Sunday 27 August 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 27/08/2023

 One good thing about the Covid Plague was that there was none of this kissing and hugging business. Very difficult to negotiate, the etiquette of kissing and hugging - even a handshake can be problematic, especially for a woman. The person to proffer the hand first is the aggressor, as it were, the higher status individual, so if a woman advances on a man of similar social status, hand thrust out, then the bloke can legitimately and historically resent it as a put-down.
If you have to greet a French person, then you are faced with the horror of the triple cheek brushed kiss. And which cheek first? Get it wrong and you can knock someone over. Hugging these days is not perfunctory, as the hugger tends to reel in the huggee and grasp them closely and warmly for an unconscionably lengthy period of time. Any slight tensing by the huggee will be interpreted as rejection, dislike or autism. 
As regular readers may remember, I am nobbut a working class girl from t'North of England and hugging and kissing was generally regarded with horror - something a terrible old great aunt would inflict upon a child and tolerated only for the sake of a sweetie. Courting couples might indulge a bit, although there would be ribald shouts of Get a Room, and there'd be none of that nonsense after the first child was conceived. A mother might kiss her child, at least until it was weaned, but thereafter, affection would be expressed by a slap on the back of the legs, the bare bit, just above the Wellies. A father generally thought it safer not to touch, although holding a hand to cross the road was permitted, if the father was not at work, down the allotment or in the pub. Television has a lot to answer for, not least in spreading this germ-laden practice. It really is a shame that Covid-protocols didn't embed themselves into Western culture. I met a Buddhist nun the other day, who, after our conversation concluded,  pressed her palms together, bowed her shaven head, thanked me for the pleasure of my company, then gave me a packet of biscuits. Now that is a custom that I would like to see catching on.

I bet what's his name, you know, the Kissing Spic, wishes he'd adopted a more Buddhist way of congratulating Footballing Jenni Hermoso for her performance in the World Cup. 

Teach yourself Spanish

Eres tan feo/a qué hiciste llorar a una cebolla -  You’re so ugly you made an onion cry

¡El burro sabe más que tú! - Donkeys know more than you!

La mona aunque se vista de seda, mona se queda  - Although a monkey dresses in silk, it stays a monkey

Me cago en tu madre - I shit on your mother

¡Métetelo por el culo! - Stick it up to your ass!

No saber ni papa de algo  - Not to know even a potato about something

Peina Bombillas - Someone who combs light bulbs

¡Que te folle un pez! - I hope you get fucked by a fish!

¡Te voy a dar una galleta! - I’m going to give you a cookie!

Vete a freír espárragos - Go fry asparagus

Me Importa un Pepino - I care a cucumber

Tu puta madre - Your bitchy mother

hijo de puta - Son of a bitch

Hijo de la gran puta - Son of the great bitch

Hijo de la grandísima puta - Son of the greatest bitch

Pollas - Dicks

Gilipollas - Douchebag

So, using this list of common Spanish phrases and sayings, lets compose a response by Jenni to her lover's  Luis Rubiales' public demonstrations of affection, respect and congratulations. Here we go:
Go fry Asparagus, you Douchebag son of the greatest bitch! You do not know even a potato about football, you comb lightbulbs, you're so ugly you make an onion cry, you silk-dressed monkey. I shit on your mother, stick your world cup up to your ass, go get fucked by a fish and I should care a cucumber!

He does have a certain Spanish, silk-dressed monkey approach to getting dressed up to go watch his girls trounce England at the football - not just the watch and bracelet combo, but d'you see the red silk-stitched buttonholes and the buttons stitched on with red silk?
Anyway, do you suppose the media frenzy picking over the testosteronic mores of Spanish footballing culture might have its origins in - okay, dago, you might have beat us, but we have the moral high ground.
mr ishmael, who looked upon football with an anthropological eye, wouldn't agree.



By the Filth’s Sports Reporter, Gorilla Morrisons

 “Aye,” said beetroot-faced, gum-chewing, truculent Oldie-punk, Alex Fuggitson, “we got all the silverware, bar one. The lads just went out there and done it, it’s what the fans expect. They got the Drunken Driving Shield, the Beating People Up Cup, three times in a row we’s won the Stupidest Fucking Millionaire In History Challenge Cup - it’s just that Gang-Rapists Cup that we cannae seem to win.”

