bye bye billi

Is it just me or is this Big Brother just jam packed full of unlikable characters? I may be wrong (but doubt it) but Billi’s got to be on the way out tonight. With a name spelt like that he deserves it. I’m not a big fan of the BB series usually – it long ago stopped being an interesting social experiment and has just become a vehicle for wannabee 5 minutes of famers and this bunch are particularly unattractive. I watched the last Celebrity BB because anything with 2.5 members of the Goody family in it, had to be a train crash waiting to happen. And did it. But I was determined not to watch this series, only I’ve been strangely drawn to it. I think it’s Charley…..

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do we really really want a spice girl reunion?

No of course not. The world’s moved on and the Spice Girl’s have at least 7 kids between them and only one husband. They should be heading for the Trisha Goddard show rather than a world tour but that’s life under a Brown Government I guess. Is it just me or is this simply a cynical excuse to try and make a lot of money from re-hashing the back-catalogue? Everyone’s seen what a brilliant job Take That have done in re-forming. But at least those guys wrote some decent new material and brought out a new album to coincide with their tour. The timing was perfect too, exploiting the dramatic downturn in Robbie Williams’ own fortunes. Oh how Gary and the other lads must have enjoyed that having been snubbed by RW when their initial reunion was captured on film for a TV documentary. But the Spice Girls aren’t bothering – it’s just another rehashed ‘hits’ album backed by a tour. Grim….

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blair: scare, care, ‘mare or fair?

Is it just me or does anybody out there think Tony Blair did ok in his time as Prime Minister? I know Iraq is going to be remembered as his legacy and it’s a military and political cancer for him. But consider this – he went in to eradicate an evil influence in the region. His justification was trumped up and the legitimacy was questionable and the exit plan hadn’t been worked out. But it was a brilliantly executed tactical military exercise. They should have gotten out after Saddam had been captured but that’s hindsight for you. He’d been strapped to the Bush thinking on the war which was a mistake – a huge one – but does that make him useless as a PM?

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so adieu thierry

Well it’s finally happened; Thierry Henry’s buggered off to Barcelona at long last. I heard a lot of Arsenal fans commenting on the radio yesterday about how surprising, even shocking the news was – but surely this was a move destined to happen. For one thing it’s been a courtship resurrected every summer for the last 5 years. I think most people regarded that as just a tactic to earn TH a regular pay rise. But by his own standards he had such a shocking last season. He seemed disaffected by the move to the Emirates, the captaincy seemed to rest heavily on his shoulders (Silva looked far more comfortable in the role), his team mates appeared almost as intimidated by him as his opponents, his injuries became more of an issue as his relationship with Wenger broke down, David Dein’s departure unsettled him more than it ought to have, he started commenting on the lack of ambition being shown by Arsenal in the transfer market, and he developed a sulk which manifested itself in petulant performances on the pitch. He’s such a gifted player – one of the best the Premiership has seen but I’m sure Wenger knew that last season was a tipping point and now was the time to cash in on a player past his best, just like Vierra before him. It’s smart business by Wenger as usual.

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I’ve mentioned earlier about leaving BT. Paul S who worked with me and is just the best guy I know in the company, organised a great do at the top of the BT Tower for my 30th anniversary. It was a ‘This is Your Life’ theme and dozens of the people I’d worked with over that time were there. They’d even organised a live video-link up with my first boss B at Cellnet who now lives in Annapolis USA and who is married to my last boss in BT, S, before joining his team. It was all very poignant but it was also when I realised that it was time to show some ambition and move on. I’m nothing if not impetuous. It took a little while to agree my leaving arrangements, thanks largely to S my last boss in BT. She was brilliant. So to the leaving do – Paul S a big influence again. This time it was just my closest colleagues and business contacts but still a great, great do. I made an embarrassing speech about a former boss which I hope wasn’t recorded and celebrated with lots of wine. Lots. Next morning I woke up to find a huge selection of cool leaving presents but the most intriguing was a pair of best tickets to the Opera at Verona, date at our convenience. It seemed a long way from working vacations on the ovens at Mothers Pride bakery in Blackpool. Continue reading

the weetabix food company

Is it just me or is weird naming strategy also affecting the cereal business? I’ve seen the latest advert for the new cereal from the company and they’ve called it ‘Oatibix’. Not Oatabix to make it sound like part of the ‘Weetabix’ family but Oatibix like Oateeebix. Why? I dunno – to make it sound different perhaps? But Oat and Wheat are already different enough from a first sound perspective and the second sound similarity of the ‘t’ only makes me think the ‘a’ suffix should have been continued. Maybe they think Oaty is a better descriptor – fine but why didn’t you also think that about Wheaty? Bizarre and inconsistent unless their naming agency picks this up and wants to explain. Does anybody else worry about this kind of thing or am I just a sad cereal fancier?


penalty shoot outs – arghhh!

Well that’s it. I can’t stand another penalty shoot out involving an England team. I listenned to the under 21 Euro Champs semi-final in the car on the way home from Brighton. The match itself wasn’t up to much but the drama of the penalties was just sensational on the radio. What must it have been like on TV? Carol had gone into Tesco’s to do some shopping for dinner when the penalties started. She literally got back in the car just as the final penalty had been scored. I just said England have just lost 12-13 on pens in a semi-final. She must have seen that look on my face, as if I’d just awoken from a recurring nightmare, and said ‘not again babe’. Oh yes it had happened again; England going out of the latter stages of a major tournament on bloody, bloody, sodding penalties.

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in-car entertainment (2):3rd name postscript

I’ve had lots of interest in the 3rd name, naming strategy for cars covered in i-c e 1. Everybody’s calling , txting, e-mailing with increasingly great examples. Paul S texted in with the Audi A6 Vindis. My ace son-in law S saw a – – Ripcurl! And followed it up with a spot of home-made branding which saw an Astra LX or something deflowered and re-christenned as an Astra …Man United, with consistent lettering on the rear quarters. Two things are painful here; a) that someone would go to the trouble of removing the car’s original back side livery and replace it with tailored branding and b) that someone would think that an Astra is redolent of the mighty Man U. I mean if it had been an Aston Martin Vantage I could understand it – great English marque and a world leader, powerful attack with subtle restraint, traditional values yet modern thinking, devoted followers and surprisingly significant US ownership influence etc etc. That would be a true simile but a frigging Vauxhall Astra? Do me a favour. That’s a car for Luton Town FC. What would be your team/car comparisons?

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