I hate Openreach….

Let’s just get to the point in the title.  We have an underground fault just near my house, directly after the main box, it’s basically a junction that some muppet tarmaced over some years ago and when it rains, the water gets in and loads of people lose their phone line and internet, I am the first house in line to it’s easy to pinpoint exactly where the problem is.  I reported the fault in December 2013 and fought a battle with various people, including management at the phone company and Openreach to get it fixed, but it involves traffic lights and a possible road closure and each time they apply to the council, the sun shines, the ground dries up and the computer says fault ‘fixed’ (I am told) and the proposed work plans stop.  Then it rains again…..


There’s a lot more to this story (I am the bane of my phone and internet company, they pass me around so they can each take it in turns to deal with me, I’m afraid the ‘project manager’ bit of me just doesn’t get why Openreach pour money into sending out engineers daily, but wont actually fix the fault, and insist that a temporary, intermittent service is acceptable, even after a year.  There’s also a whole bit about a temporary line to try and keep me happy that the wild rabbits keep chewing through, but that’s a whole other story).  ‘Chocolate’ and ‘teapot’ springs to mind.  Suffice to say, it’s been raining a lot and sadly we have been without internet and phone lines on and off for a while, but today – hurrah! – the internet, at least, is on, so I’m rushing out a quick blog post to say hello and try to do a catch-up.


Christmas was wonderful, one of the best in fact.  We were lucky to be invited out to France to stay in my sister and BIL’s chalet.  The boys and I had our first skiing lessons…..I’m a natural 😉 (ha ha, well I wasn’t awful, anyway) and we really loved it, so we will be hitting Chatham dry slopes to get up to standard, before we move permanently out to live in France (just kidding V).  My brother and his wife also came along, our first Christmas together since Mum died, it was really special to be with my siblings, I just wish we all lived closer together and could see each other more often.  I got my vintage glad rags on for the day itself and meant to take a photo but never did, this headshot selfie is the best I have.


I’m sorry the images in this post are quite ‘festive’ looking, I know that come the new year, everyone’s moved on from red and gold, but I wanted to show some of the things given and received.  Sneaked in at the top there (so you didn’t get too bored of my moaning about effing Openreach without a photo to soften the rant) is an Isak ‘Tingleby’ serving set, bought as a gift.  I love these pieces, I have a platter myself, bought some years ago, and I use my own little dishes daily.

DSC_0151Above, the genius fun gifts from BIL, involving a 1970’s quiz and relevant prizes.  I won a bottle of ‘Charlie Gold‘, which is hilarious and smells just as I remember (it’s quite scary, my advice would be to only spray it in large open spaces, we all nearly choked on the mix of that and the ‘High Karate’ which my brother won) and some Bazooka gum.  The sweet lip balms (bought via Amazon) are nothing to do with Christmas gifts, I bought them as pinata prizes quite recently but they are great fun, really do smell like the relevant sweets and I thought would be ideal cracker gifts for next year, if you’re making your own.banglesAbove, is a gift received, some beautiful celluloid bangles that I had on my ‘wish list’, from Passionate About Vintage.


I also got this Esther Williams swim suit (clearly NOT me in the photo!).  I already have it in red but this is the very best swim suit I’ve ever found for my *ahem* curvier figure, that also has a retro vibe about it and as I swim with the boys every week, it was right up there on my list.

DSC_0156Again, in given was this little bundle from the amazing Etsy shop Jurooma.  I’ve blogged about the beautiful felt work from here before, and specifically about the minimalist, but delightful packaging.DSC_0169 Inside is lots of felted goodness.DSC_0171 Including a poppy for my Aunt.  I have a similar one and always get lovely comments when I wear it on my winter coat.DSC_0176I’d originally planned to use the berries as part of the gift packaging, but then I thought it might detract from the fact that each piece is handmade and individual so I gave them wrapped in their original bags and ribbons.

DSC_0146 Finally, a couple of gifts from me to me, just because.  This beaded pouch, which now holds my make-up came from Anthropologie.  I got it on offer when I was buying other gifts to give, yet again it reminds me how hard it is to compete with mass marketed loveliness that is available out there these days.

il_570xN.694098073_sgr7And not exactly new, I’ve owned it quite a long while now but I know I’ve never blogged about it, a vintage, hand-knitted 1960’s jumper from Zest vintage.  I have shown a similar sweater, that also came from Zest, and which travelled to France with me this year, but I’m wearing this little number today as it’s a bit nippy.  I always get stung on the custom tax when I order from Zest (I don’t mind paying the tax, it’s the handling fee that gets me) but even with that added on, I really do think for such a beautiful hand knitted jumper, which I plan to own and wear for years, it’s worth it.

