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Archive for February, 2012

Top 5 #10


Annoying Facebook Stuff

It’s not easy battling with Facebook addiction as we all well know, but it would be nice if while we we’re all indulging in our obsession, we didn’t have to put up with these annoyances.

5. Pictures of Feet:  Every Sunday Facebook finds itself flooded with floor-bound photos.  As the hangover takes its toll and I try to numb the pain with seeing how hammered everyone else was and subsequently how hungover they now will be, all I am greeted with is circle after circle of shoes.  The only thing I can hope for is for a number of people of people to have gone bowling just to breathe some originality into the monotony of heels.

4. Pictures of Jumping in the Air on the Beach:  Having already touched upon this topic in a previous Top 5 complainy list, you can see that obviously something which is dear to my heart.  As well as the obvious annoyance of the whole ‘Oh my God look how crazy I am and how much fun I have’ thing, the other part of these pictures which really grind my gears is the fact that every person involved in the jumping will then use this as their profile picture.  By choosing this picture, are we to think that you want to be seen as just a generic crowd?  As someone who is afraid to differ from their friends and also the millions of other fun-lovers who jump up and down on beaches.  Of course the person you really need to feel sorry for is the person taking the photo, they have to suffer the humiliation and loneliness of being the only person without a bullshit, pseudo-wild, organized fun profile picture.

Piss off.

3. Friend Collecting:  It seems to me that Facebook or any other social networking site has made the world regress to primary school age where people feel it necessary to count the number of friends they have and therefore judge their popularity on that.  Befriending people like estranged family members, mate’s mate’s mates, and people you’ve seen around the village is just not acceptable.  Don’t let yourself become an accessory to their stats-based happiness.

2. Fishing for Interest:  “I’ve had the worst day ever”, “Some people are just dickheads”.  Do these kind of status’ sound familiar?  And are you always intrigued to know what is going on?  Well stop, and take your hands off away from the keys. Don’t let yourself get suckered in by these ambiguous chunks of lexical bait.  If people have news that they believe is worthy of posting then say it, don’t try to raise your self-importance levels by drawing in the unwitting.  We know your game now people, and it ain’t gonna fly!

1. Life Commentary:  The worst of the worst.  The people who post every little moment of their life on Facebook, I don’t care if you’ve just got out of bed, or how nice your breakfast was, or how busy the bus might be, or what you’re having for dinner, I don’t care!  Why would anyone actually think this online daily log of normalcy would be of interest to anyone?  Have these people had their ego fed through numerous ‘pokes’ and ‘likes’ so much that they feel the lowly common folk on Facebook are desperately impatient as to what their TV schedule for the night will be?  But the worst part of it is, the really sickening part is that I sit there, reading all these tedious statuses, with hatred growing inside me, mainly at the person for wasting my precious brain space with their rubbish, but also at the knowledge that I will carry on reading, about how boring work is, about sandwiches, about whether, and about fucking TV, until I’m desperate for an ambiguous status eluding to something remotely interesting happening in someone’s life! It’s just a big circle of loathing.

So there’s my list, yes I am aware that I’m publicising this on Facebook so feel free to treat it as boring, irrelevant or self-inflating bullshit.  If you like it, make sure you add me as a friend, subscribe to the blog, like all my profile pictures, and say “What’s up hun? x” whenever I post some whiny attempt at a conversation starter.


You got ‘out moist?

Would You Say you’re a Dry Wiper?

Have you ever come to the conclusion that toilet roll just doesn’t cut it?  That you’re arse just isn’t quite as clean as it could be?  No?  Nor has anyone else, apart from Dawn Porter that is, and her friends at Andrex.  It is this wondering that has led to the invention of the Washlet.

I say invention, really it’s just a wet wipe in a different box, like the ones that you use on babies, except this one is for adults and more specifically those who do not feel competent in the most basic field of arse-wiping.  Obviously Andrex needed a relatable face to put with this new product, so of course they went for Dawn Porter, who found fame by getting naked and lezzing off on BBC3 under the thin veil of journalism.  To give the adverts more of an accessible and real life Porter introduces the product and her daily reports of how the product feels.  We importantly learn that Dawn classes herself as a ‘dry wiper’ (just like you and me) but is willing to try new and exciting things.  On Day 1 Dawn comments ‘I wouldn’t say it’s wet, it’s moist,’ which leaves you thinking maybe this terrifying new revelation isn’t quite as scary as I first thought, and also, does that mean she’s just been for a shit?  By Day 3, Dawn states that she is ‘definitely feeling fresher’.  This surely brings in to question her commitment to wiping, and for me casts a shadow over the Dawn Porter character and a certain malaise towards my new found knowledge of her toilet routine.

