Losing the will to live now

TV advert.

What channel is this particular episode of Friends on Soph?


Right, so we’re watching E4+1 and there was just a phony TV advert.

You know the sort, lots of cheesy shots and all the dialogue dubbed to hide the fact that the sponsors are tighter than a duck’s arse when it comes to putting out advertisements in the country they were intended to be viewed.

Anyway, the award winning dialogue said:

“As a hairdresser, people ask me lots of things…”


Lots of things?

Things like…

What’s the value of Pi?
3.14159265358979323846 in decimal or 3.243F6A8885A308D31319 in hexadecimal


How many muscles does a cat have in each ear?


Who is credited with the invention of the scissors? (Come on! Every hairdresser should know this!)
Leonardo da Vinci

Or even…

What is the longest word you can type on the top row of a keyboard?

Nah, I bet people don’t actually ask you any of these things.

I also bet that people don’t ask you lots of things really.

I just wish the people who write your scripts would get their collective heads out of their collective arses and do their fucking job properly.

And treat us as if we were fully cognitive adults.

For a change.


There are more questions than answers

It is mid-morning Sunday and The Lovely S and I are in bed.

She is watching Hollyoaks and I’m doing internetty things.

The debris of breakfast is scattered on the floor.

I’ve done my usual internetty things: checked my bloglines, checked my email, checked my blog comments, read BBC News, read my favourite tabloid (The Daily Mail online).

But propped up here in bed, the sounds and sights of Hollyoaks intrude in my zone of concentration.

And questions get asked.

Who are they and why are they in someone else’s bed having sex?

And who are those two guys and why are they snogging?

And why is nerdy-looking-geeky-boy trying to find his father (who plainly is nerdy-looking-geeky-man from Last of the Summer Wine).

And why are Goth boy and girl being so mean to him?

And who has just sent me a text?

And why is nerdy-looking-geeky-boy calling that tree ‘Dad’?

Ah, respite.

The adverts appear and so does the final Bamboozle question.

I’ve answered a few.

I need a poo.

Ah, the text is from little Karen, apparently – despite the snow! – we might still be on for cross country schooling this afternoon (though I feel very uncertain about it right now).

Anyway, back to Hollyoaks.

So, that teacher has had sex with his (female) student who he’s just cut short in front of someone (probably his girlfriend) and introduced her as ‘a friend of a student who’s having a few problems’?


Is this the very best plot writing available to the British television media these days?

Christ, how mediocre.

Are the writers timid or do they just rehash storylines that were first aired 40 years ago?

Are there no new storylines?

Or are the writers so young themselves that they are unadventurous and lacking the initiative to look outside of the box?

And that guy… the priest. How old is he?

Looks about 12.

The blonde guy with the faux Belfast accent – shocking, absolutely the worst accent since I started doing Geordie when I was 16.

Anyway, enough from the television.

The poo calls (but not literally, OK?).

And I need a shower and a shave and I’m going to have to leave in about an hour to check out the cross country course before making a decision on ‘go’ or ‘no go’.

So I’ll see you later, OK?

Keep ’em peeled!



Really scary stuff

I don’t know whether I’m in conspiracy theory mode or if I’m just pointing out a very peculiar product but…

There’s a toothbrush on the market that plays music to the toothbrusher (toothbrushee?).

But the music isn’t played through an external loudspeaker.

Instead the music is made ‘audible’ through contact/vibration with the toothbrusher’s (toothbrushee’s?) teeth.

Does anyone else find this scary?

A toothbrush transmitting inaudible messages straight to the user’s ‘ear’?

Is this the leading edge of subliminal advertising?

Could your electric toothbrush be sending you inaudible messages to buy (or not buy) a certain product?

Scary? Well I think so.

Product details here.


A tale of illness, lust, horses and bad continuity

I am unwell.

Coldy, coughy, achy and shivvery.

So I have decided – with a little encouragement from The Lovely S – to spend bits of the day in bed.

I spent all morning in bed, reclining on plumped-up pillows flitting around the interweb while The Lovely S did domestic things.

