Yes, all of loadshedding is annoying, but as George Orwell once stated:
Some slots are more annoying than others.
An amazingly prescient (and suspiciously specific) man.
Anyone who has experienced rolling blackouts will be in agreement with this and, since several (or more) of the Northern Hemisphere countries are about to give it a go, I thought I’d warn my readers up there about which slots are really going to get their blood boiling (on a hand-lit gas stove, rather than in a kettle, obviously).
Here in SA, our loadshedding slots last for two hours followed by a half hour (dis)grace period for the power to be reinstated. And you might get anywhere between zero and four of these each day, depending on just how scarily precarious our power system is. These slots can – and do – strike at any time, day or night. But some are more irritating than others. Here are the three worst slots for two hours(+) of loadshedding.
At number 3 is 22:00 – 00:30.
Look, you could treat this as being a good opportunity to just go to bed early and get some more sleep. But there’s a reason that you wanted to stay up past 10pm. Maybe it was to do some stuff or – more likely – watch some football. During the summer months here, this slot sits right across all the midweek football matches from Mud Island, and is very frustrating for this reason alone. And then also for several others.
Moving up on second base behind Nicholas van Whats-his-face (applause if you can place that lyric without the use of Ask Jeeves or some such) is 06:00 – 08:30.
Because there is nothing nice about waking up in darkness and having to make tea and coffee, do the packed lunch run, get the kids out of bed and off to school, and get the beagle fed in darkness. Obviously, with the sun rising at about 5:30 here at the moment, the irritation is a little bit mitigated, but overall, this remains almost the most annoying couple of hours of power cuttery.
THE MOST ANNOYING LOADSHEDDING SLOT IS [drum roll] …
20:00 – 22:30
Yep. I said it. Look at the smug bastard, sitting right in the middle of your primetime evening enjoyment.
Your happy time of the day. Ruined.
First off, the 8pm start time is a complete git. No matter what time of the year, this will be dark in Cape Town. Even in summer (just). So no escaping without lighting of some sort. Candles, oil lamps, battery LEDs, they all work: it’s just a shlep to have to carry them around with you wherever you go.
It’s not like 8pm is an acceptable time to just give up on a normal day and go to bed. It’s too early. You’re not 10 years old any more. Your knees have been reminding you of that for a while now.
And then, look at what time it finishes. 10:30pm. What are you supposed to do then? That’s the sort of time you actually do want to think about going to bed, but now you’ve got two hours of missed stuff to catch up on. And even if you were going to stay up for the footy (see above), you’ve missed some (or more) of the game.
This particular loadshedding slot was the devised by Beelzebub Himself, and sent to test us to our very limits. And it did, just yesterday evening. Flipping annoying. Almost so completely infuriating that you’re willing to forgive all the other slots.
Anyway, you might have your own opinions on this, but they’re probably not as valid as mine, so I’ll stick with my reasoning and conclusions above unless you can come up with something quite remarkable to support your case. And then probably after that, as well.