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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Saturday, 8 December 2007

Weekends toward Christmas...

Our Christmas Tree.. 2007There's plenty that I should be doing with the weekends off heading towards Christmas, like writing and sending cards, helping to wrap the presents and generally keeping the house in a reasonably manageable state. However, there's so much going on, that it's hard to keep focussed on the preparations - so once again, I think I might be letting the side down with cards this year...

Today, for example, was 'putting the Christmas Tree up' day, which we had to fit in before a trip to Ruislip to have our first Christmas Lunch of the year with some of Beth's Surrogacy friends. Despite the torrential (and insistent) rain, it was still lovely to see the swans and geese on the reservoir over which the "Waters Edge" restaurant looked - I daresay it'd be a wonderful place to walk in warmer weather. As an addendum to the comments from the website that reviewed it, I felt that they did very well to serve Christmas meals to nearly 80 people, making sure the children got theirs first (always a bonus!) and waitering in a very calm, friendly way. The food itself was hot, and good value for money, and inside the restaurant was tidy and accommodating. If anything, I'd suggest that the main entrance was a little better signposted - we practically circumlocuted the place in the pouring rain to try and find an unlocked door when we first arrived!

The only other news is that the studio is, on the whole, operational again. I'm using the process of mixing down the long-awaited(!) North South Divide podcast as a means of acclimatising myself to the new kit - audio travels between the PC and the mixer in very strange ways, and I'm trying to make the most of the processing power of both.

My rusty Roland D5As I returned the studio equipment to its original home, I discovered another casualty of the flood - my beloved (antique and very well-loved) Roland D5 keyboard shorted the power supply when I tried to switch it on. On closer inspection (click on the photo for a larger image) I saw that the main board and some of the internal structure had rusted, so it's destined for the tidy tip, which is a shame. Since it was my only keyboard, and therefore fulfilled the roles of MIDI controller, gigging keyboard and general sound module for mucking about on, I had to find a replacement that could do the same, without spending too much. With the help of Trev - a veritable expert on such things, I found a very economical keyboard on eBay, and, despite the lure of the rather gorgeous Korg Triton LE (which goes for about four times the price second hand!) I bid for, and won, an Alesis QS6, which, to be honest, I don't know much about, but seems to be ideal for the tasks at hand.

Back to the weekend, and tomorrow holds a birthday party to which Eleanor's been invited, and the annual Christingle for all of us - hopefully I'll get plenty of other bits and pieces done as well!

Oh, and finally - while I remember.. after all the effort to put food out for the birds, it seems that the crafty grey squirrel that I've had to shoo away from the suet balls dispenser hanging half-way up the garden, has worked out how to unhook it, and has stolen the thing. They're not to be underestimated, them squirrels.

Links of the day:
A couple of YouTube videos that were posted on Facebook and made me chuckle:

Posted by james at December 8, 2007 9:24 PM

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