Monday, 18th July, 2022

[Day 854]

Well, today has arrived which is the first of the two really hot days through which we had to ‘tunnel’ as it were. Very first thing this morning, our son called round and we got round to installing our new BT router. This really was incredibly simple and all we had to do was to plug it in and then enter the passwords for the new network into our computers and phones. So far, so good but we haven’t yet tackled the TV which we will do in the fullness of time. Then we have four new phones which we had to register with the router, which again could not be more simple (it involved pressing a button for two seconds and that was it) Then all we had to do was to ‘name’ each handset (kitchen, study, lounge, bedroom) and this too proved simple. Having got all of this done, we tested the broadband speeds and got 50 MBps which seems adequate but it is actually slower than the copper cable which it replaced. But more on this later.

After breakfast, the priority was for me to get out onto the road before it became too hot both to pick up our daily newspaper and also to visit our preferred supermarket to get a supply of ice cream. Normally, we would have been quite well stocked up on this but when I last did a regular food shopping, nearly all of the ice cream was gone, no doubt with people stocking up in anticipation of the warmer days ahead. I managed to get three tubs of ice cream and some ice cream lollipops on a stick and this was a fast and easy transaction. When I got home, the next thing to do was to get onto BT to ask them if they could resurrect my old landline number. There is a rather obscure department of BT called ‘Keep Live’ or something similar so it is all in their hands at the moment and I await a text or similar communication in the days ahead to see what success they are having.

As you might expect, the rolling news programmes are full of the up-to-minute accounts of what is happening around the countryside as people try to cope with temperatures heading to be in excess of 40 degrees celsius. Long distance trains are having to keep their speeds well down as a buckled rail could give a rapid derailment so a journey from Leeds to London will take five hours rather than 2.5 hours. Several airports are having massive problems as the tarmac on the runways melts literally making the aircraft stick to the ground. There is masses of advice how to protect one’s health and drinking plenty of cold fluids is stressed, not least because excess heat and dehydration mkes the blood less viscose and therefore more liable to clot which translates into heart attacks and strokes. In the light of this information, I have filled several half pint glasses with cold water and some cordial and placed them in our fridge. Every time to go past them, we have several gulps of fluid which strategy seems to have worked fine so far. In the early afternoon, I consulted the thermometer which we have outside the house and the maximum displayed was 34 degrees at about 2.30pm. By 3.00 pm it had come off the peak very slightly and is now about 33.5 degrees at 4.30 in the afternoon.

Now that I have the internet freely available to me, I decided to do a ‘browse’ and see what BT packages were available to me and whether I was on the correct package or not. I suspect that I was on the lowest tranche of fibre broadband and then get onto BT to see if I could speak with anyone sensible. After my past experiences, I avoided all of the sales teams altogether and got through to a technical department where I explained that I had fibre broadband installed that morning and wondered if I was on the correct package. They started talking about the most expensive options with ‘silly’ broadband speeds and even sillier prices but as they talked me down the various options, I eventually chose an option which increases my broadband speed 10-fold for another £20.00 a month. This seemed quite acceptable to me and after going through all of the terms and conditions, to which I assented, I should be upgraded to this fast broadband speed sometime tomorrow morning. This may be as late as 23.59 hours but could be as early as tomorrow morning (after all, all they have to do is to ‘click a box’ on the software that will control such things).

In the elections for the Conservative party leadership, several candidates have pulled out of the ITV hustings programmes tonight as the Conservative party were getting dismayed at the ‘blue on blue’ attacks. The latest round of voting takes place this afternoon and the latest result will be available at 8.00pm this evening.