Stupid Thong…

17 November 2010

…I mean Thing. Not Thong! At least that’s what I regularly end up with as an iPhone autocorrect typo. What’s your most common typo. Or is it one of these?

Many many more at

The Royal Facebook

17 November 2010

Highly amusing Facebook #fail comedy video from the BBC. Wonder if they’ll get the deal to film the Wedding?

Foreign land? Poppy land: history, family, patriotism.

5 November 2010

I’ve just spent not much longer than 24 hours in Brussels. 28 I guess. For work. I like Brussels. It’s a strange city, especially the European quarter.

Before I left on the Eurostar yesterday afternoon I bought a poppy from. The Royal British Legion poppy seller in St Pancras. TV news persevered have been wearing them for weeks – politicians too. And they’re becoming more common around the UK too. But in Brussels it’s like playing a game of ‘spot the patriotic Brit’. (You know, a little wink and flick of your poppy can get you far). Belgians must have thought I was weird. Poppies, of course, are a symbol of Flanders. Those fields are where that symbol cane from!

I’ve had five people, in the last 28 hours, ask what the poppy was for. Of course i knew what it was for – I explained November 11th and Armistace Day in the UK. But the explanations as ever, became increasingly elaborate. Bu the time of my [absolutely fascinating] conversation in the Eurostar terminal as I waited to depart this evening I was recalling stories about my grandfather and his part in the Second World War.

You know, so many questions are asked about Britishness. But the poppy is one symbol that makes me proud to be British. It’s about what’s best in British life – at the most generic level it’s about comeradery, history and endurance. It’s amazing to have had people ask me what the poppy meant. It made me stop and think about it. And did me a world of good.

Ryanair: concerned for the comfort of your journey

2 November 2010

Yesterday Michael O’Leary, the calm, contemplative and collected boss of Ryanair – the blue and yellow airline, admitted he was concerned for customers comfort.

“‘What happens, particularly in the coverage of the Yemeni issues of recent days, is that we have another huge lurch by the securicrats into making travel even more uncomfortable and an even more tedious ordeal for the travelling public”

The irony of this was not lost on me. The airline that stresses out customers with garish colours, flying to airports many miles from the cities they suggest they’re in, a tinny fanfare when landing ontime, charges for everything they can put charges on is always a stressful experience. As far as possible I now blatantly refuse to fly with them. And yet, Mr O’Learly thinks our comfort should be put before safety. Never known for his commitment to clear truthful statements (like his airline) he was wrong when he said “These [bombs] haven’t been on passenger airplanes,” [they have], and “there has been no terrorist attack on a European passenger aircraft for many years” [again, there has – 2006, suicide bombings of aircraft, Moscow].

Yes the security checks are an inconvenience (perhaps more-so because of the understaffing and lack of space in airports like Gatwick and Heathrow) but I’d rather have someone in charge of my safety that isn’t intent of cost-cutting to the bare minimum.
Who are you trying to kid Michael O’Leary? You couldn’t care less about passengers flying experience! And anyway, there’s a reason flying is safe, relatively speaking, and that’s primarily because those security checks exist.

For more reasons to hate Ryanair, click here.

Rihanna’s Tea Party

1 November 2010

Rihanna performed on yesterday’s x-factor – a performance which blew me away (and also made blatantly clear how rubbish some of the x-factor’s acts are – especially the [at long last] voted off Belle Amie).

In a performance that the Guardian described as a “a smart move – making it as spectacular as possible to disguise the fact that the song isn’t very good” she dodged cupcakes thrown by what looked like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the Last Supper. Who knows, perhaps the madness behind her could have been her own Tea Party movement!

The Guardian’s liveblog description was fabulous in it’s clear bamboozlement:

8.32pm: Rihanna’s the third singer on, and she’s pulled out all the stops. There’s a huge banquet onstage, and the diners appear to include a tin soldier, a rabbit and Yoko Ono. Everyone’s throwing cake around. And now something’s caught fire.

It’s a smart move – making it as spectacular as possible to disguise the fact that the song isn’t very good – but Rihanna didn’t have to make this much effort. She was following Bon Jovi and Jamiroquai, after all. She could have sat around cleaning the fluff from her belly button and she still would have outclassed them both.

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