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Going Off the Grid for 24 hours

When i was contacted on behalf of the charity ShelterBox about their upcoming challenge to go off the grid i thought it would be a good idea. not only would i be helping to promote a good cause but i would also get a chance to start the summer holidays off with a total technology detox. I expect Agent M to be begging to play his 3DS or Xbox for most of his 7 week break so going cold turkey to begin with would be great. Family time with a life lesson and all for a good cause. What could go wrong.

I kept a diary for the day so i could look back on it - below is an edited version (with a lot less swearing)

**Ironically i was given a pardon to use my digital camera to take pictures, however most of the images have corrupted on the SD card. Agent D tried to salvage what he could for me but most of my images are lost. Technology 0 - Off Grid 1!

Waking up without an alarm was great! M decided he would take advantage of the first day of holiday by getting up after 8am. He seems keen on this challenge for the day. hopefully he is still as keen come dinner time when hes eating cereal bars and fruit *gulp*

I wanna quit already. Its just gone 9.30am and i cant have coffee! Why did it not click that i wouldn't be able to use the kettle. M thinks its funny that I'm stumbling already. I will make this work but i cant guarantee I'll be happy about it anymore.

Breakfast was 2 cereal bars each and a cup of juice. We had a long talk about the point in this challenge over breakfast. I cant imagine how horrible it would be to lose your home and all your stuff as an adult, but as a family it must be terrifying. I'm already getting worried about how I'm going to feed M for one day, never mind for days or weeks on end.

Decided its time to play some games. We were going to go to the park and take the dog for a walk but clearly the weather didn't get the memo that its summer. We played a few games of Jenga but someone seems unable to play without bumping the table ... maybe some monopoly will kill some time. M is upstairs now hunting it out. Better not be starting up the Xbox.

Ah Monopoly ... almost an hour and a half later and were just finished. That's definitely a great time killing game. Even if M is an ungracious winner. Might need to work on that with him. Am missing talking to D today. I usually get a text from him every morning but i have switched my phone off. Guess I'll just get it tomorrow morning.

Lunch time and its hard finding food that doesn't need cooking. Cause hes not really had a good breakfast i want him to eat something filling but it all requires electricity. Damn this is so hard!

Tuna sandwiches and crisps - He's happy cause he says its like a school packed lunch, I'm having palpitations that he's gonna end up malnourished. Reality check is he'll be fine and has ate less that this when hes unwell but it just feels weird as a mum knowing that hes not getting proper food. How horrible this is for people who don't have the choice not to use electricity to cook or have food to feed their kids.

The house is so quiet without music or the TV on. Its kinda weird. M has decided he wants to play with his Lego for a bit while i get some housework done. No hoovering and no using the washing machine takes a lot off my to do list, but i have a pile of washing i was ignoring that needs folded. Guess i better get cracking.

I'm really bored and tired. Its coming up on 3pm and I'm missing D. The dog is snoring his head off and M is lying on his bed reading. Might just do the same as I'm out of stuff to do. I cant go on the exercise bike as its electric and i cant do my work out DVD so i might as well veg out. Still raining.

Well that was unexpected. Last thing i remembered i was reading a page of Dexter, next thing M is standing next to me asking for food and its 4.15pm. This no caffeine thing midnight be good for the body but my energy level is just non-existent. No idea what to have for dinner. Another cereal bar will keep him happy till dinner time and i work out what to have.

Take out would be cheating right? Doesn't matter as I'm skint anyway. Just made another sandwich and crisps for dinner. God I'm such a bad mum. At least hes having fruit with it. Cant believe M is doing better at this that i am. I thought he would be climbing the walls by now but its me that's detoxing from the no technology. Maybe it would have been easier if i could get outside with him like i planned but its so wet and i cant put the clothes in for a wash or in the drier so whats the point.

Maybe I'm more dependent on the use of technology and electricity than i thought i was. Everything i have and need runs on electricity. Even my books! why did i get rid of my paper books when i got my kindle. I have Dexter but no Stephen King. I feel so lonely too. M is just happy to play with his wrestlers and I'm here craving human interaction. Whats wrong with me??

M is back reading till bed time and I'm working on planning posts for my blog and making stickers for my filofax. Think I'll be having an early night tonight cause this sucks so bad. I feel sick from eating so much bread today. Going from one or two slices a week to 4 in one day is making my stomach cramp really bad. Would kill for a stir fry or even a yogurt but the fridge is off limits till tomorrow.

Its just gone 9 and M is fast asleep. I'm lying here after reading some chapters of my book but the light is starting to go. Gonna call it a night and wake up early tomorrow to text D. Going to call my mum and going to drown myself in coffee. Am so proud of M for going all day without technology. He only moaned a couple of times where as I'm pretty sure i have been moaning all day. Cranky, un-caffeinated and bored doesn't suit me!

So what did we learn from this?

Agent M - he feels bad for people who don't have a house to live in and says he feels lucky that he has a house and food and that we don't have to worry about where we're going to sleep.

He seems to have realised how lucky he is to have everything he could want/need and perhaps he didn't realise just how hard some people have it.

Me - I've realised just how dependent on electricity we are and that what i used to class as necessity is actually a luxury. I feel for families that don't have access to even the most basic things like water and food. I couldn't imagine how hard it is and i feel blessed for what we have. I'm also grateful that there are charities out there like Shelterbox who try to help families in need.

ShelterBox relies on donations and with our help can reach more and more families in need. Please donate to such a great cause through my JustGiving page or sign up to go off the grid yourself and raise money and awareness for such a great cause.