enchanting · son

A day spent back in time

the mantlepiece

“When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing, just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?” ~ Ralph Marston.

Monday, 28th January, 2013.

The interesting weather conditions have not let up today, if anything they have worsened. It appears that we are surrounded by a cyclone, high pressure systems, troughs and fronts, if that means anything at all to any of you. It means nothing to me, I just look out the window and see the trees blowing willy-nilly, branches flying off the trees, rain overfilling the bird bath and the birds huddling together in the shelter of our veranda.

"I dropped some!" This young kookaburra came onto the veranda today, out of the wind, and enjoyed a morsel of food.
“I dropped some!” This young kookaburra came onto the veranda today, out of the wind, and enjoyed a morsel of food.

We lost power last night at around 7.30 pm I think. After reading by torch-light for some time I decided to take advantage of the darkness and have an early night.

The power returned at some time overnight, I have no idea when, but it was back this morning. I planned a day of washing, ironing and vacuuming (all the fun stuff!) seeing as the great outdoors was fit for neither man nor beast.

Well, the Gods of the Power Plant had other ideas. By 10.30 am, the power had disappeared yet again.

All day we waited. I filled the washing machine with dirty clothes, all set to press the start button when the power returned.

I waited some more.

All set for a new year at school.
All set for a new year at school.

My son returns to school tomorrow, so we covered his books and put his name on all of his belongings. I’m not sure why I bother putting his name on things, he loses them anyway.

We ate lunch. We made drinks of tea, boiling the water on the gas burners. We hand washed the dishes that had been stacked into the dishwasher. The house remained dark, due to the inclement weather.

My husband went to the supermarket to buy kerosene for the old kerosene lamp. We may be in for another long, dark night.

I read a few pages of a new book I have. Then took a nap.

I never, ever even so much as feel drowsy during the day, but today, I did.

Can you see the dolphin leadlight-look design in this lantern?
Can you see the dolphin leadlight-look design in this lantern?

When I woke up, the night had arrived, still there was no electricity and the candles were alight.

And here is a seahorse.
And here is a seahorse.

Tuesday, 29th January, 2013.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Buddha.

As you can see by the date, a new day has dawned and this post didn’t reach the point where I could hit the publish button. Thank you WordPress for auto-saving drafts! I had been saving as I wrote, but this morning I discovered that my writing had been saved mid-word, which I didn’t do manually.

This bumble bee looks far happier in my lantern than it would be outdoors right now.
This bumble bee looks far happier in my lantern than it would be outdoors right now.

Our evening meal was cooked last night by candlelight, using the gas burners of our stove top. As we began eating, the power returned.

My son had cheered, after declaring that he had never in his entire life spent such a boring day; with the return of the electricity to the house he could now watch the cricket on television and charge his mobile phone.

I had mixed emotions. Having paced around the house all day, wondering what to do next in our home which had been converted to pre-power days, it had given me the opportunity to contemplate how people back in those day filled their days, as yes, I too had spent the day feeling bored.

Mr. Frog, all aglow in the candlelight.
Mr. Frog, all aglow in the candlelight.

Life would have been so different, back in the days when life had to be planned around the natural light of day. I know I wouldn’t have been bored at all. I would take the lack of electricity for granted and plan my days accordingly.

As it turned out, when the lights came back on in our house and the candle light was no longer necessary, I felt quite sad. My eyes had become accustomed to the gentle light from the flickering flames. I had also enjoyed the silence in our home, hearing only the sounds of my families voices, the piano being played and the heavy breathing of my sleeping dog.

It had been magical, listening to the sounds of my son playing the most beautiful tune on the piano, one which he had taught himself during the school holidays. I had enjoyed the softness of the candlelight and the kerosene lamp.

I discovered that listening to the piano being played by candlelight is simply enchanting.

The gentle golden aura of the kerosene lamp was a welcome change to harsh, electric lighting.
The gentle golden aura of the kerosene lamp was a welcome change to harsh, electric lighting.

The only real gladness I had felt was in knowing that I could return to the computer, to write again, and to see the photos I had taken throughout the day.

I’m quite sure those people who lived back in the days before power would have rather enjoyed the internet too. πŸ™‚

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8 thoughts on “A day spent back in time

  1. Joanne, a couple of your images aren’t loading for me. The first and the “Mr. Frog all aglow” (the title is there — just no image)

    The Archives at the University where I worked used to display some of the letters in its collection. Imagine moving to a new land and sending a letter that takes two months to arrive and then another two months to get the answer.

    What WOULD they make of the internet ?

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    1. I’m not sure why the images didn’t load properly Sybil, unless it was something to do with a weakened power source here. The photos all seem to be there now, so I hope they are for you too.

      When you consider that a letter would have taken two months to arrive at its destination, you can see why it is now called “snail mail” πŸ˜‰

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  2. Sounds like you had what we call a hurricane, or at least a storm with gale-force winds. I hope everyone surrounding you came through it as well as you did. I can understand your mixed feelings about living without power – it’s lovely living by candlelight, at least for a little while! The various creatures on your lanterns are very whimsical and cheerful!

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    1. It was an x tropical cyclone Barbara, but some weather presenters did refer to it as a hurricane. I don’t actually think we have hurricanes in Australia though! I think most homes in this area fared rather well, considering the way the wind whipped up! All is calm now, internet is back on and I will just have to be happy with my memories of living in candlelight (until the next blackout πŸ˜‰ )

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  3. Been there, done this power outage thing so many times. We hardly know what to do when all our devices and lights and power disappears, do we? It’s so sweet to live with candlelight, though. Glad to hear your power is back on.

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    1. It would be helpful if we knew how long the power would be out when it happens Kathy, then we could plan our days around no power. This time though, the power company wouldn’t make a commitment to anyone regarding when it would be back, as the outage was so far spread. The candlelight was fun though. πŸ™‚

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