Claggy Conditions

Although somewhat warmer, our day was dank and drizzly with no sign of the sun.

After lunch Jackie drove us to Norleywood and back.

The Scots would term the landscape’s weather dreich.

Gleaming wet bracken bounced back what light there was onto

the soggy terrain

with its fast flowing weed-carpeted, hopefully temporary, pools.

This mud-spattered pony certainly looked forlornly in need of a hot bath;

some of its companions sent ripples around their reflections as they took a cold one while drinking weed soup.

While I was drafting yesterday’s post we were very surprised to receive a call on our landline; even more surprising was that the voice at the other end was as clear as a bell.

Why was this surprising?

Well, for years we had such poor internet service from BT which I will not repeat here, that we closed the package account and kept the landline simply to retain our e-mail address. For some months now callers have reported a permanent engaged signal, and when we have tried to make a call we have been beset by crackling. Good crackling on roast pork is  welcome, but not this kind.

Jackie took this call from a BT engineer who wanted to check that he had fixed our problem. He was surprised to learn that we hadn’t reported the fault. This, incidentally, is because I was so fed up with previous responses that we thought we would make do with my mobile.

Upon investigation the engineer realised that he had corrected the wrong number – ours being one digit different from the right complainant. He came to the house and I spoke to him. Because he didn’t have a work order for ours he had to undo the repair. He did however confirm that ours was faulty at the box.

He gave me a number with which to contact the right section of the supplier to book another engineer. I did that.

The bonus was that, from a partial address the engineer had given us, I was able to investigate the possible other customer on our way back from Norleywood. I couldn’t find  the right address, but did meet a delightful woman and her son with whom I had a very pleasant conversation.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid liver and bacon casserole; creamy mashed potato; firm Brussels sprouts; and varicoloured carrots, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Pinotage.


  1. I had to chuckle at your experience with the phone tech guy. “Yep, I fixed yours, but I have to brake it again as fixing it was a mistake. Here, call this guy instead!” Sounds so like the “response” we get here in the states for service on phones, cable, wifi or what ever. Sigh…..

  2. The day certainly looks dreary and the ponies’ expressions sure seem to be reflecting the mood. It sure is tsrange how our technology gets messed with – the other day, in the middle of making a comment on a blog, I lost the internet and had to re-boot the modem. No clue what caused that!

  3. The summer has been at between 10C and 20C cooler than the 35C – 48C plus we experienced for more than 7 years. The nights there plummeted 20C – 30C overnight .

    The summer here is much more bearable. Now we just need rain.

    1. You might well ask, Luanne. I think it was a question of putting wires back where they were so someone else can come along and switch them back again just to make sure neither one of the two customers can sue. Is that any clearer?

  4. The telephone experience sums up modern life very neatly. I hope he put the fault back correctly or else someone else will have to come out and break it again.

  5. It is hard for me to understand why the engineer had to undo the phone repair, if you have one coming anyway. Business works in strange and very inefficient ways.

    1. We only booked the other one after this man told us what he had done and confirmed that the fault was definitely outside our property. Apparently its all about insurance and possible legislation. No, I don’t understand it either, Lavinia. Thanks very much.

  6. Loved the shots, Derrick, especially the perfect reflection of the white pony; were you incredibly patient, or incredibly lucky?! You don’t often hear ‘dreich’ south of the border, though Mrs B, being a Scot, uses it often. As for your experience with BT, their whole approach to customers beggars belief – they (mostly) simply don’t give a stuff. I have put off changing things on our account, even when I know it’s costing more, because every time something changes there’s a problem. I wouldn’t mind quite so much if they owned up, and then put it right; but they don’t. If it wasn’t so frustrating, it would be amusing. The trouble is, I haven’t heard of, or experienced, a communications (pah!) company that’s any better.

    1. Thanks very much, Mike. You are so right about these corporations all being much of a muchness. As for the ponies – I saw that perfect circle reflection possibility as we drove past, Jackie parked where she could, I stepped out and took the other pics then walked back to get that one. The luck was that it was still there.

  7. I never in my life have known someone who needed a repair, had a repairman arrive, had the repair done, and then had to have it undone. It’s a good thing that doesn’t happen in surgery!

  8. Your BT experience takes the cake. I have this vision of the UK being so First World – here one would be fortunate if anyone fixed anything at all.

  9. Wonder if carrier/messenger pigeons would be will to get back to work and help us human-beans communicate!?!?! 😉 😀

    Your pony reflection photos are so beautiful! 🙂

    Weed soup, eh?! Maybe add some onions, peppers, mushrooms. etc., and it might not taste too bad! 😉 😛

    HUGS!!! 🙂
    PS…I remember Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood calling a bakers baked creation claggy. 😮

  10. “Because he didn’t have a work order for ours he had to undo the repair.”
    Well, that’s a cracking start to our new dynamic post-Brexit Britain.

  11. Those pony pictures are lovely, you captured the damp and forlorn perfectly.
    Regarding the Open Reach BT engineer, Job’s Worth I’d say!

  12. You seem to have similar weather like we do over here.
    However, Norleywood looks really beautiful in your pictures. I like the different shades of brown.

  13. That is certainly the oddest repair story I have ever read. I don’t think it would happen that way in Maine, where if something is fixed we give thanks and leave it alone. Wonderful photo of the white (or gray?) horse reflected in the water.

  14. Dreich indeed. My mother used that word from time to time which I suppose she learned from her mother-in-law, my gran from Lochwinnoch. You make your troubles with BT amusing to read about but I’m sure have been no end of aggravation. Finally, that last image of the white (sort of) pony drinking is very beautiful. What strong guts those beasts have to process the bacteria that must live in that water!

  15. It often happens to me, too. I find what I wasn’t looking for – and it turns out to be such a blessing! You said, ” I couldn’t find the right address, but did meet a delightful woman and her son with whom I had a very pleasant conversation.” I’m glad that was your experience, too. <3

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