Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Lovely lovely Orange, the "mobile telephone" company who took over from Wanadoo, stopped my access to the internet for a day and a bit because of a "major outage". I should imagine things are going to go haywire on a regular basis now Orange are in charge. They introduced themselves to us by giving us an automatic free upgrade to a higher speed, even though the computer speed was fine as it was, thankyouverymuch. Hey ho, after the upgrade we had a couple of months of problems with our connection every few minutes at peak times. Which resulted in us having to get a £35 adaptor to compensate for the "free" upgrade.

Anyways ... enough of that.

If anyone sends a long, detailed, techie-style comment about the opening paragraph, it will be deleted, by the way.

Still, the day off from the internet reminded me that there is a life beyond reading about recently loved up bloggers and their loved up love lives (yeuch! GET A ROOM the lot of you!) or having strange encounters with people who have a sense of humour bypass in comments boxes elsewhere (no wonder I tend to lurk a lot these days ... phew!) or feeling guilty because I haven't had the chance to catch up with any podcasts.

So, in homage to the days when there were power cuts in the middle of the Mike Yarwood Show in 1973, I dragged out some half melted candles and a hurricane lamp and we played cards.

Then we sang some cockney songs around the piano while drinking milk stout.

Then, as the candles and the wick of the hurricane lamp petered out, we switched on the "battery operated" "wind up" "wireless" to listen to It's That Man Again! featuring Tommy Handley (formerly of Spandau Ballet), Colonel Chinstrap and Mrs Mopp.

All together now: "CAN I DO YER NAAEW, SIR?"

Then, after the Shipping Forecast finished and the National Anthem played, we gathered together with all our neighbours in the street and had rampant sexual relations with each other.

It was just like the good old days!

Note: the latter portion of this post was my contribution to the History Matters website malarkey that was going on yesterday, because I want to be a part of history.

Welcome back.

Tiscali did that to us - upgraded us without telling us. BT said they couldn't because the line was crap so we sent them off to fight behind the bikesheds. BT won. That's as techy as it gets.
I've spent two days with no internet access and now I can't get into Blogger to post anything.

As far as History Matters, therefore, I don't matter a jot, but Vicus' post does. If you're going to remember anything from history it should be this.

That's all I was going to say today, anyway.
Sorry for treating this blog as if it were my own.

Please don't get the candles out again tonight. I won't do it again.
Richard - I've not been away very long. The outage lasted for just over a day. I just haven't had any ideas for posts for a while. Still haven't actually.

Geoff - oh no, last night. Why did the couple in the end house have to include their labrador retriever in the proceedings?

Alright...Alright. I've got to supplement my meagre income somehow!
Power outages in New York seem glamorous. Memories of 1973 include going next door to heat-up food on their stove (they were posh and had gas). Not so glitzy.
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thats exactly how i'd pictured london during that 1066 nastiness. the air raid sirens going off, people huddled together, bonded in coitus beneath their oxcarts....
The Murphmeister - well, their dog is a golden retriever, so I don't think it could have been you unless you've been busy with the Clairol Nice 'N' Easy (honey blonde shade) ...

Arabella - power cuts during my childhood were even less exciting: if I remember correctly we went to bed early and it was really cold. The best years of my life, etc.

First Nations - that's exactly how it still is around here. If the Normans decided to invade again, Bexleyheathens (appropriately enough) would be a pushover.
please, please tell me you really DID submit this post, verbatim, to the History Matters blog thingy?

it would make me so very happy.
I second sg.
But what do you eat when there's a power cut? I usually opt for tinned food, straight out of the tin.

Power cuts are very dangerous in our flat, because the bathroom has no natural light in it. Taking a whazz means living life on the edge.
Surly Girl, Realdoc - erm, no, I didn't submit it to the History Matters site. I think it might be a bit "disrespectful" to all the people who were humbly recording how they had a cheese and pickle sandwich for lunch or how their three year old had got a bit of a nasty cough.

Mind you, well done the kid whose entry said "this is my "statement" to this stupid site. I'm sat in history and am being forced to write this".

Billy - well, during the power cuts in the 1970's, the only food we ever ate came from a tin, so that was no problem. Cold baked beens with spam and evaporated milk ... they don't know they're born these days.

As for the bathroom thing, this is where candles and torches are useful. Men never aim straight at the bowl anyway do they?
Hats off to you Betty for maintaining your admirable stance whilst all around you were lost in the illusion of historical importance.
I know you will puke at this but yet again you made me LOL. Your wasted just sitting around in Bexleyheath babe, you should be entertaining the nation.
Tom, I suppose it was a historically important document in a way ... unless it gets hacked over or some other such evil befalls it. I just had to be a cynical old cow, as usual.
And dont even think about changing Betty. I need people like you to help me through my 'Findhorn' moments.
Exactly, who else will remind me of the winter of discontent? I still keep a torch in case of power cuts even though I live in another country and haven't actually experienced one for 30 years. Old habits etc..
Tom - thanks. I could do with some spiritual re-generation meself though.

Rhino75 - occasionally the electricity goes off for a few minutes around here because of "major roadworks" or something in that line. I immediately start panicking about the Sky Plus recorder, the freezer box in the fridge melting and flooding the house out, all the food going rotten, etc., etc. Plus - I don't even own a hurricane lamp!
"Our future's bright, our chairman's orange", as we say at Selhurst Park.

We had a lot of trouble with Tiscali...in fact, we never got online! Good ol' AOL - instant satisfaction (much like your swinging experience the other night, I should imagine).
Judith Chalmers' future must be very bright then.

I think Geoff has been tempted by the idea of changing to Sky when they eventually get around to being a service provider. We shall see.

*waits for inevitable comments about dealings with Satanic Murdoch Empire*
I think outage sounds very painful and perhaps you should see a doctor. I think I might have it too. Eek!

You really are brilliant Betty. I'm so glad you posted this on the history site. I hope you have more evenings of entertainment with candles etc....
You'll be dealing with the Satanic Murdoch Empire. You'll be on Myspace next.

zoufroog: Dunno. Sounds good though.
Molly - I'm still toying with the idea of sending it to History Matters, but I think there may be a bit of "artistic" (cough, splutter) licence involved in the writing.

I certainly hope you haven't got an outage. I had to wear a truss for a year while I was on the NHS waiting list.

Richard - I already am on Myspace actually.
Tsk...Just like Lilly Allen then.
That was me, finger slipped.
You must send it to history matters - it's great. I remember being quite excited by powercuts. Although I used to get scared going to bed with just my bicycle torch as I wasn't allowed to go to bed with a candle. The battery never used to last very long on the torch which wasn't very nice. (I didn't mean that how it sounds - I've got flu and am a bit impaired and ever-so-slightly delirious today).
Richard - I always get a bit panicky when I see an anonymous comment in my e-mails. It's usually abusive. Still, good to be kept on me toes.

Rockmother - I was tempted to send it to History Matters this morning but thought "no - in fifty years' time some class of kids is going to read this load of rubbish and it just looks a bit facetious really". Geoff has done one though, which is up on his blog now.

Get well soon, by the way.
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