Friday, 24 September 2010

A week of Orange history

On Monday the telephone system was not working.
On Tuesday I received a letter to say they want my LIVEBOX returned. 
On Wednesday the technician arrives bright and early 8h30... BUT I had previously cancelled him and have no wish to pay 99 euros for his intervention. However,  he wanted to know the story..telephoned his seniors, explained briefly that it is complicated but that the LIVEBOX works and recommends I keep the LIVEBOX and ignore the request.
On Thursday I continued to have internet facilities.
On Friday there is no internet facility, orange light flashing!!
Maybe it is an interim period before France Telecom connects a fixed line and I can use the two phones at appropriate times?
BUT IN ACTUAL FACT I think they have disconnected me from Orange Net Plus. 
I am on the verge of arriving at the shop with a picnic and flask of tea and insisting that I stay until they have sorted it to my satisfaction!
However on Monday first thing, I will telephone the distress number ... or is it the de-stress number or just 10 13 (think it in French please and not in English!!!!) as well as the telephone number of Orange assistance and try again.
The new conundrum for 'the dix-treize number' is that one must phone from the domicile (home telephone (hellooooo?  I am not connnected!!!) ... or from one's mobile telephone ... ( I resist to have a French one as I have a UK one) .   Donc, I will try from the telephone cabin as it won't accept the numero domicile for AsA from VdV.   AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

The best solution would be to cancel everything and start again and of course WAIT and buy a French mobile PAYE.... or maybe to go to another company! 

Oh I am a jaded LIME!

Saturday, 18 September 2010


More importantly than companies named after fruits, I think I have lost all my previous photos of grandchild and house renovation stored on iphoto.......unless they are still there in a different place and inaccessible, until I gain further knowledge to retrieve them.  It is my own fault for not backing up.

We downloaded and opened Picasa and for some miraculous reason that made iphoto work when I tried to download more recent photos from the camera. However, I thought I had instructed Picasa to collect the iphoto photos before trying the camera download ...but alas No!

If anyone knows how I can retrieve them, then please let me know.
I have looked at so many forums and tried what they said. That is why I reluctantly reloaded the iphoto software and now wish I hadn't.
I feel inclined to return to hard copies and photo albums or at least put everything onto CDs.  It will be safer!   For some reason the back up machine I have has been rejected by applemac! 

It is all so depressing and my energy levels have reached a low again!
More aaarghs in life!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Anyone for Marmalade

Techno facilities appear to be stable apart from cutting off my telephone call....BUT I DO have to return to the Fort Knox Orange shop as they are billing me for something I had said I did not want and are invoicing me from the date of ordering the service and not the date of the LIVEBOX being activated.   I must also cancel the technician...   See... I can do it and did it. I cracked the Orange and Livebox and   Apple codes.   Sweet success but I never liked  Orange...s  that much!    Oh let's make marmalade!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Success, I think, at last

Last night I discovered that instructions from even that nice man at Apple were not clear. When I entered the port code (I think it is called that ..with numbers and fullstops)  it opens with the word 'admin' (no guillemots) and I thought THAT was the password I was required to enter.   Silly me!  ...what was NOT clear is that you have to enter the same word as the first password ... so there are two "admin' on screen and THEN one can proceed to configure the LIVEBOX.  Having passed the first hurdle every thing I did suggested that the LIVEBOX was synchronised but not connected correctly and yet I had further confusion because another message said it was connected but the server could not be found. Further exploration discovered other pages I could not access before and it seems I have solved the problem of accessing internet and telephone accessibility by prompting the DynDNS.  I don't know what it is but I am able to connect and create this post! Dindins or not I'll be able to have some lunch!

Oh is the future bright and the future ORANGE?
I will not think so when the facture/bill is asked for!

Interestingly, I discovered also that the dear ORANGE company have been leaving me telephone messages to ask me to confirm that I require the technician to arrive on 10 September 2010 at 10h.

Silly them!   How can I access the telephone messages or the voicemail by email (that's a new service I did not know we could have!)  if the 'NETPLUS' is not connected and THAT WAS the reason for needing the technician.   Hello......  is anyone there??????

