... tempting fate. Just after that it died again. I made several calls to the France Telecom/Wanadoo/Orange helpline, oft times getting cut off half way through, probably when the operateur decided he/or she couldn't be doing with my English accent. Finally I got a mellifluous and charming young man who insisted on speaking English, although, as he said, he did not 'have the right' to do so. I made him repeat the numbers and dates in French as frankly these were a bit shakey, but I complimented him anyway ( he was fishing hard enough...). He informed me he was, in fact in 'the south of Africa, Tunisia' and would, I'm sure have engaged me in a fascinating discussion on the social and economic effects of 'delocalisation' ( I think that was the word) and globalisation, but I thought perhaps I ought to hurry him up a bit. When I told him his English had a slight American accent he was really chuffed to bits. 'Thank you, thank you. That is so sophisticated!' he effused.
However, the final outcome was that we had a 'problem of synchronisation' ( I keep wanting to say synchronicity) on the line, and a technical expert would not be available for a week. So we would perforce need to batten down the hatches, pick up the phone (ugh), get out the semaphore flags, whatever ( Rosie, can you see me from here?), and live internetless for that long. Unless they were able to fix it from a distance before. I felt a little like I was participating in one of those iron age reconstructions, or else giving up smoking ( ah, this is one of those times of the day when I reach for the Internet, oh no, I can't. Playing with photos was the equivalent of a nicotine patch...)
So really, I shouldn't be here. I'm typing this as fast as I can lest we lose it again. I was in the middle of getting out the quill pen, (the glass of Madeira sounds an excellent idea, Avus), and thought I'd just try, but it could go at any time. Or perhaps it really is fixed. Seems a bit quick for that, we'll see.
So bear with me, sorry if I owe you e-mails, visits etc. It is most peculiar to think how quickly we have become habituated. See you later, or sooner. Thanks for lovely comments as ever.