Saturday singing

Today was an interesting one, full of music.

At lunchtime a group of us met up at the Old Jameson Distillery and sang some Christmas carols in the entrance hall, to entertain all the visitors. And in return, the generous management of the distillery gave us some free food and drinks. And then at Evensong later that afternoon, we had the TV cameras in from RTÉ.

Our Director and Assistant Director of Music were interviewed for the telly about their preparations for Christmas, and apparently they also wanted to film the choir singing as well – so we ended up having this camera crew wandering up and down the south transept during the service, which was a little bit distracting.

I have broadband

Joy of joys! I now have broadband, and can waste time at a much faster speed than before.

For the last six or seven months I’ve been making do with different wireless internet connections – all of which have been pretty flaky. With slow download speeds and dropped connections, its kind-of criminal that they sell these wireless services as ‘broadband’. They’re maybe okay for the very occasional web user – someone who checks their email a couple of times a week – but not for me.

Back in Edinburgh I used to have broadband internet over cable (Telewest), and had very few problems with them. In fact, over the 5 years I was a subscriber, I think I only ever had to call the tech support line about three times. And so I decided to go for the same thing here – or more specifically, I am now connected up to UPC Ireland – Broadband Express, giving me a 3 megabit connection.

More problems

The farce continues with the NTL DVR installation. Following two failed installs on Monday and Tuesday this week, I was assured on Tuesday afternoon that a DVR would definitely be installed “first thing tomorrow morning” (Wednesday).

Well it’s now Wednesday afternoon, and guess what? Yup, you got it. Nobody came, and the number of failed appointments reaches three (or four, if you also count the missed Broadband install on Saturday).

So I called NTL (I know the number from memory now), and they told me that no appointment was made for this morning, and that my DVR was booked in for Friday afternoon – which was news to me – but not much of a surprise. After all, almost nothing that NTL tells me ever seems to match reality. I’ve had several promises made to me over the last week, and not one of them has been kept. And at the moment, I have very little faith that anyone will arrive on Friday either.

What I should do, of course, is cancel my service with NTL. They’ve messed me around more than any sane person could stand. But I don’t want to go elsewhere. I just want NTL to install the services I asked for.

Choral Evensong reviews

I find it interesting that our broadcast of Choral Evensong last Sunday has sparked off so much debate on the BBC Radio 3 Message Boards. It’s great that people feel so passionate about their church music (because it’s a passion I share), but I had no idea that folk would pour over every detail of the service.

Scrabulous

I’m presently taking a break between work contracts, which fits in nicely with the busy run up to Christmas. It’s good that, when I’m so busy on the evenings and weekends, that I can chill out a bit on week days. However, my new-found gentleman of leisure status does afford me the opportunity to indulge in some idle pastimes.

The latest one is playing Scrabulous – an online scrabble game on Facebook – against one of my friends. They’re certainly not the fastest games on the planet – mostly taking about 3 hours to complete – but it’s a nice distraction that fits around doing chores at home.

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