The house of electricy death, parts 1 and 2

by Suw on September 8, 2003

The house of electricy death, part one

(Written 2pm Sunday)

Spent all morning faffing about. Nothing new there, as you probably know. Had lunch, replied to an email or two, then decided that enough procrastination was enough, and that I’d get on with SP2 with the aim of making it to page 30 by the end of the day. Quarter of an hour later, there was a distant rumble of thunder and, overcome by a presentiment, I shut down my computer just in case. Never do like having my computer on during a thunderstorm.

No more than a couple of moments later came a massive thundercrack and all the lights went out. Pootled into the hall to reset the earth leakage trip, but by the time I'd walked back into the lounge there was another flash of lightening, a thunderclap that shook the house quite forcibly, and out went the lights again. I happened to be standing against the patio door at the time, and it really did shake.

So, reset the earth leakage trip once more, and bam, out go the lights with another lightening flash. Gave up for five mins and just watched from the patio doors whilst the electricity in the air sent tingles crawling across my face.

Fourth time lucky with the trip, fourth time unlucky with the lightening as out it went once more. Trouble is, it won't come back on again now – the trip is reset, but we have no power at all.

That is, in itself, no great surprise. The electricity here does tend to go out at the drop of a hat. Not sure if we are still, but we used to be at the end of the line coming over from Salisbury and, being the last on the line we’d always be the last to be reconnected. Which was great when I was a kid because having no electricity was just one big adventure. It would go out for days and I’d love it. Cooking on the embers of the ParkRay fire, candles everywhere, Dad maybe rigging up a stove from a few bricks and a blowtorch.

Course, most of the other houses round here get their electricity from the local substation that's no more than a couple of miles away, so usually we’re out whilst everyone else is on.

What is a surprise is that we had such a thunderstorm at all. There is some sort of possibly geological freakiness going on here that causes thunderstorms to either divert to one side or the other, or to stop whilst passing overhead. We moved to this house when I was six, and in all that time this is only the second overhead thunderstorm we have ever had.

Anyway, we've just spoken to Southern Electricity and it seems that the whole area has gone out, and that it will be some time before it comes back, so that means that I'm stuck with working on the Velo and hoping that the batteries don't run out.

Now that would be sod's law!

The house of electricy death, part two
The electricity came back on last night around midnight some time. Seems that it wasn't just us but the whole area that went out, from Three Legged Cross up past us to Horton, Holt and Wimborne.

We gave up on the idea of the lecie coming back in time for dinner and went down the pub instead. Luckily the Old Barn Farm was open and all powered up, so that was fine. Rest of the evening was spent talking by candlelight.

This morning, though, all the cordless phones have gone up the swanny, with dialling tones intermittent on some extensions, fine on others and entirely absent on others. This is a big-ish house, on three floors with five bedrooms, so there are phones everywhere as my parents are too damn lazy to run up/downstairs when it rings. Took Dad and I ages to untangle the various extensions, find out which extensions and splitters had fried, and fix what could be fixed.

Also up the swanny went my computer, with the flashing multicoloured screen of death greeting me when I turned it on. We took the side off, changed the video card over in case it was that. It wasn’t. Faffed about. Restarted several times. No dice.

Rang up G-Squared, the place I bought the new motherboard and box from, and asked them what the problem could be. Without hesitation, they guy asked if I had a modem, as if it had been plugged in during the storm the lightening could have induced a voltage on the phone line and fried it. Course, I hadn’t thought to unplug it.

So, whipped out the modem, and guess what? No more flashing multicoloured screen of death.

Will take the modem, which is only two weeks old, back to PC World and get them to change it. Conveniently forgetting to mention it was lightening-fried. 😉

(Modem now changed, puter now fine, almost whole day wasted. Oh well. Back to SP2!)

Sam Kuntz September 8, 2003 at 3:36 pm

Hi Suw,

Glad you are up and running again. Be sure an count me as one that reads your blog. Don't let them convince you that there are only a few out there. Just because we don't answer all the time doesn't mean that we are not out there.


Suw September 8, 2003 at 4:26 pm

Ah, nice to know you're out there Sam, and that you're commenting! 😀

A visitor September 8, 2003 at 11:34 pm

Another vote so you know some of us are out here paying attention (will there be a test?).

Ken []

Suw September 9, 2003 at 7:47 am


There will be a test later on. If you pass, you'll get a pretty little certificate to hang on your wall. Bet you're excited now!

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