Powerless. That is me today. For two reasons.
- Essential maintenance of the local Electrical transformer and the power will be off from nine to five.
- It is also the day when Public sector workers across the UK are due to have a holiday go on strike. Why? Because of proposed changes to pensions for public sector workers, and spending cuts. It’s mainly about pensions – as people live longer, the cost of funding public sector pensions is “unsustainable”, so says the government. It wants most public sector workers to:
* pay more into their pensions
* work for longer
* and accept a pension based on a “career average” salary, rather than the current final salary arrangement which many of them are currently on
Unions, however, say the proposals will leave their members paying more and working longer for less.
There will be no buses or trains running, most schools will remain closed and hospitals will provide emergency services, while elective surgeries and outpatient clinics will be cancelled. As well as those working in health, education, transport and the civil service, workers in local councils, the NI assembly, the PSNI (Police), Human Rights Commission, the Equality Commission and the Labour Relations Agency and a host of other non-departmental public bodies are also expected to take strike action.
The private sector should be working as normal, and since my electricity provider comes into this bracket, the transformer maintenance should go ahead. I was notified about the lack of power about ten days ago by letter, and yesterday afternoon I had a phone call from the company to check that I had arrangements made for food etc., for the duration.*
Anyhow, an early cooked breakfast, and a late dinner will be the order of the day, I have a small single ring camping gas stove so I should not run out of hot drinks and I’ll fill a flask with my own homemade soup for lunchtime. I’ll not starve by any means.
Weather permitting I’ll walk down the hill, and through the park in the morning. I’ll have the phone and Laptop charged, so I’ll drop in at some stage to check up on you.
I have decided to toast my toes at the open fire for the afternoon. Wisewebwoman will know what I mean when I say “I’ll try not to get the ABC’s“! Worry not, for it is no dreadful life threatening disease. It was a condition way back in the last century, before any, never mind every home, had central heating. We gathered as a family round the fireside and watched the glorious display of flickering flames take half the heat up the chimney.
The older the women, the closer they sat to the fire. By the end of the winter their shins were burned from the heat leaving a series of small dark red rings from knee to ankle. The men may have suffered in the same way, but since they never removed their trousers, we were never able to confirm this fact. Houses were not so well insulated back then and drafts whistled under doors and around windows, Our fronts were roasted and our backs were frozen. The bedrooms back then were so cold the frost formed on the inside of the glass and people got dressed to go to bed! Brrrr!
I have knitting at the ready, and a few sewing repairs that can be done by hand. I might even find distraction with a book. I’m hoping it won’t be another dark and dreary day. The candles are at the ready, so I’ll come to no harm.
* Since I have a heart condition and live alone, I am on the ‘At risk’ register. It was the electricity company that suggested I have my name added. They keep me informed of any scheduled breaks in transmission, and check up on me during unscheduled breaks. The Water service now have a similar list. I am not sure if everyone in NI is aware of these lists.