Even before we left
we received the text and email that BT had successfully transferred our phone and broadband to our new address, at no extra cost, lovely jubbly. When we finally located the phone in one of our many packing boxes and plugged it in there was no dialling tone whatsoever. Try all the sockets in the house: no hint of a tone. We phone BT - how did people manage to fix their landlines before mobiles? - and get fobbed off with various things we're probably doing wrong. Still no tone. Eventually London detects that the fault is with BT and they'll sort it out within a week. India
No internet - yikes. How do we search for a 4x4 car that we're now convinced we need after driving up our lane several times? Thank Apple for iphones. If you sit in the corner of the conservatory, or better still stand in the sheep field, you get two bars of internet reception. And that's where I learn you can buy a dinky 4x4 at an affordable price and in the right colour, but more of that later.
Fast forward a few days and a local BT engineer phones (my mobile, of course) to say he's on his way. Fantastic. He even finds the house without needing to phone again - "I use a map, not sat nav" - and after a few checks locates the fault 247m away. From the shelter of our conservatory we watch him tramp across a field in the rain and do I'm-not-sure-what for quite a long time.
Eventually he returns with the verdict:
"I've located the fault but it's underground, and I'm only an overground engineer." Of course.