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  • Writer's pictureGail

Load shedding and all that stress!

So, we’re back in the dark again, having had a relatively well illuminated December and January, darkness has once again become the norm, candlelit dinners are back in fashion, and on the menu there’s cold chicken and salad, melted ice cream and a serious serving of sour grapes! Aside from the normal moans and groans, and there are plenty of those, from security issues to appliances blowing up because of unanticipated power surges, the impact on small businesses is enormous. It’s not just about lost time – when the power goes off so do your computers, printers and in our instance our land line is VOIP based

You can only serve cold chicken salad to a man a couple of times...

because Telkom, our telecommunications giant, was unable to deliver a constant service – and of course we work, and live, in a valley… there’s no cell reception unless I go outside, lean forward on the deck, and magically, I’ll find a bar or two of Vodacom’s finest, sadly though, I can’t spend the day doing that, and in all reality it only works if I have a glass of wine in my other hand.

I’m making light of an issue which is not much fun. Caught off guard last evening when we had our second load shed of the day, dinner was not served, it wasn’t anywhere near the oven at that point and the net result is that we only ate at around 9pm… when the power came back on it tripped everything so we had to scramble around in the dark unplugging fridges and freezers to identify the fault while running backwards and forward to the distribution board. Thanks Eskom, while I know I must lose some weight I had not anticipated you being my dietary partner – no food to eat and late-night exercise! Such fun! And to think we are paying so much for this!

From a wedding perspective, we have other issues. Flowers which are in the fridge suddenly aren’t being kept cool and we must quickly open the fridge doors, particularly if this happens during the day at this time of the year as the fridge rapidly becomes a hothouse - not the greenhouse effect we want. For brides it’s a whole other scenario. Please, please make sure that your venue has a generator!! This used to be the norm some years ago when Eskom pulled the plug on our power and we all carried a stock of candles, matches and other battery-operated items, but we got complacent, didn’t we?! For some reason we believed, for a while, that we would actually get the service that we all pay for… but no!

Once again, for a variety of reasons which I won’t go into here (I don’t want to be accused of hate speech), we are in the dark!

So, our advice for you on this dark day, if your venue doesn’t have a generator, these are the choices – you can hire one – they’re not as expensive as you think, and we can certainly help you to source one big enough for your function. Remember that you will need power for your lighting, DJ, fridges, heating, although gas is often an option which caterers use – even your photographer would need access to a plug point to re-charge his/her camera batteries.

Candlelight makes a real difference to your wedding setting - you can forget the Eskom woes when you have soft, romantic lighting - stagger the heights to make it more interesting.

No generator? Make sure you have plenty of candles on the tables, they add to the romance of the day and means that you aren’t instantly in darkness. If the meal is ready and you haven’t started eating yet – the time to do it would be now! The less time you keep it waiting the more chance you have of everyone still having a great dinner. Have a play list on one of the great portable speakers that is fully charged and put it on so that there is some background music and before you know it the power will be back on. Don’t let Eskom determine your day! If you need to raise your voices for speeches or vows, that’s also fine, your guests will keep a little quieter and everyone will still hear you say those two important words, and I don’t mean the “#$%@ Eskom” ones! #spottedowlevents #Eskom #poweroutages #loadshedding #weddingwoes

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