My toast to the weekend

Two slices of toast.

I enjoyed a quiet and blog-free weekend these last few days, largely because I also experienced a largely internet-free weekend (see previous posts about broadband connection woes for details).

Broadband update

I spent a total of about 3.5 – 4 hours on the phone with various BT support personnel on Friday and Saturday (1.5 hours on Friday, 2 hours on Saturday) to try to get to the bottom of the problems. I won’t go into details but I essentially went round the loop of BT Broadband Support > Line Fault Team > PSTN no fewer than six times over the two days!

On both days I was told by Broadband Support and Line Fault Team that there was a fault on the line, but PSTN (the local exchange) swore blind that the line was okay, so I’d be passed back to Broadband Support and the loop would begin again, again, again.

In the end, on both days I was told that someone would call me back within an hour. Friday evening’s call-back didn’t arrive, Saturday’s “within 1 hour” call-back arrived 25 hours later on Sunday evening, by which the connection problem was still happening but not so frequently, as far as I could tell.

Our broadband connection is set within the router (Voyager 2500V) to be always on, and to reconnect automatically when it drops out. Do you know how often it should healthily drop out and reconnect? In our old property I was never aware that it did, but here it appears to reconnect about 2-3 times a day, at least.


On Saturday around lunchtime I was sick. I’d been feeling tired and as though I was fighting something all week and it culminated with a few minutes staring into a small ceramic pool of water while emitting more than a few primitive, gutteral sounds.

However, on the up-side it did mean that I didn’t have to go through that emotional roller-coaster of high expectation leading to disappointment, anger and despair that I’m used to when watching the rugby. Instead, through the whole 80 minutes of play, I maintained a steady feeling of disappointment, discomfort and sadness. I can thoroughly recommend it as a coping strategy for watching rugby!

Meanwhile Jane was in Edinburgh, working this weekend.


On Sunday we entertained friends from Edinburgh. The lovely Dusty and Joy visited for lunch, and then while Jane and Joy took the dogs for a walk Dusty and I played guitar.

Our Sunday evening was spent watching an episode of 24, series 2 on DVD before watching David Tennant and Sarah Parish in the BBC drama Recovery. What a wonderfully powerful and poignant story about the impact that brain injury has on a family.

I found myself more than once in tears as scenes reminded me of our family’s fifteen years’ experience of living with brain injury between 1983 and 1998. For those who don’t know, my dad suffered three sub-arachnoid brain haemorrhages on the Ides of March, 1983 which left him with what would become progressively worse brain injury.

The drama was very, very well acted — absolutely full-marks to David Tennant — with some powerful insights and issues raised. What complicated beings we humans are, who perform the most complex of tasks that we categorize as “simple” and “every day”, such as making a piece of toast, which are much, much more than that. (In the drama Tennant’s character Alan sets fire to the kitchen while trying to make a couple of slices of toast.)

An emotional weekend all-in-all, and not quite as relaxing as I might have liked. But there were more than a few elements that made me smile and feel that life was indeed good.

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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