Thursday, July 16, 2009

Light & Darkness

Where were you when the lights went out?

I was fast asleep in bed having refrained from alcohol and treated myself instead to a sleeping pill to make up for several lost hours from the arms of Morpheus.  Woke around 1.30 – when lights came on again, I suspect – and was awake for the rest of the night, n=knowing nothing about the ‘outrage’ (whatever that means, not the opposite of in peace, I think).

Hubby, God Bless him, had imbibed usual tincture and dozed off in front of the TV.  When he woke up he had no idea where (or, I suspect, even who) he was.  Couldn’t get light to find his bearings, and whatever else he was missing.  Being resourceful person, he found a torch and made his way to bed eventually, having inadvertently switched on every light in the house and failing to find ‘off’ button for TV.  House was like a noisy Christmas Tree at 2am but Santa failed to turn up.

Daughter, who had partied over the weekend was exhausted.  Partner being away for a few days, she retired with youngest child at around 10pm.  Woke to find house in darkness and two older children screaming downstairs in pitch darkness and with beloved TV gone black.  Having rescued them from this terrible situation (!), they had all just settled down when up-to-then defunct house alarm went off.  So did the alarms of all the neighbours.  It was after 3am before they got settled (except for youngest child who slept through the whole thing).  All were like hung-over demons the next morning.

What have I learnt from all of this? 

a. There’s a time and a place for everything.  Dark is good for sleep.  Light is good for awake.  But if we put all the lights on at night when we go to bed; and shutter our windows and go round in the dark all day, maybe this would seem the best way to live.  I don’t think so, but it’s possible.

b. Sometimes ignorance is bliss – maybe it’s best to be ‘in the dark’ when one can’t influence the events to follow.

c. Having an early night doesn’t guarantee a good night’s sleep. (Mind you, ‘having an early night’ used to promise something else entirely, but that was a long time ago….I’ve forgotten what!

d. If one kept a candle and matches beside the bed (as my mother always did to prevent having to get out of bed to put out the lights after reading for hours – that was before the advent of bed-side lamps) would one be prepared for all eventualities, or would one be likely to either burn the house down, or have that done for one by investigative sleepless child?


  1. I was just after a shower, about to dry my hair before bed. Knew there was a lighter on the mantlepiece, where I'd seen one earlier when looking for a memory stick, so lit up a candelabra, knocking 10 cards off the mantle on the way, then up to read in bed, wet hair wrapped in towel for the night and listen to the kerfuffle of alarms... also managed not to light anything dangerous, by some kind of miracle.

  2. I stood on and crushed a snail in my bare feet outside in the driveway while retrieving a torch from the car. UUUUUrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    Btw, do we know what caused the outage?

  3. There was a report that a Hacker diverted a load of stuff to Eircom Email - whether that would affect 'tricity I don't know. Didn't hear anything since - except that a snail family were outraged to find their courgette-filled daughter squished on a driveway. The snail gardai, in their shell-suits, are, yes, you've guessed, looking in to it.

  4. we must be on a different line...... I remember a spate of powercuts in the eighties. It was actually brilliant. Nobody could do anything but play scrabble and monopoly. Thank god for the gas stove for the odd cup of tea and very shallow splash baths by candlelight!

  5. One of the joys of the 60s/70s were loads of power cuts hence the size of my large family!
    I used take great delight in cooking a full donner on a one-ring primus stove. But then, I hate to let anything beat me. Maybe that's my own power outrage!

  6. I used cook dinners as well as donners! Obviously I should have been working on my typing skills!

  7. i was thinking it might be hard to cook a donner kebab on a gas ring...