Errrm, how best to couch this moment of weakness? Weeeeeell, you see, it was like this, guv'nor. I had to wait in all day because BT were coming to 'fix' my broadband which is currently extremely slow. I had one of these all-day appointment slots whereby you put your entire life on hold and they turn up whenever the hell they choose. This is called 'customer service' by businesses, and a 'bloody cheek' by customers. As it happened I could have spent the entire morning on the patch, but by the time BT had been and gone, I had about an hour and a bit before I needed to go and do the school run. So rather than rush round Wanstead and not do it justice, I went and had a look at someone else's patch. Walthamstow to be precise. Oh yes, and I needed petrol, which is why I went in the car. Aaaanyway, I ended up on Coppermill Lane with my nose pressed up against the fence that borders number 5 Reservoir, and there was an Eider there, and I saw it. I don't need Eider for London, having seen seven last year, and I don't keep a list for Walthamstow either. Frankly I can get better views of an Eider just about any time I choose up in Fife, so why I went remains a complete mystery. I could think of nothing better to do in the hour or so of freedom that remained, so I just did, OK?
Anyway, the BT guy came, pottered about a bit, made a couple of phone calls, and then left again. He said it would be better in two hours, and went off to his next cup of tea. About two hours after he had left, a nice lady in India called and said that they had fixed the problem but that I now needed to wait between 24 and 48 hours for the line to get back to normal. To stabilise, she said. I pointed out that my line was already nice and stable, at 0.35 Mb/s, roughly 1/25th of the speed I should be getting, and that if there was a choice between really really slow stabililty and really really quick instability, I'd prefer the latter. She said she would call back in 24 hours. In the meantime I am sitting here wondering what a 'ping' is, and why for £20 a month I might as well be using a couple of plastic cups and some string? Cruel irony as far as you readers are concerned is that my upload speed is somehow much faster than my download speed, so I am able to pollute the webosphere with my ramblings almost unimpeded.