 “It’s no for lack of effort, the lads is dedicated to the game, they get some wee totty, in the nightclub, and they all fuck the arse off her, all at the same time, like, they’re very professional. Ordinary young men just like a bit of totty but our players cannae get it up unless they’re all watching each other, that’s true healthy teamwork and it shows on the field. Its no fair that they dinnae get the recognition they deserve. The Club does go after these wee lassies and bully them and bribe them into no pressin’ any charges, so maybe yon’s the problem, we’re hiding our lights under a bushel, so tae spreak,” grunted this obnoxious old bastard. “But gang-rapin’s all they’re fit for anyroad in today’s Blairite world, eh, so they shouldnae complain. But even so it’s heart-breaking for me to see the lads go out most evenings, coked-up in their wee Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and passin some wee slapper between them like she was a fitba and no gettin proper recognition. D’yous wanna fight? I’m yer man.”
 Fuggitson is worshipped around the world.

“It wuz one of my greatest honours wot as ever been given to me in my long career of selling fings, not avin’ to work fer that cunt no more.”

That's enough footballing. Moving on to rather more serious matters. 
There has been some discussion on the previous thread about Col MacGregor's interview with Tucker Carlson and where truth lies in this Ukrainian business. The following is a poem by 8th century T'ang Dynasty poet Li Po ("Rihaku"), translated by Ezra Pound and included in his 1915 collection Cathay. T.S. Eliot praised it by remarking that Ezra Pound had "reinvented Chinese poetry for our time." This poem is around 1,300 years old and shows that war is as old as the human race and so is poetry and reflection. Demons and angels. 

Lament of the Frontier Guard
By the North Gate, the wind blows full of sand,
Lonely from the beginning of time until now!
Trees fall, the grass goes yellow with autumn.
I climb the towers and towers
                     to watch out the barbarous land:
Desolate castle, the sky, the wide desert.
There is no wall left to this village.
Bones white with a thousand frosts,
High heaps, covered with trees and grass;
Who brought this to pass?
Who has brought the flaming imperial anger?
Who has brought the army with drums and with
Barbarous kings.
A gracious spring, turned to blood-ravenous autumn,
A turmoil of wars-men, spread over the middle
Three hundred and sixty thousand,
And sorrow, sorrow like rain.
Sorrow to go, and sorrow, sorrow returning.
Desolate, desolate fields,
And no children of warfare upon them,
            No longer the men for offence and defence.
Ah, how shall you know the dreary sorrow at the 
         North Gate,
With Rihaku's name forgotten,
And we guardsmen fed to the tigers.

Svetlana Petrenko, a spokesperson for Russia's Investigative Committee, announced that molecular-genetic examinations of the 10 bodies found in the wreckage of the private Embraer Legacy plane which crashed while on its way from Moscow to St Petersburg on August 23rd, have established the identities of all ten people and confirmed that Yevgeny Prigozhin was one of the seven passengers and three crew.
Svetlana wouldn't be lying, would she? Prigozhin isn't relaxing in some fabulous Black Sea villa, sporting a wig and counting his money? 
Marking the end of Prigozhin's splendid and mutinous adventure and his thirty-year friendship, the President of Russia said of him that: "He made serious mistakes in life. But he achieved results both for himself, and for the common good when I asked for it - like in the last few months."
I thought this extract from Exile's Letter by Li Po, translated by Ezra Pound, might capture something of that regret and necessity:

To So-Kin of Rakuyo, ancient friend, Chancellor of Gen.

Now I remember that you built me a special tavern
By the south side of the bridge at Ten-Shin.
With yellow gold and white jewels, we paid for songs and laughter
And we were drunk for month on month, forgetting the kings and princes.
Intelligent men came drifting in from the sea and from the west border,
And with them, and with you especially
There was nothing at cross purpose,
And they made nothing of sea-crossing or of mountain-crossing,
If only they could be of that fellowship,
And we all spoke out our hearts and minds, and without regret.
And then I was sent off to South Wei, smothered in laurel groves,
And you to the north of Raku-hoku,
Till we had nothing but thoughts and memories in common.......

