Tag Archives: frustration

Wherever I lay my Cat5 is my home

A little update on my residential situation, for them what’s interested.

The good news: I have a new flat in the centre (and I do mean right in the centre) of Stockport, and my moving-in date is tomorrow… so St George’s day for me will involve furniture, vans and lifting heavy things up a few flights of stairs (there are upsides and downsides to getting the top floor, y’see). If you’ve a need for my new mailing address, please drop me a line by whatever channels you usually use.

The bad news: after getting in touch with Virgin earlier in the week, they determined that there is cable availability in the area I’m moving into. “Great,” thought I, and awaited further word from a ‘spotter’, whose job it is to go out and scout the location in order to assess and book the installation process. Now, said spotter discovered that Stockport Council have recently paved over the Virgin cable duct access thingybobs in the street, and there’s a long-standing agreement that Virgin won’t dig through paving that’s been laid in the last year. No cable connection for me, then. *facepalm*

The very helpful spotter chap suggested Virgin’s ADSL service instead: so long as there’s a BT line running into the property, then Bob’s your mother’s brother, so to speak. A quick call to BT reveals (of course!) that my new flat has never had a BT line, and I’ll have to get one installed from scratch… so I might as well suck it up and get broadband from them directly, if only so as to not pay the initial connection fee of something close to £150 (yes, really).

“OK, let’s book that in,” I told the little chap from BT in resigned tones. The earliest they can do the install? Tuesday 4th May, a week and a half after I actually move into the damned place. Due to the nature of my work (in a nutshell: if I can’t get online, I can’t work), that means I can’t actually inhabit my new home until the turn of the month, so my long-suffering mother will have to put up with me raiding her pantry and rinsing her internet connection for another week.

Selah. This is, I realise, a fairly whingy post… but given my current inability to go to a pub with a friend and rant over a few beers, well, it has to come out somewhere. In the grand scheme of things, it could be a lot worse – this whole situation has definitely qualified as a textbook case of #firstworldproblems – but I’m now at a point where I just want this frustrating limbo period to be over, so I can start getting my life back into something resembling proper order. To find that date rolled back by another week and a bit is very frustrating…

… but hey, at least I have a definite date. I’ll take a frustrating actuality over a frustrating uncertainty any day of the year.


Yeah, yeah, I know, everyone reads XKCD, and it’s so tramline to link to it or repost it and say “OMG XKCD made me do a LOL”. But today’s XKCD really did make me do a LOL, which is hard work for anyone at 7:30am. So I’m linking and reposting it*.

XKCD - Frustration

So you can sue me.

[ * I’ve included the title text as well, which was what really made me laugh; hover your mouse over the image. ]

Drawing from a dry well

Frustrated beyond measure. It’s almost a physical feeling, a rage borne of confusion. I’ve at here at my keyboard for forty minutes trying to start a story, and I have produced nothing but three false starts, opening sections that inspire me to continue writing about as much as they would inspire someone else to keep reading.

It’s like being sat at a potter’s wheel, unable to do much more than prod the damp clay with a desultory finger, knowing that the world is full of plates and vases already crafted by craftsmen more original, disciplined and inspired than yourself. Or like joining a degree course in its final week. Or like, or like, or like.

Yeah, I know, “keep writing”, all those clichés. Finish what you start; just type and see what comes out, don’t be critical, just free-associate. That’s what I’m doing here; this is the third day in a row that all I’ve been able to write about is my inability to write; pointless self-castigating screeds, the sound of someone marinading himself in his own inabilities. Finally, I have an hour set aside every day in the quiet of the morning so that I can CREATE, and all I can do with it is the literary equivalent of banging my head against the door of my padded cell.

It’s ludicrous. A whole sixty precious minutes, reserved for my mind to do what it wants to do rather than what it must. And I sit here wanting to get on with my other work, because at least there I know where to go, what to do; there’s a clear route forward. There’s none of this terrifying void of inspiration; none of this horrifying thought that, perhaps, I really am kidding myself about this whole being-a-writer gig, and that I’ve spent a few years talking a good game and bluffing the basics only to fall at the first true hurdle. I really can’t understate the sense of anger coursing through me at the moment, this urge to throw things and shout formless words. Nor can I channel it in any useful way, so it seems. At least not today.

Maybe tomorrow will be different.

[ Regular readers please take note — I’ve posted this up as a record, a message to a future self who, I sincerely hope, will look back on it in a few months’ time and chuckle at how hard it was to start the routine. It’s not a bid for sympathy; I just need to have something other than a handful of half-page word processor files and some scribbled-on notebook pages to show for the last few days, so as not to feel it’s been an utterly wasted effort. ]