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But it doesn’t always go according to plan; in fact some days do anything but go according to plan. I can remember a day when I was on faults (I was for years a faults-man in the power distribution industry) I was called out in the wee small hours, to a Ute that had hit a pole and the lines had fallen onto the ground, starting a fire just out of Oamaru.

The blokes who hit the pole had been out shooting. I arrived to find the fire brigade, doing their job. The shooters appeared to have bagged a rabbit, a black bird and a seagull; it must have been a hunting trip to remember. We soon discovered that we would have to drop out the power to the whole area to make the accident site safe.

So we did, got that fault fixed after a few hours just to be called to another fault three quarters of an hour away; this was fairly basic, a possum had got cooked up on a transformer, that job was completed quickly.

The next call came in, just as I finished the last this one from the Omarama Fire Brigade, a couple of fishermen who had dropped a line as a result of hitting a power pole up by the Lindis Pass with their rental car. The power was still on. Within about an hour and a half we arrived on site. Thankfully no one had been killed that day and the Fire Brigade up the Lindis had had the good sense to stay clear of the live 11000 volt wires. I got home for dinner that night. Interestingly the fishermen who hit that pole never did pay for the repairs. I offered to go to Japan to take them the bill, the boss wasn’t so keen.

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