Thursday, January 29, 2004

The things I do for the sake of blogging… 

Last weekend you’d have found me traversing subterranean depths, squeezing through dark, dank, constricted spaces, facing the terrors of unknown beasties that dwell in places never trodden by man…

Well, perhaps not quite subterranean. Almost though; it certainly felt like it.

Problem: How to get a network cable from the study upstairs to the diagonally opposite corner of the house, downstairs, without having cable tacked to every doorframe and skirting board in every room along the way. It took some thought, but eventually a theoretical solution was found.

I remember reading on Stormwind’s Personal Tangents a while back about Laws of Nature - of the Murphy’s law variety – that one might like to have named after oneself. I think mine might be “Theoretical possibility does not equate to practicality.” Nothing is ever as easy as it looks.

Chasing the electrons through that cable from upstairs router to downstairs PC takes you on a magical mystery tour of all the hidden nooks, crannies and passages of our old-ish and much extended house. Through ducts boxing in waste pipes, passing through walls by way of a disused airbrick, through pipes for ventilation – and the aforementioned underfloor space.

There’s just enough vertical clearance between concrete ground cover and the suspended timber floor to crawl caterpillar-like under the floorboards, entering the space by way of a few short removable sections of board hidden in a cupboard; just enough clearance to squeeze my diminutive frame through the gap and with appropriate contortions enter that black hole.

So it was that I found myself clad in overalls, baseball cap to keep the cobwebs (and their occupants) out of my hair, headtorch lighting the way, worming my way around brick support pillars, hoping not to meet any big, black, hairy, fast-running arachnids. I’m not an arachnophobe exactly, but they and I aren’t best friends either. Especially when met at close quarters in confined spaces. Fortunately the only live one I found was small, brown, may have been mildly hairy – I didn’t look too closely – and was peacefully going about her business, at a dignified pace, in the opposite direction to me. I let her be, and she granted me the same privilege.

Borrows’ law was inevitably invoked. I never said it would be easy. Three trips down and up again it took; six times squeezing through that hole and disentangling feet from the mass of cabling and pipework that also congregates in that corner. Forwards and back again on toes, tummy and elbows. But all’s well that ends well, and eventually cable was run, mess cleared, cupboards refilled, furniture put back in place – and ancient PC now connected downstairs, so I can have blogs for breakfast.

The things I do for the sake of blogging…

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