Taking back my power

in #powerhousecreatives11 months ago (edited)

South Africa, two weeks ago, was on the brink of a national electricity blackout.  Why?  Well, the reasons are myriad and what one chooses to believe, also depends on to whom one listens.   

On one level, and for the purposes of this, it doesn’t really matter.  The reality is:

  1. For the best past of two weeks, earlier this month, there was no power for between two to five, sometimes more, hours a day.
  2. It’s quite possible, if not likely, that similar outages will happen again over the next few years.  So the country is being told.

For the purposes of context, officials from the provider did report in the media that because of Hurricane Idai, power lines supplying South Africa had been damaged.  Seriously.  At the same time there were significant problems with generation units in South Africa.  A moment or two for Murphy?   Or saboteurs?  As I said:  it depends on what (or whom) you choose to believe.  Ten years ago, there was a similar series of outages. On that occasion, two things happened - one of the units at the nuclear power station near Cape Town had been powered down for re-fuelling and something went wrong, went wrong, went wrong with both the repair and the one remaining unit.  Simultaneous with that, there were issues with the coal supplying the coal-fired power stations in the north of the country.

The electricity crisis notwithstanding, I have long aspired to being self-sufficient and off the grid - as I explained in this interview, so at the first real opportunity, i.e. when we owned our own home, and had the money, we installed a solar geyser.  The next step was converting from electricity to cooking with gas.  In this instance, it was as much to do with the cooking experience as with the repeated electricity cuts - at cooking time.

As I said, this isn’t the first time this has happened.  On that first occasion, and following a public outcry and given the knock-on effects on the economy and people’s lives, power outages were scheduled and the schedules published.  Suffice it to say, the first schedules caused a further outcry: because why should the same people not have power at suicide hour, i.e. when it’s homework, bath- and supper time or, conversely, when one is getting one’s self and the kids off to school?  Not to mention the knock-on effect in the traffic with no traffic lights working?  Then there are the retail outlets:  till points don’t work; the cold chain is messed up and there’s wastage as well as no sales.  The list goes on…..

Realistically speaking, and listening to the powers that be, rolling blackouts will happen again.  So, in taking up @princessmewmew’s challenge, and in addition to the steps we have already taken, here is my

Loadshedding survivors' guide

1.  Hope for the best, plan for the worst  

2.  Pour a glass of wine

3.  Download - if you get your electricity direct from Eskom, the app.  Or the schedules from your municipality. Prior to this most recent rash, we had loadshedding in 2015.  I uninstalled the app a week before it struck this time.

4.  Have a sip of wine

5.  Keep your sense of humour.

6. Pour a glass of wine

7.  Fish out the old Telkom phone that has a handset connected with a cord;  ensure that your stock of candles, lighting implements (matches, lighters, etc.) and solar jars are charged and close at hand

8.  Have a sip of wine

9.  Check the schedule and plan your day(s) in anticipation of the scheduled outage.

10.  Check the wine stash.

11.  Invite friends over and braai - timed for when the lights are off.

12.  Pour more wine.

 When it’s not practical (or sensible to have friends around and drink lots of wine):

14.  Cook by solar jar (with wine) 

15.  Clean:  cupboards the you’ve not cleaned for a gazillion years; sort through the old clothes that you’ve not worn for a gazillion years - throw them out or sort them for a jumble sale.

16.  Pour another glass of wine.

17.  Make sure all your devices are charged:  assuming you’re using a laptop and work for as long as you have juice.  Uninterrupted without Facebook, Discord - yes, you know who you are - and Instagram

18.  Get the next bottle of wine.

19.  Fish out and start working on the projects that you haven’t worked on because you’ve been distracted by Steemit and the social media (your phone)

20.  Pour another glass of wine.

So there you have it.  My contribution to 

@foxyspirit's Ultimate Crochet Contest, and because I know how challenging it is to run contests and to make sure that there is enough in the bank for prizes, should I win @princessmewmew's context, I will donate the 10 STEEM towards future crochet contests.  

I am not really competitive and I participated in the #loadsheddingiskak contest because loadshedding is kak and because it is a privilege to have inspired the contest.  That means that, by rights, I should not win and should have recused myself.  Consider this a type of recusal.

@princessmewmew’s loadshedding contest

Now let's hear how you cope with it, @kiligirl, @tim-beck, @julianhorack, @joanstewart, @braaiboy, @jaynie, @craigcryptoking, @lizelle, @p1eter, @minismismartypants, @chekholer, @lizziesworld, @methusalem, @bigbear,  @papilloncharity, @justjoy, @shadowolfdg, @dianadee,

There it is - until next time
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

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Oh, stop making it sound like fun, Fiona!! You are making me wish I had some rolling outages here!

Or at least the wine!

You still maintain a kick - butt kitchen and serve it up ever so splendidly, even in the face of disaster! Kudos!


Have the wine - any time - without the outages....you don't need them to have fun!

Thanks for stopping by @dswigle and for the tip!

I know!!! I love my wine! :)


It sounds like the priority is based around wine so in case people didn't get the gist - make sure you have plenty of wine!

But then a question came to me... What if you don't drink wine? Maybe a modification to the Survivor's Guide could be "learn to love wine"?

That way, you are covered in case of an emergency like this one 😁

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Well, actually @nickyhavey, the wine and everything to do with it is a metaphor for finding ways to cope. You could exchange any of those points with either your tipple of choice or activity of choice that doesn't require electrickery! #justsaying....

But really, it's wine isn't it? 😛

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Still laughing, a tear or two spilled but never the wine! Great advice to keep sane.

Good luck in #loadsheddingiskak campaign, still trying to get there!

Ah, thank you @joanstewart. If I have made you shed tears - in this instance - then I have succeeded!

