I did think ahead, although my prescience did not extend this far.
Years ago, before Broadband extended to this village, Ro bought himself a computer to help him with his school work. It must have been when he was 14 and just starting his GCSE syllabus. Dial-up was already a slight bone of contention between the Sage and me. The internet connection was slow of course, and the phone line overrode it. So, if I’d waited some minutes for a site to load and the Sage, who loves to talk on the telephone, picked up the receiver, I lost the connection even as he said “Sorry!” and hastily put it back down again. I knew very well that the three of us wanting to use the same line would fall out badly. I’d have been able to accommodate Ro better than the Sage, because I could do my work while he was at school, but the Sage spent a lot of time on the phone in the evenings and Ro’s room was barely within shouting distance (this house rambles almost as much as I do). So I suggested that we have another phone line for Ro. We would pay the rental charge and he would pay the call bills. This saved many an argument, I’m sure, and the arrangement lasted until we got Broadband and we were all able to use the same line concurrently.
The engineer came today and said that new H&S guidelines came into operation on 1st April and he couldn’t climb the pole that he needed to get to the top of, and a cherry-picker would be needed. To start with, he said that it wasn’t accessible at all, but then the Sage worked out how it would be, so it was booked for tomorrow morning. However, the van turned up, with three men and a cherry-picker on board, at lunchtime. They had a look, but said that the junction box would out of reach – the obvious and easy way would be by ladder and that’s what was used. “Sometimes, you just have to use common sense,” the man said.
Our line is no good. Al and Dilly’s, a mere 25 years old, is fine. So is Ro’s line. So he’s used that. And he says that, from now on, our Broadband connection and speed should be a lot better too. So we’re very happy about it.
The other thing that happened today, the new washing machine was delivered (second attempt) to the flat in London. They successfully managed to get it upstairs, a beastly job I’m sure, and in place, and the old one down again, but the hole for the pipe from the machine into the cupboard under the sink is slightly smaller than the new pipe. I have no idea why they couldn’t just enlarge it, but they couldn’t. However, my lovely tenant is willing to do it, and they have shown him how to couple it up and test it. Embarrassingly, it seems, because they couldn’t do the final fixing, I will be refunded my £25 installation fee, which was a massive bargain for that particular job anyway. I’m so glad that I texted James to ask him to give them a tip each. And I think that the next time I visit the flat, I shall leave a bottle of wine for him. Still a bargain price. Can you imagine having to get in a plumber, pay his call-out, get a train to London to let him in? I shall have to spend a great deal in John Lewis in future in conscience money, and certainly all equipment for the flats will be bought from their Brent Cross branch.