Just like the Three Day Week, it was! We sat in the lounge, huddled round a couple of candles – all the electricity had been cut because the power company had dug up the cable at the corner of the road.
“It’ll be off for about three hours!” he said, smiling, as he trotted across the front lawn towards the neighbours house.
“Oh,” I said, “Candle lit supper, then.”
Well, it wasn’t even that. We managed a conversation with our son. That was an achievement. Then we discussed the first miners’ strike that led to the Three Day Week in early 1974, when there was only enough electricity for businesses to operate for three days each week. Private households, too, only had power for three days, so you chose your friends wisely. You made sure they had electricity on the days yours was off, and it was round their place to watch TV.
All this doom and gloom was closely followed by the fall of Ted Heath’s Conservative government. The prospect of Labour’s Harold Wilson puffing at his pipe with his Gannex mac wafting the fumes around was too much, so our conversation stopped.
Our attention turned to mp3 players and we retreated in to our battery powered musical worlds. But I wasn’t safe there, I was told I had to lose the X Factor-bad singing – it was really bad. Eventually boredom set in and we went to bed.
Just as we were settling, the house was flooded with light and the washing machine burst into life, resuming from its enforced respite. The dark night was over.