Friday, 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas!

I've always wanted to sing In Dulci Jubilo with the verve this version has, but other than in the confines of my own kitchen, never have!

Happy Christmas everyone.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Having learned the top part, and spent some time wondering quite what if anything was going to come out by the time the top A at the end was reached, ended up singing Alto. Hurrah.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas update

Number of presents wrapped = 0
Number of cards thrown away after muddled up family members, wrote wrong name on envelope which is unique to that one card, mis-spelled friend's name after knowing them for decades = 5
Number of people who had to be contacted after I lost their address again after losing it the year before = 3
Number of people still to invite to drinks party tomorrow = 13
Mince pies cooked for party tomorrow = 0
Number of cards still to send = don't want to count
Number of choir anthems where completely lost concentration and came in too early = 1

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Jill's Gymkhana - it's out!

Jill's Gymkhana: the full, unadulterated text, and ALL the Caney pics: for the first time in ooh, decades. It's £7.99, and can be bought from Fidra Books, the publisher.

I really like the cover: Black Boy's black, for a start, and looks as if he might stand a chance in a show! A Stable for Jill and Two Ponies for Jill will be out in early 2010.

Jane Austen's first publisher

Some fascinating research here on Jane Austen's first appearance in print.

War Horse to be filmed

Dreamworks (Stephen Spielberg) have acquired the rights. Bearing in mind the difference between the book and the play, I'll be interested to see what new directions the film takes off in.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Am I the only person

who finds the self service checkouts springing up everywhere unbelievably irritating? Having decided that £40 was a bit much to spend on a Christmas tree, we retreated to B&Q who now have cheap Christmas trees (good) but now have these wretched self service things installed. The chap in the queue before us gave up, dumped his stuff, and left, and after the machine had been re-set, it was our go. It's the voice that gets me - all calmly reasonable, and so bloody bossy. Do this... do that.... Pay now... tolerant pause ... Pay now... further tolerant pause... Pay now.... by which time, the idiot human (me) at the other end is steaming, as all payment methods are at the right hand side, apart from the one I want, which is to the left, which Miss Bossy doesn't see fit to mention. Then being reminded "Don't forget your receipt" makes me want to scream "NO you bossy mare, I won't take it!"

Of course, all this irritation and fury means nothing whatsoever to the machine, which sits there, utterly and totally unmoved: which of course is the point - I like a human at the end of the transaction.

Our local libraries are all introducing self service now too. I can't think of any way though, that it might mean more books unless they cut staff too. I've watched our local libraries gradually shedding books, sometimes on the most spurious criteria. One library decided to move from 6 shelves to 5, the theory being that books were easier to reach (I could reach them all without thinking about it and I am a massive 5' 8"). Hundreds of books were junked. Recently anything without the right sort of bar code - ie anything not published within the last 10 years - was also junked as it couldn't be read by the new self service machines. The dreadful irony of this is that there is very little left in our village library now that I actually want to read, so I go less and less often.

If there is anyone out there reading this who works for the library services, and can tell me what the rationale is behind cutting the number of books you stock, I would love to hear from them: the more so if it's working and the number of borrowers is up.