Travel Nostalgia

There was a time when travel was a reason for travelling. When planes and trains and automobiles represented adventure, drama, and daring. Its often with a heavy heart that I board the train for the daily 100mph 9 minute ride to next town. That commute has made trains boring. The same scenery, the goods yard, the 2 bridges, the junction, the tunnel, Bramford, Great Blakenham, Needham fishing lakes, Neeham Market, the malt factory, the lawnmower factory and then Stowmarket station.

I yearn for the day when getting on the train was a big deal – when I was little my Nan and I would catch the train to Felixtowe, a 20 minute journey to the seaside. It cost her £1.25 for her 40p for me. Bargain. I was on one occasion allowed to ride up in the drivers cab and actually pull the lever that made the train go forward! Yes, an 8 year old boy drove a passenger train from Ipswich to Felixtowe.

Anyway, I was randomly browsing youtube for anything nostalgic to share, and I happened across this glorious piece of government propaganda for the former state monopoly railway company. You can tell its propaganda because it contains industrial imagery, glorious scenery and economic activity designed to remind people that we’re still a pretty respectable little country. Magnificent also because it conjured up that special little feeling of excitement, adventure and wonder that perhaps only children can truly experience.


Bringing you back to you… a commercial break

Yeah yeah I know I’m back on my old habits of posting about commercials but this one caught my eye enough to want to share it with you – the beleaguered reader who only stumbled on here by accident – you were probably looking for plane tickets to somewhere exciting like Fiji…. I’d like to go to Fiji, firstly because the word looks excellent when written… Fiji – just look at all those excellent dotted characters. Secondly because Queen Elizabeth II is technically queen of Fiji, or more properly Paramount Chief of Fiji.

But I digress…

This is an advert by a tea company called Twinnings, previously fronted by Stephen Fry, they’ve enjoyed a resurgence of late as people are spend more money on perceived upmarket or luxury brands to make up for the fact that no-one can afford to go on holiday.

The advert takes the form of a young woman in a rowing boat on chopping waters, and she’s clearly no enjoying herself. She valiantly fights the waters but loses her ores. As all hope seems lost, gulls swoop her little raft up and deposit her in the calm, she disembarks and merges with herself on the shore whilst drinking a cup tea – the strap line? Brings you back to you.

Very clever, beautifully animated, and the music by Charlene Soraia (downloadable from iTune) is an excellent fit.

Rock and Candy Lulu – Out in the World!


My girlfriend doesn’t really know know how to work my fancy-dan camera – but this is not a bad effort.

'Don't stand there staring at your feet'

I have a strange desired to jump i the air and play air-guitar, I think its caused by the shoes and skinny jeans, but I can’t be sure.

Have a good evening folks.





Wow – that got your attention

Hmm so the shoes seemed to get me quite a lot of blogosphere attention. Primarily from people want to see them in the real world.

I’m happy to oblige – if by real world you mean my living room. At some point (maybe at the weekend) I’ll do some proper pictures but for now these will have to do…

It's a long way down from up here....


So…whats the conclusion? Ridiculous? Awesome? Insane? Dangerous? Too weird?

They’re surprisingly comfortable, the rubber sole makes them kinda bouncy and they’re pretty easy to walk in – I’ve already tested them out by putting some rubbish out. This is actually a decent test as it involves going down 2 flights of stairs then out across the street.

Let me know what you think!

More Ridiculous Footwear

I have a penchant for experimental clothes. I don’t get to play very much because the ultra designer stuff tends to be insanely expensive and my girlfriend is a student (again).

Every now and then I make a slight leap of faith and buy something outrageous in the vein hope that:

  • I’ll grow in self confidence sufficiently to wear such garment
  • That’ll it’ll look cool and interesting
  • That Ipswich becomes the sort of place where I won’t get beaten up for looking a little bit different
To that end I’ve recently tried to get ‘up there’ with the fashion kings by buying two pairs of heeled shoes – which as previous posts will tell you – is now highly fashionable.
Now eventually I’ll upload a few pictures of myself out and about modelling stuff, but for now you’ll need to make do with stock images.
These are from Topshop and cost £55, they’re actually jet matt black so on the bottom of black skinny jeans they look not far off this outfit…
…except that it cost me well under a 20th of the price. I’ve test driven this type of outfit with some friends and they didn’t seem totally freaked out.
Choice number two are Rock & Candy wedge boots which look exactly like a pair of converse with a crazy striped bit on the bottom.
Now the pink bit worries me a little because I’m not sure how thats going to work with the rest of my stuff, but public opinion from some work colleagues is that with the right other stuff I could ‘rock them’. I’ll let you all know how it goes.
Comments appreciated!

Sickness Remedies

I’m very sick. I’m not dying or anything but I do feel like utter crap. So perhaps in order is a look at the design and history of several ‘remedies’ that are supposed to make you feel better.

First up: Lucozade

When I was little Lucozade was one of things that my parents gave me to perk me up- a sort of treat for being ill. I remember when I was about 12, had bronchitis and laid in bed for about a week guzzling antibiotics, my daytime TV viewing was interrupted with my grandparent delivering copious quantities of the bright orange liquid and insisting that I drink it all ‘to keep my strength up’.

For those that don’t know, Lucozade is a bright orange liquid that is essentially carbonated glucose syrup. If you drink a whole lot of it, you can get yourself on a sugar high. For a long time it was marketed as a health drink, and then a specialist sports drink, however now its aimed more at the general soft drink market. If you’ve never tasted it before – its tastes a little bit like Irn-Bru – if you’ve never tasted that, its a bit like the neat syrup used in Coca-Cola lever or wand dispensers. (If you use a self service soft drink dispenser in a McDonalds for example, that involves pushing your cup against a lever you can actually get sweeter coke by pushing the lever only very slightly so that just syrup and not carbonated water comes out).

I’m not sure it has any medicinal value whatsoever, but I reckon that if you consume your entire recommended daily allowance of sugar in one gulp you’re gonna feel awesome for a bit regardless of how ill you are.

Perhaps if we all drink enough of it, it’ll re-energise the economy!

Its even good for police officers who’ve accidentally travelled back in time to the 1970’s (Life On Mars, BBC).

Number two: Coca-Cola

I bet Coke isn’t used to being number two, after all it’s the worlds number one soft drink except in Scotland where it loses out to the aforementioned Irn-Bru (Made in Scotland from Girders)

Anyway, it used to contain cocaine, but now its just the flavour from the ‘spent’ leaves, and a whole bunch of caffeine. Like Lucozade it was originally marketed as a health drink, but now its pretty much widely accepted as a tooth rotting, expensive way of consuming vast amounts of sugar. Point of fact: in the UK it contains actual sugar, in the US its all about the high fructose corn syrup, I’ve tasted both and its definitely a different taste.

I’ve exhausted myself typing so I’m going back to vegetating.