Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Doing everything they can

Collapsed trees block local roads...
...and cut vital services.

Battery powered: And so it came to pass that my unfortunate prediction unfortunately came true, a few brief seconds after releasing the Monkey thing to the blog sphere the power did indeed cave in and my world fell into sudden chilly darkness. 101mph winds were sweeping across Scotland brining a familiar pattern of chaos, angry dog walkers complained the MSPs and radio chat shows (all about this sort of thing and why was there no red warning?). Scotland seems to be located in the wrong place at the moment. Bugger all you can do really, as far as I can see. So as the storm raged in our small part of the universe dozens of brave trees fell over in that strange way they do, emitting loud, fatal snapping noises, then as if by some higher purpose landing across roads and bumping into telegraph poles - and so we were cut off. I immediately took a hot bath and reflected on the best toe nail cutting methods, shame I don't have a best toe nail. Then the Christmas decorations were boxed up for another year. Thereafter a deeper gloom descended as the brutal truth became clear, torches were located, candles set up like sentries, a gas burner located and guitars tuned – the power free siege and standoff had begun. I did venture out to photograph the wooden road block, buy whisky and marvel at the many dead traffic lights, as it's a public holiday nobody in their right mind will fix anything, it's not in the contract apparently.

I had also discovered that our extensive radio collection was mainly mains powered and each set stubbornly refused to accept the multiple battery requirements I offered. Why things are designed to be awkward beats me and why middle aged men are also designed to be victims of these awkward designs beats be twice. Eight batteries are needed to power up a sleeping radio, (where are they kept?) hardly economical but now I can connect with modern society without just sitting in the car running the engine for company. Thankfully Radio Scotland stopped playing accordion music for a few hours and settled for broadcasting long lists of closed roads, dead trains as they played more Mull Historical Society (every bloody day it seems), REM, Bob Dylan and Adele, pity about the obvious tyranny of the populist playlist. Three days into 2012 , one power cut, Hurricane Bawbag II and I'm already missing Radio 6's sweet vinyl sounds, never thought that would happen.

The power outage outstayed it's welcome. As evening broke upon us a great coal carrying exercise began. Two huge fires were started in a vain attempt to kill the cold and dark in a heated pincer movement, this was working fine until I realised that with no electrical pump operating the hot water system, it was in danger of over heating, the consequences would be bad I imagined. A extended period of washing dishes in scalding water in an OCD manner followed while Ali massaged salmon and fresh bread into an edible format. Meanwhile in the background a ticking time bomb was not really ticking, just melting, my precious mixed curry, hash brown and stir fry vegetable collection, housed in a now dead a slowly warming freezer. Ugh. The good news is that red wine seems to be impervious to these mild domestic emergencies, indeed it appears to taste better the deeper the crisis, particularly in the studied glow of slowly failing candles. Good to know.

After 36 hours the power is back on. What a relief.

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