No idea what to call this


I’m developing a really good track record for not talking about books this year. Or maybe that should be a really bad track record for talking about books. Both of those are right so take whichever you want. Last week I didn’t write at all and this week I’m writing late. This past week has been rather a challenge, not just for my household, but also for many households across Victoria. Tuesday was The Great Storm, or the Mini-Cyclone, or just a rather wild storm. There were many people without power, some only for twelve hours and some for days. We were in the latter category.

Tell me, what would you normally do with your day? Would you turn on the computer to read email? I headed in the direction of the computer and then realised we had no electricity. I thought about doing some scanning, I only got three boxes awaiting scanning. Two steps towards the scanner and I remembered I can’t scan without power. At some stage during the week I did remember I could pack up my papers, scanner and laptop and then head somewhere else with electricity to do the work. Thinking about it was as far as I got.

Almost every single thing I went to do needs electricity. Read a book? There’s not really enough light inside the house to be comfortable. Vacuum? Power points don’t work because no electricity. Cook? Not even that as we switched to induction stove top and electric oven three years ago. Eat? That’s easy. Make a coffee? Um, you know the answer to that.

It’s amazing how reliant we are on electricity. We even needed it for the hot water service. I know we have gas boosted solar hot water, but that needs electricity to warm up. I did some back-of-the envelope calculations without writing implement or paper and without any data, I decided we’d probably run out of hot water on Wednesday morning. My calculations were so off, I’m not sure why. We ran out of water Thursday morning, I had a slightly more than tepid shower. And then cold showers until this morning.

I want to say, cold showers are not my favourite. They reminded me of the gas explosion of 1998 when two people died during the explosion. Everybody was happy to turn off the gas to their properties to reduce the pressure on the gas plant. At that time I think we were very aware of the two families who had lost loved ones. This time there was a local group and I noticed people offering others electricity for charging devices, and also some people offering the food from their fridge and freezer so it wouldn’t go to waste.

Yesterday, the electricians came over and fixed our wiring. We had some parts of our wiring that were non-compliant and needed fixing before United Energy would pass us on inspection. They were here for hours with only a half hour for lunch break. We gave them all boxes of chocolates because we were so very grateful for their work. Shortly after they were finished we passed inspection and were just waiting for the final step before being back to normal. The man came at about 10:30pm and finished at about 11:15pm. It was lovely to have electricity back in our house. This morning I heard there were still about 4,000 households without power, but I also heard that directly after the storm there were about half a million households without power. Everyone must have worked really hard to get us all back to normality. Kudos to all of those workers.

But what did the damage? The storm took out six transmission towers. You can read the how here. It explains why so many people were without.

Anyway, that explains why I didn’t write last night. I do hope to get back to writing about books next week. Mea Culpa

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