June 12, 2006


The following is an account of The Five Hours We Lived Without Electricity.

As I got my breakfast at around 8:30am, the kitchen lights flickered, and then went out. I continued with my breakfast - eating is important - but I wondered what to do. My flatmate had left for work, and the other two are away, so responsibility for the household fell to me. I thought of calling the landlord, thinking the problem could be isolated, then I texted bFM. Not sure what I hoped to achieve; I couldn't hear the radio anyway. (Must buy a battery radio.) I texted the boss. He confirmed the power was out at the office, and was indifferent to my dithering over the possiblity of the freezer defrosting. (There is a lot of ice.) Following a call from Firewarden checking power-at-work-status, I set off.

As I drove into K Rd to get the mail I realised the traffic lights weren't going - this made for some adventurous moments at the Richmond Rd/Ponsonby Rd intersection, but also provided me with the absolute highlight of my day: a traffic officer WITH WHITE GLOVES directing traffic at the Ponsonby/Great North/Newton/K Rd intersection!! I clapped my hands with glee!! then felt silly when a road worker saw me.

Word on the street at the post office was that the blackout was city-wide. That was the only word. Back at the office, everyone waited for something to happen. Reports trickled in via cellphone messages; when we heard it could be all day before power was restored, the boss sent everyone home. I stopped by the house to collect some chocolate chip biscuits I baked last night and drove to Firewarden's. He has gas, so we drank tea, ate biscuits and read magazines, and listened to music on the battery-powered laptop.

And just before 1:30pm, with various beeps and hums, power was restored. We didn't know what to do, so we continued to sit for a while. Then we went to Real Groovy. Strangely, the experience reminded me of the odd feeling of helplessness that accompanied news reports of the tube bombings last July and the twin towers back in 2001 - without the surreal tragedy part, of course. I wonder why that is?


Blogger Martha said...

I think it is that sense that "we're all in this together". It is strangely exciting.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Paul Capewell said...

Ace stuff. I like when really big events happen like that and barely anything bad comes of it. The blackout in NYC rings a bell too. its nice when everyone in an area (or indeed, city) is suddenly put together by some random but influential thing (this time a good thing, not evil)

Interesting reading :)


3:12 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I was interested in all the lifts all over the city that had people trapped in them, although no pregnant woman gave birth while trapped - that would have been a gripping news story for sure. Some people had to wait for a couple of hours in darkness before being freed. Bummer if nature called.

3:40 AM  
Blogger ladyleee said...

If you asked me , how old are you i'm 11

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just clicked through your first link ("Five hours") ... and am I just someone with the most childish sense of humour or is this quote hilarious:

"So half the area has lost its load."

That's from the click-through. Still smiling to myself... Katy

8:00 PM  
Blogger The Saturnyne said...

That's nothing!

I musttell you sometime how i managed to survive for five hours


Arghhhh! The memory of it still burns! Aieeee!



2:44 AM  

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