Yet again, my home broadband connection has gone to pot over the weekend.
It’s an ongoing problem – basically, there’s a leak in the outdoors part of my connection, so when it rains heavily, water gets in, and corrodes the connections in the master socket. I start to know it’s going to be bad when any phone call I make (not that I make many on the landline, but still) starts to get crackly. After a while, it then gets bad enough that the next ingress of water breaks things properly, and leaves my modem/router dropping the connection and reconnecting on an all-too-frequent basis.
In the five-and-a-bit years I’ve been in this house, I’ve had four master sockets. Now soon to be a fifth.
BT refuse to believe that this is the problem – this has been going on for ages, and they’ve done line checks etc., but won’t replace the outside part of the connection, for some reason.
So we go through the farce of doing fault-tracking, “We can’t find anything” and then booking an engineer to come out. Every time, I get told “If it’s a problem past the master socket (i.e. with my own wiring) then it’ll cost £129.99 on your next bill”. It won’t be with my wiring, because I’ve got precisely one socket, and one connector/splitter (also supplied by BT) on it.
Everything else will be fine, it’ll just be corroded connections in the master socket. Again.
This time, I’m going to aim to get the engineer to reinstall the master socket, but do so higher up the wall (so water doesn’t get in, as it can’t climb cables) or on a longer cable inside the house, so I can put it on a shelf or whatever, and again, let gravity deal with the problem.
The engineer’s coming out on Wednesday morning, so we’ll see what happens from there. It’d be nice (and really quite novel!) to have it sorted properly this time. But only time will tell whether that’ll happen or not.
Another thing I hate when the weather gets ridiculously warm, as it has this week – cat food, and the way warm weather interacts with it.
I’ve got two cats, and they have sachets of wet cat food on a regular basis. However, they don’t eat all of it at once. That means that it attracts flies – the buzzing which annoy me intensely anyway – who lay eggs on the food and so on.
Obviously any remnants (and or course the now fly-blown cat food) get thrown away, but with the heat, it also makes the bin stink. And with fortnightly bin-collections, it makes the main bins stink too. I don’t mind fortnightly collections in general, they’re a fact of life – but I do think there should be an ability to cater for hot weather and so on, and change things to collect those bins weekly if the temperature goes above a certain limit. (I know it’s probably utterly impractical, but it’d still be nice)
All told, it’s just skanky, and I hate it. All the fun of summer.
As I wrote about the other day – and as just about anyone in the UK already knows – this week has included the warmest June day in at least forty years, with Wednesday hitting 34.5°C (94°F) . As always, I know that people in other countries will be pissing themselves laughing at the way we’re unable to cope with temperatures at extremes (or at least what the UK sees as extremes) but that’s because for us they are extremes – and as such, we simply don’t have the infrastructure to cope with them.
We get hot periods during the summer, but we’ve not been this hot since 1976. So we don’t bother with air-conditioning in houses, or anything to deal with things like train rails expanding, tarmac melting etc. – because it only happens for small occasional periods, instead of months every year. It’s the same in Winter, if we end up with serious (for us) snow or freezing conditions – they don’t happen often, so we don’t invest in snowploughs, or underground systems like places that have deep snow for weeks and months on end.
Personally, I don’t mind warm (and even hot) days – but I hate hot nights. The other part of this week’s heat has been that there’s little to no breeze, so it’s been stifling and claggy at night, which makes it (for me) massively unpleasant. Indeed, on Wednesday night I even ended up giving up and going to sleep out in the garden instead, which helped a bit – although also resulted in interrupted sleep because of the cats.
In that context, it’s all made for what feels like a really long week…
Despite the best of intentions, this week’s been quiet here on D4D™.
Mainly, it’s because I’ve been absolutely snowed under with work, including beating the living hell out of databases – and cursing the clowns that wrote Microsoft Access, which is what I’ve been taking data out of and putting into something decent. One of these days I’d like to meet the people who created it, and ask just what the fuck was going through their minds when they made certain decisions.
Along the way, there’s been a whole bundle of other stuff, insomnia and the like, and well, it’s just January.
I have a hard time with January, for some reason. It’s part of the reason I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, because I know I’m never good with the start of the year. The thing is, I don’t really know why it’s such a tough one for me.
I’ve got my suspicions – and primarily it’s about preparation.
I know I get affected by autumn and winter, as the nights draw in and so on, and I can fight it for a long time. Then there’s the standard dislike of the Festering Season, which I’m ready for and can keep on fighting. But now we’re through all that, the days are getting longer, and we’re through the whole Christmas period.
This is where (I suspect) my problems kick in – the days are still short, even if they’re lengthening. It’s just not doing so quickly enough. This week in particularly has been pretty much solidly grey and overcast, with little to no sunlight coming through. And I’m just tired, with no real energy for continuing to fight the whole Seasonal thing.
