It™s all gone dark “ Part iii.

Titles galore vied for pride of place in the post line “ Electric Dreams, Flatline and the ante post favourite f**${45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2}&{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} E*${45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2}&£$£ which was just pipped at the line in a close race.

Southern Electric are mucking about with wet powestring outside the house and getting frisky with some new fangled electric cabling. Well not Southern Electric per se as they’ve subcontracted the work to EDF energy, who’ve been properly French and bribed some Catholics from the UK’s most western isle to do the actual work.

It’s not job creation though, the power here is hamster strength at best and when a new neighbour moves in, we greet them with candles and torches. Many times we’ve been plunged into unexpected darkness resulting in Ow! Who the fuck put that table there?” lunges for alternate light sources.

So at 9am this morning, some hard hatted fella pulled the big red switch, watched by three other blokes in this hi-viz quartet, and it all went dark. This choreography has continued through the day with the youngest sparky being dispatched up and down a line of telegraph poles like a amphetamine spiked squirrel, while his mates lounge at poles end smoking and pointing in a vaguely managerial fashion.

Pole 2 A man up a pole, today.

Apparently they’re the Health and Safety team supervising the single bod at the far end of this workshy cone. So considering the outsourcing, tender management, logistics planning, supply chain, etc, etc, around a hundred well paid individuals are ensuring one bloke doesn’t fall out of a man made tree.

Well if shouting up C’mon Sean, there’s tea on in the van and Bob’s eying up your chocolate biscuit” counts. There’s clearly a greasy mirror of the oft watched pole into which vast sums of our monthly bills fund this sort of nonsense. No wonder electricity is so bloody expensive.

This would all have serenely passed me by if the family man-flu has done the same. Sadly, it’s managed to take hold of even my temple like constitution. And what with the viral vectors that are my children bringing home a new strain every evening, it appears to have set in for the weekend.

It’s not just a cold; oh no, it’s far more life threatening than that. My nose is moonlighting as a high volume snot dispenser, my head feels like it’s encased in a bucket of moist sand and the remainder of my body is riding the temperature rollercoaster between sweaty hot and shivering cold.

At such trying times, a lovely cup of tea or hot Lemsip would be welcome. Dispensed by a kindly spouse while lying ensconced in the enriching fold of a sofa based duvet. With daytime television to shout at and warmed by the gentle circulation of the central heating, one could make the best of it. Maybe a warm bath to follow with the promise of some sustaining cooking, and possibly a medicinal cold lager to round off the day.

But no, that kind of thing doesn’t happen in my life. We have a gas hob but it’s electrically started, our gas powered underfloor heating is secondary picketing along with its’ complex electrical controlling gubbins. The boiler’s flux capacitor refuses to fire up until gas is joined by electricity, and the thermostats are open circuited and useless in the absence of direct current.

We boiled a pan of water for tea which, considering the loss of eyebrows sustained during a fraught ignition sequence, was hardly worth the time and effort. If the Irish lad doesn’t reconnect the happy juice soon, all the neighbours will join us for a bit of spirit keepie-uppie around the ol’ Joanna.

No computers either on a rainy day. It’s a long tea time of the soul without the stimulus of the Internet or the righteous fragging of Unreal Tournament. I’m carefully hoarding my Smartphone battery and it’s tiny window into the world that power forgot. Life’s all gone a bit monochrome and only an explosion of sparks will bring light and colour back into it.

Without even the wireless which my Mum reckons got them through difficult times, I’ve actually found time to talk to my wife, limp out for a brave walk in the fields and ruthlessly re-sequence my sock drawer. You wouldn’t want to have been an unattached sock in our house today, the trial-free penalty for divorce was death by landfill.

The power is due on in, oh, about two hours ago. The sparkies are getting wetter and more desperate and it seems likely they’ll abandon us to an electricity free evening. Oh what fun that’ll be. I can’t begin to tell you what havoc has already been wrought on the bottle temperature in the beer fridge. And when the kids get home, they’ll need to eat about fifty ice creams each before the kitchen floods.

Pole 1 He is still there.

There’s some research which cheerfully predicts that Man is just two meals from barbarianism. I’m not sure it’d take that long based on this tedious experience.

It is, frankly, all a bit shit.

And what sympathy am I receiving for stoutly maintaining all manner of stiffened upper lips while stoically enduring these symptoms of bubonic plague? Not bloody much other than the odd grudgingly offered boiled sweet and a sharp aside on malingering. It’s flu, I’m bloody telling you and if things don’t soon improve, I’m calling BUPA “ at least their television might work.

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