Well it will be tomorrow anyway, what?, a whole week since I arrived back at Arnish that is. A whole week without any internet It was bearable the first day because I could go along to my mate’s at Torran and use his but now that’s died too. You have no idea what a struggle it is, even in the backwoods of Raasay without the internet. Pig movement forms require doing on line, I’ve a whole load of stuff shuttling back and forth from the bank via email. I’ve revised quotes and an order form for my Internorm windows from Dunn Homes floating about in the ether somewhere and still no word of getting fixed.
I can’t even blame it on drink now for I’ve not touched a drop in a week, and I know I promised to stop swearing but I’m frigging fuming.
When I was away at college this arrived in the post and assured me of a seamless and efficient transfer from Avanti broadband to Q-Sat. It can only be a good move thought I for Avanti were on the whole pretty useless, or at least they were initially when I had problems with them. Their so called ‘broadband’ was pathetic and used some kind of compression that turned my pictures to mush and would not update pages automatically. I stuck with them for two reasons only, one I’d no option and two they promised another satellite due to be launched in a few months would deliver far better service. Sure enough HYLAS 2 did but it was almost two years late when I finally got hooked up to it just over a year ago. Things seemed to be getting better, YouTube and iPlayer were at last watchable and the helplines now stayed open after 5:00pm and were even manned at weekend.
In fact the service was pretty good until the Dude got his iPhone last Christmas and started using up all my meager 8Gb allowance Hardly Avanti’s fault, though once ‘throttled’ it made even viewing emails on line impossible, and that was it until the next month. No way of paying for the extra usage, just restricted to some connection speed worse than ‘dial up’ for the rest of the month
Then along came Q-Sat, no warning, just this letter and an email assuring me that nothing would change, it even hinted that I may get a better deal. When our connection slowed to ‘snails pace’ at the end of October I just put it down to the Dude and half term, plus the odd Skype conversation with my loved one 400 miles away. However by mid November even the snail had died so yours truly phoned up my new ISP and it got off to a really good start. I explained to the delightful Niamh that I had a problem but it was 400 miles away and could they sort it if my thirteen year old son phoned up. Me being in South Shields England and my satellite dish, son and wife being in the middle of nowhere Scotland. True to her word her smooth Irish voice phoned me back, said that would be fine and she did her best, phoning me back on Friday evening saying that she was sorry but she’d need to get an engineer to look at it on Monday.
Bit of a problem that as the boy is away at the hostel Monday and wife back to see her sick father but at least they tried and kept me informed. A week later I’m home, and phones them up straight away, once more speaking to Niamh and then Gavin, it was almost worth having a problem to speak to real people with names Again, after trying the local engineers I was told I’d have to wait until Monday, well it’s fecking Thursday now and I’ve still not seen or heard from an engineer and all I get from everyone at Q-Sat is ‘we’ve passed it on to the engineers’. When I ask to speak to an engineer or ask for a phone number to contact one I’m told ‘we’ve no way of getting in touch with them’. Well how on earth do you report a fault to them then??????? any way I’ve emailed Niall the nice chap on the letter.
there’s no point replying to this email because I’ve had to drive ten miles just to send it as we’ve been at least two weeks without an internet connection, possibly six. I cannot say for sure because I have been away from home for nine weeks but every time I spoke to my family since late October they told me they could not get online. Initially I thought this would have been due to my son using up all October’s 8GB with his iPhone so wasn’t worried. However by the 16th of November it became apparent that it simply was not working so I phoned your helpline from the college I was studying at some 400 miles from home and was pleased to speak with Niamh, who contacted my 13 year old son at home and did some tests.
The fault was not repaired, my son went back to school and my wife went to visit her sick father leaving the house unoccupied for a week. As soon as I returned home on the 23rd I contacted your support line and it has been a a very disappointing experience, though I cannot fault your staff, Gavin, David, Niamh and many more I’ve spoken to, who have all been polite and helpful.
The problem has I think been passed onto Avanti engineers in London who have phoned me several times and assured me this is ‘high priority’. That would be three days ago now and I have still not heard a cheep, what is really, really annoying me is that all your operators tell me they have no way of contacting the engineers to find out what is happening. Something I find very hard to swallow, and if true is not the way to run a business.
You are my ISP and it is you that I pay so you should at least be able to tell me when I am likely to be visited by an engineer. You will be able to see how much data I’ve used this month so I hope you’re not going to charge me for it. I rely heavily on my internet for work and all manner of things from animal movement orders, to sales, accounts and purchases. My neighbours link at Torran has also failed but he is not home to complain and I have to do a twenty mile round trip just to pick up my emails etc.
I would be very grateful if you could sort this out for me as I’m at my wits end. It is very difficult running a croft and trying to build a house without any internet at all. It is also very annoying for the many readers of my daily blog Life at the end of the road well it used to be daily
Hopefully I’ll be able to send it tomorrow when I go to Staffin with the three Tamworths.
Anyway, I was up early and got the Dude down to the Loch Linnhe in time, no mean feat when it involves dragging a teenager out of bed before seven am
Once the boy was away I settled down on the car park, laptop on the centre console, feet on the heater and got on with internetting for an hour or so.
It was almost as good as being in the kitchen at home and certainly provided a better view over Churchton Bay
That will be the old mine workings silhouetted against the sky and Ben na Calliach ,
and that will be the Sconser quarry and those pesky Cuillins that are responsible for depositing all the rain on Raasay
After that it was home for breakfast and an hour or so on the phone to sort out some house related stuff that would have been much easier had I been on line
Next it was one of those ten minute jobs that took about two hours, ten minutes if your near a Halfords or motor factors and can get a 63mm exhaust clamp.
That’s the problem with stainless steel exhausts, they outlast all the clamps that are still made of mild steel This one must have broken on the way back from South Shields and I never noticed until this morning. A 54mm bit of tube or a 63mm manifold clamp would have sorted it but I might as well be on the moon here, more annoying because I know that I threw out the old exhaust with good clamps on just a few months ago in ‘the big clear up’
Not the most professional repair but there is a bolt between the two clamps too and it will suffice for now.
Then it was back to the wood until dark to fell some more of the birch behind the net shed.
Though it was a bit wet for using Simon’s ‘Logit’, not that the rain bothers Raasay Engineering’s great wood cutting stand, it was just that I want to save all the wood chips for hen bedding.
There was another spectacular ‘hunters moon’ that would have been ideal for venting my frustration on some woodcock with my Hatsan semi auto shotgun but I was pure wrecked after shifting all that timber three times. Once down to the fence, once over the fence and into the quad and then out of the quad into a pile. By the time it gets into the living room fire it’ll have been shifted a further three times, there sure is a lot of work in this so called ‘free wood’
Anyway it’s 7:50am now, still dark but I’d better make a start, got to go and find three large Tamworth’s and tag their ears, that should be fun on my own