Ho hum…

Well, it’s quiet, everyone seems in good form. Friday night I seem to be stewarding at the Ulster Hall thing – I was asked by Lyle earlier on. Should hit the sales sometime, and certainly want to get out on the bike.

Did very very little today except find out what was wrong with the new XtremeEvents website, which is now working properly.

Meantime, I can’t get Semagic to post entries first time, which is bugging me. Grrrr… You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve hit “Post Entry” and it hasn’t gone through. All you get is “Sent 251 bytes” then “Connection Closed”… what’s the point?

Time to look for a new client methinks…

Three entries in one day?

Well, I’ve just finished typing up my Communion Service setting – go me! I wrote the Gloria last Sunday, and everything else on Thursday – so I just had to do a legible version in Sibelius.

Next step is to print it all out and give it to assorted people. Very exciting! (how far down my pile of junk is my blank paper?) In the morning will be soon enough…

Walking being driven in a Winter Wonderland

The day got better.

My dad came in at about 9.35 and told me we’d be leaving for Grandma’s at 10, so I successfully persuaded him he might as well take me to church in that case – took a while though!

Church was exceptionally short, only 40-45 minutes, but good. The second reading was an expanded Matthew 1:17 – the genealogy of Jesus, with added info, boos, hisses, baffled huh?s, cheers and applause, all good craic.

Then Graeme Kerr left me back to my grandma’s for lunch. Like back at home, my grandma’s street had a bit of snow around – but the main roads have been clear.

After lunch it was present time – I got the aforementioned bike (to which I attached the rear light off the old bike), a wee saddlebag to attach to the saddle (have to adjust the height of the lights and reflector now), and a Beano/Dandy calendar. I’m now coming down with calendars… Such is the price of only really getting presents from your grandma and parents – but hey, that’s the only people I bought for!

I also got the front tyre and inner tube off my old bike before lunch. The tyre is about 18 months old and the inner tube was new last Summer Madness, so they were worth saving. One of the nuts on the rear wheel isn’t going anywhere, so I’ve no mission of rescuing that wheel before it all goes for scrap… but it’s the original tube (albeit unpatched!) and tyre, about seven or eight years old.

After watching the Queen’s Christmas message, we had cake and headed home as the snow was coming down again – better than going back in the dark, and to be honest the afternoon just drags after the Queen’s speech – if it had been fine I’d’ve been out on my new bike to pass the time.

Forgot to mention yesterday – I won three bottles of wine in the annual work raffle (all the bottles and pressies we get from consultants etc) which my dad now has. It’ll take him a few weeks to get through them!

Now watching 102 Dalmations. All good.

The story so far…

Well, there’s snow outside.

So I can’t get to church. Which does suck, to be honest. And worse, we mightn’t be going to my grandma’s and that means I don’t get at my bike – not that I’d probably get cycling anywhere. Ah well.

Anyway, we got our stockings this morning as I said earlier. So far… 9 mini crackers (why? I’ve only got a max of 3 people to pull them with!), Simpsons socks, a swivel head torch, a clip-on light, a Cadbury’s selection box, batteries, a chocolate santa of smarties, a candy cane, a Rudolph jelly cake decoration, plus the family regulation balloon and cracker and bag of chocolate coins.

Dunno what I’ll do for the rest of the day.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Hey hey hey!

It’s 1.30am, and I should be fast asleep, because Santa’s been. Shhhhh…

Um. Last two days.

Yesterday our boss took us (eight plus him) out for breakfast. Then we came back and tidied up what couldn’t wait until next week (Friday for me), before we gathered in the Conference Room to get our Secret Santa presents – ya know, pull a name out of the hat and get that person a present. I got a 15.5″ collar shirt and tie, which is flattering – I’m actually 17″ collar, so it’s nice to know someone thinks I’m not quite that big… It’s a bit of a hint though, cos I never wear a tie to work!

If I can’t get it swapped, one of my colleagues will buy it off me, which is great. So that’s me for a whole week… my immediate bosses are covering Wednesday and Thursday respectively, so I just have to work New Year’s Eve. Suits me fine, I should be going to a party that night…

Today I got up reasonably early, had breakfast, logged on, gave myself a haircut (another number 2, loads shorter than the pic), and had a nice bath. Was listening to the Carol Service from King’s College Cambridge when I got a phone call from my mum’s church organist – Ian asked me to conduct two violins, an alto sax and a trombonist at the Midnight Communion service – it went pretty well. Great fun, and it gives you an appetite – came back and demolished two bowls of Corn Flakes.

