Sunday, 11 September 2011

Budget Barbershop Windows

"Hi, can I get my hair cut please?"

"Certainly sir, can I recommend a Style Cut?"

"Not sure I know what that is. Sounds current though."

"It is sir. Women these days go for a man who has Style. A Style Cut will demonstrate that you have Style. In fact, Style Cuts have become so popular, we've helpfully printed out and laminated a selection of haircuts to create our Style For Men gallery you see in the window."

"Oh wow, those guys look very cool."

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Actually, an honest garnish I'm okay with. I've long come to terms with the fact that the purpose of a garnish may be for flavour, or for aesthetic qualities. It can, and often does, provide an element of both. Again, this I'm cool with too. Until, that is, this ambiguity is exploited...

It was lunchtime and I was hungry. I wandered into The Co-op and headed for the 'lunch section'. Now I'm a big fan of Coronation Chicken. The mild curry powder and sweet raisins work together wonderfully, in a way that says, "You've done four hours work, so treat yourself. But don't get carried away. You've still got four hours left."

Suddenly I recoiled in horror. What was going on with that over-sized garnish? Had they taken the Lamb's Lettuce and Green Batavia out of the baguette (where it should've been) and tried to pass it off as a garnish-come-ingredient? Oh god, they had. I can't think of a better way to ruin lunchtime than to insert lettuce along the length of a creamy baguette with my finger, trying to ensure an even distribution.

If you want to add a garnish, add a garnish. Just don't do this.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

'Summer' 2011

Saving my holiday for the winter slopes meant I didn't even escape. My birthday weekend was a washout. Lovebox was a washout. SW4 was a washout. I don't usually gripe about the weather but this summer was the first time I've looked at puddles with such disdain.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Maintenance Mysteries

How does a spare railway sleeper come to be beside a railway line? Is it company protocol just to leave them there? Or did a lazy employee really expect no one to notice such a large, angular hunk of hardwood, left within a few feet of the railway line? Both these answers seem implausible, yet I can't think of any more.

When I first noticed the sleeper, I paid little attention. After all, a railway sleeper alongside a railway line kind of makes sense. But four minutes of reflection while the train waited at a signal, at the same time every morning, for two years, really focused my mind on how naive I'd been and how I'd like this mystery solved.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Divorced Dad Anthems

Did your parents break up? If so, you probably remember sitting in the back of your dad's car after he'd picked you up on a bright Saturday morning. He was wearing stonewashed jeans and sunglasses and playing music you'd never heard while your parents were still together. This music helped him through a difficult period but, for you, was the sound of change. These are Divorced Dad Anthems.

Here's a playlist. Have a browse.

If you have a Divorced Dad Anthem you'd like added to the playlist, just let me know. For the playlist link, click here.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Daily Star Phone Polls

Do you really mean all new British jobs? Oh, the actual question is below. I was confused there by the CAPITAL QUESTION TITLE.

Don't want Christmas cancelled? Don't want to face your bed towards Mecca? Got £1.99? PHONE HERE.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Poor Playground Planning

"Okay guys, we've got the budget and space for one more fixture in this playground. The options are a swing, a roundabout or a zigzag metal thing that kids can try and walk across without twisting their ankle."

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Hip Hop Video Gender Ratio

"Hello ladies, thanks for coming to my party! Let me take your coats. Now before you go in, I must apologise for the severe lack of guys that have turned up. In fact, there's only me and a couple of friends. I'm well aware that nobody likes a party with a ratio this bad and I feel terrible about it. I did try to invite an equal number of girls and guys and am even tempted to call the whole thing off, to be honest. Again, really sorry!"

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Polite Notices

You've taken my money and put me in this state. I'm not about to act as some sort of intermediary between you and the council.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Southern Railway's Table Mechanism

I regularly hear two sounds in my life that I would really rather not. One is the sound of the pedal bin in the kitchen. Oiling the hinge does nothing and I can't put my fingers in my ears, as the need for a bin invariably means I'm holding rubbish. The other sound is the horrendous screech emitted from the fold-down table on a Southern Railways train. I've learnt never to touch it but I can't stop the other people.

Well, today I travelled to Windsor and the second leg of my journey involved South West Trains. Different train operator, different folding table mechanism. This thing ran like a dream. The only discernible difference was the hinge that holds the superior South West Trains table in place. Perhaps this extra support allows for a looser, smoother hinge? I made a video.

You too can complain, here.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Overuse of Adjectives on Labels

Do you remember the genuine excitement when lemon washing-up liquid hit the supermarkets? Well we're hardly going to reach those dizzy heights again, but then we're far more sophisticated now. None of that shitty low-grade English lavender that's let you down so many times.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Double Booked Train Platforms

I thought I'd narrowly averted disaster at the train station today, when I spotted that the controller had accidentally scheduled two trains to come in on the same platform... at the same time. I hurried over to the information screen, took a picture on my phone and quickly found a guard in the station control room. He looked at the picture, smiled and just said, "They won't both come in at the same time, mate." Really? Then you need to sort out your information screens. Mate.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


The slight novelty of Monday being the worst day of the week actually lifts it above Tuesday. What does Tuesday have? Nothing.

Here are the ranked days of the week:
  1. Saturday
  2. Sunday
  3. Friday
  4. Thursday
  5. Wednesday
  6. Monday
  7. Tuesday

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Group Photos of Feet

"Girls! Girls! Get over here! Let's all put our feet together and take a photo from above! This is gonna look great on Facebook!!"

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Sky Red Button Graphic

In the bottom right corner of the TV screen, Sky display a graphic of a red circle on a blue square background. This is to remind me that, if I so choose, I can press the corresponding red button on my remote to bring up their range of interactive services. Great! Perhaps at some point I will require use of the interactive services and I should imagine that I may well need a reminder. Besides, with one extra press of the 'back up' button, I can remove the on-screen reminder, at least until the next advert break, when this preference is reset.

My problem is with the design of the button itself. Is a red circle on a blue square background the best they can offer me? The colours are so horribly primary. I know the graphic must both stand out and represent the red button on the remote, but they've gone way too far. Worst of all is the feeble attempt to apply the third dimension to the graphic. This is 'achieved' by adding 'shading' to the right side of the red circle, intended to represent the three dimensional nature of the real red button on a Sky remote. But the result looks like the button is now off-centre on its blue square background and, furthermore, that the right side of the red circle is bleeding into the blue square background. The quicker Sky sort out this mess of a graphic, the better.