Tuesday, 22 March 2011


I am sorry I have not been blogging recently. I was all ready to post, when our power went out. Now this is not unusual. We are a small island, and when there is a fault, it can affect a small area, or it can affect the whole island. We have two men on the island, who do the repairs, if they can, and if they can't the power company sends out mechanics from Mainland Orkney, either chartering a plane or a launch, to effect the repairs.

So the power went out. It was nearly 2pm. still daylight. We are all electric. except for a wood burning stove. The fire went on to keep us warm, and then I started having problems. I wanted to use my computer - NO ELECTRICITY! I wanted to use my sewing machine - NO ELECTRICITY! Also my machine was out in my studio -NO HEAT. There was no chance of watching the television, listening to the radio or cd and the light was not good enough to do hand embroidery. I could not do any baking, which I love or do any cooking, but I solved the question of a cup of tea by putting a pan on top of the wood burner, much easier than getting out the small, gas camping stove. I ended up reading a book, and using a torch , when the natural light began to fade.

This failure of power made me think how dependent on power we really are. I need light to see, a cooker to eat, television, radio and cd/dvd to listen to, heaters for comfort. It made me wonder how we managed before I became so dependent on 'gadgets'!! Our island did not get electricity till the 1970s (I think 1972), so it was tilley lamps, aga cookers or individual generators. Suddenly we cannot do without ipads, ipods and mobile phones. Now I may drool at the adverts for ipads,  but I hate mobile phones! They are intrusive. Who wants to be phoned when you are walking down the street, or, in my case, walking along a deserted beach, listening to the surf and the seagulls? Yuck!!

From there it was a small step to thinking about the disaster in Japan. Can you imagine what the Japanese are going through just now? It was bad enough that they had a massive earthquake, but then the tsunami arrived, and now they have the radiation from the damaged power plant with which to contend. Just watch this-

It beggars belief. I think one of the most poignant pictures for me was people queuing up in a very orderly fashion, waiting for food. Adults were handed a very small package of rice (maybe about 3oz) for two adults. This is in a country that only the day before had the third largest economy! The Japanese people must be asking themselves, 'Are the government telling us the truth about the radiation?" Imagine what these people are going through? People who are used to the highest types of technology, reduced to nothing.

And to add to all this distressing news, our government has involved us in another war. Where and when will all this madness end? It doesn't bear thinking about!!

To go back to the power failure. The transformer had failed in the field behind our house and about thirty people were still affected, fours hours later. A launch had been chartered from Kirkwall, and the engineers came out to repair it. We went down to the hotel and had a lovely meal and then decided to go to the bingo! We had a great evening, won some money and came home to find the power had just been turned on - seven hours after the initial fault! I have appreciated electricity ever since.
Till next time.


  1. Sorry to hear about your lack of poer. It's amazing how we get so dependent on it, huh? I feel so horrible for what's going on in Japan. Yes, we are in another war, too. Three countries now. When will it all end?

  2. Loosing power is never fun. Here in rural Nebraska we can loose our power at times but when we have an ice storm that is when it usually happens as the ice takes down the lines. We are just thankful it is pretty reliable but I too wander around the house looking for something to do because everything I think of takes electricity. Sure makes reading a good book guilt free though!

  3. You are SOOOO right, Tich, about how dependant we are on electricity!

    Gilbert and I lost our power for 3 or 4 days once and we were going CRAZY!!! LOL

    Also, Gilbert and I watched that video in amazement and in awe of Mother Nature and her destructive power.... and in horror and sympathy with the Japanese... *shakes her head*

    Yes, it is hard to believe. Imagine? you have a home and TV and computer and family albums and clothes and food and comfort and warmth.... you go to work and BOOM!!! All of a sudden, you're homeless! Or, worst yet, you've also lost some family members.

    All in the space of what? 10 to 20 minutes?!?!?

    *still shaking my head*


  4. Great post Tich. It is mind boggling isn't it. Watching over the vid. it puts lots of things into perspective.