Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Power generation

Driving back from Kingston Beach in extremely high winds at midday on Sunday, we spotted power lines down on our road. It wasn't a huge surprise. It was only a few hundred metres down the hill from where they came down last time, but at least this time the road wasn't blocked. By the time we pulled up in our driveway, our neighbour showed up on his way down to investigate why they had lost power too. As we were chatting another neighbour called - he had already reported the outage, so there was little to do but get on with things and wait it out.

It seems these days everything requires power, and not just the obvious appliances like the fridge, the lights and the TV. We need it to pump water from our tank so that we have running water and flushing toilets. We need it to open the garage doors. We need it to work (to charge up the PC battery and the phone and to connect to the internet). David bought a diesel generator a while back and it has proven very useful. He rigged it up via a long extension lead to a power board in the house so we could plug in the fridge and avoid spoilage. We plugged in the water pump for long enough to fill kettles, saucepans and buckets of water. Charged up our phones. Abandoned plans to make ice cream.

Following the last power outage, I entered an ABC Radio competition and won a wind up/solar/USB charged radio and torch. We were able to listen to the radio all evening! I made chicken and vegetable udon noodle soup on the gas stove top, lit all the candles and settled in to read a book on my iPad in the dark. On Monday morning I worked for a few hours in a Huonville cafe and the local library while David visited a customer. The TasNetworks guys were hard at work restoring power as we drove home, and not long afterwards the alarm clocks started flashing and the water filled the cisterns. Power on.

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