And if you ask how I regret that parting:
It is like the flowers falling at Spring's end
Confused, whirled in a tangle.
What is the use of talking, and there is no end of talking,
There is no end of things in the heart.
I call in the boy,
Have him sit on his knees here
To seal this,
And send it a thousand miles, thinking.


The Call Me Ishmael oeuvre now comprises four volumes, thanks to editor mr verge.

Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack, Ishmael’s Blues, and the latest, Flush Test (with a nice picture of the late, much lamented, Mr Harris of Lanarkshire taking a piss on a totem pole) are available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box. Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover :
Link for Paperback :
At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage. If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.

She's off at last, then.

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Tits of Grief

 skymadeupnewsandfilth keep on fermenting hatred and anger, even that old woman, on her deathbed, virtually, and the tabloids are urging her to publicly beg Ian Brady for the location of her wee son's grave -  I drove over Saddleworth Moor recently,  on the motorway, and the prospect of some stonemad lifer, after forty years banged-up,  being able to distinguish  one clump of heather from another is risible. And yet, instead of allowing this poor woman to make such  accommodation as she can with the evil which visited her, some filthy piece of shit like Kelvin McKenzie has harried her, even unto death, ripping away any healing tissue  which might have covered her dreadful wound. C'mon, Mrs, tell us how much you hate him, C'mon, Mrs, get yer tits of grief out, for the readers, like, here's a hundred quid.

Victim Justice, whipped up, choreographed, lovingly, lingeringly and lavishly described for the delight of the salivating public by *MadeUpNewsandFilth, conspiring with "victims", who sniff the wind for their 15 minutes of fame, and maybe a book deal, a serialisation, a fucking box set and who will play me? Kim Kardashian? Lizzo, more like.

Victim Justice, undermining the impartiality and objectivity of the law, focussed on the dripping emotion of those damaged by the crime, equalled in its sentimentality only by the superstition of those throwing around evil as a term of abuse. What, evil? As in the devil and all his cohorts? Possession and all that? Mediaeval or what? 

Okay, she's not right, young Lucy. As the estimable Mr Justice Goss (he of the Carl Beech trial)  commented: most people don't kill babies. Babies usually excite emotions of care and compassion - although there's probably more infanticides going on than are known or prosecuted. So if the normal human response to babies is to look after them, not kill them, then Lucy's brain is not wired in the same way as most people's brains. In which case, why is she being sent to prison? Where she will most certainly die - and a damn sight faster than might be expected of a 33 year old; her fellow inmates and prison officers wanting to prove how morally superior they are by extracting their own version of justice. Why isn't she in a facility for the treatment of the mentally ill? I don't know, I haven't read the psychiatric and probation reports in the case, but I'd guess that it is because she has been diagnosed as psychopathic - and there is no treatment for psychopathy - so there you go, Lucy, into the prison establishment with you, take your chances. Lucy committed her offences between June 2015 and June 2016, when she was 26 years old - certainly not a child, but, from the photos of her bedroom that the press have been running, not very mature - there's a teddy bear, for fuck's sake.

Seven years ago, seven years during which the parents of the real victims, the murdered babies, have not dealt with their grief, have not moved through the stages of bereavement to patch up an accommodation with life - and put the death of their baby, only just arrived on the shores of time,  behind them, with Christian forgiveness and fortitude. And this suspended animation owes much to the ramifications of Victim Justice - in which these parents have been encouraged to pore over their victim statements - vying to state just how bad it has been, how their lives are ruined, to throw insults and names at the perpetrator, to encourage the Judge to use the heaviest sentences at his disposal - one father interviewed on the radio said that no punishment could be bad enough. What does he want? Hanging, disembowelling, sending the sundered head of Lucy, displayed on a pike, on progress through the Kingdom?
The Victim Statements, admitted one mother of a murdered baby, were not the work of a moment, they were crafted over time, designed to present their suffering in the most extreme light.
The baying of the mob is the most chilling aspect of this. Public executions were banned in Britain in 1868 - but I'd betcha they'd be reintroduced in a flash if the Great British Public had a say in the matter. And Prime Minister Sunak couldn't be relied upon - he's promising to pass legislation to force prisoners into the dock to hear the Judge's comments and sentence in person. How's that going to work, Mr Sunak? Strapping the prisoner to a board and draping them in chains? Insert matchsticks under the eyelids to keep them watching? Gagging them to prevent distracting comments interrupting the flow of Judicial remarks?