Does the right hand of ORANGE know what the left hand is doing?  Does one part of this organisation know what is happening in a different department?   Evidently this expression / proverb about keeping matters separate from other matters is  Biblical. Matthew 6:3 
"... when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth."
Don't give "oneself credit for providing charity to others - just give and forget about it."
 I suppose each person / department has given separate information but there is not any "joined-up thinking", workplace jargon for where the viewpoints/information of each department of the organisation have arrived at an agreement or compromise.

I will see what happens on another day when I have changed houses, internet services and returned to the house of renovation. 

Then I must try to solve how to access my photos and download new ones.

Meanwhile I am off to hoover, that is to say, to vaccuum clean the building dust.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Fruit Salad and Ice cream

I received from the Orange shop on 28th August a document that clearly states in black printed ink that a technician would arrive on 10th September at 10am if not previously cancelled. That was today! At 14h30 I take myself to the callbox where I can dial the free number to find out what has happened to the technician. He did not arrive. The lines are busy and a human being asks me to call back in 30 minutes. This time I am passed from a gentleman to a woman whose French if she had spoken it would surely have been easier to understand than her English! Evidntly, the technician came on the 7th at 10am; he evidently telephoned me and could not get a reply! I explained, when she did not want me to explain anything, let alone speak, that the reason they could not contact me was because the telephone is not connected to the Internet, and that I cannot access emails from that line, hence the reason for the technician's appointment, as well as the fact that my internet facilities have been made to go "up the creek" (I did not use that expression) because of Apple or Orange or both!

Ironically on the 7th we were at Village de Vaux waiting, waiting, waiting for the nice Apple man at Orange to telephone. He was Italian and as mentioned before showed me how to ditch Safari. The call cost me 29 euros and taught me that it is better not to bang one's head on the wall but to look sideways at the problem. Of course, easier said than done, and once one has a little knowledge one can take the first step on the road of being an expert!

I was also waiting for the
man in Greece to telephone but he never did.

No, I have not been smiling today. I have been speaking patiently but firmly, even having to interrupt and speak French as well as English and even laugh out loud at one point, because to laugh is better than to scream) explaining that it is ridiculous for me to have one date and for them to have another and that this scenario is like a farce and as if one were in a theatrical comedy! She was not amused! I am not amused.
I have to wait until 22nd September at 8h30 and pay 99 euros.
Will I get connected to France Telecom? Will I get connected to Orange Internet?
Will they let me give them my money?

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, rah rah rah!

With a 99 if you please.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Anyone for Fruit Salad?

I am not a big fan of raw apples unless they are a particular variety or texture BUT I do like cooked apples especially with chocolate and pancakes.
Oranges ... hhhmmm ..... I am always suspicious of what they are going to taste like and have not yet worked out which season or variety is the best as usually they are too bitter and sour for me .... and yet I am the Marmalade Queen!
Have you ever eaten oranges fresh from the trees in the Alicante region of Spain? .... they are to die for and I can easily eat a kilo in one go!
Bananas have to be slightly green and never baked or put into warm, yellow custard aka school custard! or even baked with blue cheese! I cannot stand raw bananas if they even go slightly ripe, yellow and certainly not brown or black! However, to do the fruit justice I do love a banana sandwich or fresh sesamine baguette with banana sandwiched in-between!

I have been going bananas over the last few days!

Telephone and Internet facilities have been down .... unavailable ...
I have managed to get a new internet system fixed at my new house and tried to avoid signing up for France Telecom .. but ... silly me... if there is a problem with the Orange 'net plus' I can't dial out as there is no landline and I have no mobile except one routed via UK! It is fixed that I am in a conundrum!

So after days of trying to make the LIVEBOX at AsA work, I think it is still unsuccessful plus the days of not being able to access our internet system at Village de Vaux, including of course the hours that I have spent at both houses/homes trying to access the world wide web!...., 'les plaisirs' were not here or there ... in fact, blue berries could be added to the fruit salad!

This evening the nice man at Orange has made my nice Apple mac pro educate me in circumnavigating the nasty Safari which decided not to work. Thank goodness that some months ago I downloaded Firefox and today as an extra precaution I have downloaded Google Chrome which is thankfully available to certain Mac models.

Therefore APPLE has been able to access the lovely ORANGE and my BANANAS have not gone quite so bendy and so brown!

