Forced gadget ban and getting back to basics
It’s not often families nowadays have a day without technology of some kind. Our house is just the same (made much harder when you’re a blogger!). N would rather be outside playing, but in the colder months, even he gets a bit obsessed with Youtube on
my his tablet. The rule is that he’s not meant to use the tablet or watch tv until he’s done some reading or writing, but I can’t ensure this happens in the mornings before I wake up given N is up at any time between 5.30 to 6.30. But we recently had a day of forced no technology thanks to losing electricity.
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Living on a farm is sometimes like living in the dark ages. Everything around the house seems to break easily. We’ve been through 3 hard wood front doors (and the current one is on the way out too despite me treating it a few years on the trot). The windows aren’t water tight in horizontal rain, and the kitchen installation was terrible. Oh and we have a lot of water issues (loss of water over 5 weekends since Christmas this year – our water company obviously can’t manage the local reservoir for the village). And a few brief power outages because we’re near a substation.
But last weekend, we lost power at around 7pm. Bizarrely the farm still had their lights on ok, and down in the barn. It was just our house that had nothing. So the candles came out – N had a very exciting bath by candlelight. While I read my Kindle and the OH snoozed before an early night. No blogging or social media for me as usual because there was no wifi. Added to that, our mobile phone signal has been dubious for the last 9 months, so we had no signal for looking up the electricity board/Western Distribution.
The next morning I was woken by the OH passing on the phone number to log our issue. Of course I couldn’t ring from home so called from the farm. N had decided that he was staying at the farm because their Lego is more interesting (and they had light). The OH got the extension cable into the farm’s supply so our chest freezer and the lodgers’ was safe. I emptied the fridge of anything that could be frozen.
We decided that the guys putting up the new building in the yard must have nicked one of the lines. We’ve had similar before where we lost power but were the only ones. It seems that our power comes from lines under the yard and not from the same direction as the farm’s.
Luckily the vans came out to find the problem and fix it. More and more vans kept turning up. Then a digger. Then the boss man in his van to see how much we’d have to pay for the call out. We ended up with about 9 here over the Sunday.
They finally managed to get us a generator so we had some electricity for an hour or so before they found the problem and had to turn us off again to fix he power and put us back on permanently.
Of course, the power had gone off on a weekend. On a day when it was awful weather so we weren’t heading out anywhere. So after N briefly mentioned he was bored, we started our non-gadget fun.
We went old school with our activities. It wasn’t all great – I wanted to be able to blog, edit photos, check for places to visit the rest of the week, have a gripe on social media etc. But mostly we had a lovely relaxing time.
Our non-gadget activities
Jigsaw puzzles – N started his own children’s one, decided it was too boring, and announced we were doing mine instead. 1000 pieces sorted, outside down, and over the morning got around a third of it done. It’s amazing how fast you can get back into something. Although N didn’t stick at it.
Colouring – I’m not really a doodler or person who would usually do colouring in, but N has a great doodling book so we spent a good time colouring and doodling.
Homework and reading – yes, N was so bored he did half a reading book, a maths and english worksheet. (The other 2 books were avoided and still haven’t been brought out since though!)
Making music – N played a bit on the piano, we did some recorder playing and he decided to compose some music (using the 3 notes he knows).
Reading – I caught up on quite a bit of reading
Painting and glitter art – N dragged out his old art and craft plastic box and decided to paint while enjoying using the glitter as well. 5 huge pieces of paper later…it means that his kitchen chair and the floor is now covered in purple and green glitter.
It was lovely doing activities we could do alongside each other. Even if we weren’t doing the same thing, we could sit at the table together and discuss everything we were doing. Soon, the weather will improve and N will spend most of his time in the garden or on the farm.
Our electricity was fixed by 3pm. Just in time for me to make tea. Hopefully that’s the last of it. I’m not holding my breath because it turns out the electricity plans on the farm don’t actually match where the pipes went in.
Do you enjoy non-gadget activities, How do your children cope with a gadget ban?