I moved house a week ago. One of the most stressful activities I have ever undertaken. Just think for a moment about boxing all your possessions up and moving them across to the other side of town… Not so bad, right? Now imagine doing it in the space of three days with only a Vauxhall Astra for transport.
With the help of some close friends I managed to get the big stuff moved. I left a lot of things behind though. Like the Fridge. And the washing machine. Well that’s not strictly true actually. Well, I left it behind… but I destroyed it before leaving. It was old and rusting and stinking and it was thoroughly vexing me. So I threw it off the back of the flat-bed truck in the hope it would smash into a thousand pieces.
As with most events in my life, the washing machine destruction was anti-climactic. It hit the road with some force, but all the happened was the top came off. I wasn’t done with it though. I opened the drawer and axe-kicked it into oblivion. Still unsatisfied, I opened the door and gave it an almighty running kick. It flew off, hit the road and shattered into a pile of splintered glass. I appreciated the catharsis for a few moments and then set about sweeping the remnants off the road.
So I am currently in the town library, accessing the internet in the only way available to me at present. Why do I not have it installed in my house, you ask? Because dealing with BT is possibly the single most infuriating experience of my life. Should be a simple task to get the phone lines set up, right? It’s not a new house, the previous tenants had a phone line, all good, right? RIGHT? Remember who we’re dealing with here.
(For the benefit of my overseas readers, let me just elaborate. The telephone system here in the UK used to be owned and run by the state, but thanks to Maggie Thatcher’s society-destroying reforms of the 1980s, the telecom network was privatised. Most of the copper cable is still owned by British Telecom, or BT as they are now known, the company that rose from the privatisation bid. I’m not going to get into a discussion here about how free market economics SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK, but I will mention that BT has very little competition and often make ridiculous profits at the customers’ expense, despite having the most atrocious customer service known to man).
So I call up and ask about the phone line. “Oh there’s no phone line there sir, you’ll have to pay £150 to have one installed.” Of course there IS a phone line here, so I wait for the sales pitch… and here it comes: “The only way you can waive it is if you sign up for our broadband service.”
“What are you paying at the moment for broadband?” Sigh. It’s not about the price you idiot. It’s about paying for a quality service that doesn’t censor websites and doesn’t enforce packet shaping, slowing my transfer speeds of data with the ISP presumes is illegal when it isn’t.
“Well if you don’t want broadband, shall I take your account details for the installation?” You know what, mate? Screw your phone line. I can do without the Internet for a few months. I can walk to the library, and it’ll save me money anyway.
If I can possibly avoid it, I’ll not be dealing with BT ever again.
So, that aside, my house is filled with boxes filled with crap. I’ve gotten most of it away now, but there’s still a load lingering around. It’s really getting me down. I have no energy when I get back from work, but I know I need to sort all of this out. I STILL feel completely isolated and alone, despite actually being in town rather than a xenophobic decaying village. Still, I’m sure things will pick up soon enough.
I wrote a song yesterday. I’ve recorded it, but I need to figure out a way to get it on the internet using the crippled machines in the library. Soon as I manage that, it’ll be up here.
To new beginnings.