Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Check This Out


I hate it.

I consider it the uniform of the football hooligan or the fashion essential of ‘Chav’ (along with crap bling and pristine white trainers.) It is to the 00s what Shell Suits were to the early 90s

Sadly though the nation doesn’t seem to agree with me. That naff camel coloured tartan is every where. Umbrellas, scarves, caps, T-shirts heck there’s probably even Burberry bondage gear now. But would it be so popular if people realised it actually isn’t that fashionable? It’s ‘manufactured fashion’ it’s like the Hear’Say of the clothing world.

Firstly it isn’t actually Scottish. Burberry was founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry in Basingstoke. It was a small shop – ‘gentleman’s outfitters.’ Burberry is famous for inventing Gabardine the water-resistant tough fabric a lot of out-door wear is now made from. Burberry supplied a lot of military clothing throughout the early 1900’s

It wasn’t until 1924 that the Burberry check was invented and used as lining on trenchcoats. It wasn’t until 1967 that it was first used as a cloth and was applied to scarves and umbrellas.

It wasn’t fashionable until 1997 when a new management team re-launched it in new collections

But here’s the clincher – this is why it should never be fashionable, the supposed Fashion Empire is actually an offshoot of GUS. Yes the home catalogue company also responsible for Argos has owned Burberry since 1955! Would you consider Argos high fashion chic? Nope, yet loads of chavs still parade the products of its sister company thinking they’re the Beckhams. The last laugh is on you – ‘check’, mate.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Oh What A Night, Late May back in '04

So last night was my forth DJ gig since beginning this blog – the start of June heralds the start of a busy season – I’ll be Djing weddings & birthdays every week now for the next few months – on top of the weekly pub quiz I host.

Last night I provided music for a lovely couple. They introduced themselves by stating that they wanted none of that ‘hip hop or rap rubbish’ and thus I instantly warmed to them. I spent the night playing the more cheesy areas of the pop charts – there were a lot of kids present so I made sure S Club & Britney got a good airing as well as the ‘Chav.chav slide.’

The crowd took a while to find last night – I dithered with a bit of Motown, some Disco and dance but it wasn’t until I pulled Wham! out of the DJ case that I got them – and kept them there until 1am. It has to be said that one thing I have learnt from Djing is that the young are very arrogant about music. They are ignorant to the older people in the room and don’t understand that Hip Hop and what we now call R&B (which is an insult to proper Rhythm & Blues) isn’t actually that popular post-mid twenties. Also if they don’t hear something they like they vote with their feet and go to local nightclubs – something I consider very rude if you’ve been invited as a guest of a wedding. No matter though – they lost out as once I got the crowd going – about 10.35 (good considering I only started Djing at 10pm(ish)) it was a great night! 7 out of 10.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Fetch The Engine, Fetch The Engine

Firefighters in parts of Tayside and Glasgow have been taking part in a work to rule as part of unofficial industrial action. The move was in support of colleagues in Greater Manchester who have been suspended for refusing to use new major incident equipment.

The problem is this time they are not going to get the public support.

Personally I feel they are downright selfish. They winge that they don’t get enough money for the danger they are put in. Um, hello – there’s a big clue in the name of the job title ‘FIREFIGHTER’ the risks of the job are obvious when you join up – if you don’t want to put yourself into that danger then don’t go into firefighting.

What about the amount of money they’re on? I’d love to be paid that much! There are people out there in the community doing just as important jobs for society that don’t get paid anywhere near as much. Look at Nursery Teachers – they are criminally under paid – not even £10,000 PA. Firefighters can expect anywhere up to and over £17,000+ OK so they save lives but Nursery Nurses help to lay the foundations to develop lives – just as important. Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, etc all deserve more but the fact they don’t constantly winge about it leaves them with a lot more respect. One firefighter on the local news was trying to get pity as he ‘only’ got £23,000 p.a. oh dear my heart bleeds for you – I know many, many people that work extremely hard getting a lot, lot less.

Perhaps if fire fighters actually did what they were supposed to rather than moaning and groaning all the time the government might not be so hesitant to give them the money they want.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Slow, Slow, Quick Quick, Slow

I have decided to enter politics. I am going to set up my own party and hinge my manifesto around one policy. I want to revolutionise the country’s pavements.

I consider myself quite a quick walker, I am one of the few 20somethings that can’t drive and to be honest has no interest in driving. The look of shock I get when people discover this is quite amusing. “But how do you get about?” many people ask.
“I have these amazing things called legs,” I reply.
One girl last week, my boss’ daughter, looked amazed as I told her I walked home every day from work. “It’s only a 10 minute walk,” I told her. “10 MINUTES” she gasped, “bt isn’t there like a bus or summit?” (Teenagers these days even seem to talk in text speak.)

Yesterday I decided to set off for work earlier than normal. It was so nice and sunny I decided that I wanted to walk at a more leisurely pace so as to enjoy the weather & the view. Soon I came across a problem. Even at my ‘slow’ pace I got stuck behind a slower moving vehicle – three old biddies blocking the pavement moving at a arthritic snails pace. To top it off they were the most evil of types – the ones that suddenly stop without warning leaving me to bump into them. Eventually I performed an overtaking manoeuvre as luckily there was a long straight and no traffic coming the other way. Another five minutes on and I get stuck behind another slow moving vehicle. A young mum with a pushchair and toddler in hand.

So this is my manifesto. All main pavements should be revamped and structured like motorways. A hard shoulder for those that breakdown – suddenly stopping without warning to prevent people behind crashing into them. A lane for slow moving window shoppers, A quick moving lane and a lane for overtaking.

