Damn Power Cuts!

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

We just had a power cut for over an hour.  This might not sound like much and I’ve certainly been through much worse but it’s unusual for round here and it must have been pretty severe.

As far as I can tell, the whole of Brookside and Stirchley were out (over 10k people) including the street lights and the mobile phone masts.  According to a friend on the other side of town, their power dipped a couple of times and someone a few miles up the road said that their lights had been flickering.

When I still lived with my parents we had power cuts that lasted half a day or more.  I think we had one lasting over a day once.  Every time it rained heavily, snowed or there was a strong wind, the power would go off.  As kids we were used to it but it’s different when you’re an adult with kids of your own trying to get them to go to bed in the dark when they’re not used to it and thinking ahead to how you’re going to warm the house up if the electric doesn’t come back on soon or if the fuse box has blown (we did wonder when the street lights came back on but we still had now power).

Anyway, the power is back on now and it was only an hour or so but it was such an inconvenience even for that short an amount of time – no landline (digital phones), no internet (no power for the routers), no TV and no lights (other than candles but they’re not much use compared to an electric light).  Looks like we need to prepare more for the future power shortages.

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  1. CherryPie (69 comments) says:

    Reminds me of the power outages, when the miners strikes were on!

  2. karl (40 comments) says:

    Yep. Been there. In the flat is was electric everything, including shower/water/storage heating and cooking…always a fun moment in the freezing snowy evenings when the power went out for an entire night.

    For lighting – DON’T DO CANDLES!!! I have a fear of the buggers since the house fire. Dim and dangerous, IMO…I can’t use them for fear of the cats knocking them over. Get some cheapie LED torches – the batteries last for HOURS, they take rechargeables (7dayshop cheapies), and they always work..or get some of the dynamo “30 second wind, 1 hour light” ones…pretty damn good. Or a shake-light torch for no batteries needed. All are more than bright enough to make candles look daft, cold running and efficient.

    I’ve got 3 now..2 battery/LED, 1 windup/LED. You can get the “hanging lantern” ones too – none too shabby, and none of it expensive. Maybe good for kids who don’t like the dark. You could always build your own – I’ve got a couple of joule thief ones that run off batteries too far gone to run anything else, that pump out enough light to see by for several hours using superflux LEDs..I’d guess at a material cost of a few quid each, tops..

    For amusement, Small battery radio (or even better, a solar/dynamo/battery one with a torch in like the freeplay ones) – keep up to date on the goings on, and have something to listen to. Board games. Or some good books.

    Modem – use a laptop, and a “frog” USB ADSL modem…self powered. Cordless phones, I detest…power outage, no phone. Either keep a corded one by the socket for this, or invest in a £20-40 UPS and use that. I have a 175VA one I use for the CFL uplighter and TV if the power goes kaput and I’m watching something. Also gives you a change to use a phone charger or similar if you need to.

    For cooking, buy a 1 ring gas camping hob – mine is a £25 jobbie in a carrycase, big enough for a pan, self igniting and uses butane “can” cartridges, that are about £1.50 each. Much more stable than some I’ve seen. Ditto heating – they do a small “gas fire” type one now as well that takes the same cartridges. Not used one of those mind, but the stove was a lifesaver in the dark, freezing flat…hot cuppa, hot soup, nice and toasty to sit round.

    Maybe it comes from living in Wroxeter where we don’t even have streetlights..or maybe from years in cubs and scouts (be prepared), or maybe I’m just always expecting something to go wrong…but..I had it all planned out as soon as we moved. Heh.

    I remember when the power to madeley etc went out a few winters back…all of IT went black, all you heard was us shouting “BUGGER!” and legging it through the pitch black school to get to the servers before the UPS pegged it. Emergency lights were some use, but of all the places to not have EL, the bogs were the worst…

    If you ever have to pee with your phone in your mouth using the backlight to pinpoint the urinal, you KNOW some tit didn’t plan it right…

  3. Andi (82 comments) says:

    Used to get some pretty bad power outages when the MEB were on strike too; though there hasn’t been an MEB for ages.

    We had a power cut here too, though it was only out just long enough to reset the clocks.

  4. axel (1214 comments) says:

    I wonder how our modern digitally pandered society will deal with power cuts?

    No playing with wii wiis, it will have to be wee wees we play with, what will the great unwashed do when their PSP/cable TV/PC porno downloading time is removed from their otherwise busy schedules? I wonder how many will be taken back to argos with the line, ‘i know the electric was off but i was told the interweb was nuclear war proof!’

    Who knows, we might have to actually speak to people who are physically next to us and be unable to hide behind our internet personae. We are doomed, i already know i am a boring dullard, if it becomes widely known, i will have no friends at all

  5. axel (1214 comments) says:

    China Milk Scandal

    Why is it such a bad thing that the executives are in court already?

    Is it just my morbid sense of humour but does the prospect of a company executive receiving a lengthy jail sentence or even the ‘old black cap trip’ from the judge.

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