It's been very frustrating to have so few ways of communicating since we moved into our new apartment, but we've had a couple of big breakthroughs today – the phone is on and we've finally got mobile internet set up so we can logon without going down to the pub.
The new phone number is +44 1 628 628 236. It was actually meant to be connected yesterday but British Telecom is about as good to deal with as Telstra is in Australia so it only finally started working this morning. That made for a good start to the day.
This afternoon when we got home there were two letters from the bank – one stating that they weren't satisfied with the proof of address we'd provided them (which probably explains why they haven't sent out the debit card or pin yet) and the other was a bank statement. Amusingly the bank statement counts as proof of address (not sure if the bank themselves will take it but everyone else will) so that was enough for us to sign up with 3 for a mobile internet plan which we're happily using now. The connection is a little bit flakey but generally seems quite good. It will be a good backup connection and work anywhere in the UK so we can take it and a laptop on our longer adventures and be able to post blogs and upload photos as we go.
We also signed up for Sky's TV, phone and broadband package which will give us a fast and reliable internet connection at home (so we can start making skype calls again) and free calls to Australia which should save us a packet. The only possible problem is that you can't get the broadband and phone without getting satellite TV as well and that means they have to install a dish. I'm not sure how happy the landlord is going to be about having a dish put on the building and the sales guy's suggestion of putting it on a pole in the backyard will probably go down even worse. We'll see. There's a few other options we can go with if Sky doesn't work out.
So things are finally getting set up here and we're going to go splurge on iPhones tomorrow as our valentine's day presents to each other (and wedding anniversary, birthday, possibly even Christmas… 🙂 I think that's the last of the major bits of infrastructure to set up.