Sheltering from the storm…

The power is back on!

I remember as a child in the 1970′s we had a series of power cuts during times of industrial action. Those hours spent by candlelight, eating sausages and beans cooked on a camping stove are lovely memories- and I still remember the disappointment I felt when the lights came back on. The time of dancing shadows was over, and the florescent uniformity was back again.

I felt a little flicker of this disappointment today. But these days, the lack of power is no benign thing- particularly in Argyll.

The storms today cut off Cowal entirely- the Rest and Be Thankful pass was blocked, and the ferries all stopped running. Trees are down everywhere and caravans and high sided vehicles tipped over.

In fact, I called in to the Police Station earlier and was told that an articulated lorry had been blown on its side, only later to be blown back onto it’s wheels! I confess to feeling skeptical, but the story was told to me in all seriousness.

More seriously there have been a spate of accidents- a policeman is said to be amongst those injured.

And when the power is out, the frailer members of our society are very vulnerable.

We have not escaped damage to property either- William’s shed took a battering, a fence is wobbling and water is coming in to our house through the skylight.

But for a while, we sat in the lounge before a raging fire and played games by the light of candles. Everyone was happy, somehow buoyed by the drama and comraderie of it all.

And then the lights came on again.

And we went our separate ways- to our individual screens and electronic cocoons.

A small band of survivors no longer.

Conflict minerals and the coming gadget fest…

Just saw this on Brian McLaren’s blog-

Gadgetmass is almost upon us, and so it might be a good time to remind ourselves that our electronic consumables have a hidden cost to people who will never get to use them.

I was rooting in some cupboards the other day in our house, and came across a graveyard for gadgets- sad scratched plastic in amongst a tangle of chargers for devices long lost or discarded.

A kind of monument to over-consumption, waste and our unsustainable lifestyle.

That was bad enough- but the clip above made me think about what these things are actually made from.

There are more details, and a chance to respond directly to technology companies on this website.

Or you could just keep the mobile you already have. It still works doesn’t it?