Writing process

How many power points do two writers need?

Electric lights. Something only half the house has at the moment. Look on the bright side. It's just finished winter here. It's dark when we go to work, dark when we get home. We can't see how those rooms need cleaning.
Electric lights. Something only half the house has at the moment. Look on the bright side. It’s just finished winter here. It’s dark when we go to work, dark when we get home. If those rooms are dusty, we can’t see it.

How many power points do you need for a computer?

Let’s see.  There’s the one for the computer itself. One for each of the two screens. A printer. The backup hard drive. That’s five already.

There are two computers in the office. That’s ten power points.  Plus the point for the laptop charger, one for the phone charger, and the one for the iPad. (Actually, we plug the iPads into a point in the dining room, for there are no spare points in the office.)  Then there’s the router, and the stereo.  The list goes on.

This is the second office we’ve had.  We added extra power points a couple of years ago we switched the then-study with the dining room.

Our house was built post-World War II. The switches aren’t that old, but a lot of the wiring is.  The fuse box is full of empty fuses that even the electrician has no idea what they do.  Not to mention, the fuse box itself is no longer legal.

We know the lighting and power needs work. We’ve known that for a while.  We’ve had a lot of electrical problems.

So last week, when half the lights in the house went out, and the electrician spent all day trying to find the fault and couldn’t, we weren’t surprised at the verdict.

“You’ll need to rewire the house.  And put a new fuse box in.”

“Sure,” we said.

The head electrician came around to inspect the electricals and give us a quote.

Let me tell you, people, if you’re going to get an estimate for rewiring, make sure the power points are accessible (and it’s a good idea if your house is cleanish).  The electrician goes into every room.

I got a bit embarrassed about all the power points in the study and the former study.  “Twelve power points along that wall.  Six along that wall. ” And in the other room.  “Ten on that wall, ten on the opposite. Do you want them all put back?”

“Yes,” I said, because we’re actually thinking of shifting back to the old study.  It has better light (or until last week it did, now it has none), and it looks out onto the garden, which makes a nice ambience for working.

I’m sure he thought I was crazy.

“And while you’re here, is there anything you’d like added?”

“Well, the kitchen light’s terrible, and we wouldn’t mind a heat/fan/light in the bathroom, and …”

“I’ll send you a quote,” the electrician says.

The quote arrived yesterday.

Ouch.  That’s all I can say.

But I’m looking forward to having working lights again.  And there’s an added bonus.  If we buy new lights they’ll put them in for us as they do the rewiring.

So tomorrow we’re going shopping for lights.

4 replies on “How many power points do two writers need?”

I am always so glad that my dad was an electrician and he taught me. When we bought our depression era house it was all bare wires and copper spindles. Our first project was rewiring and replacing the fuse box, and we were able to do it ourselves. Power words were involved, and a ton of time, but monetary outlay was fortunately fairly minimal.

But if we ever sell it people will think we were insane, because rather than being constrained by convention we just put stuff where we wanted or needed it (within code).

What a great skill to learn.

Like you, I think if we ever sold this place people will think we’re strange too. But switches and power points where you want them, what could be better?

Took me a while to understand that “power points” were something other than Microsoft Office presentation apps. In the US, they’re called outlets or sockets, LOL.

It’s funny what words don’t cross to the other side of the world. Words we don’t even think are local. The copy editor for Confluence came back to us recently, asking whether she could change ‘bagging’ (as in put down) to ‘bragging’.

We asked her to leave it, but the funny thing was, bragging could equally have made sense in that sentence. Changed the meaning slightly, but still got the same message across.

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