Monday, 3 April 2017

Tech service London expedition

Out of the house by twenty to eight, and walking to Sophia Gardens to get the eight fifteen coach to London, on another warm and sunny morning. The coach arrived, but the designated driver was stuck in traffic on his way to work, so we set out twenty minutes late. We were most fortunate to have a clear run and made up the time, arriving at noon. Although I hadn't slept well, I didn't drop off to sleep as I usually do on this journey. Thanks to the coach's wi-fi, I passed the time reading the news and sending emails from my phone.

This time, June was in better shape, getting out and about again, she'd shopped for a ready meal curries to share for lunch, so before getting down to work, we ate and caught up on the latest news. Afterwards an inspection of her computer revealed that updates were working properly and nothing was amiss, but there was something of a puzzle. All I needed to do was update her Libre Office installation. It's very quick loading on her speedy machine. 

When June bought her new ten inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, she'd sought setup help in the shop. This proved not possible at the first step of registering the device using her Gmail account, for no apparent reason. She tried several different possible passwords without success. Yet, she had no problem accessing emails on her computer, using the password it had first been set up with, some time ago. Truth to tell, she'd not signed out of the account for a long time, so had never encountered any problem. 

I requested a new password from Google, according to June's wishes and we both made a note of it. I was able to guide her through the tablet set up and basic usage stages, but couldn't give her longer to explain how to change settings, so she'll have to play with it herself and learn by doing. I may be daunting, as a touchscreen quite so sensitive takes a while to get used to, especially when its default screen time-out setting is too brief for someone who learns carefully and stops to ponder before action. 

In Wandsworth Borough a discount taxi fare card system operates for elderly and disabled people, to ensure they can afford to get to medical appointments, which can often require patients to travel some distance and awkward routes. June had failed to register this card with the web booking service run by a Taxi company on behalf of Wandsworth Council. With the discount card was a leaflet instructing the card holder how to register and use it to book at taxi in advance. 

I followed the same registration instructions as June had, and also failed to compete the task. It was a rather strange requirement, that according to the given instructions, one should register the number of the card issued to the holder, and use as a password, the local phone number printed on the back of the actual Taxi Card, which was that of the company running the scheme. A bit like issuing a bank card and printing its PIN number on the back of it, I thought to myself. Anyway, we sent the company an email and auto-response said June would hear from them in a day or so. What can be wrong here?

I left June a half past six and was on a train for London Victoria at twenty to seven. Only then did I check my ticket and realise the coach was at seven not half past! What a fool. The train arrived at nine minutes to seven, and I ran through the station, up and across Buckingham Palace Road, hoping and praying my legs and lungs would hold out, arriving with two minutes to spare, relieved and triumphant. That's done my physical confidence a power of good, even if I pay for this with stiffness tomorrow. 

The coach arrived on time at ten fifteen. Again, I didn't fall asleep during the journey. It must be Spring energy buoying me up at the moment. I walked home in twenty minutes, had supper, then we listened to a recording of Kath and Anto's band 'Sonrisa' being interviewed and playing two of their songs on BBC local Radio Coventry & Warwickshire, a delightful conclusion to a successful day out.

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