Sunday, January 27, 2008

Damn you National Trust!!!

This week I almost sent off some copy with the words reliable and efficient spelt incorrectly. But only almost…

I haven’t written* about my visit to Waddesdon Manor yet. It was a cold but bright day in December and we had travelled many miles to the Manor, home of the Rothschild family, out towards Bicester – home of Oxfam.

I am not a National Trust member, so I had to pay to get into the grounds. I was prepared for this. I paid my £6 and we were advised that there was an hour wait to see inside the manor, founded by Baron Ferdinand De Rothschild to display his collection of art.

So we enter the grounds, looks nice. Most of the sculptures and statues are very striking in their stunning tarpaulin wraps. But one of the things that really struck me about the grounds, one of the things that really jumped out at me, was how many great places there were to eat.

A plethora of eight different restaurant and caf├ęs existed in the grounds, a venue to cater for all of my dining needs. There were some interesting features on the grounds map but they were in much smaller print.

We decide to book entry to the grounds as early as possible. Unfortunately I’m not a trust member – entry will be another £8 please. Now that they’ve got me they’re going to fleece me for every £ I’ve got. Was there any warning of this on the way in? Of course not. Their card machine is broken too, so if I didn’t have the money I would just have to go home. Not that seeing the beautiful grounds in all its tarpaulin weather-protected glory wouldn’t have been enough.

Admittedly the Manor is beautiful, very beautiful in fact. It’s just that you only see about 20% of it. We see it all in under 40 minutes and there’s no re-entry. Still, I can always comfort buy myself something in the gift shop, by far the biggest room we’ve seen so far. And I could always enjoy one of their many, many restaurants.

So in summation, Waddesdon Manor is a rip off and the National Trust are a bunch of c***s. Don’t go unless you’re a member, and even then, only if you really don’t have much else to do.


Monday, January 14, 2008

The Curse Continues...

The year I began working at Alton Towers was the year of the first petrol strikes, heavy rural flooding and the foot and mouth crisis, during which a number of animals at the Towers farm were rather callously slaughtered and small protests were held outside the gates. Profits fell…

The year I started working at WHSmith was the year they experienced a massive slump in profits and after Christmas 2002, had to significantly rethink their business strategy and streamline the company.

Then of course there was the Oxfam Books & Music store which I helped to open and then managed, which closed with massive loses 18 months later (6 months after I left mind, cutting my wage from the budget didn’t seem to help).

And now there’s Marks & Spencer.

How was it put in The Metro? “This isn’t just any drop in profits; this is an M&S drop in profits”.

I’ve doomed them all…

Shelley Von Strunckel Pearl of Wisdom of the Week: “Ever since Tuesday’s new moon, you’ve been trying to piece together certain perplexing insights. Now ironically, difficulties with others are helping you to clarify their meaning to you. Understanding will take patience. Continue to reflect, though, and gradually the puzzle pieces will come together.”

Changed my f**king life I can tell you.

, have a look at what I write for a living.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I’ve been sick for about three weeks now, and am finally virtually back to normal. I haven’t taken any sick days because, as part of my intricate contract (I work for Marks & Spencers, but I actually work for someone else), I only get statutory sick pay. So if I phone in sick and I automatically lose £90!

What I should’ve done is buy Vicks Cold Protection. It’s proven to prevent people from catching a cold. 77% of people tested said they didn’t catch a cold.

A whole 77%, that’s what? Three quarters of people almost. So if you buy said formula, you’ve still got a 1 in 4 chance of actually becoming ill.

And of course, that’s the only stable statistic in this equation. Just because you haven’t developed the symptoms of a cold doesn’t mean that it’s protected you from catching one. You might just have been fortunate and not been exposed, not everybody catches every virus or cold that does the rounds do they?

If only I’d taken Vick’s special brand of Mickey Mouse placebo, then maybe, just maybe, I might have slightly reduced my chances of becoming ill.


I bet it’s not cheap stuff either.