I am on the horns of an economic dilemma. As the earth continues around the sun tilting us into autumn, the solar panels go into something akin to hibernation. The generator gives us some electricity, but not quite enough for those crazy days of July when I’d be recharging my electric razor and listening to the radio simultaneously as though it were normal.

Now I am suffering the nicks and burn of a cheap disposable and reliant on newspapers like some Victorian Luddite. A Luddite with an iPad, though. I have three particularly power hungry things that must be kept topped up with power: the iPad, laptop and mobile phone. I need a working environment with reliable power, and a wifi connection. Here is my dilemma: where to work?

My options:

1 cheapish tea at Starbucks, with a rubbish and unreliable wifi network (I can usually get a plug)
2 expensive tea at the fancy cafe with friendly staff and a great wifi network (but few plugs)
3 I make my own tea and pay buy more data for my phone and work from home (but there are no plugs)

This is the reality of life afloat, we are constantly running out of something, or living in fear of running out of something, be it boring stuff like firelighters, or crucial stuff like electricity. And without electricity, there is no heating, running water, light… To make a cup of tea you have to get all these things in place, in the right order, like the Towers of Hanoi test they do on the apes in the Planet of the Apes prequel. That’s the sad part: I’m less capable of this than a drugged CGI monkey.

The compromise at the moment is Starbucks for the plugs, fancy cafe for the wifi (and the art. Lovely art. Definitely worth the extra 50p on a tea) and podcasts rather than the radio. Which runs down the batty on my iPad. So tomorrow we start again.

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