Hello to Sloggers from my small enclave of Stone Age comms here in a rural part of la belle France where ‘we’re working on it’ translates roughly into English as ‘we haven’t a clue when you’ll be online again, if ever’.

Although we have television, we do not have phone or internet. Also we do not have mobile technology other than by driving to the highest point in this region and then asking other people with land lines to ring France Telecom and tell them I do not. Also we only have £6 of PAYG allowance left on the mobile. And yes, it was dumb to switch from contract to ‘save money’.

Yesterday FT were working on it, today they say it’s Orange’s problem, and tomorrow is anyone’s guess. The bottom line is I have no line….as of 4.30 pm, on The Third Day.

And The Slog looked upon this, and saw that it was pants.

You can probably imagine why, after some months of similar bollocks, I am beginning to get a tad frustrated with techno f**kups, packing, unpacking, legals, cleaning, washing, driving and being without. I have also got to the stage where my love affair with mouseshit has petered out. My heart no longer quickens on seeing mouseshit. For when the mice have somehow managed to gnaw through a moulded plastic case – the better to devour the three tons of flour and pasta within – what they tend to do is settle in for the winter and eat the whole f**king lot….shitting in the packs afterwards to a depth of several feet….and then shitting everywhere else that takes their fancy. I have penned a short song to the melody of Bob Dylan’s Everybody Must Get Stoned in honour of this astonishing rodent achievement:

Well they shit on your stove and on your bed

They shit on the floor and on yer head

They shit on yer nose and on yer car

They shit every f**kin’ place yer are

But I would not feel such such a f**kin’ tit

if I didn’t have to shovel their mouseshit.


Well those mice they start to shit on yer guitar

They shit on yer piano and yer Ma

They shit on the rich and on the poor

They shit on the grave of Patrick Moore.

But I would not feel such a f**kin’ twit

if I didn’t have to shovel their mouseshit.


Well they’ll shit on yer fanny and yer bush

they shit on AA and the local lush

They shit on yer pig and on yer cow

They’d shit up yer ass if they knew how

But I would not feel such a f**kin’ nit

If I didn’t have to shovel their mouseshit.


After shovelling mouseshit for a day and a half, the thing one looks forward to is a nice, long, hot bath. But another thing you can’t do without a functioning phone is ring Savely’s the boiler repair folks and tell them the water is tepid at best, and certainly not up to providing a much-needed bath. Even if you drive halfway to the f**king Moon and tell them via mobile phone, you still can’t tell them really, because a robot asks for your customer number and then says don’t worry we’ll get back to you….on your landline, which I don’t have. I could go on the internet, look up the boiler model and do it myself, but I don’t have any internet. And I can’t get my internet back because the Orange assistance number doesn’t work when a UK mobile rings it. It probably feels like this when lightning knocks out your radar, and then a giant squid atop an iceberg rears up dead ahead.

Anyway, the only working techno on site being my ancient TV, I settled down last night to watch Celtic v Juventus, an object lesson in how to run around if you’re Scottish and score no goals, or amble about in a languid manner and score two goals if you’re Italian.At one point, the commentator pillock said, “The referee is a very experienced Spaniard”. You know perfectly well by now that I am mad, but it is this kind of stuff that has me falling off the sofa in uncontrollable laughter: “The referee is an experienced Spaniard, and thus able to recite seventy-four varieties of tapas by heart. But the near linesman is only a trainee Finn, while the far linesman is an incompetent Austrian with seventeen attempts to become German behind him. Furthermore, none of them knows a f**king thing about football”.When things are this bad, one must take one’s pleasures where one can. I will be back again/don’t know where don’t know when/but perhaps we’ll meet again one rainy day. ransom-held neighbours