Now waiting for the Openreach engineer. It’s 9.32 and he is due sometime between 8am and 12 noon. The VDSL modem is kaput as ve say. No lights. No internet connection. Ach so. The first thing everyone asks upon returning to the house is “is the internet working yet?”. Non, nein, nyet, na, no.
It is if you use your cellular connection but that is when you notice how good our internet access is normally. It’s raining outside. Which seems appropriate. I have lots to get on and do but everything involves going somewhere else and I have to stay here to babysit a defunct modem in case I’m not in when the engineer arrives which would not be good news.
I can’t see why I shouldn’t be able to log on to a portal to see where I am in the queue and what progress the guy is making towards my house. It would be a very friendly thing to offer.
I had considered today to be a job free zone but as the body slowly emerged from overnight shut down and systems rebooted a few tasks became evident. Tonight Johnnyboy is cooking us a barbecue style meal involving ribs, wings, tortilla chips and dips together with boston baked beans supplied by his mother, my very dear wife Anne. All the ingredients need sourcing, from Waitrose. All purchasing must in theory be complete by 12.30 which is the time the young footballer goes to play with his mates.
He has also just had a very good bit of news via a letter through the door this morning informing him of a vacant position as a carrier of daily newspapers to residences in the locale. This will involve a certain element of discipline hitherto dormant in the young lad. It means he has to get up at 6.45 am to go to the paper shop and pick up his literary load for onward carriage to the breakfast tables of Wragby Road.
There are several good outcomes from this newly imposed discipline. Firstly it will mean he spends less time on the Xbox in the morning. Second it will bring in twenty quid a week. Untold riches for someone who has only recently entered his teens.
The downside, and this is the bit that affects me, is that he has just tried to pump up his bike tyres in preparation for the 7am meet tomorrow with the round incumbent and the pump letteth all the air out! Now I have to get that sorted which probably means going to Halfords to get a new pump/valve but of course I have to baby site the modem. Scratch that. Just remembered a known good pump/valve combo in the car and it has worked, hooray.
The problem was going to be time. The lad has to be in Welton for the footy at 12.30. I have to be in the Morning Star for the pre match warm up at 1.30. The rest of the day should be considered a write off, starting that early. In one sense it is a good thing I now have this imposed period of inactivity. The third law book doesn’t write itself you know? It does really. The stuff just comes out. None of this sitting down and planning a structure – plot, characters etc. huh!
Could it be that the whole world is moving to a structureless position. We have “the cloud”. An ethereal entity not physically made of anything tangible that we trust is there but know not where. That certainly has the appearance of being structureless. We still have the order imposed on us by society but that order has been built up over hundreds, thousands of years even, of learning how to create red tape for the “benefit” of the whole.
Maybe the process of unravelling that structure takes a little time. Maybe unravel it will, somehow. The third law has unforeseen consequences. The speed at which everything happens means events happen so quickly that the forces of regulation and stability can no longer have sway. We already see that government struggles to keep up with the pace of technological change. Laws designed for an old world order no longer work. Copyright infringement in a world where millions of copies can be made at the click of a mouse, for example.
There surely has to be some structure. When I go to the Morning Star I stay on one side of the bar whilst Dave the barman, or whoever else is on, stays on the other side. He gives me beer, I drink it. I give him money. The money thing is going to disappear for sure, at least the hard stuff in the pocket. This brings us back to my VDSL modem because without the connectivity to make the electronic transaction happen I won’t be able to hand over my invisible cash and I won’t get my beer.
The dependency on connectivity and all things electronic makes our lives very vulnerable to total wipeout. Just as the music file can be copied at the flick of a switch, our online presence, entity if you like, can also be similarly removed. All backups of all the photos of us ever uploaded gone, kaput, as we have been known to say.
I’m going to insert what is known as a dislocation to the third law here. A dislocation is a time shift. A period in the flow where it looks as if there should be something there but it doesn’t appear to be. A kind of black hole but different. I’ve never known anyone escape the python-like squeeze of a black hole but the dislocation to the third law is a regular phenomenon that sees people emerge on the other side, unscathed if somewhat confused.
It is now 10.37. This hasn’t been a continuous writing session as you will recall that I broke to find the bicycle pump which may well have meant a dislocation but only a very minor one and only visible to the trained eye.
The rain continues. I’d like to have added relentlessly to that sentence, at the end, but I’m not sure whether that would have been an entirely accurate description of the current state of precipitation. There are certainly lots of drops hitting the conservatory roof but they come from the sycamore tree above rather than the actual rain which is usually quieter unless it is if the tropical storm variety in which case it can be deafening.
That tree is toast btw. Our new neighbours have decided it is going and are looking for a sensible quote. I am in favour of this act of forrestial (new word) destruction as it creates a lot of shade and even more leaves and crap on the conservatory roof that then needs cleaning. It will also have the side benefit of generating lots of logs for the fire though in my experience sycamore is a rubbish burner. Not going to say no though.
We are almost at the end of this open fire season. Maybe a couple more fires but then spring should be in full sway. Not that that necessarily means it will get any warmer but psychologically it will mean that we will feel it wrong to have the central heating on, let along lighting the open fire. Ve shall see.
Oops there I go again. Lapsing into German. It isn’t as if I’ve been to Germany much but being born only 16 years after the end of the second world war I grew up with a lot of WW2 fighting in comics. “Hande hoch, Englander schwein hundt” etc. Couldn’t get away with it these days though I do seem to be trying hard.
We will definitely be having an open fire next Sunday as we have some friends coming round to help us eat a goose. V traditional. I have a Delia Smith recipe that involves prunes soaked in Armagnac. I don’t have any Armagnac in so will have to buy some and will inevitably consume some in a non culinary manner (ie drink it) and end up slumping in front of the open fire. Bless ‘im.
We don’t have goose very often. It’s expensive and doesn’t produce much meat though there is always lots of good fat left over for use in cooking roast potatoes. Nothing better, fair play.
10.56 and still no engineer. To be continued…
3rd law Part 19 here
part 21 here