I was sitting here this morning enjoying my first mug of tea of the day when something happened.
I didn't know what had happened but I knew something had, and I had to sit for a while to work out what the hell it was.
Then I realised what it was – silence. There was complete silence apart from the neighbour's dog barking. What was missing was the quiet hum from the freezer and the very quiet churning noise that the central heating pump makes through the pipes. Fuck! Power cut!
Power cuts used to be a regular thing here in the past. A couple of times a month we'd be plunged into darkness for an hour or two, and we'd just sit it out knowing that it's part of country life. We never had a Christmas Day without a power cut. A few years ago though, they upgraded something and the power cuts stopped.
Not that that solved the problem, because the fuses started blowing and I had a large stash of cartridges and a few six inch nails on standby for the regular bang from the fusebox in the porch.
Then we got the house rewired so the fuse blowing stopped. It transpired that the fusebox itself was at fault and it was replaced with a new box with fancy little switches that flicked instead of blowing. We haven't had any problems since.
Until this morning.
I naturally assumed that the whole neighbourhood was off, until I noticed the little light over the cooker was on. Fuck! Something wrong in the house.
I was tempted to leave it but unfortunately this house relies fairly heavily on electricity. The most important use is of course the electric kettle – no power – no mugs of tea. After that comes such minor details as hot water, cooking and the central heating which won't work unless the little pump is running. Then there's the telephone which is cordless and needs power for its little transmitter. The Interweb becomes a foreign and inaccessable land too,. In other words, without power we freeze, starve and are cut off from the world.
For the first time since we got it, I was obliged to examine the fusebox. It's quite fancy with rows of switches all neatly labeled. It wouldn't look out of place on the side of the Large Hadron Collider. Unfortunately the twat who installed it had labeled most of 'em "sockets" without mentioning what sockets. One of the main switches was off so I pushed it. It resolutely refused to stay switched on. Bugger! I had to go around the house switching everything off and unplugging everything. Still the switch refused to shift.
I switched all the trip switches off, checked all the sockets to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything and then tried switching 'em all on one my one until I found the circuit that was causing the problem. It was very conveniently labeled "sockets". Fuck again!
I found the circuit by process of elimination. At least the kettle was working again so I had some tea to fortify myself. I checked every socket again. There was only one that still had a plug in it – an inaccessible one behind a desk where I had plugged in a four foot extension lead. I unplugged it even though there was nothing plugged in the other end. I tried the fusebox again and everything worked. At fucking last.
I then tried plugging the little extension lead in again. Nothing happened.
All is back to normal now. Everything is plugged in and working perfectly. I am part of the human race again.
So I am sitting here now, supping hot tea with the freezer and the central heating pump doing their quiet thing in the background.
And I still haven't a fucking clue what caused the problem.