17th January

Another cold and frosty morning and as I came out of my house this morning I spotted the man opposite sawing up his Christmas tree, which has sat outside for nearly 2 weeks, in order to get it into the garden waste recycling wheelie bin ahead of it’s collection tomorrow. I also noted that another neighbour had taken a slightly less subtle approach (below). However I found that neither were really required as I just left ours in the front garden and they took it anyway!

There was an interesting juxtaposition of articles on Radio 4 this morning. The last discussion on the today program was regarding the impending (?) break up of the Union and how this would affect the English. The discussion centred around the idea that we English could stop being British and start being English again! There was a discussion of what the traits of the English were and the word tolerance was used more than once. The following program, The Long View, was a discussion of the similarities between the Stephen Lawrence case and the racially motivated murder in 1959 of Kelso Cochrane who was stabbed through the heart by a group of white youths in Notting Hill. Although, the program claimed, it was strenuously denied at the time the murder was racially motivated amid tensions about immigration in the post Windrush years. So much that that English tolerance then!

Ok I confess – the sandwich bags I bought from Aldi are waaaaaayyy too big and I should have bought the medium ones instead!!!!

I had to record some voiceovers for a video today and as the budget on the video is non existent it meant that we couldn’t afford to get a professional voice over artist in to do it. The first draft had been done by the project manager and frankly he was rubbish. So when they needed to be redone he coughed and sniffed and claimed he couldn’t do it because he had a cold – so muggins here had to do it.

I’ve worked with a few professionals over the years including the voice of the balls so I’ve an idea how it goes. You’d think it would be quite simple reading something from a piece of paper into a microphone but it’s not. Firstly you have to pitch it right, not to fast or too slow and with the right sort of enthusiasm in your voice (one of the points that my colleague fell down on imho). Then you have to get the emphasis and inflections right – it’s amazing how much the way you stress a simple word like “and” can change the way a sentence sounds! And finally of course you have to be able to get to the end of the sentence without messing up – often the tricky bit as your brain is usually a few words ahead of your voice!

Then of course there’s my accent! I’ll never forget when I first got an answering machine I recorded my message and when I played it back I was actually shocked by how much of a North Eastern accent I had – not as bad as some but quite strong. That was 20 years ago and those years of living in the south have watered it down a bit. I’m sure if you asked the family they’d say it is still quite strong but I do now actually have to put on the accent if I’m going to say “Day five in the Big Brother house….” I don’t really hear it when I play it back but I’m listening to something I’m used to and usually listening for other technical aspects anyway – maybe I should wait and see what the client says!

STOP PRESS: The client signed the video off with no further changes 🙂


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