For some unknown reason, we found ourselves without power this afternoon. Something tripped the main fuse and I couldn't get the power back to the sockets in the house, even though we had lights (turns out I wasn't pushing the right button in the fuse box, but let's not dwell on that!). I got home from the school run with three hungry Podlings and no means of cooking the tea I had planned for them. Emma was getting fussy, Tom and Lily were starting to wind each other up and Tom was upset because he wanted to play on the laptop and there was no power.
It was all starting to descend into chaos when I suddenly knew how to turn the situation into something fun. I cobbled together a meal for Emma and then told Tom and Lily we were going to have tea in the front garden. I took a blanket, a basket of story books and a toy for Emma and we set up an impromptu picnic on the front lawn. Tom and Lily ate their picnic tea whilst I read them stories and Emma played happily on the blanket. We spent a happy hour together and only came in because Emma was getting tired and I had to get her ready for bed.
Mark came home a few minutes later, pushed the right button on the fuse box and life returned normal. If it hadn't been for the lack of electricity, the Podlings would have had a hot tea, but we would have missed out on something special. I'm not a naturally spontaneous person, but perhaps I should try it more often!