Well this is the third and final part of the trilogy into contemporary life, as seen through the eyes of someone whose favourite footwear is his slippers and who remembers when fast connectivity meant a Meccano starter kit.
Having started off on a positive note with the secret menus and progressed via a rant about the personal frustrations of failing technology, I think it’s only fair to write about something that I think drives everybody mad and it happens all the time, across our urban landscape. Here’s a pictorial clue taken yesterday from our window:
As well as trying to get on with some work whilst attempting to get my IMac up and running again, for the last three days we’ve had the gas utility company digging huge trenches in the roadway right underneath our apartment, so that they can replace the main gas-supply pipe. The digger you can see in the picture is a noisy bugger but the kit you can see in the right background is my bobcat bete noire. It’s the one that pneumatically hammers though the tarmac and its concrete foundations at decibel levels which are somewhere between massively distracting and migraine-inducing. And yesterday it was at it for 5 hours non-stop. They’ve got two big trenches dug now as you can see and today two more have been excavated. The good news is that the work will be completed in just 7 weeks accordingly to the company’s helpful signage. Ah that’s great. Sigh.
Now I appreciate that things don’t last forever and if it’s necessary to replace worn-out or rotting pipes then so be it. But what’s infuriating is the sequencing of all this work. It’s only 3 weeks since the water-supply utility company were busy digging up virtually the same stretch of road, just underneath the pristine double white road markings in the picture. That only took one week’s work but the thing is that the side-road into our little complex which the double markings signify is bad enough to exit at the best of times. That road circling the park, Sandy Lane, is far busier than the picture indicates. So whenever the road works are on we have temporary triple access lights to control the traffic flow. When I say control I mean completely screw up. All day long we have masses of traffic stacking up in every direction. Get your timing wrong leaving our complex and you can sit there for nearly 15 minutes waiting for the green signal. Very handy in the morning when we’re all rushing to work/college etc.
Mention it quietly but I’ve noticed a bad odour coming from the drains over the last couple of days. That suggests to me that a sewer may have been damaged/blocked during the recent excavations and the problem will only become manifest on the day the gas company leaves. Then we’ll have just a few weeks of water restrictions etc until Thames Water or whoever come and dig up the road and repair the sewer pipes.
And so it goes on. I hate to tempt fate but the only mob we haven’t seen down Sandy Lane as yet with all their bobcats displaying amusing name-signs like Digger Barnes, is….the dreaded Virgin Media, the company whose name will be carved on my gravestone –
Here lies the body of Pasta Paulie
Who left this world when he got poorly
It wasn’t the palliative care for which he felt needier
He just needed no further dealings with those annoying bastards from Virgin bloody Media