Posted tagged ‘power cuts’

In the dark

November 17, 2012

Hygiene standards have improved considerably in modern times so much so that ear wax is going out of fashion. Which leads us nicely to the also nearly extinct item: the humble candle. In olden times all homes were stocked with candles as they were a necessity. You never knew when the next power cut was coming.

Those old power failures, while a boon for adults, were a source of great happiness for the young. With everything on the blink the parents cursed their luck as the TV show they were watching disappeared from the screen. Of course, no catch-up TV was available and the half-missed episode was gone forever until it was repeated on UK Gold thirty years later. I don’t remember that one, would say mum and I’d say we probably had a power cut at the time.

The youngsters, though, cared not a jot for television. We liked the skulking about in the dark. While slightly afraid of the thick darkness there was still a thrill in the air as we basked in the excitement of the gloom. And then the hunt for the candles began. All played under the blanket of pitch black. Then the treasure was found. We had the candles. Oh no, where’s the matches? Striking it lucky, dad would have matches in his pockets. Where they always were.

The wax would be melted onto a saucer to give a foundation for the candle to be stuck onto -These saucers would be used for food at a future date but nobody was looking that far ahead all we wanted was light. And then there was light. We could see our spooky faces hanging over the candlelight. What fun.


There was someone knocking at the door. Much arguing ensued over who was to answer the call. As the males in the house, dad was pressured into going with me at his back. We walked the hall with the glow of the candle casting shadows that formed the shapes of ghouls. We didn’t have a spy hole so we opened the door blindly to the stranger that called.


It was next door’s neighbour asking if we had any spare candles. What a let down. We were expecting an axe murderer. We never get what we want.

The power cut has gone the way of the dodo or has it? I got one the other night. BOOF. Everything conked off. How strange? Using a torch (this is the 21st century after all) I went to the electricity box in the cupboard and flicked the power switch back on. We had suffered a power surge safety cut-off because of the amount of appliances that were on.

TV, computer, laptop, lights, cooker, fridge (that power eater is always on), washing machine, two X-box consoles, CD player, air freshener plugs (it’s a long story about football boots) and phone chargers.

With all that wattage in use it’s a wonder we didn’t blow the power in the whole street. Then the neighbours would come knocking as they do when these things happen. Not for candles, they’d be outside with burning torches and pitchforks.