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Welcome to the 125th of March...

 

Phone line woes - yet again

Otherwise known as:
  • The fun of telecommunications in rural France
Or:
  • Goddamn idiot in the tractor, are you blind or stupid or both?!?

At least I still have internet. Stuff got broken, but the line is still in one piece.

So, at the end of last month I came home to see this:

Phone line problem

The line is held out away from the pole in order to pass around a big concrete electric pole. And it's the mounting for that which is broken.

Phone line problem
Thankfully the cable that this is attached to is old and strong so it has remained intact.

However, since I don't want to tempt fate - either by the line swinging around in the wind or just happening to be the week that the Mayor sends somebody around to cut down the weeds along the sides of the roads... I decided to be subtle.

Phone line problem

It looks better from the other side, but I wanted you to see the arrangement (and the pole) in context. What I've done is use several turns of strong bright orange plastic tape in order to attach the metal bracket to the pole in a way that should ease the tension on the line and be visible. Twice.

Orange tape. Because... Orange... Get it? Oh, never mind... ☺

Now, I cannot say for certain that a farmer broke this because I didn't see it happen. What I can say is that coincidentally on the same day the harvest was brought in from the field that this pole is beside. There's no obvious damage to the pole so it wasn't hit. But with two huge combine harvesters and several tractors pulling massive hoppers for the grain to go it.... I suppose we ought to consider outselves lucky that it's the phone line they brought down, not the electric...

 

What the hell, La Poste?

Post was delivered on Thursday 25th June.
The next post delivery was on Thursday 2nd July.

Yup. A week.

A week's worth of post

Of course, the reclamation service of La Poste happily told me that deliveries were happening as normal. Eventually, on Tuesday, I sent them a reply to that form telling them it was clearly false. And having no post on Wednesday, I left a message on the answering machine of the Mayor. Now was it pure chance that the post was delivered on Thursday, or was it because somebody with a bit of clout reminded them of their public service status?

Got post today. Will I get any tomorrow?
I should get post daily as I subscribe to the regional newspaper.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not expecting post every single day right now. It's the end of lockdown (though, note, service was better during lockdown, I got post twice a week!) running into the start of holiday season with a postal service that is... I think troubled would be the word.
And when a girl I've never seen before drives up in the iconic yellow van and says "Are you Mr. Murray? Is this <house name>?", a week without post does make one start to wonder if stuff is being thrown out, lost, or delivered elsewhere.

I know it's very un-French, but it would be nice if they left a photocopied note to say "This is your factrice, hello! Lucie is pregnant, Gérard is off sick, Amélia is self-isolating, and I have to do three flippin' towns by myself. So please don't worry if your post doesn't come every day. I'll do the best I can until I have a nervous breakdown. Respectfully yours, Jessica."
Then... I'd understand.

 

Bweeep!

Yesterday, on the way home from work, I was cut off on a roundabout by a big double truck. A Breger? Berger? It clearly wasn't interested in giving me, a person on the roundabout, priority.
I'd have liked to have included a screenshot from the dashcam, but unfortunately I did some work in Felicity once I got home, left the phone on charge, and forgot that the camera was still running. The camera only holds about half an hour or so of footage, as it's FullHD MJPEG running to around 100MiB per minute. Frankly, I'm surprised the µSD card still works.

One of the things that's useful in the C1 is also provided in Felicity. That is, a buzzer that sounds if you open the driver's door with the headlights on. Because it's easy to go, leave the lights on, and come back to a dead battery.
Been there, seen that, in the Renault 5 many years ago.

Problem was, the bleeper didn't work reliably. No doubt due to it's status of 'dangling' from some wires under the dashboard. It probably belongs somewhere, but I don't know where.

So I unplugged the little box and cleaned up the contacts. Then I reattached it, and using some cable ties, attached the base to the box to make a tight connection, and then slung the thing to a thick bundle of wires. Hopefully this will hold it in place. But, under the dashboard again. You really need to be a contortionist to work under there.

Headlight bleeper, held in place

 

Weekend

I'm not going to mow this weekend. I should, but I want to leave it a week to see if I can get away with mowing a little less often.
I don't have any plans. If it's nice I guess I can do some stuff outside. The plant pots need to be weeded. And if it is raining, there's always Buffy season seven (the final one), or the new Netflix drama Warrior Nun which isn't nearly as naff as the title implies. Actually... it's... weird. In a good sort of way.

But, for me, it's also a little depressing as Mom used to own an apartment on the south coast of Spain in a place called Los Boliches. I went there once. Unfortunately the person who came with mom and I was not at all nice. He spent the entire time gaslighting and trying to think of ways that everything was somehow my fault.
Anyway... Málaga, Marbella, Ronda... I wouldn't say I know them, not since being there a couple of times twenty years ago, but some things don't change and I watched an episode and I was like "Málaga docks?" before the caption came up saying exactly that.

I wonder if that freaky museum of tiny stuff is still in Mijas?

 

 

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Mick, 3rd July 2020, 22:07
You want to give Lemon(FR) a call and get them to do a proper fix. It is covered by line rental right? Undecided if clip at the bottom is an earth strap or jubilee clip.
Rick, 5th July 2020, 17:30
I did speak to Orange. If you can imagine a guy with an thick Indian accent, in French. I don't think either of us really understood each other. 
Anyway, I have a maintenance dossier number for my address. Hopefully the repair person will spot the bright orange tape and realise that's where the problem is. 
 
It's a giant phone pole sized jubilee clip. Also broken. 
 
I can only guess something BIG backed into the phone line and it's this stuff that failed, rather than the line.
Mick, 6th July 2020, 01:20
Ah yes, the Asian call centre! I have moved all my utilites to companies that only use UK call centres as life is just too short. Okay, my broadgauge is with with the phone Coop (who piggy back off of sTalksTalk) who use Asian call centres, but I deal with the phone coop who use a UK call centre. Let them deal with the accent barrier! Do Orange(FR) provide a live chat platform anywhere? My observations have been that the problem is with the delay and accent. The people at the other end in all cases could write better English than me.  
 
How much is a giant pole sized Jubilee clip? Might be worth a bit of DIY.
Bernard, 6th July 2020, 09:11
Aha! At least Archive 24:6 was among the mail eventually delivered.

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Last read at 14:49 on 2020/10/31.

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