Thursday 6 August 2009

North by north west

On the car, there is a digital compass which lets you know which of eight directions you are heading in. I'm sure it's very handy in the outback, and for anyone who's accidently put the wrong destination in their satnav, it will help them see they're heading in the wrong direction.

On the trip to take the boy to Wales, (from West Essex) it consistently pointed SW. All the way from start to finish. It may be that Wales has moved southwards, I'm not sure, but I don't remember any earthquakes of the sort that recently moved New Zealand two foot closer to Australia. Worse still, coming back, it consistently said South East. So at a guess, I'd say Buckhurst Hill must have moved to where Folkestone used to be.

The instruction book advises that it can be re-calibrated by driving round in circles in a car park or open space free of large metal objects. I feel obliged to point out that the car is itself a large metal object. So I'm not sure how I will achieve that.

In the same vein, here is a picture of my sandals.

If you click on the picture you will see there's a yellow label that clearly says 'Waterproof'. You may observe at the same time, the many holes which are a feature of sandal design. And I can confirm that I have undertaken some consumer testing by standing in my sandals in a bath of very cold water, and my feet got very wet. So clearly not waterproof in anyway.

As we have turned into such a litigious society, I feel obliged to call my solicitors Messrs Grabbit and Runn, and put in a claim for several million pounds. I am confident of success.

This post written entirely in the spirit of the silly season which is dominating our newspapers as real news goes on holiday in August.

Under direct threat of a vast legal suit, by Auntie Gwen and Kellogsville, I have put a direct link here

and here

Monday 3 August 2009

All ship shape and Bristol Fashion

Bristol and I have never really seen eye to eye. I don't know why. It's a city with a fine history, but I've never really had a great Bristolian experience.

My first visit was when looking for an interview suit. I know I'm pernickety, but I still don't think it should have taken a whole day of traipsing around nameless, faceless shops to end up with something that was average.

Since then, I've been there a few times, nearly always for business, whilst never quite getting it. And it's a long way down the M4 for nothing. On one occasion, I drew up in my swanky, soft-top PR Executive sports car, to be asked by a very scrawny, drug and virus addled woman if I wanted to do business. It was 8 o'clock in the morning. I then had to park said TT and spent the entire meeting wondering how much of the car would be left when I returned. The car was there, but no contract.

I took the boy there when he was a mite, and we had a lovely day @Bristol, but train delays on the way home meant that I was in desperate trouble with the soon to be ex Mrs Nota Bene.

I did a launch there for Great Western, but in the post press-conference confusion, we managed to leave Mr Great Western at the hotel when we all headed to the station for the Great Train race (train vs car - first one to Paddington wins). We didn't keep them for long after that.

I also took a girlfriend there once. I stayed and she left. Never heard from her again.

This weekend was going to be different. Having abandoned the boy in Wales, I headed back to Bristol to see the Banksy exhibition. The boy had decided he didn't want to see it, as he preferred to see original works in situ (he spent much of his younger life in and around the Banksy haunt of Hoxton).

I followed the satnav, but putting in Queens St rather than Queens Road, meant I ended up at the arse end of Avonmouth docks. If I'd slowed down, I think the local populace would have lynched me. Still I did manage to come in to the city the attractive route, and for the first time sampled the wonderful Clifton Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain. My spirits soared.

Sometime later I closed in on the gallery to see a queue about as long as a queue could be. Normally I'm happy to do things by myself, but three hours in a line of happy families didn't appeal, so I just carried on back to Buckhurst Hill. Somewhat disappointed to say the least. I shall just have to spend the week skulking around the backstreets of Hoxton and Islington on the look out for undiscovered works.

One day, I'll find a good thing about Bristol