I am back from an unexpected extended Christmas holiday. My modern, expensive, high speed broadband broke down just after the New Year.
It took them four days to turn up, four minutes to find the fault and then the technician left with no promise to return. It took them another four days to find someone else to come back. When he arrived he didn’t have access to the cable and we lost the second weekend with no connection. He arrived yesterday and spent the day putting in a new cable. It still doesn’t work.
But I’m back on LinkedIn and on my blog.
Angry calls to my provider made me frustrated, so I stopped worrying, and settled down to a new life with no internet and no TV. No mobile connection either, because I live in an unofficial uncovered pocket. I was not completely lost though, I had kept my old telephone line that I never use and that noone ever calls me on.
I suddenly had time on my hands. What was I going to do with it?
My first new routine was to walk down to the local café every morning, (I live in France) to have a coffee and check the emails on my phone; an email check once per day, no longer every hour. I didn’t bother with Facebook, nor did I read or post on LinkedIn and I didn’t check the news on my phone.
My second new routine was walks. Down to the café, along the lake even in the mist and the rain. No snow yet.
My third new routine was reading. I have read more books since Christmas than I usually read in six months. I am an avid thriller reader. I caught up on all the recently published ones: Never by Ken Follet, The Judge’s List by John Grisham, Silverview by John le Carré, Turn a Blind Eye by Jeffry Archer. The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, and Billy Summers by Stephen King.
Then some other authors I have been meaning to catch up with for a long time, such as Joel Dicker, John Lawton, David Gilman, Steve Cavanagh and Alex Berenson.
And then I read books which I never usually read, ever: The Boy who Granted Dreams by Luca di Fulvio, Stoner by John Williams and The Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe about the Sackler family, all three of which I recommend.
The fourth new routine was Scrabble! My wife and I discovered Scrabble. She is French, so we alternate. One day we play in French and when I lose, we play in English. A high point was the one time I beat her in French. The low point was a period of deep depression, when she beat me, not once but twice in English.
That was my extended Christmas and New Year holiday ‘Waiting for Internettoh.’