Sunday 20 August 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 20/08/2023

 Apparently, there was a football match today, but I haven't let it spoil my day. Scotland isn't letting it spoil its day, either - why would it? It's England and women - two reasons for your whoreson Central Belter to dismiss it out of hand. The antipathy of your average Glaswegian towards England is rivalled only by his bone-deep misogyny. 
I was out having lunch with a colleague of the Scottish persuasion and the talk turned to some area of welfare legislation that Orkney has failed to implement - incompetence, ignorance or stinginess - and my colleague declared indignantly: "but its national legislation". Some dreadful demon of wilful mischief made me declare: "no, its Scottish legislation, not national, Scottish." My colleague looked at me as if I had turned into an alien on the spot and hasn't invited me out for lunch since. I hadn't realised my colleague was pro-independence and she had, through long familiarity, considered me almost-Scottish. The scales mutually clattered from our eyes. I suppose we are both right, in a way. I consider myself to be British but it is increasingly becoming clear that this is a somewhat dated view, that devolution has fragmented the British identity and that it is only a matter of time before there are four nations, not a United Kingdom. My colleague's sense of a Scottish identity has been fostered by tribal football loyalties, by a devolved administration that calls itself a Government and by the whole kilt, tartan and shortbread schtick.  This identity thing - starts in the family, chunked up to the village, to the county, to the country - and is deeply, intentionally, divisive.
Anyway, they lost, the English footballing females. Much to the delight of their Scottish neighbours. 

Talking of misogyny, have you come across a performer whose stage name is Cheryl Hole? When not performing as a drag artist, his name is Luke Underwood-Bleach. He will  be 30 in  October. He earns his living by dressing up, wearing a lot of make-up and making television appearances, which now includes Celebrity Master Chef.
He has vehemently defended himself against charges of ridiculing women, saying he is a "living, breathing art-form." 
The appalling thing is that real young women (the ones with wombs and vaginas) now dress and apply make-up to ape the drag queens, who are themselves parodying some preposterous version of femininity. And round and round it goes. Luke Underwood-Bleach (now there's a name to conjure with) states that his name is a take on Cheryl Cole, and is not intended to reference women as nothing but holes.
Is this some peculiarly British obsession, originating with pantomime dames, or is it widespread Western decadence? One can't escape the thought that Putin maybe has the right idea about Western so-called values. 
Here's another instance of art: the arse-chair, designed by Fabio Novembre, Italian architect and designer. Quite witty, but you'd have to throw a loose cover over it when the vicar comes round for his cucumber sandwiches. Or maybe not.
Just Another Air Begorrah story

Michael O'Loony, CEO of Air Begorrah

Where Ruth (aged 79) and Peter (aged 80) Jaffe went wrong was: 
  • Deciding to leave their home in Ealing to travel to France
  • Booking with Air Begorrah
  • Just being too old.
They rocked up at Stansted airport without tickets as Ruth had not been able to successfully negotiate Air Begorrah's website and she printed their return tickets instead of their outgoing tickets. They were then charged  £110 to print their tickets at the airport. They should have expected trouble. I had a look at the website just - and I could fly from Stansted to Bergerac, 489 miles, on the 29th August for £29. Now that's plain wrong. It costs £107 to fly from Inverness to Kirkwall, 155 miles. No wonder the planet's going up in flames, what with the weather being a bit hot, and all these cheap buggers jumping on planes at the drop of a hat. 
Mr. O'Loony said:
"beJasus,  it's committed we are, so it is, to cheap flights and even cheaper wages.  Air Begorrah is dedicated, by the holy fuckin' Jesus, Mary and Joseph, to running the cheapest, most shoestring business operation in the history of Mammon, so we are. Pile 'em high an crash 'em in flames, that's our motto. Any fancy extras, like printed tickets, sitting next to your disabled partner or getting a drink of tap water will cost you - how else do you think we can get you from Stansted to Bergerac for less than £30?
And if anyone asks me for the 110 quid back it'll be me boot up their arses, so it will.
Just fuck off an die, old buggers - yer'll no be bringing me any repeat business, so you won't, what with being at death's door, so you are.
It's all in small print, on page 363 of our terms and conditions."