So impressed by these baby wipes, sorry, Washlets, Dawn feels the need to take to the street to accost the unsuspecting public and ask them to wipe their arse.  Unsurprisingly, the public does not really fancy talking on camera to a person they’ve never met about dry-wiping, or if they’ve ever considered alternatives, but this does not deter Porter oh no, if anything it spurs her on to break down the social taboo of bum sanitation and convert the nation to wet cheeks.  And somewhere, between Dawn Porter and Andrex’s struggling advertising department, the idea is sprung to make this a series of adverts, a full blown campaign, to free the cowed, repressed nation of Britain from their embarrassment and closed-mindedness.  Porter threatens ‘Anytime I do anything with this campaign I’m going to put it on Facebook’ (imagine the pictures, gross) and then reveals her intentions.  What follows is another five, yes five, adverts of Dawn surprising people in a variety of awkward situations, with the best by far being the one where she tries to get men on board.  This one guy on a treadmill basically he admits that he needs a shit right then and there!  Hopefully he’ll make it to the toilet (with his Washletsof course) on time and doesn’t Paula Radcliffe all over the place.

So does this campaign work?  Of course not.  Does it break down the stigma attached to discussion of bottom sanitation and various methods of approach.  Of course it does.  People are now liberated and are able to discuss both the terrible advert and terrible product that address exactly that.

Still, anything for a bit of extra freshness…

Top 5 #9

Top 5 Worst British Accents

Every year a plethora of films are released that are set in Britain but for some reason, the people in charge of casting seem to think that instead of hiring real British people, they’ll hire American actors to put on (or not bother) an English accent.  I suppose they’ve got a reason though, I mean, we can’t have Daniel Radcliffe being in too many films can we?

5. Kevin Costner- ‘Robin Hood’:  To outshine Christian Slater’s shoddy accent is no mean feat but Costner succeeds by not making any effort whatsoever to sound like the English fairy tale hero he portrays.  He might as well be wearing a cowboy hat and jeans for the difference it would make.  It might just be down to the bold accent but Costner also seems to be the most American person anyone could possibly be in that film with his perfect teeth and swept back hair.  Mind you, if we’re willing to accept Morgan Freeman as a Mohr then I’m sure we can deal with a Californian Nottingham-ite.  Onwards, to Noddingham!

4.  Anne Hathaway- ‘One Day’:  I don’t how or why they all have to do it, but everytime an American actor does a British accent it amazingly seems to encompass Welsh, Irish and Scottish as well as received pronunciation and a jaunty cockney twang.  It’s quite impressive but horrendous to listen to.  It’s as if no one has bothered to tell them that there are different regions and countries within the UK.  In this film, Hathaway plays a Yorkshire lass and at times gets it right but then lapses and a world of soft t’s and long vowel sounds.  Plus she didn’t say ‘appen once, what’s that all about?  Generally I would expect better from the women who shares a name with the man who championed the English language’s wife.

3.  Don Cheadle- ‘Ocean’s Eleven’:  This one is amazing.  A ruthless attack on everything that is stereotypically cockney.  He even uses rhyming slang! In fact so convincing is this accent, on first viewing I actually thought it was Harry Redknapp on screen.  They really do pull out all the Londoner stops for this accent (maybe why it’s so terribly, terribly bad) including the use of phrases like ‘leave it aat’ ‘tossus’ and of course, ‘Barney, Barney Rubble, Trouble!’  I guessing apples and pears must be in there too otherwise they might have a left an uncockneyfied pause which could really ruin the believability of Cheadle’s character.

2.  Keanu Reeves- ‘Dracula’:  No list about not being able to act very well can be complete without Keanu.  It’s amazing that someone with absolutely no presence keeps getting any lead roles, let alone one which requires more than driving a bus or fighting Elrond.  I can honestly say I don’t think I could imagine an English accent as overly regal as this one.  So posh is this accent, in fact, it even outdoes Stewie Griffin ‘h’ before the ‘w’ thing (y’know, like Cool Hwhip).  Also no posh accent would be complete without the addition of ‘nyes’ instead of yes.  For those of you who haven’t seen this film, this eight second clip is more than enough to catch the drift.