I hope to try and do some blog reading whilst the internet is playing ball, I haven’t opened the shop back up yet as I’m too nervous that I wont easily be able to process orders when it goes back off and with the forecast rain and snow (oh, yes please to the snow!) I imagine it will be a bit erratic for a while.  Wish me luck 🙂

PS, I should say, the phone engineers are all lovely, I’ve never met one that hasn’t tried to be helpful, it’s just the organisation that needs sorting out.  Seriously, they need a decent project manager on board…..wonder where you’d find one of those 😉

19 thoughts on “I hate Openreach….

  1. Well while your shop is closed you should offer your services Beth! 😉 I honestly feel your pain, these sort of things really get me going too! I usually end up swearing at some poor soul in India!
    France for Christmas, how wonderful, lucky you and for a second there I thought you where moving there!
    Lots of lovely gifts too, those felt berries are soooo gorgeous!
    I had to laugh at the Charlie and High Karate, that does take me back!
    Good luck with the Internet !!
    V x

    1. Heck yes, V, I could do with the money too!!! Little tip for you, if you have phone/internet problems and you bitch on twitter and hashtag the big, main phone company (who I used to be with but lost to will to live dealing with, so I moved) they contact you direct and you get to chat with a person in Ireland instead of dealing with the call centre in India. At least, that’s always been the case for me anyway. Apparently they are quicker to deal with possible negative moans on social media than problems reported via their call centre!!!

      I keep teasing my sister (a different version of ‘V’) that we are going to go live in her chalet. She LOVES the idea, really she does 😉


  2. Hi Beth, I seem to be having trouble commenting. Hoping this one works and very Happy New Year, I did have more to say but it keeps getting eaten – rather like your internet! Juliex

    1. Oh pants in the disappearing comments, I just made sure they weren’t getting spammed but that isn’t the case. Happy New Year to you and your lovely little gang too. I do have internet again – hurrah! – it was the rabbits chewing the temporary line again, it makes me feel all McGreggor 😉 Bethx

  3. We had awful trouble with BT and open reach when we moved in to our new house 18 months ago. However, we emailed the CEO and you wouldn’t believe how quickly it was sorted! I recommend you do the same!

  4. Hi dear Beth,
    I’m so glad you had a lovely time with your family in France, it’s so good to catch up with everyone isn’t it. That’s the best bit about Christmas 🙂 You look lovely in your picture in all the vintage goodness 🙂 I have to admit, I am a bit in love with your beautiful celloid bangles! Also love the needle felted goodies you have bought as presents, so pretty 🙂 Your red woollen cardigan is gorgeous, so cosy and right for the rain and wind we’ve been having lately.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely gifts on here, it has brightened up my day, just paid all my bills and so this is very uplifting! Wishing you and yours a smashing New Years with lots of happiness,
    Love Safxxx

    1. Hello Saf, I too, am in love with the bangles, I was so happy my sister saw them on my list. I’m going to be making good use of that cardi this week, we are forecast snow – eek! – the boys are excited and it would be nice to have a bit of the white stuff, but I’m not holding my breath. Happy New Year to you, I’m sure it’s going to be a really good one. Bethxx

  5. Well, I did experience a moment of alarm when I saw Charlie, that it was actually your perfume of choice…! What a lovely set of gifts, and the red cardigan is gorgeous. Glad you had such a great time x

  6. Happy New Year! So many delights in one post… a nice distraction whilst I bake a birthday cake. And grumble, we have similar problems with internet and cables being positioned too close to a naturally occurring spring. Daft isn’t it?

  7. Oh how frustrating! We rely so much on the internet these days and especially people who sell via it. I do hope it gets sorted for you. I love the idea of a 1970’s quiz and the prizes sound perfect! Love the bracelets and I am popping over to look at that swim suit.

    1. Hello, gosh yes, I feel quite bad about how cut off I feel when the internet is down, but I really am quite dependant. They boys go into a mini melt down for a moment then settle back into reading and drawing, which to be fair they do, do daily anyway but interspersed with a bit of laptop and Xbox. I really do recommend the swim suit, just be sure to only rinse it in water, I put my original one in the washing machine each week and it did eventually fade. Bxx

    1. Hi Lyn, there are quite a few UK sites selling them (the Esther Williams brand that is), but the one I linked to in my wish list was http://www.forluna.co.uk/esther-williams – they aren’t cheap but they are well lined, have a small bone in either side that holds my bust in place and the nice ruffles across the belly are excellent for hiding my tummy. I really do feel quite glam in it and that’s saying a lot about me in a swim suit!! Bx

  8. Hi Beth, sorry to hear about your lack of internet.I’ve been ‘absent’ for a long time with internet-but two computer savvy kids that hog the computer. After a while,I just had too much I wanted to photograph etc that nothing gets done! I love the gifts you have given etc. The felted flowers and berries are really lovely.Hope you’ve had a good start to the new year. x

  9. Welcome back..I always enjoy your posts! Here’s to a bolt of lightning hitting exactly where you want it to hit and either remedying the problem or causing enough damage, they have to come out! xxx

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