Peter Burton's daily log, covering Peter's personal interests, e.g. jazz, travel and general grumpiness plus (occasionally) the business of Isomatic and its associate companies.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Mike Piggott / Nils Solberg trio at the Cricks
On Monday night we saw the Mike Piggott
/ Nils Solberg
trio with Peter Morgan on bass at the Cricketers
in Horsell Birch, Woking.
It was a very popular evening with many jazz musicians in the audience, such is the draw of this trio. John Lawes commented that he had come to see real musicians ! Those invited to sit in were Richard White (clarinet), Megs Etherington (trumpet/vocals) and Chris Lowe (trombone). There was so much great music that it is hard to pick out a highlight. Mike Piggott played superbly, including his Joe Venuti style 4 string chorus and playing two numbers on the Strohviolin. However, my ongoing memories are of Megs and Nils playing and singing 'Our love is here to stay' plus Peter playing an acoustic bass guitar for the last session. This was the sort of evening that we look forward to for weeks and does not disappoint.
PS even hard core trad fan Jim was there as was Jill, looking fine after her dreadful operation.
Monday, January 30, 2006
On Sunday afternoon we went to The Wigmore Hall
to see Gary Cooper (early piano) and Rachel Podger (violin) performing sonatas by Mozart and Bach. We sat in the balcony for the first time and were impressed with the acoustics. We could even hear the pages of the music being turned !
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Inland Revenue problems
We seem to be swamped with letters from the revenue in the last week. We have no objection to paying tax and do not organise our business around minimum tax strategies. In return is it unreasonable to expect good treatment ? Why does the revenue:
Assume that we employ staff in the UK; only a tiny proportion of businesses does and I have stated previously that we don't ?
Continue to send forms for a Bulgarian director after I have sent a signed statement that he pays tax in BG and has no UK income ?
Want to charge tax on money we will not receive for 5 years. From where is the money to come to pay the tax ?
Attack us from multiple locations when it would be so much more economic to deal with every aspect from one office ?
I must try to direct these questions to the paymaster-general, pictured above.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
After a lean period, business for small coils and transformers
is picking up. We have an old customer coming back for another thousand and several new enquiries.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Apex Jazz Band at the Cricketers
On Monday night we saw the Apex Jazz Band at the Cricketers
in Horsell Birch, Woking. This was the full line-up with Ian Parry on drums (who called me a 'know-all' for knowing that Fats Waller's first published composition was Squeeze Me). Terry Twiss was delightful on 4-string guitar and vocals, ending on great a vocal duet with Bert Shipp singing 'Shimmy like my sister Kate'.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Gatsby Jazz Band at the Wych Elm
On Saturday evening we went to The Wych Elm
in Elm Road, Kingston Upon Thames, where we saw the Gatsby Jazz Band. The rhythm section is very trad. comprising Sousaphone, Banjo and Washboard/symbol/spoons. The front line comprised trumpet (Alan, with great vocals) a fine Johnny Dodds style clarinet player and the well-known excellent Bob Dwyer on trombone plus the odd vocal. Highlight for me was 'C'est Magnifique' with Alan using a superb French accent.
Both the bar staff and the locals are very friendly so I can recommend this venue just as a pub. It was a very enjoyable evening so we might well return on the 25 February.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
The Four Horseshoes at Chobham
On Friday evening we ate out at The Four Horseshoes, Chobham
in Surrey. We have to disagree with the ranking of 3.3/10 at www.beerintheevening.com. The pub is separated into eating and drinking areas; drinking is noisy, smoky and full of gossip and laughter. Eating is roomy, quiet and smoke-free with good food and polite service. A good arrangement !
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Dick Charlesworth, Alan Dandy, Peter Morgan & Don Cook
On Tuesday evening we saw Dick Charlesworth
playing clarinet and tenor sax with some vocals at the George & Dragon
in Thames Ditton. He was accompanied by three of our favourite jazz musicians; Alan Dandy (keyboard), Peter Morgan (string bass) and Don Cook (drums). Peter and Don indulged in their specialities; Peter bowing and strumming the bass while humming in the Slam Stewart style and Don using the drumsticks on every fixture and fitting in the pub. We sat further back from the band this time reducing the exposure to cigarette smoke. Highlight for me was 'A Hundred years from Today' featuring tenor sax. I reject Dicks' description of it as dreary; it was beautiful !
