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nakeisha
nakeisha
Indoor Camping
Well that was fun, I don’t think.

Okay, so in all the years I’ve been on crutches, we have never encountered a power cut at night; last night we did, and we’ve learnt something from it.

Being the Boy Scout he was, J has always made sure we have plenty of candles around the house; which is great, except for one thing, you can’t use two crutches and carry a candle.

The power went out at about 7:40 p.m., and when we finally got through to the Electricity Company, we discovered that the high winds had brought down a tree, which had ploughed through the main cable, and they couldn’t work on it because of the high winds. Basically at just before 9:00 p.m. we were told that it was unlikely that the power would be on before the morning.

An array of candles do give off a decent amount of light, but I’m somewhat stuck; we had candles in the sitting room, where we were, in the corridor and even in the bathroom. However, as my arm chair is electric and although it has a battery back-up, it doesn’t last for long, I decided bed was the better place, as at least I have an en-suite loo off of my bedroom, and with a couple of candles in the room it’s not too difficult to get to.

I also have my pen torch, which generally comes into play in the early hours of Tuesday mornings during my ‘obsession’ wanders. It allows me enough light to see to walk, but not a lot else.

So it is re-think time and time to look at the options to allow us to have some light that isn’t candle dependent, for any future such power cut. We did look at a small generator but a) they are expensive and b) very noisy and we have a young baby next door to us. I have seen some kind of light that gives up to 12 hours (I think) light in cases of a power failure, as long as they are fully charged. J also has some kind of gaz lamps in the garage that again would give more light than a candle, but again I couldn’t carry about. For carrying I think we need some more pen torches and have them in the various rooms.

Had J been out this evening when the power went off, I realised just how stuck I would have been and how difficult making my way from sitting room to bedroom to get the pen torch would have been.

Hmmm.

It was 9:30 a.m. before the power came back on - I can see why in the olden, olden days folk used to get up and go to bed with the sun - and boy was it cold when we woke up. We are totally electric, so we had no hot water - eeek - no power and no lighting. Rang the emergency number to discover just how bad things had been in the north of Scotland, floods, trees down, gale force winds. Basically the emergency engineers couldn't get out to do the work as roads were either flooded or covered with trees. They had two helicopters, but choppers can't fly in high winds. Anyway, J had just foraged in the garage for his old camping stuff, gaz stoves, kettles, etc. and had them merrily boiling way, which would have at least allowed us to a) have a strip wash (in the cold) and b) a cup of tea, when the power came back on.

It lasted long enough for showers, heating the house, most of breakfast before it went off again - fortunately only for about half an hour.

A check of some various catalogues has revealed some useful lamps that are battery driven and last up to about 300 hours, and one of them is the old fashioned kind that you can carry around. J is currently ordering a couple and we are going to buy another couple of portable gas heaters, we have one and it does give off quite a lot of heat (bang goes my savings account). And the gaz burners, spare cylinders (I didn't realise quite how much of a Boy Scout J still was *g*), and kettles are now in store in the cupboard that used to be taken up with Tansy's stuff.

The really interesting thing is that when I rang my parents to check that they were okay, Mother was surprised to hear from me as they hadn't had an outage, and as the crow flies they are only about five miles away. Not that it would have been quite as bad as they have gas and electric heating, but even so. Somehow despite a fair amount of north Scotland being electricity-less, they weren't.

So after a somewhat late start to the day with one thing and another, I shall take a toddle around my f-list.

Tags:
Current Mood: devious

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Comments
lonelywalker From: lonelywalker Date: 27th October 2006 12:45 (UTC) (Link)
Eeee. Glad you two survived through the experience ok.

Here in "sunny Israel" we've had storms the last couple of days. Thankfully the electricity went off only once for a matter of minutes.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 27th October 2006 12:48 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.

It just goes to show that even the most organised and best prepared folk sometimes don't take everything into account!!!

