A Weekend in Hell: Boredom and Blackouts

Fallen Pylon

Scotland bore the brunt of the vile Siberian weather sweeping off the steppes this weekend.  Power went out mid-afternoon on Friday, and I blithely thought they would get it get all sorted out in a few hours.. So, as my lovely heat escaped, and it became unbearable to stay awake, I decided to hibernate. Woke up on Saturday, expecting a cheerful red light on the bedside radio. No such luck, but I got up anyway, wrapped in all the layers of clothing I had, and walked up, down, and around the flat in an effort to stop the blood congealing in my veins. Back to bed not long after, since that was the only practical way of keeping warm. Woke up on Sunday – ditto – except that instead of walking about indoors, I walked into town to see what was happening. Surprisingly, Tesco had power and was open, so I dived in for warmth and something to eat. The place was packed with panic buyers, stocking up as if the end of the world was imminent. My flat was positively balmy after the wind chill outside, enough to rip your face off, and I stayed comfortable enough to read for a while before retreating back to bed. Then, about 5:30, that beautiful red light on the bedside radio!

A horrible experience. I had enough to eat, but no way of making hot food or drink, and I fantasised about wrapping my hands round a steaming mug of strong tea.

Thing is, you can only sleep so much, and then it becomes like a fever dream of tossing and turning, interspersed with actual vivid dreams. Too cold to read, difficult to think because the cold numbs your mind as well as your body, so no consolation in mental distraction. That and the equally mind-numbing boredom.  “Know thyself,” the philosophers say, well I’ve about had it up to here with me.

It used to be that we had the skills and technology to get through extreme weather like this. Most people had proper fireplaces, you could chop wood to keep warm, cook a hot meal, brew up some tea, stay warm. Now we’re so addicted to centralised technology that we’ve become infantilised. Who now has a working fireplace? We can only hope they will somehow fix things so we can keep on living. That adds up to a lot of power in the hands of those who deal in energy and infrastructure, and while we lead better lives, the hidden cost is independence.  I’m grateful to them in weather like this, but the deal looks a bit dodgy from this perspective.

6 thoughts on “A Weekend in Hell: Boredom and Blackouts

  1. We had power, but it was so cold I ate everything in sight. On Friday I went out. I did not make that mistake again. All the clothes, a hot water bottle and central heating didn’t warm me up- I’d really have struggled in yours 😉

  2. Ack, that sounds terrible! 😦 Please stay warm!!

    Also, just wanted to thank you for all the recent “likes” — so glad you’re enjoying “The Poet and the Flea” so far. 🙂

    Best regards,

    G. E.

    • Already I’m taking heat and light for granted again…

      I caught up on a lot of the pages today since I’ve been so distracted over the last month or so. Hope you’ll publish the Poet and the Flea as a book – I’d like to have a copy.

  3. You are so right. We have become totally dependent on “them”. We had been warned that we would be without power for six hours while a new power pole was installed. It makes you realise how many thing we use where electricity is required. We were lucky in that it wasn’t freezing and it wasn’t our usual scorching hot summer weather the day the power was off.

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