Archive for September, 2007

Danger of Death

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

“Fucking Assholes!” said the electrician. This was the pinnacle of his profanity, but he’d been working up to it as he got steadily more incredulous over the last ten minutes.

Welcome to the latest episode in the continuing story of my bathroom. The electricity to the shower was reconnected this week so the plasterer can come in and try and make the place look less like a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

It’s taken a while to sort out the mess left by the previous guys — the second lot I got in and then fired after three days as they were useless. There were a few wires lying around which the electrician had assumed were just old wires. I suspected they were in fact the main wires for the shower and the lights, and so he tested them.

“Well, it’s very live,” said the electrician, looking somewhat surprised.

“Is that bad?” I asked, wondering if something could be ‘very’ live and if it was in someway worse than normally live.

“Well I wouldn’t touch it,” he advised.

Well quite, fortunately I’ve been avoiding the dangerous looking cable for the last few weeks as it flapped it’s exposed connections around about eye level. In fact I tucked it behind a convenient pipe, which may have been less wise than I originally thought.

Suddenly it occurred to me what had happened, because the roof has been raised a few feet the last lot cut the wires to take down the roof and left them one end dangling, the other must be behind the roof. The electrician said they wouldn’t have done that, but I explained that they were a bit of a dubious lot and so he looked for the other end of the wires and discovered them lurking behind a roof panel.

So the last lot had just killed the power, snipped the wires disconnecting the earth to the pipes and then turned the power back on leaving the live lights and shower wires hanging out of the wall.

Danger of Death

Finally convinced beyond doubt that they’d really done that the electrician completed his stream of profanities by pronouncing them “Fucking Assholes.”

“They were cowboys, that’s why I binned them,” I said.

“You just don’t do that though. It’s really dangerous, in the bathroom with all the water, you could have been frazzled …”

Eeek.

It’s all fixed now, just the plastering, tiling, and painting to go.

Madness

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

With the benefit of hindsight I can now see that camping in Ullapool in September wasn’t the most sensible idea in the world.

There were some good points. The bands were mostly good, the beer was reasonably priced, and the food was a good notch above the usual festival crap. The campsite is in a lovely spot, sandwiched between Ullapool itself and the sea and it has proper facilities. Ullapool is small enough that everything is in easy strolling distance, so you can always head to the shops or the pub.

There were some bad points. We arrived really late (because Ullapool is miles away) and started off the weekend well by having two of our bags nicked as we were trying to set up the tents. The staff seemed shocked (shocked!) by this so it looks like this year has brought a lot more wankers out of the woodwork to travel up here. The atmosphere on the campsite wasn’t what I expected, I’d been looking forward to something more relaxed and ned-free but it didn’t really happen. Although people were pitching in to help each other put up tents it did seem that over the weekend another group of people were doing their best to unpeg them again.

Apparently there were more thefts over the weekend and there were warning signs posted on the Saturday night. I wonder if the fact that Franz Ferdinand were headlining had any effect on the dynamics of the whole thing. Security seemed pretty poor overall, particular campsite security, it’s a shame that even such a small event should need serious security coverage but it seems to be the case.

I can’t really complain about the weather, it was the windiest campsite I’ve ever stayed at but I should have expected that. It did manage to utterly destroy my tent, but the old thing had had a good life and it was probably time for it to be taken out back and shot anyway.

Am I glad I went? Well, it was an experience and you have to try these things.

Would I do it again? Well certainly not the camping, but I think it might be worth going if you can get room in a hotel or a B&B or can rent a cottage nearby. The problem is by the time you know what the lineup will be all the rooms will already be nabbed.

No pictures as I opted not to take my camera, but if you’re on Facebook you’ll be able to find some tagged to my profile.

A list

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Things I may never be again, a list:

  • Completely Warm
  • Completely Dry
  • Completely Clean
  • Camping in Ullapool in September

More details once I’ve had time to relax and recover.

Cold

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Summer appears to be over, the nights are drawing in, and it’s suddenly turned cold.

So, what am I doing this weekend?

Camping.

In Ullapool.

Current forecast, pretty much the opposite of warm and dry.

Comments

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

I get comments. Mostly they’re spam (you’ll notice a new Spam Karma 2 footer showing how many have been eaten.)

But sometimes I get surprising comments.

Remember my post about Aspray a couple of months back? Well, it’s now got an interesting comment on it, a snippet:

We at Aspray were very distressed to read the article ‘Why Aspray sucks’ and especially concerned for the person who had experienced such awful service from the company.

It is both unacceptable and inexcusable that they should be treated in such a manner and as the Marketing Manager based at the Head Office I can only apologise and reassure this person that we will be looking seriously into this matter.

You can read the full thing here. They also contacted me personally saying more-or-less the same thing. I should find out the results of the investigation and I’ll try and post what I can in the forthcoming bathroom saga wrap-up post.

But first, kudos to them. For either having the sense to search the internet for references to themselves or, if they were tipped off, for handling it the way they did. Their response is all someone could hope for, no cease-and-desist, no request to remove the content, just a well thought-out response that doesn’t attempt to avoid or deny the reality of my experience and it includes a promise to investigate further.

There are multi-national companies that could learn from that level of customer service and marketing expertise. Just the few minutes that it took to make contact with me has dramatically shifted my opinion of Aspray.

Well done.