I have never…

I have never… lived without electricity for a day.

And I never want to again! No power? No problem! Or so I thought. Yesterday I took my ‘I have never’ challenge to the extreme, yes let’s call it extreme and went for a whole 24 hours without electricity. Meaning no lights, no phone, no laptop, no fridge… no nothing!

It was nothing short of a difficult experience. Without technology around me I felt very cut off and disconnected from the world. However it dawned on me, the fact that in the distant future it’s going to happen sooner or later, granted we don’t find any alternative energy; the power will go off and the lights will go out.

Without setting an alarm I woke up bright and early on Wednesday morning feeling hopeful for what my day of no electricity would bring. I managed to achieve quite a lot in the morning relying on the natural light; being productive, doing chores and taking a trip to Sainsbury’s to pick up some supplies for my electricity free day ahead.

IPod listeners (so almost everyone) will level with me on this. Walking anywhere alone 99% of the time I will be listening to my IPod, but of course for the good of the blog I had to resist. I found my walk to Sainsbury’s rather tedious and boring without it. Being one of those people who listen to music and picture themselves in a music video whilst walking to the beat, I know some of you do it too, I tried to gain a feel of the environment which wasn’t exactly great as it mostly consisted of noisy traffic, the ‘beep’ of the checkout aisles and a couple of old women having a tiff over the last box of iced buns. Armed with my Sainsbury’s basic tea light candles, bread, cereal, and peanut butter – I was set for the day.

Student budget candles

Before commencing my electricity free day I did not realise the lack of food I could eat. Keeping a carton of milk outside on the window ledge because I couldn’t use the fridge I ate two bowls of cereal, two peanut butter sandwiches and an attempted piece of toast, which I toasted over candlelight. As the night fell and my room became what looked like a creepy dark cave, I lit 25 candles around my room and there was a really nice ambience to it, but as soon as one of my flatmates said, “it looks like you’re about to perform a satanic ritual in here” I got a little creeped out.

Electric free feast

Candle wax on toast

Minutes seemed like hours and hours seemed like days without electricity and technology. Feeling sorry for myself I particularly missed my Blackberry, my phone is practically as important as my arm. It’s always by my side and always in my hand, my life is on that phone as sad as it may seem, but I’m sure my fellow Blackberry users can relate. To pass the time I decided to read, so I dusted off the spine of an old book and actually rather enjoyed it. Books are one of those little pleasures in life, and it’s hard to find time to read but you should when you can and particularly a book that exists outside the realm of the IPad and Kindle. I also played some guitar, reflected on life and imagined impossible scenarios in my head – pretty standard time passing activities.

Satanic Ambient Room

Joining the 1.5 billion people who live without electricity and technology wasn’t one of the most exciting experiences of my life; I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. But it has made me appreciate how much simpler electricity makes our lives, and understand the importance of technology and how basically without it we’d all be like a fish out of water.


About Francesca Birch

19 year old first year Journalism undergraduate studying at the University of Westminster.

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This entry was posted on March 1, 2012 by and tagged , , .

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