It was all going horribly wrong from an internet connection point of view.
The connection from my house decided to cease operations and the provider of the service had been less than helpful with either a diagnosis or resolution. That was followed by a few days as a nomad in search of a wi-fi connection, who quickly became a nomad with lower back trouble due to excessive amounts of laptop carrying. The final straw came with the discovery that, having travelled to my parents house to visit for a few days, I had neglected to bring the laptop’s power lead. Clearly there was a message for me here somewhere!