27 December 2006

No One Does A Sale Like BHS & Woolies!

Forget DFS - you know that company who brag about how great their sales are but never both talking about the quality of their sofas – there are new kings in town! Everyone loves a sale, especially me. So as I'm hunting around for some bargains, I came across this rather sweet looking jewelry box in BHS that was in a sale from a different universe. Not to be out done I was in Woolies a few hours later and they came up with an even bigger 'discount'. I think I prefer Woolies' previous attempts at a sale.

25 December 2006

Please Clean Up All The Christmas Rubbish on TV

Sigh. Why am I paying >£100 to fund such rubbish on TV. Yes, Planet Earth was great but the quality of the comedy on the BBC is appalling. The writing on The Green Green Grass is dire, as too is the acting. At least David Jason saved some of the poor writing in OFAH by his acting. With the second lead male in TGGG being the original Kryten in Red Dwarf who failed to be recalled when the character was made permanent. More catchphrase comedy from Little Talented Britain this evening, preceded by the resurrected from the dead Vicar of Dibley. A wasted Christmas special a few years ago trying to make a clever point but failing finally killed the show off. Dragging their remains back to the screen tonight involves the Vicar being head of heals in love with a beautiful stranger. Hmmm. Isn't that the Christmas special from about 8 years ago? In addition, doesn't this make a mockery of the final show closing with an appeal to help people starving in Africa? The only plus side is that these three shows are not repeats.

24 December 2006

What Has Romania Ever Given Us?

Fear, pain and suffering. Now in return they get to come to the UK as part of the even bigger and better (or new and improved, either way they are both oxymorons) EU come January 1st. I refer of course, in no particular order, to Vlad Dracula, Michael Howard and The Cheeky Girls. Anne Widdecombe has tried to combine the first two ("there's something of the night about him")and lots of men have dreamed about combining the last two, probably in cream (I wonder if that includes Lembit Opik, current boyfriend of Cheeky Girl A?). You know, I actually like all three major exports from Romania (well, I tolerated one song from The Cheeky Girls) so I don't think that's a bad return. I wonder which Premiership team will be the first to bring in Romanians or Bulgarians now they won't need a work permit. My money's on Portsmouth or Reading. Oh yeah, Happy Christmas!

23 December 2006

No Sting In This Tale

As I'm sure you'll remember, I had my car broken into twice in the space of two months. The reason was the Sat Nav mount on the dashboard. The week of the second break in the Edinburgh Evening News reported it is the growth crime of 2006. As much as it pains me to say this, but Manchester Police seem to have the solution. For the past few weeks they have been running a sting operation by parking cars with Sat Navs left on display and waiting for opportunistic thieves to grab the bait. This has currently resulted in 11 people being arrested and one already going to gaol. As it is repeat offenders that commit the majority of these crimes, why is every other police force doing it – especially Lothian & Borders!

Who Makes Money Out Of Sandwich Shoppers?

Going shopping two days before Christmas - I must be mad! To be fair it was quite quiet in the nearby Asda, well about as busy as a normal Saturday if you ignore all the rollers (large gold cages) on the shop floor. I was standing at the sandwich chiller, waiting for my father when I noticed these mini bottles of Fanta. Only 250ml, obviously for people who think the extra 80mls is too much for them. Cans come in at 40 -60p, depending on where you get them from and these mini bottles are available in multi-packs on the shop floor for around £2. So how much are they? 69p each. That's £5.52 for 2 litres, the same two litres that are on sale for £1.14 in one bottle. Even the 500ml bottles are only 89p and they are extortionate themselves! Just because Asda has won The Grocer's Cheapest Supermarket award for the past seven years doesn't mean everything in the store is good value for money.

21 December 2006

What if We All Dressed The Same?

I announced a little while before the Christmas Party that I'd be wearing, for the first time ever, my white linen jacket. Lo and behold when the party comes around 9 out of the other 14 members of staff are also wearing the same white linen jacket! It was so embarrassing - ten people in the same outfit. There can only be one original though. Despite my jacket being passed around it managed to survive relatively unscathed. The rest of the night was quite fun, unfortunately my camera lost its charge by about 10.30pm so the really embarrassing pictures I usually haunt people with were never taken this year :-(

16 December 2006

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Every year, Edinburgh tries to out do itself by arranging a bigger Christmas event. This year we have the big wheel; the swingy chairs; the trampoline with guide wires; a huge German market and the ice rink. There are some great shots capturing the beauty of the city here but I'm most proud of my blade-level shots from just inside the ice-rink. As Irwin just said to me this even, having left Edinburgh a couple of years ago to work in Dublin, "Edinburgh is such a beautiful city isn't it?". Nobody disagreed.

