Saturday, January 31, 2015

return of the gratitute attitude #2

hello there

and a very warm welcome indeed to all you fellow enthusiasts for the noble hobby of writing letters to companies in the business of producing - and lest we forget selling - personal hygiene products. warmth would be nice, look you see, for it is cold here. we have an enormous amount of slush, and it is rather cold. more on this later.

no, actually more on that now, before we get to the subject of another response off of a company that makes things like soap and that.

today i had to go out in the most treacherous of conditions. we have a number of centimetres of snow and slush on the roads and paths. from a walking perspective, it means you are basically mincing along sticking your feet into buckets of ice water, causing your feet to freeze. after a few steps you can no longer feel your feet, and after several more you find yourself recalling those hazy days when you could actually feel your legs as they worked.

that picture is from earlier in the week; the driving snow that bombarded my face made it impossible to take a picture today - using my phone would have seen it get frozen or something.

at one point i was just about resigned to losing the will to live. the only thing that allowed me to press onwards, to not simply curl up in a ball in the uncharted wastelands of High Green, was clutching at the hope of getting home and putting on a pair of very shiny polyester based strides what i had bought of British Home Stores, or if you like BHS. i have them on now.

why did i go out in such uncivilised and barbaric conditions? what was the agenda? why did i have no choice at all but to go out and face all but certain doom? why, to post some toothpaste to New Zealand of course. an action which led to a thorough interrogation by the staff of the Post Office, and further an action that cost me £13.60 in real money, no less.

but enough of my plight. for now. you want to read of my exploits in reaching out to various personal hygiene product people across the land, do you not. well, this we can do, as yesterday i got another letter from someone that i had written to. a response, if you like.

Mr, or indeed Ms or even Mrs, Garnier was or in a very real sense were the people who elected to send a response to me this time. this pleased me a very great deal, as of all the letters i sent, this was the one i was most excited about.

why would that be the case? well, the picture here gives you a clue, but you people who have been reading this blog over the years (i don't know why you do but thank you) will know exactly why. they are the last company standing, so far as i am aware, that make shampoo which has got lemon shoved into it.

yes, i appreciate the parallels here to me and my father. just as he insists on using toothpaste that has got lovebeads shoved into it, so too i prefer using shampoo what has had lemon shoved into it. the difference, if i may be so bold as to commit the difference to publication, is that if i were not able to get lemon shampoo i would simply get another type that had some other form of fruit (the more citrus the better) shoved into it. my Dad, as we are all too aware, is rather more of a mind to simply command his elder son to get some and post it to him should he not be able to find it himself. a slight difference, granted, but one that i felt was worth highlighting.

anyway, the letter. as it turned out, my letter got somewhat out of hand, and went on for a bit longer than i expected it to. you might, dear reader, want to consider the option of getting a cup of tea or coffee at the ready before reading the letter i sent to the Garnier of unspecified gender.

Dear Garnier

I have now, for more or less a full year, been using one of your Ultimate Blends shampoo products, specifically the one which has lemon in it. It was some lemon in shampoo that I was looking for, you see, and this product of yours that mixed it with a form of tea, the specifics of which escape me for the moment, was the only suitable product I have been able to find.

For no apparent or obvious reason I thought you might have an interest in my observations related, if not pertaining, to use of this product. If you have fears that this is a complaint, please allay those fears, for this product is mostly a success.

The shampoo – mostly – brings the accentuating features I so craved for my hair. After use every morning, the vibrant, vivacious and vivid volume I prefer is present throughout the day and for those moments of the evening when I am awake. In this sense, it is a triumph, and one I thank you for.

The next morning, however, is a very different story. There is no lasting effect, to put it rather bluntly. Granted, it could be the way in which I sleep that causes this, but every morning my hair has a lifeless, lacklustre slant to it – quite depressing, as I am sure you can imagine.

Whereas it is possible that a cause is that proper water is used when I wash my hair, rather than that treated and softened form of water that is in place for the rather more sensitive and delicate London market, I cannot but help wonder if it is the tea element which is causing this effect? Perhaps removing the tea from this particular blended shampoo would lead to an improvement in the sustainable, durable use of it.

I respect the fact that a key aspect of “blended” shampoo is that one item must be blended with another, for otherwise no blend would exist as such. Might I suggest that you blend lemon with more lemon to address this problem?