Glad to hear that your electricity only went for a few minutes.
doylebaby From: doylebaby Date: 27th October 2006 13:05 (UTC) (Link)
Oh gosh, the cold must have been terrible. I think I could live with candles and stuff, but the cold...

Well you're prepared now for anymore power failures, but I hope that was it!

*hugs*
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 27th October 2006 13:35 (UTC) (Link)
The cold wasn't too bad, actually. The house had held its warmth last night, before we went to bed, it was this morning that was more than a little chilly. The portable gas burner did a good job in my bedroom, but I'm glad it's only October and also that the heating came back when it did.

We are indeed prepared.

Thanks for your hugs and good thoughts.
aingeal8c From: aingeal8c Date: 27th October 2006 14:03 (UTC) (Link)
Powercuts are no fun at all. Sorry you had to go through pne. I thinkt he loss of heat is the worst one. At this time of year the cold is far more noticebale.

At least you're prepared for future power cuts. Yay for J and old camping stuff.

*hugs*

It's funny how powercuts seem to miss people, like storms.

Fingers crossed you won't have any more this autumn/winter.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 27th October 2006 15:47 (UTC) (Link)
It's the longest we've had for . . . as long as I can remember, actually. The last long one we experienced as when we were down in England and that was gas and we still had electricity and electric fires. So, apart from the fact that I had a sleepless night because the men were outside my window digging up the street to fix it, it wasn't too bad.

The one we had before that was amusing looking back now. It was when I was still at the OU and it was the evening before the departments Christmas party - one of the 'attendance is mandatory as it's us saying thank you to the rest of the OU'. Anyway us Admins had to either cook or re-heat something. I'd opted to make some cous-cous and rice salads. It was the electricity that went that time so there J and I was in the kitchen making these things by candle light :-) Had it been the gas that had gone I think J might have to have got the camping gaz stoves out :-))

Thank you for the hugs and hopes. We shall, assuming things are delivered reasonably quickly 'be prepared', even more so than we are already.
aingeal8c From: aingeal8c Date: 27th October 2006 16:07 (UTC) (Link)
The last long one we experienced as when we were down in England and that was gas and we still had electricity and electric fires. So, apart from the fact that I had a sleepless night because the men were outside my window digging up the street to fix it, it wasn't too bad.

I think losing gas is easier to cope with than electricity in some ways. I can imagine the men fixing it made a fair bit of noise must be an odd job that being on call to dig up streets...

Anyway us Admins had to either cook or re-heat something. I'd opted to make some cous-cous and rice salads. It was the electricity that went that time so there J and I was in the kitchen making these things by candle light :-) Had it been the gas that had gone I think J might have to have got the camping gaz stoves out :-))

Cous-cous by candlelight, I like it! How did it taste? It's one of those scenarios when I imagine you were glad the gas was still there. Candles don't give out a lot of heat do they? Relatively speaking. Good story though.

Thank you for the hugs and hopes. We shall, assuming things are delivered reasonably quickly 'be prepared', even more so than we are already.

Hopefully oght will be wining it's way to you soon.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 27th October 2006 16:16 (UTC) (Link)
I think losing gas is easier to cope with than electricity in some ways

Given that we had back up heating and didn't lose lighting and it was for a short time yes. However, another 'horror' story. There was one winter when we were without heating and hot water for two weeks! The boiler died and it took that long to get a replacement of the right kind. As I said we had two electric fires downstairs and an electric mobile storage heater that stood on the landing and was on 24/7. Each day J had to boil kettles of hot water so that we could have a wash :-( It was not fun at all. The only plus point (you know how I like to find my silver linings) was that neither of us were working.

Cous-cous by candlelight, I like it! How did it taste?

Very nice, thank you. Oddly enough he wouldn't let me chop the tomatoes and herbs up to go in it; he says me and sharp objects don't get on well in full light, so by candlelight...