When are we getting the Politics back? It's bored, so I am, with all this pretend news and everyone being on holiday.
If you would like to catch up with some old news served hot, fresh and dripping in satire, look no further than the four volumes of the Call Me Ishmael oeuvre. 

Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack, Ishmael’s Blues, and the latest, Flush Test (with a nice picture of the late, much lamented, Mr Harris of Lanarkshire taking a piss on a totem pole) are available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box. Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover :
Link for Paperback :
At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage. If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.

Friday 18 August 2023

Another Ripe Old Fruit Bites The Dust

 Gosh my Golly, Crumbs and Jings, it's turning out to be a great year for incredibly old bastards popping their clogs, dropping off the twig, cashing in their chips and calling it a day. Will 2023 be remembered for the year that God swept out the cupboards and said,  Ahh there you are, out you come, time to go home, now?
Can't keep up with all this obituary writing, but editor verge insisted that I couldn't let the demise of Saint Michael of Arsekinson pass without remembering what a special place mr ishmael had for him in his heart.



Good evening and welcome to this, a very sad Parkinson Show with me, Michael Parkinson.
And it is my very sad duty on this, the Parkinson Show, with me, Michael Parkinson, to tell you that one of our very greatest living entertainers, -  well, for the time being, anyway, living, that is - Sir Billy Connolly, a man who we are proud to say we brought to the world back in the days of the early Parkinson Shows with me, Michael Parkinson, has arse cancer.  Now, I know, I know, that many will say, in my view unkindly, that this is what happens when you have your head stuck up your own arse for most of your life, blethering  on about your wife and your girrrls, and your friendship with the Duke and Duchess of Pork, and your estate in Scotland and all your luvvie friends but that would be, as I say, unkind, most unkind.
I often  get asked: what's my favourite  interview? Tough question.
But I would like to say, perhaps to people suffering from prostate cancer that if they want to leave their loved ones more than happy memories they should consider the SunLife Over Fifties Plan.  You can't get cover cheaper than this.  So, Billy, if you think you might survive the qualifying period of two years then I recommend this plan to you.  You get a welcome gift for signing-up for this shit and you also get a free Parker pen, just for enquiring.
 terms and conditions apply and you might lose every penny you pay in if that's what we decide.

Hello, I'm Michael Parkinson

and I've made a fortune sticking my tongue up the arseholes of rich and famous people. I have some wonderful tromboning memories but more importantly I have shitloads of money. If you are just some poor telly-watching bastard you won't have enough to bury yourself. But don't worry, if you join this Coffin'n'Hearse plan which they're paying me to advertise, you might manage to save enough for a really cheap funeral, I say might because terms and conditions do apply and since you don't have a lawyer or an accountant you might not only be dead but right regally fucked, too. But never mind that. Just for signing-away a good chunk of your miserable income we'll send you this free biro.

I'm Sir Michael Parkinson, knighted for grovelling and you can trust me.

 In his no-teevee years he wrote for the Filth-O-Graph Sports section and he was OK if you like that kinda thing, though there are far, far superior sports journos. But on his show he was always just one of God's arselickers - That's fascinating, Mr Peck, now please tell us some other ways in which you are wonderful; Mr Niven, you are adored all over the world, especially by myself, and now you are a a wonderful writer, too, have you always been so talented? He was a nauseating, grovelling showbiz cocksucker but what I really hated about the smarmy git was the way he feasted on the decline and death of George Best, a man who gave more pleasure to the world in half an hour than this fucking shithead has in his whole shabby, poncing life. I don't like Michael Parkinson.

So, to round off this fulsome obituary, over to another queen who, rather unsurprisingly, bit the dust some considerable time ago, to sing us out:

Sunday 13 August 2023

The Sunday Ishmael: 13/08/2023

 Another Incredibly Old Bugger dies.

