For days now, I've been unable to get any mobile phone reception in my local area. I was putting it down to the very high atmospheric pressure, the cold weather, the snow, but I've now discovered that Vodafone's coverage is being affected by a 'temporary fault'. Right. So it's a question of waiting till it's fixed. But meanwhile, it's inconvenient and quite annoying.
I do of course have a landline, and I do have broadband, and so I can receive and make landline voice calls, look at the Internet, and receive and send emails using the PC. But it's not nearly so quick and convenient. The two telephone handsets in the house are of course tethered (one in the hall, one next to the PC in the study; there isn't one in my lounge where I want to remain all curled up and cosy). And firing up the PC just to check for emails is a procedure that takes several minutes, not only because the PC still runs overbloated Windows Vista, but also because of those pesky pop-ups that remind me that 'a new update is ready to install' for this and that. It seems that the startup process halts in its tracks unless you dismiss each of these. The Java one especially winds me up. It never seems to get the message that I really don't want to know. I'm not the slightest bit excited about a Java update, nor an Adobe Reader update come to that. I am mildly interested in Windows updates, but only when I have the time and inclination, say every couple of weeks. Meanwhile, they can all push off. How dare they all get in the way of instant access to what really matters!
But access to texts, emails and the Internet is fast and easy on my mobile phone, and there are no pop-up reminders. No wonder mobile phones have made home computers almost redundant for communication. Although they are most definitely not a cheap alternative. And that's partly why one's feathers get ruffled very easily when the service is less than perfect. But sheer comfort and convenience matter too. It's cold outside: I don't want to go out, and take my phone high up onto the South Downs, just to get a signal from the Brighton transmitter, or relay, or whatever apparatus propagates the texts and emails that I'm expecting, and can't presently get.
Thank goodness I'm not pathetically addicted to Facebook or Twitter. The agony would be intense. Extreme cold turkey indeed.
No sooner were these ranting words sent into the Ether, than service was restored. And it's better than before. A signal to die for. Thank you, Vodafone. But I'm not retracting my scorn of Facebook et al.