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Wind Power at the Dusseldorf Boat Show
We are now preparing for Ampair
to exhibit wind turbines and solar panels at the Dusseldorf Boat Show
; January 21-29, 2006.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Match Point at Woking's cinema
On Saturday night we saw the Woody Allen film Match Point
at Woking's cinema complex
. Unlike most of Woody's films this was not a comedy and it was located in London, not New York. A great film.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
More trouble with Vodafone re. portable credit card terminal
Further to my previous posts regarding the portable credit card terminal, Vodafone has contacted me several times saying we don't have the correct contract. The one I signed at the shop in Newbury is with Vodafone connect, whose system is not linked to Vodafone corporate that handles card terminals. I have protested that this is Vodafone's problem and should not concern its customers but dealing with large companies is like banging one's head against a brick wall. I urge all our readers to:
a) avoid buying from large companies wherever possible
b) when they cannot be avoided and cause you trouble, complain vigorously to the MD/CEO so those at the top know how we feel about their poor customer service.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Dick Charlesworth at the George & Dragon
On Tuesday evening we saw Dick Charlesworth
at the George & Dragon
in Thames Ditton. He was accompanied by three of our favourite jazz musicians; Alan Dandy (keyboard), Peter Morgan (string bass) and Don Cook (drums). Peter and Don indulged in their specialities; Peter bowing and strumming the bass while humming in the Slam Stewart style and Don using the drumsticks on every fixture and fitting in the pub. A good evening out, albeit a smoky one !
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Denise Lawrence, Mike Atterbury
On Monday night we saw the Denise Lawrence Band
at the Cricketers
in Horsell Birch, Woking. Unlike many jazz fans, we always enjoy this band and we have CDs of the full band and of Tony Lawrence playing solo piano.
We arrived to find all the furniture cleared from the playing area except for two heavy sofas where the rhythm section sit. It transpired that Dominant Denise had telephoned the equally dominant Joyce at the Cricks asking for more room for the band and this was the result. Drummer Pete Littleproud and I defied them both with some furniture rearrangement that put Selina and myself in prime position. Only regulars could get away with that !
A reader of this weblog had e-mailed to ask if reed player Mike Atterbury was his friend from RAF Weston Zoyland many years ago. Mike sat with us throughout the first break and confirmed 'he was that man'. Denise gave him special dispensation to continue talking to us throughout the first number of the next set. It was 'What a Wonderful World', which he does not like playing anyway. Mike lives in Horsell and sang his own composition 'Woking Man's Blues'.
Then jazz evening organiser Dave Lowe lit candles on a birthday cake right under the smoke alarm and set a bell ringing for the next 30 minutes. The band had to play over it as well as over the hubbub from various groups of noisy people. Denise produced some caustic comments on the fact that both are typical of her gigs.
It was an eventful evening !
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Kingston upon Thames
On Saturday afternoon we went to Kingston upon Thames searching for a straightforward item of clothing for Selina, my wife. We failed to find it. On the way there and on the way back we looked for the George and Dragon
in Thames Ditton, where Dick Charlesworth's Jazz band play every Tuesday. We failed to find that too.
Not a very successful afternoon.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Card terminal at London Boat Show
After all our trials and tribulations we got the portable credit card terminal to the London Boat Show
in time for the start. However, during the day we had a call to say it would not accept a card that seemed valid. I entered the data into the fixed card machine in the office and it went through OK. Will we ever be clear of these problems ?
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Portable Card Terminal; Barclaycard problems
We tried again to reactivate the inherited portable card terminal from Ampair. We found two helpful guys at Vodafone's shop in Newbury and they fitted a SIM and gave us a minimum cost contract. Barclaycard said we should contact the terminal supplier who said they did not support Vodafone and we should register the terminal with Barclaycard. Barclaycard then said we should contact Vodafone but I refused to do this. I finally persuaded the terminal supplier to download the required data to the terminal. We had missed the deadline for courier collection so had to take the terminal to the courier so it could be rushed to the London Boat Show tomorrow.
Why is such a simple exercise so difficult ? Answer; dealing with large companies, every one as bad as the others. Today it was Barclaycard and Vodafone, tomorrow it will be someone else.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Phil Brown with Pete Towndrow and Johnny McCallum
On Monday night we saw the Phil Brown Swingtet at the Cricketers
in Horsell Birch, Woking. It was the full seven piece swingtet with the great Pete Towndrow on cornet deputising for the absent Lester Brown. Special features included guest Johnny McCallum on second guitar. He played with the Chris Barber Band for over 20 years, which never showed his talent as well as on Monday.
The picture below showing the pub is from the CD recorded live there this summer.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Model Engineer Exhibition; Final day
The final day of the Model Engineer Exhibition at Sandown Park was far more successful than the previous day. In addition to many more small sales we sold a Booster E8 and a variable speed drive system, neither of which I expected to sell.