Wednesday 26 July 2006

Not a good week so far

Let’s make a list:

And it’s only Wednesday.

Monday 24 July 2006

Fifty six kay

This post brought to you with the aid of string and sticking plasters, as my broadband connection is currently not working. BT’s problem-reporting call system is worse than useless (being told by an automated voice that, as BT are not my broadand supplier, I should contact the company that supplies my broadband *click* – this in spite of the quaterly invoices that BT send me for broadband provision!) and it took me several attempts to get through to a human being – not impressed.

BT have promised me that they will have an engineer to sort this out within 48 hours of it being reported. I reported it early on Saturday afternoon, so I’m already beginning to wonder if I’ve been forgotten or shoved down the queue. Helpfully, I got a call on Saturday evening to tell me that my telephone is ok – well, I knew that already – and the engineer helpfully told me that broadband was nothing to do with him but there was a broadband fault logged on the line.

So things may be a little quiet around here for a while. It’s all shown up how much I rely on my broadband connection, as my work rate has slowed considerably since the failure (which coincided with a big electrical storm during which I’d unplugged all my kit) and there are a bunch of tasks on my to-do list that I can’t do until the nfault is repaired.

In addition, the exhaust has failed on Hels’s car (which also had a puncture last week), so this is proving to be a troublesome week all-round. Harrumph.

EDIT: it turns out that my router has failed – it’s still working as a wireless router but is failing to work as a modem. This is either related to the storm or to heat damage, I suspect, as it runs very hot indeed. I’ve ordered a new LinkSys piece of kit for, which should be here in the next day or two. In the meantime, I’m using a BT-supplied modem, but it means that I’m tied to the phone socket by a cable.

FURTHER EDIT: I’m convinced that the storm caused the problem. I unplugged all my kit from the electricity supply, but left the modem connected to the telephone. Our telephone service comes to us via overhead cable. That’ll learn me.

Friday 21 July 2006

Implied presumption

I always find this sort of news story interesting:

Police searching for a missing East Sussex pensioner in West Africa have said they have found a body.  

William West, 76, of St Helen’s Park in Hastings, had been with his wife Kate, 26, at their holiday home in Gambia.

The couple were on a day trip to Senegal when he disappeared after going into a shop on his own on 3 July.

Sussex Police said Gambian police had contacted them after a body was found. Four people are helping authorities abroad with their inquiries.

A spokesman for the Sussex force said the four people were a 26-year-old woman and three men.

With the information released and the tone of the reporting, we are led to believe, as readers, that the wife has bumped off her husband in an African country. Our imagination takes us on to the notion that she might have done it for the insurance money or to escape an unhappy marriage of convenience. Perhaps she chose an African country in the belief that the criminal investigation system there might not reach her. Already, we’ve bounded to the conclusion that she is guilty – we have been conditioned to do so by years of this sort of reporting and our own prejudices.

The truth, of course, could be vastly different. He may well have been the victim of a random attack. He could have died from some entirely non-violent cause. She may be as innocent as a newborn lamb, truly distraught at the loss of her husband. In fairness, we can not say because we are not party to all of the facts and won’t be until the trial (if there is one) is reported in due course.

Tabloid journalism has a lot to answer for. We assume guilt too often.

Thursday 20 July 2006

Childminder run

This morning, I think I became truly middle class. I achieved this by putting Tom in his seat in the back of my car and driving the mile-and-a-half to his childminder’s house (I have considered pushing Tom in his buggy, but it’s a very dangerous lane). There were two other parents there dropping off their children and, on the way home, I had to fight my way through the congestion around Ruralville school where dozens of parents were delivering offspring.

Tom, like the rest of us, is struggling with the current heatwave. We reached 36 Celsius yesterday here and the poor lad was wilting a bit. He sleeps in the afternoon more than usual and then is awake in the evening when he would normally be in bed. So life is all a bit upside down.

Today the temperature is a little lower, but the humidity is up so it is no less comfortable. I’ve struggling to keep going, my PC fan is going mad and the cats can barely drag themselves around. Typical English – never satisfied by the weather.

Tuesday 18 July 2006

Human Space Invaders

Human Space Invaders. via the linkbunnies.