Sunday, 1 February 2015

Baby, When The Lights Go Out

I read an article the other day on things to do during loadshedding, which I thought was a grand idea!

For those who aren't in South Africa, you may not be aware that we are going through some pretty hectic loadshedding. Some places have it worse than others*, but recently we've been having routine power cuts to certain areas all over the country on a regular basis so that our power distributor can perform maintenance. 

We could get into a whole political argument, point fingers and play the blame game, but the point of the matter is that loadshedding is here for a while, so we may as well suck it up and find something productive to do while we have no power.

Here's my list of things to do when the lights go out.

  1. Make fire your friend. Light some candles. Light a fire for a braai. In winter, light a fire in your fireplace. There's something so cozy about a fire that allows you to enjoy your home an a slightly different ambiance.
  2. Read a book once you've lit up some candles. Or don't light up candles and use a reading device with a backlight, such as a kindle fire or ipad.
  3. Tell a story. Make one up or tell one that everyone is familiar with. To make it even more fun, break out your torches and tell stories next to a fire.
  4. In summer, it may still be light enough to enjoy some time outside. So take your drinks, sit on your lawn and enjoy watching the transition from light to dark without the distraction of electric lights.
  5. Go for a drive. Just because your lights are out, it doesn't mean lights are out everywhere. So go for a drive and explore your city.
  6. Do some sort of exercise. Go for a run, play that game of tennis or squash you've been meaning to play. Even just take a walk around the block.
  7. Have a nap. When there's nothing else for you to do, and it's cold and dark outside, you may as well use this as an excuse to catch up on your beauty sleep.
  8. Take up a hobby that you don't need electricity for. Knitting or fly-tying anyone?
  9. Get a pen and paper out and write or draw. It can be fantasy or true life, abstract or life-like. There's something calming about getting words or pictures on to a piece of paper with pen and ink.
  10. Just sit and chat. Use loadshedding as an excuse to chill out with your friends or family and catch up on life, dreams, things to get excited about or your next holiday.
  11. Break out the old musical instrument you haven't played in years and make some music. You can go with the old classics, or the more contemporary pieces, but either way, jamming with some people is a great way to spend an evening. And if you can't play anything, why not use it as an opportunity to learn!
  12. Take a blanket and go stargazing. When was the last time you took a good long look at the skies and tried your best to find that elusive shooting star?
So, that's my list - what are your suggestions for activities to do when you've got no power?

* I haven't had too many power cuts in my part of the world, but I know that in my folks area they sometimes go for days without power (and sometimes water, but that's another story!)

Two candles and gold bracelet

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  1. Agree about using a backlit device but what about when there has not been any power for ages so the device is flat? Apparently the worst case scenario is if there is a complete meltdown because then there will be no power to pump petrol or diesel, no power to run the cellphone networks...back to the..uh..DARK ages!

  2. That's why I mention candles and books as well in point 2... :)