To explain, indeed clarify, my position, I have been an avid user of shampoo with lemon shoved in it since 1988, or possibly 1989. Yes, I am one of many who saw the versatile Jason Donovan discuss, on a children’s TV show, how he put lemon in all of the shampoo he used. I have, since that date, used shampoo with lemon in it almost exclusively, or at least as far as circumstance has allowed me.

Yes, in answer to the question that you have on this point. I am but one of the legion who used to use Timotei, the leaders in the field for putting lemon into shampoo. I am also one of those who was betrayed by Timotei when they, for no apparent reason but I have always suspected malice or spite against Jason Donovan, ceased to put lemon in their shampoo.  Their abject betrayal was of course disheartening at the time, but not fatally so – their decision to act in the way they did, after all, led me to towards your products which, bar the observations above, have proved to be both outstanding and noteworthy in respect of serving their purpose. 

Whilst I have no reason to doubt that you are already considering a new shampoo which features lemon blended with even more lemon, perhaps to be marketed as Ultra Blend for the sake of conformity, I thought it was all the same worth suggesting anyway, in case the idea had somehow escaped you.

In the mean time, if you could furnish me with any tips or advice on how I could attain a greater legacy from using the present form of your lemon containing shampoo, I would sincerely appreciate it. My immediate thought is to supplement my use of the shampoo with the similarly blended conditioner, but I am fearful of trying. I am not sure if I am ready to commit to using conditioner on either a regular or temporary basis.

how are you doing with this so far? i warned you it was quite long! there's a bit more to go, but to give you a little bit of a break, here's another of them video things that Richard keeps making and sending me. 

i trust that all of you Richard enthusiasts enjoyed that video, and that everyone else appreciated this brief interlude. great, now that is the end of the intermission, back to the letter. 

A lot of my fear around conditioner is that Jason Donovan did not, to my knowledge, mention anything at all about conditioner in general or with lemon in it specifically during the moment on television I mentioned. It is entirely possible that he could have, from what I recall the other guests on the show – I think it was comedy duo Trev and Simon but it is equally possible that it was the Chuckle Brothers – were particularly distracting.

Indeed, I suppose I could ask Jason Donovan directly about conditioner, but one does not like to trouble Australian actors and singers with questions pertaining to lemon unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

I look forward to, if you decide to indulge my correspondence, reading your thoughts and musings on the idea of shampoo that features lemon blended with even more lemon. I am also very excited indeed at the prospect of being guided by your wisdom in respect of how I could help avert, if not avoid, the flatness my hair seems to relish in on a morning, prior to using your product.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. More importantly, thank you for making available to me, and many others, a shampoo which contains lemon.

Yours faithfully, etc......


so yes, anyway, Garnier wrote back, as you can see in the above picture. one thing i would wish to be made absolutely clear is the superb quality of the paper that Garnier use to write letters on. it has that smooth, shiny gloss surface to it, and it is of a weight that says "we make that much money that we use nothing but the finest of papyrus to present correspondence on". which is good, well done them.

another image of the snow, you want? sure, why not.

yeah, i know, the quality off of the blueberry phone camera device is not that good, but hopefully the picture is not too offensive or distressing.

what is it that Garnier wrote back to me? well, you can have a look. for a start you should be warned - or be happy to know - that their response was not quite as long as the letter i sent to them. this is no bad thing, but a major source of disappointment to me is that they did not mention Jason Donovan at all in their letter.

it's not all bad; they have given me, or if you like assigned, my very own reference number!

basically above says yes, i should probably use conditioner too, and that they will give consideration to my class idea of blending lemon with more lemon in another shampoo. well, they didn't call it a class idea, but i think it is one so there. 

the above gives every sense of indication that they will investigate my idea and get back to me. i trust that they do not presume i would want any credit attributed to me for the brilliance of lemon blended with more lemon. i don't want fame, fortune or glory - i just want shampoo what has got lemon in it. 

so there you have it. as and when further replies come, i shall share as best i can. in the mean time, i am off to recuperate from my experiences today, by which i mean the expenditure and the exposure to the rather cold weather that i might have mentioned above. 

i trust that all is well with you at whatever point it is you read this. 

