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Blog, Writing process

Internet Chaos

Hello again! Apart from a few snatched minutes here and there, I’ve been offline for what feels like weeks. Every time it rains—and we’ve had showers all the time this summer—we lose out internet link.

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We’ve had engineers out loads of times, they’ve been up every telegraph pole for miles around, and wonder of wonders we’ve even had refunds from our provider. Despite that, they’ve never managed to track down the fault. We had heavy rain last night and so…no internet. Everyone has agreed that water is getting into the system somewhere. The question is, where?

We’re more than a mile from the nearest junction box, so that means there’s any number of places where the rain could get in and disrupt the signal. The line of telegraph poles marches through the wood for most of that distance. Branches rubbing against the wires can’t help.

The good news is I’ve got a Plan B to make absolutely sure I can get online on Friday, 9th July because I’m giving a talk to the Society of Authors Monmouth Group on that day about Research for Writers.

My first published book

I began my writing career by writing about my hobbies of growing plants and keeping animals. For a long time I wrote freelance articles for magazines such as The Lady, The Garden, and Nursery World. Then I moved onto writing historical romance, which wasn’t easy in the days before the internet. Readers are knowledgeable about their favourite eras, so there’s no such thing as a throwaway detail.

Researching the contemporary romances I wrote for Harlequin and The Wild Rose Press was all kinds of fun. It was the chance to relive all my best holiday experiences of staying in Italian castles or English historic houses.

When I was asked to write Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol, I discovered the wonders of the Bristol Archive. There were so many fascinating stories to be found by trawling through the boxes of private and public papers. If it hadn’t been for my publishing deadline, I’d still be enjoying myself combing through parish records, and back copies of The Western Daily Press

I’ll be covering all these areas of research in more detail in my talk on Friday. You can find out more about it here. Tickets are free, although the Society of Authors is always pleased to receive donations!

2 thoughts on “Internet Chaos”

  1. Hi Christina, interesting to hear about your experience with internet. My sister has had the same problem near Chipping Campden. Literally dozens of teams of phone/broadband engineers from Open Reach. New poles, new wiring, new junction boxes, new modems, you name it, over a 12 month period. No-one seems able to identify the problem. I think she’s now written to the communications ombudsman. Let me know how you get on – and good luck with your talk. Kind regards, Steve

    1. Thanks, Steve. This isn’t the first time we’ve had problems. Three or four years ago we were offline for nearly two months. Open Reach insisted it was TalkTalk, TalkTalk insisted it was Open Reach. Both sides told us to renew all the wiring inside the house, so we did (but only once!). It made no difference. When it was eventually fixed we switched to PlusNet, and everything was fine until the beginning of this year. Luckily the engineer is coming out again tomorrow, as he told us to contact him the minute rain was next forecast 🙂

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