Monday, November 10, 2008

The Third Miracle in the Week

They say things happen in threes...

I finally have cable TV! This isn't something I've mentioned on the blog before-I don't think..but, I haven't had cable TV here (even the 5 basic channels that come 'free' once you pay your TV License) since I moved out of corporate housing!

Crazy, I know-and the worst part is that one of the first things I did when we moved into the flat (thinking we'd have cable due to everything I'd read...) was buy a nice, brand new, HD Flat Screen £400 TV. Which, for the past 7 months or so has been nothing more than a glorified DVD player. Grr..

Anyhoo, the TV has 'Freeview' capabiltiy (think, like automatically being able to access basic cable in the US without having to sign up for the service), so it was presumed that minute we plugged in the TV, we'd be sorted. Wrong. Tiscali (our internet/landline service) isn't in the area yet. OK. Get a pair of bunny ears and we'll be sorted. Wrong-the terrestrial signal on our Mews street is so poor, everyone either has satellite or a big, huge aerial on their rooftop. Well, there is a satellite dish on our roof, but we assumed it didn't work-or would have to pay some crazy monthly fee to use. So, after several months of trying, we gave up, and I just figured I'd deal with it in November once the weather turned icky, and I was spending more time inside the flat.

Fast forward to last weekend when the landlord, Dan, comes around to make a few repairs. 'Still no TV?' he asks. Then he says, 'The last thing I can think of is to buy a FreeSat box. If that doesn't work, nothing will.' Part of me wants to laugh in his face-at this stage, I assume nothing will work. But, he says it can easily and cheaply be purchased off of Amazon. Well, in that case, Amazon's return policy is generous-and easy-so, OK.

So, I buy the one he suggests on Monday, get it delivered on Friday, and Friday evening after hooking it up, and punching in my Post Code, it takes about 20 minutes to 'think.' In the process, Sarah & I are sitting in the living room chatting, and wouldn't you know? 20 minutes later, BBC1 pops up on the TV! We're in business! The jaw-dropping, shocked look on our faces was actually comical.

I spent my Friday night watching the news-BBC and Al Jazeera. God, I've missed the news! Sadly-and somewhat gratefully, I forsee many nights on the couch over the upcoming winter months!

I guess it shouldn't be such a big deal that we now have TV, but the reality is, this really was the one last piece of the puzzle to make me feel like I was truly part of London. No news, no pop culture references, nothing...over the past 7 or so months have come my way via any other means but the internet. I've hated listening to my co-workers talk about who's going to win The X-Factor (the UK version of American Idol), and not knowing who they were talking about. I've hated not being able to watch nightly news and keep abreast of what's going on not only here in the UK, but back in the US as well. But, finally! I can!

And let's face it. Sometimes, after a hard day at work-or a long week, there's nothing better than to come home, grab a drink, and sit in front of the TV and veg for a little bit. I look forward to doing that some this week...

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