31 January 2014

Musical accompaniment

Usually the CJS office is an oasis of calm with a soothing balm of light classical music. However, these last couple of weeks our internet has been less than reliable and the first thing to break is the internet radio so the playlists have come into operation.  We have discovered that shuffling classical music doesn't always work and that being hurled from the middle of Sibelius's Swan of Tuonela into the Dance of the Knights (Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet) is somewhat disconcerting, but at least we've not had the 1812's cannons to contend with!  AW gave herself a headache with a few hours of dance, the constant boom of the bass she said, so we've avoided that one since; and we're all agreed we'd rather sit in silence than have CMH's pipe music (Barren Rocks of Aden anyone?).  A lot can be gleaned from the music on offer, when there's rock music it usually means that the internet is being particularly annoying - the heavier the metal, the worse the connection and when we get to Black Sabbath it's 'abandon hope all ye who dare enter'...   It's proving quite a useful early warning system, although perhaps not one to be recommended.
So apologies if you've had some unusual background noise when you phone us, as the internet improves (when the fibre network is finally installed, if not switched on, in a few weeks) we'll go back to our usual gentle lilt, not a lot we can do about the rumbustious, very vocal puppies though, so we'll just keep the bowl of distracting treats to hand.

And while we're giving more information that you really wanted about life here in the CJS Office we have a small thermostatic problem. The office has central heating, an oil-filled radiator for boost and is kept generally ticking over by the heat from the wood stove which trickles through the whole ground floor. However, some of us don't like the heat and others are real hot house flowers - I mean, mid to high twenties hot. The timing and the thermostatic valves on the radiators vary according to who's in the office - more when the hot house flowers are in and significantly less when they're not. AW feels the cold but because she is frequently the only tropic dweller when the arctic crew are in means that she's often outvoted on temperature control so to ease the problem we've invested in a snuggle blanket with a lovely tiger skin pattern. A report in The Guardian this week says "UK homes kept 4C warmer than 1970, report shows" read the article here. Now 13C may be a wee bit too cool for an office even for this polar bear but 16 to 18 is just about right. At home, that's a different story... we don't often get ice on the inside of the windows but it's not unheard of; however that's probably because the replacement windows which had to be thermo-double glazed for energy conservation are rarely closed - not sure how that works with energy conservation! We much prefer heavy curtains, thick wooly-pullies and a warm labrador or two.

Despite our internet issues (currently a nice piece of Handel, so it's all OK I assume), grumbles about temperature and doggy distractions we have put together this week's edition of CJS Weekly, a sizeable 18 pages with 60 adverts for paid posts plus 13 for volunteers and the Work Days and Conservation Tasks list for February which for the first time is under regional headings making it easier for you to find something suitable nearby.