It has been False Economy because in order to save I have incurred the loss of time and humour... as well as pennies from the purse (the VERY nice man from Orange who knew all about my Apple was not a gift). One cannot beat the telephone system (Misters Bell and Edison would turn in their grave!) so I have changed the contract and changed to a France Telecom line with an Orange internet line at extra expense per month but with the added security that if one system fails (as I continually do!) one can hopefully use the second option! PS. It will take up to 3 weeks. But the horrible Orange lady who out the phone down on me without answering my questions would not tell me this and would not tell me that, so I have been told by a different Orange customer services agent that I may continue to use my current system (hohoho if I can get it to operate tomorrow/demain!).

I regarded (looked at) the LIVEBOX to see if it was alive today! From red blinking 2nd light of three days and apart from one day then the 7 days before that! it has all by itself turned to orange blinking light..... but it should be a fixed green light and not clignotant!

I have had 3 visits to the ORANGE shop and subsequently learned how to negotiate with the managerial person who stands centrally to allow or disallow persons to enter or not the hallowed Fort of Modern Telecommunication! (N.B. not jut F.T. but F.M.T.)
I am not allowed to change my package, my contract, my livebox, my annuaire details or my line parametres! However, when I asked most politely for a chair, given my age, she did get me one! There are few chairs for those who wait!
I, of course, WAIT, for I live in France, and in France one waits patiently and in order to progress more quickly one must improve one's command of French and try to sooth with soft, negotiable, smilingly, encouraging, complimentary words those with whom one wishes to succeed more quickly!
I would rather have a fruit salad ... but shall we add some other fruits?

Friday, 3 September 2010

Sounds and Sunsets

The grasshoppers are strikingly chordant at 21h of the evening, radiating their chirruping as a form of Morse Code as I stop to listen and look at the mass of ivy on the stone wall from where the sound is loudest.

French Poney is annoyed with me! She trots over to greet me whilst I climb the dry stone wall -- I couldn't reach to stroke her nose as the width of the wall plus another width before the electric fence prevents this gesture. It is one of my
favourite places where I can look over the fields and woodland to the east and westwards uphill to the sunset. I have a handful of hay from "Le Paradise des Chévres". That's the name of the field in which G's very large flock of sheep graze from time to time. I don't know how old the hay is but neither poney nor sheep were interested. In fact to show her discontent French poney turned tail towards me, did a long pee and a loud passing of wind and trotted off without looking back. Now I know my place!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

To everything there is a moment

Slowly ... pas a pas ... I am making a little further progress with renovations in MY house.
One would not believe me if I were to say how long it takes to find suitable flooring, a door handle, a bathroom suite....and how to get it back to base!!!! ... and how and what to negotiate with the electrician, plumber, sander, painter, decorator, general builder, stonemason, etcetera! I have such a lot to learn and assimilate.

Do I need this week's problem to accompany the problems I have brought upon myself?

In the last week I must have spent at least one whole day in terms of time trying to connect The New House with internet and telephone facilities, to only to discover that the account, now 7 days old, isn't yet activated!! Oh, so frustrating! frustrant!
In addition 3 journeys to the BIG CITY near me, to see if I can at least get into the shop called Orange which is so bulging at its seams with people making complaints, changing equipment or buying new resources and contracts, that they cannot squeeze through the automatic doors without the alarm being activated, takes almost two hours as I am passed from one helpful French person to another, in varying degrees of those who can understand me and those who do not wish to want to understand me. Ho hum and only last week did one of their staff congratulate me on my level of French competency. It just shows one can never be complacent!

Orange ... the future for me, hopefully, will be brighter next week! GGgggrrrrrrr!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

What a difference it makes

to have no sheep and no pony. The difference is that there are far fewer flies and it is not necessary to achieve 'seven in one blow' as did The Valiant Tailor.
It makes dining on the porch, even if there is a wind that has a chill about it, a much more 'agréable' event. However, it is getting quite cold in the mornings and evenings. It is 22 degrees Celsius outdoors at 21h but it was evidently 8 degrees Celsius this morning, so I have been told! The clear skies are a bonus even though the temperatures appear to be dropping earlier than usual.
And what of the eight sheep and one French poney (notice the spelling in French has an e)? Their owner has moved them to pastures new down the lane.