Saturday, May 31, 2008

2008 Nicola Bryant calendar: June

Here's the June edition for you... Enjoy...

INSTRUCTIONS: Just click on the above image to open the larger 600x600 version in your internet browser. Then right mouse click to save to your PC. When you've done that just make it your desktop wallpaper. Bingo! You now have some saucy pics of Nicola to keep you company throughout 2008!

Friday, May 30, 2008

IKEA hell

Well my current situation is more mildly irritating than "hell" to he honest....

In summary: I ordered a bookcase, chest of drawers and 2 x bedside cabinets from IKEA, waited 2 weeks for it to be delivered. Unwrapped it all and they had the following problems:

1) Bookcase backing was broken.
2) Two of the drawers on the chest had horrible scrach-like marks on the front, and a horrible mark on the front.
3) The quality of everything is generally shite.

I didn't want to wait another 2 weeks for replacements which would probably just have their own defects of some description, so I thought I'd just keep them and demand a discount. Although the defects don't look pretty, the one on the bookcase can be masked by the books, and we'll just have to live with the markings on the drawers.

So I phoned customer "service" where "Dave" gave me the email address of the department who deal with this kind of situation. I sent them an email and some photos. I then waited...

and waited...

A week later and and still no reply. So I rang them and asked them what's going on. I was speaking to "Susan" this time who informed me that a character called "Darril" has definitely got my email and will definitely phone me tomorrow to sort it out. Guess what? "Darril" didn't bother ringing the next day. I rang them back a couple of days later and "Pam" tells me she'll chase everything up and phone me back later. Later comes and still no phonecall from the helpful Pam.

I do want a discount, but it's not all about money - it's more about why I should put up with this crap quality and crap customer service. Why should I just allow myself to be fobbed off by them? So methinks I'll have to get a letter of complaint sent out to them. But here's the catch.... you won't find a single postal address for IKEA HQ on their website!

I've found what seems to be an authentic address on a messageboard which I'll try out.

It's bloody annoying, but nothing compared to the aggro I'm currently having with Vodafone and Barclaycard. I'll tell you about them another time. I simply don't have the strength to even think about those bastards right now!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gaz on the keys: More tunes for Grade 1

Here are two more tunes I'm working on for my Grade 1 piano exam in July. They are "Allegro in F" by 5-year old Mozart and The Old Cuckoo-Clock by N. Bachinskaya. They still need a bit of work as far as I'm concerned, especially the Mozart one which I only just learned over the last few days. I keep buggering it up half way through as you will see if you watch the video. I'm all fingers and thumbs. AAAArrrrgh!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Gaz on the keys: Andante (for grade 1)

Here's a video of me playing Andante (a tune by some geezer called Henreich Friedrich Enckhausen). I'm going for my Grade 1 piano exam in July 2008 and this is one of the 3 pieces I've selected to play. It's quite short, and this is because I'm playing it without the repeats. You are not supposed to bore the examiners with repeats, you see.

The other things that have to be done in the exam is scales. I've learned all the grade 1 scales now (C, D, F and G major, and D and A minor). D and F major are quite fiddly actually. I also have do some arpeggios which are pretty easy and broken chords which are not too difficult. The hardest bit will be the sight reading test. This is where they give you a few bars of some music you've never seen before and you have to play it. Grown men have been known to turn to jelly under these circumstances. I hope that I won't be one of them.