But first things first. The technician spent a lot of time here, much of which was spent in working out just where all the cables are. The fault indeed was not in our stars, but in the wiring, and he snipped, fiddled, tested, and decided that indeed there was a problem. The poor man had to climb underneath the house, which, thanks to Fernando the builder's work while putting in the new floors, is much more accessible than previously, and nice and dry thanks to the fans ventilating it. He told me thst the builders had left all the- Oops, now I cannot remember what it is called - framework?, formwork which should have been removed, and apparently I have some spare roof tiles stored there too. They are the same as those used in the technician's house, and he gave me the probable date of the house's construction. There are some amazing coincidences.
The technician made a lot of derogatory comments about the work of the electrician. None of this cheered me up at all.
The telephone line is now usable, and is no longer a mediaeval torture instrument, or cruel or unusual punishment. Let us hope that this unusually felicitous state continues..
Then Telstra rang from afar, and indeed we were on the telephone for several hours. One of the things discussed was the horrifically high bill, as although the land line had been diverted to the mobile, the charges were all made on the basis of mobile costs. I think that is now sorted out, but as we checked the telephone numbers dialled, a very peculiar thing emerged, which is worrying me.
A number, a 1300 one, has, according to the bill, been made from my landline , at least once a week. After I finished talking to Telstra, I looked at my previous bills since the account was transferred from Dr P's name to mine, and these calls have been made since April 2011. And possibly before, but I don't have those records. Often they are made in the middle of the night, but sometimes during the day. All calls last 9 seconds, and cost 35 cents each. I have no idea whose number it is. I rang it and it went beep beep twice and then terminated.
I shall have to pursue this seriously, as how can my phone be used like this without my knowledge?
My phone appears to have been hacked. If I am asleep, or out of the house, and the phones remain on their bases, how can calls be made?
And it is a lesson to me to always check bills in fine detail.
I talked to the Telstra staff deputed to liaise with me, and he gave me to understand that they cannot? will not? check whose number it is. But if it is being rung on a regular basis, how do I put a stop to it?How does my phone make such calls without my action or presence? Whose number is it? How do I stop it?
I will contact the Telecommunications Ombudsman. My son did an internet search on the telephone number and it does seem to be very fishy and inexplicable.
Surely there are far more enjoyable ways of passing one's time than discussing phone bills, service difficulties and hacked phone lines, especially on Mother's Day.
I think I will keep drinking the red wine. I have been whiling away the time poaching quinces, so soon must make some more quince jelly. Much more satisfying doing this than being on the telephone indefinitely to one's telco, especially while wearing the pressure sleeve and glove, whch make long telephone calls acutely uncomfortable.