i cannot be the only one who watches british telecom's television adverts extolling the virtues of their superfast broadband, ending with an offer that undercuts the price i was paying for my up to 8mb broadband. much like the moaning and groaning about the national 4g rollout, there are only a few spots at which 3g can be attained on islay, most of the isle is 2g only, and there are several areas in which there is no mobile signal whatsoever. surely parity would be more fairly achieved if 4g sat on the backburner until the whole country was able to obtain a 3g signal? the gap between the haves and the have-nots simply grows wider by the minute.
mildly incensed by the fact that areas of the country can buy up to 35mb broadband for less than my 8mb (only 3.4mb at the weekend), i checked bt's website for their current prices, took the plunge and phoned to ask if they could offer something a bit less pricey than my current contract. not unsurprisingly, it took mere minutes to change from my existing contract to one that costs several pounds less. their platitudes regarding my important customer status were pretty much undermined, i thought, by the fact that not once had they attempted to contact me during my previous eighteen month contract to offer a lower price.
but apparently my call was important to them.
however, as is the current state of online sales, it was never going to be enough simply to sell me the broadband package after which i had enquired, without first trying to convince me that 50gb of cloud storage attached to the more expensive option was the very fabric of which modern life was composed. that and desktop troubleshooting software that doesn't work on a mac. having managed to stick to my guns and maintain that i wished only my chosen option, the sales conversation proceeded onto the various options that could be used with my mobile phone.
on mentioning that a mobile phone was not something i possessed. there was a brief silence, eventually interrupted by "you don't have a mobile phone? really?". yes, really; though i claim to be one of only two people in the world without a mobile phone (and i think i know who the other one is), i have still managed to occupy my place in modern society without the constant need to check for messages, e-mail or twitter every ten seconds. and when i walk the length of glasgow's buchanan street, i am in little danger of banging into random people through not looking where i'm going.
despite still publicly querying why british telecom are spending untold amounts of money on a sport tv channel when i can barely achieve a download speed that would allow me to watch any of it, had i the faintest interest in the first place, i have now garnered a new broadband contract that saves me about ten pounds a month over my previous incumbency.
but that lack of a mobile phone is starting to impinge on daily life, not least becasue certain websites make it very difficult to sign up for an account without providing a mobile number that i don't have. and i then have to give consideration as to what i might wish to enclose within a rather desirably dinky softshell case currently offered by switzerland's cervo rosso. despte wavering between my ipod touch and a lumix compact camera, it's the latter that won the toss. though i signed up over a year ago for an instagram account, serviced intermittently via the aforementioned ipod, i really couldn't be bothered with the associated faff, so it has lain dormant for the better part of ten or so months. thus, with no music stored on it and a distinct aversion to riding with earphones in any case, the lumix took the biscuit, so to speak.
though occupying a modest degree of more space than when in its prendas sock, the softshell case offers a greater degree of moisture repellency. this is as well as saving it from the more traumatic camera/ground interfaces that have left it with several dents and a lens that doesn't always open properly. unlike the rest of cervo rosso's clothing ranges, the softshell case won't protect you from insistent rain, raging winds or other climatic idiosyncracies, but from my own recent perambulations, it is every bit as necessary to the iphone/ipod/camera (delete as applicable) toting rider.
and at a mere £7.65 it's hardly a purchase that requires a great deal of soul searching.
tuesday 18 february 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................