red postbox in Scottish street

What would you do without electricity or transport for a day?

What would you do if you didn’t have electricity or transport for a day?

This isn’t a hypothetical question, folks (MAYDAY! MAYDAY! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!): it’s the situation Terry and I know as “tomorrow”. And it’s to be a day without – yes, you guessed it – electricity or transport. GAH. And no, this is not a sponsored post, in which someone is paying me to do a “back to the dark ages” experiment, from which I will emerge with a new appreciation of how the less fortunate live. I mean, AS IF you could pay me to be without coffee and the internet for an entire day! No, it’s just a vaguely annoying combination of events, which means we’re going to be forced to “unplug” for real, because…

First we lost the car.

Not literally, obviously: that really WOULD be a problem, would’t it? We know where the car is, thankfully: it’s  in the body shop (not the cosmetics company, the ACTUAL body shop…), where it’s been for over a week now, er, having work done on its body, I guess. Can you tell I’m not much of a car person?

The body shop told us it would take four days, which we took to mean “at least a week” and which has turned out to mean “probably closer to two, really.” Now, this was inconvenient, obviously, but given that we both work from home, it wasn’t nearly as much of an inconvenience for us as it would be for most people. I mean, we have a 20 second commute, we have our groceries delivered each week (because why go to the supermarket, when it can come to you?), I have an ASOS premier membership… it wasn’t like we were going to starve to death, was it? Or even have to go without that awesome dress, if we really felt we couldn’t get through another second without it, and we might not, people: we might not.


So, anyway, without the car I figured we’d just hunker down, get some work done, have a bit of a boring week (or two), sure, but meh, what can you do? (Other than NOT booking the car into the body shop for two solid weeks, TERRY.)

red postbox in Scottish streetBut then we lost the electricity.

We found out about this a couple of weeks ago, via a letter thrust through our door by an official looking woman with a clipboard, who posted the letter then ran away as fast as she could. And no wonder, either, because:

“Dear Homeowner,” said the letter…

“We regret to inform you that we’ll be switching off electricity to your street for a full working day, in order to do essential, and yet totally mysterious work, which we’re not going to tell you about. We understand this will be an inconvenience to you, but we also don’t really care, so it sucks to be you, doesn’t it? You may be wondering what will happen to all of the food you have in your fridge and freezer during this time? We’re wondering that too, so if you ever work it out, let us know! Have fun trying to live without electricity for the day!


Your Friendly Neighbourhood Electricity Company.”

Or words to that effect, anyway.

So, at first we thought this would be no big deal. “We’ll just go out for the day, and then catch up with work in the evening,” Terry said. “It’ll be fun.”

“We could also use it as an excuse to completely clean out the fridge and freezer!” I added, excitedly. “That’ll be fun, too!”

Then we remembered we weren’t going to have the car that week.

So, no car AND no electricity – which, just for the benefit of those of you unfamiliar with the concept of “electricity”, means:

NO HEAT. (Yes, I know it’s spring: the weather apparently doesn’t, though, so it’s still freezing…)



NO WORKING COMPUTERS. (We do have a laptop, but the battery only lasts for around 20 minutes, and “one between two” doesn’t really work when you’re both self-employed, in computer-dependent jobs)




So, just complete and utter deprivation, basically. (Yes, I’m joking.) (OR AM I?)

Oh, and as some of you know, we live in the middle of nowhere, so there’s no handy coffee shops or internet cafés  (are internet cafés still a thing?) where we could go and work for the day  – and even if there was, the “one laptop between two people” thing would be a bit of an issue there. (As would the fact that I have NO IDEA how people manage to sit and work in coffee shops all day, because I basically require complete silence, and no other people around me, or I’m useless. I guess the coffee would come in handy, though: I mean, I can live without electricity if I have to, but coffee? That’s just cruel, isn’t it?)

We DO have public transport, of course (Yes, even in Scotland!), but it’s not the greatest, so unless the car’s back early, we’re choosing to use this as an experiment in “what to do without electricity for the day”.  I’m telling myself it’ll be fun. I mean, some people pay good money to “unplug” for an entire day, don’t they? It’ll give us a whole new appreciation for the things we normally take for granted (Like COFFEE, for instance…), and by the end of the day we’ll have learned important new survival skills, like how to build a small fire in our back garden, and how long the battery on my phone will last when the phone becomes my only link to the outside world. I could write a novel by hand! Or darn handkerchiefs by candlelight, like someone from a Jane Austen novel! Or do something else that I haven’t thought of yet, because, let’s face it, we’re probably just going to walk to my parents’ place, in search of hot beverages and internet access, aren’t we?

