Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It gets worse

We had a power cut this evening. Everything went dead at about half past five and has only just now come back on again. For the last two hours I've been typing on the laptop by candlelight, hoping the aged battery will last out for long enough to get to the end of the current section.

I always feel sad when the lights come back on after a power cut. There's something about candlelight that appeals to my reclusive nature. I remember a similar feeling many, many years ago, back when I was still in short trousers. My school organised a canal boat trip for all the leavers each year, and when my turn came up I was sent off with two other boys to spend a few days inching slowly along ancient waterways. The boat belonged to the long-suffering and kind parents of a boy who had left the school decades earlier. They put up with our bad manners and land-lubber ways, slowly teaching us the craft of the longboat as they had no doubt taught generations before us. After a few days we settled into the slow life of the canal.

And then a strange thing happened. I began to resent the few times we encountered another boat coming the other way. I hated being reminded of the world outside. The end of the holiday was a terrible wrench - the canal we were travelling along ran through the industrial outskirts of some grimy city, passing under motorway bridges and past the backs of endless warehouses sprayed with rude graffiti. We docked in a run-down marina and were driven back to civilisation in stunned silence. I guess I've been trying to find that stillness ever since.

A power cut comes close. Especially in the winter, when you're snowed in as well. But this evening was nice, too. The Horse Doctor is away at the moment looking at cows or somesuch, so it's just me, the dogs and the cat. With no power I wasn't even tempted to watch the telly, and I was really rather looking to reading by candlelight before going to bed.

Maybe I will anyway.

But there was one small niggle that ruined my otherwise perfect evening early on. I had thought I might get a bit of peace and quiet from next door. But alas no. The keyboard from hell seems to work on batteries. And with no telly, no radio, no computer games...

Once more.



Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

I can't tell you how hard I'm laughing at the image of you roughing it, typing on your laptop by candlelight.

You're a modern Abe Lincoln.

A modern, Welsh Abe Lincoln.

July 19, 2006 2:10 am  
Blogger Vincent said...

A modern, Welsh Abe Lincoln with a budding eighties synth band practising next door. Maybe I should bring my keyboard to Harrogate - I can't play that either, so it'll make you feel at home.

July 19, 2006 7:19 am  
Blogger JamesO said...

Abe Lincoln wasn't Welsh?

July 19, 2006 10:37 am  

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