There we were at about half past ten in the evening sitting quietly going about our reading, blogging, Facebookery and so forth when crackle pop! Off went the power. A quick examination of our neighbours' houses from the outside showed that there was not a generalised power cut and a double check of the fusebox showed nothing internal had blown, so we called in the assistance of the estimable National Power Company.
An engineer turned up at 00:50 am and checked it out, only to report that the junction between our house and the mains had blown so there would have to be some major digging up of the pavement and, in order not to cause severe unrest in the neighbourhood, this would be delayed till the following morning. Fair enough, but instead of 'first thing' the functionaries showed up about 9:00 am whence they sat around till the engineers turned up an hour or so later. The jobs are clearly delineated; you have a crew of (Romanian) sub-contracted labourers who do the digging and you have a crew of qualified electrical engineers who do the fixing of the buzzing electrical bits. And the engineers tell the labourers where to dig.
Any road up, they got on with it and we had power back after about fifteen hours. However, it was by then Friday afternoon and the labourers who fill up the holes don't start jobs that late, or work over the weekend. Reinstatement thus eventually took place a week later. Pictured are the electrical engineers, in the blue overalls, who both look uncannily similar to the famous bullet-headed thespian Ross Kemp. The other guy is one of the Romanians. Quite a genial bunch, all told.