At 8.15pm on Wednesday evening, something terrible happened.
No, Cheryl Cole didn’t sing live. No, Sue Perkins didn’t lose her sense of humour in a snow drift. No, my bum didn’t look big in that.
What happened at 8.15 on Wednesday evening is that, quite without early warning signs or the techno equivalent of a mild chest cough, my computer’s internet connection went down. Just like that. Buggered.
I tapped my computer (always my first high-tech reaction to any computery glitches.) Still nothing.
Then I stared hard at the little symbol that tells you if you’re connected – or not, in my case – hoping I might will it back to life. It didn’t.
Then I swore for a while.
And then I panicked.
I re-booted; I switched the wifi switch thingy on my laptop off and on again five times; I switched the boxes with flashing green lights in my understairs cupboard on a off a few times; I drank half a bottle of gin.
Computer still said ‘no, kindly fuck off’.
By 8.17pm (I drink fast) things were getting desperate. I mean, how long can one GO with no wifi?? I was in a state. What concerned me even more than the lack of internet access (aargh, help, can’t breaatthe…) was my extreme reaction to this sudden web silence. If one of my children had swallowed a bag of marbles and a goat I’d have been less upset.
I mean…no INTERNET?? No Twitter (throat constricts), no email (lungs seize up), no Facebook (convulsions start), no Daily Mail ‘which has celebrity has shockingly worn the same pair of shoes two days on the trot’ news???
For god’s sake, how is one supposed to SURVIVE without any sodding access to this kind of career-boosting, brain-enhancing information in this day and age?? It’s technological crapness gone mad.
Such a catastrophe called for drastic action, so I started making wheezing, ‘helpless woman’ noises until Techno Wizard Husband, who was upstairs teaching our son to programme his alarm clock to go off if he farted during bedtime stories, came to my rescue.
He looked at my machine. He smiled, a knowing, Techno Wizard smile. Then he calmly closed all my windoes, re-booted, and opened Google. Or rather he didn’t, because it didn’t work. As I’d just told him.
Still clutching the half-empty gin bottle I started clutching at straws too, though not in a gin-and-straws-party kind of a way: instead, I suggested we call Virgin Media, our internet cable thingy people. They might have some ideas.
Was told, with a considerable degree of verbal head-patting I might add, that this would do no good at all, as they don’t know anything, and this was a very technical fault, and he, Man Who Knows Computers, would need to take a proper look at it. Tomorrow.
Tomorrow came. No husband available to have that ‘proper (man)look’. No internet. No fingernails.
Managed to find a café in town with internet access, and at LAST managed to avoid writing any more of my next best-seller (ahem….) because I could sit on Twitter for an hour, ‘networking’.
After an excruciatingly painful, wireless-less day (= wireful? Discuss…) I suggested to my husband that we just call the helpline for Belkin, the router thingy people, and see if they could help.
Was again told no, he has no time to do it now, and they’d only ask me lots of questions I’d not know the answer to, because they’d be all technical and complicated. I’d be wasting my time, and our money on the phone call.
Went to bed frustrated and pining for the comforting ping! of an incoming mail.
And so we reach this morning, still no internet, even though Techno Wizard Husband kindly got up at 6am to try and sort it for me.
Unsuccessful, he went to work. And I, unable to stand another second of this cyber-lockdown, called the Belkin helpline.
A kind man called Ali answered the phone.
After a few pleasantries exchanged over a 3-second time delay (may I have your name please? Hello. What’s your customer number? Liz Fraser. And your address? 2333884628 Etc) he finally asked me to switch off my modem and my router.
Then he asked me to switch the modem on.
Then he asked me to switch the router on.
Then he asked me to remove all my clothes. No, hang on, he didn’t do that. He asked me to connect to the internet.
And would you Adam and Eve it, I DID! Just like that.
“Is that it???!” I cried, tears running down my cheeks like a mother reunited at last with a long-lost child that, for this moment, she no longer finds immensely annoying.
“That’s it, madam. Is there anything else I can help you with today, madam?”
“I’ll have a double gin and tonic please…”
And there you have it, people. If your wireless connection goes down, don’t wait 2 days for someone technologically gifted to fix it for you. Just switch everything off, then turn the modem on and THEN turn the router on.
It’s good to be back 🙂