Blackout

Like many others in Finland, this winter we have suffered from electric blackouts more than in the past four years combined. The Boxing Day storm caused electricity to be cut in a massive number of households, and in places, the repairs took over a week.

Tonight’s blizzard again cut the wires and we spent the Friday evening in candlelight. The power went out around 17 and returned just minutes ago, after 21, so we had four nondigital hours between Marika, Ada and myself.

And it was a lot of fun.

Before the pressure in the pump system died, we managed to squeeze a few liters of potable water from the well. The wood-burning sauna stove has an integrated water heater for emergencies just like these, which was about halfway full, with approximately 10 liters of water for personal hygiene. Naturally, there are literally tonnes of snow just outside our doorstep which we could melt for cooking and washing, but it never came to that. And frankly speaking, the old well + bucket + rope combination has a greater time spent vs. yield ratio anyhow.

We lit the fireplace, had a slow dinner (it was a take-away Friday anyhow), all in perfect calm and quiet. Afterwards, me and Ada built a cardboard spider to accompany her growing family of cardboard spiders, all in candlelight. Once that channel of entertainment was exhausted, I grabbed my acoustic Fender and we sang through a familiar set of children’s songs as well as a few domestic heavy metal classics in drop D, topped with a Johnny Cash/NIN cover by yours truly. And before you know it, it was her bedtime already.

Just before Ada was turning in, we decided to empty the freezer to put our ¬†frozen food supply on the porch (it was only about -4C outside, but still) to avoid it being spoiled. We were wrapping the meats in plastic to deter local fauna from feasting on our cuts when Ada suddenly called that “someone switched the TV on”. The electricity was back, and to my surprise, I felt disappointed.

I was already looking forward to an early bed with a good book, but here we were: the internet was back, the TV was back and so was running water (the last of which was actually welcome). Oh well, Angelina Jolie was very good on the telly, and Reddit was Reddit.

If there is a moral to the story, it must be that in case of a blackout, the power is restored once you have emptied the freezer. Must remember that next time. Just in case I actually want the electricity back.