“Excuses have their uses, but now they’re all used up, all used up…”

1. The trouble with only being at work for two days in the week before Christmas is that you end up trying to cram a week’s worth of unfinished tasks into the paltry time available. Because, obviously, the Christmas/New Year holiday period marks The End Of Time As We Know It, and all things must be signed off before then, in order to ward off a catastrophe of apocalyptic dimensions. Even if that catastrophe is wholly self-invented.

2. As if Twitter wasn’t already enough of a compulsive attention-hoover, I got sucked into “alpha testing” something which has proved to be equally addictive. It’s still being developed, so I shouldn’t be linking just yet – but the fruits of my labours may be of some passing interest. Ee, the things I do to avoid writing proper blog posts!

3. I spent most of yesterday evening working on my third set of “Best of 2006” lists. First there was Stylus (singles here, albums here, and if you look closely you’ll find a couple of my blurbs lurking within) – then there was the US music blog Idolator’s “Jackin’ Pop” poll (an uppity new rival to the long-running Village VoicePazz & Jop” poll; results to be pubished in a week or so) – and most recently, t’local paper asked me to pen a few choice words on the cream and the crap of 2006. If you’re local, it’s out on Friday. My fourth and final set of lists will appear here in the fullness of time.

4. I also spent most of yesterday evening trying to source music for the “trot” section of a dressage event – as it looks as if A from the village could be dressaging for England next year, and I have volunteered my services as a musical advisor. We’ve already been working on the “walk” and “canter” sections, but “trot” is by far the hardest. What’s needed is fast instrumental music (between 136 and 150 bpm), with a strong rhythmic pulse, but which still sounds light and nimble – i.e. no skull-crushing dance beats, and nothing that will, ahem, frighten the horses. This rules out just about all 9000+ tracks in my iTunes library. All suggestions welcomed. (Light orchestral classical music, particularly from film soundtracks, is a perennial favourite – but it shouldn’t surprise you to know that my knowledge of such areas is practically zero.)

5. Did I mention that K has ordered a “Three Bird Roast” from a posh nosh mail order catalogue, with which to grace our Christmas table? Such taste! Such discernment! I was bragging about this to my co-workers yesterday lunchtime, when one of them gently informed me that Ian Beale from EastEnders ordered the same thing for his wedding banquet the other week. Y’know, much as I eschew snobbery in all its forms, this has taken some of the shine off the event…

6. For those of you who don’t tend to scroll down below the most recent post, can I just point out that I have answered all six of last Friday’s song-title questions? I’d so hate for them to go to waste.

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