Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fraught and wet

While Wales has been living up to its reputation for rain I have been wading through stress for the last seven days. My main ADSL link was down all week - good job I was able to reconfigure my kit to use my back-up ADSL! My mobile phone broke too. Add to that the horror of the discovery that Thomson had taken over My Travel and Airtours and that the only two flights to Rhodes from my local airport were night flights. OK - there are worse things in this world but we have been flying to Rhodes from Cardiff for years and arriving soon after lunch or by tea-time. Who in their right mind wants to arrive in a resort at 1.00 am? I have written to Thomson and accused them of treating residents of Wales as second-class citizens. So, not wanting to fly at night I came up with a master plan to use airmiles and money and to fly Olympic Airlines to Rhodes via Athens - using the break on the return journey to spend a day in Athens. The idea of being able to take a ten or twelve day break was looking rather appealing. The next fly in the ointment was the discovery that our professional house sitter had got himself a dog and would only accept seven day sits from now on. We have to have a sitter because we have a Boarding Cattery on the premises and someone has to be here at all times when the staff are not. Now we have to interview another sitter who will sit for more than a week. I expect it will all work out.

Talking of Airmiles, I was thumbing through their January mini-brochure when I thought to myself.. "Someone has taken a photo just like one I took in Venice". Then, as I focused a little more, I realised that it WAS my photograph. It's the one used in my "Venice" blog. I have a vague memory of submitting it for a competition so that must be how they got it - they did credit me as the photographer though. A few days later, while surfing to the Olympic Airlines site, I had the same experience. A rotating gif showed three photos one of which was a photo I had taken of the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

My friend, Ian Britton has the photo on his site at so I assumed that all three photos were from his site and called him. Anyone can use the low resolution photos free of charge as long as they credit the site. Within 48 hours Olympic had changed the pictures.

It was a relatively quiet week in the voice-over studio - just as well really as all the stress might have tipped me over the edge. A smattering of radio commercials, phone messages and some sports training material. I had a very interesting email from a European studio complimenting me on the speed and quality of my responses to them and my demo and looking forward to working with me. What they failed to say and what I had to read between the lines was that I hadn't got the job I had demo'd for them. One nice moment was a call for technical help from my friend and colleague, voice-over Duncan Wells who had almost died following a particularly nasty accident with a marine flare. It was good to hear from him and good to know that he is getting back in the sadddle - even if we will be competing for the same voice jobs!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Year Resolution

I think my resolution for 2008 will have to be to post regular blogs! Easily said - let's see if if I can keep it up.

In October last year I posted a couple of photos of Venice. Imagine my surprise yesterday while reading the Airmiles mini-brochure for January when I came across my photo! I vaguely remember submitting it for a competition or somesuch but had no idea it would be used professionally. Airmiles have credited me as the photographer. Now, I have written to them to ask if they will credit me with some miles. Cheky? Maybe. If you don't ask you don't get.

Most of last year seems to be a blur of busyness. I think I need 36 hours a day to get everything done. Maybe it's something to do with being a grandfather (Papou actually - that's the Greek version). Although I am far too young to be a grandfather it is fun - especially to such a good looking boy.

We took him to Greece in the summer for a family holiday and to meet his other grandmother. He did really well on the journey and in the heat.

In September I enjoyed a sibling fest in the Algarve with my brothers and sister. If you have never enjoyed a genuine Portuguese Cataplana or eaten Chicken Piri Piri at one of the restaurants above Monchique then you haven't really experienced the best of Portuguese cooking. Sadly, I was too far south to visit my colleague Paulo for whom I voice a lot of programmes.

Christmas in the world of voice-overs quietens down much earlier than it used to. In the old days we would be travelling to a studio or radio station or two on Christmas Eve. Nowadays the phone tends to stop ringing a week before Christmas. The New Year has started with a flurry of voice-overs for phone messaging, an events organiser, an Asian TV station, a group of schools in the USA and a company offering maedical advice in Qatar. Not bad for the first week. I hope it continues to flourish!