With, hey! the dongle o’er the dale…


The name of the thing itself conjures up visions…or their auricular equivalents…of Benny Hill’s ‘I have got a hosepipe’ and Kenneth Williams’ ‘Song of the Bogle Clencher’, so you might imagine my astonishment when my request for internet access at an O2 outlet in Southampton was met by an offer of a ‘dongle’ from a very personable young man.

My flabber has rarely been so ghasted.

He produced his dongle. I was not impressed.
He persisted…he said it would do the trick… and, to my surprise, it did.

After a fashion.

I could read and emit e mails.
I could consult the net….but not all of it.

O2 was intent on protecting me.

I clicked on a dormant blog which serves me as an index.
Part of the blog title is ‘French Fancy’.
O2 had a hissy fit.

It needed to know that I was over eighteen before connecting me and, enough to make anyone north of the border clench their bogles, it also wanted one pound in order to undertake the registration.

Thwarted, I clicked on a current blog I follow…Chez Charnizay, a thoroughly respectable blog just as was French Fancy

Same result.

I suppose that a person brought up in the era when a Presbyterian minister could declare that the Champs Elysees on a Sunday lacked only the flames to make it hell might be aroused to frenzy by the mention of ‘French Fancy….

But…… ‘Chez Charnizay’?


42 thoughts on “With, hey! the dongle o’er the dale…”

  1. Dongle’s a great word innit? My guess is that O2 have an algorithm that picks up anything French (which as any anglo knows = sex). No doubt a nice little earner for them too.

  2. I hadn’t heard the word before….I might be fully alive to the innuendo of the days of Round the Horne but have led a sheltered existence as far as IT is concerned so to have a young man telling me that a dongle was the solution to my problems was something of a culture shock.

  3. Well I got a dongle a couple of years ago which was “free” with TTNet (of course you paid if you used it). It got shoved in a drawer and forgotten about until my internet was more or less out of action for a month or so earlier this year. I took it into a shop and got it activated and also used it when I was travelling to England in April, being stuck at Istanbul airport for hours, so it passed the time. It’s back in the drawer now, but a useful standby should I lose internet connection. Just have to top up with 10 lira every so often. OK for emails but not much use for anything else, although I can access blogs wherever they are. Dongle is such a ridiculous word….I wonder who came up with it?

  4. I’ve heard the word. Still had no idea what it was though. I don’t think I have a dongle. Or do a dongle. Or whatever one does with it.

    Reminds me of another internet dubious word. If I didn’t have Alz’s I would tell you what it was. Possibly later. I will be right back when I remember the silly word, not that it will be of any use. Bit like your dongle really.

  5. I looked it up to find out what it was, never needed one I must say. Or at least, I don’t think so. There’s so much out there now that we never knew we needed it until it was marketed into a must-have…

  6. Wonder what we’ve done to cause O2 to have such a hissy fit?! Maybe our posts on mediaeval art/history get up to racy things when we’re not looking 😉

    1. Exactly so, Steve! Let someone under eighteen – or under eighty come to that – loose on the contents of your blog and they risk permanent trauma….so O2 lets them pass while at the same time encouraging people to visit naughty French blogs by charging a quid so that people will think there is ooh la la in the offing.
      Has to be a marketing man in there somewhere.

  7. Such a fun word ‘dongle’; it conjures up all sorts of images.
    Much ruder ones than ‘French Fancy’, unless FFs are involved while enjoying the services of the dongle?

  8. Hmmmm if they get a euro for every site that might be dodgy, why would they not cast their net as wide as possible? Can you opt out of this farce?

  9. Even to opt out of this farce I can’t see myself taking all my clothes off…in the interests of public safety.
    While in Southampton with my mother we found the streets littered by 136 rhinos (yes, I know…)
    Mother suggested we keep moving in case we were taken for numbers 137 and 8…

    Yes, there was a way…put in the URL on the browser. but they think people are too idle to do so.

  10. Our mason is using pierres d’angles which we always say as dongles 🙂 Without wishing to get too technical, beware roaming charges with a dongle. We were offered one that was said to be free but actually charged a fortune when foreign. Still not entirely sure how but if you aren’t pay as you go, be careful if you change country.

    1. I do like peirres d’angles as dongles!

      Thanks for the warning. The three euro miracle internet has been playing up today so I had been tempted to use the dongle to call my husband on Skype…but I’ll read the rubric before doing so!

  11. Ah, O2, the internet nanny! I’ve heard of a dongle, but never seen or used one. Having just looked at the Wikipedia article about it, I’m none the wiser about the technical side, but still glad it worked for you. When will you be heading home to Costa Rica, Helen?

    1. Thank goodness, on Monday!
      It has been a long and not always pleasant trip dealing with the exchange, the unpleasantness about Leo’s mother’s will and details of my mother’s care programme. Like swimming in treacle.

      Still, mother is with me in Spain, running the rule over the house and celebrating her 97th birthday on Saturday…then we return to England on Sunday and I leave for home on Monday…

  12. I’ve always rather liked the word dongle – it sounds a bit saucy doesn’t it?
    But I’ve never used one. I’ll travel to find a wifi connection if its the last thing I do (it may very well be).

    1. This thing apparently detects wifi hot spots…probably only those belonging to 02.
      You’re too young to remember Round the Horne, I think…..a programme where the most innocent word could carry a sexual supercharge.

  13. Hahaha – I’ve always felt hilariously teenaged and giggly embarrassed whenever I say ‘dongle’. It’s just one of those words. Glad to see I’m not the only one. Teehee.
    French Fancy? Didn’t Mr Kipling make those? Guess this Government has added your blog to its ever-growing list of subversively dirty sites…
    Btw – just booked a villa in L’Ampolla on the Costa Dorada for a week in October – was checking the map tonight and realise its just up the coast from your new Spanish home. 🙂 x

      1. Blast indeed! We’ll be there from the 12th to the 19th October – and really cannot wait. The place we’ve rented is also not far from my brother’s old flats in Vinaros. Gorgeous area. Yx

  14. My granny would have disapproved of the word ‘dongle’ as a ‘smutty’ word. She didn’t like ‘smut’ but must have understood exactly what it all meant – otherwise, how would she have known?
    I’m a bit young to remember ‘Round the Horn’ but have listened to the programmes since and have been amazed at what they ‘got away with’! They could easily have slipped a dongle in if they’d wanted – if you’ll pardon the expression.

    1. I used to find that puzzling too…all those upright matriarchs with an acute awareness of ‘smut’.
      Then I found pages of ‘The News of the World’ placed over a freshly washed floor and all was revealed….

  15. I know nothing of dongles, and think it is best kept that way. I hope your mother had a great birthday, and that your trip home is trouble free. Jx

    1. Yes, quite right…there are limits….

      Mother had a great time, laying aside her prejucide against Spaniards enough to enjoy going to the village fiesta and is booking her return!

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