Saturday, 11 May 2013

Snail-pace Internet in Welsh Valley

Guest Blogger is author Deborah Lloyd on Signs & Synchronicities Vegetarian recipe is Cauliflower & blue cheese salad

Snail-pace Internet connection in Welsh valley (and elsewhere in Wales)

Dear Friend,
I do not write as often as I want to. I have many things I would share with you… but! Due to extremely slow connection speeds in my little Welsh valley it takes so very long to carry out the simplest of tasks (check and send emails, and so on) that increasingly, I do not have the heart to log on very often these days. I have tried to explain to friends on numerous occasions why I have not responded quickly to their messages on email, Facebook, and so on. But when, recently, a BT engineer told me that the speed of my connection was a feeble .5 to 2.5 and that the optimum is 80+ I can now be specific and am understood.

I have learnt that my problem is widespread throughout rural Wales. The capital, Cardiff, is fine as there is a good consumer base so they are on fibre optic which gives the 80+ speed. In my valley (and elsewhere) hundreds of people have access to the web through a single cable. This means that, for instance, when the kids are home from school, it is pointless trying to log on as even when I connect the loading time is not worth the wait.

This is how a connection speed of .5 to 2.5 works:
* I needed to check an email urgently last week and though it was late evening the process took 60+ minutes and I could not send an email reply so I sent a text instead.   
* A few weeks ago I was going on holiday and needed to check in online and print a boarding pass. This procedure took 90+ minutes and I only printed the outgoing pass, I gave up on the incoming one. I also needed to book a coach journey but by then it was almost 1a.m. and though I was nervous that I wouldn’t get online the next morning I had to risk it. I did get online and the booking procedure took about 90 minutes.
* When I go onto Facebook, ACW Facebook, or O Books Facebook, and so on - to post something / read other people’s posts / comment on things that grab me – I need to do so very quickly before the connection is cut, as so often happens. This is a shame as I really do enjoy catching up with Friends this way. I feel out of the loop and as if I am passing the message that I do not care about my Friends - which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Why do simple tasks take so long?
What happens is that the programmes load like a snail, and moving between pages is as bad. When I am determined to, say, check emails, I have begun to read a book while the loading goes on, which prevents me from wanting to throw the computer out of the window ha, ha. The bigger the programme the slower the procedure. The Facebook programme, for example, is so big that I cannot face the 30+ minutes it takes to reply to messages. So I have asked my Friends to email me instead.

But at least I can often get online these days. When I first came to live here almost two years ago I regularly could not. Then last July the service was down for almost a month. I wasted hour upon hour, day after day, speaking to BT engineers in India (very helpful and polite) who finally sent an engineer to check that the problem was not with my cabling at home. He told me that the local cable had failed. It had been failing since I’d been here.

The cable was renewed but though I could get online occasionally, mostly I could not. One day I spoke to a BT Openreach engineer working locally on another job who explained the problem. The original cable had been 6 miles long. The new cable was 8 miles long. Even at 6 miles most of us were too far away from the Exchange so 8 miles was giving an even worse service. The old cable was being drawn out and a new one would be threaded through in its place, so that the cable length would be 6 miles as before.

The job was done. My connection speed is as poor as before, but I can get online more often. It turned out that I was one of the lucky ones when the cable failed as neighbours who were with a different broadband provider, such as Talk Talk, or whatever, were without Internet access for months. As a BT customer I get the best service possible at the moment in my area.    

Apparently, BT has pledged to bring the rest of Wales up to speed. But when this will happen I have no idea. I recently got a letter from BT saying that they plan to charge their broadband customers £1.50 for each paper bill. Since my service is so poor I am writing to ask them to wave this until they provide a decent speed. I will keep you posted on that. In the meantime, I ask for your patience with email replies and so on.

On a positive note, giving up squandering so much time on the most basic tasks on the Internet means I have been able to concentrate on my next novel. I am happy to report that I am steaming on with it.

If you need to contact me urgently and you know me well enough to have my details please phone or text me. Meanwhile, I wish you a fabulous summer!

Love and blessings

Teresa x

Guest Blog

Signs & Synchronicities  
By Deborah Lloyd  

This morning, I checked my email and there were 33 new messages in the inbox. Driving home from a Reiki session a few hours later, I looked down at my car odometer and the last two digits were 33. Over the past two weeks, I can list six other times that the number 33 jumped out at me!

Since I believe in signs and synchronicities, the meaning is clear to me. My husband and I are in the middle of finding new rental space for our massage and Reiki business. My strongest feelings are calmness and acceptance. I intuitively know it is the right time for a relocation and a refocus. Spirit is sending me affirmations that my intuition is correct - and my peacefulness continues to expand.

When I look back on the many episodes of signs in my life, I simply smile. They come in clusters - I went through a period of finding shiny pennies; another period of angel pictures and figurines showing up in the most unusual places; times of frequent, brilliant rainbows. Every time I was going through some kind of transition (or transformation) - and I thanked God for His Continual Presence in my life.

Synchronicities are amazing coincidences, full of potential meaning, that occur. The Universe lines up these special events to make a point. The truly amazing ones are so fantastic, no one could make them up! And, there are smaller ones, easier to miss. One of the synchronicities that show up in my life frequently is someone mentioning a book. Within a day or two, someone else mentions it. And, soon again, a third person tells me about it. The meaning - there is something I need to learn in that book. I buy, or find, the book immediately because there are messages for me - and I need to hear them - now.

A few years ago, this life lesson was given to me in meditation: "Synchronicities are God's way of getting our attention." When something unusual grabs your attention, think, meditate and pray about it. And, the more attention you give to such signs, the more you get....

Now, back to the number 33. Numerologists believe that 11, 22 and 33 are special spiritual numbers indeed. So, not only am I receiving affirmations that we are on the right track with our business transition, there may be more significant meanings. Ahhhh....this transition is being guided and protected by Spirit, and our energy work will be infused with Love and Peace. Gratitude fills my heart as I contemplate the number 33....[]
Deborah Lloyd shares her healing journey and the 33 (yes, 33) life lessons she learned along the way in her book Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons  Please see to learn more about her story; and follow her on Facebook, at deblloydhealing.
Comment from Teresa
Thank you for this contribution Deborah. I too am always praying for God’s guiding hand in my life and watching for signs.

Thinking of Deborah’s 33 I looked in the Bible at Numbers (fourth book of the Pentateuch) chapter 33 and read: “These were the stages of the journey by the Israelites when they left Egypt in their companies under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Moses recorded their starting-points in writing whenever they moved on at Yahweh’s order.”  I liked the symmetry there about guidance! 

Vegetarian recipe: Cauliflower & Blue Cheese Salad
With the days getting warmer I am sharing a nutritious salad recipe.


½ small cauliflower - broken into tiny florets
½ small red onion – finely sliced
1 large tomato – roughly chopped
1 celery stick – finely chopped
200 g blue cheese – crumbled

Dressing: juice ½ lemon, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in salad bowl and mix in dressing stirring well. Serve with crusty bread, or as two portions of side salad with a hot dish such as omelette, soup or quiche.

Invitation to be my next * Guest Blogger: If you have an idea for a post or a veggie recipe to share please contact me on:

I welcome your comments on the above.

Coming next: Labyrinth inspiration by author Lisa Barrow

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