And What Did you Do in the Great Internet Shortage, Grandad?

Things have been a tad busy lately, what with all the gadding about and working for a living to boot. For the last few weeks, pretty much all of my non-gadding time has been spent chained to the computer and then on Thursday I suddenly realised that a deadline for ‘the end of October’ actually meant this Friday and not, as I’d mistakenly got it into my head, Monday. And so suddenly I had to simultaneously go up to Edinburgh for a meeting and finish off some work which meant lugging my laptop around and desperately trying to find somewhere to plug it in during the random hours and half hours you have to pass when you’re using rural train services (Edinburgh’s Central Library reference room is a good place to start, by the way, just don’t get the seat with the socket where you have to hold the plug in with your foot like I did). I got home yesterday afternoon feeling shattered but triumphant having more or less finished the job, emailed off the document (nothing literary I’m afraid), blogged and then thought I’d do a little light surfing to see how the internet had been getting on without me. Little did I know, but that was the last time I’d be able to log on properly for over 12 hours.

An hour or so later I gave up, as our connection went from irritating to flaky to dead as a doornail. A quick call to the ISP revealed problems everywhere and so we decided to switch off the router and entertain ourselves the way people used to back in the old days, but there was nothing on the telly so we lit the stove and watched that instead. I then spent a happy evening (and the other half perhaps a slightly less happy one) catching up with the newspapers and trying to remember how to play the ukelele.

This morning, although the problem was allegedly fixed, our connection wasn’t all that much better. But the weather was, and looking out of the window I remembered that I had a garden and it had been rather neglected in the last couple of weeks. So I switched off the television, sorry, internet and went out to do something less boring instead.

And jolly pleasant it was too.


7 Responses to And What Did you Do in the Great Internet Shortage, Grandad?

  1. WOL says:

    Seeing as how I make my living over the internet, I would be up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle if I didn’t have internet access. In my case, doing something less boring would be sleeping on the street!

  2. Dom says:

    You don’t have backup 3G mobile internet in the form of a PAYG dongle, or internet on your mobile? You really are in a rural backwater 🙂

    • The Paper Boy says:

      Exactly Dom, something like a 3 “Mifi” on PAYG – £2 for 1/2 Gigabyte of surfage in 24 hours – perfect as a DSL backup.

      Even Bigtownshire has some coverage – it’s possible not ideal (like it isn’t here) where I have to have the MiFi gadget hanging from the curtain rail in the bedroom to get a stable signal, but it’s better than no internet 🙂

  3. disgruntled says:

    WOL – I’d be stuffed without an internet connection too, in the long run. It’s just nice to have some time off …

    Dom – what is this 3G of which you speak?

  4. The Paper Boy says:

    Actually – if there is a 3G signal available to you, it’ll quite possibly be better than the cruddy ADSL you have now…

  5. disgruntled says:

    I did have a dongle – still do, although when I bought it you had to sign up for a month at a time rather than PAYG so I’d need to reactivate it. There was no 3G two years ago, although there might be now. Our neighbour’s iPhone managed to connect but not at any reasonable speed. We’re trying a different router now, but I’m beginning to suspect that crappy broadband is just the price you pay for lovely scenery …

  6. The Paper Boy says:

    Obviously it depends on the network – even getting a full 3G signal on O2 it was woefully slow compared to the other networks… something borne out by the mobile boradband “group test” at the Register (

    Obviously first thing is to see who gives a signal 🙂 At least one network does a PAYG with a £2 per day (max 500MB that day) – which is perfect for backup purposes.

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