February 23rd, 2021

I can't stand this rain

Shopping achieved!

Just the usual weekly Co-op shop. I did buy more alcohol than usual because I wanted to spend over £80 to get the £8 off special offer. A wine box, a bottle of nicer wine and a bottle of beer from a local small brewery were a good way of spending extra on stuff that will keep for weeks.

The weather is still awful. It's not so wet as at the weekend, but still very windy. I'm sure it was the bad weather that caused the internet outage on Sunday. It must have been working OK first thing because the heating came on as normal, but we lost the internet connection around 7.45 a.m. As it was still off an hour later, I hastily emailed (using my phone) one of the other local Quakers to ask if she could run the Zoom meeting. I followed this up later with a phone call. As it happened, one of the other Quakers also had no internet and I later learned that a large part of the town was affected due to it being an Openreach problem, rather than any individual ISP.

However, I didn't know at the time that it wasn't just us affected, so I spent 1.5 hours trying to contact Vodafone to report the problem. The first number I called (that was supposed to go directly to technical support) cut out after I'd been on hold for 18 minutes. The main Vodafone help number I had called successfully when we had a problem before now demanded a 6 figure pin before it put me through to a person. I don't have a 6 figure pin. I then had to hunt around the website on my phone and found a text chat help, which started out being a chat bot but after I typed the magic words, "I need to speak to a human being," put me through to a general help person who, after doing all kinds of security checks, finally understood the problem and put me through to a technical person who could check the line and declare it was an Openreach problem that would be fixed by 4 p.m.

It turned out that 4 p.m. was optimistic and it was around mid-morning on the following day (i.e. yesterday) that we got our broadband connection back.