Feb 242012
 

The other day I was doing what ex-pats do and reading the UK press or that bit of it that escapes online, and I have to admit I was doing it using superfast (and cheap I might add) broadband, but then I live in a very modern dynamic country unlike the country I was reading about I am afraid.

Two articles caught my eye; one about the speed of broadband in the UK or the bit I am interested in – England – and the other was a piece about the ‘happiest’ place to live in the UK.

Imagine my surprise when one of the ‘happiest’ places in England turned out to be one of the very same places with very poor broadband speeds!

I started to wonder if the two were related in anyway and here is what crossed my little furry mind. First surely none of the inhabitants of this happy place are able to experience Sky or Virgin and their internet services which would not only keep their household costs down to a minimum but also mean that they are happy not to be lining the pockets of those two smiling oily oligarchs Branson and Murdoch or indeed be subjected to their respective company’s ‘service,’ a word I use comedically here!

The second reason is a little more obvious and that’s that if you don’t have a very fast internet connection you don’t spend much time online and that must be nice, having just enough speed to look at my www.wickedlywonderfulwebsite, www.thecatsdiary.com or to buy my wonderful book online at Amazon.co.uk, you can even use this link Getting Out Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary and don’t forget if you don’t want the paperback you can get an ebook (almost in your case) immediately, the same applies to my other masterpiece of feline literature The Cat’s Travelogue or even an ebook that is almost a popular as mine; my translator’s pretty Tram book Tram No 6 is The Naughtiest of Trams (The Trams of Prague) aren’t you lucky?

So I hear you ask what poor city is blessed with being the happiest city in the UK and unfortunate enough to have really dreadful broadband speeds – well that would be Carlisle!

There may be one very important reason why Carlisle is so happy it’s just on the right side of the border with Scotland tee hee!

I was going to add an aerial view of Carlisle to brighten up my blog a bit, but unfortunately Carlisle from the air looks really awful and so I had to be content with a snap of Carlisle Cathedral, but even that looks as though it has taken affront at something doesn’t it.
Carlisle Cathedral in snow

To my way of looking at the world Carlisle Cathedral looks as though it’s not the most friendly or indeed happy place on the planet but I have to stress looks can be deceiving, on the other paw there is Lincoln where the Cathedral does reflect the unfriendly character of some of the people I encountered there 12 or so years ago and yes you know who you are so I won’t mention your names.

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Sep 222011
 

The Summer is coming to an end, but here we in Europe and I understand the UK are having what is known in some circles as an ‘Indian Summer’ I don’t know why it is called that or indeed if a hot dry spell in the Autumn is called an ‘Indian Summer’ in India for that matter.

I expect the Indians have a different name for a brief sunny period at the end of their Summer mainly because I have a feeling that the English overlords in the time of the Raj would have used the phrase and these days it would seem that anything English in India is a little frowned upon – apart from the use of the English language of course, the Indians, bless them, think that they speak marvellous English – oh dear if only they knew the truth!

I’ll give you a real life example when Andy from Bedford comes on the phone in the early evening when you are tying to stop the Dog eating the children’s supper and encouraging the youngest to actually do what the Dog wants to do, while answering the door to another batch of Jehovah’s Witnesses and keeping the Cat off the kitchen work surfaces, Andy from ‘Bedford’ calls from his New Delhi call centre pretending to be only 40 miles up the road.

Now this pretence is not only doomed to failure because of his pronunciation of the English language it is made worse by the sound quality of the ‘Skype’ like phone system he is calling on and of course the mayhem going on all around the family home, and made even worse by the fact that Andy from Bedford wants to “confirm that you are Miecester. Woodcock,” even though you have a woman’s voice (because you are Mr. Woodcock’s far better half and he is late again with his supper heading towards the Dog’s bowl with ever passing quarter of an hour).

Andy from Bedford ignores any attempt to shut him up including sarcasm and eventually swearing and keeps asking you “to confirm your phone number,” which you would never in a million years give out to some odd sounding heavily accented stranger on the phone.

Reading from his script Andy from Bedford blithely continues “I just want to take a coupole minutes of your very valuable time to discuss.”

You eventually tell Andy from Bedford to FO, slam the phone down and then get ready for his retribution, twenty calls spread over the next hour.

Opps I seem to have veered right off the point of this little blog which is this; Summer is coming to an end but it is still nice and warm, in England we call that an Indian Summer but I expect the Indians don’t because they wouldn’t like to be reminded of the English except to sell them broadband, financial planning or insurance on the phone.

Now that I am back on track I can finish by saying I thought the sign below reminded me of a trip to Clearwater Beach in Florida where the Seagulls are so aggressive that they not only steal your food they shower it back at you when they have digested it. Sorry about the wait for the punchline.

Damn Seagulls