What we do when we have none

This has happened on several occasions. So I thought I would blog it.

We ran out of battery power again. For some reason the cord from jenny wasn’t reaching the battery bank. Gradually, over three days (which isn’t that bad, really), the batteries went flat. It has taken two days with jenny running to get enough power to run the water again! The wind turbine and the solar panel kicked in as well to get the batteries up and running.

Without batteries, the toilet fan stopped, which meant the toilet got smelly. It was ok that we could shut the bathroom door, but still… Also, without battery power, we had no water. That meant no water for cooking, washing and cleaning. We managed with just a few bottles of water.

What would happen if a city, like Adelaide, lost its power? Not only would people be without power to use lights and watch tv etc, but they would be without water. Imagine not having a toilet, a tap, a shower – water to cook with? It’s hard. We have lived through this on several occasions. We will manage this by the following: we will have a gravity fed water system. Our header tank will be up the hill, and our water will literally pour down the pipe. No need for a powered water supply. Our power will be solar and wind, as well as diesel. No need to be on the grid.

I often wonder what it will be like when we can no longer rely on fossil fuels. I am thinking a lot at present about getting a supply of non-powered tools. When we left Adelaide I got rid of unnecessary powered utensils, such as the coffee grinder, crock-pot, bread maker etc. I kept the electric toothbrushes by mistake. We don’t use them. I have used my hair dryer once since we moved here. I am getting my coffee grinder back. We kept the coffee machine. However, despite my weaknesses, my motivation to be power free is there. I am learning to spin wool. I bought a pedal powered sewing machine from 1908. Monte has kindly told me that he will make me a bike-powered washing machine. Yay.

It is empowering to survive without power. We are by no means there yet, but we have sacrificed some comforts and we are managing very well.