I had my laptop and used the opportunity to catch up on some surfing.

I’ve been bookmarking interesting-looking websites for weeks, filing the bookmarks away for when I had time to give them the attention they deserve.

It was a morning of disappointment.

I had bookmarked an article on the history of the Latin American transistor/electronics industry.

Imagine my total shock when I clicked the bookmark ‘Brazilian Trannies‘ and was presented with rude photographs of men women men women people of dubious sexuality!

How awful!

Nothing to do with the early days of electronics, transistors and radio/television valves at all!

Similarly, the bookmark ‘I Love Feet‘ was nothing to do with the early days of Clarks Shoes or the Clarks shoe factory in Street, Somerset (very near where I used to live). And what on earth was that thick, creamy-looking white stuff that those feet were sprayed with? And why were they always young women’s feet?

I had to have a lie down I was so shocked! Except I was in bed already. So I had a swig of water instead.

After these two frights, imagine my abject horror when I clicked on ‘Sweet P’ and discovered the website had nothing to do with the horticultural development of the genus Lathyrus Odoratus!

I had another swig of water – carefully this time, as the term ‘watersports’ had suddenly taken on a whole new meaning!

Whatever next?

Was I going to learn that Nigella Lawson declaring that ‘snowballs are the big Winter drink’ is nothing to do with Advocaat?

Fortunately before I could go down that road The Lovely S came and joined me in bed where we watched an episode of 24.

Half-past one in the afternoon and we’re tucked up in bed watching 24. Rock’n’roll!

Afterwards we got up and The Lovely S demonstrated that she has various body parts that talk like Mr Bean. It was most educational

Then, via a quick visit to Detroitwich I drove to the yard to get 16 hands between my legs.

Except Vinnie is somewhat larger than 16 hands but I like the phrase and I’m going to continue to use it – 16.3 hands between my legs is clumsy and doesn’t work.


Vinnie was a twat.

It took me 20 minutes to get his bridle on and when we walked in to the arena he wouldn’t stand still for me to mount.

Those who’ve known me for a number of years will remember that I’ve broken a leg in that situation before – not with Vinnie, natch – it fair put the willies up me, going through a similar situation again.

So, determined not to let him have the upper hoof, I ran him around the arena, three laps, to try to take a little of the wind out of his sails.

It worked.

Back at the mounting block Vin stood rock still while I got on.

And all thoughts of twatishness vanished from his lovely little orange head.

He was a star.

We did flatwork – concentrating on transitions, improving his balance, rhythm and suppleness.

I love his attitude to work.

In fact I love his attitude. I’ve never sat on Vin and felt the ‘can’t really be arsed’ thoughts come back up the reins at me.

He’s a brilliant chap. I still miss Beech, but Vin was never intended to be Beech’s replacement; Vin was always going to be the serious competitor while Beech would step back a gear and be the fun horse.

Vin’s attitude to work is only matched by his ability, he’s a great athlete and despite his greenness he has unbelievable potential in the competitive world.


After a very positive schooling session, he was untacked, groomed, double-rugged up (it felt as though it could get cold tonight) and in his box scoffing his tea, I came back home where – still hot and sweaty – I showered, shaved and cooked our tea. Oh yeah, and ate it too.

Then we watched another episode of 24.

When it ended I made The Lovely S laugh with my favourite limerick.

Then we watched yet another episode of 24.

The thing about watching a number of episodes in a shortened space of time is that one notices the errors.

And there are many errors in 24 – chiefly in the continuity and writing departments.

But it’s enjoyable for all that.

And now, at 22.15, it’s bed time; another chapter of reading then sleep.

Speaking of sleep, The Lovely S didn’t manage to wake me last night with more giggles and ‘Yaaaaay’s’. Sadly she doesn’t remember what she was laughing and cheering over the night before last.

She is as disappointed as I am.



Nocturnal Pleasure

Tonight at 21.00, as a special treat, ITV is broadcasting a modern adaptation of what some may call a classic novel.

Vanity Fair.

And I’m in it.


When I say I’m in it I mean I was an extra in the film.

