Friday, 17 June 2016

Over 4 months offline but I'm finally back!

Well it has been a very painful and frustrating time without a landline and the internet for just over 4 months. It's actually more than that given the time we had the old phone and internet line cut in Driffield.
It was beginning to look like no one was bothered about us at Plusnet and BT Openreach and I started to think we wouldn't be hooked up this side of Christmas.

However I'm delighted to say that last week we got the line and the internet has been restored. I don't know how we managed looking back, I know most of us couldn't survive 4 days or 4 weeks without some sort of connection but 4 months is just crazy.

Like all things there's good and bad, I've gradually got a couple of my loyal customers sending me work again, such a joy to have a bit of money to come in. The bad side is back to bad habits of surfing the net until after midnight trying to catch up with so much I've missed, lack of sleep is not good though.

I can now order my Tesco food from home, I don't have to wrack my brains and head to the library with a food list and then realise I didn't order the essential stuff when I get back home and it's too late until the next fortnight order. I can go and add food to the virtual Tesco basket as I remember it at silly o'clock in the night when I wake up thinking about tinned tomatoes, this is a real joy! It could only be better if there was a real supermarket other than crappy Co-op less than a 3 hour drive away.

I am now overwhelmed with so much to tackle that I don't have the excuse of not having the internet. In no particular order of priority I have design work to do, I need to re-stock and list things in the Folksy and Etsy shops, I have our holiday cottage to get to completion for letting and bringing an income in, I have boxes still to unpack, the house looks like the same mess from when we moved in, too little space and too much stuff, I've been doing car boots to try and shift things, charity shops, had a good run on Ebay recently but I need to get rid of some larger items in the garage as it is full to then move things from the house to the garage. It's kind of an ongoing messy situation.

We have had so many problems with the house since moving in, getting the builders back to sort things, other things getting damaged as they carry out repair tasks, money just going into a bottomless pit with issues to smooth over. I may have had the odd rant through other social media about should we stay or should we go back, it's all been so complicated and it hasn't really worked out as we planned so this is not a long term plan any more. It's an ongoing thing of lets see how it goes for a year or a couple of years as I need the time to sort out and we know we have to take a big financial loss when we do move. It's a bit like can't afford to go right now but the cost of living is making it not very cost effective to be here either the way it's turned out.

We've met some very nice people and of course existing friends I had up here but they are not near enough to see regularly, we've encountered miserable gits usually from the crofting/farming community who have caused us some grief and cost us more money enforcing fencing and the like on us so that there blooming sheep don't get on our land and 'injure themselves', we come across trades people all the time who let us down and say they will call and then don't show up, don't contact us or turn up when they want without saying. It's absolutely like nowhere I've ever known, they refer to it here as Skye Time or Island Time these people operate by. It's just a pathetic excuse to treat your customers like dirt. It seems plumbers have been the worst, we've got through about 4, or rather tried to contact and use 4 and all let us down. I don't just think it's us or the fact we are English getting treated like this, I've spoken to some Scottish incomers who get the same treatment.

It's challenging living here, it's not like the rosy dream we thought. Another example, a month ago I fell over, I didn't see a curb outside the Co-op, I flew over it and crashed to the floor, goodness knows how I didn't loose my glasses in this but I was flat out and as I tried to pick myself up saw lots of people about and no one,not one single person turned to look or help me. I got up, cut leg and my hand and wrist took all the weight which was in a support for 2 weeks and as I looked at a few people stood waiting outside the Coop they all looked away. I was just staggered by it.

I could go on but I have probably ranted on Facebook or Twitter and at the risk of sounding like all I do is moan I should definitely try and finish on a positive note but it's been a weird day.

After weeks of chasing our former landlords for our deposit back, just over a grand, which we thought they wouldn't cough up, blow me over they refunded the full amount. So the day started good, money we desperately needed back. However by the afternoon and more sheep had got on our land and another angry crofter has ranted to us we need more fencing and a full farm gate, well that is going to consume this little windfall easily.
It's like chucking the money away, it goes in one hand and out the other, especially annoying as we have higher priority things to buy than stock proof fencing!

Anyway, tomorrow might be a good day, I think a few bags of our favourite coffee are on the way as a little treat and to cheer us up as we've not had our coffee subscription order for over a year.
Caffeine and chocolate, always a good pick me up. I hope to have a better post in the future and some pics to show what we've been up to with nicer things.

All the best :)

Friday, 15 April 2016

More delays getting online!

Thank you for all the good vibes I received in the comments on the previous post. The nightmare of being offline continues, we had a date of April 11th for an engineer to visit and no one came.

After many snotty text messages to Plusnet this week I finally received the bad news that our local exchange has no capacity for any new lines to be connected. This means they will have to investigate another exchange as nearby as possible which will result in quite a bit of work and probably quite a lot of costs attached to it. We now hear the earliest an engineer can visit to just "look" at what needs doing will be the end of May at the very least (another 6 weeks :(. By then we will have been waiting three and a half months for anyone to even visit and take a look, it absolutely stinks. I'm just so frustrated and flabberghasted that this is taking so long and becoming such a nightmare and I can't get on with work, crafts and promoting the holiday cottage. I can see the summer will have gone and we won't actually get any bookings in our cottage for the prime part of this year.

I keep telling Plusnet we have no income until this can be resolved but they just keep apologising and saying there's nothing more can be done to hurry things along.

Oh well, such is life.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

2016 saw the move to Skye

This is just a very quick post if anyone still reads this because I don't currently have any internet access and I have to drive to the library for wifi.
I finally moved to Skye 7 weeks ago, it was a heck of a hassle finishing off the packing and the stress of the actual move. We moved up the day before my 50th birthday and had only the belongings which would squeeze in the back of a Jimny to survive with for our initial fortnight. All our other stuff was set to follow 2 weeks later.

After the initial excitement of the journey through the snowy Highlands, and some horrible weather conditions in between, it took over 10 hours to reach the house.

We were too tired to take it all in really but the next day we started to spot problems in the house, damage to my beautiful new kitchen and other areas of poor workmanship. This took the shine off arriving at a new house on my birthday, it is an ongoing battle trying to get the builders to come back and sort things out.
Our little holiday cottage also has problems and will be some time before it is available and ready to bring us some much needed income in.

We have a very wet plot of land which is an issue and will take some drying up before we can lay grass seed. We have no landline or internet, the delays here are horrendous to get hooked up so I can't do my work, we can't order stuff online, we can't get our holiday cottage web site going and it's causing much grief and delays.

Things are basically not going to plan one bit and you do begin to wonder whether we have done the right thing moving here, or should we have left this as purely our holiday destination. It's complicated, everything seems difficult to sort out and everything is very expensive to sort out.
It's not looking like this is a long term proposition.

We will continue to press on as best we can and see how things progress through the summer.
I am still trying to unpack boxes, the house was filled when the removal company brought over 200 of them and I think I still have about 50 to unpack, the house is much smaller so I am selling stuff,  giving more to charity and doing a car boot sale soon in order to get this house sorted and looking less like a storage container!

Sadly I can't post pictures with my limited internet access in the local library but hopefully one day I will be back online in my own home.

All the best to my bloggy friends for now :)