They were boisterous tonight so I sent them out to play outside in the dark. Their delighted squeals and laughter was louder than the wind howling down the chimney. I sat down to relax and was suddenly pitched into total darkness. I stumbled into the kitchen thinking I could lay my hands directly on my phone which would give me a little light, but could I find it? No! So I called the children inside knowing that at least one of them would know where a torch was. Indeed, Ruthie did. There was one under the sofa!
I explained to them that the electricity had cut out and the youngest was most confused. She’s never experienced a power cut that she remembers and while I remember them as frequent occurrences as a child – my mother always kept the home well stocked with candles -they are not common today, nor last for long.
The older children got busy with the matches and lit their home made lanterns they had made with Daddy over the Christmas holidays, declaring it enormously exciting. It is amazing how beautiful and cosy candles make the darkness.
I prescribed for the children their pyjamas and dressing gowns and blankets to keep warm as we were going to need to let the fire die down. I contacted Tim, who was out at a meeting, to check that he agreed with my handling of the fire. We have a potentially alarming scenario that could take place if we don’t manage the fire properly in a power cut. Our wood burner heats the entire house via the heating system, but the water from the back boiler of the burner is pumped through the radiators by an electric pump that relies on the mains. So when the electricity stops the pump stops but the fire continues to heat the water and the water with nowhere to circulate could build up pressure and potentially…well, I don’t want to cross that bridge! Although we’ve talked about a need for an emergency generator to switch to on such occasions, we’ve never really had an emergency situation to date. We maybe need to get a wriggle on with sorting it out. Tonight, I just opened the wood burner doors and let the fire burn down. It didn’t take very long, but I knew that the house would then start to get colder.
Wrapped in blankets and surrounded by candle light, it was too early for bed and too dark to read, although Josiah tried, so I fell in step with the old fashioned past-time of story-telling. I began my long planned but never created series of “Jemimah the Climber and Jackson the Mountain Pony” who set off to explore the mountains of North Wales. They have wonderful adventures of camping and climbing, meeting Jackson’s wild cousins at Abergwyngregin, swimming in the ice cold rivers, and gallops on the beach. Jackson was very naughty about pinching polos out of Jemimah’s pocket and Jemimah kept telling him they were bad for his teeth!
Well, Jemimah didn’t want to go to bed and unfortunately a phone call put an end to discovering what happened on their camping trip to Black Rock Sands, but I think we’re onto something and have discovered another making-fantastic-family-memories-exercise. It might be worthwhile pretending we have no electricity and recreating the cosy blanket of candle light to tell stories under, again another night. Only, we’ll keep the fire burning next time!