Thursday, 23 February 2012

Deafinitely Girly gets broadband

Guess what?!

I have broadband!!!!!!!

*insert image of hell freezing over here

I know, I always said I would never get broadband if I had to get a phoneline, too, but those lovely people at O2 cracked my resolve and finally I have joined every other household in the UK and got connected.

When researching the best broadband deals, I naturally found myself gravitating towards Virgin Media – they had hounded me with junk leaflets promising fibre optic broadband at amazing speeds in my area, and the biggest attraction with this is that you don't need a phone line to get it.

However, after a bit of research, I discovered the massive lack of subtitles on Virgin Catch-up TV, which quite frankly is a disgrace when even iPlayer on the iPhone can manage to shoehorn them in.

I could of course have opted for just Virgin Fibreoptic Broadband, but do you know what? There is very little incentive to do this – none in fact. There are no deals, no offers, nothing of the glossy promises given to those who want to take out the whole lot with Virgin. 

Couple that with my experience of the stroppiest ever Virgin representative on Twitter, and well, you can see why I struck them off my list.

O2 however, have wised up to this Twitter lark and that is how they got my custom. They're polite, courteous and get back to you within a few hours maximum. Nothing seems to be too much trouble – of course they could be sticking pins in an effigy of me behind the scenes, but up front, they're wonderful.

Abs – the person who held my hand through the whole thing – was wonderful.

And the deal?

Well, I have a phoneline – but it was only £7.50 a month, which rose to £9 before I'd even had it installed, but it gave me an excuse to pop this – a freebie from many moons ago – on my bookcase in the living room and, even if I will never EVER use it, it still looks rather fab.

But what about the broadband? Well, I got six months free because I was an O2 customer, and when there was a balls-up due to my address not existing, Abs sorted the whole thing out and rearranged my engineer visit to set the whole thing up – and he took this so seriously that he actually set up my wireless box for me, too!!

What's more, because I now have wireless at home, I can reduce the data package on my iPhone, which will all save the money needed to go towards my monthly broadband costs.

I've had broadband for nearly a week now, and if I'm honest, I'm not sure how I managed this long without it. I can chat to The Rents on FaceTime, say goodnight to Big Bro who lives in ClogLand and try my hand at lipreading my gorgeous little nephews, too. I can surf the internet to my heart's desire, watch all the catch-up TV I want – with fully functioning amazing subtitles – and generally do everything you lot have probably been doing for at least the last five years. Even better, it was SO easy to set up with the only frustration being the length of time I had to wait to have my phoneline connected. 

As companies go, I don't think I can fault O2 right now – and as the MASTER of complaining, that's saying something. It's a company that quite literally keeps me connected to the world, from unlimited text messages on my phone and an on-the-go data package to broadband and Wi-Fi, without all these, I'd be back to the 90s – back to asking people to help me do things, book things, find out things; back to wondering what was going on when I was out and about, missing out on stuff and generally feeling very isolated.

And for the price of a phoneline, I don't think that's a bad deal, do you?

Monday, 6 February 2012

Hearing at my gym

This morning I woke up unable to move without pain.

The cause for my old lady hobble?

A kettlebells class.

See, on Saturday, I went to the gym with the Singing Swede. She had tennis, I was going to do a circuit class. Except it became horribly apparent in the first few minutes that I wasn't going to hear anything, so I left.

Fifteen minutes later, as I was running on the treadmill, a guy came up to me to invite me to his gym-floor kettlebells class. Cross that I'd missed circuits, I checked with him whether I'd find it easy to follow and when he said yes, I signed up.

The class was good. You throw a metal weight around that looks like a door stop, you do sit ups with it, squats with it, leg raises and lifting. It goes fast, the pain of each exercise passes quickly, I came out pumped and confident... and crippled.

I cannot bend my legs, I cannot go downstairs – without saying ow on each step – and putting my shoes on this morning felt like the accomplishment of the year. My lower back feels like someone snapped it in half then mended it with Blu-Tack, and just putting one foot in front of the other is a mission.

And am I going to go back next week? Of course I am, because it was a class I could hear well. The instructor was clear, easy to follow, and able to remember for the full 30 minutes that there was a deaf person in his class, making sure I was OK but not neglecting any of his other clients in the process.

So you see I gained doubly from this class. OK today there's pain, but according to him my arse is gonna look amazing and my confidence? Well let's just say the frustration of walking out of a circuits class because of my deafness is long forgotten.

Bravo kettlebells, bravo.