Friday, 21 July 2017

BT (British Telecom)

Warning: This post contains what might be considered a boring rant. 

Yet again I received a missive from BT after I arrived home from holiday. It is not the first such missive so I didn't get my hopes up too high. Which was just as well. 

After having jumped through the hoops that BT has managed to created when one does log in to bt.com/upgrade-now I discovered that for over twice the price that I am now paying I could have ......... wait for it ....... The speed I'm getting now (when I'm actually getting that speed)  which is between 1 and 2.5 Mbps. 2.5 not even 25. That's an improvement because last time I complained that my speed was down at between 0 and .5 Mbps when they tested it they got .9 Mbps and told me that that was all they were contracted to provide.

Now despite Jeremy Vine (who on his BBC fee alone can doubtless afford high-speed satellite broadband wherever he lives and it will doubtless be a tax-deductible necessity for his work anyway) uttering the inanity that people in the country live there 'because they want to get away from broadband and things'  life today relies in so many ways on having access to the internet. 

As we get older and the more remotely we live the more communication ability we require not just to keep in touch with people (which is a very important part of our physical and mental health and for which Skype and Facetime and the like are a real blessing) but for our everyday requirements even in dealing with the government where almost everything is now done on line.

Interestingly since I wrote this I decided to have another go at the upgrading procedure:

Now I don't know about you but my gut reaction is that 'Up to 17Mbps' may be strictly accurate but is totally misleading in that 3.5 (my previous offer said 2.5 which is the maximum that I can get and even then it tails away a lot) is nowhere near that. I should add that a engineer for BT Openreach said that I should get 8Mbps with no problems. However the line between the Green Box (where the fibre goes up to) at the top of the village about 750 metres away from the house is probably in a poor state of repair except for about 100 metres where it has  been renewed when my phone went off.

How do the rest of you fare and is anyone else still with BT? I've been with them since I bought my first house. I understand alternatives are now available here but until quite recently Sky and others refused even to countenance provision to my number.

Interestingly today I have discovered that my next door neighbour is eligible for fibre broadband.

Let battle commence.

Thursday, 20 July 2017


I love Chester. I always have. It means a great deal to me. Most years my brother, CJ, and I go there. It's only a half hour drive from his home on The Wirral. This year was no exception. 

Chester is a very old walled city famous for its Rows - first floor level shops and houses.

The Rows and a staircase up to them.
I like people who smile whatever the weather
I can remember when traffic drove through the centre of the city. Now it's all pedestrianised and much the better for it.
This was at the entrance of the Cathedral. No explanation. Totally bizarre.
This colonnade of shops comprisisng St Werburgh Row
And a licensed TukTuk which was not what I was expecting in Chester

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Thinker

I've titled this 'The Thinker'. It was taken at Brunch where CJ and I sometimes have our coffee and a bacon roll. CJ wasn't sleeping. We were having problems with the last crossword clue. We spend a lot of time doing crosswords with our coffee.

I'm home. In fact I've been home since Friday evening. CJ and I arrived after a week's journeying from his home on The Wirral, via his daughter, son-in-law and grand-daughter in Exeter, thence to the Lake District, Anna's in Bishopbriggs (Glasgow) for a couple of nights and a night almost on Skye. 

Since then we've been catching up with some relaxation, coffees and crosswords at The Woodlands and I've nearly filled a wheelie bin with weeds from the garden. 

Before all that I spent some time in Glasgow and then a week with CJ and Jo when we went into Wales and Chester.

Three weeks. Such a long time. Such a short time.

However I'm hoping to be back in Blogland more now that the dust has settled. After all there's certainly plenty to write about as well as catching up with your blogs.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Fisherman's Cot, Devon

Rarely do I blog specifically about a hotel in which I have stayed but this is a very notable exception. I first experienced The Fisherman's Cot in Devon some years ago and would not have thought it exceptional. Now, however, it is exceptional in many ways: the setting, the accommodation, the ambience, the value for money and, above all, the service. It is a long time since I have experienced a place with so many staff and not managed to find even one who did not appear to be happy and who was not exceptionally pleasant and good at his or her job. I would actually come this far south just to stay here again (and I have never said that before!).

The hotel is on the River Exe and for those who are interested there is plenty of wildlife on the river at the hotel including heron, egrets (which I have only seen in France), dippers and otters. 

Apparently a dozen people one morning were watching an otter with lots of rapt oohs and ahs. Then a duck with six chicks came along and left with only five: the otter having breakfasted on the unfortunate one. The otter went from hero to zero instantly. C'est la vie.