I exchanged greetings with Rhys Ifans, watched Jim Broadbent work his way in a most studious manner through the Daily Telegraph – when he wasn’t stomping around in character and shouting “Sirrah” in a manner calculated to startle the horses.

Romola Garai – I saw her too.

And Reese Witherspoon.

But I did much, much, much, much standing around on set in makeup and costume.

Jim Broadbent had the right idea with the Daily Telegraph.

He also had his own chair.

We had to stand around and lean on things.

A bit like I’m doing in the new header of this blog.

Yep, that’s me.


I don’t know if my scenes even made it off the cutting room floor.

I don’t know because I haven’t actually seen the film yet.

I might not even see it tonight, it’s competing with Top Gear Night which may or may not be followed by me grabbing that bottle off the worktop and taking a couple of sandwiches to bed and having an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or Buffy, the Slayer of Vampyres – as Andrew – one of the cast – would put it).




Holding out for a hero

Heroes: just in case you’ve avoided the programme thus far and don’t know the plot…

The story revolves around the regenerative powers of the world’s most unconvincing cheerleader (seriously, she looks like she’s 29 years old, not like the High School student the producers are trying to kid us that she really is!), her slightly menacing (in a two-dimensionally acted manner) step-father and a bunch of – as yet unrelated – dysfunctional but similarly superhero-endowed misfits.

The star of the pack is brilliantly portrayed by Christopher Ecclestone who manages to project just the right combination of paranoia and invulnerability with a convincingly hard-edged, streetwise, take-what-I-want-and-move-on style.

I don’t particularly like it.

Yet why do I want to watch it?

I think it’s eating away at my subconscious in a subliminally-messaged kind of way…

‘Watch Heroes on Wednesday evening; you know it makes sense. See the world’s oldest teenager show the full range of her acting abilities from A to B.  See Christopher Ecclestone act as though he really doesn’t want to be there… is he acting? See the stupid ex-policeman and his equally stupid wife in stupid ways.’

Actually, I think I’m waiting for someone to step on Mr Muggles, the irritatingly-carried-everywhere show-dog that belongs to the mother of the World’s Oldest Teenager.

Want to know what I’ll be doing next Wednesday evening?


Watching Heroes.

Just don’t ask me why.


The good news is

(stands up and punches the air as if he’d just scored the winning run in a Glamorgan v Essex match)

This is truly excellent news folks, gather round, hear the tidings and be very glad.

ITV (God bless ’em!) have decided not to televise the British Comedy Awards.

The only slightly disappointing factor is they haven’t made this decision because the BCAs are crap television.

Oh no.

They’ve arrived at this decision because there have been ‘alleged irregularities’ with the telephone voting.

But hey, I don’t care! This is still brilliant.

Now then, what we all need to happen next is for the BBC to arrive at the same logic – also regarding telephone voting irregularities, but this time with the Eurovision Song Contest.


Once they’ve arrived at this decision (and let’s face it friends, how else can the vagaries of Euro-voting be explained away except with the word ‘irregularities’) and the British, nay, European television viewer can look forward to a nice big Euro-sized hole in the agony that has been our TV schedules for far too long.

(goes off to the kitchen to make a celebratory cup of tea. I know how to live, eh?

Rich beyond our wildest dreams

but only in Stupid TV Advertland

I’ve watched more television in the last couple of weeks than I would normally do in a couple of months.

Don’t look at me like that!

It doesn’t mean that I’ve watched 18 hours of TV a day, just means I’ve been watching more than usual daily average of one hour.OK?

I said OK???

Good, glad we got that sorted.

Anyway, TV adverts.

My God folks, we, the British people are blessed.

In years to come we shall be sitting in the pub nursing our half-pints of Mild (or, in my case, half-pints of Pimm’s) muttering about how much funnier the adverts used to be when we were mere striplings.

And yes my friends, the adverts we have on televisions these days are funny; pure comedy gold.

There are currently eight TV adverts vying for top spot in the Stupidest TV Advert of All Time Chart.

