I was off line yesterday – not by choice I hasten to add, rather pathetically I have to say it was a painful experience. I felt cut off from the world, slightly panicky, somewhat sweaty and definitely irritable – it really brought home to me how much time I like to sit at my computer being a happy tapper. I like to Skype, blog, number crunch household accounts on an Exel spreadsheet, dabble with Scrabble against an adversary in Papua New Guinea, and/or check out BBC Good Food (the CountryWives’ website of the week) to see what I can cook with the seasonally fresh blood orange, horseradish root and battered Jerusalem artichoke I’ve just bought from the local farm shop.
Anyhow, this enforced separation from the worldwide web made me think I should get out more and so, after a brisk walk with my Jack Russell, I felt recharged and as if the USB cable that metaphorically connects me to my Apple Mac had been severed. Well, that only lasted for about ten minutes and then the usual compulsion drew me back to my computer to see if it was working again. It wasn’t. After an hour of talking to someone at customer support (who was charming but seemingly not qualified to fix the problem), I decided I would bite the bullet and change my internet service provider. This was quite a wrench as I have been a customer of Virgin Media for over a decade. But, on calling BT, any feelings of loyalty disappeared in a flash when I discovered I could double my internet speed AND save £10 per month by switching. So, what with the recession, this sounded like a plan Stan. However, guess what…Virgin Media are the only ISP who will not let you take your email addresses with you. And, unlike the post office, there is no redirection service available when you move. Not very customer-friendly if I may say so VirginMedia and akin to a little child stamping its foot when it doesn’t get what it wants (in this case, my business). Count yourself named and shamed. So I had no option but to log on (yes, my internet connection was finally working again) with every single company I have ever dealt with online and update my settings with my new email address. Believe me, this is no quick task – like so many other people, I often buy stuff online and my old email address is registered with everyone from building societies, to Nespresso, Sky, the gym, Trip Advisor, and Southern Water… oh my god the list was endless. It took me an entire afternoon to change them all – as well as to realise I had forgotten half the passwords, usernames, security codes etc etc.
Tonight I am going to make Ellie’s 10 Minute Linguine Marinara - well, ten minutes is all the time I’ve got left what with being glued to the computer all day – and I’ve rather daringly decided to add a spoonful of dry fried crispy chilli breadcrumbs on the top. And if that wasn’t enough to cheer me up then the thought of Stella returning for a second series this Friday (9pm Sky One) certainly is. I bloody love Stella (as the saying goes) – Ruth Jones is a wonderful actress and scriptwriter (and probably human being too, although I don’t know her personally). Series One was absolutely wonderful – full of eccentric characters from the working class Welsh Valleys, with stories which centre on the ups and downs of family life. This is a comedy drama that I would not miss for the world and I have already set Sky+ to be absolutely sure we don’t miss a single one of the forthcoming ten episodes. A real treat.
One last thing before I go, have a listen to David Bowie’s new single ‘Where are We Now?‘ released this week on his 66th birthday after ten long years away and one of the songs on his new album – very nice, elegant and mellow…Grace x