15 December 2006

No Smiling at your Christmas Meal - By Order of the Management

We've just received an email: "Dear Guests, Thank you for booking your Christmas Party at Le Monde. We would like to take this opportunity to lay down a few ground rules. No fancy dress; no party hats; no poppers or indoor sparklers; no laughing and no smiling. Actually if you could keep the noise down as well, imagine you are in a library. Other than that have a great night, especially as we are overcharging you so much for a mass produced meal of rather unexceptional quality". Hah, that's where I've outsmarted them! £30 for pumpkin soup, turkey and a chocolate cake? I think not. I've order from the A La Carte menu and gone with Haggis and Clapshot parcel with Whisky sauce (£4.95); Lamb Rump with mustard mash and spicy lentil veg (12.95) and Sticky Toffee Pudding (£4.50) - All for less than £23! Even if I had of gone with the Duck Breast for £14.95 it still would have come in over a fiver cheaper than the mass produced Christmas menu. Now that's eating smart.

13 December 2006

Edinburgh introduces public umbrella buckets in Princes Street

Edinburgh have introduce new communal umbrella buckets in Princes Street for shoppers to leave their wet brollies in before stepping into shops. I know what you are thinking, they actually look like bins that just have half a dozen broken umbrellas stuffed in them as frustrated shoppers get blown about by the random gales. I on the other hand, prefer to think positively ;-)

11 December 2006

Advertising for foreigners - okay. Aliens? No way!

I've mentioned before that shops have started to advertise that they stock Polish brands - nothing wrong with that. Advertising on buses in Polish on websites to help you buy a place is a bit much. This morning I have noticed they are now running adverts for people from parallel universes, the ones where everything is a mirror image. You can see from the correctly assembled one on the left (as you look), the Magners is on the right and the message reads "The magic of a little ice". On the left there is tree with holes in the plastic so the light can shine through from the back to back it look like ice. The incorrectly assembled billboard is actually white during the day. It's only a night when the lights are on behind it and the sky is so dark that you can see through the plastic and read the reverse image. Some one needs sacking for managing but put up a huge advert backwards, not noticing that is entirely white.

6 December 2006

Dancing In The Moon Light

I think I've found the position in my new office for the perfect pictures. A huge moon is hanging low in the velvet blue sky and I've done my best to capture it. Unfortunately we are really facing the wrong way to catch the amazing Edinburgh sunsets but then again I suppose I'm here to work and not create art!

5 December 2006

The Best Birthday Present Ever!

Okay, there are still a few days left until my birthday but I've just received a present through the post and I am so grateful with my great friend who got it for me (take a bow Donald). Having heard me rave about a copy of Private Eye I bought for my flight down to London a few months ago (to see him), he went out and got me a subscription. I cannot tell you how good the journalism is in this magazine. Political, legal, business or even health - everything gets scrutinised with effort and intelligence. Of course there are some fantastic jokes and cartoons inside as well as some great satire. Highlights from this issue include Blair saying to Putin "We need a replacement for Trident" and Putin replying "Have you considered Sushi?" as well as the Christmas Special Gnome Mart Mail Order section offering Microwave Ping-Tones: "Fed up with the same old boring Ping when you M&S Individual Fish Pie is done? Download a whole host of new Ping-tones to liven up cooking. Includes Nokia Ring tone, X and Crazy Frog". Do yourself a favour, open your mind from the megalomaniac controlled daily papers and read something stimulating. On the other hand just turn to the back page and read the "Eye Need" section where people is desperate situations beg for help. The most contrasting two this issue are "Forces - Iraq / Veteran: £22k needed to clear debt ex-wife left! Help deeply appreciated" and a few inches further down "Beautiful student yearns for benefactor for sophisticated wardrobe".

Traditional Jenners Now Part Of Kinky House of Fraser

Yes, this is not new news. Nor is my recent attack at the misleading advertising from Jenners (now House of Fraser) or their obscene APR on their store card. No, this time is was the once marveled window displays at Jenners that has fallen into disrepute. Now I'm as kinky as anyone, but I draw the line at covering myself in plastic and half-suffocating myself for a thrill. It seems Jenners thinks this is a common pastime now and you'll want to look your best to take part.