Monthly Archives: March 2017


There’s a poster, at my local bus stop, which has been irritating me for some time now. It’s lodged down the back of the timetable and, I’m assuming, can’t easily be removed. 

I could be critical of the name Circus Vegas, or, the globe of death (which is clearly a slight exaggeration), but what really irritates me is the BLAY DON kerning issue. 

My theory is that, rather than being a typographic error, this is something of a lack of local knowledge. 

As an aside, does anyone else recall the alleged wysiwyg software packages of the late 80s/early 90s which couldn’t handle kerning properly?


I’ve just tried something of a six degrees of separation experiment on Twitter. Around a couple of decades ago, I borrowed a penknife. 

Said penknife was amazing for sculptural things. It was way better than shop-bought tools. The latter don’t bend or twist, but this penknife did. 

It wasn’t actually my knife though. I borrowed it in 1982 (a guess, but thereabouts). It might have been 1981. 

Anyway, I lost touch with the mate I’d borrowed said penknife from. A long time ago. 

OK, my old mate’s name is (unless he has changed it) is Thomas (Tom) Whelan. He moved to Barry (in Wales) a very long time ago and I still have his grandad’s penknife. 

Tom worked for a pretty massive audio company, but I think they went bust in the 90/00s. He was an engineer of sorts I believe. 

So, if anyone knows anyone in Barry ….


I do so love my new cork wallet. 

It’s hard to believe it’s made from tree. 

Dennis and John

Dennis and John are two very nice gentlemen from Cardiff. We met two days ago, but apparently I was too drunk to remember. 

We conversed again this evening. They asked if it would be acceptable to call me Gaz, I said that would be bearable. 

They have a friend who is now off out to buy kip. Dirty bastard. 

Bikes & trains & kip

Whenever I travel by train in Europe, which isn’t often enough, I’m reminded of the poor state of the UK’s rail network. Trains in Europe are more modern and, because they have no Victorian track legacy, larger. 

They’re significantly cheaper too. When recently booking trains in Germany, I found tickets to excellent value, with first class a lot cheaper than the UK standard fare. And then today, with a return from Ostend to Ghent costing only €10.80.

That’s €10.80 for a 120 mile round trip, on a shiny new train with tons of leg room. 

Another thing which has impressed me about our long weekend in Belgium has been the number of bikes on the road. And cycle lanes, lots of cycle lanes. Another thing in which the UK is deficient. 

Anyway, in Oostende, Brugge and Gent there were a lot of bikes. 

Moving on to a different subject, Belgium is something of a vegan desert. That’s desert, not dessert. I’ve eaten a lot of crisps in Ostend. People eat a lot of kip here (dead bird).

Ghent, though, was different. While we only found a few places, apparently there are more vegetarian/vegan eateries than in London. We found pizza in a mental converted church. 

The Holy Food Market was mad, but amazing. Imagine a huge old church full of eateries and bars. 

So today wasn’t about beer. The cultural stuff kept getting in the way. 

We did manage to stumble across Belgium’s only comic bar though. 

Also mad. 

I did love the emerging veggie revolution in Ghent. Here’s an example on a wall of a meaty restaurant.

Verloren in brugge

Last year we had something of a mishap in Bruges. Our phones had proven to be an unreliable method of navigation, as did our joint sense of direction. 

An unplanned stopover was the result, although the experience was pleasant at the end of the day. 

We found a great hotel and, an essential, a nice local bar. So a return visit had to be made. 

It’s a local bar, so the beer was decent and cheap. But a trip away isn’t just about beer. 

Yes, there’s the architecture too. And table tops. 


How could anyone eat a bird? The vegan comedy film Carnage is now available on BBC iPlayer. 

Beneath the humour, the messages are very real. It’s worth watching. 

The cupboard under the stairs

We don’t actually have a natural cupboard under the stairs. We have one created in the 80s; it was originally meant to be an open space. So we do have a space under the stairs which resembles a cupboard. Without a door. 

The doorway (which seems briefly to have had a door in the mid-80s) is around five seven high. Which means I need to duck when entering the space to access the fridge or freezer (we don’t have anywhere else to out them). 

So moving the freezer deeper into the depths of the under the stairs/cupboard under the stairs space might not have been the best idea. 

The end result is that, to access the freezer, I must now stoop to a degree which is wholly unacceptable for a man of my age. 

I don’t actually use a lot of stuff from the freezer. Linda McCartney sausages for hangover Sunday morning sandwiches (with a liberal amount of brown sauce), a loaf of bread, or the occasional leftover chilli; that’s about the limit of my freezer mining (I should have said, it’s a chest freezer). 

I’m left with two options:

1. Wear a cycle helmet while attempting to access the freezer.

2. Avoid the freezer.

Oh, I forgot about the mandatory work option:

3. Do nothing.