Sunday 5 December 2004

Don't leave your torch behind. A powercut ahead; 1972, you know

It seems a bit trivial to mention it really. What with everything else that is happening in the world. There are wars. Governments are being overturned. People are starving. People are dying. Surely this is insignificant in the grand scheme of things? What right do I have to push this onto you? Do you really need to know it? Do you really need to know every tiny, tedious little detail of my life?

Ah, wait a minute.... this is a weblog. Of course you need to know. You want to know. You MUST know.


We had a proper, full-on power cut this evening - everything went off. Lights. Boiler. Fridge. Radio. Street Lights. Phone. Everything. A few burglar alarms started ringing down the street. A couple of people came out of their houses to either fetch a torch from their car, or perhaps just to have a look to check that the blackout was affecting the whole street.

A quick look out of the window told me that the whole area was out, but that central Nottingham was still an orange glow on the horizon, so I felt I could rule out something really terrible.... which had of course crossed my mind....

I rummaged around in the kitchen draw for a torch and wandered upstairs to look for my maglite ("it's never dark in America!") and some candles. The torch was very nearly out of batteries and was getting dimmer second by second. By the time I got to the top of the stairs, I was beginning to feel like I was in a horror film - you know, where you are alone in the dark, and your only source of light is gradually fading, fading away until you are left all alone in the darkness.... or are you alone?

Anyway - I found the maglite and the candles, picked up the battery radio and went back downstairs to eat some soup and see if there was anything on local radio to let me know what was up.

Local radio is shite though, isn't it? Apparently there was some big bash at the Nottingham Arena today, and we were voting on who was the best act... Lamar? McFly ("they let us play live!") and more unutterable shite (there may have been more than one Bedingfield present, I'm afraid to say..... just how many more of them are there waiting to be launched at us? I feel we have a right to know).

It was all a bit weird actually. I grew up in the 1970s when this kind of thing was quite common, and my mum and dad always had a big box of candles, matches and things handy. Living in a town you are never really in the dark. With the streetlights out, it was quite eerie.

After about an hour, the lights came back on, the boiler fired up, the phone tinkled into life and I went back to ironing my shirt for work tomorrow. End of story. Anecdote over.

We really do lead ridiculous pampered lives where losing electricity for an hour is worthy of comment. Perhaps I should go and buy the Band Aid 20 single to make myself feel better about that. Assuage my mild attack of liberal guilt about my pampered western existence. Yeah, that'd just about do it. Now only 79p on ITunes too.

I've just read that Oxfam have announced that compared to what they gave in the 1960s, rich countries are now effectively giving half the amount of aid . Meanwhile, interest on the debt owed is being clocked up at a rate of $100m dollars a day.

A day!

This has made me feel worse.

Perhaps I should buy 2 copies of the Band Aid 20 single. Or maybe bid £1 for an Ipod or 42" plasma tv? Charity christmas cards this year?

We are clearly not doing enough.


Speaking of shameless consumerism, I bought some CDs this weekend:

The Lost Riots - Hope of the States


American Idiot - Green Day

If I get round to it, and can remember what I got when, I'll do an end of year list or something.

I don't recommend Oxford Street in December, by the way.


For some reason this has inspired me to listen to "Appetite for Destruction" for the first time in YEARS. It's great, isn't it? In 1988 I listened to almost nothing else.

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