Hey, who turned out the lights?

Here I am, huddling in the pitch black night, in primitive conditions without light or heat, with only my 3G PDA for company. (Post written by hand at 10pm Mon and transcribed today.)

Yes, my street – along with half of SE8 it seems – is two hours into a complete power cut!

Streetlights, mains, everything. The city is pitch black from Surrey Quays to the edge of Deptford, an area of at least a square km. What makes it more surreal is that my mews has an electric gate so nobody can drive anywhere! Trapped by the trappings of technology.

A moonlight substitute comes from Canary Wharf, whose private estate is as usual lit up like a Christmas tree, once again proving the superiority of private provision over public.

But even as the temperature drops and a wind howls icily around southeast London, I feel oddly calm. Because it’s so easy in the West to just take it all for granted: that nights don’t need to be dark and comfort is available at the click of a switch. It’s nice to get that jolt sometimes, that reminder that for a great many people our everyday conveniences would represent luxury. So as far as it’s possible, I’m enjoying it.

( I am also enjoying the excuse to scoff two tubs of Haagen Dazs that’d otherwise be a puddle.)

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