I had a power cut last night - or yesterday afternoon. 4.20pm it went out, rendering me with a dead computer and a list of work that I couldn't get done. And what made it worse was the fact it went off before my central heating had a chance to click on, leaving me freezing.
Luckily I have an open fireplace but I'm useless at building fires (the primeval need to make fire is lost in this day and age). I had a fire log, a prepacked, ready-to-burn concoction that kept me cosy for about two hours, but then it died. After that I made good friends with all my candles as well as my hat, scarf and a good few jumpers, and together we sat amidst flickering shadows listening to the gales whistling though my windows (my house if over 300 years old and a tad drafty).
It made me realise how much we rely on power. A mere hundred - hundred and fifty years ago, people would be in my exact position only they would expect it every night. They knew how to build fires, and they knew how to entertain themselves without the need of computers, the web, TV or radio - and they were perfectly happy. They didn't know anything else. Today, I believe we rely too heavily on electronics to keep us entertained and living comfortably - and it's something that most of us take for granted.
I was glad when, at 2.30am, the power company remembered us and switched our power back on, giving me some heat!! Despite the chilliness, I quite enjoyed a quiet evening reading and sketching by candle light. It made a huge change.
And talking of power cuts, I thought I'd go for something a little dark today for Pic of the Week. I'm returning to Lauren K. Cannon, an artist who I absolutely love. If you visit her gallery, all her pieces come with a little tale or explanation. You'll also see close-ups of the detail gone into her eyes, her headdress and each little bluebird. Stunning. Here's the piece for this work, titled Baalhu:
'She is Baalhu, one of the Ancients. Legends say she dwells in the mountains, waiting for the brave and desperate to seek her out. She richly rewards those who find her, granting them anything they desire… and taking their souls as payment. Before they die, those mortals are forced to return to her. She places their souls into the bodies of bluebirds, cuts out the heart - - staining their chests red - - and sets them free into the world to be her eyes and ears.
Never tell a secret when there is a bluebird nearby. She might hear you.'