He's the beautiful one, with the pink scarf, playing guitar like a fallen angel, making Bob Dylan look good. He won't be staying Forever Young - no-one gets out of here alive, or so I'm told. Robbie Robertson, July 5th 1943 to August 9th 2023, was a Canadian musician of Mohawk descent, lead guitarist for Bob Dylan in the mid-Sixties to the early Seventies, guitarist and songwriter with the Band from their formation until 1978 and a solo artist. He worked with Martin Scorsese, initially in his 1978 documentary of The Last Waltz - the last concert of The Band, in which Scorsese's camera adores Robbie, and thereafter on soundtracks for Raging Bull (1980), The King of Comedy (1983), Casino (1995), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), The Irishman (2019) and Killers of the Flower Moon (2023). He wrote The Weight, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Up on Cripple Creek, Broken Arrow and Somewhere Down the Crazy River. If you haven't seen The Last Waltz - you really, really should.
When I was first starting my addiction to Radio 4, I never knew who  the  General Go-Lightly Jock-Straps and Sir Humphrey Bufton-Tuftons were,  enriching us with their appalling music choices on Desert Island Discs. These days, I've heard of all the interviewees and think they are far too young to be sharing their life's musical choices. Same with the obituaries of folk in their seventies and eighties dropping off the twig. Worse, though, are the elderly still strutting their withered stuff on rock music stages. Best to avert one's eyes and remember them when they were young and beautiful. 

I have to report to Ishmaelia the passing, on the 18th July, of Mr. Harris of Lanarkshire, the BlogDog and dear companion of mr ishmael and my own dear little warm brown friend. My heart is broken and the house is empty without him.

On a lighter note, you may remember that mr ishmael always knew where his car keys were - in the ignition of his unlocked car. The Orcadian newspaper reported last Thursday the dastardly introduction to Orkney of taking ways from South. " You just don't think it happens here" were the surprised and indignant words of a young Orcadian woman, whose red Ford Focus car was stolen from outside her King Harald Kloss home in the centre of Kirkwall, Orkney's capital city, the theft being facilitated by the car having been left unlocked, with the keys nice and handy in the ignition. Rather than report the theft to the police, the lieges were enlisted, through social media, to find the car, which they very quickly did, less than 9 miles away, parked and locked. Over the next couple of days, two further cars were stolen, but soon recovered. It has been blamed on "unruly youths". The police have suggested that it might be a good idea for people to lock their cars and homes. Such an idea! Don't suppose it will catch on.
The taking and unsolicited sending of dick pics remains a popular pastime in Orkney, and, I daresay, elsewhere - The Orcadian recently reported that a care worker had been struck off for sending a photo of his engorged member to a female acquaintance. So I thought you might enjoy the following response by British writer Sarah-Louise Jordan who received, from a stranger, in June 2016, an unsolicited photograph of his penis:


Saturday 12 August 2023

The Saturday Ishmael: 12/08/2023

 The good news is, Mrs Ishmael, said Christy, the Open Reach Engineer, with a big, bland smile on his big, bland face, the good news is that you now qualify for Fibre.
But you turned me off. On the 10th July. I stumbled out of bed and into the kitchen, poured myself a cup of ambition and logged on. Or failed to log on. Nothing. Thought it was my ancient, decrepit laptop, talked nice to it, got it to self diagnose - but nothing. You are not connected to the internet. Yes, I know. Eventually realised that the nice blue ring on the BT Hub was a nasty, hellish ring of Red From Hell, and my poor old laptop had not a snowball's chance in the aforementioned. So I tried phoning BT. No signal.

"I do apologise for that," said Smiley Christy, "but I am Open Reach, not BT, and here I am, ready, willing and able to connect you. With Fibre."

Not to be distracted from my grievance, I snappily rejoindered: "And my mobile phone provides a signal like Gary Lineker eating Crisps into a microphone, interspersed with sudden silences. I howled down the mobile phone to a very apologetic BT Call Centre Flunky: You turned me off! Turn me back on again!" "Sorry," said Flunky, "It seems to be a very bad line, could you repeat that? I went into the garden, where it was raining heavily, "Is that better?" "We can't turn you back on again, I do apologise for that, but I'll book an Engineer visit for next Tuesday." 

Smiley Christy told me, with the air of imparting a business secret: "Your provider is E.E. isn't it?"

"How do you know that?"

"See that cruise liner in the bay over there? The one with the sixteen decks of passengers? 

