Diwali - let there be Light
Surely I am not the only curmudgeon who fumes at the sight of a team of reindeer close on the heels of the summer sales; as I was mumbling only today at the M&S checkout.
Ponder, if you will, that Pagans believe that Christ-Mass is a re-write of bringing a bit of light into the darkest time of the year.
In the city of Leicester, the Festival of Light - Diwali celebrated by a large and vibrant proportion of the population, brought a sense of Christmas a little early to the city streets, with lights and decorations.
Just at the right time too, for as the earth roles towards the winter solstice the cold wet dark days of autumn start earlier that far north. Down here in beautiful Dorset close to the south coast, warmed by the sea, the weather is milder and the days a little lighter, being closer to the Equator.
When I came down to Dorset twenty years ago, I left behind a multi-cultural life and stepped back in time. I love Dorset, I am happy never to live anywhere else (ok, Crete or New Zealand would be good for a while). The Dorset accent and speech idioms, and the rural basis of daily life, are soothing and enfolding. But I miss the mix of cultures that was everyday life in Leicestershire, both in the city and in my neighbourhood.
When the Srishti dance company included my local arts centre the Poole Lighthouse in their tour, it was a must-see.
Fabulous; colour, movement, and especially the music but what was unexpected and wonderful was the effect of the multi-cultural audience, and the colour and resonance their presence brought to the performance.
I have very mixed feelings about relating to India at the moment. All the fault of British Telecom moving their technical back-up to a call centre in India. After much deliberation, and even more prevarication, I have made the move to broadband. It has taken a while, but even this little valley is now connected.
I know that the staff at the call centres are highly educated and skilled, and they are unfailingly polite and charming to customers. They do not comment on the fact I am doing all this in bed, with piles of paper festooned with sticky notes lapping around my pillows, for of course webcam technology has not yet become compulsory. When it does (it will, it will) will crips get dispensation on the grounds of good taste and decency ? I digress.
My tinnitus, brain fatigue and transient cognitive dysfunction just don't let me keep up with the sheer speed of their sentences and often don't let me decipher their accents. I do not complain. I excuse myself, and try and find another way.
My cogdysfunck'd brain takes things very slowly, for I have learned there is no point doing something new when I am tired because the newly learned pattern just does not get laid down in the neural pathways. So when I have problems, I have to write them down for myself before I launch off into asking for assistance. The BT Age and Disability help team (0800 919 591) came to my rescue. I stick with BT purely for that help team, a left over department hanging on by their fingernails from the days of BT's monopoly.
Therefore I was interested to learn from them, that even BT have seen the light, and set up an interface between their customers in the UK and their technical help call centre in India, and not just for crips!
If I have understood the BT A&DT's description correctly, I have to request a call from the UK based interface, who will call me back sometime in the next 48 hours (anytime between 8am and 8pm - I told them - I don't do '8 am's) and take my question, which they will then, in real time, speak to the call centre in India, who will answer the UK interface, in real time, who will then pass the reply back to me; for me to ponder, in real time, then ask my resulting question.
Have they not heard of chinese whispers ?
They didn't call me within the 48 hours. Perhaps its as well they didn't...