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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh. Photo © 2012 John Carmichael

This is the Truth sent from Above,
for classical music agony aunt ALICE McVEIGH

Ask Alice

Alice Happy Christmas to all my lovely friends and readers and everyone at Music and Vision!!!!

As some of you know, Simon and I started this year hoping to have a conservatory out the back. After nine interviews with companies ranging from the famous to the local, we selected First Choice Conservatories (, who let us down with a massive thud. They claimed to be up to the job but weren't -- they'd never previously installed an orangery like the one we wanted. In the end they didn't even finish off the simple skylights properly. (In fact, the skylights plus the flat roofs and soffits took First Choice a breathtaking two months plus!!!) Thus was the Spring and summer wasted. (They didn't ever take away the rubbish, which adorned our front drive for months and months.) Annoyed but undiscouraged, we switched to, fast-talked by Kevin Boorman (not the Hastings local councillor Keven Boorman, by the way). They were supposed to start yesterday, having swiped a substantial deposit roughly a fortnight before they went bankrupt. (Oops!!!) While the amount of sheer time I've wasted on this project is breathtaking, when I could have been tidying the garage, writing informative fiction for the masses, practicing double-stops or my second serve ...

And what I want to say is: are we being sent a message, here? Is God trying to tell us something? (Are you, God???) Something like: 'Listen, squirts, you don't need a glass extension out the back. You need to tidy up your studies and do something with that messed-up garage!!! Priorities, priorities!!!'

Ought we instead to be opening a dachshund rescue centre with the inheritance instead? Or sending it to my friend in south India who works with the poor? Or supporting Burma's faltering first steps towards democracy? There are so many worthy recipients of charity to choose from!!! Bankers, for example, have had a rotten year: I know a banker who claims to be an accountant at dinner parties. We could start a Sympathy Fund for Distressed Bankers!!

And then journalists have suffered. Poor Rupert Murdoch looks as if he hasn't been able to afford a square meal since forever. How about

It hasn't been a fun year for Republicans. As a member of Democrats Abroad, I could do worse than start It could deliver semi-automatic pistols to needy redneck Arkansas residents and cheer up distraught fat Texan matrons with yummy cholesterol-laden GOP Chicken Greaseballs, delivered piping hot to their doors. I would also happily pay to brighten the lives of all those ministers who urged their flocks to vote out Obama, many of whose 10,000-strong churches are in desperate need of brains -- sorry I mean cash. With the tens of thousands we were selfishly hoping to use to build an orangery, we could save souls!!! What America needs is another TV station full of starving Bible-belters with Kevin Boorman's gift of the gab, to urge repentance before Jesus swoops back to gather up all good anti-abortion Republicans, leaving the rest of us wailing and gnashing our teeth in serious levels of heat while being prodded by fiery pitchforks wielded by Kevin Boorman lookalikes!!! Oh I can see it now: Channel 10976, available to all: Channel Repent-the-end-is-nigh. Come to think of it, the utter selfishness of my husband and me in thinking of shedding a little light looks towards the back of the house looks less and less defensible.

But -- how to choose????? I know: I will let my loyal readership decide by vote. Here are those front-runners again:

  1. Sympathy Fund for Distressed and Embarrassed Bankers
  4. Channel Repent-the-end-is-nigh

Thanks in advance for your vote!!!!
(By the way, if you know Kevin Boorman -- the salesman, mind you get the right one -- could you kick him in the googlies for me? Ta very much and Happy Christmas!!!!!!!)

Copyright © 21 December 2012 Alice McVeigh, Kent, UK

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