The O2 signal problem at Castle Malwood Lodge continues. I still had no connection at all this morning. Jackie’s Nokia, also on O2, had very fluctuating signals. Buoyed up by a bucket of coffee I decided to ring the provider again. I was again advised to take the various parts out of my Blackberry. I said I’d done that yesterday and it didn’t make any difference. Dean, the very helpful adviser, then told me that according to the system there was no mast in our area. When I pointed out that I had not experienced this problem before, he suggested that maybe O2’s contract with whoever was carrying the mast had expired. I wasn’t convinced by this, so he placed me on hold so that I could listen to music such as to put me into dire straits, whilst he discussed the problem with the network connection team. Periodically he interrupted the cacaphony to check that I was still content to hold. Eventually he said the other team wanted to speak to me directly, and would call me within twenty minutes. That should have given me time for a pee. As I made for the bathroom the phone rang. So I had to wait whilst I enjoyed a meaningful relationship with the lovely Joanne.
Like Dean, this patient and thorough young lady had a pronounced Northern accent. There being both Lancastrian and Yorkist blood in my veins, they made me feel at home. Joanne, however, spoke in a language that, as I told her, I understood less than that of the natives of the country from which I had just returned. Especially when she started talking about connecting the Blackberry to the WiFi hub, which meant discovering yet another password. She soon realised that when navigating my device, I was happier being led to icons, like spanners, rather than the actual terms they represent, such as Options. So keen was she that I should fully understand what was going on that she explained everything in great technical detail, none of which I had any hope of retaining. And repeated it. And again. Even when I said ‘you lost me twenty minutes ago’. That was a big mistake because iteration ensued. And reiteration.
Finally Joanne fully explained the report she was sending to the technical team, and what I could then expect. Given that I now had a fluctuating signal, and had become fairly desperate for that pee, she didn’t fully hold my attention. Joanne said she was happy to wait if I wanted to go to the toilet, but I said I couldn’t because Jackie was in there now. Fortunately I spotted that the battery was almost exhausted and gently mentioned that. My adviser promised to send me a reference number in a text, and we said goodbye. This was an hour after I had first called Dean. And the loo was free.
I received the text whilst my head was still spinning. To settle it a bit I walked down to the village shop and back. On the way I met Jill, who lives at Seamans Corner. She has retired from a similar profession to mine. We had met before at the History Group on 8th January, but each had forgotten the other’s name. Having reached the age when one can own up to such lapses, we did.
This afternoon Jackie drove us to West End to visit Mum. Reminiscing, as always, was in order. This time my mother reminded me of a visit I had made to her with Michael and his friend Eddie. I don’t remember this, but I have every faith in my mother’s recollection. No doubt we had been in search of Sunday lunch. This was in the 1970s, when Mum had been custodian of Vivien and my wedding album. Michael would have been around the age he was in photograph number 49 in the ‘through the ages’ series, taken by Jessica at Carole’s home in Ipswich. I had been persuaded to mount our friend’s horse, April. This was, as Mum said, in my long hair and kaftan days.
Mum asked Michael if he would like the album. Of course, he was delighted. He and Eddie, however, took some convincing that the man marrying his mother, who then looked far more like the subject of number 3 of the series, was actually his father. In the above picture his expression possibly displays some discomfort with touching the horse, but it could equally suggest the difficulty in connecting the two ages of his Dad. Possibly an even greater problem than grappling with a phone supplier. Mum demonstrated acting skills I didn’t know she had when she reproduced the two boys’ expressions.
On the way back from West End we stopped off at Morrison’s superstore. This isn’t really a very good idea on a Saturday afternoon when entire families are doing their week’s shop. And they didn’t have the coriander which was our main reason for being there. Jackie’s excellent chicken jalfrezi and pilau rice, on which we later dined, could not therefore receive its usual garnish. Morrison’s did, however, provide the Kingfisher with which we slaked our thirst.