User avatar Smidge on Science: Cars

In this confusing and ever-changing world, we can all welcome a bit of guidance; an expert voice who can make things clear and brush away our doubts. Nowhere is the need for that clarity and wisdom more necessary than in the realm of science.

Thankfully, Smidge Manly is here and, over four episodes, he’s going to explain all there is to know about the “big four” scientific disciplines: time, wind, rain, and cars.

Obviously, he’s going to start with cars.

The next episode will arrive in precisely seventeen days, by order of Kev.

User avatar Like the wind

Today one of my colleagues was looking for me. I could tell because there was a voice from the corridor that said “where’s Chris?”. At that particular moment Chris was sitting on a chair in the office where he usually sits, so this was not a mystery that would take long to solve.

A moment later the owner of the voice came through the door and said “how did you get there? You weren’t here a minute ago”. This was true. A minute ago I had been in the toilet having a little wee. But discretion is the mark of a gentleman, so I chose not to mention it.

My colleague contemplated my mysterious and unexplained arrival, and declared that I was like the wind, moving about silently and without being seen. That is not a comparison that has ever been made before, and if I were to dispute it I’d say that all I’d done was call in to the bathroom while moving from one room to another, and it was just chance that my colleague had been trying to find me at the moment when I was not in one place or the other. But I chose not to dispute it because I like this idea.

Yes. I am like the wind.

User avatar What is a Mandolin?

A wise person once asked, “Where is my mind?” I often find myself coming back to this question as a reference point during the day because I know where my mind is physically, however there are times when certain acts of stupidity make me question whether it is really there at all.

You must remember to question everything. Nothing is for certain anymore. If you’d have told me fifteen years ago that I would have a tiny device in my pocket that could download cute videos of cats walking around like human beings at any time during the day I would have laughed right in your face. YOUR. FACE.

Do you know what a mandolin is? If you think it’s a stringed instrument in the lute family then you’d be so wrong I would have to stand on a precipice and tell the world. This is actually what a mandolin is:

It is a small, thin chocolate bar from across the sea, from a world where other chocolate bars clearly don’t exist. Quite what music shops have been selling all these years is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they have all been misspelling it all these years and those instruments of 6, 8 and 12 strings are, in fact, mendolins or mandolines, or possibly something else. If the decision were up to me, I believe a mandoloin would be an excellent name.

Faced with the possibility that all those times I have been getting mandolins all wrong, I have therefore proposed two outcomes to this predicament:

  1. I will write, perform and record a song using the aforementioned chocolate mandolin;
  2. I will eat one of these other “mandolins” you find in music stores.

It is the only way to find balance and harmony between these two vastly different things with the same name. If I am only half successful then the whole thing will be a total loss. If I can achieve both then the sun will come out and there will be a tomorrow to look forward to.

Wish me luck.

User avatar It’s your choice

Yes! It’s time for dessert. What do you want? Ice cream, of course.

But what kind? You’ve been a really good boy and you can have three scoops. Any flavour you like. What will you choose?

User avatar Not Very Good – Pets

Shhhhh! Be very quiet. No, I’m not hunting rabbits, but if you’re not careful then you may disturb this very rare animal I happened upon not so long ago:

Snuggled away in its carry case, away from prying eyes, the small collection of empty beer cans can be startled by even the tiniest of noises. You must approach with caution and with your hands behind your back as any attempt to circumvent these instructions will see them running away into the distance.

That is if this was a real thing. If the owner of this carry case is convinced that this is an animal of some kind then they are doing pets all wrong. A set of empty beer cans will not come when you call them. You cannot put them on a lead and walk them round the streets. There is nothing to boast about and no amount of grooming will turn them into a pet worthy of a competition winner.

You can pet them and you can instill a certain amount of love, however in order to get the best of them you must open up their heads and drink the insides. If you tried this with a goldfish or a hamster you would have the RSPCA breathing down your neck faster than you can say, ” official court summons” or possibly “Jimmy Tarbuck”.

