Briefly this morning, the sun made an appearance over the part of Wales I was currently occupying whilst on holiday for a few days.  I don’t spend a lot of time in Wales, but without wishing to appear stereotypical, it does appear to rain a lot.  Usually a little bit of sun doesn’t pose too much of a problem. However, this morning was different because yesterday (when it was raining) I managed to misplace my sunglasses.

Obviously there is a very simple solution to this problem – go and buy some new sunglasses.   I can already sense the despair amongst my dear readers who are already wondering what it is I am going to moan about this week! In light of this, before going out this morning I decided it would be a good idea to plan ahead and checked an online weather app, which confidently told me it was going to be sunny this morning and cloudy this afternoon.   Armed with this advice, instead of keeping my prescription glasses on which tint themselves when it’s sunny, I thought a much better plan would be to put contact lenses in.  It was shortly after doing this and heading outside I remembered that I don’t currently have a pair of non prescription sunglasses with me.  No matter, the sky was grey so I was not in any way optimistic about needing any kind of shield for my eyes!

Time passed and, true to form, it was cloudy all morning and the sun appeared in the afternoon – well that’s a version of the weather which was supplied to me earlier so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much.  Needless to say, come 12 noon I spent all afternoon moaning that I couldn’t see anything because of the bright sphere spherical object beaming down from above.  By this time I was in the seaside town of Penarth. I wasn’t expecting to find a shop selling designer sunglasses but I did hold out some hope I could just buy a cheap pair of tinted spectacles to get me through the afternoon.

But no – this was not the sort of place which would be in any way useful to the weary traveller who wishes to protect his eyes from the sun.   Consequently I abandoned the idea and went into the nearest cafe for lunch.     The menu was fairly basic. It said you can have a Ham, Cheese or Tuna Baguette… or anything else you like.  So I confidently ordered a cheese baguette and some sparkling water. Unfortunately the mention of sparkling water seemed too much for the waiter and he stared blankly and said ‘we have lemonade or tap water’. I’m guessing they did have other drinks, but he was trying to be helpful and offer something which perhaps looked vaguely similar to the one I was trying to order.  Although, from the shrug he gave me, I’m not sure he was even aware of the concept of sparkling water.

A few moments later the ‘waiter’ brought over a basket containing salt, pepper and vinegar. This put me in mind to order a bowl of chips.  ‘I will check with the chef’ said the Waiter. Moments later he came back and said no sorry, no chips.  No matter, at least my cheese baguette was on it’s way.   Another few minutes later, back comes the waiter.  Sorry, chef’s just told me we don’t have any baguettes.    I wasn’t entirely sure why such an establishment would even need a chef but did eventually end up with a cheese sandwich and lemonade so decided just to move on and do something else.

Whilst sitting on the beach (only briefly as I have very little patience for sitting around even when on holiday), I received an email from a client.   Basically having previously signed off a Master CD and the associated Artwork, they had now decided to change the order of the tracks, add in a track which was previously cut (on their instruction) and re word the Programme notes (previously supplied by and written by the client). In short this means another couple of hours work (unpaid).  Because I value all my customers and I am determined to offer the very best customer service possible, I replied that of course I would do this and have it ready within 24 hours. Whilst this is frustrating and will mean I have to cut my holiday short to get back to the studio, I felt that I could hardly penalise the customer because I happen to be away.

I only wish there were a few more companies out there which felt the same as I do about customer service.   If you know of any I’d love to hear about them!  Failing that, if you have any idea where I can buy sunglasses in Wales, please do get in touch!


Jules Addison is Musical Director for The BlueBellesThe Pewsey BellesCirencester Male Voice Choir, The GWH Trust Choir and Transeamus Chamber Choir


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