1.  Dick Van Dyke- ‘Mary Poppins’:  Of course he’s number one, he’s the godfather of terrible British accents, the overlord of stereotyping Blighty, the patron saint of, well, getting it wrong.  You can only assume that he’d seen a bit of Sean Connery’s acting and thought ‘Yeah, that’s what these British sound like, they don’t say s’s properly’.  He must have done something right though because he’s inspired Don Cheadle completely.  Sadly, by researching this I actually had to watch the Step In Time song from Mary Poppins but it was worth it to experience once again the wonders of this Dickensian throwback character.

So there’s my list, I really wanted to put Nic Cage in there for his National Treasure accent but despite trying to sway myself I knew he was doing it on purpose, at least I hope he was.  Anyway, I’ve got some Hollywood films to ruin, I better go and brush up on my all-encompassing American accent.

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Top 5 #8

Top 5 Reasons Why England Never Win Anything (And It Isn’t the Manager)

Seeing as Capello’s done one, I thought it was time what else could be the possible reason behind England’s glorious footballing failure.  Surely it can’t just be whichever unlucky manager that has been thrown underneath the England team bus, can it?

5. Shocking Tactics:  There is nothing worse in world football than watching defenders hoofing it aimlessly up field, oh sorry, I don’t mean world football, players don’t seem to go for that abroad whilst here in Britain they get applauded for it.  It seems to be an acceptable and commended style of play for a defender as if this has been the hardest and most skilful option they could have chosen.  It’s like they are constantly playing last ditch football when there is barely any threat in any of the previous ditches.  Also the long standing tradition which originates in school teams is the tactic of ‘pass it to the best player and everything will be alright’.  Happens every time with Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, and now Rooney.  It’s just like how Barca do it with Messi. Oh actually, wait a minute…

4. English Mentality:  Far too many times have we been told by a brain dead pundit that an English player “may not be the most skilful player on the park (always park!) but he never stops running”.  This may show dedication to the cause but surely it’s not worth the amount praise that English fans gush on to the players guilty of being a talentless battler.  It may actually be the most highly prized trait an Englishman can have, just look at John Terry’s seal dive in the world cup, the fans loved his never say die approach when really, that situation wouldn’t have occurred if people were better at football. Fair play though, he did give it his all, 110%, dedication to the cause, fight to the last…

3. The Media:  As far as ‘The Sun’ is concerned it IS football gospel, and in their eyes football is a war.  The team is the pride of the nation, the standard bearer of England, personifying everything it means to British and patriotic.  Until we lose, and then it’s no longer our boys fighting versus the world, it’s us against the foreign manager, or the people versus that player who made the mistake which led the seventh goal which was definitely the reason we lost.  The problem is, people read these red top stories and think, ‘yeah, it can’t just be that someone’s better than us or that we’re shit at football, it’s his fault.  You can’t have a some foreigner managing England, bring me the most English person ever, bring me English football personified, god damn it where’s Harry Redknapp, or Ray Winstone, or Dick Van Dyke!?’  What chance does any manager have when they have to defeat the world with a team full of ball-hoofers (cheeky) and big front men?

2.  Emile Heskey:   I know, I know it’s not all his fault but he is really shit!  It’s not just Emile Heskey though, it’s what he represents.  Heskey can be in terrible form and not even got a shot near the goal in the league but he can sit back at home just waiting for the phone call to come.  The fear of change is rife throughout English football and holds the England team in paralysis for the foreseeable future.  But who do you play, Gerrard or Lampard?  Why not neither?  Why not try something new like that German team beat the shit of you in the World Cup?  How about playing your best forwards rather than just one god one and one that’s over 6’5”?  Because that means change, and that’s not acceptable.  All the fans complain, like the newspaper told them to, at the lack of adventure and creativity under the last managerial casualty, but then explode with anger and fear if the new guy changes it up a bit.