It leaves me flat, tired and uninspired. It shouldn’t, in all sense, but regardless, it does.
So yeah, this week’s been more about downtime, about being tired and grey, and not really in the mood for doing much. I’ve got a fair amount of stuff in the coming week as well, which will help. But this week’s been a flat and down one. Such is life, and all that rot.
Among other things this week, the heat (or at least the heat in UK terms – in most places it’s barely temperate) also had another effect at my house.
Sometime in the week, I’d thrown away something sticky – I suspect one of the fresh lemonades that’d gone out of date – and while I was out at work yesterday, it’d obviously gone off, fermented, and popped the bottle. In the bin. Which meant that I came home to a kitchen floor covered in sticky gunk, that had then become an absolute snack-bar for flies. There were hundreds of the fuckers.
In the end it took a load of paper towels to absorb the majority of it, plus two full moppings of the floor before it stopped being sticky. The flies took longer to fuck off, along with judicious application of fly spray to annihilate the twats, but all was well in the end.
It was another of those things that I could’ve done without – but also it would’ve helped if I hadn’t thrown the sodding things in the bin anyway.
As usual, it’s July, so here in the UK we get a bit of a heatwave. Someone else (I believe it was George II) described the British summer as “Three hot days, and a thunderstorm” and that’s not far from the truth. This year, it started on Monday, and Tuesday was the hottest day of the year so far, hitting nearly 34° C (92° F)
I try to not gripe about the weather – I know, terribly unBritish of me – because well, realistically it’s just the British weather. We have a strange weather system/environment for a number of reasons, but in general we’re really remarkably middle-of-the-road, and thus not set up at all to handle extremes. (Or even what we refer to as extremes, and which other countries regard as “normal”) That means we don’t fit air-conditioning by default in houses, and we over-insulate them. (Similar infrastructure lacks show up in Winter, when we grind to a halt in levels of snow that Americans and Canadians look at and laugh) We’re just not cut out for long periods of heat – because we never get them. Maybe a week or so is usually the longest for any form of ‘heatwave’ without the respite of storms, rain, and anything else our weather system can throw at us.
As it is, I do feel the heat far more than I feel the cold. I’m naturally very warm (temperature-wise, if not personality-wise) which is great in Winter, but leaves me as a sweaty blob when we hit these hot days.
I try and prepare for it all – this year I’ve been organised enough to put a fan in the bedroom (which certainly helps at night) and got some cold and frozen stuff that’ll be useful. Additionally, a bottle of frozen water makes a great bag-cooler, and can then be really nice as it thaws out, while also keeping other drinks cold in the meantime.
In short, I do what I can. I’m not a massive fan of it at this point, but *shrug* it’s just part of life. I’d still rather the temperature were a few degrees cooler, but there we go, it will be in a couple of days time, I’m sure. I’ll enjoy it while it’s here – sitting out in the sun at lunchtime, and as it cools down a bit in the evenings, or getting to the coast when I can – and that’s all to the good.
There was going to be a point to all this, and I now can’t remember what that point was. Hey Ho.
This time of year is hard for me. A lot of it is related to the change of the seasons, the transition between winter and spring/summer, the weather, and the resultant effect on my depression.
It’s weird, really. Through the winter, I expect the grey days and the lack of sunlight – it’s par for the course, and I’m used to handling it, fighting against depression and not wanting to go out. I get as much daylight as possible – currently helped by my office facing big windows, which maximises things, and walking at lunchtime – and basically just get through Winter the best I can.
Come spring though, things change. Days get longer, we have more hours of sunlight, and I know that the easier time is coming – but it’s not here yet. I’m tired from having kept the depression at bay all winter, and it hits me harder now as a result. I just don’t have the energy by now to keep on fighting with it. It’s the time when I completely lack motivation, and could happily stay in bed a lot longer, not wanting to get up.
I still do get up, and get things done. I make plans – not always conscious plans, but because I’m aware of the upcoming Glums, I make plans ahead of time, sometimes without realising just why I’m making them for that time. I still do stuff, and get on with it. But it’s definitely a lot harder than usual (as the actress said to the bishop) and a rough period.
It’s not helped by being (or at least feeling) greyer than usual. Yes, it’s getting light – but the last couple of weeks, it’s just been bright grey, with fairly thick mists and fogs most mornings. Again, a facet of the season, but one I find particularly tough to deal with. I’m OK with it being dark when I get up, I’m better with it being light and sunny when I get up. But this grey crap in between the two is just draining.
I’ll be OK. I’m used to this crap, and I can generally deal with it. I’m affected by it, but I won’t admit defeat to it.
Given a couple of weeks – usually once the clocks go forward at the end of the month – things will start to come back. But March is just a bit cruddy, with drained energy levels, and more blah than usual as a result.