These are (in no particular order):
‘The teeth-grindingly awful piece of television that is an advert for a loans/credit company – the one where the annoyingly chirpy (considering she’s heavily in debt) modern-day mother warbles all kind of nonsense in a north-eastern England accent whilst she’s simultaneously applying for a loan of (to me) absolutely scary proportions with a non-High Street lender (so yeah, the family credit rating must be way down the toilet). ‘Josh, yer Dad’s found yer scootah!’, she trills just before she says to the loan company ‘Really? That’s a lot less than we’re paying now!’ Good grief. Just what kind of indebted two-point-four-children, post-nuclear families do the writers of this 30-second sitcom think inhabit the rest of the country?

‘The hilarious advert for a well-known chain of IT Superstores where our heroine enters an IT warehouse and says to a smartly dressed, non-spotty, non-nerdy, relatively geekless sales assistant: ‘I’d like to change my computer for something more modern… ‘ (is it only me that finishes the sentence with the words ‘like a multiple setting, variable speed nine-inch vibrator’?)

‘I know beauty products are easy prey but how about the advert for the well known shampoo that claims to deliver: ‘vitally alive hair’. Vitally alive hair? WTF? Look people, stay calm but here’s a news flash. Hair is dead – just like nails. If a product threatens to deliver ‘vitally alive hair’ it’s either lying or the stuff in the bottlecan raise the dead. You just have to decide which it is, ok?

‘Next is the Nokia 53000 advert, the one that encourages young people to listen to MP3s loudly on their mobile phones – without headphones plugged in! What?? Obviously no-one in Nokia’s marketing department has ever sat in a train carriage where three youths are listening to three mobile phones playing three different sets of MP3s – and all at competing volumes – at the same time. How surprising! Perhaps the marketeers should get out of their BMWs and live in the real world now and then, eh?

‘Coming up fast on the outside is the latest offering from Orange – the ‘Say what you want even when you’ve run out of credit’ advert. WTF? This bringsPay As You Go customers in to the ranks of the indebted toowith a lusty call that echoes around the country’s shopping malls “Now you can get in to debt with the phone company too!” How fantastic.

‘Then there’s the advert for the new Chrysler Sebring (except for some totally unexplained reason the stupid American voice-over insists on calling it See-Bring. If it was the See-Bring it would be spelt Seabring. Or maybe even Seebring. But Sebring spells Sebring, OK?) And why is it the new Sebring? WTF happened to the old one? Was that a sack of shite too or did it never even make it in pastproduction? Anyway, what the Stupid American Voice-over Man doesn’t do is add the usual postscript that everyone in Europe with a sense of flair does when they see the word ‘Chrysler’ – namely – the full advertising slogan: ‘Chrysler, the ugly motor car company’.

‘How about the advert for the product I affectionately call the ‘Stick this thing down the bog and it’ll make the air smell nice device’. You know, the advert where the boy sitting on the porcelain moped calls out very loudly ‘Poo, it really stinks’. Well you shouldn’t have such a smelly arse should you? How about eating a proper diet?

‘Also doing well in the ‘goat-getting’ department is the AA insurance advert where the mother picks up her blindingly thick and irritatingly-stupid, monosyllabic, loutish, layaboutish, chavvy son (hereafter known as Tom) and – as she drives Tom home – proceeds to tell him (by way of a two-handed conversation that she is forced toconduct with herself because Tom, sadly, lacks the everyday ability of coherent speech) that she managed to switch the car insurance. Online. As if switching car insurance ‘online’ is worthy of mentioning. It’s the 21st Century people. Wake up. And for the love of all that’s good woman – your ignorant little shite is in the car for less than 21 seconds! Has he lost the use of his legs or have you lost the use of your brain? Make the little b’stard walk! No wonder the country’s going down the drain quicker than a dose of Cillit Bang (‘Bang andyour brains are gone!’).

There are more, many more,but these are the top of the crop of my current love-to-hate crowd of ‘adverts written for the terminally inane’.

If there are any adverts that you’d like to do some spleen-venting about, feel free to add them via the comments box.

Perhaps, if we could get sponsorship, we could do an annual award via the web?