Tuesday, 21 February 2012


It's official, my fiddle is definitely a fiddle and not a violin:  I showed it a sonata and it said 'nah'.  Then I introduced it to Alison Krauss and it said 'oh yes!'.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Control freak?

I look at my colleague's desk next to mine, and how she is pinned in by piles of old paper, mugs, files, various office staplers etc., nail polish remover (!), boxes of... not sure what, and generally just STUFF.  I can't understand how it doesn' drive her nuts working in that environment (I have another colleague who is even worse, but I don't have to see it for 8 hours a day so I will leave that one out of it, for now).

I want to pick up the largest pile of paper, most of which probably hasn't been relevant for about a year, and go through it and chuck most of it out.

Now Mr H will say that I am not the tidiest person in the world, but I do fairly regularly go through stuff on the table and either file it or chuck it, and my office desk is really tidy as we don't produce much paperwork in here these days.

So now my colleague has left work early, and my fingers are ITCHING to clear up her desk (actually to put the entire contents in the bin, if I'm honest). 

What does that say about me, psychologists!?  (or them, for that matter)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Bad business acumen

I bought a violin last week.  It kind of came upon me all of a sudden like.

I used to play the violin when I was a teenager, I don't remember enjoying it much but was evidently good enough to pass Grade 6.  I never had the natural flair that my brother had with music though so didn't carry on; and my niece (who has inherited her father's natural flair) inherited my grandmother's violin from me.

I can't remember why now, but recently I suddenly decided that I wanted to play fiddle (rather than classical violin) so borrowed a friend's violin.  It hadn't been played for 25 years and was in dire need of new strings, and wasn't a particularly good instrument (she didn't risk her best one on me!).  But I found that the sound I made was not as awful as I thought, and ended up bidding for and winning an old violin on eBay.

When it arrived, it turned out to be 3/4 sized.  Oh....  First I thought I'd send it back but then it looked up at me and pleaded to be kept and loved.  Things tend to do that to me and Mr H, it's a nuisance but we can't help it.  So, having decided that I'd still be able to play it, and negotiated a partial refund on the price because it was advertised as full size, I decided to take it to a local violin lady to look at, because it looked to me as though the bridge and strings were set up wrong.

Mine is the one on the right

She is an esteemed expert in her field (according the website), but when we met her she was the most inconsiderate, uncaring person, and seemed to be only just holding herself back from being downright rude. She didn't listen to what I said about why I had a 3/4 size instrument instead of a full size one.  She then quoted me a ridiculous price for sorting it out but obviously didn't think it was worth it, she was the sort of person who would completely put me off trying to play. Mr H and I both took an instant dislike to her and we were there about 5 minutes before leaving with a polite "I'll think about it", knowing very well we wouldn't be back.

Mr H then suggested asking the chap who he sometimes goes to for guitars and associated bits and pieces.  "Oh yes," he said, "I can sort that out for you no problem."  No tut-tutting that it was too small for me or looking at me as if I couldn't possibly have ever played the violin.  We discussed what was needed and how much it would be, I left it with him and I should have it back next week (I'd better warn the neighbours....).

Sometimes being a long-time 'expert' doesn't get you the business, however superior you believe yourself to be.  If you piss off the customer, your credentials don't matter a bit!