Saturday, 2nd July, 2022

[Day 838]

After the wonderful day out we had yesterday, today was the day when we had to try to reestablish our comms networks. I started by getting through to the technical support of BT which happened to be an engineer working from his own home in Sheffield. He was extremely painstaking and was seeking to establish a full ‘log’ of the sequence of calls and actions promised two days earlier. He was very painstaking and methodical and promised that if he had to put me on hold, then he would monitor this so that if the line dropped, he could call me back on my mobile. I must have been on the phone to him for a good half hour after which I got transferred to a team which concentrates on re-connections. I had to go through the full procedures of setting up a brand new package with BT and a new telephone number will be allocated to me. When this happens, they may be able to port my old number back to me again but it was explained to me that this might not be possible and it was difficult to do. Nonetheless, I took the view that if broadband and telephone line were all with BT then this might be possible than if I had gone off with another provider. We are going to have four new handsets andd a new router – the big downside to all of this is that nothing is going to happen until Monday, July 18th i.e. a wait of 16 days without the internet ‘proper’, email or a phone. But in the meantime, I am relying upon my iPhone and ‘hotspotting’ to the internet using this phone and so far this seems to work OK. If it transpires that my old phone number is dead and gone and cannot be retrieved, then despite the fact that I had recently renewed all of my business cards and address labels, then I might have to do the same all over again and friends/relatives some of whom are not IT savvy will only have an out-of-date telephone number (communicated on our Christmas cards amongst other things).

Meg and I were delayed in our walk to the park this morning so we picked up our newspaper and headed for the park. As it was spotting with rain, none of our friends were there so we did a tour of the pond and then came back home so we could drink our coffee in the comfort of our own home instead of sitting on a rainy park bench. Then we lunched on some salmon pan-grilled and served on a bed of lettuce and had a restful afternoon, reading the Saturday newspapers. In the late afternoon, it was time to go along to our normal church service. Today happened to be the feast day of St. Peter and as the church we attend is ‘St. Peters’ it was a type of saints day for the church as well. Accordingly we had a few extra ceremonies around the statue of St. Peter which adorns the back of church but we generally shuffle past on our way into and out of the church. In a couple of weeks time, the church is going to be the home of a ‘Bite-Size Classics’ concert which is a part of the Bromsgrove yearly carnival type activities. The concert is free but donations are to be solicited to be donated to Ukraine refugees and I have no doubt that this will be generously supported. I suspect that some of the curious elderly population of Bromsgrove who have never seen the inside of a Catholic Church will no doubt come along if only out of a sense of curiosity. Apart from Edward Elgar probably having played the organ in the church (when it was still playable), the church is also noted as housing the grave of Tolkien’s mother. We happen to know where this is located because when our Christmas wreath is taken down (on 12th night) we have in the past put on this grave rather than throwing awy the wreath entirely.

Little fragments of news have emerged from the Ukrainian conflict. The first is that that the Russians have lost one of their own landing craft when it was blown up by a (Russian laid) sea mine.The other fragment of news is that Ukraine has found a hard drive containing some 100 GB of Russian military data, according to the State Border Service. This mainly contains staff lists and some biographical data as well as some details of military hardware.‘Ukrainian law enforcement officers now have photos, characteristics, copies of passports, and other documents of the invaders’ the Ukrainian State Border Service has indicated. The local political news is that Chris Pincher, the Tory Deputy Chief Whip now notorious for a drunken groping of two males in the Carlton Club is now seeking ‘professional medical support’ presumably for alcoholism rather than his sex-pest activities.