Tag Archives: Stockport

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.

Friday Photo Blogging: Welcome to The North

This is the view I can see through the window just beyond my monitor in my new office (albeit taken from the far side of the glass, stood out on the cold back step while smoking a cigarette in the sharp chill of dusk):

welcome-to-the-north

So, yeah – I’ve moved. 🙂

I’m afraid this won’t be a full-blown FPB of the old school, because there’s still a whole raft of stuff for me to do – not only with setting up housekeeping (and officekeeping) here in Stockport, but with catching up on my freelance work as well. And then there’s the other blogs: Futurismic has, of necessity, been quiet all week; likewise The Dreaded Press.

So much to do, so much to do… and Xmas is bearing down on us like an office Romeo on the drunk secretary at the annual piss-up, so time is not exactly going to be plentiful. Well, OK, that’s not strictly true: I’ve enough time to do my work, and some time to spend with my lady and our respective families, and with our friends. My personal blog? Not quite so much… but then I’m guessing most of you are pretty busy at this time of year, too, and I hope you’ll overlook any slackness on my part. 🙂

But as a hint of things to come, here’s a “books received” entry: after seeing it mentioned at Chairman Bruce’s Beyond the Beyond, I just had to seek out a copy of Technomad by Graham St John:

Technomad - Graham St John

Basically it’s a cultural history of post-rave movements across the planet. Some of you may not know I spent a fair period as a DJ, clubber and small-time promoter on the dance music scene between 1994 and 2003; the countercultural philosophies (and fallacies) that inform that world still intrigue me hugely today. Should be a good read, I’m thinking.

But my good lady is about to return from Ikea with two large bookcases to assemble, so I’d better sign off. Have a great weekend, ladies and gents. 🙂

Farewell, Velcro City

boxesNo, no, I’m not closing down VCTB – sorry if I got your hopes up! Though given the quietude here of late, you’d be forgiven for thinking it of me…

What I am doing, however, is moving out of Portsmouth this coming Tuesday, shifting ~250 miles up the country to Stockport in order to set up housekeeping with my lovely lady.

That may go some way to explaining why things have been quiet this year on the VCTB front; every bit of spare time I’ve had has been invested in spending time with my better half, and when you live so far apart that can be quite demanding. It’s been a struggle keeping on top of my freelance work, to be honest, let alone chuntering sf-nal blather here on a regular basis. And so the time has come to transcend the geography and start a new life in a new town, to paraphrase David Jones. I’m really looking forward to it. 🙂

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this town – a relationship that gave this blog its name, in fact. I arrived here in September of 1994, fifteen years ago, so I’ve now been here for near enough half my life, and it’s a huge part of my identity and outlook – not in the football-team sense, but in the sense of having spent the formative years of my adolescence and adulthood here, having been a part (no matter how peripheral) of its cultural pulse for a decade and a half. There’s times I loathe the place – and grey damp days like this one are the worst times for that, for sure – but to say I’ll miss it would be a massive understatement. So many people and places that I love dearly are here, and it’s tough to leave that behind.

But love makes the difficult into the trivial, and I’ve got an exciting new life waiting for me in the chilly hills of Cheshire. Stockport itself isn’t what you’d call a cultural hub, but it’s mere minutes from central Manchester on the train, where (so it seems) all the cornucopian cultural options of a sizeable city await my involvement. I’ll be looking to join a new band (one of the hardest parts of deciding to move was having to quit Aeroplane Attack, and I’ll never forget or recapture the fun of being in my first proper band with four awesome people), find some writing groups and hangouts, haunt concert venues and second-hand bookstores and libraries and museums and pubs… but more importantly, I’ll be living alongside the lady I love. And while I’d probably balked slightly had she asked me to move into an internet-less cave two hundred miles from the nearest bookstore, I’d still have gone. All the other stuff is just gravy.

But hey, it’s the season for gravy, AMIRITE? So maybe some of you lot who know Manchester can suggest good places to go, interesting people to meet, exciting stuff to do? Maybe you’d like to meet up if you’re in the same area, show me the sights, tell me the horror stories? Maybe you know of a science fiction fandom group or writer’s circle I might be able to join? If so, please drop me a line – I’d love to hear from you.

And for those who are wondering (and the few who have asked) about the fate of Velcro City Tourist Board, fear not – it’s not going away. Sure, I’ll not be based in Velcro City any more, but the place will always be a huge slice of my mental furniture… and who says the guy who runs the tourist board can’t telecommute, eh? Velcro City has always been the version of Portsmouth that lived in my head, and always will be; it will become no less real or detailed by me living somewhere else, and someday I may even finish the damned stories I keep thinking up for it. So, no promises about schedules, but look out here in the coming new year for me talking about stuff I like, books and albums I’ve received, stuff I’ve been to see, and stuff that’s amused/annoyed/amazed me on the intertubes… and maybe even some fiction and poetry. It’ll be just like old times. Except, y’know, new. 🙂