Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The big storm took me out!

The Saturday before the one before  last we had the big Atlantic storm that had been predicted, so we battened down all the hatches and sat - or rather slept - it out.  The wind had been threatening all day and, by 8pm, was in full swing and lasted until around 8am the next morning.  The noise was horrendous but we still managed to get a good night's sleep - we just hoped that the roof would still be there the next day!  Our bedroom is right up in the eaves so we felt very close to nature!

The next morning, I tentatively opened the shutters expecting to see a felled forest of trees on neighbouring farmland but we had escaped lightly.  Only two trees on the farm had completely fallen, and our very elderly willow tree had lost about half its branches - these were blocking the entrance to the barn where we keep our cars so I spent a rainy morning picking them all up so that we could get the cars out.

The neighbouring department - the Vendee - had really taken a hammering. The sea breached the defences catching many poor people off their guard and some, sadly, lost their lives.  I hope they are managing to pick up the pieces.

The storm took out the phone and, by default, my connection to the internet.  By Wednesday, having used a friend's phone to call France Telecom, the phone was restored, but I couldn't get back online.  I phoned Orange, my IP, and several people tried to get my connection back.  The assured me that the line was working so the suggested that I buy a new LAN cable.  The only one I could find was a metre shorter than the old one - this meant moving the entire room around to get the computer closer to the point. The new cable didn't do the trick, so it was suggested I try the line on a different computer.  Luckily, I have a very ancient one so I tested it on that, and that didn't work.  I phoned Orange yet again and they said the Livebox (which connects me to the internet) must be at fault.  They gave me a code and told me to take the old Livebox back to our local Orange shop and ask for an exchange.  I did this within half an hour, came home with the new one and, after a fraught couple of hours (the air was blue, I can tell you!), managed to get back online.  The only problem now was that I kept losing the connection. As promised, Orange called me back the following day to see how I was getting on, and they said the fault must lie with my computer.  As it was fine before the storm, and I had disconnected it when I knew the storm was coming, I wasn't convinced.  In the end, I unplugged all the connections to the Livebox, pressed a few buttons on it, and I have been back in the land of the living ever since.  Having been incommunicado from Sunday to Friday, it felt good to be back!

During all this, dear Husband just carried on plastering. The PC world baffles him somewhat so there wasn't much he could do to help apart from keep the kettle boiling!

He has been working on the front hall

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