Saturday, 2 August 2008

Power to all Z's friends

The town centre is still off. The butcher opposite Al is quite despondent about the meat in his fridge - it's a huge walk-in larder fridge and although the meat will still be quite all right, it may have risen above the temperature he's allowed to sell it at. They reckon the power will come on later this morning at about 11. Al will put his Saturday girl and boy on to shelf stacking and he'll serve the customers - the Youth of Today aren't too good at adding up, and he thinks the lack of a till will confuse them completely. The scales are operated by mains or battery, so they're all right.

A sudden and complete power failure really made life difficult for businesses. The banks had to close and Clays the printers came to a complete halt. The amount of electricity they use means an emergency generator would not cut the mustard. We called at the local garage - obviously, the petrol pumps were not operational, but Jonathan said that cars were stuck up on ramps and couldn't be got down. Not good for anyone who'd sent their car in for a service and wanted it back later in the day.

There is a wedding at the church today. Not knowing if there would be any electricity, I had to explain that there could be a problem with the music - an organ is powered by air, provided by a pump. One local church is in the middle of a field and has no electricity supply, so it is still hand-pumped, but nearly all church organs were converted to an electric pump years ago. The groom, a resourceful young man, arranged to get a generator and I said I'd meet him this morning and help set it up - I was glad to be able to ring him and say that the power was back on after all.

At least I defrosted the fridge.

I have a little list of things to do before I go away on Monday. One of them is to buy more credit for my phone, which is down to £2.30. I remember there was about £25-worth at the end of October last year and I haven't bought any since. Those of you who have met me will remember how reticent and taciturn I am, as that will demonstrate.

It's raining. It's a good think that I, bored, went out for a half-hour bike ride last night, because I probably won't be getting my healthful exercise today. You know how moths and things fly at the car in the dark in the summer? - they do the same at bikes. I had to blink constantly not to get eyefuls of insects.

10 comments:

badgerdaddy said...

Wow, adventure in Yagnub! I'd have gone straight down the Dragon, I think...

Your insect talk reminds me of a run I used to do in Norwich with my friend Beccy when she was just starting out running. We went round a man-made lake/big pond, and with poor timing, so we usually ended up there about sunset. All fine, until an enterprising – or just slow – mozzie ended up stuck to my contact lens.

I was not happy.

Z said...

Nor was the mozzie.

When I went past the pub last night and the electricity was on there but not at home, I damned my lack foresight in not bringing any money with me. Of course, if I'd gone in looking pathetic someone would have bought me a drink, but even I havesome pride.

It's stopped raining and I'm out of coffee. I have no excuse not to get on my bike after all.

john.g. said...

At our local petrol station the pumps are petrol operated!

*coat on*

Brom said...

This post has got me thinking... we could do with more power cuts. I'll blog about this soon, and give you credit for the idea! Glad the fridge is sorted!

Thanks also for a new word in my vocab. I'll try not to be quite as taciturn-ious as I have been of late in blogland.

Z said...

John *holds door open* (come again soon though, dear heart)

Brom, we always love power cuts, especially in the winter. We light lots of candles, make toast by the fire and play games. We even talk to each other. It's a nuisance not having the computer though (Ro's all right with his laptop) as there were things I needed to do. Also, I must buy a new Aga kettle, my sub-Aga one got rusty and had to be chucked and tea is rubbish with water boiled in a saucepan.

What was unusual though was that the whole town was off with no warning. Most people, and particularly businesses with switchboards, couldn't even use the telephone. Planned outages are one thing, but unplanned ones make one appreciate how much modern life relies on nearby electricity.

Dave said...

In case I'm unable to comment here again before you go, do have a wonderful time in the big city, won't you?

Don't do anything I wouldn't, will you?

Z said...

Dave, you didn't even mention my slight variation from the truth there. What a gentleman you are.

I will be around tomorrow morning but thank you, and I'll keep your standards in mind at all times.

sablonneuse said...

Wow, I missed that on the news. (We had visitors). 13 hours is definitely not funny.
I used to play an organ at a church where there was no electricity. You could pump in enough wind for one (short) verse but there was usually someone willing to do the hard work for you.

Blue Witch said...

Are the people affected aware that they can claim (but they do have to claim - it's not given automtically) compensation from EDF?

"EGS 2 - Supply restoration during normal weather
If your electricity supply fails during normal weather conditions becuase of a problem with our distribution system, we will work hard to get the power back on as quickly as possible.

However, if it takes more than 18 hours, we will pay you £50 if you are a domestic customer and £100 if you are a business cusotmer. You will also receive a further £25 for each additional 12 hours you are without supply.
"

More details here: http://www.edfenergy.com/products-services/networks/customer-services/standards-of-service.shtml

I've just had several payments from them for all their recent cockups round here :)

Z said...

It only made the local news here, Sandy, I don't think you missed anything.

BW, Al knows because he told me. His shop was off for a good 24 hours. They made every effort to get supplies back to normal asap and we've no complaints - there are massive generators parked in every car park in town. Clays isn't back on again (or wasn't by Friday night) as they need more electricity than a stand-by generator can provide. Local food shops affected are going to let their insurers and the electricity company fight it out between them. I don't know if there was negligence implied in the original explosion, but the reparation was exemplary.