As it is the season of goodwill to all men (and women obviously) I thought it an opportune time to list all the things that have really annoyed me this year. But before I do I wanted to share (there, that’s one of my pet hates, people who ‘share’. It’s not sharing fool, it’s showing, or telling, or asking, or phoning, or emailing) this year’s festive centrepiece…
So Tesco (the UK’s biggest retailer) just announced that it has been overstating its half-year profits by 25% (about £250m). It’s not clear how long this has been going on but the omens aren’t good.
Tesco is to the UK what Walmart is to the USA, minus the firearms. Thousands of stores, millions of customers. It takes nearly 30% of the UK market. It has so much food I get fat shopping there and have to go on diets all the time.
Now, Tesco’s ubiquitous marketing slogan is ‘Every little helps’. And it would appear that the company has been taking this message to heart.
Rant time. It’s been a while. Do any of you shop on Amazon?
Is the Pope Catholic, I hear you think.
Or does a bear, so the saying goes, shit in the woods?
Well, my take on Amazon is that it’s great. Until it’s not.
I know many bloggers do not watch TV. But I do. Love TV. Sat through 180 episodes of ‘Lost’*. Watched all of Star Trek.
So when Amazon started ‘streaming’ (what a great word that is) TV and films from it’s website I said to myself ‘I’ll have me some of that!.
Now American TV is the best. A series on American TV goes on for ever. Episode after epidode. Not like British TV. Four episodes of ‘Sherlock’ and that’s it for a year. With American TV you got 24 episodes of ‘24’ (canny that) and it seems to take over your (some might say sad) life.
So I settled in to watch a TV show called ‘Once Upon a Time’. The premise is simple. Fairytale characters (you know, Snow White, Hanzel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood etc) get transported to the real world by the Wicked Queen and live in a small town in Maine, unaware of who they really are until someone comes along and messes with their heads.
And I was getting into it. Episode 10 (of about 40). Then suddenly Amazon tells me I will have to start paying extra for it. Well that got me on the customer complaints page quicker than you can say ‘Rip off’.
I got an automated reply ‘We love you and we are totally committed to everything…but tough luck buddy’.
So I cancelled my subscription. And tried Netflix. Which of course doesn’t have ‘Once Upon a Time’. But I showed Amazon. Amazon is quaking in it’s boots. Right now.
*turned out they were all dead after all.
And so I turned off the TV and went and did something less boring instead (I’m paraphrasing an old children’s TV show; see? TV on the brain) by making Lamb Koftas with Cheesy Stuffed Potatoes.
Have you heard of War Horse? It’s a book, that was turned into a play, that was turned into a film.
My wife (she of the always original, always excellent birthday gifts), treated me to a visit to the New London Theatre (which is at least 40 years old) to see the play.
Amazing. Its about a horse and a boy that end up on the front line in World War I. The boy was played by a boy. Not surprising. But the horse was played by two actors manipulating a massive horse shaped frame; they were brilliant – they made the contraption move like a horse and you actually forgot you weren’t watching an actual horse.
But naturally this blurb is not about the play, the horse, or my 34th birthday (ha! ha!). No this was about the intermission refreshments.
Now the wife is not only an excellent picker of surprises, she also has a handy knack of picking perfect seats; right by the exit, which was right by the loos, which were right by the stairs, which led right to the bar. Perfect! And that’s where we headed at half-time. To purchase this…
10 years. I’ve been driving for 10 years along the same bloody road to the same bloody office and back again. And in all that time I’ve never once, not once, complained about the arse-wipe thought police that see the solution to traffic congestion as being to make things even more difficult for the motorist.
I can imagine traffic planning meetings as being like something from the crisis meeting room in that Dr. Strangelove film with Peter Sellers….
It’s happened – I’ve gone mad with power!!!
‘Right ladies and gentlemen, the traffic situation is becoming worse. Too many people trying to get to work and go shopping. SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!’