Hey guys! Today I am bringing you a brilliant piece brought to you by guest poster, Betti all about what 10 days without electricty taught her.

xx Rae

At the time of writing, my electricity has just been switched back on after 10 days.

Thankfully, it wasn’t due to a lack of money or chronic apartment deficiency that we were out of juice for so long. It was simple mid-twenties idiocy – we forgot to pay the bill on time, and we paid the price (for all of you out there who are worrying about your adulting skills, don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I’m winning the “can’t function in the real world race” by at least a mile).

I know what you’re thinking. Disaster, right? And for the first day, it was. As my boyfriend and I dug forgotten candles out from the darkest recesses of our junk drawer and lamented all the tasty frozen food we would have to throw out (so many wasted petit pois), we realised just how ill-equipped we were to deal with life without all the luxuries that we count as essentials. Internet? Gone, spelling a temporary hiatus in our marathon Game of Thrones sessions. Purchasing any kind of chilled foods? Out of the question. Once the summer sun had set, there was no chance of reading, sewing, cleaning, or any of the other things we do to fill our evenings. Our nightly choices were essentially either to hit up a local bar and rinse their overhead lighting, or sleep.

I won’t lie, for the first 24 hours I was raging. But then, once we’d lit the sea of candles in our blacked out apartment, we sat down with the salvageable remains of our fridge and talked for hours before turning in for the night, battery-powered fairy lights twinkling around us. And do you know what? It felt…good.

From then, things fell into place. We’d arrive home from work, knowing that we had a couple of precious hours to cook, tidy up and light the candles before sundown. And then – freedom. It’s remarkable how much time you actually have when you realise that all that shit you just “have” to do is actually pretty inconsequential.

As someone who acutely feels the external pressure to be constantly doing rather than being – whether that’s cooking, working overtime, reading up on the latest global news or just going on an Instagram liking spree – having the choice taken away was liberating.

It allowed me the opportunity – so often tacitly frowned upon by our society – to sit and just think, to draw shite doodles in my sketchbook, and to stretch out and relax in perfect silence. It made me go out and visit friends, without having that niggling feeling in the back of my mind that I should be hotfooting it out of the bar and finding something productive to do, whatever that means. It allowed me to sleep better.

Strangest of all, as soon as that pressure was taken off, I began doing more than ever – only this time it was the stuff I actually wanted to spend time doing. I sketched more in those 10 days than I have in months. I wrote things for myself. I finished that book I’d neglected for weeks. I spent hours lying in bed chatting random shit with the bf, just because. I noticed the birdsong outside my window. And as a result, I felt more human, more in control of my own life and time, more than just a slave to clickbait and Messenger and work and societal expectations and rushing around being productive and progressing. It allowed me to just be.

At 11.30 this morning, the electricity man rang my bell and switched the power back on. It was a bittersweet moment. On the one hand, yay lights! Refrigerated food! Laundry! On the other, I felt that it would only be a matter of time – days, hours even – before my boyfriend and I slipped back into our familiar routine, the magic of the darkness gone and forgotten. Last night, he said to me “I don’t know if I even want them to switch it back on.” I kind of agreed.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we all switch off our electricity and embrace the simple life completely. I certainly won’t be – I just bought a new blender and plan to spend the next few days juicing everything I can get my hands on. And I’m definitely not going to go on a moralising rant about how everyone should slow the hell down – some people thrive off action, others are already zen as fuck.

What I will say is that when life starts feeling like an eat work sleep repeat routine, when the daily grind starts to drain your soul, or when your eyes are permanently tinged red from screen overuse, perhaps it might help to switch off a little – literally. Unplug the router for a day, light some candles, and tell the 21st century to do one for as little or as long as you need. Over 100 years ago, Thoreau extolled the virtues of “simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.” Sometimes, that’s all we really need.

Text: Betti Hunter

Photography: Rae Tashman

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Stay conscious, Rae

Betti Baudelaire

Betti Baudelaire is a Berlin-based freelance journalist and part-time barista extraordinaire. She enjoys making the most of her monthly travel pass, searching for bargains at flea markets, and pretending she is still a ballerina.


  • Oh my goodness i’ve been there :) It was actually a tough time in our lives, there was an issue with the electricity billing – it came 1000$ once, for a tiny apartment we had. The department declined that it was their fault, so we stayed 2 weeks in the winter without electricity until we had the money to pay it. I can say, it was the most fun we ever had!!

    We had to adapt of course. Boiling water to take a shower, eating soups and teas and lots of candle light. I love these two weeks! It really felt so quiet and back to what matters. Whenever we got outside the house everything felt so loud and noisy – so many things we don’t actually need <3 Great post, brought back a lot of memories!

    • Space Cadet Betti

      Haha, it’s so funny how something that starts out as a nightmare can become so fun! And I totally get the noise thing – when the electricity was off, home felt like a little oasis away from the crazy. Going back into the real world was quite overwhelming. Glad you enjoyed the post :) xx

    • rae

      I actually think that an experience like that sounds sort of amazing. I think that everyone should take a week if possible and just get back to what matters. Clearly this is more fun if a significant other is involved, which means it would probably not be so fun for a single girl like me haha!

  • I have been there for only three days for the same reason and actually enjoyed it! It was during university and I was 19! If it happens now and moreover for 10 days I would go crazy! You had a great attitude towards it and also look amazing in your photos! You have such a great style my dear Rae!
    Have a great week!

    • Space Cadet Betti

      Thank you so much Stella! Glad to know I’m not the only one who has experienced this!
      Enjoy the rest of your week xx

    • rae

      We went without power as well in Uni for about a week (in my particular building because it was an old one) so I kind of had to roam around campus and shower elsewhere. Dinner for those few days while the power was out campus wide consisted of lots of fig newton bars!

  • What a fun read! Like you mentioned, I can imagine it feels liberating and sometimes I wish these things would happen to me, force me to regress to a more basal state. As it’s true, in reality we have so much time if we disconnect from technological expectations. Beautiful post!



    • Space Cadet Betti

      Thanks Louise! I get what you mean – sometimes it’s hard to switch off and disconnect until external situations force you to. Even though my power is now back, I like to recreate that calm by just letting my phone battery run out and not plugging it back in until the next day. Works like a charm! xx

  • Wow, what an experience. Such an interesting read and definitely an eye-opener! You have such a lovely attitude :)

    Enclothed Cognition

    • Space Cadet Betti

      Thank you so much Keri :) I’m glad you enjoyed the post! x

  • Alya Mooro

    What an interesting read!! Crazy how dependant we become on these things!

    moorizZLA xx

    • Space Cadet Betti

      Thank you for the kind words, Alya! xx

  • This was so interesting! It made me think instantly how I would react, and I think I would be raging just for the lack of power on my laptop or phone, or not being able to use my refrigerator and electrical oven. In addition our shower is electric as well, so we would definitely have problems without electricity, but as a thought it seems interesting!


    • Space Cadet Betti

      I’m glad you found it interesting, Lii! Yes, it certainly sounds like your home is a little more reliant on electricity than ours – our cooker, boiler and shower are all gas-run, and the indian summer mercifully eliminated the need for heating! Nevertheless, I’m sure you would be surprised by how quickly you’d adjust to the situation – we’re all far more resilient than we think! xx

      • I am sure we would. Actually being without computer or watching tv-shows does sound very enjoyable! :)

    • rae

      I would be at a loss of what to do not because I am personally addicted to the internet, but because my job depends on it!

  • Oh I love this! I keep intending to ‘relax’ and draw but always end up on the internet and going to bed too late. I might pretend there is no electricity tonight.

    • Space Cadet Betti

      I’d highly recommend it, Emmie! It’s done wonders for my peace of mind. So glad you liked the article :)

  • Sophie Lee

    Love the post <3

    xoxo, Cool style for men

  • I love that you ended up with something positive from the experience =o) It must have been quite refreshing to spend more time together, see more friends and sketch =o) Great post!