This kind of relationship will only end in confusion, heartache and a trip to your corner shop to replenish your fridge with more “pets”. If I were you, and quite frankly I am relieved I am not, I would settle for a potato with a face drawn on it: strong, loyal and great with steak.

Next time… Animals!

User avatar Big Frank’s Global Domination – Computers

It seems as though Big Frank has entered a bit of an identity crisis as we smoothly slide into the month of May (the month of May). Not only has he relocated abroad to Denmark but he’s also started to refer to himself as Big Little Frank, which completely changes the dynamic of EVERYTHING.

It is a rule that once you attach the ‘Big’ moniker to your name, once you have reached a certain age, there is no going back. No variation will be allowed and, in some cases, the ‘Big’ has been stripped from those who have tried to circumvent this tradition that has been carried on for centuries. Needless to say, the ‘Council of Big’ will be contacting Big Frank shortly to discuss all of this.

In the meantime let us look upon his new business adventure regardless.

Big Little Frank are based in Copenhagen and build powerful Mac Pro 5.1 systems for professionals within film and video-editing, colour grading, photography, 3D and motion graphics, architecture, music production, graphic design, software development and more.

They design a different Mac Pro for every single customer, based on an analysis of their specific workflow, the programs they use, and tailored on their needs. That, I think, is very nice.

Their undying admiration and affection for “the best Mac that Apple ever built”, the Mac Pro 5.1, knows no bounds and they use the very best, modern and powerful components available, for a performance unseen before in the Mac ecosystem. And the results are incredible.

There is a lot going on there, far too much for some like me to consider. Luckily though I feel that the month of May (the month of May) will allow me enough time to suck in all of this information and spew it out at the right moment. I feel like I should also point out that this month it is the month of Month, the monthiest month that ever was due to TWO Bank Holidays (and one world cup) that we can all enjoy. Please feel free to enjoy the month of Month whichever way you see fit.

User avatar Four Word Reviews: Christmas with Mahalia

It’s been the hottest April since records began, or something, with temperatures up to 28°C here in the tropical south last week. The flowers are out in force, bees are buzzing around and the sky is a clear, vivid blue. With all that in mind, then, I am unable to explain why this might be a good time to review Christmas with Mahalia, a 1968 album featuring ten gospel versions of Christmas songs with rich orchestral and choral accompaniment. But evidently it is a good time, because here we are.

Continue reading Four Word Reviews: Christmas with Mahalia

User avatar New: Pouring Beans Fragrances

Look at you. You smell. It’s true – I can smell you from here. What you need is a powerful cosmetic fragrance that will mask your horrendous body odour and the presence of three-day-old kedgeree stuck in your teeth.

Luckily, Pouring Beans has just launched its new line of unisex fragrances. To celebrate launch day, you can get 10% of any of our new toiletries when you order online using the offer code “I REEK”.

Beans No. 5

The warm, homely aroma of uncooked baked beans straight from the tin is unmistakeable in Beans No. 5, with a musky hint of black pepper and overtones of jasmine. It’s the ideal date night fragrance to impress a loved one, a loved-one-to-be or a high-class escort. This stylish eau de toilette is presented in an etched glass bottle in the shape of an open tin of beans. £79.99 (50ml).

Eau de Pouring Body Mist

Make Eau de Pouring Body Mist part of your morning bathroom routine and enjoy its light, fresh scent throughout the day. The dark, sour smell rising from the Character Hatch™ on a hot day is made brighter and sweeter with the musk of wild zorses and the refreshing zing of lemons. £24.99 (150ml) or £49.99 (gift pack: 100ml, presentation box, zorse-striped flannel).


Share your bean-based bouquet with your loved one by wearing these delightful matching fragrances for him and for her. Bold, yet playful, both are based on the unmistakable and unforgettable smell of wet plaster and gloss paint from Kev’s house. Haricots Homme carries the bold, earthy overtones of Gary Wilmot’s fading career, whoever he is, while Haricots Femme is lighter, with just a hint of the matted fur lining Flat Kitty’s basket. £39.99 each (75ml) or £54.99 for both.

Our talented Smellologists are now working on a new, secret celebrity fragrance endorsed by Smidge Manly.