Ninth night doesn’t have quite the same ring as Twelfth

I don’t usually take the Christmas tree down before Twelfth Night but my cleaners were coming today and it made sense. After this weekend, we can’t pretend it’s holiday season any more, anyway. The room looks enormous without a five feet high (and almost as broad) tree in it. Tim is down in Reading for a couple of days, so will hardly recognise the place when he gets back on Sunday.

There was a knock on the front door yesterday. Those of you who’ve visited us will know that the front door is solid oak and as old as the house (though not, actually in its original location) and, by the time i’d got there and undone the bolts and unlocked the door, there was no one there. So I trotted round to the side door and there was no one there either. So i went out and called and, by that time, the caller had returned to the front door. This is a fairly frequent occurrence.

He was from Openreach, the company that looks after phone lines – in short, they’re putting high-speed fibre broadband to the whole of Yagnub and surrounding villages and he wanted to check out how many properties are here. I explained that the house and its annexe each have their own lines. His second question related to the telegraph pole on the field – did I happen to own the field? Yes, I do. Would I be willing to let them dig a narrow trench for cables across to the cottages the other side of the field? Well, yes of course I would. As it happened, I had to go out before he managed to find the form to print off, so he’s left it for me and will call back. At present, the download speed is 19Mb, according to my phone, but it should be at least 40 once the job is done. Only a couple of years ago, it was more like 3Mb so I’m not too dissatisfied now anyway.

The little chickens are doing very well and I picked up five bantam eggs today. I hardly think the four of them laid all, so one of the older two, Scrabble or Polly, must have started laying again. Such dear little eggs, I have to weigh them to know how many to use in a dish, but that doesn’t matter. The big brown hen lays unusual khaki-ish eggs and lays for a couple of weeks and then goes broody and off lay for a while. She hasn’t laid for ages. They are a nice colour and I’m quite tempted to let her have a few chicks next year. I’ve no idea if she’ll sit for long enough, though. Rose would also like Polly to be a mother, but doubts whether she’s got the commitment either. I must resist any temptation to get up to thirty hens again, though. A dozen are quite enough really, though I can always find good homes for any surplus.

7 comments on “Ninth night doesn’t have quite the same ring as Twelfth

  1. Blue Witch

    Um… £20K apparently, to cross a field with phone lines, and then an ongoing annual fee. Around here, anyway. It’s the ‘have everyone on superfast by 2025 directive’. And they are getting HUGE wonga from the government (ie you and I taxpayers) for complying.

  2. Blue Witch

    It’s a hugely complicated area. You probably need legal advice – do you pay the extra few quid for legal cover on your household insurance?

    It becomes doubly complicated if the BB company want to register it as a Deed of Easement (as it goes on your title deeds and prevents eg future building on the land) rather than a Wayleave. Payments round here have been large as it effectively puts paid to anything else ever being done with the land.

    With the huge pressure on fast BB for everyone by 2025, many BB companies are cheating landowners out of their rights. They particulalry love unregistered land as they can simmply put up a notice of intent and 6 weeks later do the work regardless. Is your land registered? If not, probably a good idea to do so (and not just for this reason).

    Here is some basic info –

    If there are power poles that the UF BB wires could be hung off already, I’d suggest you tell them to use them instead (it costs them more as they have to pay the power company, so reduces their profit). As I said, hugely complicated, and many, many people have been duped by personal friendly approaches, and ‘sign on the line immediately’ documentation as you describe.

    1. Z Post author

      Thank you, I’ll have a look. There is already their own telegraph pole on the field that they want to take the underground cable from. And the land itself is part of the flood plain, though it rarely does flood as it’s slightly higher than the fields on the other side of the river – anyway, it will never be building land.

        1. Blue Witch

          Yes, that’s about the official rate. But no-one accepts that!

          What a lot of people around here have done is ask for free provision of service (BB and landline) forever, for any properties they own nearby. Just a suggestion… (and, of course, required in writing).

          But, cost (to them) is probably why they don’t want it to hang off the existing telegraph pole, which would be much less hassle in the longer term, for your house’s future occupants.

          It’s a huge, huge issue around here, and around Northumberland, and, I suspect, in most other rural places. But, unless someone has a bad experience, and spreads the info, no-one knows the ins and outs.

          Good luck!

  3. Blue Witch

    Ah… it’s gone to moderation with a link… just in case you don’t spot it, I’m just tipping you off here!


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