Why Zayn’s ‘PILLOWTALK’ is possibly the worst thing I have ever heard

Foolishly, I was willing to give the newly solo artist ‘Zayn’ (née Zayn Malik of preteen heart throbs One Direction) a chance. I had assumed that as he stated himself his own disdain of the ‘pop’ genre and his desperation to escape the ironclad fists of Simon Cowell, he was going to create something new, something different, something meaningful. My ideas were only amplified by the amateurish ‘Microsoft Paint’-esque style of his EP cover, suggesting perhaps that, in a fit of antiestablishment fury, Malik had fired his production team and done the ‘design work’ by hand. Continue reading “Why Zayn’s ‘PILLOWTALK’ is possibly the worst thing I have ever heard”

Dear Carrie, Tom and Gi

With Tom Fletcher being the frontman of McFly and, his sister, Carrie starring in the Les Miserables 8 shows a week, there wasn’t ever really a lot of time for a Fletcher sibling catch up. So hence came the plan to send weekly videos to each other via YouTube, updating them on the past week.


This weekly updating lasted a few months, until suddenly they just got too busy to even film and edit a video. Tom was having a baby and Carrie was practically living at the theatre. There was no time to sit and film a video.

But then came Gi…

Continue reading “Dear Carrie, Tom and Gi”

I have now been here for fourteen weeks and I think this running joke was a bad idea.

On the bus to college today, I noticed something truly miraculous. Petrol was going for under a pound a litre! Perhaps there’s been some huge upheaval in the Arab world. Nah, that’s hardly likely. The censor-general reckons it’s just a marketing ploy by the big supermarkets to get us to spend more in their shops.

Now, I don’t usually buy petrol myself – I can’t stand the taste and it’s terribly fattening. However, it’s been a jolly long time since I last saw prices like that, and I am nothing if not a nostalgia addict. Things were better in the past, even when they weren’t. In fact, especially when they weren’t. Roll on the nineteen-nineties.

And that’s reminded me of something that could almost be called amusing – on New Year’s Eve 1999, I saw one of my parents’ friends wearing – and I kid you not – a cardboard waistcoat, painted silver, with the number “2000” plastered all over it. This boggles my mind in three different ways. First of all, I can hardly bring myself to believe that such an absurd garment even existed at all. Secondly, it beggars belief that somebody would actually think such formalwear was smart and would impress one’s fellow party guests. Finally, why oh why oh why would my dear old mum and dad actually deign to fraternise with somebody who thought that way.

I shan’t reveal the offending party’s name, I’m not that vindictive, but he knows who he is and should feel rightly ashamed. Then again, he probably won’t ever read this. Nobody will. Not even you. If you are under the mistaken assumption that you are reading this article, then consult my Week 9 piece for existential guidance.

Now, how many of you figured out last week’s little brainteaser? I thought I should start out with a simple one, to ease you into the game. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to discover that the correct answer was, of course, fourteen and a half chickens per mile.

This week’s one might tax the old grey matter, mind: “Whale blubber in political confusion, except for a salty surprise.” Six across, eight letters.

I’ll give you  a month to work it out, whilst I go and do some Christmas, as is customary at this time of year.

Many happy first-class returns!

(Think about inserting unlucky thirteen joke here)

As I write the words that you are now reading (assuming, of course, that you are in fact reading them, you can never be too careful these days), I am about to sit the first exam of my course. The more astute amongst you may recall that the subject of this course is accounting. Or possibly accountancy. We haven’t learned the difference yet. Speaking more generally, I wonder if I’ll ever learn the difference. Ho hum. That’s probably why I took up accounting. Or the other one.

So, what else has been going on? The sun’s out, which is odd for December, and every street in every town is bedecked with fairy lights and holly, which isn’t.

Now, I’m no humbug, despite the reputation I’ve been carefully cultivating through this column. Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year, whatever you want to call it. Except “Winterval”. Please don’t call it that. The last thing we need is for political correctness to actually, literally steal Christmas. Then again, that’s not a half bad idea for a schmaltzy and entirely unmemorable holiday film.

…I couldn’t find a good photoshop of a faceless bureaucrat as the Grinch, so once again you’ll have to use your imaginations. Put down your phone and give it a go, you might just be surprised.

One last thing until next week, I’ve just decided to introduce a regular feature – each week I shall include a secret message in a mysterious code, the answer to be included next week. Here’s your first one: “25055 Yugoslavia headband swimming pool Clapham Junction 47258”. If you need help, here’s a clue word – “butter”. Good luck!

One other last thing, I’ve just realised that I’m not sitting on a swivel chair. How did I discover this, I hear myself wish you were asking? Because I tried to swivel around and did myself a mischief on the back-rest.

Next week I shall be singing a couple of octaves higher.

I have now been here for four weeks and this is what I think now.

The more astute amongst you may have picked up on the fact that my previous piece for this stalwart publication was not of an entirely serious nature. Well, there’s going to be no more of that. Succinct and accurate reporting of current events, that’s all you’re going to get out of me from now on.

