An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Operation Cheapskate

After 19 months in the wilderness (but who's counting) I am finally coming back to civilization. Well back to the world of telly anyway, and only for the next couple of months.

My mate has loaned me his old TV now that they have got a big new beaut, super-duper, picture-in-picture, cinescope viewing colossus (OK so it is not that big, but big enough for a traditional TV with a tube). It is on a loan agreement and will be promptly handed back mid September once I have finished watching what I want to watch.

So it got delivered over the weekend. Getting it out required me sitting in the back seat while it took pride of place in the front - one hand was attached while pot-holes negotiated - and it is now in my spare bed-room, hooked up to the aerial that has forever slipped in through a high ceiling vent.

Turning it on and there is only one problem - no picture. I am not connected to the universities cable, they have left me unplugged. To get this done I have to pay my installation fee and monthly rate of K40 for the privilege of the dozen or so channels.

This put me in a fix, be buggered if I am going to pay money just for 6 or so weeks worth of TV. I got through 18 months of living in London without ever having to pay the Licence Fee, surely I can get around my own universities campus cable system without coughing up. Only thing I have to do is get on my roof. My only problem I don't have or know anyone with a massive long ladder.

So enter Operation Cheapskate. It is a multi step affair.

Step 1. Shimmy up unused linen cupboard on second floor landing.

Step 2. Remove louvre glass panels. Pull out hacksaw. Cut through security bar. Cut hole in fly wire.

Step 3. Climb onto roof. Literally kill two birds with one stone and shoo away noisy roosting birds and plug in cable.

Step 4. Climb back in hole. Stitch up fly wire. Replace security bar and glass louvres. Shimmy back down to second floor landing. Turn on TV and tune.

There you have it. Sounds easy enough. And the reason I am going to this trouble? Well besides having an internal roof access that will allow me once and for all to clean my solar water heater, and to get rid of the birds, I am doing it for the cricket.

Being the mad cricket lover I am, going without live coverage of the Ashes is not good. So getting the chance to borrow a TV for a bit is something I leapt at. Pity I have already missed the first test though. Not pitying the score.