It's one of those scenarios when I imagine you were glad the gas was still there. Candles don't give out a lot of heat do they? Relatively speaking. Good story though

More heat than you imagine, actually. But yes, it was good that we could cook properly.
aingeal8c From: aingeal8c Date: 27th October 2006 16:33 (UTC) (Link)
However, another 'horror' story. There was one winter when we were without heating and hot water for two weeks! The boiler died and it took that long to get a replacement of the right kind.

Oh now that is awful! Really awful. Two weeks is two weeks too long crikey. That's like indoor camping isn't it? I do like how you can find the silver linings :-)

Very nice, thank you. Oddly enough he wouldn't let me chop the tomatoes and herbs up to go in it; he says me and sharp objects don't get on well in full light, so by candlelight...

Ah you werent' trusted. My mother doesn't tend to trust me with sharp objects in full light...

More heat than you imagine, actually. But yes, it was good that we could cook properly.

Indeed. What did people do before candles?

I actually was thinking about that a few hundreds years ago the reason people wore their outsode clothes indoors must have been to keep warm in winter.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 28th October 2006 11:12 (UTC) (Link)
Two weeks is two weeks too long crikey.

It most definitely was!

I do like how you can find the silver linings :-)

*Beam* Thank you. It keeps me sane.

Ah you werent' trusted. My mother doesn't tend to trust me with sharp objects in full light...

*Giggle*

Indeed. What did people do before candles?

Went to bed when it got dark, got up when it became light.

I actually was thinking about that a few hundreds years ago the reason people wore their outsode clothes indoors must have been to keep warm in winter.

Indeed. J was wearing his cap indoors yesterday before the heating came back on; as he's always telling me, we lose most of our body heat via our heads.
aingeal8c From: aingeal8c Date: 28th October 2006 12:49 (UTC) (Link)
*Beam* Thank you. It keeps me sane.

Always a good thing.

Went to bed when it got dark, got up when it became light.

Ah those simpler times I;d envy them except they didn't have the internet...

Indeed. J was wearing his cap indoors yesterday before the heating came back on; as he's always telling me, we lose most of our body heat via our heads.

Tis very true and very sensible. I saw myself on a thermal imaging camera once and my head was where the heat was. I do like wearing hats in winter.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 29th October 2006 12:38 (UTC) (Link)
Always a good thing.

Mind you, of course, sanity is over-rated :-)

Ah those simpler times I;d envy them except they didn't have the internet...

Or indoor plumbing! Or showers! Or central heating :-)))

. I do like wearing hats in winter.

Me too.
aingeal8c From: aingeal8c Date: 29th October 2006 20:37 (UTC) (Link)
Mind you, of course, sanity is over-rated :-)

Oh indeed.

Or indoor plumbing! Or showers! Or central heating :-)))

*shudders* poor them...
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 30th October 2006 11:39 (UTC) (Link)
Hot water and indoor plumbing are essentials.

But then you, know, the net is too.

Aren't we soft these days?
aingeal8c From: aingeal8c Date: 30th October 2006 12:19 (UTC) (Link)
Hot water and indoor plumbing are essentials.

But then you, know, the net is too.

Aren't we soft these days?


They all are very essential. And yep we are really really soft.
rosie55 From: rosie55 Date: 27th October 2006 14:45 (UTC) (Link)
We have rechargeable lanterns, made by Uniross (CH8858) which can be used as torch, small fluorescent tube, lantern or flashing orange light, etc. They weren't horrendously expensive - about £20 each. We have two at home, one upstairs and one down and have also provided one for my mum-in-law, because we have a lot of power cuts here. They are excellent and can be re-charged afterwards. The fluorescent option is particularly good as it gives you a steady light, as they sit very stably on their bases. They wouldn't last all night of course, but easily long enough to allow you to track down other lighting such as candles or to get yourself ready for bed or whatever.
A couple of these kept in strategic places might help. And, though the lantern isn't light, I think it would be possible to put a cord on it so that you could, at a pinch, pop that round your neck and carry it that way for a short distance.
I just googled them - they can be got for £16.something, presumably plus postage.
Might be worth you considering. Take care!
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 27th October 2006 15:50 (UTC) (Link)
We found some LED lamps, two kinds the 'miners carry them around' kind and some that light up the whole room, for £20.00 for two, so they are duly ordered. I got some for my parents too, as although they were okay this time, at 84, my father does not want to be walking about with candles. And these have up to 300 hours battery life, which is good.

