Friday, 14 November 2014

Life Without The Internet

I moved house two weeks ago. Moving house is very exciting. I’m on the property ladder! It’s like I’m a proper grownup at last!

There are drawbacks of course. And the biggest drawback in the last couple of weeks is that I have been forced to live a somewhat internet-free existence.

Sure, I’ve had my phone but my phone and I have a lukewarm relationship with one another at best. I jab at its onscreen buttons in increasing frustration and it does the phone equivalent of a shrug and says “Yeah, I have no idea what you’re asking me to do there, mate. Soz.” It grudgingly connects to the internet in about one in nine attempts, spends nine minutes bringing up a page and then decides that it’s all far too much effort and that it needs a bit of a lie down.

This is a far healthier phone/user relationship
Trying to connect my laptop via my phone’s WiFi hotspots resulted in unusably sketchy internet connection and a bill increase of about sixty quid. Not my cleverest investment ever.

I do have access to the internet at my day job. While it may be acceptable to to check one’s emails or pay the odd bill in the office, I think that updating one’s Spanking-themed blogs might be considered somewhat outside the company’s Acceptable Usage policy. “Why yes, I did visit a sex toys website, a BDSM blog and purchase a copy of The Spanking Psychiatrist from Amazon while connected to the office network. However, I assure you it was for perfectly legitimate business reasons.”

"And I can claim this as a business expense right?"
For the first week, it was sort of nice. I had just moved, after all. I was occupied with lugging boxes about the place and I didn’t have to worry about being Etta Stark for a while. But when the Man from British Telecom came on Monday, I was happy that my exile from the web was about to come to an end. But the Man from British Telecom couldn’t make it work. Then he went away. Then he came back later on and told me that it would be switched on at midnight. I think he just wanted to get out of my house because he certainly hadn’t activated any magic Turn Etta’s Internet On At Midnight button. Several days passed, stroppy phone calls to the help centre happened and I really, really, really wanted someone to just come round and sort my fucking internet connection out.

Then yesterday my car packed up. The whole Not Having Internet escalated to slightly hysterical proportions in my head. “I DON’T HAVE A CAR OR INTERNET!” I wailed. (Internal wailing you understand. I’m considerate of my new neighbours.) “I AM COMPLETELY CUT OFF FROM THE BOTH THE REAL WORLD AND THE VIRTUAL ONE!”

This guy, however, is totally in touch.
I had been away just too damn long by this point. I hadn’t even been able to read the lovely review Renee Rose  wrote of my book Lord Westbrook’s Muse for Spanking Romance Reviews because on the rare occasions my phone would allow me to connect to the internet it wouldn’t allow me onto Adult Only websites. There was a phone number to ring in order to have adult content switched on. It turns out I’m not brave enough to ring anyone up and ask them to switch my porn on.

I haven’t promoted my forthcoming Corbin’s Bend book. I have barely mentioned Smut Manchester the conference I’ll be heading off to later this evening. The World Wide Web was merrily getting on with its business and I was stuck on the sidelines unable to take part in the fun.

Even my Kindle ended up as a sort of book time capsule with no broadband network to introduce it to, I couldn’t purchase any new books resulting in probably the quietest two weeks in my Amazon account for years. I read all the books I had downloaded and not got round to reading (a bunch of serviceable non-spanking Historical romances for the most part) and then when I run out of new books, I re-read all the Sons of Johnny Hastings books for good measure. Because it turns out that when one doesn’t have internet connection (or a working television), one tends to do even more reading than usual.

(As a side note I originally typed that as The Sons of Johnny English which would be an altogether different proposition.)

And just when it was all getting too much and I thought I was going to do something drastic like renounce all technology and live in a cave (or go to my parents’ house to update my blog – one or the other), a new man from BT came round, did whatever Telecoms Engineers do and RECONNECTED ME TO THE UNIVERSE.

What the inside of a WiFi router looks like.

I’m back! How’s it been without me, Online Community? I’ve missed every damn last one of you.


  1. I would be soooo productive without the internet, I would just sit and write, yeah? I hate being disconnected. I like to be able to dip in and out when I need a little 'company'
    Glad the move went well, barring the BT interlude.

  2. I hope you have a ball at Smut Manchester-- I can't wait to hear all about it!! And yeah...Sons of Johnny English-- would that be a Victorian version? Let's write it!! :)