According to the Cyprus Electricity Authority a week ago, we were due for rolling two-hour power cuts every couple of hours.
However when Richard mentioned it to our neighbour, he called a friend who works for the Electricity Board, and who assured him that our area would not be getting any cuts. No explanation as to why.
And, indeed, on Wednesday we had power all day long. Late afternoon I posted on Facebook, to Cyprus friends only, asking if anyone else had had any power cuts. Some had not experienced any; some had had just power cut for a couple of hours at different times, and one person reported a two-hours-on followed by two-hours-off cycle all day.
On Thursday, I had just started preparing food for some visitors coming to share our evening meal. And the power went off. It was 3.15pm. That meant I could not use the electric mixer, or the ice cream maker, or the oven, or the microwave.. and we didn't want to open the fridge or freezer. But our friends were expected at 6.30, and I started getting a little anxious... so around 4.30 I did quickly open the fridge and started cooking using our stove-top, which, thankfully, is gas. Of course I had to use a match to start it, but that wasn't a huge problem!
At 5.00pm the power came on again, so I turned on the oven at once, and although I then didn't sit down for the next hour and a half, everything was, eventually, ready.
On Friday, I had been doing various things around the house in the morning, and sat down to read email and check Facebook after lunch, with the air conditioning on (at 28C, of course). At 2.30 the power went out. I decided to finish reading the Kindle book I was enjoying... only to have my Kindle run out of battery! And couldn't charge it without my computer on. At 4.20pm the power came on again, so I was able to cook for our evening meal without any problem.
On Saturday morning we woke up to find that the power had been off in the night, or perhaps early morning. It was then on all day, and we were just relaxing after eating when it went off at 8.00pm. And remained off for exactly two hours. Some of our neighbours sat outside and chatted... we found some torches and candles, and were pleased when it came on again, since it was quite a humid evening. It was interesting being able to look out from our balconies after dark and see that our little district was in darkness while other areas had light.
On Sunday, there were no cuts in our neighbourhood.
On Monday this week, we had just finished lunch and I was about to make our frappés when the power went out. So, I couldn't use the frappé machine. And while I could potentially have made them the old-fashioned way, shaking in a jar, I really didn't want to open the freezer while the power was off. That cut lasted exactly two hours too.
Yesterday, the power went out just before 4.00pm. We had some people coming over for coffee, but were able to offer them juice instead... and since I wasn't planning on cooking at the time, it wasn't a problem, other than being rather warm and sticky without even fans running. That cut lasted exactly two hours, again.
Today, Wednesday... we haven't yet had a cut. This worries me slightly. Tim is making us a chicken pie for tonight's meal, which should go in the oven about 6.00pm. What are the chances of a cut at that time....? We really don't want to have to wait until 8.30 to eat...
The problem with not knowing when the power is likely to go out is that it's difficult to organise the day. Since we haven't yet had any morning cuts, I've been able to make bread in the breadmaker and it's been fine. But I don't want to do our accounts since it could corrupt the database if the power went off before I had closed the (rather old) program down. I was hoping we might have had a cut about 2.00 today, which would have meant I was safe to get things done after 4.00.
Of course, power cuts are a minor inconvenience compared to the tragic loss of life caused by the explosion, and the horrendous destruction of the electricity plant. Other countries are supplying some large generators, and the Northern part of Cyprus is supplying some power, which should almost be sufficient. At least when the tourists have left and the temperatures have cooled somewhat. The Electricity Authority is asking people not to use air conditioners... but with computers it's vital that we do, otherwise they will overheat. Confusingly, they are also telling people not to run them at temperatures cooler than 25C. Something we would never do anyway, since 28 is quite sufficient to feel cooler than outside, and to reduce the awful humidity.
But it would be nice to know when we should expect to lose power!