Sunday, 20 February 2022

How lucky we are nowadays

 Having no electricity, and therefore no heat, lights, hot water, landline phone, cooker (no gas here in the hamlet) or electronics entertainment for 18 hours, really highlighted just how pampered and used to what we consider essential home comforts we are nowadays.  Whereas our parents/grandparents, and still millions of people in Third World countries faced and still face the reality of none of that every day.

We had torches (with loads of spare batteries), plenty of candles and battery operated Christmas lights, so weren't in total darkness.  We've got several blankets, fleece and crocheted, so could keep relatively warm.  We have a small gas camping stove, with 6 spare cans of gas, so the means to heat water for hot drinks and washing, and cook simple meals (scrambled eggs on fried bread, a pan of savoury mince I'd made the day before).  We went to bed early Saturday night, mainly to keep warm as the temperature fell even more.  So we were fine really, just a bit bored and with cold extremities, and Betty found it all a bit anxiety inducing, although she was alright really.  The only real problem was that we had no landline and my mobile is on the way out and doesn't hold a charge for very long (I've already had 2 replacement batteries for it, I've had it several years).  So I need to buy a new phone, and we need to get hold of an old analogue type landline phone that we can just plug in to the BT socket and it will still work in the event of another extended power cut.

Thanks to my best friend, who offered us round on Saturday (their power was only off for 2 hours) for a warm up, a hot meal (we'd already eaten so that was alright) and the ability to charge up my phone again sufficiently for it to last until the power came back on again in the early hours of yesterday morning.

And with no real damage done here, we've actually got off very lightly, for which I'm very grateful.

I was intending to spend today baking bread, cakes and sausage rolls, and Rachel's campfire stew in the slow cooker.  However, having seen the weather forecast of very strong winds for today and tomorrow (not like Friday's but still gusts of 50), I decided not to, just in case the power goes off again.  There are a couple of local villages very near here who still have no power as there's so much damage to power lines, which the engineers are still working to fix, so in view of all that damage I wouldn't be at all surprised to have another power cut.

In the end, I didn't need to throw out as much food as I first feared, I just used my judgement, senses of smell and taste and good old common sense when deciding what to bin - some dairy stuff (yogurt and soft cheeses), pate, an opened pack of ham from the fridge.  From the freezer, a couple of homemade rice based risottos, one with meat, the other fish, and the 2 turkey and veg pies which were mostly defrosted.  Better to be safe than sorry - husband and I had food poisoning once many years ago, from some dodgy takeaway chicken and it's not an experience I'd like to repeat.  The cost added up only came to roughly £20, so not worth claiming on the contents insurance.  Still feels wrong to throw food away though.

And it's now only 9 MORE SLEEPS until Caravan Day! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


  1. Only nine - wow, the time has flown by!
    I'm glad the food loss wasn't as bad as you thought - good old Common Sense might be out of style but you can't beat it really.

    Yes, we are so fortunate and maybe it takes times like this to appreciate quite how lucky we are with all the things we have and enjoy.

  2. I hope you don't get another power cut. We do tend to take things for granted, until they're taken from us. I'm glad you haven't had to throw out too much food, but, like you, I hate wasting food. But food poisoning isn't nice, so better safe than sorry. Only 9 days! I bet you're like a child before Christmas! xx

  3. Hopefully the caravan fared well? Ears hopefully will feel much better after tomorrow and your hearing improves.

  4. That was a miserable storm. I'm sorry for those still without power. Your being up good reminders for better planning but also appreciation for our comforts.

  5. Fingers crossed that you don't get another power cut. We got off scot free here so I'm counting my blessings. Looking forward to hearing all about your caravan adventures.

  6. It sounds as if you coped admirably. I drove from Crawley to home in Wiltshire yesterday and it was journey from hell! Took 3 hours rather than 2. The M4 had planned week-end closures j.6-8 which was my route so I had to go M3 to Bracknell but loads of traffic lights weren't working because of power failures - and then there was the driving winds and rain! Horrendous! You're right - still pretty nasty today in the SW.

  7. I'm glad the food situation was better than you feared it was going to be, and I doubt you could claim for just £20 of spoiled food on the insurance, there must be an excess on the policy, I know there is on ours.

    We got off so much lighter than some folk haven't we.

  8. So true Sooze, the things we take for granted. We were lucky enough to only be without power for 7.5 hours (I don’t think we are too far apart, I’m on the Welsh side of the Severn), but, like yourselves, we are well prepared and it wasn’t a hardship. We are also prepared for longer powerless periods but, like any insurance, I’m hoping to never use those. One thing I did learn, is that my outdoor chest freezer maintained -18C for the duration, my indoor fridge freezer went from -18C to -11C, so my job this week is to move all high value items to the chest freezer and ‘disposable’ items indoors. Not today though, it is wild and windy out there again today, doesn’t look good for the rest of the week either. Take care, Julie x

  9. I am glad you did not have to toss as much as you feared. I hope your power did not go out again.

    God bless.

  10. Hi Sooze,
    We got a plug in phone from Argos a while ago. Cant remember if it was £6.99 or £9.99. hope this helps.


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