Three cruise ships a day, seven thousand people, all on their mobile phones, using International Roaming on E.E. The local infrastructure can't handle it. Swamps it. The only way to get a signal is to drop down to 3G if your phone setting allows it. Which it usually doesn't. I do apologise for that. I'll just pull through the Fibre into your house and we'll have you up and running in a matter of minutes. I'll pop down to the Cabinet and set it all up."

After a couple of hours, Smiley Christy comes back, with an older man, Dour Derek, introduced as his supervisor, called in because they've hit a snag.

" I do apologise for this, mrs ishmael, but there's nothing we can do for you today. It seems that BT have made a mistake with your order, which is for Copper, not Fibre. We can't install Copper as your house is designated Fibre. The Copper order needs closing down, before a new order for Fibre can be actioned. We will close down the Copper order - give it a week, then you phone BT and put in an order for Fibre."

At that point, I still thought indignation, a just cause, tears and paying my bill monthly by Direct Debit might affect the outcome, but after I slowly petered out, in the face of Smiley Christy's apologetic understanding and sympathy, I asked pathetically, "You will come back, won't you? To set up my Fibre?"

"Of course, mrs ishmael, I can see you are a Vulnerable Customer. I will do everything I can for you. I will Prioritise you. Just you wait a week and phone in your new Fibre Order."

Whist waiting a week, I went round Tesco and spent an hour or so with the Tesco Mobile Phone man, who wanted to lease me a phone with EE, but I held firm, explained about the liners, and designated O2 as the provider. After the Tesco Mobile Man battled on his laptop for about a century or so, he emerged, looking at me suspiciously, clearly having revised his opinion of me - I was now a dodgy prospect as the computer had said No. "The only way we can do this, is for you to buy this phone, then purchase a Rocket package. There's a problem with your postcode." "Anything", I moaned, desperate to get out of the little cell in the corner of Tesco in which this man was doomed to spend his days and which had broken me in a matter of two hours of trying to effect a purchase. The new phone is great, by the way - but you have to prod at the onscreen keyboard and resist predictive spelling, which is tough for a touch typist and grammarian, like me.

After the week was up, I phoned BT as instructed and spoke to a very nice girl, 
who told me that she could see that the Copper order was being closed down, by Open Reach, but she couldn't put in a Fibre order yet because Open Reach systems hadn't concluded and they can't access the same systems, so wait three days and phone back.

So I did. When I phoned back, I placed my Fibre order and was told that I would be sent a hub and two digital phones. Its ok, you sent them before. Don't bother. No worries, she cheerily replied/rejoindered, you can always send them back in the special envelope we will send you.

Smiley Christy came back, pulled through the Fibre, set up the Hub, and said "All good. You will really enjoy your Fibre. Superfast, just the job for on-line gaming. All set to go live on Thursday."

Of course, it didn't go live on Thursday. So I phoned on Friday.
"Ah, yes. I can see on your account that your order has been put on Freeze/Hold."

Wondering at what point would they have told me I was freeze-dried, and beyond despair, I asked why, for the love of all that is holy?

"There's a problem with your post code. The address attached to this account does not appear on the Royal Mail Post Code Finder. We cannot process the order until we have a valid address."

"But letters and parcels are delivered to my house. My post man is very nice. We have a little game, in which he hides my parcels when I'm out, in the shed, or coal bunker or wheelie bin and my job is to find the parcel before dustbin day."
"What can I do?"

"Contact Postcode Finder"

You can't phone Postcode Finder. You have to complete an on-line form, setting out your trouble. They acknowledge it promptly, saying they require 7 working days to sort you out. They were a wee bit quicker than that, but the response was not at all helpful. They are dependent on external businesses updating their data bases with current addresses.

So I contacted the Council and the Land Registry and discovered, after all these years, letters and parcels, an alternative postcode for the address.  Then I phoned BT with the correct postcode.

This morning, completely unexpectedly, as silently and mysteriously as it was turned off on the 10th July, my connection went live.

Openreach Limited is a company wholly owned by BT Group plc, that maintains the telephone cables, ducts, cabinets and exchanges that connect nearly all homes and businesses in the United Kingdom to the national broadband and telephone network. It was established in 2006 following an agreement between BT and the UK's telecoms regulator, Ofcom, to implement certain undertakings, pursuant to the Enterprise Act 2002, to ensure that rival telecom operators have equality of access to BT's local network. (Wiki)