We are well equipped to cope with power cuts (they happen often here in the country). Our heating is all wood fired, so despite the arctic weather, we were warm. We have a gas hob – so at lunchtime we could at least heat yet another blasted tin of the tomato soup that we are slowly working our way through. True to form Christopher buggered off to London and left me to a day in the dark. And in truth I was quite looking forward to it, a day to catch up with lots of tasks that had been put to one side. Of course in my haste I’d omitted to acknowledge quite how many of those tasks involved electricity. Washing, ironing, hovering, emails were all off limits. I thought about cleaning windows but on a dull January day I couldn’t effectively do this without having the lights on – so no go there. Having fed the animals, walked the dogs, bathed the tortoise, put a stew on to slow cook, reorganised the larder and washed the kitchen floor, by 10.30am I was bored and reduced to reading by candlelight for most of the day – feeling guilty with every page I turned because, idleness, enforced or not, doesn’t sit easily with me.