Just before 5 o’clock I pulled into the estate where I live, and the thought occurred to me, that it was darker than usual – then I realised – no street lighting. No house lighting either. A power cut. To be honest it threw me for a minute as we don’t get those very often. All around house alarms were blaring and the air was still. In a few houses, the flicker of candlelight could be seen.

Inside my house, all was dark, and I fumbled for the matches to put on my candles. One of which was my little nightlight which I could carry upstairs to change out of my contacts by candlelight. Getting tuned into the local radio on my iRiver I discovered that, due to a problem with a high voltage power cable 18,000 from north of Oxford to Bicester were without power … apparently we would be switched to another supply within 2 hours – 3 at the most. I then settled back, thanks to my gas hob, to prepare tonights supper – spagetti carbonara – by candlelight. I was halfway through this when the power flickered back on.

This evening has taught me two things:

+ just how much we have become dependent on electricity in everything we do, and:
+ how peaceful and natural it was by candlelight. The electric light is harsh and brilliant.