Tag Archives: difficulties

Title, Title, Title!

I was a bit rushed at the end last night and  forgot the title. Must do better, as my school reports used to say.

This morning the internet was off. It’s a minor irritation compared the the BT debacle in the shop but it’s still annoying to have to get ready to blog, then have to get up and go to another room to reconnect the internet.

I don’t think I’ve covered the BT debacle yet. That’s British Telecom for overseas readers – a widespread so-called provider of  telephone services in the UK. The best thing I can say about them is that they aren’t Virgin. BT are dire in many respects, but they are far better than Virgin. Far, far better. However, I won’t labour the point. Nor will I ever use a  Virgin telecommunication product ever again.

We booked BT to come and connect the new shop to phone and internet on the day we moved. It couldn’t be done in advance as it’s a transfer of number from one line to another. But it’s a very simple operation, so what could possibly go wrong?

Well, first of all they wrote to the flat above the shop cancelling the telephone contract and telling them they would be transferring our number to them. This caused consternation in the flat. It’s partly their fault for using the shop address as their flat address, but you’d have thought BT records would have identified phones properly (possibly using the phone number as a hint) …

At this point all my British readers are either hurling BT-related  abuse at the screen or laughing hysterically.

What happened, when we rang the day before, was that they denied all knowledge of the job and told us that it will be two more weeks before they can do it.

Under further questioning they admitted that they had booked the wrong phone for transfer, but they had cancelled it. We knew that.

They had correctly identified the phone after that and booked the job. We knew that.

What we didn’t know was that they had then cancelled it. Nobody knows why, though stupidity is the favourite suggestion.

The situation is this.

We have moved into the new shop. The handset from the phone works in the new shop, but we have to take it back to the old shop every night to charge it on the base station.

The internet works in one spot in the new shop. Unfortunately this isn’t where we set the computers up, so we’re currently working with an ancient laptop balanced on the counter.

As for the card machine – if you want to pay by card you have to go to the old shop, as it is connected to the old line.

This situation, which sounds like the script for a surreal comedy, is likely to persist for most of the next two weeks.

It’s lucky that we only moved two doors down.

 

 

 

A Feast of Lemons

If life gives you lemons, they say, you should make lemonade (though I actually spent the afternoon making apple juice in our newly delivered 250ml bottles).

They don’t tell you what to do to the person who actually hands you the fruit, but if you’ve read my posts before and have a reasonably active imagination I’m sure you can work out that I won’t be handing them over on a silver salver.

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In short, our growing area has been repossessed by the farmer who has decided that he can make a better job of running it than we can. He waited until we went away for a few days then moved in to “clean up” – a process that included felling most of the cape gooseberries (currently selling at around £10/kilo) and some of the tomatoes.

To be fair, he’s not wrong, it wasn’t a traditionally tidy allotment, but you need weeds for wildlife and foraging and you need nettles for nettle soup. We haven’t had the time to work it properly this year and since becoming enthused by vegetables, the farm has been able to put a lot of labour into tidying their half of the plot, making ours look even worse.

He’s a personable sort, prey to sudden enthusiasms and difficult to fall out with, but when you come back to find useable crops dumped on the compost heap it’s hard not to think bad thoughts..

However, I’m not going to waste time, energy or health worrying about it. We still have our own polytunnel and “vertical veg” just became my main interest.

Second lemon – the Forest Schools have stripped all the blackberry bushes between us and them. There are, as I always tell people, very few rules of foraging. One, in order of importance, is only put it in your mouth if you know what it is. Two, almost as important, is never to strip a plant – leave some for other foragers and for the wild creatures who rely on it for food. It’s  a question of manners for us – a question of life or death for the animals.

The third is about never picking below three feet high in a dog walking area.

Next year I’m going to go down early in the picking season and pick what we need. I’m then going to film myself applying copious amounts of personal liquid waste (as Bob Flowerdew calls it) to the brambles. Hopefully I’ll be able to provide my own after my current problem is sorted out. If not I have access to gallons of urine each week from the separator toilets.

After they’ve stripped the bushes I’m going to blog on the subject, provide them with a link to the film clip and sit back smiling.