1.  The Players:  Of course this is number one.  The England team isn’t good enough to win anything.  Fact.  No British players are anywhere near being the best in the world but the majority of them believe themselves to be anyway.  The battle of egos in that dressing room must be sickening to witness, the air thick with unearned confidence.  ‘It’s only Spain innit, hardly any of their players play in the Premier League so they can’t be that good.  We’ve got defenders who can hoof it loads further than theirs, and look how small their strikers are!’  Just because you get talked about the most doesn’t make you the best.  All this ill-gotten bigheadedness has really clouded the issue of technical ability and most of all teamwork, something that a team of individuals can never hope to achieve.

So there’s my Top 5, I was going to include Steve McLaren in there somewhere as I’m pretty sure he can’t be classified as a manage but I resisted.

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The Deep Winter Surf Trip

The Deep Winter Surf Trip

“You’re crazy!” they said.

“You’ll freeze to death!” said others.

“I’ll come with you.”  Said one, although that somewhat detracts from the previous two exclamations.

But I didn’t think about the craziness, I thought about the burning inside, the pull of the ocean in my heart, and also the two days off work.  Me and my two friends were going surfing, and nothing was going to stop us.

At 5:45am on Sunday morning there was a knock at my front door.  This was my friends, bleary eyed but excited to embark on a six hour drive on the off chance there were some decent waves about.  I quietly bumped and smashed all of the household objects I could whilst dragging my board through the house to attach it to the top of the car.  We set off, staving off the tiredness with excitement, and a 5CD compilation of indie anthems.

We faced and overcame the ice plains of the M6 and watched the sun rise on a misty land of adventure and travel, only stopping occasionally for lattes from Starbuck’s.  We knew it wasn’t as good as the Costa that could have been but nothing was going to stop us now.  Besides we would have had to drive another seventeen miles for the Costa services and that was just far too far.

Most surf trips don’t include narrowly avoiding death and destruction, this one however was different.  As we entered Devon we noticed that the surfboard, tied up with roof straps (cheap roof straps I might add), had slipped slightly and so we planned to pull over to sort it out.  As soon as this idea was even formed however, the board was wrenched from the roof (I must stress they were really cheap straps, honestly, the cheapest money could buy) and sent hurtling into the air.  We all stared, including the driver which is a bit reckless in truth, as the board spun and hovered above the dual carriageway.  Time stopped and my heart raced (nice bit of juxtaposition there), images of death, mangled cars, and shattered surf boards flashed before my eyes.  Then it came down, off the road thank God and onto the grass verge.  We pulled up and sprinted (well tried to, we had been driving non-stop for a good few hours and our legs were all seized up and achey) back to the crash landing, I feared the worst.

To my amazement, my board lay there, intact and unscathed apart from a few scratches, and as an added bonus, no one had died.  Thoroughly shaken, and with the surfboard now uncomfortably stowed inside the car, we set off again to search the sea for waves.

We arrived in Newquay and instantly faced the horror of driving in a seaside town (one way systems all over the place).  We found our apartment and began the slow, tortuous procedure of putting on our wetsuits.  What seemed like hours later, we were ready to take on the Atlantic Ocean and ride the fringes of the Earth’s super power.  We grabbed our boards, and made our way down to the breaking waves, surveying the peaks to find the best place to wait and pick off the longest rides. After a couple of minutes we reached the conclusion that there were no better places to go so we just got in to face the messy rubbish that Tolcarne Bay was producing.

What followed was a heavy beat down and after two hours of being put in my place by the sea, I decided to head back and have some tea and scones (What?  It was free, don’t judge me for it).  The waves had won this round, and the rugby and then the football were on, so a bit of time was needed to recoup but we would return.  Sadly, the same happened again.

After a bit of recovery time, we decided to head in to town to find some sustenance for tomorrow’s full day of surf.  Instead we found that it was two pound a pint in Bellushi’s so our early night plans quickly deteriorated.  We returned home tired, and as drunk as teenagers on school leaving night.

The next day looked promising, while we still all slept.  When awake and just functioning we made our way to Watergate Bay, I won’t bitch about it but I had to walk up a massive hill while the other two went in the car, not cool.  The fresh winter sea is one of the best ways to shake off a hangover and we discovered this as thousands of litres pummelled into the sea bed over and over again.  We lasted a couple of hours, until all our pride and determination had ebbed away with the tide.  We got out, got changed and got on our way home.

