Wednesday, February 04, 2015


I'm sitting here listening to the rain (blessed rain!) and the thunder rolling around wondering if the power will stay on. This time though I've thought to have the laptop fully charged, as is my phone!

Last Sunday was a slightly different matter though. It was one of the usual planned power outages for line maintenance that we get here about once or twice a year. There is only one main power supply line to the Far North, although they are in the process of building a loop line round the East Coast. The construction and linking up of this being partly why the power outages are for so long and seem to come around more regularly than they used to. So at 8am prompt the power went off, to be reconnected just before 5pm.

After weeks and weeks of drought conditions the rainy weather finally had reached us a few days earlier and has hung around since. So on the one day in the summer when nice weather outside really would've been handy, it rained. Almost all day! Well we managed about 3/4hr in the garden in the afternoon before the light drizzle returned to big splodges of rain again. But nice as it would've been to be out there doing more the ground so desperately needed the water so we couldn't complain, and it was filling up our new water tanks nicely! Yes we could've carried on out there and just got wet as it was hardly cold, but unfortunately then your insect repellent gets washed off and oh boy are those mozzies loving the dampness...

Had we had power I would've been proofreading/editing articles for the Friends' Newsletter as it was our deadline day for contributions for the next issue. I would've been working on Documents in Advance had any new material come in (which it hadn't as it turns out, despite the Jan 25th deadline for much of it! Yep, herding cats again...), and I would've been joining in Monthly Meeting in Mt Eden (Auckland) via skype and no doubt doing some hand sewing throughout that. But no power so no internet, I hadn't remembered to charge up the laptop before the power went off, and thanks to the rain it was too dark for hand sewing without straining my eyesight.

Fortunately we'd organised to have Meeting for Worship here that morning, and the much appreciated return of the camping stove on it's usual long term loan after it's trip camping a couple of weeks ago meant we could even have a fresh cuppa rather than rely on thermos flasks! But even with chatting over a cuppa and munchies that only took up 2hrs of the day....

I had so many things I'd planned to do but didn't like more gardening, hand sewing and letter writing - the old fashioned pen and ink way! But somehow that didn't happen. A couple of hours got lost in books; I made a start on some cucumber pickle (then left it to sit overnight with salt on the veg drawing out the liquid, it turned out rather well if I do say so myself); I went through my wardrobe and ummed and ahhed over a few items that I hadn't worn in ages but that is because I haven't needed to look smart, and I guess I'd better assume that might need to happen again one day! I pulled out a couple of sleeveless tops I want to use to make a pattern from (a combination of the two styles) and got as far as putting them with the material and pattern-paper (aka lunchwrap!), but then got sidetracked trying things on, working out how much to shorten a dress I seldom wear to a tunic length, and making another cup of tea...

In short a day without power was easy enough to get through for me. It did make me reflect once again on how life would be oh so different without it either at all or on a rationed basis. When I spent the night at Edith's in Nairobi after the World Conference of Friends in 2012 the power went out about four or five times that evening, and that was considered normal. I guess you adapt. When so much of my life relies on having an internet connection to the rest of the country, and indeed the rest of the world, life would be radically different without a reliable power supply.

It was probably good to have a day where I had to take a good long break from the computer, although had I any say in the matter I wouldn't have picked that particular day! A gentle reminder to make sure I do so more often perhaps? Of course a fair amount of computer time is required every day at the moment, but as my hours at the keyboard increase I need to be mindful of work/life balance, especially when the distinction between 'work' and things done in my 'free time' gets a bit blurry. So for the next week or so I'm making a conscious effort to set time aside away from the computer each day to do something that I'm doing because I want to rather than because I have to! So whilst today's visit to WINZ doesn't count even though I was out of the house and away from the screen, going to Lorna's for the weekly mah jong session most certainly does. And the more of those things that don't require electrickery the better.

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