Another day and night without internet, and without warning either - what is Mr Branson thinking? At least the utility companies usually tell you when they're going to deprive you of their services, so that you can steel yourself. This outfit just cuts you off without a word, then tells outrageous fibs on the phone about when your service will be restored.
And there was strangely-fragmented television reception too - the highly-watchable Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour just wasn't the same, with jerky stop-start images and words missing mid-sentence, when you really wanted to see and wonder admiringly at his ability to speak foreign languages fluently, ride horses, abseil, dive, climb, draw, (and, memorably, fall off a stool whilst drawing), often in an elegant suit and all with an understated wry enjoyment. I shall just have to watch the entire series again. And thanks to cable tv, I will be given many chances to do so, no doubt, as repeats ad nauseam are what my very basic package mostly has to offer.
But I did steel myself. I got the back yard cleaned up, all those pots filled with nameless brown twigs sorted out, the messy, disease-ridden New Dawn rose cut back so that it no longer scratches anyone who looks at it, even from a distance, the last (three) of the Heritage sweet peas picked from their dead-looking stems, and an astonishingly large heap of leaves disposed of.
The ferns have a while to go before I need to do anything with them, being just at the dying-but-not-dead-yet stage. I don't like to tidy them too early - ferns look so terribly, forlornly dead over the winter, and I peer anxiously at them every Spring, each year fearing the worst, till suddenly, there they are, fat buds suddenly unfurling, miraculously surviving cold, drought, and the occasional visit from a cat. I love my ferns, the only things that save the house end of the yard from being a sad, slimy green dead space where sunlight never penetrates and only evil-minded cats lurk, bent on depositing unspeakable offerings in corners.
And then I got the little pressure washer out, and cut clean bright swathes through the greeny-grubby sliminess coating the cement. A satisfying tool, a pressure washer, once (well, if) you get the hang of aiming it properly and not soaking yourself with ricocheting wet debris and alarmed woodlice.
Once the yard was all pristine, scrubbed and brushed and leaf-free, I remembered the little colony of woolly aphids on the trunk of the acer, the last of their stubborn invading army, the few resistant to the spraying with methylated spirit that had been reasonably effective earlier in the year. So I turned the pressure washer on them, and blasted that little tree clean. And inadvertently blasted all the leaves rotting under the tree out of the raised bed and all over the pristine, scrubbed, brushed, etc. yard.... I'm not the brightest, I know.
This week will be bulb-choosing time. I might shop for them online, if Mr Branson permits.