There is something deeply disturbing to waking up to absolute darkness, turning your head to check the time on your usually very bright digital clock, and being uncharacteristically met by more darkness.
Yeah, OK, maybe not deeply disturbing, but I was hoping it would sound cool, in an "oh my god, some guy invaded her home and slashed all the wires and he's probably wearing night-vision goggles now, which means he can see everything, oh god, is that a thread of dribble down her chin?!" kind of way.
Still, when you have a lot of words left to translate, a limited time to do it, and, in the immortal words of Derek Zoolander, all of "it's in the computer!", a block-wide power outage does tend to trigger a vague, but definite (is it antithetical to use 'vague' and 'definite' together?), sense of panic. Not to mention the fact that your kettle, microwave and stove all being electric, lukewarm instant coffee with water straight from the tap is not an auspicious start to the day at the best of times.
Panic notwithstanding, however (is it pleonastic to use 'notwithstanding' and 'however' together?), a phone call to the power provider informed me - at 6:45 - that the A-Team of electric repairs was already on their way.
At 8:30, there was still no trace of Hannibal and his buddies. I began to wonder whether my deep-freeze was going to last long enough for them to find that shortcut that David Vincent was still looking for. I'm digressing a lot, today, aren't I.
When I finally spotted the blue vans, it was 9:30 and my blood pressure was at least twice that.
After they informed me that my computer and kettle would only be working again some time in the afternoon, I did something that I'm not very proud of. I looked at them all doe-eyed and, with a very clear hint (is it...? never mind) of despair, said, "That's awful..." - slightly quavering lip - "I don't mean to be a pain" - apologetic smile - "but, you see, I work from home, and this... this..." - more quaver - "this is really bad for me" - I believe a tear glistened in the corner of my eye. Or maybe it was a glint of something darker, but we'll never be sure.
Anyway. At 11:30 a.m., I was switching my computer on.