Living Without Electricity And How Strangers Help When Friends Don’t



Living without electricity

Yup, this is what my office looks like right now. And no, it’s not glamorous. We’re still living without electricity, and it’s been 10 days now. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be, but it’s freezing washing ourselves with cold water and I hate not being able to work. Both my husband and I need computers and internet to work, so we’re trying to take this experience as a little unplanned holiday.

It’s been a bit of a rough patch for us lately. First, the electricity supply has been cut off for our building without any warning and god knows how much longer we’ll have to wait. Then, my mum and sister were supposed to come for a visit, but my mum started feeling bad in the Barcelona airport where she had to change planes and they missed the flight. There were no plane tickets left for the next few days, so they went back home.

I was gutted. I haven’t seen my mum and sister for more than a year, and it was going to be my mum’s first visit to Tenerife, so I literally lived and breathed that visit every single day. There was a lot of crying and a lot of feelings of emptiness, but well, life goes on.

We’ve also had an interesting experience where we realized that complete strangers are more willing to help than friends. It’s not the first time it happened to us, and it keeps me wondering every time. Do we really choose our friends so badly? Are we expecting too much much from them? All I needed was a tiny space in the fridge for my most valuable organic royal jelly and a couple of other things that I really couldn’t throw away when my fridge stopped working due to this electricity nightmare.

Someone I thought was a friend said no without even asking how much space I needed, while so many strangers went out of their way to help us during this challenging time. An Italian owner of a pizzeria where we go sometimes lent us a gas BBQ, which has literally saved us.

cooking with gas BBQ


At least we can cook warm food and make warm tea. The most amazing thing is we didn’t even ask him for anything. We simply went to get a pizza on the first night when the electricity went off and we had nothing to eat. That guy is a saint!

Then, the owner of the health shop where I shop all the time, offered his WiFi and plug for my husband to come and work there whenever he has work to do. He also keeps our ice blocks in his freezer. We have two sets for our DIY fridge that we made from a polystyrene box that the same guy gave us. The other set is kept in the freezer of our veterinarian. It’s amazing how much good will we’ve seen in these last 10 days. I could hug all those people!

Anyway, we’ve been trying to enjoy our life no matter what. We went for a little hike to a hippie beach where people have been living for decades in makeshift sheds made of palm leaves and pieces of wood. It was amazing seeing a totally different kind of life and enjoying wild nature at the same time.

la caleta beacch

la caleta beach




We’ve also been enjoying roasting chestnuts on our gas BBQ.

roasting chestnuts


Making dinner on it is fun, too. I don’t know what we would do without it.

Our pets have been putting a smile on our faces all the time, too. The other day Giulietta found a face coming out of the street and she went crazy. It was absolutely hilarious! 🙂

A strange head scaring a puppy

I guess I just wanted to give you all a little update. I’m still here, I haven’t forgotten you, I miss you lots, and I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Lots of love,

Vita xx


  1. Frances Leggett says

    Hey Vita! What an awful period to go through. It just goes to show how much we take things like electricity for granted; you both do so much already to do your bit environmentally, get back to the roots, you’ve already cut out so many comforts in order to live more naturally and healthily, but I don’t know what I’d do without my hot showers and internet. I hope you get this problem sorted soon and that your Mum and sister are able to reschedule their visit once your Mum is feeling better and your electricity problem is sorted. Sending you all our love from here and if your Mum ever needs a hand while doing a changeover in Barcelona, please let us know, we are here.
    Hugs xxx

    • Hi Frances, your message has truly made my day. Thanks so much for your support! Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling sad about this whole situation because there are people going through much worse things. But then living in the cold with cold water really makes it so much harder. 🙂 Glad you too wouldn’t survive without Internet and warm showers! I’m surviving so far but definitely not thriving. 🙂 xx

  2. Vita,
    I’m sorry to hear that y’all are still without power – how frustrating. It breaks my heart a little that your friends weren’t there for you, but then again it restores my faith in humanity to read about how virtual strangers showed incredibly generosity and hospitality to you. My husband and I live in southern Louisiana, on the doorstep of the Gulf Coast. Having dealt with (and occasionally run from) hurricanes our entire lives, I relate too well with having no electricity for days on end – I can empathize with you on that front, for sure!
    Hopefully your mum & sis will get to see you soon and it’s awful that they weren’t able to make it, especially since you were so excited for their visit.
    Thanks for keeping us posted and I sincerely hope things turn around soon ~ hang in there! 🙂

    • Rosie, thanks for your support! We’re still hanging in there. Tonight there’s going to be a meeting of the community, so let’s see if there are any news. I’m so ready for getting back to normal life now! 🙂 xx

  3. Dear Vita,
    Hello, I am so sorry you are having to go through all that. In all actuality I know somewhat of what you are going through. While we were living in Hawaii (another warm climate thank goodness) there was an earthquake on the Big Island of Hawaii, but the aftershock came all the way over to the island of Oahu where we were living. We were without electricity for a month. The lucky ones could afford gas generators to hook their refrigerators up to, but I am not that lucky, and my husband was deployed to Iraq for eighteen months. However, at the time my Mom was alive and with me and my two kids. We put all our meat inside of an ice chest, and luckily Red Cross was giving out free ice. With it being Hawaii I did not mind the cold showers to much, but one time in Italy when we were out of electricity our gas stove came in handy for boiling water for the tub so I did not have to give my son a cold bath when he was little. In Alabama we were without electricity for two weeks because of the tornadoes which went through and ripped down power lines. I had to barbeque all of our meat to keep it from going bad. It is a humbling experience for sure and makes one want to appreciate what one has in regards to home comforts. I wish I lived near you I have two refrigerators I would definitely let you borrow the space. I cannot believe the audacity of some people! I hope and pray your electricity will come back on. For the time being, however, it looks like you are keeping a positive attitude and that is a benefit within itself. I love the pics, especially of the doggy that looks like something ours would do haha…

    • Debs, thanks for sharing your story! Wow, it must have been hard being alone with two kids and without electricity! Yes, the gas stove is priceless. At the beginning I was taking cold showers, washed my hair and face with cold water, so my body went crazy. My skin got seriously upset, my scalp was itchy and I had hayfever symptoms all the time. When I started warming up the water for washing, all the weird symptoms disappeared! Turns out cold causes too much stress to my body. No wonder I was never able to cope with the cold in Europe. 🙂 So happy you liked my photos! xx

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