... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Monday 11 June 2012

Some kind of service is resumed

I have finally found a way - a very simple and obvious way - around the internet access problem. I went into the T-Mobile shop and bought a sim for the iPad. It works beautifully, better than the 3 one ever did, truth be told, inside the boat at any rate.

I am certain that the problem lies with 3's lack of capacity. They have by far the biggest share of the data market, but are the smallest network. They have no 2G network to fall back on, unlike the other providers - who are also doing deals to share their networks too. It's a shame, as 3 have provided a great service, simple to use, and at a very good price. They (I read a magazine article online but forget what it was, some mobile phone magazine) are desperate for the government to auction off the next tranche of capacity but the other companies are doing their best to delay it because they don't need extra capacity; they are currently using their 2G allowance for 3G (or something like that) and aftervthe auction they will have tompay for it at 3G rates. So it's notvreally 3's fault, and the manager of the shop in Cannock has been brilliant in trying to help us sort it out.

We tried a 3 mifi Adam, but it made only a ,marginal difference - it brought the laptop up to the speed of the iPad (presumably because of its better aerial) butnit was still too slow to use. It worked really well though inasmuch as the laptop and the iPad both connected to it with no problems and when we get back from Braunston I might look into a T-Mobile 'Pointer' which I understand is their version of mifi, but 3 have bagged the mifi name.

The other obstacle has been that because we run Ubuntu (Linux) on the laptop, only certain dongles are compatible with it, and all the ones that are are the ones 3 use locked. Hence the beauty of the wireless connection.

Other things I have been doing include starting to paint the inside of the back cabin. I wasn't happy with the austere green and cream in the end, it was austere to the point of chilliness. So I decided to introduce some red - the same crimson as is on the outside. Despite being warned that it would look like a Turkish brothel, I am pleased with the result so far. I think it's more 'Victorian railway carriage', and anyway, how many Turkish brothels have chintz curtains? I did ask Jim and Iain where their extensive knowledge of oriental pleasure parlours came from, and they just shuffled their feet and looked shifty.

I am also making all new curtains, having bought a nice pair of floral chintz ones a while ago. The pattern looks almost identical but the new fabric is actially much nicer, both in terms of its quality and the pattern - cleaner looking and less faded, and with added lilacs! Photos of those when they go up - I have made a pair of bed curtains too, to soften the look of the place further. It seems obvious that when you have a small space that it willmlook bigger if painted in a pale colour and kept uncluttered, but I am not so sure that you don't actually get more illusion of space from breaking it up into separate areas. So now I have a bright, even harsh, kitchen, a cosy lounge (sidebed) and a flowery bedroom (cross bed). Not sure yet how I'll approachbthe area round the range, although it is already improved since I painted the panel to the right of it shiny black instead of cold cream which always looked dirty.

Jim meanwhile has been working in Bakewell's foreward well deck, tanking the bilge with bitumen and making new false floors. This should prevent any morevtrophy rabbits being concealed under the water tanks.


  1. Hi Sarah,
    How much download do you get with T-Mobile? Les wants to know. We use T-Mobile on contract but had a big problme when upgrading to a pointer as they had changed the data download from our old 3 gig to 1 gig. After complaints we got 10 gig--cheaper than the old 3 gig.
    Les & Jaq

  2. It's £15 for 1gb on PAYG but the man in the shiop did promise cheaper deals if I were to take out a contract - up to 5gb for £15 with the Pointer, iirc.