J was amazing insofar as he negotiated from the sitting room to the dining room (where the candles were) in pitch blackness. There were no lights on at all around us, and he didn't bump into anything or trip over once.

We then finished our supper by candle-light, very romantic :-)

Thank you for your suggestions.
sharpiesgal From: sharpiesgal Date: 27th October 2006 14:49 (UTC) (Link)
*hugs*

I've been there and done that too many times to count.

This time last year I was without electric for almost three days because of a freak ice storm. Some places went a week without power because of how widespread the damage was.

Glad to hear things are remotely back to normal.

Ducky sends his regards and wishes to know if Jethro was helpful in the emergency.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 27th October 2006 15:52 (UTC) (Link)
That's a heck of a time to be without power. *Shudders* Poor you.

Normal is an interesting concept :-)

Jethro says to remind Ducky that he was a Marine; of course he was helpful! He sends his regards to you and his love to Ducky - isn't that nice of him.

*Hugs*
pxr5 From: pxr5 Date: 27th October 2006 14:55 (UTC) (Link)
battery powered LED pseudocandles are your friend. In general, I use my LED camping gear when we lose power (I have a headlamp that is pretty fab, and you don't need your hands for it.)
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 27th October 2006 15:54 (UTC) (Link)
They are duly ordered!

Not the headlamp, I did consider it, but have gone for the 'miners' style' lantern instead. Our neighbour came round for tea a while ago and suggested that I should find a way to fit lights to the hand bits of my crutches :-) Which I admit is a jolly good thought.
kalliekat From: kalliekat Date: 27th October 2006 16:09 (UTC) (Link)
oh Nikki, what a horrible experience. but when you have a tame ex boy scout it certainly lifts the pressure! my problem isn't candles, i have hundreds of them, it's matches...... i can never remember where the big box is....i remember once, when we had a gas cooker with electronic whatsit to light it, and i'd put a cake in the oven when the electricity went off. unbeknownst to me, this meant the gas oven also went off. you could light the rings on top with a match, but the gas supply cut off to the oven. when i finally looked at my cake, it had sunk to pancake shape. yes, flat, very flat, very very flat.
hope you have no more cuts up there, but i'm sure you will be very organised shortly! *hugs* Kallie
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 27th October 2006 16:18 (UTC) (Link)
It certainly does ease the pressure. Bit like having an ex-Marine around :-)

Oh, he knows where the matches are too - big boxes of those around the place.

Ooops, one of those cookers - yes I know them. I can quite understand how you hadn't realised (I wouldn't have either, J would have done, but...)

Thank you so much for your good wishes, Kallie. *Hugs*
periwinkle27 From: periwinkle27 Date: 27th October 2006 19:18 (UTC) (Link)
I have this little battery camp light. If you pull it up it becomes a torch, put down it's a light for a tent. I bought two of them some time back for camp and have discovered they are great for the house. They each take 4 AA batteries.

It's similar to this: http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=5310H705K&categoryid=1060
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 28th October 2006 11:21 (UTC) (Link)
The ones we've ordered aren't quite like this, but they are similar. These ones (shape-wise) remind me of the gaz lanterns J has, but with a live flame, they too aren't safe for me.
maubast From: maubast Date: 27th October 2006 23:02 (UTC) (Link)
I certainly sympathise. *wry grin*

*hugs*
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 28th October 2006 11:17 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, yes, that you can.

*Hugs*
(Deleted comment)
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 28th October 2006 11:22 (UTC) (Link)
Indeed they most certainly will be.

Yes, the hot water was really the worst of all :-)
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