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definitely not enough wine! WAAHAHAHAHA!!!

Thank you Fiona! Your great sense of humor must be asset in this whole shebang. Your kitchen looks like a place I’d like to spend hours in xxx

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I hear you.
At least you have plenty of food and wine to go with it.
I have not slept wellin 3 days. we have power now but it will be cut soon and then some more all night long.
I was tellling my wife last night while we played cards, it would be so much easier with come alcohol in our systems.

Oh dear @hlezama. I was going to end my post with a word or two about Steemiams or their families from other countries struggling with similar issues. You were one, @lilacse, @foxyspirit and @thekitchenfairy's home country, I think. I one has to keep a sense of humour and just do the best we can. And be grateful for what we have.

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LOL Thats a lot of wine there :D Power outages definitely show us how much we rely on it on a daily basis, yet without it, we get a lot more done. And more drinking! :P

So I retweeted your post, upvoted here and commented here cause I dont know what Im doing. Was I only suppose to comment on your twitter post with a resteem?

Hahaha! Hyperbole! It helps to keep a sense of humor. On the Twitter thing - it doesn't really matter. What you did was just fine @foxyspirit 😉

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Sounds good ^_^ Thank you for helping ;)

Yeah, planning to do something else helps beat the worst of the problems - frustration.


Fiona, thank God ... you live in wine country. :-)


At least, you're keeping your wits about you. Well maybe sips LOL. Nice way to just keep things cool and easy, a nice wine.

Needs must! Thanks for stopping by 🥂

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LOL loadshedding really is kak but a glass of wine fixes anything not so, looove how us Souf Effrikans can keep our sense of humour amidst all the darkness, excellent post @fionasfavourites :):)

Wow... I don't think I've been a blackout since... well, I was a child! It was fun as a kid, but it is more annoying if you are an adult! If I may ask... what is a solar jar? for cooking?

@bengy it's a preserve jar with a mini solar panel instead of a lid. I will take a photo and do a little post. Very, very useful

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🎁 Hi @fionasfavourites! You have received 0.1 STEEM tip from @dswigle!

@dswigle wrote lately about: Beautiful Sunday, Sublimely So Feel free to follow @dswigle if you like it :)

Sending tips with @tipU - how to guide :)

While reading this I considered pouring a glass of wine, almost a subliminal response. Those outages have to be tough to deal with.

While reading this I considered pouring a glass of wine

Hahaha! Why didn't you?

Let me begin by saying this is my favorite sentence on the Internet ever.

Well, the reasons are myriad and what one chooses to believe, also depends on to whom one listens.

I love its grammatical perfection and slightly archaic style.

I seem to have noticed that wine is instrumental in your guide to withstanding a power outage. I concur - you might want to stock up. You never know when friends will drop by. :-)


Let me begin by saying this is my favorite sentence on the Internet ever.


I love its grammatical perfection and slightly archaic style.

Why, thank you, that is high praise.

Friends welcome any time. Wine is always in stock.

I'm coming! :-)

The wine is cold. The glass is waiting...

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You have a wicked amazeballs attitude about this kak (look, @jaynie - your SA language lessons are finally sinking in! 😂). I hope things clear up soon.

In the meantime...


Wahahaha! There comes a time when you just have to let go of that which you can't control!

Mercifully no outages for a while....

Cheers! Here's to the end of the kak!

Looks like Wine is the answer :)

Hahahaha! Always!

You have an amazng attitude @fionasfavourites! I can't imagine having to deal with random outages. I can understand the hurricane, as we had one here, and outages but the other "loadshedding?" Really rough, glad to know you have a nice stash of wine, lol :)

I hope that we don't get another rash soon...I need to replenish the wine stash!

Oh yes, stock up on wine -planning ahead is essential but so many things to remember to charge - even my E cigarette battery - then the other day I heard that there is a leak at Koeberg ??????

Oh you can't be without your ciggie! I hope that we don't have a repeat of the Koeberg drama! Just NO!!!

Looks like to me that you're surviving everything that comes at you...

Ah, yes, @wales. One must just soldier on!

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Its wonderful to hear that you had been "creating" your own electricity. How was the installation cost? In the Philippines, although a lot of people wanted to own their own ecofriendly power source, the set back is that, it costs a lot to have one installed.

On both occasions that we installed the solar water heater, we had a little money saved and there was also a government rebate which helped. The cost is exactly why it's stopped there. It costs a LOT. So, I need to make some millions here to be able to do it!

i think that is what these eco friendly guys should look to. They should make it more affordable for everyone to use.

I could not agree more!

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I have no idea what loadshedding is, but if it involves that much wine, it can't be bad. Count me in!

Hahahaha! Technically, planned electricity outages probably shouldn't include wine, but it does help ...a lot...

Being prepared in any bad situation is a must. But, having lots of wine is more important. Learned this here😂😂😂

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Ah, @robmojo - once a teacher, always a teacher! lol

Love this and if you are a South African you soooo understand

Hahahaha! Yes, indeed and thank you for the re-steem!

Luckily there is unlikely to be a wine shortage in South Africa ... That would be a national emergency!

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Grateful for small mercies, @felt.buzz! :D

Man, that's gotta be tough dealing with those outages. But it sounds like you are making the best of it!

Good one!

Hope for the best, plan for the worst

2 questions - what is a solar geyser and what is getting your power from EsKom?

Fortunately we haven't had to experience rolled out power outages but I know are grid is fairly fragile and I have made preparations for living off grid if it comes to that.
Sometimes short breaks away from the internet is good to get out of Cyberspace and back into the real world!
Thanks for sharing!

Eskom is the name of the entity that generates and distributes electricity in South Africa.

Thanks for stopping by @porters

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I admire your way to handle such a difficult experience. Much Respect. Sending Reiki Love 💞💞💞

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