And so here we are, 1.40am and I’m going to bed. G’night and happy Christmas!


Or something like that!

Very little to report since my last entry, I really must do this more often ya know.

So I may as well tell you about last Sunday – Church Nativity, complete with 30+ year old shepherds and kings. Ali Crawford was back from Paraguay, great to see her.

In the evening, I was at my mum’s church Carol Service. As ever, it varied between good and interesting – they’re not a bad choir, but they can be a little all over the place at times, unfortunately.

Afterwards we went to one of the choir members’ houses. It’s about the only time I get talking to these people due to how little I go to their church (back again on Friday night for Midnight Communion), so it’s good…

Monday XtremeEvents started a server move – new hosting with Mark Railton. There’s a problem with php on that server though, so as I write this entry, the new site is just pointing back to the old server on my ISP.

Finally finished my Christmas Shopping today, and finished posting my Christmas cards (including two which will arrive too late for Christmas – oh well!), only a day too late for the ones which went today – but they’re for Northern Ireland so I expect they’ll arrive by Friday ok.

Tonight the Radio Team met in Seaside Ceramics in Donaghadee to do a little pottery painting. The nine of us selected an item, be it tortoise, mug, bowl, alien (for Sy), or whatever and started painting… great fun, and Etta will collect the things after Christmas. I painted an impersonation of a certain logo on mine… interesting to see how it comes out.

After that we went back to Etta’s for food and so on – excellent idea seeing I hadn’t had any tea due to coming straight from work. We sat around, chatted, Holly and Carly gave out pressies (I got a dinosaur fossil egg out of which you dig the fossil and make the dinosaur), and also had some music… Etta was glad that I play piano, cos it gave her a change. Great fun!

Then I came home, came online, and wrapped my “Secret Santa” present for work tomorrow. And now I’m going to bed!

Where does time go?

Ho hum. Nearly two weeks since I made a proper update.

Suppose you want a real one now?

Ok. December 2004 in the life of Andy Boal… well, not that much actually happened for the first week really.

So I’ll talk about the last few days, which have been good.

Saturday I was playing piano for a marriage blessing ceremony for Della and Marcus, two former students at QUB who got married in South Africa at Della’s home church. She belongs to the Indian community, whereas Marcus is from Norn Iron. They now live in London, although apparently due to passport problems or something, Della couldn’t go straight there from the wedding and she and Marcus had to spend the first two months of married life apart… TORTURE!

Anyway, we had the same eight songs as at the wedding itself in a different order. Music group was myself, Malcolm “Flash” Gordon (guitarist in residence), Naomi Gamble (best man’s wife) and David Moore (late replacement for the guy who was supposed to be drumming until a week earlier – his gran died and he and his twin brother who was supposed to be playing piano had to go to the funeral in England), and it was great.

Next funny thing was the video. Della’s mum looked white in the video, but the photos revealed that she is Indian ok, but lighter than Della herself. It was also interesting to contrast piano playing styles between myself and Emma Keenan, another former member of the Church of the Resurrection – you’d be surprised how they all get about…!

It was great, and then they fed us afterwards. Even so I’d made sure the Music Group had plenty of time to eat between practising and the service – 2 hours altogether before we got back in at 1.30 (service supposedly at 2, but it started late…). Then it was a case of relaxing, playing some stuff (including my own song) while waiting for Marcus and Della to get ready, and then playing them in to The Minstrel Boy from the Corrs’ Forgiven not Forgotten (who needs a violinist?!). It was great, and Naomi and I did a vocal duet on How deep the Father’s Love while everyone was sharing the peace. Playing piano and doing harmonies isn’t necessarily easy…

Got home later, and relaxed for the evening. Then this morning was church – and not an adult baptism which had been planned, which is explained in a friends-only post on this LJ (if you want to be my friend, just add me!). It was good though, we prayed for the guy who was to have been baptised and stuff.

This afternoon Nigel Mansley and I set up the powerpoint, screen etc for Informal Worship at Ballyholme Parish. After trouble persuading the new laptop to behave, I showed him a few Powerpoint tricks, but ended up running the powerpoint for the songs myself! It was a good service about Advent and the meaning of the four candles (hope, peace, joy, and I was fixing something else during the fourth candle… oops…! I’ll learn it next week at my own church).

And that’s it for now. Can’t write about much else, not enough of a life!