Thursday, February 23, 2012

LIfe is full of challenges...or the saga of the satellite

We decided that with some of the generous money given to us on our leaving, we would buy a televison and a digital box so we could still keep up with England. The televison had to be ordered from the hypemarket in Macon. We finally collected it on Tuesday afternnon and were checked out by the store's security as we left to ensue we hadn't got anything else but the tele!
Like excited children we unwrapped the televison from its box and realised that the challenge had just begun. Sometimes you are really lucky in France, you buy something that needs putting together but it comes with instructions that are also in English - but not this time!
The thing is, we also had a set top box and a satellite dish to install too. One step too far we are now thinking. Joe realising that the satellite needed to be high up first drilled holes for the bracket in the wall above the verandah. But after a couple of hours work he realised that the buildings opposite were probably blocking the Astra satellite signal so the dish needed to move. Enough for one day, it was cold and getting dark when he decided he had had enough - that was on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the decision was made to resite the satellite on the wall above the kitchen window. this is in fact just below the roofline and very very high. Joe got the drill and made holes - but as he said at the time, it was far too easy...the bracket would not hold as the walls are quite crumbly...plan B... put in some cement to help the bracket  to be stable.  Cement mixed and yet another climb up the ladder. I'll leave it to set Joe suggested and had a quick cup of tea. After an hour the cement was not set, so plan C - make wooden pegs to put into the hole and then screw in the bracket. Hmm not bad..time to try putting up the satellite....Struggling up the ladder with a satellite dish tucked under your arm is hard work. Then it needs to be bolted to the bracket - well you can imagine how hard this was. Add to that the bolts dropping so easily out of cold fingers and down on to the ground and you have the picture. Then adjusting the satellite - well that's for another day! Darkness falls and so do our spirits - especially Joe's as he grapples with - can he get a signal, can he get the signal to the box and will the digital box do it's job and send a signal to the tele.
Today is Thursday, and there is more hope today as a friend has lend us his satellite finder. Joe decides this time he will see if he can find a signal before he climbs the ladders ( yet again). He has taken the satellite down over night and when he tries to put it up again the fixings in the wall have not held and as he struggles to position the dish it becomes clear to Joe that the fixings are definately not strong enough and so the post to which the satellite is to be fixed must come down...
The post comes down remarkably fast and confirms the view that under the paintwork the walls aren't up to holding much.
The decision is made to test out if in fact a signal can be found and after a while it becomes apparent that a signal CAN be found by positioning the satellite about 30cms lower than where it was first positioned. This time it is an easier job because the walls are sound there and it is a lot lower than plan B location...
Satellite goes up - and guess what, suddenly we can no longer find a signal. In desperation Ruth drives over to a friend's house 30 minutes' drive away and through mist and dense fog to borrow his set top box which we know does this time it is almost 8pm...plug in the box - it works but  - you've guessed it - no signal from the dish. At this point Joe silently goes to have a shower and I go to cook the tea which we ate 20 minutes ago (at 9:15). Tomorrow is another day... and perhaps THE day, when we finally see a picture on our TV - but who knows???

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