After years of refusing to countenance having a Sky dish, three days of appalling reception a fortnight ago finally forced a collision of shove and push. Phoned up Sky, arranged a package with an HD Sky+ box, sat back and waited. The installation man was due to arrive to between 8am and 1pm on Monday, a five hour period ostensibly known as morning. There was no sign of him by 12.30pm, so I called the only phone number I had for Sky.
Recorded messages informed me the installer would have phoned by 9am on the day he was due to visit, so I'd known when to expect him. Nope, that didn't happen. There seemed to be no way of actually conversing with a human, to find out where the installer was. I shrugged and got back to work. The missing dish bloke turned up at 12.59pm - props to him for making it in time. His arrival heralded a torrential downpour, after weeks of sunshine.
He wandered up and down the road, ascertaining where everybody else's Sky dish was pointing. Once the optimum direction was found, a problem became clear: trees. There's a lovely copper beech at the front of our property, with a rubbish ash tree beside it. Both are tall - taller than the house. That wouldn't be a problem, except they're in exact alignment with our place and the optimum direction for Sky reception. Not good news.
Dish bloke wandered round the back garden, searching for the best possible signal, before reporting he was struggling to get 50% strength. Our only hope would be strapping the dish to the highest point of our home - the chimney. But that's a two-man job involving steeplejacks and grud alone knows what else. So a dynamic duo of dish blokes is coming today to scale the eastern face of our house, in search of good signal.
If that doesn't work, Sky will refund our money and it's back to watching Celebrity Masterchef and Torchwood through a televisual snowstorm effect. Living in the Scottish countryside, there's no chance of cable ever getting near us - so it's Sky or nothing. I find it ironic that Rupert Murdoch's empire is painted as this mighty, all-consuming monolith, yet it's being vanquished by two trees in our garden. Oh well, back to work. Onwards!
UPDATE: The trees won. Not only are our trees too tall, those across the road are even taller - and they're all blocking line of sight to the relevant satellite. Which smells of wee, frankly. Grrrr.