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

the last of the love bead toothpaste

hello there

and so it ends. this is something of a sad post, dear reader. for reasons somewhat entirely out of my control, toothpaste that has lovebeads, or if you like love beads, shoved into it for no apparent reason or purpose, have been a big part of my life for the last three or so years. well, yeah, i suppose i could have said "no Dad, make do with the toothpaste you can get on the shelf, look you see", but such a move would have displeased him.

as promised or perhaps proposed in my previous post, i went off to town to see if i could source the final few tubes of toothpaste with lovebeads shoved in it. i am delighted to report here that this venture was one which met, indeed ended, with success. behold, and gaze as i did upon four superb tubes of this toothpaste available to purchase from a retailer of some repute.

oh, no, you are not mistaken as you look at the above. the final four tubes to be sold within the limits of the town were indeed made available at a sale price claiming to be half of the standard. economics is a peculiar thing, ladies and gentlemen. from what i recall of supply and demand models, and how retail works, the rare or scarce nature of something usually means a higher price is commanded. not so here. go figure.

i contemplated taking only one or two of the remaining tubes. after all, there must, it stands to reason, be another enthusiast out there who will miss this particular style of toothpaste. my contemplation rather ceased with thoughts of "no, f*** them, their fault for not getting here before me". also i have endured some three years in which correspondence with my father has been all but limited to the subject of this stuff, so i was to be damned if i was not going to finish the job.

here, then, are the purchased four tubes, along with some other items i bought.

yes, yes, there will be more on the other items later, don't worry. or, if you like, you know to avoid later on if you really do not like the look of the other items. and no they are most certainly not getting posted anywhere.

are these, you ask, really the last four tubes available for sale? as far as i know, yes, and you really have asked. one very kind and supportive reader has adopted the fight for toothpaste with lovebeads shoved into it and has undertaken some research. here, have a gander at the picture i was sent.

this is an image from a store which is basically one big, massive, gigantic even "f*** you" to that Pound Land place. they, as the signs suggest, sell items for 99p rather than one neat, round pound sterling. they must have to have an awful lot of 1p coins in their tills. although i have observed people buying items costing less than 99p on their credit card. that, ladies and gents, is how banks get very or if you like tres rich.

anyway, a concerned reader forwarded this on as an act of help. they said that this looked similar, and wondered if this would in any way help my present plight. and it is my plight, dear reader. it would be easy to say actually it's my Dad's problem, but he has made it mine.

sadly, the answer is no. despite the good and heartwarming intentions behind this being forwarded to me, this does not help. although this toothpaste has the same "tingling mint" mouthwash description, what this toothpaste contains is in fact crystals and not lovebeads. what is the difference? that, dear reader, or if i may my friend, is a very, very good question. it is not one that my Dad has answered to any sort of completeness or satisfaction, unless to you "i want the one with lovebeads in" is what constitutes as complete in the satisfaction sense.

a look at the toothpaste i bought, then, is to the side, along with them other items and a receipt for the toothpaste, so as to give some sort of plug or promotion to the seller.

will my Dad be reimbursing me for the cost of this lovebead loaded toothpaste? i could be cynical and say "ha", which i just did, but instead i shall say no, and that my Dad says that i should not think in such a way, and accept that getting it for him is reward enough in itself. which, i dare say, it is. it is not like once in my life i have ever gone or done without over the years, and in a sincere way it is most splendid to be able to give back. it's also nice to give him a bit of a dig about it.

the other items? Star Wars watches that cost less than three pounds each. they are bang smart, they are, too. they had some other designs, but they were all Stormtrooper ones. for some reason or other, and i am sure this makes sense to someone, the first wave of Star Wars merchandise off of the Disney has been very, very heavy handed with the Stormtrooper side of it all. it's like they have gotten it into their heads that the thing everyone remembers and loves off of Star Wars is the Stormtroopers. If this is a reflection of their overall strategy, it makes Episode VII - Mission To Moscow all the more a scary prospect.
a quick break to go to South Africa, a country i love dearly and one which is filled with, for the most part, beautiful people. but there's a very, very bad element, and not just the Government and erratic, trigger happy athletes who are disabled when it so suits their defence to be.

this picture is of a crime scene from a shopping centre i went to once or twice, and one that a lot of people i know visit frequently. basically, seven people were shot by gunmen doing some sort of robbery. 

