Distractions of the Technological and Non-technological Kind

4-may-2016-repairing-the-church-towerWell the new ‘super fast’ router arrived and sat in its box for a while, awaiting the email to say all systems were go. In the end I listened to half an hour of ‘we are experiencing a heavy volume of calls’ in order to ask why there was a delay. ‘Oh, yours is due to go live today’, I am finally told. Like I believe that would have happened had I not telephoned. I carry on working awaiting the email. The telephone and consequently the internet, goes dead. After a quick foray outside to make sure that the lack of telephone hasn’t been caused by workmen abseiling down the church tower (you think I’m joking don’t you?) I intuit that this may be the grand switch over. I bite the bullet and connect the new router. If you’ve been following this saga you will know that this is no mean physical feat, this time a great deal of crawling under the spare bed whilst negotiating piles of books, was involved. Success but no sign of super-fastness or indeed any other sort of fastness. I seem to be able to connect to two versions of my router fast(ish) and not so fast. Unfortunately the signal from the so-called fast won’t penetrate through my two foot thick walls, so I am paying extra for speed I cannot use. I can’t move the router because that is the only place with a telephone line and a spare plug socket. Deep joy, this means another call to the provider to suggest that I might have been warned about this before being signed up. By the way, if you are wondering about the video I mentioned last time, it is now live.

I am currently trying to cram six weeks’ work into one, as we will shortly be attempting to complete the Scottish holiday that ended abruptly with the demise of the car two years ago. Immediately I return I will be plunged into the black hole that is the job I must not mention for a month, so expect me to reemerge in the middle of July. A draft  of my booklet full of suggestions for involving young people in history and heritage is now at the publishers. This is something that I am passionate about so I am glad to finally get it to this stage. More details when I have them. The to do list was going reasonably well until I got distracted by a couple of research requests that weren’t on the list. Have you any idea how many John and Mary Rowes there were in North Devon? What ever you are thinking, the answer is more than that. One John Rowe confusingly managed to work his way through four wives and yes, two were called Mary. A great story though and another to add to my list of emigrants

DPP_0020Although it was six weeks ago, I haven’t said much about my birthday celebrations, mainly because life has been so hectic since and because I was waiting for photographs. It was a wonderful time with family visiting from far and wide. It seems that it is possible (just) to cram eight people into my house overnight. Thanks to all who were part of it. We danced to the Oggle Band at Poundstock Gild House – you knew there had to be an historical setting in it somewhere – and food provided by The Bell Inn, Parkham, The Royal Hotel, Bideford and The Half Moon, Sheepwash was consumed with gusto. Now I have to get used to being old. No pension, no bus pass, these are receding into the future with rapidity but whoopee free prescriptions! As part of the proceedings we had a series of photographs on display. Very touching that what Lucy thought was a picture of me carrying her was actually my Granny and me. Fits in well with the fun I have been having, comparing old and new pictures for the forthcoming booklet. This is the best I could do for a comparison for this one.

Picture1Me and Lucy 4 July 2014


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