Enlightened and empowered

On the first day there was nothing.
On the second day there was nothing.
And then I called out, “Let there be light!”
And there was light.

The problem with subdivisions is that the numbers are all the same except for the little a, b or c’s attached. This means that when the electricity company sends out a technician (who can work with high voltage but is not necessarily literate) they quite often make a mistake. This one landed me in the dark with a limited supply of hot water.

Arriving home in the driving rain on Tuesday evening I discovered the house without power. This meant that I stood in the rain staring pathetically through the non-operational electric gate at a house in total darkness. I am nothing if not enterprising. With a plastic coathanger and a little elbow grease I managed to lift the gate of its track and made it to the front door a little soggy, but still feeling quite proud of myself. Apply the old adage about pride and a fall here.

Briskly efficient I lit candles and deposited offspring in the remains of the hot water to get themselves somewhat cleaner. Then I decided to make dinner. There I hit a snag. Where, oh where had the gas stove gone? I was not about to be foiled. I have a Weber and half a bag of charcoal and the SAS survival guide.

The first step in making a fire is to find wood. No wood. Well plenty of wood it is just all completely sodden thanks to two days of rain. Never mind. I have plenty of paper and cardboard ready for recycling. I placed a pizza box in the bottom of the Weber and filled it with charcoal. Then I packed the Weber full of more pizza boxes added a candle and lit it. Remember Ragged the Gerbil? In retrospect lighting the match was a bad idea.

In the end I admitted defeat and messaged the man of the house in deepest darkest Africa. He told me where to find the gas bottle and after singing my fingers there too I finally managed to make some 2 minute noodles. I would have called Mr Delivery, but Telkom hasn’t fixed the line yet and my Crackberry died soon after the gas bottle discovery. Also, I needed to prove to myself and my progeny that I am a strong, independent woman of the 21st century. Epic fail.

Singed and smoky I arrived at work a little the worse for wear and spent most of the day on the phone to Eskom in obsequious courtesy and finally impassioned begging. All to no avail. The power was still off when I got home last night. This is where my Roedean education and South African “boer maak ‘n plan” attitude cam to the fore. I grabbed some wire cutters, opened by electricity box, cut the cord and turned my power back on.

Eureka! We have light!

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