it has not had the rolling, widespread coverage around the world that mass shooting incidents in America and France of late have had. why not? that's a very good question. perhaps it is because crimes like this are far too frequent in SA. from this week alone, for instance, they have had a family killed via an attack with an axe,  and then there was some poor bloke beaten nearly to death due to someone believing they had damaged their car, or something equally trivial. there's also things like the electricity grid being about to collapse, which to some is a more pressing problem. none of these matters quite tie in with the utopian freedom that those great political thinkers Bono, Jim Kerr, Sting and Bruce Springsteen all promised, so perhaps the matter just gets dropped so as not to offend those notoriously sensitive musicians. also, that the crimes are committed by black people against people of any colour they can get to might be awkward for the world media in these extremely sensitive and worried about saying anything that may cause offence days. it is quite possible, of course, that it is not reported as it's all just not as glamorous as when it happens in some American town no one has heard of, or Paris.

what i quite like about the above picture is that the police are rather casually rushing to a crime scene down an escalator. i don't think i can add any more.

so, does the Star Wars watch collection off of the Disney feature Boba Fett? why, yes it does. here, have a look, he is on the strap of the red one.

quite smart that is. i am not sure, with them being designed for the kids, that one of them would fit me. at the price, however, i might buy one for myself and see if it fits. it would be quite smart, that, walking around with a Boba Fett watch on.

another look at the toothpaste before it gets all bagged up and sent off on something of a James Cook tribute endeavour? sure, why not. i will miss it when it has gone.

ah, yes. the down side, if there is a down side, to being a toothpaste mule for my father. it is me, indeed i, that gets to go into the toothpaste and explain, for security purposes, that what is in the parcel is in fact toothpaste. it is perfectly legal to post it, as per previous exploits here, but that does not mean it is an action which makes sense to anyone at all, least of all the staff of the postal services of the world. i can hardly wait to have the conversation about why i am sending toothpaste. it shall be sad, however, as it will be, unless Colgate change their mind, the final time i shall have such a conversation.

January draws to a close. quite by accident, and not really by design, it feels like my month has mostly been Spiros and toothpaste what has had lovebeads shoved into it. pretty much, then, like every month ever for quite some time.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

return of the gratitute attitude #1

hi there

well, what can i say. rather surprisingly, i have already had one response to the letters i posted a week or so ago and that, thus far, very few of you were interested in, going on the stats, look you see. i don't let any lack of readership stop me at the best of times, so i am certainly not going to allow it to now.

it was with no little amount of delight and joy that i returned from verk today and found that i had received a letter from no less a place than Luxembourg; easily the most important and highly regarded of the so-called "benelux" trilogy.

to my knowledge this is the first ever letter, or form of mail, that i have received off of Luxembourg. which is odd, as i think i have a friend living there. or somewhere near it. Belgium, maybe? she knows who she is and indeed where she is (probably) and thus if she is of a mind to do something or other about it, well, i would suspect that she will be able to work out a way to obtain the necessary information from me to facilitate this sort of thing. but this seems to be getting away from the point at hand here. rather like the original post, hence not many of you reading it, i suppose.

so who, if not my friend, is the letter off of the Luxembourg from? surprisingly, Colgate. a surprise because i wrote to them at a distinctly English address, and a further surprise as they were the second last ones i anticipated hearing off of.

what did i write to them about? well let me see if i saved the letter i sent and share most of it with you. ah, it seems i did. here you go.

Dear Colgate

I write to you in respect of your MaxFresh With Mouthwash Beads Mint Burst toothpaste.

My father is very enthusiastic about this particular toothpaste. Very enthusiastic indeed, as it happens. He lives, by choice, in New Zealand. Sadly your company does not presently sell this toothpaste in the New Zealand market.

The net result of this is that I, over the last four years, have been required to purchase this toothpaste and post it to him. I am, quite frankly, tired of doing this, and a little bored with the interrogation I get at the post office when they ask what the contents of the parcel are. It’s all “why are you sending toothpaste to New Zealand?” and so forth, like I am some sort of shady criminal.

I would ask you to start selling it in New Zealand, but I imagine you have reasons for not doing this. Besides, even if you did, I would imagine he would just consider it “more economically viable” to get me to post it from here rather than go to the shops and get it himself.

Please could you give me a bit of a break and send him some? Just a tube or two, really, and then I don’t have to worry about it for a month or so. His address is –
My gratitude and thanks if you do this for him. If you do, sorry in advance if he all of a sudden, as is the case with me, starts emailing you pictures of him using the last tube he has, which is his way of rather directly saying “it is time to send more”.

