17 June 2008

Back in business

The eagle has landed!

The move went largely smoothly and I'm up and running. Sunday morning I was up very early, in time for Man with Van no. 1 to shift my office to Wordsmith Towers II. It took a little longer than expected to dismantle the desk and load the van. It was quicker at the other end to rebuild the desk and bookcase. MwV paid and gone, then it was down to me to set up the PC and install the broadband. That also took a while, but I'm delighted to discover I haven't forgotten how to wire up a computer, given that over the last 6 or 7 years I've always had someone else on hand to do it for me. I was chuffed to bits when I rebooted and logged on to the net. But, alas, I only had time to download some urgent email before it was time to dash back to my old house to finish packing.

By now it was 2pm (where did the time go? My MwV had arrived at 7.30am), and I still had to box up half my stuff . I spent the next few hours bent over boxes and walking up and down staircases. I swear if I'd been wearing a pedometer I'd have clocked up triple the recommended daily amount of steps. I collapsed into bed at 10pm only to wake at 1.15am, thoughts and lists racing round my brain. I tossed and turned until 3.30am before giving up. The alarm was set for 5 anyway.

Then it was on to finishing the packing. I was still at it, and totally stressed, when my van arrived at 9.30. The removal men were fantastic - the van was loaded within 90 minutes and they had completely finished here by noon. Then it was just me and a pile of boxes to empty. I have a functioning office and kitchen - the rest is cardboard city. The plumber who'd been installing a new bathroom over the last fortnight rang me on my mobile at 4pm to tell me there was no hot water because a valve had gone. Like I hadn't already noticed when trying to clean the kitchen cupboards...

I even did some work in between emptying boxes - just a spot of my daily copy-editing duties, but it proved that I'd been right to plan ahead and shift the office first.

By now, I'd realised I'd not eaten since 7pm Sunday night. And my landline did not appear to be working. Cue low blood sugar and a fight with BT. It took 6 calls on my mobile and speaking to 8 people to establish that one very tiny piece of vital information is not included in BT's home hub installation instructions. It was so damn easy to fix, yet I wasted 90 minutes and spent nearly £15 on phone calls in the process. I managed to get BT to agree in principle that my mobile costs ought to be refunded, but before anything could be settled, I was cut off. Typical. I shall pursue them today.

After that, it was time to collect my boy. He was pissed off at having to go into his basket and take a cab ride and even more unhappy when he realised he was caught up in a house move. There were several failed attempts to bolt out of the front door. After a Chinese takeaway and a beer (I was too knackered to open the champagne), I headed for bed - my yoga mat and a sleeping bag, until my mattress arrives next week. I managed 4 hours before my boy decided to audition for the ENO. At full volume. I know he was stressed but I was exhausted. At 2am, I was rummaging around hunting for that pair of foam ear plugs I'd once filched from a hotel and stuffed in my wash bag, on the grounds I might need them one day. That day was now. I think I'll use them again tonight.

Total hours of sleep since Saturday is about 8.

Here I sit now, contemplating starting on the living room. My hands are wrecked, criss-crossed with tiny slices from a thousand paper cuts caused by packing and unpacking. My nails, alrready ruined from 3 decades of bashing keyboards, are broken, split and flaky and I can't find the sodding hand cream.

But, hey, I can still work!


Juliet said...

Poor you. Moving is ghastly. Shedloads of sympathy from over here - hope you get fully sorted soon, and fully rested, more to the point.

Anne Brooke said...

You're there! Well done. Hope it's soon exactly how you want it.



Unknown said...

Ooh thanks! I've been shivering all day because it's unseasonably cold up here. The hot water is back on but I had to endure 6 hours of non-stop rabbiting by the plumber while I was trying to work. At least I'll be able to have a shower tomorrow - today's consisted of using a few make-up remover wipes in strategic places! The downside I still have is that the plumber won't be back until Thursday to install the extractor - until then I have to endure a hole through the outside wall that's 4 inches in diameter and letting a lot of cold air in.

Onwards and upwards...

Unknown said...

PS, I have a sleep plan for tonight: brandy, a valium and ear plugs...

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose you can tell me what that 'small but vital piece of missing information' was? So I can pass it along to the folks who write the installation guides for the Home Hub.


Mark Wilkin, BT Broadband Support Community Coordinator

Unknown said...

With pleasure, Mark. It's quite simple. You insert the ADSL filter into the phone socket as instructed, except that it only fits if you insert it upside down, so you can't read the markings that say "ADSL modem" and "phone". After wiring up the Home Hub, I inserted the CD-rom and followed all the instructions to the letter. Everything installed well and then I plugged my standard landline phone into the green socket on the back of the Hub. Why? Because there is a green light flashing on the front that says the phone is enabled and there is a Big Green Socket on the back that says "Phone". Nowhere in the instructions is there ANY info on the need to plug in a landline phone to the filter. Now, it's possible that I just missed a very obvious trick, what with being tired and stressed from moving, but to me all the instructions pointed to the need to plug into the Hub instead, thus disabling my landline at a stroke. And as a disabled person living alone, that's not a good situation to be in.

What's really shocking, though, is the fact none of BT's allegedly trained staff were able to identify the problem. One of them told me I must have faulty ADSL filters and it would take 48 hours to send me new ones. Also not funny when you live alone and have a disability because he was telling me I could have the phone or the broadband in the interim but not both.

The 8th person I spoke to, his supervisor, immediately understood my error and acknowledged that this knowledge was missing from the instructions.

I;m still waiting for BT's customer services to ring me back about the refund of my mobile costs, though.

Hmm, I can see a pitch in this to my favourite Tech supplement Ed...