|Dinner is served.|
My street is in blackout. Well not all my street, half my street… and apparently we mark the halfway point. We are the place where electricity ceases existing, where light is banished, where darkness reigns. Yes, it’s basically the set of Game of Thrones here – we are North of the Wall.
As I sit by a flickering candle, I can’t help but think this is exactly how Jane Austen wrote. Just her, a naked flame and a Toshiba laptop, pounding out Sense & Sensibility while knocking back the red wine.
As NSW was being lashed by a once in a decade (or century, or, depending on your preference for hyperbole, millennia… roll up, roll up, get your arks here ladies and gents) storm, and umbrellas everywhere meet their fateful end, I had been revelling. I love rainy weather, I enjoy windy nights, I relish roasted chestnuts. Two out of three ain’t bad. But I revelled too soon, and the revel bit back.
My housemate Layla proved her value in my future zombie apocalypse fortress with her rapid, clear-headed action the minute we lost power. Maybe she was born to function under such circumstances, or maybe she was just utterly thrilled for the chance to break out her bizarrely large supply of tea light candles.
I showed where my priorities lay by frantically declaring we could only open the fridge once for the rest of the night, and almost lighting my jacket on fire.
Determined to prove myself useful, I stormed out into the night to ‘assess’ the damage. So stunned was I to see lights blazing two doors down, I broke my time-honoured tradition of assuming all neighbours are potential killers awaiting my Miss Marple-esque powers of deduction, and knocked. When the well-dressed man opened his door, my olfactory senses were overwhelmed with the smell of his slow-cooked lamb stew, dressed with coriander and accompanied by a side serving of crisp potato chips, macaroni & cheese, and pumpkin soup. I couldn’t see any of this food, but it’s what I would have eaten in that moment if I was living in the land of plenty, so I assume he was as well.
After a brief exchange about his house not losing electricity at any point, and my uncontrollable outburst of “Well at least the fancy end of the street never loses power”, we parted ways (don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I think he’s a future friend right there).
And so I sit now, by the glow of this device, and through the warmth of my second glass of red. After a dinner of doritoes and tinned tuna, I severely regret allowing Layla to light the chocolate flavoured candle (after all the fridge will only be opened once, and I can’t waste that opening on paltry things like dinner… though I’m not entirely sure what that means I’m saving the coveted opening for).
In turn Layla probably regrets being here every time I suddenly point at the light in the lounge room and bellow with a deep voice “NOW!” She might think it’s silly, but one of these times it’s bound to turn on, and then who’s going to look silly?
* = Sung to the tune of ‘The Power!’… that song you totally know the refrain of thanks to every 90’s movie ever, but have no idea who sang it… yeah, that song…