"I can tell you why it is taking them so long to get this NBN thing done," the owner of the cocker spaniel told me.
He was referring to the laying of the cables for the National Broadband Network.
I looked at him. I knew what he is was getting at.
For those of you in Upover I will have to explain. This is a major nation-wide project to connect most of the country to high speed internet access. It has been the subject of much political and practical debate over the last few years. It is a very, very expensive project.
Recently they started in our district. I have been watching them "at work". Yes, that's the problem.
They started in our street last Monday. It is a very short street. There are just eleven house blocks and the lane which leads to the units. There are no obstacles. It should not have taken them long. They are still here.
The "workmen" arrived about 9:00am. They stood around and chatted for a while. About half an hour later they started to unpack some things. At 10:00am one of them drove off in a truck. The rest of them sat on the brick wall of the house diagonally opposite us. When the one who had driven off returned they had morning tea. That lasted until almost 11:00am. After that they did a bit of measuring and marking and peering into existing holes. It must have been hard work because then they needed lunch and another rest on the brick wall. A little before 2:00pm one of them got down on his knees and did something in one of the existing holes while the others stood and kept guard. The process was repeated at the other end of the street.
By 3:00pm they had packed up and left for the day. The remaining four days have not been much better.
An acquaintance of the Senior Cat dropped in to pick up some timber on the Thursday. He also observed the process. He's a former telecommunications engineer. He knows exactly what the process involves.
"If they pulled their fingers out they could get the job done in a day, at most a day and a half," he told us, "It's costing far more than it should because of this sort of thing."
They should be back today - but it isn't 9:00am yet.