Living out in ‘the sticks’ makes us more prone to power cuts than built-up urban or suburban areas. It may be due to an over-reliance on overhead power lines for the supply in rural areas, but we also experience fluctuating power too with lights dimming at regular intervals and if there is a major, large-area power rural properties are always the last to be reconnected.
I was reminded of our vulnerability a couple of weeks ago when I was in the middle of making a batch of jam. You see, I cook on an electric cooker (no room for an Aga and no mains gas) and just as the jam (plum with cinnamon and mulled wine – if you are interested!) was starting to bubble all the power went. Bit of a dilemma. Do I wait and see if it comes back on? Do I phone the power company to report a fault? Or do I drag out the small camping stove and gas bottle that we keep for emergencies?
In the end none of the above were necessary. The power came back on in about three quarters of an hour and I was able to carry on with the jam making. (It turned out very well.) But once the jam was bottled and cooling I did a quick stock check in preparation for the winter: candles, matches, torch, gas for the camping stove. We’ll have a few power cuts throughout the winter, most will be short-lived, but we have had long periods without electricity in the past and it pays to be ready for the next time.