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The Always On World

Posted: 19 Nov, 2018. No comments

The moment when you first wake up and you’re not sure what you were thinking about whilst asleep.
Quickly, these thoughts replaced by the sense that something is not quite right.
Daylight floods the room, so you have no reason to switch on the light.
Picking up the mobile you try to connect to the internet, the world that is a cloud beyond these four walls.
No connection, damn, is the router playing up?
You hop out of bed and note the feeling of cool tiles underfoot.
Switching the big red switch off and then on, listening for the sound of the water pump priming.
Silence.
Your brain seeking clues, reaching for answers. What else could it be?
The base station accessed by a micro-wave link across the valley?
A major outage, perhaps a digger has severed the cable somewhere between us and the servers.
Flick the light switch.
Nothing, problem solved. Or not.
No electricity.
Is it just us or is there some wider problem?
In daylight there are no clues offered as would be the case at night when the orange glow of street lighting in the village offers a guide to the size of the affected area.
Our house, the street, this side of the village, the whole village, neighbouring communities, island-wide (not since the infamous Dali explosion of 2011).
Down the stairs and out of the front door. Lift the cover.
The main fuses and the meter board revealed, reveal an absence of power.
No blinking red lamp, no digital reading.
Check our post box, nothing.
This is not a planned outage. Planned outages are preceded by the dropping of post cards.
They notify a day and time for planned disruptions.
Today, who knows what caused this.
The call centre will be busy.
Staff, repeating the message to worried or frustrated customers.
Inconvenience and frustration make poor bedfellows.
The camping gas stove, unboxed, reveals that the cylinder has slowly emptied since the last time it was used and then put away for future use.
A spare cylinder from the storeroom, fitted.
Water boiling up.
Tea brewed and the day calmly rescheduled.
The restorative power of tea.
Tasks to be performed that don’t require us to have electricity or an internet connection.
At least, not immediately.
The always on world, is not, always on!

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