Yours faithfully, etc, etc.............

a quick break from all of this is to the side here, with for your viewing pleasure a look at what i am led to believe as being London, in all of its full on Nancy Boy glory.

my letter to the Colgate was, as i would like to think you can work out from reading it, well intentioned, sincere even, and almost certainly from the heart. it is greatly appreciated by me that they took the time to not only read my letter, but to respond to it to. i have yet to determine my feelings, thoughts, reaction or concerns to the fact that they elected to issue the response from an entirely different country. is it something i should have some sort of feeling about? we are, for the time being, after all, all part of this celebrated European Union, or if you like EU, thing. if any thoughts come to me about this i shall most certainly give consideration to sharing them here, whether you are interested in that or not.

somewhat slightly less appreciated was certain elements, or indeed aspects, of their response. one part in particular has caused me some particular distress. and no, not the voucher.

i don't know if you can read much of anything in the above, but there's a section that starts off with "we regret to inform you that.....". yeah, nightmare time. we are in full on crisis mode. it would appear that, in their wisdom, Colgate have decided to stop making toothpaste that has had lovebeads shoved into it.

whilst regular readers will know what a problem this will be - and it will be made to be my problem by my Dad, believe you me - the newer reader might be baffled by this. if you have the ability to search this blog, and are for some reason curious, i suggest you look for post relating to "love bead toothpaste", from around July 2012 onwards. and i do mean onwards.

no doubt i am going to be expected to either petition Colgate to change their mind about this, or otherwise i will be instructed to enter the black market and ensure i obtain him illicit supplies.

yeah, i know, first world problem, that. there are far worse things in the world that happen than a brand of toothpaste being no more. like, for instance, the facebook breaking.

there are, dear reader, four more companies out there that i have entered into correspondence with. one of them you know, from the original post that so few of you read, is Lynx. as, or indeed when, i get replies from the others, i shall update you here. hopefully the other ones will not cause my Dad quite so much distress in their words back to me. 

will i use the voucher? not sure. as i think it is intended as some sort of "sorry for that" thing about the end of the era of toothpaste with lovebeads in it, it might be appropriate - apt, perhaps - to send it to my Dad. i shall consider the matter for now and make a decision when i am of a mind to do so. 

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

medication, and let the wookie win

hello there

it is time, dear reader, for you to go and download some music. legally, look you see, and indeed legal in the sense that you can pay a nominal fee for the privilege and pleasure of owning some truly great music.

my multi-talented, gifted friend JG has gone right ahead and compiled a stunning retrospective of some of the finest moments of his fine career as a singer-songwriter. this would be available for you to buy by clicking these words in a different colour. also you can preview the songs.

there is, as my more regular reader will be aware and my new regular readers (hello, and thanks for visiting) will come to be aware, very little point indeed requesting that i select any personal highlights from this set. i really love them all.

but go on then. Candahar St is a song i have long championed and highlighted as a high point of a catalogue of quality. special, or if you like extra special, mentions too for Satellites Fall and Jo Whiley Won't Play this. i am still not sure what or who exactly a Jo Whiley is, but it must be a pretty dull, limited and dreary thing not to enjoy this music.

another link for how to hear these songs and hopefully give some consideration towards buying them? sure - here is the link that you want - click on it and enjoy. unless you are one of them Jo Whiley things, who apparently live a life unaware of what decent music is and must just be really good at all them non-music things like, well, i don't know, Jedward or something like that i guess.

it is my most earnest and sincere wish that i get to meet up with JG this year. i believe i will be going on a road trip with him - you know, Mr W H Smith King - at some point, to wherever it is that JG lives now. i think the place begins with a B, but we will worry about that when we are on our way.

before you rush off to play the music - and if you bought it that would be jolly decent of you too - i did in the title promise you some sort of Wookie action. here you go.

yeah, i got quite a surprise when that turned up on my phone too. i know that the video and audio are not always that great here, but i trust that this clip plays clear enough, and that the many Richard enthusiasts who visit here in the hope of something from him enjoy that.

right, that will do. i am off to battle the manflu a bit more. i think i have got rid of the scurvy element, but there's some ebola lurking in it still, and you just never know with sarin.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

indesit tap

hi there

wow. my bad, as the kids of today say, look you see. this has been staring me more or less in the face for three or so months. can't believe that i only noticed it now, but then again today is the first time i have ever used this particular setting.

what? this.....

yes, that's right - our tumble dryer goes up to eleven. yeah, i know what you are thinking - why didn't indesit just make 10 more tumble dryer and just leave 10 as the highest? well, indesit are 1 tumble dryer more than anyone else, innit?

and yes, 9 is a setting for quality footwear too, making it all the more awesome.

no, i have not run any gloves through the tumble dryer, but i have run something else that was not a glove, believe you me.

i would trust most of my readers to get the above. if not, well, here you go, let's boogie.....

