Trish Beaver

Take your power back, says Trish Beaver who offers some great tips

Looking on the bright side, load-shedding has offered me a lightbulb moment for a new business opportunity. We in misty Hilton are so used to power outtages that actually having a load shedding schedule means we can plan ahead instead of having to rely on our wits.

Thanks to a poorly maintained electricity grid and a lot of forestry areas, the electricity outtages have become a way of life for us living in Hilton. The uniform buzz of generators is as much part of the local ambience as the fine mist that rolls in intermittently. We expect an electricity cut after every heavy downfall or rain storm.

So we stock up on candles and amuse ourselves in the dark or catch up on some sleep. But my children haven’t got the hang of this “darkest Africa” thing and act enraged every time the power goes off.

Observing my Joburg friends losing the plot at the latest rounds of load shedding, I thought I might make extra income by offering electricity-deprived newbies an orientation course. The programme will look something like this …

  • How to cook in the dark – impromptu candle-lit dinners – bring back the romance
  • Canned food creations – baked beans with a twist
  • Hunt the matches, torch batteries and candles, a game the whole family can play
  • How to play hide and sleep – my personal favourite
  • Servicing the generators
  • Setting up a local neighbourhood Eskom load-shedding whatsapp group – useful for venting fraustrations and inventing new insults for Eskom.
  • How to escape from your own property when the gate won’t open because the battery is flat.
  • Where to buy solar torches and how to charge cellphone back-up battery packs
  • Navigate your way by cellphone torch and – for the advanced learners – how to identify obstacles using toe identification methods – mislaid lego, socks, squashed bananas
  • How to plot the quickest route to your nearest wifi hotspot cafe. This one is very useful for my children

Sign up now and get a free training blindfold! The only way one can survive in these uncertain times is to adapt.  We can issue certificates to those who have been through the Electricity Deprivation Course and they can get discounts on night vision glasses and luminous paint.

I can even offer training on how to cook the entire melted contents of one’s deep freeze on a single gas braai, and for the ladies, how to get dressed in the dark.  In the early days I was known to wear my clothes inside out.  More tricky is the art of applying lipstick and mascara.

Next course: pothole management …