Lobbing into Mine Host's inbox this week was a message from the AAA (his industry association, the Accommodation Association of Australia informing which member properties (these were all large chains) would be observing "Earth Hour" this coming Saturday night.
"Earth Hour" is apparently some sort of urban lets-reduce-pollution tokenism, during which the electricity is switched off for an hour or so to (very) faux-simulate what life is like without electricity.
For the most superficial of tokenists, only the lights are switched off (earth hour wouldn't be near the fun without air conditioning & chilled white wine would it?).
Mine Host lived the first part of his life in a tent in the bush, & did not experience the "proper white man magic" of over-the-horizon electricity (i.e. the variety that comes silently from a wire, instead of the noisy variety you make at home yourself) until he was 13 years old.
Furthermore a good chunk of his working life (& childhood) was spent in stock camps or on stock routes, with no electricity. Lighting came from carbide lights, or the campfire. Refrigeration wasn't possible (for cooks, quite a challenge in the torrid/tropical zones).
Thus for Mine Host "Earth Hour" lacks resonance. He is with perfect clarity able to recall life sans electricity. He has no need to switch off light bulbs & instead use smoky candles (N.B. lights off, candles on, reduces pollution?)
Preferring the lift to stairs, ice in his whisky rather than lukewarm water, and to not bark his shins stumbling into pot plants in the dark, Mine Host fired back an email to the AAA, thanking them for the list of properties to not book into this weekend.