This weekend saw my friend Anne-Marie‘s Christmas play ‘While You Were Sleeping’ performed at her home church in Bexleyheath.  This has been a regular gig for several years, and I’ve helped out the past few years with graphics and posters and suchlike.  This year I was asked to design posters, put the programmes together, and design some newspapers.  Yes, that’s right, newspapers.

The play’s theme revolved around a late night news team in Bethlehem, looking in vain for some hot story to cover, and in their efforts completely missed the birth of Christ because it was too ‘ordinary’ and ‘unspectacular’.  The title ‘While You Were Sleeping’ is actually taken from a song by Casting Crowns by the same name, which is a very poignant song about missing the truth of Christmas in all the hype and busyness of the season.  It was a fantastic play, with some hilarious scenes and in-jokes that only a few of us really got.

Anyway, back to those newspapers.  At one point in their news broadcast the news team were looking at the following morning’s newspapers to tell the public what was in them, and so I had to create some fake newspapers to show on the screen.  There were four in all, each modelled quite blatantly on existing newspapers, close enough that people could tell what they were supposed to be, but without infringing copyright!  I was quite pleased with them, especially some of the little articles that I put in.  Not that anyone would have been able to read them on the screen during the play, but never mind.  I’m sure Anne-Marie won’t mind me putting them online, since I made them, so here they are for you to download if you want: The Protector, The Planet, The Weekly Prophet, The Shine.

In other news, our phone line has been cut off.  Not good.  Last time our bill came through (we receive our bills electronically rather than through the post, which cuts down on wasted paper but means we have to remember to check our e-mails) we ended up paying in two installments because it wouldn’t let us set up a direct debit… twas all a little complicated.  Anyway, the result was that BT got confused and thought the second payment was a mistake, and refunded it.  Because of that there was an outstanding balance on our account, but since they weren’t complaining about it I figured I’d just pay that off next time round.  I was clearly wrong.

When I tried to make a call this afternoon I was redirected to a BT prerecorded message saying there was no fault on the line, but because of an outstanding balance on the account the line had been temporarily cut off.  Grr.  We had had no warning by post, no reminder by e-mail, no phone call from them explaining what was going on.  It took me ages to figure out what the problem was.  I even logged into their online system to check out my account, and was told of no problems there at all.  It showed an outstanding balance, but didn’t make a big deal of it, and didn’t mention anything about the line having been stopped.  Curiously the internet connection still works, and we can still receive incoming calls, so it’s not stopped completely, but it’s still an inconvenience we could have done without.

I shall therefore be sending a strongly worded letter to BT explaining what’s been going on, and asking for an apology, if not some form of compensation.  To cut us off without warning is, as far as I know, illegal.  Not good, BT.  Bad BT.

I am also yet to receive my car tax renewal form through the post.  Neddy’s tax disc runs out at the end of this month, but I’ve had nothing come through the post to remind me about it and give me the form to renew it.  I’m wondering whether they’ve sent it to the wrong address, so that’s another thing to chase up.

On a more cheery note, one of my clients’ web sites went live last week, marking another successful web site project.  They seem happy with it, and I’ll be going to train them in the new year, so that they can use the CMS and update it themselves.  I’ve also got two new clients lined up, so that’s good news too.  What with my bank changing my account from a ‘graduate’ account with a free overdraft to a ‘normal’ account with a non-free overdraft, I’ve had to transfer a lot of my savings around to keep things in the black, and funds are rather low right now as a result.  The extra income will be much appreciated, especially at this time of year!

Categories: InternetLifeRants

1 Comment

Phill · 18 December 2007 at 9:52 pm

“To cut us off without warning is, as far as I know, illegal”

You might want to have a quick check of your Terms and Conditions before sending a *too* strongly worded letter 😉

By the way, I didn’t get my tax disc letter until about this time of the month – the Christmas rush could be delaying it a bit. I think you might be able to renew it online though, maybe you could investigate?

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