2014 – Day Eight

Travel day today. we set off up the M4 and a series of other main
roads to head towards Newport. As usual, I fall asleep. I can’t say
that I find main roads that exciting. Hmmm.

Anyway, once in Newport we settle and head into town…and it’s at
this point that the challenges of the day start.

We ostensibly need a top up for the phone, as we have
extinguished the data plan I was on. We are still fuming that our
unlimited data plan is off the cards. Cross,cross, cross! We try to find
a 3 shop to avail and end up instead at the EE shop. Now don’t ask
me why, but at this point Chris decides to change networks. We
move from TMobile to the Orange network. So far so good and
back to car we traipse. Mobile on, minute 1, website search ..fail,
minute 2, call to the Orange help desk….to be told I am out of
credit, minute 3. Minute 4 tempers are short. Very short. Back to the
shop we traipse.

And then we escalate to a comedy farce. They can’t work it out and
can’t get through to the help desk, but eventually they do and claim
that there was an issue with my phone number’s previous owner in
that they owed money on their account and therefore my account
was wiped the moment the number was activated. My account will
be credited in full within 24 hours etc. Hmmm. Less than impressed,
back to the car we go again. Good work out this.

On a much more fun note, we pick up up our bikes today. They are
flat packed and look like they present a challenge to assemble, but I
have faith in Chris. He is unfailingly good at this stuff and I have the
luxury of it not being my problem. We also pick up another helmet,
a bike kit and a lock. I am talked out of two silicone seat covers, a
decision I live to regret.

Night falls. No internet, unable to make calls. Incredibly frustrated.
Tempers flare. The day is lost in phone trauma and arguing over
phone trauma. 1984 didn’t quite get it right. Data owns our souls.
It’s not the system. It’s not government. It’s data. We are its slave.