Saturday, 25 June 2011

It's Not Over Yet!

Hello it’s me. Apparently she’s too busy to talk to you – get her – so she said I could have a go.

Well it’s been all topsy turvy in this household of late. I mean the tearing out of hair and gnashing of teeth that’s been going on, you’d think I was living in the midst of a biblical epic of mammoth proportions.

But the joy and jubilation when them “up there” phoned on Thursday and agreed there was a problem with the phone line. You’d have thought she’d won the lottery.

On Friday an engineer turned up on the doorstep. Tilly and I realised the gravity of the situation so refrained from barking at him and let him do his work.

He opened something up and declared there was a loose wire which came away in his hand. It wasn’t me, that’s all I’m saying. I don’t eat wires any more.

The engineer fixed the wiring, tightened everything else up and you should have heard the whooping and cheering when the internet started working at speed.

It was almost as loud as the weeping and wailing that went on this morning when the internet started going up and down like a wh… oh, apparently I’m not allowed to say that. Well it went up and down a lot.

So Himself got back on the phone and there was a lot of plugging in and unplugging and using different phones and sighing until eventually them “up there” said it sounded like a problem with the router.

I thought Himself was going to go off like a Roman candle. That was what he’d said to them when he first phoned them weeks ago. Anyway, they're now sending out a new router. Do you think that will fix the problems once and for all? Time will tell.

In other news, she went down to Focus for its closing down sale – you should have seen Himself’s face when she came out carrying ten gallons of paint. He went pale. I thought his beard was going to fall off.

But she’s clever. She said the magic words. “It’s magnolia.” Well, the face lit up, the beard settled down and he embraced the one-coat matt with open arms. If he had his way the whole house would be painted magnolia and judging by the amount she bought, that is her intention.

She also got a fancy little shelf bracket to hang the birds nuts on. I’m saying nothing!

Now her new computer is here, she’s leaving Himself to get on with setting it up and she’s going to get on with painting. Not sure what that entails, but last time she did painting I heard a lot of words I don’t often hear and ended up with white stripes.

She got her tin of white gloss, her paintbrush and her masking tape and she was all ready to go when someone said “preparation”. Well I don’t know if that sort of word is as bad as some of them she uses, but she went an unflattering shade of purple.

Last I saw of her she was stomping round with a sheet of rough paper and a bucket of warm water muttering something about moving into a ruddy tent (she didn’t say ruddy) where you didn’t have to do ruddy (again that isn’t the word she used) decorating.

Anyway, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and we’ve been running round with our legs crossed so she just said she’d do the “preparation” later when she’s “in the mood” and in the meantime she’d take us out. At least she has her priorities right.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Has The Light Come Back On?

This is my 200th post. It feels like some kind of milestone as if I should mark the occasion in some way – but I’m all out of ideas.

The ISP said they’d sort out the internet connection problem – or should I say lack of connection problem. Phone calls were made every few days and vague promises to look into it were made. Eventually they said it would be sorted out in 48 hours. It was like seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

48 hours came and went and the problem was considerably worse – it was down more than it was up. Terribly sorry they said, but it will be sorted. They were monitoring the situation.

More phone calls, more apologies – but rest assured it has been passed to a higher level team to sort out. Was it possible to speak to these higher level people? Alas no, they are terribly busy and not answering their phones – they will ring you. It should be within 72 hours.

The goalposts were being moved it seemed. The light at the end of the tunnel had dimmed.

72 hours passed. No one called. The problem got worse. The connection would come up long enough to download emails – but perhaps not all of them if there was a backlog. Nothing more frustrating than seeing you have 4 emails downloading only for it to die before the fourth one comes down so you’re left wondering. It’s like knowing the postman has delivered a letter for you to next door by mistake, but they’re out and you don’t know when they’re coming back.

Apologies gushed forth – they’re so busy “up there” those mystical internet fixers; they’re not answering their phones.

Flash here to a room full of people wearing party hats and blowing those noisy unravelling things with feathers on the end. The music is deafening. There are sausage roll crumbs all over the desks and the bins are full of empty bottles. They’re cavorting about, playing and partying and they’re not fixing my internet.

More apologies and the news that it could be up to NINE DAYS before they get in touch. NINE DAYS? Sorry, I know that’s shouting but it’s been weeks, the goalposts are practically out of sight now and the light at the end of the tunnel went out some time ago.

They might be able to arrange a refund of part of the broadband fees in the meantime. Oh might they? How generous. Well that’s big of them isn’t it, offering to maybe not charge us for the service we aren’t getting.

In the grand scheme of things a dodgy internet connection is not of major importance, but it is bloody frustrating.

For instance, I was ordering three e-books. Simples. Yes and it took me two hours to complete the order with the connection coming and going. Well no, I wasn’t sat there waiting for two hours; I did a bit of writing while I waited – but annoying – yes it was.

I’ve left comments here and there – or thought I have, but the connection vanishes before the comment appears.

So here I am, 200th post, and having a rant. Sorry folks.

