I knew we had a power cut when I woke in the dark and looked for the alarm clock and it wasn't there. I could tell it was a proper power cut and not just a blown fuse because I was missing the usual, all-pervading electrical hum. When a power cut comes to an end all the house alarms go off- so I lay awake- I couldn't help it- waiting for that to happen. This used up about an hour of good sleeping time. When the alarms did finally sound they sounded twice- with a brief interval of mini-power-cut in between- which meant that no sooner had I returned upstairs after disabling our system than I had to traipse back down and do it again. Renee-next-door wasn't home and her alarm went on ringing for a full twenty minutes.