Life, photos but not the universe

Pluggery and Phonehem (or mayphone?*)

I’m disconnected!

Not entirely a new experience and indeed, neither is the experience that led to it.

There’s a fault on the line.  Or maybe there’s a fault on our phone equipment.  If it’s the one, we get it fixed for free.  If it’s the other we have to pay lots of ££££££s for a callout and for work done and probably for equipment too.

I really almost wish I hadn’t tried to answer the phone this morning.

I’m quite handy with plugs and things so when I started with BT’s online fault fix-it-yourself page I was quite hopeful that I’d be able to establish whether the fault was outside the house or inside (In spite of the tutorial showing two nicely spoken young things who gave me simple instructions but alternated like a pair of mismatched twins when giving their instructions).

What worries me is that the fault is very peculiar.  The phone acts as though it hasn’t been cut off when you hang up.  So all following calls come accompanied by a ghostly, echoing “bingley trill bingley trill please hang up” and are then cut off.  Later, after checking that I could in fact call my mobile, I put the phone down and went for a little think.  When I came back it was wailing – it hadn’t hung up.  In fact the only way to hang up is to unplug it from the line box.  Got to be the other side of the wall surely?  But what a peculiar fault.

Then it turns out that although we rent the physical line from BT, we have to get the engineer organised through our provider who made me very unhappy at first by saying there was nobody to take my call.  Then they answered but after a lengthy wait said the line test had failed.  (what does that mean???)  Then they said, as Barney’s is the only name on the account, he has to repeat this process “so that he can be made aware that there may be charges”.  I offered to pay the charges and to make him aware of them.  Uh Uh.  It has to be him.  Predictably, he wasn’t very happy about that, especially as the place he’s currently working is a bit of a grey hole where mobile signal is concerned and the best chance of an uninterrupted call is up on the cold, windy roof.

After several hours of waiting for a call or an engineer we finally we learn our fate.  It’s the exchange which is broken and we should be fixed by 5pm tomorrow.  (Only around 33 hours without a phone then)

So I needn’t have unplugged and replugged every phone appliance in the house, nor taken the cord phone next door to test it nor spent a couple of hours negotiating the maze that is BT’s online fix-it-yourself page. Still it’s satisfying that I correctly diagnosed the fault as not being in here.

Although one of the things I couldn’t do today was take advantage of a fabulously dramatic sky I did get out a couple of days ago at sunset.

Well we have a band practice tonight so we don’t want any phone calls anyway.  And I’m off to visit Mrs Middle and Little Middle tomorrow so I won’t care then either.  So all in all, it could have come at a worse time.

May all your phones be working : )   (If you want them to be)


*Or even maynotphone.  Phonehem doesn’t work really because mayhem is all one word meaning, roughly, injury to a person.  Mayphone doesn’t work because it sounds much too cheerful.  Never mind.  I’m sure you get the general drift.

January 11, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Hmmmmm fingers xed for 5 pm then (:[>

    4.30 Linda!
    I was amazed. (and of course, indifferent, as I was still out playing with baby and Mum)

    Comment by Linda | January 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. Improvident as ever I’ve sent this message by carrier pigeon without first checking that you’ve got a BT-maintained pigeon loft. It will probably end up at Mel’s place.

    So kind of you to send message by dinner Christopher. But it was so tired after its detour across the Atlantic that it got a reprieve.

    Comment by Christopher | January 12, 2011 | Reply

  3. *laughing* Rest assured it landed in the right loft!

    Oh, Mig……I was doing just fine with the phone ordeal until I got to the part where we got cheated outta an amazing sky. NOW I’m gonna RAWRRRR!

    *laughing* Yup–all about MEMEME dontchaknow. 😉

    Gotta tell ya–I’ve been toying with simply removing the house phone and sticking with the two cellphones. I’m not sure how I justify a landline when half the time it’s someone wanting to sell me something I have no interest in purchasing. I don’t like phones to begin with.

    I mean I REALLY don’t like phones.
    Like REAAALLLYYYY don’t like ’em. :-/

    Well I keep mine because I’ve had a landline since I was born Mel and they still work. I’ve only had a mobile for ten years – who knows whether they’ll still work in another however many years I’ve got left?
    and YOUYOUYOU are a darling – sorry about the sky : (

    Comment by Mel | January 12, 2011 | Reply

  4. I was having the whole landline/mobile debate (with myself, in my head!). . . the line rental, VAT and some other charge which I forget now cos there are so many charges add up to more than the cost of the calls! (on the other hand, thank goodness the children’s father pays for their mobiles)

    hope your wonderful sky was lovely, even tho you couldn’t get out under it, we’ve only had dull grey dullness here

    safe journeys!



    Thank you Inukshuk, the journeys were safe : )

    People keep saying “well we managed without mobiles didn’t we.” And I think, yes we did but times, communication and travel have changed a lot since then. But equally, I’m grateful that sometimes I can sit down with the landline and chat without all the little problems that beset mobile users.
    Still, the task of choosing the cheapest/most reliable hosts or service providers appalls me with its complexity!
    Oh well, as long as we can still talk occasionally!

    Comment by english inukshuk | January 13, 2011 | Reply

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