Category Archives: written posts

lies, lies, lies from British Telecommunications

BT said that for the period of time I have been without an internet connection, a prepaid connection, I would be refunded the payment for the relevant periods of time, I have been dreading the bill coming in as I strongly suspected that BT would charge me for an internet connection even though they were not providing the connection, sadly and annoyingly I am right, Monday afternoon the bill from BT arrived and they have not only not given a refund for all the time they have not provided a connection but they are also charging me for the next 3 months service even though I am no longer a customer of BT, when I phoned to explain I was told I had never complained of no internet service but only of a slow speed, I have reached a stage of feeling disgust not only for the company of BT but for all it’s employees, the number of lies I have been told by BT staff, it cannot be an accident or mistake, that frequency of lying is intended, calculated even, I firmly believe now that BT train their staff to lie, I had been putting off writing to the ombudsman but feel now that BT have left me with no choice, I am not paying the bill they have sent when I am no longer a customer of BT, I really hate it when I have to fight for my rights but fight I will, I am studying with the OU and half my course is online, submitting all essays is online and the forums for students to communicate is online, all of which I have not been able to participate in fully due to BT, it has given me a lot of time to think about and consider how we live with yet another society of have’s and have not’s, those who have internet access and those who do not, where I live many people do not have an internet connection because there is not a supply in their area, just the other end of my village people cannot get a connection and I know one lady who has no connection in her village and accesses the internet by driving the hour into Stornoway to sit in her car with laptop and dongle just to read her e mail, providing access at libraries is very limiting, we are fortunate that Stornoway library allows one hour session per day, however, Inverness library only offers a 15 minute session, if they are not busy you may be lucky and get 2 sessions, back to back, but that is still only 30 minutes a day, an unequal IT society,


on the bright side I have finally used the wall paper I bought last October, I now have a living room full of butterflies, if you are curious it is a Laura Ashley paper, totally different from any style of decorating I have done before, I usually go for plain walls, mostly just emulsion, just decided if I can’t get into the garden I’d try bring a bit of garden inside,


┬ęCopyright 2015 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

the night of 130 mph gusts …..

When I looked out at my garden as light came Friday morning I could see the storm during the night was stronger than the pre-christmas storms. Some old drawers (that should have been turned into raised beds last year) had blown away, they were in a sheltered place, upturned wet wood with several large stones on top, they had survived like that with even 90mph winds before the festive season, 3 of the 4 are blown away in scattered bits, I can see some of the debris, the fourth is amazingly still intact but along the garden, the stones were tossed aside. My mini wind proofing around some of the raised vegbeds is flapping like flags, again it had withstood 90mph winds, it was attached very firmly, with regular winter wind speeds of 70, 80 and 90mph winds nothing is ever not attached firmly. I will not be picking any fresh kale or broccoli for a while as the plants are ragged sticks.

The electric went during the early hours of Friday morning and stayed off until Saturday morning, it was back on when I got up this morning, I was very surprised by this as it means the engineers were out working through the night. I have very high respect for the service engineers here in the highlands and islands of Scotland, the weather extremes they work in at times would leave most people downing tools and complaining to their union, employer, MP, etc. thank you engineers.

Listening to the shipping forecast this morning, it is the only relevant forecast for the Outer Hebrides the land forecast is useless, I realised that gale and storm are not interchangeable words which I had previously thought, apparently storms are stronger than gales and today we here can expect, gale force 8 through severe gale force 9 to storm force 10. The Shetland isles north of the Hebrides, are expecting sever storm force 11 to hurricane force 12, I am glad I did not move the Shetland, thinking of you sister islands.

During the early hours of Friday morning Stornoway (my local town) weather meter logged 130mph wind gusts, the strongest in the UK except for the top of the cairngorm mountains which logged 140mph gusts but there are no houses up there.

While writing this and thinking of rabbit comments in my previous post I thought I’d tell a rabbit storm tale. With this change to wetter weather we now get a lot more storms from the north, previously we rarely got winds from the north, all wind protection was on the west/south west side of property, gardens, etc.
Now down at the little cove near me, across the river from the track (the track is on the north side) there is a nice very large bank that faces north, when I first saw it I named it the rabbit highrise as it was (note past tense) full of rabbit entrance tunnels. Well 2 winters ago after one of these new northern storms when all was calm I took a walk down to the cove. As I get to the end of the track I can see the rabbit highrise across the river, now perhaps I should not have but I burst into laughter as there was not a single entrance tunnel to be seen. The wind coming from the north had wiped across the sandy beach and filled all the holes! In my defense I did not realised the impact it had on the rabbits, I had visulised them tucked up in their dens just needing to dig their way out and fully expect the next time I visited the cove for rabbit highrise to be back in action. That never happened, in a single storm lots and lots of rabbits were lost and I imagined it was probably not the only place it happened. A few entrances appeared again but another storm filled them too, it is now strange down at the cove with so few rabbits scampering the other side of the river, I wonder what effect this may have had on the seagull population as they would have been the rabbits main predator and in spring and summer the gulls nest on the cliffs around the cove and along the shore.

Wishing everyone a good weekend whatever your weather and where ever you are, x

┬ęCopyright 2015 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

time stood still

looking back on progress in my garden during 2014 and it is the year when time stood still, all the hopes and plans I had optimistically early in the year came to nothing, yes plants grew both the good and the bad, the fruit and veg harvest was good (for me), however when a few weeks ago I cut the wildflower slope I saw the alder garden and remembered all the hopes I had for creating more veg beds, none of which have materialised because the rain has been so persistent and I do not want to work outside in the rain, this is a photo less post as it is raining, grey and miserable outside, so I am staying in,

looking at the year from both sides, there are some plants that have done well but there are others that did not survive and are lost forever, I know I should feel hope for the coming year but I’m actually dreading it as I do not think I can survive another year of rain, I’m making myself more melancholic by writing this post,

the veggies have been my saviour, I am so pleased I started growing veg, I am still harvesting broccoli greens and baby leeks, I have planted garlic and one set of autumn onions, the potatoes are finished but I still have 2 small net sacks of onions, I pulled the first crop of beetroot which did not grow any bulbs but I read or heard (can’t remember which) that you can sow beetroot in July for an early crop next year, well my second sowing was in July so I am leaving them and also leaving the main crop leeks which have not grown very big to see what happens,

2014 has been a double ‘R’ year, RR no not rest and relaxation, RR = Rain and Referendum,

my end of year view, like end of month views are about the garden which is what I have written about above, this year I am adding an additional writing on more worldly thoughts,

in the last week we have all heard of the ferry on fire, fortunately we now know most of the people are safe, we have all heard of the plane that is missing and now sadly believed to have crashed into the sea, my thoughts have been with the people on the plane and their families and friends, a few weeks ago gale force winds swept across parts of Asia and we heard how the people had moved inland for safety and that their wood and corrugated metal homes would be blown down or worse still blown away, I felt, still feel very grateful for my stone house that withstands the gale force winds that sweep the island I live on every winter,
things like this put other things into a different perspective and make my melancholy about the rain feel like a luxury,

wishing all my readers a brilliant 2015 and a Happy New Year x


┬ęCopyright 2014 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.