Last Thursday, the unthinkable happened – our internet at home went down.
Something to do with the router or...something. I don’t know, I didn’t really pay attention to the why. “Umm how long will it be down for?” I asked in a wobbly voice.
My partner Adam swallowed hard. “BT says they can have it back up and running by Monday.”
A few years ago this revelation would have got little more than a disinterested eyebrow raise out of me, but these days our home relies as much on the support of its wifi connection as it does on the walls and doors that hold it together. No internet for a weekend means no way of streaming Peppa Pig to our bedroom, which is the only thing that will keep our 14-month-old in one place at 5.30am. The signal near our house isn’t great either, so without wifi we’d have a tough time checking emails and making phone calls which, with our wedding just 15 days away, I seem to be doing constantly. There’d be no FaceTime, no online shopping – no Pinterest for crying out loud! Neither of us could do any work or even listen to music.
That night after our daughter was in bed, Adam and I settled down with our Indian takeaway (which he’d had to go down the street to get some signal to order from Just-Eat) and realised we couldn’t watch any Modern Family, the TV show we’re both currently hooked on, as we hadn’t downloaded the latest episodes from Sky Catch-Up, which requires – you’ve got it – an internet connection. We don’t even own DVD players or stereos any more, our whole entertainment network is online, so we were looking at a very quiet evening. Seeing an opportunity to rope Adam into some last-minute wedding prep, I suggested we update our wedding website with a few details I’d been meaning to get to. (And yes I know a website sounds pretentious, but we’re getting married in Italy and there’s a heck of a lot of information, so given the choice between spending thousands on novel-length invitations or building a free website – hello website!)
“Hard to do without the internet,” Adam said drily. Good point. I was about to suggest we order the luggage we’d spotted on Amazon the day before instead, but managed to catch myself just in time. Dammit! It was a shock to realise just how much we rely on something so fragile. In the end though, we had a pretty good night. We ended up sharing a bottle of red and playing a few rather hilarious rounds of Charades.
God we’re old.
* Nik Brear, tired, working mummy