Aug 11, 2012

Incandescent Friday.

As I drove home in the wind gusts last night, I couldn't help but grin smugly to myself.  The day had gone to plan and I'd hit the road before peak hour.  Best of all, the traffic was moving pretty freely for a Friday night.  Sure there were a few accidents and police cars whizzing by with their lights flashing but hey, there's plenty of room for us all on the highways and motorways of the south west.

Things were also great by the time I hit the final main road for home.  I drove past the KFC and did my usual sneaky leftward glance to check out the line of cars at the drive through.  And paused.  The KFC was shut.  The Colonel as not at home, the familiar red and white signage almost invisible from the street without it's usual electricity chewing fluorescence.  It was the same at the store fronts of all the outlets in our local Bermuda Triangle of fast food outlets.  As I made the final turn for home, the family run businesses were also blacked out. Even the fish and chip shop on a Friday night.

It wasn't going to be the lazy Friday night in that I'd hoped for.  My suburb was in the thick of the area of Sydney most severely affected by the power grids going down due to the stormy weather.  According to the news reports, 30 000 homes and businesses were affected.  To make matters worse, each time the poor staff tried to get power back up to some of us, we'd lose it or someone else in the area would lose theirs.  The wind had also whipped up branches our beautiful trees into a dervish.  Fortunately, it didn't look like there was much that needed the SES to get called in for.  They had enough work up at the Northern Beaches.

Faced with a long and wintery night without power, I did what any sensible local would do and went to  'our' Coles, the unofficial pillar of the community in times of extreme weather conditions.  It didn't look promising as I walked up the stationery escalator but everyone walking down the other one assured me that Coles was indeed open. And sure enough, Coles was in business.  They must have their own (powerful) generator because all the aisles were lit as were the check outs.  I'm hoping that the fridges and freezers were on as well, just not their lights....

My blackout dinner was a glampy (glamour camping) affair.  Some fancy soup from the ready to go dinners aisle and a couple of bread rolls.  I bought the 4 grain rolls for my conscience because the best rolls to go with a bowl of soup in these circumstances are actually squishy, no nutritional content, white bread rolls toped with fake bacon and cheese.  I had one of each to keep everyone happy.

What surprised my most about my evening in the candlelight was how peaceful it was once I'd got myself out of the mild panic and fluster of being without electricity (for what later turned out to be 5 hours).  With the streetlights off and everyone else in the same situation, it was so still and quiet outside.

Going about my usual evening routine guided by an incadescent glow actually helped me relax into the weekend more than if I'd had my usual accompaniment of The Food Channel on Foxtel or a digital radio lounge music station playing.

Showering was transformed into a 'winter day spa at home' experience.  If you're going to have shower during a blackout, do it with a Jo Malone candle ... and gas water heating.

I payed homage to Victorian times by walking around the house accompanied by a candle.  I had a Mag light in perfect working order at my side as well but the candle added more dramatic interest (and fragrance) to my evening tidy up.

However, I was quick to take advantage of the 21st century when I realised that reading by candlelight just wasn't going to happen.

So it hello to my Kindle and it's reading light for the rest of the night.

If you were in Sydney last night, I hope you kept safe and warm, if not somewhat entertained during the hours without power.

If anyone from the SES or the electricity companies are reading (you never know), thank you so much for all that you've done under trying circumstances.  I'm basking under the light of my energy saver light bulbs as I type and grateful that our roof is still in one piece.


  1. You obviously have gas at home (or were eating cold soup). We were lucky was business as usual. No blackouts or the like.

  2. My gym is was in the blackout area last night! The lovely ladies offered a workout on the rower but that was it, so I headed home. I saw the Ausgrid tweets last night - they did a superb job! There is something so...refreshing about being forced to live by candlelight, even if just for a few hours. Have a lovely weekend :)

  3. Wow sounds like a really wild storm! Would be very relaxing with all of the candle light though, nice and peaceful :)

  4. Gosh that sounds like crazy weather! Glad you are all good and made a fun night of it anyway. L xx

  5. Jo Malone candles definitely add a little luxury to a black out... Love the bump photos in the last post too. xx


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