Saturday, June 18, 2011

The great disconnection

The renovation of Marmalade Cottage continues apace.

Most things are surmountable, but Prudence fears the lack of internet may not be.

First the internet company suggested that, since there's no phone connection, it would mean lots of hassle and lots of money to get the cabling installed, then the phone connected, then that connection converted to the internet.

The someone else from the internet company disagreed, saying it would be only one visit by a technician and $300, so Prudence booked the technician and felt rather pleased with herself.

Until Telstra called. Prudence, like everyone else in Australia, vowed never to have anything to do with Telstra if she could possibly avoid it after one too many debacles.

And this experience was no different. The Telstra lady asked about the cottage's former connection, Prudence patiently explained there was not now, nor had there ever been a phone connection. Therefore there was no cabling to which to connect.

There was flummoxment.

Telstra explained that the technician booked would not be able to connect a phone line if there was no cabling - was Prudence certain there was no cabling? Prudence was absolutely certain.

Telstra said she'd still send the technician.

"No," said Prudence, "please don't, there is no cabling, therefore no point a technician turning to up to attempt to connect to said non-existent cabling."

Telstra said she didn't want to cancel the appointment.

Prudence felt her patience slipping as she explained again the futility of this, and morphed from asking to demanding the appointment be cancelled.

The phone call didn't finish well, but Prudence was reasonably confident no technician would appear at the unappointed time.

Then she called the company charged with putting in the cabling, to start that process. Which should take a couple of weeks. And felt reasonably confident the process was proceeding as it should.

Until a gentleman from the cabling company called to enquire about the work order just submitted by Telstra that seemed in contravention to the notes from her earlier conversation.

Fortunately the gentleman was in possession of a robust sense of humour, as Prudence was moved to say some very bad words.

Prudence has no idea when she's likely to have an internet connection.

Monday, June 13, 2011

On renovation

There are ragged fingers and fingernails, bruises, scratches and assorted aches, but there is a lot to show for it. Marmalade Cottage is now mostly functional and starting to be quite pretty.

So far there have been no nasty discoveries, although an ornate vent in the kitchen disintegrated as Beloved tried to clean it. There's a hole in the wall now, which acts as a perfectly serviceable vent.

Peculiarly, the rather new stereo no longer receives FM radio. One isn't sure what to make of that.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Unable to pay

If you've been paying attention, you'll have gathered that Prudence and Beloved have bought a house. It's a deceased estate, the old man having gone quite potty, been in a home for two years before dying more than a year ago. The pottiness having, it appears, been inherited by at least one of his surviving daughters, but that's by the by.

Today a power bill arrived. For 40 cents.

Dutifully, Prudence rang the electricity retailer, and offered to pay the bill, if the amount could be transferred to her account. Explaining that the person to whom the bill was addressed was not likely to be troubling anyone again.

The consultant, as Prudence believes call centre workers are now referred, put Prudence on hold for a good while.

Her first question when back was: "Can you get in touch with the previous owner?"

Prudence waited a couple of beats, but the consultant needed to be prompted to understand that deceased meant the former owner could not be contacted. Sigh.

Eventually the 40 cent-bill was waived. To Prudence's relief.