Down our street stood many knobbly power poles. They poked up out of the ground, covered in peeling layers, hideous red-brown paint, and resembling nothing so much as old fingers.
It never occurred that anything would be done about our old poles. But, checking the post one day, we found a slip of paper informing us that the power would be turned off while the power poles were replaced.
At 8:30 the fridge's buzz ceased. Sophie flicked at the light switch. The power was gone. We sighed, and settled down for a day without power.
Sitting by windows, squinting in the dim light of an overcast day, I soon grew tired of our powerless situation. No light. And no internet! How could I check blogs, moderate comments, write emails?
While we amused ourselves without electricity, a great operation was taking place down the road. Three work teams were yanking poles out of the ground, drilling new holes, and putting in the new poles. Well, some of the men were.
Three men worked one cherry picker, seeing to one of the poles. Two men with road signs stood at either end of the roadwork zone. The rest of the men...sat around in a perpetual tea break. Occasionally the tea group would break up, each man picking up his chair and walking along the side of the road. A few metres on, they would reform the circle and continue their break.
As the day grew darker and longer, we all wished heartily for the power to come back on. But alas, there was still another hour to go.
My eyes followed the clock. 3:05. 3:10. 3:15. Beep, beep, beep. The washing machine buzzed back into life. We were free! At once we set the kettle going for coffee, opened out netbooks, and resumed normal, electricity filled lives.
I never realised how much we really do rely on power for everything. I knew we would miss the cooking appliances but until we had no power, I never knew how much I rely on power for everything else. Now we have power again, and I hope that we shan't lose it again for a long, long time.