Hakuna stima hapa

Hakuna Stima was a common situation for me when I lived in Kenya, it means the electricity is off. It used to happen about once per week as a scheduled event lasting about a day and, intermittently, the rest of the time giving our UPSs a hard time in the computer lab.

The night before last, it happened here in Cambridge.

“That’s interesting”, I said as I was plunged into darkness while cooking a curry.

The curry continued to cook on the gas stove but the gas central heating boiler, however, went off. We had a candle-lit curry supper.

After a couple of hours there was a flicker from the lights and beeps from various parts of the house but it didn’t turn into anything. Looking out of the window, the neighbours who had been blacked-out with us were, mostly, showing lights in their windows again but a few houses including ours remained dark.

In Kenya I’d spend my dark evenings writing in my journal with a candle, sometimes listening to¬† music by batter-operated radio. Preparing blogs to post here was part of what made life meaningful for me there. Biggest problem was that I had an electric fridge but, in fact, I didn’t keep much in it.

Nic and I sat on the sofa, under a quilt. It was so quiet. I read aloud from The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe which I’d been reading aloud at bed time for a couple of weeks. Then we turned off everything that might beep when the power came back on, and turned in for an early night. The heating had been on for a while and our home is well insulated so we weren’t cold, despite it being frosty outside.

In the morning the lights were on in the kitchen.

A sobering premonition, perhaps, of how we might have to adapt when fossil fuels start to run down.

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