Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Happy 1st Birthday!

This post was supposed to be published on Sunday – the day of my blog’s official first birthday.
However, aside from a celebration, the picture above eerily represents recent events – and I’m not talking about the cupcake!

I’ll start from the beginning and hope to make sense.

Last week, our neighbourhood experienced a total blackout.
One minute, the boys and I were watching a show, the next, there was an erratic flickering of lights, an atmospheric surge that seemed to come from nowhere, yet everywhere. Smoke poured out of the DVD player and the TV sputtered out in spectacular fashion. There was a huge electric “crackle”, then, a loud bang rang out across the forest.

And everything went black.

Shouts of panic were heard across the way.

As we called out in the darkness to the neighbours, they yelled back that their electrical fuse/meter box was aflame and beneath their house had caught on fire.
People spilled out onto the street. Confused, shocked, their children scared.
Sirens wailed and emergency services arrived shortly after. Fire department, police, and an ambulance for the neighbour who inhaled smoke as he tried to put out the electrical fire – with water.
Quite a few homes’ meter boxes were charred black. We raced throughout the house, turning off power and switched off the mains.
The rest of the night was spent by candle light – romantic at any other time.

Electricity wasn’t restored until the next afternoon. We lost a few appliances, but, we consider ourselves fortunate, as some of the neighbours had fared worse.
However, our computer copped some damage, has been on the fritz and rather glitchy, with weird whirring, clicking noises, so it’ll probably need an overhaul or replacement.

Then, two days ago, I was composing a new post in my head whilst vacuuming the house when,
I was almost electrocuted by a faulty cord.

What a scary occurrence.
The machine is not that old, and the cord previously showed no obvious external signs of wear.
But hubby now says that where it was situated on the machine, is a design fault.
It’s one of those backpack vacs. Sitting snug against the back and tightly secured around the waist by a firm buckle.

As I vacuumed, it began cutting in and out. Before I could reach around to turn it off, electrical sparks shot out past my head onto the carpet. A tingling hum and the stench of burnt electrical assaulted my senses.

There I was, with a live, potentially dangerous device, attached to my body! I fumbled with the buckle in a panic to get the bloody thing off my back and away from me.

It really is amazing how time seems to slow down as thoughts run through one’s head in moments like these. Mere micro seconds are magically long enough to formulate and process coherent thoughts.

They ranged from the concerned to the ridiculous.
Things like, "how will my boys do without me if I die right here, right now?", "will I have time to shut the door so Jack can't be hurt too?", "who will find me first?", "I will miss my son’s end of year recital". And, "hubby's shirts haven't been hung up to dry yet".
To, "oh no, I’ll never see the conclusion to Breaking Bad and Dexter, nor season 4 of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones".
Then, I worried about who will know where to pick up Jack’s arthritis meds? Finish the glazing I’ve begun?
And, “crap, did it have to happen when I’m wearing my baked bean breakfast stained tee-shirt and old, holey undies?”
Good grief!

And why oh why, did various phrases to fit on this bloody poster keep coming to me?

Like, Keep Calm and Don’t Die/Panic/Overreact/Freak Out/Call Batman - insert relevant text here :D

With the vac finally off me, and with my heart racing, I realised I had a possible very close call, as I saw the now melted and exposed part of the cord was just centimetres from my skin.

And the RCD, or house circuit breaker, failed to work. Did the previous blackout have anything to do with this?
The power was still on. The vacuum cleaner lead, still, "live".

The sad irony, which didn’t escape me at the time, was that my mother died whilst vacuuming. Although, not from electrocution, but a pulmonary embolism, which quickly took her life.
At almost the same age as I am now.


I feel a little foolish writing this, as we were fairly lucky with the blackout and, I’m still standing – thank you Elton John.
It seems rather trivial now. It wasn't a natural disaster or dreadful accident that befalls so many people throughout the world.
Just a “local event” and a near miss.
Shared here, with friends.

Some of my blog friends have been dealing with illness, major surgery and the sad loss of their beloved, loyal, tail-wagging best friends.
My heart goes out to each of you. And a wish that I could give you all healing hugs xx.

A year ago, and with a little encouraging push from a new dear friend across the deep blue sea, I ventured into blogland.
A journey I’ll never regret.
For there - here - resides a wonderful community of people who share their lives.
With them, we laugh, we cry, we rejoice in the happy times and commiserate in the sad.

It’s a very personal, and sometimes vulnerable, thing to do, “putting oneself out there”.

I think of the often asked question, “If you could have a dinner party with anyone, dead or alive, real or imagined, who would you choose?”

I would pass on celebrities or dignitaries or historical figures.
I’d choose the lovely people I have met and grown fond of over this past year.
I’m sure sitting around the table would feel as though old friends were catching up for food, drink and great conversation.
You are all so very special.

As I reflect back on the past blogging year, I want to thank you all... for opening your doors and your hearts.

And, I am grateful that you visit me here, and for all your sweet comments that I cherish.


here’s looking at you, kids.

And, I hope my blog's next birthday will be a little less, um, eventful :)


  1. Oh my goodness gracious sakes alive...and so on. This is a story that has some real scarey moments...which you lived through. I'm so glad you're safe, and wiring has been given lots of attention, so no more sparks will be flying. And congrats on a year of blogging. It sure is fun getting to know you, and the others in blogland. I do feel that most of us are just as we appear, but there may be a bit of embellishment by some. Of course potters are all likeable gritty folks anyway. But I for one want you to think of me as an artist, where I probably am just a retired hobbiest, pretending to be what I dreamed of back when I was younger.

