I can’t post images on Facebook at the moment, because my main laptop won’t let me in. It won’t let me in because it let a keyboard virus in, and so my password comes out as fubbe87654. The keyboard virus got in because Microsoft overruled the anti-malware program I chose because Big M wanted to put an update on the laptop and my anti-malware didn’t. So every working day, I ring experts up to come and fix it, and they don’t respond. They’re frantically busy all the time, because even in this rural part of France, users have insoluble Microsoft problems, and Microsoft don’t care.
The problem is compounded by my inability to get Orange to change my landline internet feed from the main house here to the gite down below – a distance of around 90 metres. Somebody within OrangeFranceTelecom needs to decide on the branding, and then find some people in admin who know WTF they’re doing. In desperation last week, I started tweeting at the OrangeConseil site. My existence is now at least being acknowledged by them. But until they come and do the work (a month I’ve been waiting now) I’m up and down between the gite and the house like a tart’s knickers.
Two workers I used to do the plumbing and drainage in the gite somehow managed to fit two outlet pipes to the fosse septique, even though the fosse only has one hole to receive them. The garden was trashed again as the tank was emptied, hauled out, dug out and reconfigured in order to make a Y-joint to the fosse work. Organising this took seven phone calls, and took up almost the entirety of two days. The two workers are not available for comment.
Every day on waking up, I go into the sitting room to face the list I made the night before. Tomorrow being Monday, the list will be washing, put spare stuff up to sell on leboncoin website, hang curtains at gite windows, send cheque to Trésor for local taxes, ring tax adviser, recontact legal bloke re property transfer, transfer money across two bank accounts and then on to four suppliers, tweet Orange, ring pc repairers, clean log-burner glass, make list of fittings to buy for gite bathroom, see doctor re blood test results, do supermarket shop.
Often it is 3 in the afternoon before I’m online and writing something, following up leads sent in by email, reading the comment thread, doing research, following blogs from people I respect. Yesterday was a write-off after I wrote a contentious Pensions piece, and got bombarded with a mélange of demands on Twitter to change it from Frances Coppola. They were followed in turn by 157 twitter notifications variously congratulating me, threatening to sue, wishing me dead, and then eventually a withering response from Ms Coppola on her open forum – which if you wish to, you can read here.
My policy for many months now has been not to engage in, or be dragged into, personal disputes. I won’t be responding to the last set of Coppola allegations, because I don’t have the time but I do have much higher priorities….not the least of which is the Pensions debate about to take place in Westminster this week. Talking of which, Scotland’s Sunday Post has a good lead on the subject today.
If time allows, I’ll be back with an Anecdotage piece this evening. In the meantime, there are one or two things about which I seem to be behind the music:
- I thought Diane Abbott already had the Shadow Foreign Secretary job in the bag, but it seems not. Did I miss something?
- Simon Heffer has just noticed that David Cameron is a phoney. Has something occurred to suggest otherwise?
- English cricketers were crap but now they’re world-beaters.What happened?
- Apparently, the US Fed is “very pleased” with the mildness of response to its rate rise…and 200,000 new US jobs will be added to the payroll this Friday. So now Janet Yellen is already talking about further rate rises in the new year because ‘the economy has finally achieved liftoff’. Am I the only person on the planet staring at Chinese slowdowns, sovereign debt mountains in South America, the UK economy turning sour, a growing revolution in ClubMed, and France about to go back into recession?