Saturday, 17 December 2011

Candlelit Dinner with the Little People

Saturday is here at last. Just two more working days before we break up ready for festivities. As often happens, Ang was at work, earning us a crust, so I needed 'shore cover' from elsewhere. Thankfully, dad took care of whichever wasn't swimming. Beth, as usual, was a star in the water while appearing to drown swimming rings around (or more accurately, under) the children in her class. There will be three weeks now before the next lessons so I'll take them to the local pool instead when I'm off. Beth can do what she does best without anyone pressing her to work on surface swimming techniques. Tom can do what he always does, best described as being little or nothing other than cough and gag a bit after each uncalled-for dunking. 

After dropping dad back, the three of us headed off to school. I needed to tidy up badly after a week in which we had the Nativity (x2), a mass and the final outside performance of the choir. As I tidied, Tom did his best to undo all my work. At least he enjoyed it and I can now see large portions of my desk, which is nice. 

I took this picture on the way back. No reason, I just noticed the shot and stopped to get it. It happens a lot now that I keep my Powershot with me most of the time. I really need to keep a tripod handy as long shots like this need a more stable base than some bloke teetering atop the remains of a drystone wall. 
Perhaps the most and simultaneously least exciting event of the day was the power cut. We hadn't been home long. I'd set off the washer, dishwasher and drier. Beth was happily watching Cbeebies. Then, the TV went off. It's funny how quiet the house goes. Fumbling around with the fuse box did nothing to help so I went out into the street to see if the neighbours had lost power as well. You see, I'm not sure I can remember the last time it happened and thus didn't imagine it could be an actual powercut. It was clear that many others were thinking the same and we quickly established there was indeed a distinct lack of electricity in the neighbourhood. . 

We coped very well considering. The electronic babysitter was still available in the form of a movie on the laptop. Thankfully the ACER Aspire Timeline I bought a good year ago was fully charged and would have done two movies if needed. I located three candles and a flash light before darkness fell. Two of the candles were pretty useless but most candles these days are provided more for aesthetic value, proving mostly useless when asked to illuminate. In addition to the one good candle, the gas fire provided heat and light creating something of a festive feel (though the laptop is very much out of place). 
It was all good in the end. We ate pizza by fire/candle/laptop light, drank tea and Beth learned that her beloved CD player also uses electricity. The only thing that let go was my phone as it hadn't been charged last night and gave up shortly after the cut. I even found my old camping lantern, unused for at least 4 years, rusted and dusty, just like the gas canister but ready to bring serious light back to living room. 
Power returned at about 1700. I was actually enjoying the gloom and near helpless simplicity when things started beeping, booting and generally lighting up so normality was strangely unwelcome. In fact, I was just filling pans to try and try to produce enough hot water for a shallow bath before an early bed. Within minutes however, I was glad of the working lights and boiler. Tom, otherwise happy, distributed the contents of his stomach evenly between his clothing and the rug. It's times like that when you really start to to enjoy the wonders of technology, particularly combination boilers, washing machines and lights. So ends another blog, another day in my life made by two lovely children, my dad and the good old national grid. 

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