Homes

10 things to do while the power is out

Your phone is dying, your wifi is down and your fridge is slowly defrosting. Here's what to do while you have no electricity.

A Young Man Reading by Candlelight, c.1630 plus IPhone Photoshopped in by author
A Young Man Reading by Candlelight, c.1630 plus IPhone Photoshopped in by author

It's like when you usually wear a watch, but you've forgotten it. It feels like something is missing, and there is something missing: the wifi, the telly, and being able to see. The power being out is oddly unsettling.

All the things you usually do with your evenings are off the menu whether they involve using power, hot water or even just enough light to see what you are doing (I tried to load the dishwasher in the dark and it was like trying to fight an army of sentient cutlery).

First of all, check that the power is actually out and your bulb hasn't just blown. Then look at your neighbours houses to see if their power is out too (if their power is out, settle in for a long haul visit to the 1800's). At that stage you can find your candles and go ahead and drink the milk and anything else that is unlikely to survive a night in a fridge that isn't on.

Then you can go to bed, or, if you're like me and you like to make the most of your evenings, read on for my tried and true methods of electricity-free-fun.

1. Read a book

Sitting in the dark huddled over a scented candle, I was quite pleased with my ability to immediately cope with my episode of Peaky Blinders being so rudely cut short.

It's basic, but aren't you always saying you wish you had more time to read? Bonus points if you read to the kids (story time!) or your flatmates (scary story time!).

Spoiled for choice? Here are 44 books Reese Witherspoon wants you to read.

2. Knit or sew

I may be sounding like I just walked out of a Jane Austen novel, but why not fix that button, take those cuffs up or start a scarf for winter. It's super chic to be crafty at the moment, guys.

As well as getting a cute scarf or hat out of it, apparently, knitting helps with depression and anxiety too!

3. Draw

Doesn't have to be good, just has to pass the time. The kids will love this one too - painting with small children in a clean house in the dark not advised.

Otherwise, practice your colouring. It is oddly addictive and soothing.

4. Have a candle-lit dinner

What better excuse is there to get UberEats and pour a wine? Even if you've already had dinner, pour the wine, let your phone die and speak to another human without the crutch of technology. Go on, be brave.

Once you have done the candle-lit dinner thing with your significant other, there are, ahem, OTHER things you can do in the dark too if you catch our drift.

5. Cards

We're all about the good, clean, retro fun.

6. Fondue

The cheese might go off otherwise (maybe not but that's a pretty good excuse). If the word on the street is that the power cut might last a few days - go get yourself a fondue kit. It works as light and dinner in one hit!

7. Bust out the board games

Careful with Monopoly, it is easier to cheat in the dark and we all know that you're the only one in the world who doesn't cheat at Monopoly. And dibs on the little dog game piece.

8. Go to the movies

The power will still probably be off when you get home but why not go somewhere where you can't hear the weather for an hour or two?

9. Light a fire

...And snuggle down next to it - if you have a fireplace that is.

Some fireplaces even have a spot to boil a kettle on - most fireplaces are marshmallow (or pre-cooked sausage) friendly and ALL fireplaces provide a great vibe that doesn't often happen when the power is on.

Also, remember that if you have a gas stove, that still works. Just light it with a match or lighter and you're good to go with as much cooking (or hot water for tea) as you can shake a glow stick at (haha get it - glowsticks because it's dark).

10. Start a gratitude journal

Number one on your list: I am grateful for electricity when I have it.

Worst comes to worst, be grateful you can go to bed and catch some extra Zs as if Netflix had never trained you to stay up till 11 every night.