It was one of those moments when I joked to myself, Oh, GAWD, what’ve I done?! Standing over the printer watching my impending itinerary to Vermont appear with each tuv-tuv-tuv, I suddenly heard a loud and muffled WUMP! and all the lights were out. Actually, what I noticed was that the computer screen was dark. Mr. Fizgig, his father, and I rushed to the fuse box whose digital display was out. That’s when we knew it was a little bit more serious. Then, almost on cue, Mr. Fizgig’s mother called from work to say that the power was out by her too.
With the Wi-Fi down, I grabbed my phone. A search on the news for “Power Outage San Diego” yielded nothing, so I jumped on Twitter. I must have been one of the first, because no one had posted anything yet. That didn’t last long! Soon, hashtags like #powermageddon and #carmageddon were being used – the traffic lights on the freeways were causing major problems. Phone lines were jammed. And it was later confirmed that folks as far away as Arizona and Mexico were also affected.
What we really needed was a radio… I’m going to blow my own trumpet for a minute: organised planner that I am, I had thought to bring our hand-crank emergency radio/ flashlight with us on our road trip so all I had to do was trot on out to our car. I felt very satisfied with myself when I saw how few people on Twitter had access to a battery-powered radio! Of course, this was short-lived when I realised that although said hand-crankable radio could charge my phone, I didn’t have the means to connect my phone / charger to it. So, I sat in the car for 2 hours, charging my phone, Tweeting, listening to music, and enjoying the Earl Grey tea and chocolate biscuits Mr. Fizgig brought out to me. (Incidentally, for those of you who care about this sort of thing, those 2 hours of phone charging used between 1/32 – 1/64 tank of petrol.)
It was around 7pm when the late afternoon sun had crossed overhead and the moon began to rise. I headed inside and thought about Jane Austen and how she might have written by candlelight. Instead, I was glued to Twitter and kept an ear on the radio.
Mr. Fizgig’s father called out to us from the patio. It was a beautiful evening, he said. With all the street lights out and a nearly-full moon, the stars popped against the sky. It was glorious. I grabbed my camera and decided to experiment with a 15″ shutter speed. It turns out taking a photo of a bright moon against a dark sky is rather difficult! But the Mister and I spent a very happy couple of hours in the backyard. Next door, our neighbour played his guitar and mutter-sang to himself. At one point, a plane flew overhead. Even Banjo got in on the action. Here are the results: