My Time With St Jude Part 1 | Animal Aunts - The House & Animal Sitters

My Time With St Jude Part 1

5th November 2013 by

So the day of St Jude’s arrival is here and I awake early as I anticipate the destruction it may have caused. I get all the house animals (4 dogs, 4 cats, 2 caged birds, 1 guinea pig and fish in a tank) fed and watered and head out to see what awaits. Nothing. Bit blowy out but apart from an upturned garden chair all is well.
I head up to the yard to feed the pony (1), donkeys (3), goats (3), sheep (14) and chickens (20+). All is well here too. Everyone fed, happy and out to the paddock, I then make a start on the mucking out. With the radio on mucking out seems to happen so much quicker. I breeze through 3 stables and then the wind picks up and a bit more, and more. The trees around the yard are swaying and bashing each other then the loud cracking starts.
The radio cuts out, no power, then all hell breaks loose…..
There are crashing, cracking sounds coming from the woods, a huge branch from a tree falls towards the yard. That’s it I’m outta here – I dash into the field away from the trees and buildings but the wind is whipping everything around, debris is smacking me in the face. I look around and it’s like it’s raining leaves, a little tornado is making its way around the paddock. Am I going to be following a yellow brick road soon? I look to see what the animals are thinking of this ‘bit of wind’. Some have taken refuge in the shelter and look fairly non plussed but the pony is dancing round like a loon.

Hens On Yard

This yard is normally spotless BTW

As soon as it began it was over, still a bit of a wind but the gusts and the cracking and crashing trees have calmed.

All is well at the yard so I abandon mucking out to head back to the house to check all is ok there. On the way back noticing the twigs and branch debris lining the now green-leaved paths as well as several trees down on the drive and behind the hay barn.


Back at the house and dogs all fine, cats all fine, guinea pig, budgie, cockatiel and fish all fine. But no power. 9am on the Monday now. I reckon ‘it’ll be fine, we’ll be back on soon’. I go round and check all the trip switches on the property to make sure it’s not that something has just tripped. Nope, ok best get onto electric company. Ah, slight hitch, no internet and what is the number? Time to call the AA Team.

I get hold of Gillie and ask her to look on the internet at the uk power networks site which I had looked up the previous day in anticipation of a power cut. You can punch in your postcode and it will tell you if they know of a power cut in that area.

“Not aware of power cut in your area, shall I put in your mobile number for them to give you a call back?”  “Yes please, brilliant”

Figuring the power will be back on soon I get on with my day as normal without the distraction of anything electrical. Finish mucking out (in the dark) and walk the dogs. As I walk the dogs around the parkland I find two large trees have fallen down near the stream.


A few hours later I get a call from uk power networks. They are now aware of my power cut but no-one else in the area has reported anything.

“We need you to check all your trip switches” 

“Ok, but I checked them all earlier and it will take some time, can you call me back?”

I check all the trip switches, again!, the two lots in the house, in the gym, in the cottage, in the greenhouse, in the woodshed, in the quad bike shed, in the pool house, and the two lots at the stables. Some miles later, all trips fine.

Awaiting a call back from the uk power network man, which doesn’t come, I decide to continue with the day.  By around 3pm and still no call back it’s time for a well deserved afternoon break. Still I don’t have the number to call, so it’s time to call in office assist again. This time Gill is there to help me; no number on website to call but  I can enter your mobile number to get text updates on the progress of repairs to power cut. Thanks, lets see how that works out.

I am comforted by the text updates telling me they are aware of the power cut affecting me and engineers will get to my area as quickly as possible.

Oh well, no choice but to carry on with my day, I’m sure the power will be on soon.

No power = no dishwasher!! I’m going to have to wash the dogs and cats dishes by hand, how antiquated!

Oh no, the water is slow. Of course, no power = no pump for the water from the well.  Must remember to be careful with that then.

TEXT from ukpowernet:-

Update at 18:39 – We know you still have no power and we’re sorry for the disruption. Due to the weather today, our engineers are working in tough conditions and will do their best to fix this as soon as they can. Once we know more we’ll let you know. Thank you for bearing with us.

Again I anticipate the power will be on again soon, so back to my jobs.

What a day.  Armed with my trusted torch it’s time for bed.  Mid undress and the house alarm starts its high-pitched shrill ringing. The dogs start barking.  Oh bugger, but does this mean the power has come back on? No such luck. I’ll punch the code into the keypad, a genius idea?! Nope, no display, that won’t help.  I call the alarm company.  They will get an engineer to call and advise me what to do.

Hi, the alarm has stopped going off. When you say ‘going off’ do you mean it won’t switch off or its stopped making a noise? Stopped making a noise.The battery back up in the alarm has packed in so as far as the alarm is concerned the keypad has been ripped off the wall. Your best option is to disable the power going to the alarm so when the power comes back on it won’t set the alarm off again. Can you see a fuse next to the alarm? No. Ok, how practical are you? Can you see a panel to unscrew? Yep. Ok, unscrew the panel. Now can you see a blue wire and a white wire? No, I can see a twisted green and white wire and a twist of many different colours. I’ve unscrewed the wrong thing, haven’t I?. Yes you have. Ok, I guess I’ll just have to deal with it ‘going off ‘ when the power comes back on.

Come back soon for more in the saga……..