Sitting in the dark


After a 4:20 am start yesterday, I practically fell into bed last night, after having already spent an hour in the dark all by myself – well, with just the bewildered Jack Russell terrier for company, who was racing around the house trying to work out why I’d switched off everything electrical and all was now in the blackness. The battery in the emergency Dolphin torch lasted all of four minutes into Earth Hour, and it was impossible to read by the light of flickering candles. How did they do it in the old days?

But, of course, I’d forgotten to change the “Auto” setting on the alarm clock – and it dutifully woke me up, bright and early this morning. On a Sunday, when I didn’t have to be anywhere.

Now that I’ve slept on the events of the last two information-overload days of the ASLA conference (see my last two entries), I realise exactly which bits of my material I should have used on Friday (my ten-minute segment of a 70-minute panel), when the captive audience was huge. It’s all so clear now; I should have started off the panel talk on the Saturday with a public reading of my favourite student-written fable. I’d been so focused on using it to kick off my tutorial yesterday (a one-hour session), which was in a comparatively tiny room, and a much smaller group. Sigh…

In the clearing haze of my ruined slumber at 6:00 am this morning, I asked myself: Why is everything always so obvious the day after the event?

This photograph is from my last imposed (but extended) blackout – my desperate attempts to finish a novel when the power went out across the entire suburb during a violent storm last January. I was very tempted to go and fetch the solar-powered “rock” lights again (the yard looked very eerie last night, which my garden statues being the only things lit up during Earth Hour), but I figured by this time I only had about 55 minutes to wait it out.

Rockin’ reading