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

an ode to the sacrifice of service - in praise of the South African Police Force

hi there

there have, ladies and gentlemen, been some rather vicious riots in South Africa this last week. indeed, look you see, this is rather more of a serious post than you are used to reading here - sorry, normal service will resume imminently. i just thought a moment from it was worth commenting on.

the "rest of world" media are of course not reporting on "domestic riots" in South Africa. this is because it is not quite so glamorous as when it happens in America, and the idea of discord or anything being wrong in South Africa does not quite tally with the idea Bono and his mates had about not playing concerts there and all would be amazing, man.

in fairness to Bono, it was, for a while - it is hardly the fault of a pop star that the great Mr Mandela was succeeded by first an alcoholic vanity case that found it easier, for example, to simply say that AIDS does not exist rather than doing anything about it, and then by a bumbling idiot of a sex criminal who, somewhere along the line, was led to believe that yes, a shower will cure you of all this AIDS thing that does not exist anyway.

i am not sure, dear reader, if the gent pictured here is the great name of Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale that i am to quote, but i would rather like to think it is. why does a police officer have the title Lieutenant General? because about 7 or so years ago, and at great expense, the SA Police decided that everything would be all more much better if they gave themselves military rankings.

what is it that the good Lieutenant General has said of these riots?

"Given the situation, we decided that we must arrest the individuals who were seen in videos looting shops."

you may want to read that again to see if it helps it all sink in, or indeed click on the link i put there too, so you can see it in context and what have you.  there isn't really too many ways to dress that up, or take it out of context. as far as i can work out, indeed ascertain, and yes i am padding this a bit so the text wraps nicely around the picture, he did indeed really say those words above.

many of you are lucky enough to live in a country where it is something of a given that the police will, as general procedure, arrest those who have committed crimes, or are at the least suspect of it. you are perhaps not used to the idea of the police being presented with evidence and taking it away, discussing it and then going "oh, go on then, let us do that job we are paid for, just this once".

followers of the Stumpie trial will, of course, be not quite so surprise. after all, the SA police have no problem at all taking a door away from a crime scene to show off to mates at home. nor do they have any problem at all with stealing items from crime scenes.

they have, presumably, arrested the individuals. it remains to be seen if they go right ahead and charge them too, or if that will prove to be a bit too much effort and something that would be considered excessive.

i love Bono. but if he turns up in your country with a class idea, you might want to encourage him to share his thinking through the goal, as well as to it.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the other side of proper snow

hello again

yes, indeed i am still alive, dear reader. it has been close, though. this manflu laced with scurvy, ebola, sarin gas and some other uncomfortable things has proved to be not quite the death of me it had intended, look you see.

i am able, then, to bring you some more pictures of that snow stuff that some of you - mostly those that have never lived with it - must think to be magical and wonderful. partially it is, as it happens, but there is another side to it, one that we shall explore here if you stick with me.

there are even some proper pictures here, taken by my (considerably) better half on a proper one of them phone things with a camera welded on. no, not an Apple iGalaxy, i did say proper phone. here, then, to start off with, is one of those picturesque views of snow, which shows off the lovely side of it that everyone imagines it to be like all the time.

yes, i quite agree with you there - a truly magnificent picture and a beautiful scene. nice one, (considerably) better half, a fantastic picture. if the above were all of the consequence and the sole effect of snow, then i would say yes, let there be snow all the time; turn us into Norway, Finland or some other such place that has loads and loads of snow.

a quick break from the snow to show you down town earlier this week (as opposed to some point in the middle of next month). here is a picture what i took, with snow somewhat absent.

someone i know is quite impressed with one of the buildings on display in the above, so there you go, you can all go right ahead and be impressed too.