So there it is, our surf trip, full of fun and excitement, although somewhat lacking in the surf department.  Would I do it again?  You bet your sweet ass I would.

Daily Top 5 #7

Top 5 Knobhead Students

Students are often seen as a single entity to direct hate towards by those who are unfortunate enough to work but if closer attention was paid, people would start to realise there a big divides within the student community and each clique have their own extra reasons for hatred.  Here’s my top 5 of the worst.  Sadly, I am probably guilty of some, if not all, of the traits portrayed by these people.  Can’t beat a bit of self-loathing though can you?

5. The Van Wilder:  For those of you who don’t know the film, these are the people who have been at uni forever and have no plans to stop anytime soon.  Yes, it is awesome doing what you want and living tax free but stop taking up all the places for the young folk, there comes a time where you will reach the age of too old and stop being the cool guy who knows all the best places to go out, but that weird guy who hangs around with teenagers.  Nobody wants that.

4. The Fun-Haver: These people come in two sub-genres; real and pretend fun-havers.  The real fun-havers are inexplicably capable of getting hammered one night, and then doing it again and again and again.  It’s like real life ‘Skins’.  Also they often always have friends who work everywhere (probably due to how much they get on it) so they constantly get free entry and tickets in advance and annoying shit that us regular, hangover-getting folks never seem have.  The pretend fun-havers are more concerned about their Facebook profile and how this portrays their life.  These people will have the craziest pictures of them bungee jumping and meeting famous people, and of course jumping in the air on the beach (can’t show off your crazy life any better than that!) but in reality their always really boring and just hold on to the coat tails of the real fun-havers, purely for the pictures.  You’re just kidding yourselves you damn phoneys!

3. The Traveller:  Now these people actually do have real fun, and you know this because you will hear nothing else from them except about their time travelling.  I think most of my anger towards this people is driven by jealous but I don’t care, I understand how magical East Asia is, and how it really makes you put stuff in perspective when you meet the locals.  Honestly, if I go to Thailand and I’m not altered spiritually or mentally I’m going to feel a bit like I’ve been sold queer giraffes.  The best travellers though are the people who go to Australia for a couple of weeks and come back with a fake accent in tow.  That’s serious commitment to the traveller douche image their guys, hats off.

2. The Sports Student:  Might have been slightly influenced on this one by going to a predominantly sporting uni but honestly, they’re some of the worst people.  No, you don’t need to wear flip flops and shorts all year round, you are not doing sport 24/7.  No, I don’t want to hear you boasting about how sick you were after your night in Tiger Tiger, and that you’ll definitely still be going out later though.  And no, I don’t want to hear about your horrible homoerotic initiations and team celebrations, especially while I’m trying to write an essay in the computer room!  You are not due respect just because you play rugby, and just because you wear a tracksuit all day long does not make you some kind supreme being, you are just testosterone in short shorts (and flip flops) stumbling towards the end of your degree in nothing.  If this is not enough read this article:

1: The Know-It-All:  At the complete opposite end of the spectrum to the jocks, these self-righteous bastards ruin lectures and all the coolest pubs wherever you are.  They stroll into lectures with an undeserved swagger and proceed in talking over and contradicting the lecturer.  If you know more, then why the hell are you here?  I suppose after the years of bullying throughout school, they finally get their moment of parity, despite the hatred radiating from everybody in the room.  Signs to watch out for with these people are; male, unshaven wear one of those long, black, felty coats that a poet would wear, wants to be a poet, drinks coffee all the time, and stinks of tobacco.  Worst of all, if you’ve got one of those kind of lecturers as well, nothing will happen every single day except the two of them spouting shit ideas on inconsequential issues with no conceivable way of reconciliation which therefore renders the whole hour long debate being utterly pointless as well as mind numbing.

So there it is; another list done.  Students aren’t all bad though, just most a lot of them.

Think you would have done things differently?  Give me a comment.

Daily Top 5 #6

Top 5 Worst Train Passengers

We’ve all been there, stuck on a boring train thinking that nothing could make this return journey to Monotony General any worse and then BAM! Hit by any one of these trip ruiners with no escape other than the option of getting of some backwater stop like Lichfield Trent Valley or something, and I ain’t never doing that, not never.  So here’s a top 5 featuring a selection of these irritating fools, sorry in advance for raising everybody’s hatred levels.

