After I posted my last blog (You’re So Far Away) on Tuesday night, we had a much heavier snowfall here and the electricity went off. We woke up on Wednesday morning to a beautiful winter wonderland. It was magical. I grabbed my camera and dashed outside to take some photographs. As the day wore on it became increasingly colder. With no power, our only source of heat was the fire in the lounge and by nightfall it was freezing in the rest of the house. (Note to self: always have a plentiful supply of firewood on hand and buy a gas heater).
Anyway, we dragged a mattress in front of the fire and spent the first of three uncomfortable nights on the floor of the lounge. It was so bitterly cold that night that the snow on our roof froze, which meant that it took ages to melt (3 days in fact) and as it melted, icy cold water dripped down the sides of our house , effectively turning it into an ice box.
Of course, with no power to drive our pump, we also had no water. Fortunately we have a water tank that collects the runoff from our garage roof which we used for washing and filling cisterns. And we were able to boil snow on the gas hob for drinking.
We were completely snowed in for 3 days, cell phones died and we started to feel very isolated. (Another note to self: must invest in a 4-wheel drive vehicle). And the worst part of it all was that we missed a lot of the Olympics. By Saturday, the snow had melted sufficiently for us to get the car out and Peter went into Howick to charge his phone and get more firewood, drinking water and batteries for Edna’s “wireless” (as she calls her radio). It was such a huge relief to get connected with the world again. Also by Saturday it had started to warm up a bit and the incessant drip, drip, drip of icy water past the windows and doors had stopped. It was warm enough to sleep in our bedroom again, albeit wearing several layers of clothing. We were also able to move my mum in with us as she was battling a bit with not having any electricity.
We were without power for 5 days. And I did hear Peter muttering under his breath from time to time something about the madness of having sold a perfectly good house in Durban in exchange for this. Well, as Nietzsche famously said:
That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
And better prepared, hopefully.
By the way Nietzsche also said: “Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.” Perhaps Peter will be agreeing with that.