But… my new computer is ordered along with all the new-fangled gubbins to go with it which means I may be able to get on with stuff without having to restart my computer every so often because it’s gone into meltdown. In an ideal world, this time next week I’ll be using my new computer and I’ll have a broadband connection I can actually use when I want to use it.

I do want to say thanks to Jarmara for identifying the mystery plant from my last post. Salsify. Now I know. Several of us do. In cases like this the internet is wonderful.

I’d also like to direct you to Diane Fordham’s blog. I can’t comment unfortunately, Blogger says no, but if you want to see fiction restored to women’s magazines, Diane’s blog is a good place to start and she's already had some positive feedback.

And also in case you’ve missed them, check Lynne’s blog for the Yesterday posts by Josi – they are not to be missed. I promise you won't be disappointed.

I’m going to post this while I can and hope normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Having said that, it has been running now for a few hours without cutting out. Is this a sign of things to come? Or is it a last gasp from the router before it blows up? Time will tell, but I am feeling quietly optimistic and the little light is staying on. Perhaps those people "up there" have fixed it after all.

Before I go I should just say that every cloud has a silver lining. Without the distraction of the internet I’ve been writing, seeking new horizons and for the first time in months I don’t owe anyone an email! So maybe I should stop moaning now and look on the bright side!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Any Idea?

What this is? It grows in abundance along the dykes down on the marshes.

And here is a picture (don’t say you weren’t warned) of not-so-little me wearing my prize T shirt and reading my prize book, Bound to Love by Sally Clements – thanks to the lovely Minxes.

Actually I’m not reading the book yet, but it is next in the queue in my To Be Read pile.

Not blogging much at the mo. Just wait till I get my new computer – you’ll never get me to shut up, but for now everything is such an effort.

I can’t even get on Julie P’s blog - sorry Julie. Computer says no apparently. Computer is a pain in the whatsit. You wouldn't believe how long it took me to post this!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Is It Worth It?

Problems with Blogger continue and I’ve tried doing all the recommended things like getting rid of cookies, logging in & logging out, unticking keep-signed-in boxes and restarting the computer to no avail.

Meanwhile I can comment on 2 or 3 blogs as me, a few as anonymous and not at all on others. What with my computer seizing up every 10 minutes or going so slow it would be quicker to write a message on a passing snail and send it - and the internet going down every 5, I could scream.

I have come worryingly close to banging my head on my desk in sheer frustration. So when I am without internet, do I get my head down and get some writing done – of course not, I keep clicking on websites and send/receive just in case I can bully it into working again.

I’ve used a few choice words lately about the internet, my computer and Blogger. I’ve considered ripping my computer from its wiring and hurling it out of the window.

So is it all worth it? Well I was looking back to a time BI – before internet and thought about it and I have to say it IS worth it.

First of all I have made so many friends via email, good friends, people I have come to care about more than I thought possible. I have met some of them in Real Life too, something I never dreamed possible twelve years ago.

I have learned that I am not the only writer to receive rejections – and yes, I really thought I was and that the other names I saw in magazines were selling everything they submitted.

BI I had only ever met one other writer, but he is my cousin-in-law and family so of course I’d met him.

And speaking of rellies, I have recently been reunited with a cousin I hadn’t seen for over 40 years – thanks to the internet.

For someone with an aversion to telephones, email is – well not a lifesaver because I’ve never felt like dying over making a telephone call, but it is wonderfully liberating.

And shopping. Being able to do it from the comfort of my own chair, not having to fight the crowds in shops as well as the panic that often accompanies me on shopping trips is wonderful.

Once I started thinking of the advantages, I stopped getting wound up about the problems. In a few months I will be able to get a new computer and perhaps then things will start working as they should and hopefully by then Blogger will have got its act together.

I haven’t been completely wasting my time while things have been going wrong. I went through my Favourites folder, got rid of some websites that are defunct and found a few treasures I’d forgotten about.

While I was sorting out, making new folders etc. I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you, my fellow Internetians.

So what do you think? Is it worth it?

Popular names over the past 130 years. Handy if you want to name characters from the past.

The Mystery Place - now accepting email submissions.

Common Errors in English - useful!

Meet the Author - see your favourite writers talking about their books.

Dr Hadwen Trust - if you're against animal experimentation.

Unusual and bizarre - take a look, it's fun!

Save me - group founded by Brian May - yes that Brian May.

Daily Puzzle - from the NYT. Mini workout for your brain.

Our Planet - loads of facts.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

I'm a Winner!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw I’d won the Grand Prix competition over at the fabulous Minxes of Romance blog.

I’ve won loads of brilliant stuff.

The only blight on my delight is the fact that I can’t comment on the blog to thank them, but luckily lovely Suzanne and Sally came to my rescue and posted for me.

I’m very excited about it all and I can’t wait to read Bound to Love signed by the author and minx, Sally Clements. And if you’re lucky (or unlucky depending on your point of view) I may post a photo of myself modelling my prize T shirt!