Yesterday was quite a day! I finally got my long and eagerly awaited for generator. I have been looking into generators for over a year now, had nearly decided on a solar powered one last year but had strong reservations as there did not seem to be any kind of after sales service. And the price was horrendous. But after going through many types and studying the different sources of energy, I have reached the best solution for me. It is a tailored generator for my needs. It therefore took a great deal of work and group efforts to put it in place and have it work the way I want it. More important still is the fact that it is basically what could be turned into a solar powered generator. Along with this installation I shall be slowly and maybe over the coming few months start to systematically change my light bulbs into LED. This will not only reduce consumption of electricity, but is really a saving in the long run as these are long lasting light bulbs. So the initial high cost is really a saving in the end.
Yesterday was the day the whole team came in to set up the whole system. They started early, at 9.30 to try to get everything going. The team consisted of three senior electrical engineers and four younger assistants. I think one of them was a junior engineer while the rest were technicians. The thing is that the house was full of people going all over it, measuring the consumption, assessing the usage and needs to enable them specify what goes in to be serviced by the generator and what does not need to. A beehive of activity was in progress when on the scene burst my three teenage Golden Retrievers, Helen, Troy and Perta.
Pandemonium broke out. It seemed there were a couple of the technicians who are scared of dogs. And of course when the adrenaline in the bodies is activated, this attracts the dogs to them. A very difficult situation if you have three fairly large dogs that are very playful and still very young. Thank God the senior engineers all loved them and started petting them and all had a good time. It was one of the technicians who really had a very bad time.
This poor man wanted to do his job and retain as much dignity as possible while being scared witless by three large boisterous dogs cavorting around him. But worse still, because he kept exuding this fascinating smell of adrenaline he became their focal point of attraction. Every time the man turned around he felt a big black nose poking him in one or another intimate part of his anatomy. Poor man, his totally undignified reaction was noted by all, but they tried to spare him embarrassment by not laughing out loud and by turning away to hide their amusement, but this also encouraged the dogs to think that he was participating in their game. It was only after all three senior engineers, myself and my houseboy intervened that we were able to pry away their noses from him. So the dogs were shooed out to the garden to cavort to their hearts’ content without scaring or hurting the feelings of anybody.
Most of the day we managed to keep the dogs away from the technicians. But when it was the dogs’ lunchtime I had to bring them into the kitchen, and never had I seen grown men disappear faster than these three technicians when that happened. To the dogs this was a really lovely game, with so many interesting people participating. But food is a very serious business with my dogs and they devoted their entire and concentrated attention on gobbling down the piles of food in each of their plates. This took, maximum, a full minute, then another couple of minutes while each checked the plates of the other two to make sure that they were all given the same thing, and just in case someone had overlooked a tasty morsel somewhere. When they were finally satisfied that all the plates were wiped clean, I opened the kitchen door and out they went into the garden again.
The people working in the house had a respite of a couple of hours when a great deal of the work was accomplished. But after two hours in the garden my babies needed to come in. Here again, the poor technician was caught off guard and had a thorough poking before the dogs were dragged off upstairs to the terrace. They were still in very high spirits and started chasing Pixie but he played for a bit then turned back on them, snarled, arched his back and swiped at Petra, which subdued all the dogs. Finally exhausted they lay down and slept.
Another couple of hours passed, then the technicians needed to come upstairs to check on all the points they had been adding to the generator. The dogs woke up. The technician quietly and unobtrusively went downstairs and barricaded himself in the kitchen. The engineers did not mind having the fogs underfoot. On the contrary, they encouraged them by petting them and playing with them.
Finally it was time to go through the full house so that I could see what worked with the generator and what didn’t. And of course wherever I go, a dozen large paws follow, and in a lot of cases tangle with my legs. I had to go out of the house and starting with the gate see what was on and what was not. So there I was with my entourage, one senior engineer, three large dogs, one houseboy, and two gardeners. Only I, the senior engineer and of course the dogs, went into every room to see which lights worked and which did not, while the rest of the entourage hovered in the hallway. On the way up to the floor above we passed the kitchen where there was a near skirmish because the technicians were holed up there, but the dogs were distracted when they saw me going straight up, and followed. Again I went through all the rooms as I did downstairs. But over and above, I can now operate two a/c units, in the living room and in my bedroom. This was really great.
As there was still the garden to be set up, as well as some fine tuning to the system, they will be coming back to finish the job next week. This will give me a week to use the system to note if there are any bugs that need working out.
They packed up their equipment and were ready to leave when the final skirmish took place. This one was really the icing on the cake. Not only did the three dogs, in concert, pounce on the hapless technician, but his sharpened survival instinct and pure panic told him to run! The dogs were ecstatic! A fast moving playmate who was giving them an outlet for their pent-up energy! Off they went in pursuit, barking their heads off and furiously wagging their tails, chasing that poor terrified man. They ran all over the ground floor until they cornered him in the kitchen and started jumping up on him to try to lick his face. I finally got to him and started pulling the dogs off him, all the time assuring him that he was not bitten, that they were playing and that they loved him. Thank God the man started to relax when they were pulled off him and with as much dignity as he could muster tried to walk past us towards the outside door. Unfortunately when he passed us, Petra tried to lunge at him for a last lick but the man was much faster. To hell with dignity, he was out of the door in the blink of an eye.
Finally at 11.30 at night the house was quiet, the dogs exhausted after their fun and games were sleeping like angels, and I finally remembered I had not eaten, so made a cheese sandwich and ate it quietly on the balcony. Of course there were no power cuts today, except for the deliberate ones to test the system. I finally turned in and was reading when I heard the system beeping downstairs, I got up, turned on the stairs light and walked into the room where the system was, then discovered that we were having a power cut and that the system had kicked in beautifully. The air conditioning unit in my bedroom was working, the lights were working, and all was well with the world. I returned to bed, and I think out of sheer exhaustion, fell deeply asleep.