The joy of Marmite

In which I very much love it.

The Menu.

Ingredients: Pure savoury heaven (or hell)

Preparation: Knife into jar and spread

Cost: £2.00 for a big jar

Amuse-bouche

I’m going to put my position out there straight away. I love it. I understand that how you feel towards Marmite clouds many people’s judgement. For some just being able to smell it without retching is a sign that you are in league with the anti-Christ.

So when Marmite released their new advert I thought it was hilarious, I’ve know plenty who have semi-abandoned jars in their cupboards, I recently rediscovered the one I had just this weekend, but the ad seems to have created a tiny bit of controversy and I’m not sure who is to blame.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHjssdNNzP0]
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I’m a criminal

In which I am chased by an irate French policeman.

Despite my angelic looks I am really a bad boy…I’ve had my share of run ins with the law. I’m hardcore criminal scum. I’m bloody gangster mate. 2460hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh1.

Me as Jean Valjean

Like all members of the underworld fraternity I think I should share my stories of villainy. What you are about to read could shatter your faith in the inherent goodness of humanity.

Let’s go back to a quiet Sunday afternoon on the dangerous streets of inner Bedworth. A small amount of litter is blowing outside of Stubbs’ toy shop, highlighting the plight of a town centre that hasn’t been cleaned since Friday. Continue reading “I’m a criminal”

My boring life

In which the boring can be interesting.

If you believed the news then the world is full of change and we are all on the cusp of some crisis affecting the status quo of our lives. In reality I got up this morning, went to work, sat through a load of meetings, and caught the train to go home.Tonight I will face the hardest choice of the day when I have to decide where I will order a take away from.

I am one of 7 billion people on this planet, and if the news affects a million different people a day then it will have an impact on me once every 19 years. This is the reality of real life, for most of us for most of the time it is mundane. As a result we have an existence that is hidden in the middle pages, or a segment just before that quirky animal at the end of the hour. We are page 27 or on at 15.53.

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Heroes : Professor Brian Cox

In which the universe is huge.

The radiant cheekboned one is back soon on the BBC with a show in which Professor Brian Cox explains Why are we here? How did the universe make us? Are we alone? And what is our future? And why the answers to all these questions need to be explained from the top of a mountain.

This follows on from “Wonders of Life” where he tells us that biology is basically a subset of chemistry which is of course a branch of physics, “Wonders of the Universe” where everything is massive and brilliant and huge and physics, and “Wonders of the Solar System” where everything is slightly less massive and slightly less brilliant and slightly less huge but still physics.

I imagine the answer to many of those questions will be physics.

Professor Brian Cox, speaking at the Royal Ins...
Isn’t pointing brilliant?!

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Flight or fight

In which you wouldn’t like to see me angry.

When I fight I fight to win.

What is the point of finding yourself in an altercation that you are happy to lose? My number one aim is the jugular and I won’t be happy until I am standing victorious over my defeated foe. It’s why I’ve never one a game of Civilization with anything other than a conquest victory, I start out all peaceful and want to spread harmony and peace but then Gandhi nukes my capital and I will seek vengeance upon my attacker (and all those who were not involved because they stood by and watched).

It’s this desire to see my victims destroyed that I tend to stay away from conflict, my flight or fight response is not in perfect balance so I try to avoid getting myself in a position where I have to rely on my animal instincts. If I don’t have to make the choice then I don’t have to deal with the consequences. Who knows what happens when I get angry, I don’t like it when I get angry…

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Remembering my past

In which I try to remember my memories.

It seems like ages since I was last in New York, but it hasn’t been. It is just that I have a terrible visual memory.

I seem to live very much in the present, I don’t really consider the future that much and  my past recall is not very vivid. One of my most common refrains at work is “I’ve slept since I did that”, it is like when I go to bed I do a format on my brain which deletes all the thoughts collected that day.

My factual memory is fantastic, I was doing a quiz with Mrs G last night on famous ships and was able to remember the name of most of them. One of which was the Great Eastern that we both saw last year in Bristol, I can remember all the facts about that trip but I don’t remember being there.

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My own dream house

In which I design a dream place to live.

On a Sunday we decamp to Ma G’s for dinner, on the way back we drive through the outskirts of the suburbs and get to look at all the nice houses that look like they have been designed in The Sims. Full of columns and big windows with a painted down drive way, it gets me wishing that I could have a plot of land a large amount of money to create my own maison for the family.

I am no Courboisier, nor am I Sir Foster. My dalliance with self designed architecture is restricted to Lego (and the usual cube shaped abode) or the sprawling mass of giant and empty rooms you get on The Sims. I can’t imagine I would create anything truly outstanding in the field of design, and the host of Grand Designs would look forlornly on my homage to Christopher Wren. It would almost certainly look like something a footballer had drawn on a napkin.

So let me try and talk you through these plans. I’ve decided to go for the very restrained rectangular shape, this will be governed by the golden ratio for aesthetics and the shape of the screen making it easy to do so (fact: most building shapes are based upon the piece of paper available, this is why most are box shape and very few are round).

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When I grow up

In which I dream of creating dinosaurs and winning The Ashes.

When I was little(r) I played the “when I grow up” game. I knew what I wanted to be, it was going to be fun and exciting and ever so adventurous. I would change the world! I did not sit and think “You know what, I want to be a data analyst”. It just happened that what I have is an aptitude for crunching numbers and making spreadsheets. I was never going to be a NBA basketballer so I choose the world of Excel and datasets.

I was going to be doing any number of different occupations, I had the whole world in front of me and nothing to stop me. So what happened? Continue reading “When I grow up”

Late Review : Snow White

In which Snow White is really just the evil step-daughter.

Poor, innocent Snow White. The fairest (source: magic mirror) of all princesses yet cruelly hounded until saved by her prince. How could I have issues with her? Quite easily it seems, because the fairy tale shows ‘princesses’ are naive and stupid, jealous and cruel.

Oh, she looks cute but there is a cold heart under that dress
Before the main event it’s probably best to tackle the villain of the piece “The Wicked Queen”. The Wicked Queen is a representation of the princess’ greatest fears, that there is someone in some physical way better than you (aka fairness). A constant need of reassurance not from another person, but from a mirror.

Wicked step mother in Snow white looking in the magic mirror

“Yes, you are pretty and oh so fair” cries back a reflective piece of glass. The reflection you see is just their own self-image patting them on the back saying “well done you, you hit the genetic jackpot and came out with good looks”. And this goes on until that one day they feel that little niggle in the back of the mind that perhaps suggests there is someone ‘better’.

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The meaning of cricket

In which I try to explain why five days of slow sport is the greatest game ever.

I’ve done a good job of teaching Mrs G the rules and laws of cricket, she can tell me what a maiden is and the difference between the main forms of the game are. She’s also getting the hang of the LBW law (the cricketing litmus test – if you understand leg before you had a decent grasp of the game, a bit like the offside rule in football).

She is also slowly grasping the naming of the fielding positions (like what a “silly mid-off” is and how it differs from “third man”). This is pretty impressive considering that she comes from the relative cricketing backwater of New York. Where she struggles is not in the application of the game, but the matches themselves. Like many she doesn’t get the meaning of cricket.

No other sport I know has generated an idiom like “it’s just not cricket”, we don’t say “that’s just like football” or “going round like a Formula 1 car”. There is something about the sport that makes it special, even the laws of the game have a specific section about the “spirit” of the game. Do the rules of baseball, basketball or rugby look to codify the behaviour of the players in such a way? It’s not because cricketers are constantly treating the game with disdain but more because the way it is played is perhaps more important than the participation.

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