWOL. As for there being very little light … well I patted myself on the back for being (as always) a forward planner.

    Daughters No1 and No.2 have a good ol’ laugh at me and my “plan for the worst, and once you have that plan in place, you can forget about it”. For there I was …. a gas lighter in one drawer and candles in another. Candles also hiding in a bedroom drawer. Some in the Craft Room. And some of those more expensive smelling candles in a cupboard in the kitchen. I had so many candles I swear I could have been seen by a space station ,(had I been enough of an idiot to light them all at once).

    The only thing which caused me a moments problem was … how was I going to sort out something for us to eat without any electricity. Thankfully I made sure that when we re-hashed the kitchen, I chose a Gas hob, and an electric oven. That way if one went out then I would at least have the other one for something hot!

    Forward planning. It works.

    Re the meltdown of some of your neighbours (and a relative) …. ahhh… they’re either not forward planners or … they’re too young to remember a time when we didn’t need computers to chat with friends. Nor mobiles to text one another. We actually went out of our houses and met our friends and chatted with each other face to face. That’s how us older people are great at body language without being taught it! 😀

    Ooh… and the freezer … many freezers will be fine and groovy for up to 48 hours as long as you don’t keep opening the freezer door to see how things are going. Put a big sign on the door telling yourself to leave it shut, so that you don’t forget, and you’ll (probably) be fine.
    Full freezers seem to keep frozen for longer, than empty freezers. I think that’s to do with there being no room for warm air to move around the trays/drawers.

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    1. Good morning!

      Yes, I remember reading somewhere it’s better to put newspaper in your freezer rather than let it run half full… although we rarely have newspapers and I have no intention of packing my freezer with paperbacks… lol… but hopefully it won’t happen again or I may be forced to pack Phillipa Gregory, Jean Auel etc. in with the frozen peas…

      As an ex-smoker, I still have quite a few lighters kicking around, but as for candles, only those very small tea light ones…might be an idea – just in case – to get some of those very large white ones…

      However, we do only have an electric cooker, so that could be potential problem. Did you hear how the government is planning to phase out all fossil fuel items in the next 20 years or so…nuclear cookers. There’s a thought… in the meantime though, my partner does have a barbecue…have a wonderful day, lots of love to you 🙂 xxx

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      1. psst… pssssssst …. pack your freezer out with loaves of bread! They work brilliantly.
        Nuclear Cookers??? Hells Bells. I think I’d rather go back to the days of roasting a joint over a fire and building a bread oven into the wall!
        you probably know this but just in case anyone reading doesn’t – never BBQ in the house. The ‘fuels’ used in a barbeque are killers. In the past couple of years I’ve read of two instances which have ended in deaths because someone used a bbq in the house. :/
        Squidges and love ~ Cobs. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah bread! Great idea! Thank you!

        And when Mr. gets the barbecue out I make him go down the bottom of the garden with it…I don’t like the smell…don’t like the tase of barbecue sauce either really…can’t see/taste the correlation at all!!

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  5. Every once in a while we lose our power for a day or two. It wouldn’t really be a problem, except we have a well and it has an electric pump – no power = no water. No dish washing is OK. No toilet is not.

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