21 January

As I type it is fairly dark and very cold. We have a power cut. There is snow and ice outside and we are wrapped up in gloves, scarves, warm boots and the wonderfully named slankit. It was a planned cut so I knew this morning that any essential emails and messages had to be sent before the 10.30am cut off.

I worked like fury, nothing focuses the mind like a deadline. Then on the dot of 10.30am everything went dark. With no electricity I couldn’t listen to the radio or browse the internet. I couldn’t even do the ironing or put the next load of washing in the machine. The only tea we can have is from the limited amount of hot water in our vacuum flask. So, apart from writing this, I have been reading, knitting, finishing correspondence and putting my paperwork in order. Simple things, things that need to be done but so often get put off because of things that need electricity.

We are often told to disconnect from the internet and our mobile phones for a day. But even then we are still tied down by other technology.  Instead of freeing us up, it seems to tie us down, to encourage us to do more and for others to expect more of us.

Today, even if for only a couple of hours, disconnect from all electricity (you don’t have to go without heating, but perhaps read by candlelight if your eyes are happy enough to). Do only things that you can do under your own steam. Make bread by hand, get out your coloured pens and pencils and draw or doodle. Sweep the floor or wash the inside of the windows. Connect with your home without the buzz of technology and electricity in between.

The electricity will come back on and it is good, I am grateful for it and all that it allows me to do. But time disconnected from the frenzy of a home powered by electricity forces you to slow down and to undertake one simple task at a time. Simplify just for a little while