Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So It Goes

Yesterday was supposed to be a special event. Yesterday marked a sea-change, an alteration of my circumstances such that I could at last begin the transition away from Near-Total Parent back towards something approaching Human Being.

It was, in fact, the day that the Mau-Mau went to school, and both boys went to school, and Natalie went to work, and my parent(s) were back in North Queensland.

I guess you could say I've been waiting nearly nine years for this one. Certainly, I've been actively anticipating it since before Christmas last year -- savouring the prospect of a day largely to myself, to focus on the things I want to achieve in writing.

That's how it was supposed to be. Me. My computer. And six whole uninterrupted daylight hours in which to work. Nobody shouting and arguing. Nobody watching movies outside my study. Nobody demanding food, drinks, resolution to arguments, answers to ridiculous questions. Just me, and the muse.

And so, of course, at roughly 0930, the power went out.

I connected the old-style phone we keep for precisely this reason. (Walkie-phones die when their mains power goes.) I rang Aurora, the power company. No -- no power losses in my area. I pressed buttons, and eventually spoke to a nice lady. She made me go through a complicated and -- to my mind -- rather stupid routine of shutting off everything in the fusebox, and then turning it all back on again in a very particular fashion.

The power did not come on.

She advised me to ring again in an hour. There might be news.

I rang a neighbour. He didn't have power either. So it wasn't a fault at my end. Good.

An hour later, there was no news.

I read some books. I worked in the garden.

There was no news two hours later.

At 12.30 or so, the phone rang. A cheery woman on the other end asked me if the power was on. It was not. I went outside to the fusebox and performed the Pointless Ballet Of The Power Switches once more, and the power resolutely remained non-existent.

Ah, she said. Obviously the crew hadn't located all the faults yet.

Oh. Fucking great.

At a little after two, just as I was packing up to go shopping and fetch the kids, the power came back on.

I don't really think I can convey how angry and disappointed I was. I know -- I should probably take it all in my stride. Power outages happen when you live in the bush, yeah.

But... I was really, really looking forward to yesterday.

Now all I want to do is kick someone.