Week 28: Connected
Telecoms engineers were to come again on Saturday. The new appointment was prefaced by several mobile phone calls and text messages, and the engineers turned up very promptly at nine in the morning. They looked like another uncle–nephew combination, but as they were less forthcoming with familial information and world-views than the previous pair, we didn’t find out. ‘The connection isn’t complete. We need more cable to be installed. We’ll come back later.’
Fair enough. We decided to go for coffee and pastry, and to check emails. The road up from our valley – the long way round, when not fording the river – is a 2-kilometre dirt track. Until this day, we’d never passed anyone coming the other way. Today, we saw a truck up ahead. We pulled aside and waited for them to bounce past. They had two telegraph poles in the back. This looked promising.
On the top road, we saw our two engineers coming back. In the Portuguese style, both vehicles stopped dead in the road to discuss the matter. We had plenty of time to go for a coffee, they said. They didn’t need to get back into our house for an hour or so.
More and more promising.
A bica, a sticky pastry and many emails later, we went home. On the way back down the dirt track we saw the truck we’d seen earlier, and a man up a telegraph pole fixing a cable. Excitedly, I took a photo, then we drove by – over part of our cable, which was lying in the track – and carried on down. The linemen were not far behind us. In no time at all, our landline and wifi were operational. This small miracle was delivered very calmly by the engineers and the linemen, who did not apparently think it was miraculous at all. Our internet connection is slow, but I’m still very happy. And in the end we didn’t have to ask our agent to work on our behalf either. It all just happened.
We have one olive tree dropping fruit. The other olive trees don’t have fruit. I don’t know if they are taking a year off, or fruited earlier, or don’t fruit at all. Eleutherio isn’t interested in the olives, so we decided to harvest them ourselves. I started picking them by hand in a manner probably reminiscent of Margot Leadbetter mucking in on The Good Life. I got to about two dozen olives when Husband declared me to be too much of a townie, and came to the rescue with plastic sheeting and big sticks to knock the fruit down with.