Monday, September 12, 2011

Normal service will be resumed

During my travels internet service was very unreliable and I didn't have time at the end of each day to write, process photos and find somewhere to upload. Indeed for many days on the English/Welsh border I didn't even have mobile phone signal. Very little has changed in that respect since I began travelling in rural Britain in 2005. No phone operator offers service across the country so unless you're willing to swap sim cards between Orange, Vodafone, O2 etc every few miles then you may as well be in the pre-mobile era. Quite astounding for one of the world's technological leaders in a densely populated corner of a small island.

We got home to the farm in France at the end of August to find my desktop computer had died, and my laptop is running so slowly I can't finish or upload posts without it overheating and switching off. I'm chasing the matter with Dell but my original query just keeps getting answered by new staff without any of them progressing the issue.

Buying a new computer with English language software and keyboard layout from France is not straightforward! Neither Dell France nor HP France inspire any confidence, and their UK subsidiaries are not permitted to ship outside of the UK. Welcome to the village idiot aspect of globalisation....

I'm posting this from the new Blogger app on my iPhone. It's limited in functionality but at least I can get this message up, and with some perseverance begin to trickle out the remaining posts of our UK adventures.


  1. Mike - I have sent you an email with some info which may be of help.

  2. Any post with that handsome Mal is enough for us!

    Good luck with the computer - I know how lost I was when mine khrapped out last year!

  3. Ken was able to buy a Dell in France with a British keyboard. I'll ask him if there was anything special he did... Good luck!

  4. I've tried 3 times in last 6 months to get a Dell with English software and QWERTY keyboard, but I keep getting idiots who say they don't have the parts ( I have to keep sending them links to their own webpages!) or they keep stuffing up the quote. HP France were even more incompetent. The email thread would make you weep.

  5. I've found a good option: a UK company who builds to order and ships to France.

  6. Michelle, Wrexham3:53 am

    hurrah you're back, i was worried you'd been eaten by the welsh mountain sheep!!!

  7. Mike, I bought a Samsung laptop with English-language Windows 7 and a British keyboard from a year ago. Shipping costs were reasonable and there were no customs duties to pay. Pretty good deal.

    From Dell France in 2007 I bought a desktop machine but it was only available with a French keyboard and French-language Win XP. In 2004 Walt was able to get a Dell desktop from Paris with English software and a British keyboard, but that was the last time those options were available to us.

  8. As long as I get my Munson fix, I'm good!


  9. Hi one of my blogging friends sent me a link to your blog, I live in Shropshire and know most of the places you visited, when I get more time I will be back to read them all, I like to see what folks think of this country.
    Sorry to hear about your laptop, I know how you must feel lost without it.
    Have a good week
    Jan and George The Lad from the UK