Talking to a linesman

Lots of fun at our house last night. Power surges, lights flickering, and blue sparks coming from seemingly everywhere.

One set of lights went out, but the rest of the power stayed on. A fuse, we thought. Then everything flickered again. And again. Another set of lights went out. But some lights were still on, as was the power. Things were starting to look bad.

Another surge. You could hear the hiss of the electricity. This time the power on the computers went out, and we could see blue sparks coming from everywhere. And we mean literally everywhere. Under the house, even from the garage, which is timber, and half of which has been converted to guest quarters. Not only that, our mother is visiting.

We run outside where Mum has just got to sleep, and drag her inside to sleep in the front room.

We’ve just got her settled in bed when two fire engines turn up and block off the street. Red and blue flashing lights, shining right into the room where she’s sleeping, and there’s no way she can block them out.

That lasts for two hours while the firemen work out what the problem is, and work with the electricity company to make the area safe. The firemen leave, and we’re left with the flashing orange light of the electricity company van as they fix the power lines.

At 2:00am in the morning all the lights come back on, and there’s someone with a torch at the front door.

I stagger out of bed to see what he wants.

He’s at the meter box, which is just outside the door. “Nothing,” he says. “I’m just turning your electricity back on, and checking to be sure everything is working.”

“I’ll leave you to it then.” I go back to bed, turning off the lights as I go.

Just before I drift off to sleep I realise. I’ve just been talking to a man whose job title is ‘linesman’.

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