The No-power Hour (or Two)


The first sign we get that it’s happened is the beep of the fire alarm.

It’s wired to the mains, so it gives a little annoyed pip to let us know there’s been a power cut.

It’s nearly the end of our second week of working from home, and I think most of us probably feel we’re getting into our stride now. We’ve got chatgroups set up to keep in touch, and we managed our first online Features team meeting on Tuesday.

I have to say our internet has thankfully been really reliable over the last fortnight, which has been an absolute blessing. We’re in a dip between two hills, and without using a powerful signal booster we don’t even get any TV channels.

A bit wrong

Earlier this morning, it all went a bit wrong when our power went down. It tends to happen to us on really windy days, and you never really know how long it’s going to last.

It can be just a few minutes, or days. Last year it went down and took a day to come back on.

When we drove up the lane and out on to the road, we saw why it had come back on. The power company had left a big generator at the top of our power lines, with big crocodile clips clamped on the wires to keep our lights and TVs on.

Photograph by Alex Corlett.

What do you do when the lights go off, the internet goes off, the heating goes off and everything stops?

Then it’s time to read a book, or write a blog like this (offline), or go out to tend to the chickens — we’re not short of ideas. But the worry really is how long it’s all going to last.

 And we do miss our cups of tea without the kettle!

As often as the ‘leccy goes off, our 20-year-old oil boiler breaks down. It has a bad habit of picking the coldest spells in winter to do this. Fortunately, the previous owners had a stove put into the living room, so for as many days as there’s no boiler, we eat, sleep and relax in the living room in front of the fire.

We always come into work a bit rosy the next day, our cheeks a little pink from sitting in front of the intense heat of the fire!

There’s always something

There’s always something to do; it just take a bit creative thinking sometimes. The stories on the news have been fab. We loved the Marsh family’s Les Mis adaptation, Jo Wick’s PE lesssons and this New Zealand teddy bear hunt.

What are doing to keep yourself entertained during all this? We’d love to hear your stories of what’s going on where you are, how you’re keeping busy and how you’re keeping in touch with your loved ones.

Let us know by sending through any pics or good stories to

It was only 2 hours before the power came back on for us, so it’s high time for a cuppa!

Here’s hoping you’re keeping well out there. And if you’re looking for things to do, check out Iain’s excellent blog about virtual museums and galleries you can visit from your own home.

For more from Alex, read his Features Ed blog here.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.