right, the other side of snow. the other side would be a somewhat darker, negative side to it. that would be the joys of travelling in it, and indeed the aftermath of it falling. snow, as it happens, does not just magically vanish after it has been around. the process of it going involves a transformation into some sort of mushy sludge stuff. observe, if you will.

whereas snow is all pretty and nice and lovely, what it becomes as it melts is, allowing for beauty to be something in the eye of the beholder, not quite so lovely. this sort of sludge, for instance, very seldom graces Christmas cards, does it?

beneath this sludge, as has been mentioned on these pages before, is ice. this makes driving treacherous, indeed dangerous. when you are blessed with a council that no longer feels the need to grit residential roads, you get to have this kind of thing to try and drive on. 

cheers for that, council. i am sure that whatever you spent the money on instead was well worth it, and will try to remember that during the election in May.

another brief diversion, if i may, as this looks like as good a place as any to put a reminder for a book that i quite liked the look of. i may well browse my own site one day - something i seldom do - and be reminded that i really rather liked the cover and name of this novel, which is 50% more reason than usual for me to pick something to read. 

what's it about? i have absolutely no idea. it does, however, appear to be a self-contained novel, which is good, rather than it being "book seven in series eight of the forth whatever trilogy", so it should be decent reading in itself. also, the lamb or stag or lion or whatever on the cover looks amazing, man.

the snow has, as it happens, all but gone now, but here's a picture from around 7:10am one morning on my usual stroll to the bus stop. as you can see, the main roads get cleared. just the residential ones do not. a bit like saying "we will put the fire out just beyond the lava pit before you", only with cold stuff instead of fire.

another diversion. on the bus during the week i was messing about with my pod of i, opting to listen to some vibes for a bit instead of reading. i observed that i had the wisdom to add the soundtrack for The Wicker Man to it, and so listened to Magnet, or Lodestone, or whatever the band who did the songs was called. really smart, that was.

it got me thinking of the film, and how i would find it agreeable to watch it again. i thus had a browse around the web to see if it was available for a financially agreeable price, and i found this.

it is interesting and indeed, to me, exciting that someone would describe The Wicker Man as being a "family adventure movie".  that's some peculiar idea of family that the person who wrote that has, man. it is a brilliant movie, and one which i would describe in a number of ways. sadly, neither "family" nor "adventure" would feature in my comments. perhaps this is all the more reason for me to watch it again, and soon, to see what it is i missed out on.

another image of snow becoming sludge and difficult to navigate? i cannot think of why you would want to see more, but to finish off, why not.

i am off to, hopefully, watch yet another movie within this year of 2015, and sadly no not The Wicker Man as i elected not to purchase this family adventure version of the film. after that, i shall carry on the good fight against the manflu with all that other stuff thrown in on top of it.

so, for friends in Africa and partial parts of Australia, snow may look fantastic, but it comes with a price. many a car we have seen slipping and sliding in it, with thankfully no harm or injuries caused.

i trust your weekend is most splendid!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

towards Wales, or if you like South Horizon

hello there

nothing really; just letting you know that i am not quite dead off of the manflu yet. i have revised my diagnosis of the manflu i have, look you see. as well as ebola, scurvy and foot and mouth disease, i am almost certain that it has that sarin gas in it too. as we are on the threshold of the 20th anniversary of an attempt to wipe out Japan (of all places) with sarin gas, this is quite possibly apt, in the sense that it isn't.

anyway, you want proof that i am soldiering on, not caring for the lack of sympathy for my plight about having to contend with so many variations of manflu. well, here you go.

yes, indeed that is me conducting some further postal business, but not directly with any personal hygiene type of companies as was the case yesterday. my mail today, which was not actually my mail but i was the custodian, was for an entirely different concern. based, as you may well have ascertained from the title, in no less spectacular a setting than Wales.

right, i am going to crawl into bed and listen to that class talk radio station which is basically a conduit for somewhat opinionated cockney taxi drivers to put forth their somewhat less-than-global opinions of what they consider to be of importance. i am assuming taking away Page 3 from them will feature highly in regards of what they believe to be wrong with the world.

for those of you who do, as point of fact, have sympathy for my plight, thank you for your concern and sympathy. i can't feel it and i doubt, somehow, that it shall do much in the face of whatever it is sarin gas does to someone already affected with manflu, but all the same it is most appreciated.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!