Needless to say, the promised phone call did not come from O2, and, by 6 p.m. yesterday afternoon, when we entered PREZZO restaurant in Leatherhead and I turned off the power, my long-standing number had not been transferred to the new phone which I could not use. As suspected, Helen had been trying to contact us on my mobile, but was sent to voicemail, which of course, I did not know.
PREZZO provided excellent food, but eleven of us were pressed around small tables placed together, which could really only have provided comfort for eight. My meal was a very spicy calzone which, with a glass of house red wine, despite the squash, I did enjoy. Service was friendly, but it was such a peak time, and the waiting staff had so little space in which to manoeuvre that they were fighting against the odds, and delivery of the food was rather slow.
The Godalming Operatic Society, conducted by Pat O’Connell, is a very accomplished amateur company, and in their production of The Grand Duke, they excelled themselves. The Gilbert & Sullivan operetta is so rarely performed that the cast were able to use a professional set of costumes that had only been used once before. This splendid apparel was complemented by superb sets. The choreography was outstanding and the ensemble performances stunning. There are a number of very good voices, and some wonderful actors in the society. They were all on excellent form. The many comic turns were delightful, and, although we were aware that the Director had tightened up the piece, I wondered why the work was not more popular. I have to confess that sometimes, at the theatre, I find myself checking my watch to see how much longer we have. I did not do this once last night.
During a convivial drink at the bar afterwards, I turned the power back on the phone. It was working. Shelly rang my number just to check all was well. It did not ring on my new phone, but went to voicemail, obviously still on my broken phone, left at home. I then rang Jackie’s mobile. What showed on her screen was the number that O2 had transferred erroneously and were meant to have corrected. I did my best to remain calm.
Shortly before dawn, leaving the others sleeping in the comfortable and well appointed Travel Lodge where we spent the night, I took a walk down Bridge Street to
Leatherhead’s refurbished medieval bridge over the River Mole. With limited daylight, the street lamps burned on the water beneath.
It wasn’t long before the lights were extinguished, although the sun was in no hurry to replace their effect on the stream.
I wandered along Minchin Close to a small riverside park at the end of it. There I found evidence of an unknown group’s disenchantment with a scene straight out The Wind in the Willows.
Empty Stella bottles and plastic beakers, the contents of which I was not about to investigate, left on the walls
distracted the observer from even more sordid detritus beneath them. A Doritos packet, bottle tops, ashes of burnt paper, and a garment I chose not to examine, were strewn about the ground.
What looked like a broken rubber band, and bloodstained concrete and toilet paper suggested one particular tale.
Thinking that it was perhaps appropriate that the light this morning was so dismal, I walked back up Bridge Street to Costa’s for a pre-breakfast coffee to prepare me for my next bout with O2. Unfortunately, Costa’s have a rack containing newspapers. Across the front page of The Sunday Times was emblazoned the result of yesterday’s rugby match between England and Ireland, which I had hitherto studiously avoided learning because I had, I thought, recorded it.
Breakfast was taken by us, and by Pat, Christine, Helen, Bill, Shelly, and Ron, in Annie’s Cafe.
When calling O2, I was fortunate enough to be answered by Bella, the first person I felt I could trust to honour her promise to call me back, after she had listened to the story and learned that the Small and Medium Business department did not open until 9.30 a.m. It was now soon after 8. She said she would phone after she had spoken to them. Albeit not until mid-day she did try, but we were on the way home in a poor reception area. The voicemail message, still on the wrong number, said she would try again later. She did, but I didn’t hear it. It is not possible to call these numbers back.
The reason I did not hear the second call was because I was watching the England/Ireland game on catch up. When we first arrived home I had settled down to watch the recording of Friday’s match between Wales and France. 25 minutes into it the TV screen froze and BT’s You View box became so unresponsive that I couldn’t even turn it off. After unsuccessfully attempting to resume normal service, I slunk away to do something else, namely start on this post. Anything would have done. A couple of hours later I tried again. I am not prepared to go into yet more boring technical detail, except perhaps that I began by unplugging the whole thing, but suffice it to say I learned that the provider was updating the software, and eventually all was well. Maybe that was why yesterday’s recording had failed and I had to watch it on BBC iPlayer.
This evening Jackie and I dined at Lal Quilla, where we received our usual warm welcome, and excellent meals. My choice was king prawn naga. We shared special fried rice, egg paratha, and sag paneer; and both drank Kingfisher.