Just for fun, though, tell me: what would YOU do if you had no electricity, no transport, and you lived in a small village, in the exact middle of nowhere? GO!

  • Chiarina


    Heating here is swiched off by law in mid april, so that wouldn’t be an issue. Also, I would be a bit better off because I have a gas stove, so I could get coffee if I wanted… That said, reading is the only thing that really comes to my mind… but reading without coffee is half the fun, I guess?

    May 24, 2016
  • I think that I would probably read as well! I’d also go for a nice long walk to get some exercise and fresh air because I definitely don’t get enough of that.. Also, I really think you should buy that dress because it is beautiful and would look great on you!!xo

    Char |

    May 24, 2016
  • Allegra


    Well, everything is about tea and books to me, so I think I would do OK (although I am quite sure as soon as I were “unplug” I´d start feeling like posting on the blog I always neglect, or watching a forgotten movie. As soon as I can´t do something specifically, I DIE to do it. It happens to everyone, doesn´t it?)
    However, living in the countryside would probably kill me. I can´t imagine life without a short trip for book shopping or unplanned coffee with friends. Fun fact is I grew up in a small countryside village, but city has totally spoilt me as an adult. Sometimes I blame myself to let outside world making me so dependent on certain habits.

    May 24, 2016
  • Right now, a whole day when I can’t go anywhere or do any of the million things on my to-do list sounds like heaven! You want to swap houses tomorrow? I would get a little gas campfire (unless you have a gas stove) for making coffee and tea, pile up some books and magazines, plump up the sofa cushions and make a day of it. I might even get around to some of that sewing I’ve been meaning to do, or at least cutting out pattern pieces. And a picnic lunch of antipasti Italian style, or even an early dinner with a glass of wine.
    I have talked myself into this – can I come stay?! 😀

    May 24, 2016
  • Well I imagine your house in Scotland might get a bit cold without heat, so I’d second the suggestion to go out for the day – by foot obviously! A nice long walk would keep you warm and occupied, and yes you could call into your parents for a hot drink. I have now been mentally running through my head what I would do in my own house – we could stay warm as we have a woodburning stove. My husband also has camping equipment, so we could have a bbq in the garden if it wasn’t raining. Other than that, I think a day in front of the fire reading a good book and sipping some brandy to keep warm would be my plan! Sounds quite nice actually. I’m curious as to where Chiarina is from that the heating gets switched off by law?! It must be somewhere quite warm!! xx

    May 24, 2016
  • My first answer to your question was ‘die of boredom’, but as that’s probably not practical, I like Porcelina’s idea about a long walk. Of course, the weather will now probably be dreadful… I have no idea how people work in coffee shops either!! I’m so glad it’s not just me. One of my friends does it all the time and I just don’t understand!

    May 24, 2016
  • maria


    I would probably catch up to all the books I should have been reading, study, maybe do a bit of beauty routines like scrubs or mud masks, do my nails and basically be bored to death, lol.

    May 24, 2016
  • Oh gosh, that’s a nightmare! I guess maybe I’d finish off all the painting around the house that needs to be done. Although it would be a bit grim not to have any tea or coffee to keep me going – so I’d need some biscuits in that shopping delivery!!

    May 24, 2016
  • Gill


    Stay in bed. There’s always a sleep debt to be repaid.

    May 24, 2016
  • Grasshopper


    The occasional winter ice/snow storm in Texas has caused me to experience this before! So, when we went house buying recently, a wood-burning fireplace was at the top of must-have features. We also have a two burning propane camp stove that we can use for cooking. I would light candles all over the house and build a fire. Then, I would curl up on the couch with one of my many unfinished knitting projects, preferably the afghan that would keep me warm as I worked on it. Or, I might read or cut out some sewing patterns. Hubby would go crazy without TV, though!

    May 24, 2016
  • Julia


    Welllllll, no electricity and no car, I suppose I could be in my garden if it was nice. Long walks in the warm spell we’re having (yes I live in Scotland too) I’d use the time to read (though it might need candles lots of candles) it depends on the time of year. Of course I’d be without my daily amber fix. Hmmm can you send your blog posts by post, preferably hand tied with ribbons? I have a radio which runs on batteries which is essential, just so I know I’m not totally cut off from the world, not really, well maybe a bit. Loved reading it, hope the car is back soon!

