Thursday, 18 December 2008

Harsh winter when it's automn still

Living in a tiny village - center of France thus center of world - has multiple advantages. But our electricity grid is certainly not one of those items to be proud of.

For last Sunday we had a meteorological red alert: stay at home good people. It started to snow in the early morning hours and continued right into the next night. That might be nothing worthwhile mentioning for those living in Norway or in Canada but here?

And what about global warming? Where are you, please?

In the evening we had three or four short power cuts and the fifth settled it for good. Light the Christmas candles, let's go to bed early, best thing to do.....

Next morning, Monday, everything was so peaceful. No car running, no street lighting, tepid water coming out of the boiler, house decidedly cold but peaceful, too.

So we stayed at home, admiring the white out. I did not dare to start the wood fire because it is equipped with little fans for more efficiency. They are not supposed to stay idle; ball bearing don't like to be heated up.

Here, have a look at the living room, fire ablaze. That is "normal procedure", electricity being supplied.

No more. Fortunately I bought eight years ago a little stand-by stove for an emergency like that, running without electricity. And the dear little thing made of sheet steel or so did the job. See here:

Suddenly, the place looks impoverished, a place for displaced people who make go with what is available. And so it was.

25 hours later - on a road cleaning job - I heard the church bells chime again: hosiannah, the juice was back. An hour later the phone went dead for another 20 hours. But who cares. And yesterday, the washing machine got a bout of Alzheimer's. The darling is quite willing to turn around but refuses to pump and seems to know only one program these days, anyway.

That's a slice of life at the beginning of the 21st century. Everything is available, but on a temporary basis only.