Wednesday 23 March 2011

Getting Older & Being Annoyed By Trivial Stuff

Now I have passed the milestone age of thirty-ten (or 40 as my family like to keep reminding me), I find that I  am becoming increasingly annoyed by insignificant things.

A selection of insignificant stuff that annoys me:
  • Using Mobile Phones at tills.  It a pretty ignorant thing to do, and surely nothing is that important that you can't stop your conversation and talk civilly to the cashier, rather than just pointing at what you want, handing over your money, grabbing your change and walking out of the shop without exchanging a single word with the person who just served you
  • Peoples inability to make decisions.  Anyone can make a decision - flip a coin.  And there is no such thing as a "Wrong Decision"
  • Adding "... gate" to the end of any celebrity scandal.  If some garden furniture was stolen from the house of a 1970s British Childrens TV animator and film-maker, would it be reported in the papers as "Oliver Postgates Post & Gate-gate"
  • Daytime commercial radio and the same 17 songs played back to back for eternity
  • The use of Take That's "Rule The World" or "Greatest Day" on any TV show to signify someone has won something and/or overcome adversity to do so.  Similarly, is there a clause in Gary Barlow's contract that says whenever there is a charity appeal, one of his songs must be used?
I think I'm in danger of becoming the bloke on the Fast Show who considers everything to be Rubbish

Stuff you leave outside your house for collection once a fortnight - Rubbish

Monday 21 March 2011

I don't like Downloaded Music

There just too impersonal.

Music buying (to me at least) is about the ownership of the physical artefact and making records you own - the memory of where records were purchased.

I can pretty much remember which shop in which town virtually all of my records and CDs came from.

  • Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica
    Slightly overcast day in Hay-on-Wye.  Bought from a bookshop (is there any other kind of shop in Hay-on-Wye?)
  • Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks
    Bought from Pop Records (second hand record Shop in Reading (under Yeild Hall Lane Car Park))
  • Thin Lizzy - Live & Dangerous
    Bought from Our Price in the Butts Centre, Reading.  Got given two copies of Sides 3 & 4, and had to go to the Broad Street branch to exchange for Sides 1 & 2
  • Kate Bush - The Whole Story
    Bought from Boots with the money I'd got as Christmas tips from my paper round
  • T.Rex- Futuristic Dragon
    Bought from Woolworths when they were closing down for refurbishment.  I think they'd just cleared out the stock room and placed it in piles in the racks and on the floor.
I know where all the downloads came from - I was sitting here in this chair and pressed a button.

Amazon is convenient and easy, but does not have the same joy of trawling through racks of stuff to find the thing you've been hunting down for weeks (or even months).

With the demise of the independent record shop, the loss of large chains like Zavvi and Fopp (sorely missed every time I go into Reading (I just stand in West Street staring at what is now Somerfields with a feeling of loss)) and the laughable stock holding of HMV, Record Fairs are the only place where I can find a breadth of items and people who will sell them whilst advising me the "Track 2 is a bit of a stinker" or other gems of information which is an integral part of the purchasing process (at least to me)

Sunday 6 March 2011

Insignificant Things That Really Make Your Day

Been shopping at a local hypermarket (rhymes with Besco).
It was around lunchtime, so purchased some sandwiches.
Quite fancied the Egg & Tomato sarnie, plus it was reduced in price (not that I'm tight or anything)
Here's the insignificant "Day Making" bit:
Egg Sandwiches, made the proper way with Salad Cream, none of this fancy foreign Mayonnaise stuff.
Insignificant, unimportant, completely trivial, but Egg & Salad Cream Sandwiches are enough to make me smile, think that the world is not just a bad place, and show that sometimes Tesco is worthwhile visiting.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Pub Grub

Discounting Bar Snacks, most pubs offer a "cheap & cheerful" menu.  It is, after all, another income stream to supplement the Beer & Nuts money.
The Menus tend to be pretty much the same wherever you go.
The usual array of Fish & Chips, Burgers, Chicken, Scampi and Salads.  Steaks & Mixed Grills are also common place.
Add to this a selection of sandwiches/rolls/baguettes/sub rolls (same fillings, just different bread casings).

Some hostelries will offer 'Chef's Specials', so you may get Chinese, Thai or Indian (or Polish, depends where the chef was born))

Everything is served with Chips (or Jacket Potato if you wish) - why not Mashed Potato?

One dish (one of my favourites actually) I have never found on a Pub Menu is Shepherds Pie.

Why? Easy to prepare, easy to heat up.  And I'm willing to wager that it would sell by the bucket load (this is not a serving suggestion!)

Not just Pubs - the same applies to the "Feed The Family For a Fiver" places (Beefeater, Harvester, Sizzler etc)

Put Shepherds Pie on your Menus - You Know It Make Sense