    May 24, 2016
  • Angie


    I live in a drastically different climate than yours, but I still wouldn’t take the long walk. Unless there was Internet and caffeine at the end of it. Then, I’d think about it.
    In preparation, I’d put snacks and meals in a cooler with ice/ice packs so that the fridge would stay closed (most of the food should be fine if the fridge isn’t opened in the 8-10 hours with no power). I would have lots of good intentions to catch up on the mile-long to-do list I have (organizing some closets and the laundry room, pulling books to donate, cleaning up my garden). What I would actually do is read until I could no longer sit still and then go to my parents’ house where I would use their electricity and Internet and feel guilty about wasting my day.

    May 24, 2016
  • Livia


    Throw a party with your friends (ask people to bring the food and drinks maybe)? Go spend the day at your parents, with a lift back and forth included? Organize and clean the house? Sorry, I know the last one is so boring….

    May 24, 2016
  • Skully


    If it’s too dark to read, and no fire/kettle/french press for coffee. Then jammies, booze, and board games. Or cards. My guy and I do cabins in the mountains fairly frequently and we’ve lost power in them during an unexpected storm. We were lucky that we had the fireplace so we had some light. We have played some wicked games of Risk and lots of card games.

    May 24, 2016
  • Catherine Matzig


    Better start drinking the wine just in case it starts to go off…

    May 24, 2016
  • Nickolina Jacoby


    Lots of good ideas here. I like reading, myself. I would want coffee, though—and would be using the wood stove in my husband’s shop to make it. Don’t open the frig or freezer so the cold stays inside. Other things are also fun to do if you both are stuck at home, but probably should only be guessed at to keep this blog work friendly.

    May 25, 2016
  • Trudy


    I always thought it would be fun to live without electricity – like Laura Ingalls! – until we started getting power cuts regularly during winters. Apparently the electricity line for our new house travels through some bush, and if we get a heavy storm, branches can take out the line. Why they don’t put it underground is beyond me. I don’t have any amazing ideas for you – without electricity and internet I am basically bored to death! We do have a woodburning fireplace for heat, which we’ve kept because of the powercuts. If I knew the power was going to be off, I would probably stay in bed as long as I could get away with. That would solve one meal plan – sleep in until lunch! I would probably read a bit, maybe garden if the weather is nice enough, sort out my wardrobe (which is long overdue)…

    May 25, 2016
  • LucyChi


    Obviously, this is why you should have gone camping before now 😉 All of those people who say you should go camping are just PSYCHIC, aren’t they? lol

    I, too, have multiple camp stoves, plus I own a lot of cold-weather gear (think skiing cold, not just rainy cold) and down sleeping bags, so I would be able to make coffee and would probably spend a lot of the day on the couch in my sleeping bag, reading or napping or doing a crossword or something like that. If I got stir-crazy I would pile on the layers and set out for a walk, but I like long walks in the rain 🙂

    Absent the camping stoves, you can fashion a little woodstove using a metal coffee can (google it). You can also freeze water in gallon jugs ahead of time to keep in the fridge/freezer, to help keep it all cold when the power’s off. Is there a bus that goes to a bigger city in the morning and returns in the evening?

    May 25, 2016
  • I’d enjoy the time to read and sleep. Then, I might make my way outside as the day got on and sit by a backyard fire. (Sitting by the firepit is one of my favorite backyard activities.) I would make my coffee the day before and stick it in the fridge to cool, so iced coffee would at least be available on the day with no power. I’m only assuming the contents of the fridge would keep alright if you kept opening it to a minimum. Most I’ve been without power was half a day.

    May 26, 2016
  • Jinx


    We actually _do_ live in the middle of nowhere and are often without electricity… all sorts of “reasons” falling tree, high wind, troop manoeuvres, zombie apocalypse…
    We have solved the coffee issue – 2 ways – gas BBQ if there weather isnt too bad, and a single ring camping gas hob (obviously, middle of nowhere = no gas!).
    Himself tends to have three defaults… he fettles with our motorbikes, he gardens or he reads!
    I usually take advantage of the down time and spring clean, read and draw (I am a prolific doodler – zentangling – that can keep me occupied for hours on end!)

    May 29, 2016