The Dark Cloud

No, I’m not referring to the weather.

Beneath the shining surface of the adventurous expat life lurks the ugly underbelly of inconvenient reality.  Simple tasks that are merely a nuisance at home suddenly become insurmountable problems in London.

This week I was reminded that despite its cosmopolitan sheen of modern day, London often feels like it is stuck in the Dark Ages.

I have been without a phone and an internet connection for over a week.  British Telecom told me this was “curious” and they were “so terribly sorry” but no one was available to dispatch for 7 days.  The long-awaited appointment was to take place between 1:00 – 6:00 pm.  When no one showed up during that generous 5 hour window, I was told that actually I should allow until 9:00 pm in case the technicians were running late.  I am unsure how anyone can fix an external problem with telephone lines and internet wires in the pitch dark.  Needless to say, I remain utterly unconnected.

There is a large leak in my master bedroom ceiling.  It drenches the wall to wall carpet and creates a persistent drip drip drip sound that renders sleep impossible.  My landlord was uncharacteristically responsive, sending someone the day I complained.  They came to merely confirm there truly was a leak.  I am left to wonder: Are there people who make this stuff up just to wait around all day for no good reason?  I was told the roofers would arrive three days later.  They did indeed come… without a ladder or any patching materials.  They simply wanted to “look” at the problem not to “fix” the problem.  They returned 2 days later to inform me that because it had rained (and leaked) the night before, they could not put down the patching materials.  I am now in a seemingly perpetual state of limbo, waiting for a dry spell in typically soggy London.

However, there is always a silver lining to every dark cloud.

Yesterday I escaped the frustrations of my house and ventured into the countryside for a leisurely 11 mile walk.  England remains incomparably beautiful with its uncorrupted bucolic vistas of rolling hills, ancient churches, and honking geese who look like they stepped out of a Beatrix Potter story.

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 I am unplugged, unsatisfied, and uncomfortable

but, thanks to a little country therapy,

I am not unhinged!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lisa September 26, 2014 at 10:26 am

I’m a friend of Kathleen Turland and Susan Weis (thru Amy Carbone) and they gave me your blog info. I moved to London in July from G’wich and am nodding my head in agreement with EVERY single thing you just posted! Especially the extended wait for the BT engineer. (mine was an 8-1 pm slot – he arrived at 6:30pm). And am thanking you for the post about London Walks – I go on them all the time and have the discount card!


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