Up And Running

Oh how we longed for some load shedding. We ached for a loss of power. We yearned for Eskom to cut us off. We were up and ready to test the backup system, but it seemed we had put it up just in time for a brief spell of stability on the national grid.

We needn’t have worried. The warnings that the load shedding is going to carry on for a few years are not unfounded. There will be rolling black-outs until Christmas 2017 at the very least. The next cut came that Friday evening.

It had been a long week, and it wasn’t done yet. Both my wife and I run our businesses from home, and both of these business are quite busy, with employees and sub-contractors around the country. We had been working flat-out the whole week, and it was drawing to a close. With a small family, we like to shut down on Friday afternoon, and spend our weekends as a family. Having said that, we need to work flat out until 17h00 on Friday afternoon, to get everything sorted and in place until Monday morning.

EskomSePush beeped through that we were going to have load shedding from 1500 to 1730 on Friday afternoon. That would be two hours each of lost work time, a total of four hours lost to the power cuts. We worked furiously, powering towards 1500, not knowing what to expect.

Three o’clock came rushing towards us, and before we knew it, we were in load shedding. Nothing happened. We carried on working, our kids carried on watching TV and the fridge carried on running. The system worked. Perfectly. There was no down time, no flickering, nothing of the sort. It was as if nothing had happened. It was a victory, and it was also pretty cool.

Solar Energy from the backup system.

Solar Energy from the backup system.

A few days later, and I was out the office at meetings while my wife was working. Neither of us had noticed that there was a load shedding session looming. When I got home I checked my phone and it told me that there was 6 minutes left of load shedding. We hadn’t even noticed, and life had just carried on as normal. We win.

Apart from the fact that our lives could carry on as per normal, there was also  the cool factor to deal with. Obviously when there was going to be load shedding during rugby games, our house would be the one to hang out, where the TV would stay on, where we could watch surf videos with the kids after the game, and a place where the beers would stay cold. We would be able to cook dinner for friends regardless of Eskom. Like a local sanctuary during load shedding.

We took it one step further.

We decided that if there was load shedding on a Friday evening or a Saturday evening, we were going to have an impromptu Load Shedding Party, where we would simply jam the sounds through Apple TV.

It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s coming.