When the lights go out - hopeless
Which do you think is worse, to get a fright or to frighten another? Hard to say, but it can happen that the two come together as when you bump into someone in the dark and the fright goes both ways.
Happens – did to me last week in Hokitika when a great storm brought us an unaccustomed pitch dark for some hours.
Heavy rain woke me and triggered my desire to ‘‘go’’ so go I did.
Out of bed, no lamp working, to the door, no response from light switch there.
Strangely I did not think of a power cut, just remembered we were sleeping in a room at the end of a long hall with doors down either side, one of which would lead to a bathroom. But which? First door opened to a snore. Next nearly knocked me out as I opened and confidently went into a linen cupboard, hitting my forehead hard.
Backed out, stunned, and after one more try hit the jackpot and the loo. Which would not flush. Neither would a basin tap yield water.
On the way back, no sign of a welcome light near our bedroom; just blackness.
Eventually I got in, turned to climb into bed and saw a shape coming through the door I had pulled closed.
‘‘Look it’s me,’’ Himself assured, heading over groping his way across the bed.
Well of course it was. Waking alone he had followed me out, and in, and now we were together again. Bliss.
He had twigged to the water shortage, the power cut had shut down the pumps that brought water to the house. Accustomed to a gravity-fed system that truly had not occurred to me.
Lights, heat and water came on stream about noon but it had been a night to remember and the mild headache that stayed with me for a few days kept the memory fresh.
Now that was last week. This week, last night, National Council of Women Southland president Anne McCracken introduced a guest speaker; the remarkable physiotherapist, former Woodlands netball player, Helen Tufui.
She, like me once, cracked her head on a doorframe, and then thought about it. Today she runs headache clinics in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and at her home base, Invercargill.
Remember that name.