The even more astute amongst you may have picked up on the fact that the previous paragraph was in fact a great big lie. I’m just writing whatever I feel like and nobody can stop me. Except of course for the fellow with the ponytail who recommended I put more pictures into my articles. To that end:

Recognise this? If not, you probably shouldn't be reading this.

Hurrah for the dear old school and yar-boo-sucks to Bridgwater College.

The even MORE more astute amongst you may have picked up on the fact that most things you read on the Internet are a great big lie anyway, so the previous paragraph was entirely redundant, as was the accompanying picture. Perhaps I should get on and say something halfway relevant.

If you happen to be extraordinarily astute, you may have noticed that the weather’s been rather naff, all things considered, every single Monday so far this academic year. I suspect that this may be a DASTARDLY PLOT by whichever other local college we’re supposed to be rivals with. If there isn’t one, then a rivalry should be established forthwith, and if at all possible, fifthwith and sixthwith as well. It needn’t be too vicious, just a sort of friendly unfriendlyness that only really comes out when there’s a football game or something.

Is there even a football pitch here? Answers on a postcard please. Preferably not one with a nude girl, those keep getting confiscated.

Still want me to fill these posts with relevant pictures? Thought not.

So Strode College then. As you may be aware if you can bear to tear your eyes away from your modern new-fangled mobile telephones for a moment, this is where you happen to be. It’s a college. In Street. Not Strode. Strode isn’t actually a place, or if it is, it isn’t here. There you go, learned something already. Never let it be said you aren’t getting your money’s worth for your tuition fees.

Don't leave your mouse here, you don't know where this picture's been.

Beware of imitations.

I’ve played the further education game before, and the higher education one too for that matter, but now because of various circumstances that aren’t any of your business, I find myself here on a part-time accountancy course. Which is fine. Uses up half a day. Well, technically, it uses up a whole day since the bus goes in the morning and then I’ve got to hang around until the afternoon for my actual classes. Anyway, what follows is what I think of this place now that I’m starting to find my feet.

I'm not going to pretend that this isn't a desperate gag, it is what it is.

If you are also struggling to find your feet, they are usually located towards the southern end of your legs.

To be honest, the first thing that struck me is that it’s a bit small. As in, low ceilings and suchlike. Makes the place seem more crowded than it probably actually is. Now that I think about it, that might be a clever ploy to trick the government into giving the college more funding than normal. Clever, board of governors, but not quite clever enough. You’ll have to get up pretty early in the afternoon to catch this one unawares, oh yes.

Come on, there are worse things to stare at whilst reading an article, aren't there?

I was told this article needed more pictures. Deal with it.

Walking around, it does seem like every third person has their hair dyed into some unnatural colour. Which is fine. Self-expression and all that, go mad. It’s just that I’ve never seen such a concentration of that sort of thing in one place before. And don’t give me anything about a privileged upbringing, if anything it was an isolated upbringing. Which is hardly a privilege at all. T’ain’t my fault I’ve got no idea of how the wider world operates.

Right, that’s enough rambling for now, I’ve got a class to go to. Tune in next week for the next thrilling instalment, if you can stand the suspense*.

*This might possibly be sarcasm. Maybe.

Jingle hell- Full of festive fear

Making my devoted pilgrimage to Dobbies Garden Centre, I was struck by a horror so great that I almost dropped my potted spider plant. There before me, glistening in their silver foil armour, stood an army of chocolate Santas. I turned around. A novelty reindeer head poked me in the ribs with a festive felt antler. A sprightly young shop assistant asked me if I was ok to which I said that I was not, because he was wearing a santa hat and it’s October.

I ask you- why is it that every year, Christmas is forced upon us earlier and earlier like a second helping of aubergine bake at someone else’s dinner party? Why must we spend a quarter of each year surrounded by magic snow and the faintly repulsive smell of cinnamon? When did October stop being about collecting conkers and watching the leaves turn crisp and colourful (or shrivel and die if you’re a pessimist)?

This year, Christmas has been let off its leash earlier than ever, and it’s gambling merrily through every shop and street, plastering everything in its path with badly drawn snowflakes. And it’s always such a disappointment. There is no ‘winter wonderland’, no robin conforming to the stereotype of perching on a snow-dusted spade handle. It drizzles with cold rain. People feel self-conscious in their oversized festive knitwear, Christmas dinner takes too long to cook and no one can face eating the Christmas cake anyway. It retreats back to the tin in the cupboard and remains there until July, in all its sultana-ry stodge. The Christingle service sees yet another child impaled by a cocktail-stick skewered satsuma.

And so, when Dobbies cranked up their ‘band’ of performing polar bear models and the sound of Slade began its 3 month tirade on my tolerance, I swivelled and walked straight out of the shop. On exit, I walked into a Christmas tree, which promptly vomited a pine needle puddle onto the pavement.


ironic stoneThis post is about Irony, It is unironic which in itself is quite ironic considering the title of the post. It is as if Iron man had gone to the Iron factory to fix his suit only to find out that his suit was not made of Iron at all. but in fact made of steel. Causing him either to be a liar or to be ironic(which would be ironic in itself as his suit is made of steel) Continue reading “Irony”

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