After a summer that has been largely spent moving with my family into a new home plus a short holiday on the beautiful Isle of Eigg, I hope to begin blogging again at the beginning of next week. That is if I can get broadband into the house.
I won't name names but it took a certain company 4 weeks to offer a telephone connection and broadband installation. I was told to expect an engineer at the house between 8am and 1pm this Monday gone. I was up and ready to go at 8am. The morning dragged by. Still no engineer at 2pm. So I ring the company and get a call centre in - I guess - Bangalore.
The very pleasant guy at the other end of the (mobile) 'phone suggests that it is likely that the 'phone has been switched on at the exchange. "So, just plug your 'phone in." I ask "What about the broadband?" "Oh, I don't know anything about that! Did you bring your modem and router with you from your old property?" "Yes, I did. But I'm not sure where all the plugs go. Also, it says in this note we received that we will be given help to set broadband up in the PC" "Ah," he says, "but you had broadband at the old property didn't you?" "Well, yes but I'm still not sure where all the wires go." "Ok, sir, let me give you the number of our technical department. I hope I have been of service to you today. Have a nice day!"
So, I fiddle with wires, plugs and sockets. Nothing seems to work. But is it stupid technologically illiterate me, or is the line not connected? Brainwave. Forget the broadband, plug the 'phone in. Definitely no dialling tone. But there is a ringing sound, which I determine is the front door bell.
"Hello, I'm the engineer from ----- Services about your phone connection." "But I'm waiting for an engineer from --." "Yes, we are contracted by -- to connect 'phone lines," says this friendly guy in a strong Liverpool accent. "Fine, then, when you've connected the 'phone will you help me set up the broadband router and modem?" "Sorry," he says "I don't know anything about broadband - only phone lines. That's all we are contracted to do."
After a search he ascertains that there is no -- phone line running into the house. "I'll need to look for your pole." "Ok", I respond, having been reduced to monosyllables. "Where will that be?"
"Well in England the poles can be in front of the house, but not in Scotland." I wonder if this is one of the dividends from devolution. Maybe after the poll on independence we won't need poles.
He goes to investigate. There is a pole. In fact there are two, one acting as relay for the main pole. And our house is almost equidistant between the poles. "Problem is" he says "I can't climb either pole because trees have grown around them. A special team from -- will have to come in to chop the trees back. "Sorry' it doesn't look like you are going to get your 'phone today, or any time soon!"
He bids me farewell with many apologies.
I go upstairs get on the mobile phone and eventually cancel the order.
On Friday the cable company is company is coming to install 'phone and broadband.
Blogging should start again next week.
There again, maybe not!