Did You Host A Party At White Gables in 1982?

I spent most of the day on the telephone or wrestling with television sound. The first phone call was by far the most agreeable, as it was almost two hours in wide-ranging and enjoyable conversation with my son Sam in Australia. This was very welcome.

For a day or two now we have received no sound on our television. I have engaged in several attempts to understand the diagrams and instructions that came with the Sharp Aquos TV and the BT YouView User Guide. I seemed to be doing everything correctly, but to no avail. Half an hour or so at a time was all I could manage without severe risk to my sanity. This afternoon I threw in the towel and called New Milton Sound & Vision who sent an engineer to, for a call-out fee, diagnose the problem.

Those of my readers who have followed my various BT sagas will not be surprised to learn that the problem lay with the BT view box that needs to be replaced. My response was rather ambivalent. On the one hand I was delighted that it wasn’t me at fault. On the other hand I knew what I was in for in negotiation with BT. I’m not going to bore you all again with the business of the hoops one has to go to to reach a live person who is speaking from India. The poor man in that sub-continent was very polite and patient and coped with my irritableness (I had three attempts here at writing etchings [that makes 4] but the computer kept changing it to etchings – I’ll leave you to work out a synonym for irritableness) with understanding, especially as he had a record of all the previous broadband problems. He couldn’t, however, order a new box without a visit from an engineer. The earliest possible appointment was in a week’s time between 7 and 9 a.m. Then of course, we’ll have to wait for the box to be delivered. I ran out of steam for argument.

By the end of this time it was too dark to venture out with my camera, so I delved into Elizabeth’s ‘through the ages’ series and was rewarded with the next one being number 58, which was taken from a print I could not find when I posted ‘Preparing For The Party’ on 22nd November last year. That was illustrated with black and white pictures. I had wanted also to use the colour photo I knew someone had taken at the venue I could not remember. Possibly Elizabeth still has the original print.

Jessica, Derrick, Matthew, Becky and Sam 1982

Here Jessica, Matthew, Becky, Sam and I are all dressed in our Edwardian outfits outside the home of the host. Louisa may be in the basket. I don’t remember who took the photograph or who gave the party.

You will probably need to click on the image a couple of times to see, hidden in the flower bed to the right, a board bearing what looks like the name ‘White Gables’. So, if you were either the photographer or the host please make yourself known in order to earn my enduring gratitude.

Jackie’s choice chicken jalfrezi and delicious savoury rice comprised our dinner this evening. I finished the rioja.


  1. I too have had run ins with BT. I discovered a quick route to a real person – just dial the number for the sales department! They are always on hand to sell you something or to transfer you direct to an engineer. Has worked for me twice now. It helps if you sound confused and apologetic.

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