    1. Hi Barb! Yes, I too am glad it wasn't "the end" for me. Not yet.

      And, you are a wonderful artist whose pottery skills I greatly admire :)

  2. Oh. How lucky you were. How lucky we are.
    And yes, I agree with you so much about the warmth and the wonder here in the blogosphere. I had no idea when I first dipped my tentative toes in the water how many wonderful awe-inspiring people I would find here. People I am very glad to have as friends.
    And that dinner party? It would need to be at least a weekend retreat. Laughter, good food, wonderful company...

    1. I agree EC. So many wonderful people. And, you're so included there :)
      A weekend retreat? Even better!

  3. Well I typed a very long comment and somehow it disappeared, grrrrr, anyway yes to Breaking Bad!! And happy birthday to your blog, I gotta run or I would try to remember what I said, haha, xo

    1. Thanks Tracey!
      One more BB to go - what a show!

      Have a great, fulfilling day :)

  4. Oh moi Gott!!!!!!

    I am so glad you are okay. How very scary!

    How fascinating how time slows down in those spaces. Very amusing the thoughts that went through your head, haha!!! :)

    Happy birthday to your blog! I love the blogosphere. My only regret is that I don't have more time to write in it. I always miss it when I don't, and so appreciate comments from people like you :)

    1. Scary indeed. But, I see that I still have stuff to do here before I shuffle off this mortal coil.
      And, I'm so glad that "attire" wasn't the last thing I ever wore, haha!

      I'm so pleased to have come across your blog, Sue. You write so well, and I relate to so much of what you write :)

  5. OMG, Vicki... such happenings! So glad now no was hurt in that fuse box going a-light! So glad you & yours are OK too! And now I'm sure you'll not want to do any vacuuming anymore! These are good: "Keep Calm and Don’t Die/Panic/Overreact/Freak Out/Call Batman" That Batman is funny. I'm so glad you're still standing tall. ;o) And so glad you're here! HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! It's been a special blessing to have met and get to know you--almost a year now. Like you, I'd give up the famous folks dinner party, and would invite all my blog-friends. Yup, those are the people I really want around me. Thank you for the special door you keep open here. It is a joy to be here with you! Be keeping safe there! :o) ((LOVE & BIG HUGS))

    1. Hi Tracy,
      thankfully, there were no major injuries from the blackout - everyone is OK. And yes, I'm more than a little wary of putting the backpac vac on again - it's going in for repairs on Saturday.

      Likewise, it has been a pleasure getting to know you too :)
      What a great time we live in, that we can meet so many wonderful people from all over this amazing earth!
      Now, about getting a table big enough to sit us all.....

  6. Vicki, I am SO happy you're safe and unharmed! But, be extra careful around electrical things for a while, ok? I don't know if you have this tradition/superstition there, but we have a saying here that bad (or good) things happen in increments of 3. They usually don't, but just to be on the safe side....

    Happy Anniversary! And many, many wishes that next year's will be uneventful except for good things! Like you, I would pass on meeting famous people, past or present, and instead meet the people I've become 'friends' with on my blog. What bliss!

    Take care!



    1. You know Victoria, I had EXACTLY the same thought - that things happen in 3. And believe me, I am very wary at the moment. The vacuum is going in for a check and repaired, if it can't be replaced. And I gotta say, I'm a little gun shy of putting that on my back again.
      Oh well, time will pass and I'll get over it, haha!
      Thank you for your concern and... snap! For thinking the same :D

      And, thank you for your always lovely comments here. So glad I met you!

  7. That was a lucky break for sure and I'm glad you're still standing too, and still blogging. I'd say the blackout probably killed your circuit breaker, you'd need to get that checked or reset or something. I'm glad my vacuum cleaner is a pull along barrel variety and with my smaller place hardly ever gets used now. A quick sweep does the job. I only drag it out when I sweep the dust bunnies out from under the fridge, couch and washing machine.
    Happy blog birthday!

    1. Oh yeah, the circuit breaker will get a good look at!

      One day, I hope to have a small place that requires minimal to no vacuuming. Although, as I'll always have dogs, that seems unlikely :)
      Bare wooden floors and a sweep every other day sounds a good option though.

  8. Finally have internet again! So sorry I missed your blog birthday!
    Oh those little electrical things are very powerful when let loose. Moody, too. Not to be taken lightly. So glad that you had your wits about you and the thought of the last episode of Breaking Bad and the other things you couldn't miss to save you. What scary and harrowing happenings, Vicki.
    Now it is time for me to thank you, Vicki. You have inspired me many, many times. And I always look forward to reading your blog.
    Happy Belated Blog Birthday! And many, many more!

    1. Thank you Charlene.
      And, if I hadn't wondered into Blogland, I may never have met you, nor experienced your heart-touching, beautiful, ethereal art. I'm so glad I did :)

  9. Oh my goodness - talk about scary. I'll bet your heart was racing. I understand those crazy thoughts which went through your head. You instantly thought about the boys - all 3 of them. They are the most important things to you. Worrying about not seeing the end of Breaking Bad - well it IS a fantastic show - but that might have been about not wanting to miss out on ANYTHING in your future. These terrifying experiences are dreadful but life affirming at the same time. They help us to take stock and really make the most of our moments here in this world. You are a lovely, caring, giving person. This is so clear in your blog writings and I'm so pleased to be getting to know you through the markets.

    Take care!! Sarah

    1. So sweet Sarah, thank you.

      And, likewise - I'm so happy to have met you fortuitously at Kallista market.
      Coffee and chat on the near horizon - when school wraps up :)


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