Fellow blogger Annette Rochelle Aben has recently experienced an extended power outage. In South Africa, we have experienced on-going scheduled power outages for extended periods twice in the last 10 years. There is nothing more frustrating for us, in our modern, technology driven world, than sitting in the dark. You can read about Annette’s experience here https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/all-the-powers-that-be/comment-page-1/#comment-11393. Her experience was worse than mine, as it is never that cold in South Africa, although the duration of the scheduled black outs made life quite difficult for a period.
After reading Annette’s post, I thought I would share the following poem that I wrote one winter evening at 5.30pm, while sitting in the dark waiting for my Dad to get our small generator (genie) going so that we could start with the preparation of the evening meal. This was written during one of the periods of extended rolling-black outs when life seemed quite bleak due to cold weather, frustration in getting to work and back with all the traffic lights out and sitting in a cold office, sharing power points with colleagues and having cold lunches.
Photograph of the sleeping girl who features in Sir chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook by Robbie and Michael Cheadle
In the dark
The sun’s sliding downward in the West,
The cold a most unwelcome guest,
When its time to put on heaters and lights,
That’s when load shedding really bites.
Life is tough at the best of times,
Bitter sweet, a bit like limes,
It stretches most people to the hilt,
Without extra things to make life tilt.
It’s difficult, trying to get things done,
Cooking in the dark is not much fun,
It’s even worse getting kids to study,
Any excuse to stop and chat to a buddy.
We should feel blessed that we have gas and a genie,
Although this costs a pretty penny,
We are better off than the rest,
Of the situation we should make the best.
So why then do I feel so bad,
Sitting in a traffic jam makes me mad,
When I lie in the dark at night,
Every noise gives me a fright.
Maybe the oversees pastures are greener,
Even if our life may be a bit leaner,
At least the lights will reliably work,
And lack of power won’t drive me berserk.
by Robbie Cheadle
I must add that Government has resolved the electricity shortages to a large extent now so we are no longer experiencing load shedding. I also don’t think the electricity supply is as reliable in the UK and US as I thought previously.
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