At last I could get from A to B without having to navigate an obstacle course of biddies, skaters, (sorry sk8ters) toddlers & pushchairs.

Number 10 here I come.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Whack's Away

Last night I did something reasonably exciting for me. I went to the theatre. Our local theatre is now six years old and not once have they had anything on stage that remotely interests me. To me that screams of the fact that perhaps they actually haven’t got ‘the locals’ foremost on the list of importance. Instead they try to be all arty with opera singers and folk jazz. They regularly have gay & lesbian acts – weird considering this city doesn’t have a large gay or lesbian scene. (They all travel to nearby Cardiff & Brum for their entertainment!) They ignore the fact that this city has a large working class population (which I’m proud to be part of) which would far prefer a good stand up comic to some Vagina Monologues.

Anyway. Finally, after years of the annual ‘Sooty Show’ being the only thing I’d consider going to see, and believe me as soon as I have children I’ll be dragging them to see it – even if they’d rather watch ripoffemon, the theatre announced they are hosting Dave Gorman’s Google Whack Adventure. Sadly I’d already seen it – the fact that my local theatre doesn’t cater for me meant I’d been travelling to not-so-local theatres for my entertainment! This didn’t deter me from a second viewing which was every bit as enjoyable as the first, oh and the book (I recommend it highly if you’re in need of a read.)

The premise was that Mr. Gorman accidentally travels around the world meeting Googlewhacks by trying not to complete a bet to meet Googlewhacks! I don’t want to spoil anything else as a lot of the story works on its element of surprise suffice to say it is very, very funny.

Anyway in honour of the show I decided to set about finding a Googlewhack. Now I’m very very proud to say it only took me 3 hours and 37 miutes – and that’s without the Observer Crossword!

Here though we come across a problem. I want to tell you the Googlewhack I found, but, by doing that it would no longer be a Googlewhack. It was something like semolin@ unicyklist (I’ve spelt it wrong deliberately to preserve its googlewhackness.)

So if your bored this weekend why not find out what a googlewhack is then go find one yourself!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

A Nation Of Curtain Twitchers?

Blog’s can be boring.

They are tools of the ego. Why should the Internet community be interested in what I’m doing daily? I don’t for a minute expect anyone to care about my life and what I get up to. In today’s tense political environment tales of me going to get drunk and getting up to traffic-cone-stealing hi-jinx’s are insignificant.

It is because of this that I don’t want to use this blog as I dairy of what I do, but more of what I think.

So what is on my mind today? Well it’s the old tale of abortion. The battle between the rights & wrongs of abortion have always been rife in America but the last few weeks have a seen a rise of interest in the UK. It started when Channel 4 aired a programme featuring graphic footage of an abortion. I’m not going to get into the rights & wrongs of abortion. People much more intelligent and wiser than I have discussed this issue for decades and still not come to a conclusion. Instead it’s the media’s handling of the issue that bothers me.

Today the media is full of the story of Michelle Smith, a 14 yr-old girl who kept an abortion secret from her mother after having unprotected sex. There is also the ongoing tale of Church of England curate, Joanna Jepson getting involved after she discovered that a Dr. Michael Cohn performed an abortion on a baby with a Cleft Palate 28 weeks into the pregnancy.

I think the recent tales of abortion are a side-effect of society’s current obsession with other people – particularly celebrities. We are too interested in what other people are doing when really we should care about ourselves, and our closest friends. Perhaps it is Heat Magazine’s fault but I don’t care what trousers Beckham is wearing this year. I can live without knowing Jay-Lo’s secret pot noodle addiction or that Will Young sniffs the saddles in the local gym. Likewise it is none of Joanna Jepson’s business as to why Michael Cohn carried out the abortion – it should just be between him and his patient. Also the media should not be further traumatising a young girl by running her abortion story in the press. In fact this will probably damage her more than the mental anguish of the abortion its self.

No society is too nosey for it’s own good. The crime is not the abortion its self but the fact that we know about it. We don’t like Big Brother watching us, so why should we become Big Brother?

Not all blogs are boring - this one's great!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Dog Tired

Back on the 18th March I pondered over how long I’d actually keep this Blog up. I’m ashamed to admit that after just one week and a holiday to the large building site that is the Costa Del Sol the regular posting stopped.

I did forget for a while. Then a few weeks ago I was online and remembered, but couldn’t think of anything to say. I still can’t but I know if I don’t keep going I will regret it. Not today perhaps, not even tomorrow but someday and for the rest of my life.

So I return to Blog land today to find that the site has had a redesign which aids my confusion.

Anyway what have I been up to of late?

Well the end of march and early April was taken up by a holiday to Spain. The resort was gorgeous, the company was great but the weather was awful. Still on the plus side I learnt a host of new card games and discovered some great new cocktails.

Since then I’ve been hosting a weekly pub quiz and generally just working. A visit to Alton Towers here, a meal with the ‘in-laws’ there.

Last night was perhaps one of the oddest in a while. I found myself cheering on my works football team as they played a local leisure centre. I don’t care for football, it doesn’t interest me but I felt that I should give the gang some moral support. There was a hitch. I gave them this support whilst dressed as a giant dog. It was funny at the time and believe me next time I go to Disneyland I may feel a bit of compassion for Tigger and Mickey.

What else have I been up to? Oh yes I went from one extreme to the other on the DJ front. My last gig (Sunday March 21st) was awful. Last week’s was a blinder. The minute I put on the first record (Peter Andre arrrgh!) the dance floor was full and it didn’t empty until New York New York three hours later. The atmosphere was electric and I was on a high for the rest of the weekend. So thank you local maternity unit for such a great night! (Also thank you to someone in that room that night for putting your thumbprint in the back of my head during my first few seconds of life!)