5. The broadsheet newspaper reader:  There’s always at least one of these idiots on the busiest train or tube journey imaginable when everyone’s crammed in like clowns in a mini.  Yet somehow they still think it’s acceptable to unfurl enough newspaper to house at least 12 homeless people and persist on elbowing everyone in the vicinity in the chest while they try and turn their comically oversized pages.  They’re hard to enough to read in the comfort of your home let alone in an overcrowded carriage.  Even when they manage to get a table to support their gargantuan sheets it still doesn’t work because not even the table is big enough!  Next time, give up trying to read your Financial Times and just stare awkwardly at the extremely close face of the person in front of you like we all have to do.

4. The terrified old lady:  I couldn’t put this any higher because you can’t be nasty to old ladies, can you?  But, old lady, just because I may look younger than 30, and have casual clothing on, possibly including a hood or a hat, does not mean that I am going to viciously attack you and steal your purse.  Where am I going to hide anyway, I’m on a train for God’s sake, I’m not likely to get off at Warrington Bank Quay am I?  And we’ve all done it, you think, I know, I’ll ease their worry with a nice friendly smile saying ‘you’re perfectly safe with me, I’m no threat’.  But somehow this act of niceness gets lost in translation and becomes a menacing, knowing smirk meaning, ‘that’s right old lady, you know you’re fucked now!’  Not all of us are capable of attacking and stealing from the elderly, so just give us a chance sometimes.

3. The fidgeter:  This person is inevitably the person sat next to you on a busy journey when, disgustingly, you actually have to share your row with another person.  More often than not they’ll be sat in the window seat as well, bastards.  They are the people who put their bag on the rack at the top, apparently oblivious to the fact that they might want/need something from it at some time during the hours on board.  Then they realise but instead of thinking, ‘I know, I’ll just get everything I need at once to save the nice looking chap next to me the inconvenience of me rubbing my crotch or arse in his face every time I shuffle past him’, they persist in getting their drink, then putting it back, getting some overly loud food, then putting it back, getting their book often titled ‘How to be more of an annoying prick in public’ and, yes you guessed it, put it back.  As well as all this, they’ll no doubt have a cold, and rummage in their pockets every two minutes for a tissue, and to really top it off, they’ll leave taking they’re massive coat off until a few minutes into the journey and then drag it all over your face when they struggle to take it off in the confined space of the window seat!

2. The small time businessmen:  You know the type, the ones who take up all the table seats with their laptops, ipads, blackberries, documents, briefcases, newspapers (only broadsheet of course!) and other pieces of crap they think they need to help them make inconsequential decisions about shit that no one cares about.  What’s worse is when a few of them get together and carry out a business meeting directly opposite which only consists of drinking coffee and spouting nonsensical phrases at each other like, ‘conceptualize’ and using words like, ‘impact’ and, ‘flowchart’ as verbs.  If you are as big time as you think you are, shouldn’t you be in the office or in a nice car not on a shit train, at two in the afternoon, ruining my life.

1. The mental person:  This person is one of those are just on the border of crazytown and can quite easily pass of some degree of normalcy except for, it seems, when they step on to public transport.  You’ve got to start wondering when someone comes and sit next to you on a completely empty train, if everything is alright upstairs.  You can sense them on the platform, and secretly edge away until you’re at the other end of the train, but just wait, you’ll hear that carriage door open and that sinking feeling of despair kicks in as they bound over to you, like a big friendly puppy.  To these, the wearing of headphones doesn’t mean a thing, they’ll just keep talking until you take them out, there is no escape, you are cornered, carefully monitoring everything you say and agreeing vehemently with anything so that hopefully you might just escape being stabbed in eye while they laugh manically.  Then they throw down the ultimate gauntlet, by offering you their cider, at nine in the morning.  Say yes, and you have to drink a crazy person’s cider but say no and you get the taken aback pause, and you sit there, shitting yourself, while they work out whether to go mental or laugh.  Luckily these people often only stay on for a stop or two (normally getting off at Crewe) but for that ten or fifteen minutes, you actually fear for your life.  Next journey, you just pray you get the boredom of an uneventful, solitary train ride.

So that’s it, today’s list is complete, incidentally I started thinking about this on a train journey whilst writing on my laptop.  What have I become…

Got something to say about this list, leave a comment.