Avatar The Pernickety Dickhead turns a new leaf

Past Chris was demonstrably a nightmare: see his previous exploits, part 1 and part 2. But he wasn’t all bad. By 2007, there were emerging signs that he might have started to mend his pernickety ways.

On 26 July that year, Past Chris was disappointed to find a foreign object in a tin of custard, but – not being particularly annoyed about it, and his mood being positively influenced by exposure to custard – wanted only to help prevent any future customer from suffering the same fate. With that in mind he wrote what amounts to a downright friendly letter to Ambrosia, manufacturers of custard.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to express my disappointment in finding something unexpected in my custard.

I was nearing the end of a can of Ambrosia custard – in fact, I should confess, I had given up trying to find something to pour it on and I was just finishing the last quarter on its own straight from the tin – when my spoon emerged with a small brown object visible as part of its cargo.

It looks to me like a flake of brown paint, though I haven’t investigated it in any great detail. I have looked at where the can was kept, before and after opening, and I can only conclude it was already in there before I opened it. In any case, I have taped it to some card and included it here so that you might be able to work out where it came from and stop something similar landing in somebody else’s dessert.

I have not included the can itself, but the date stamp on the lid reads “04/2009 18:30 7 107 D”. It is the full-fat, maximum enjoyment variety.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Marshall

For his troubles, Past Chris received a £5 voucher to spend on more custard. It pays to be nice. Past Chris was a changed man, pernickety no more.

Avatar Derbyshire review

Until this summer I had not spent much of my life in Derbyshire. In fact, I will list for you the times I have spent in Derbyshire, if you like:

  • Passing through on the M1 between junctions 24 and 30, multiple times
  • Going to Alton Towers, three times
  • Visiting some friends for a weekend in 2009, though they actually lived in Staffordshire, but we did visit Derbyshire for a visit to a park

I think that’s it. Anyway, I went back last week for a longer stay and I now have a much better idea of what Derbyshire is like. I am, therefore, ready to provide my review of this county.

Activities

In Derbyshire I was able to go in three caves, ride one cable car, climb one big hill and explore four pleasant towns of various sizes. I also looked at approximately five hours of scenery while travelling around.

I give Derbyshire three stars for activities.

***

Accommodation

I stayed in a nice flat with a view out of the front window. It had a kitchen with running water and electric lighting in all rooms. The bathroom had an indoor toilet and those fancy “waterfall” taps that were fashionable about ten years ago. If this is typical of all dwellings in Derbyshire then it is a very modern county.

I give Derbyshire four stars for accommodation.

****

Food and drink

I ate an average of three meals per day while in Derbyshire, with at least one meal in a pub every day. With the exception of breakfast, I was able to have chips with every meal, and did so.

I give Derbyshire five stars for food.

*****

Conclusion

Derbyshire has scored a total of twelve stars. Until someone rates another one, it is the only county that has any stars at all, which makes it objectively the best.

Avatar Marshall Box

I’ve been working where I work for a long time. Years. Maybe hundreds of years. I can’t remember.

Anyway, the delightful thing about working here is that I’m still discovering new things. The other day, for example, I went into a room I’m sure I’ve visited countless times before, but I noticed something new. Something important.

I found my box.

Avatar A Question of Geography – how French is Chris?

When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar. This riddle has nothing to do with today’s topic but I wanted to open with something a little different.

Chris moved down South ages ago, decades even. People cannot place exactly when he disappeared to be a Big Man in a Big Pond yet there is irrefutable evidence that it did happen because he’s not here anymore. When faced with the facts, everything becomes facts. He then decided to move even further South, something that nobody expected was possible. In fact he moved so far South that there are now reports that he’s no longer in this country. So exactly how French is Chris?

We all know that Chris can speak the language and has been to France several times in his life. On more than one occasion I have witnessed him holding an onion, not necessarily a string of onions around his neck but still it’s a layer of proof. Even though he was playing a character there is a section of ‘Newsboost’ where he dons a beret and speaks in a French account (whilst holding a pipe, probably a French pipe) gesturing wildly with his hands between shots. An eye witness has confirmed that this was entirely Chris’ idea during the planning stages of the production.

All this is pointing to the fact that prior to his move, Chris was already French or in the process of turning into French. The move to Bordon (which sounds suspiciously similar to Bordeaux) merely accelerated this, increasing his love for cheese and wine.

You may argue that this is no longer a case of geography and is more to do with psychology; the psychological changes that Chris is undertaking should be the topic of this post. I would argue back (in a louder voice, preferably looking at you with one stern eye) that there was the possibility of Chris returning to normal had he remained in his hole in London. The Frenchness of a person is immediately halted when placed around the most English of places and we all know how English London is. All that Cockney was keeping it at bay and would have continued to do so.

Whatever you choose to believe, the latest statistics from scientists have suggested that a whopping 79% of Chris is French and we all know that once you cross that risky 70% mark there is no going back. You may as well hop on a bicycle and precariously carry some baguettes down a cobbled street whilst mumbling under your breath. We may no longer have the same Chris as we once did so we can only make do with the one we have now. Remember the Plymouth lady who suffered a stroke and afterwards could only speak in Chinese? It’s nothing like that.

Avatar The kitchen of the future

We’re getting a new kitchen. This is an exciting time for us, and also for everyone we know, so please rest assured that we will be sharing stories and pictures of this thrilling adventure at every opportunity.

Having decided to buy our kitchen from one of the big kitchening retailers, we had the room measured up and then attended a design appointment where all the possibilities for filling a space with plywood cupboard units were explored in full. We compared paint samples, touched various worktop textures and considered the merits of many differnet taps. Finally, when our choices had been entered into the supercomputer, we held hands and watched as our brand new kitchen was rendered in Hollywood-style 3D graphics before our very eyes. The kitchenologist even printed out a picture of it so we could take it home and gaze on it in our own time.

Our present kitchen, as you may recall, has pale yellow doors and a wooden worktop, arranged in a U-shape around the walls and sticking out on a peninsula. Our new kitchen, which is going to be totally different and better in every regard, will have creamy off-white doors and a natural stone-coloured quartz worktop, arranged in a U-shape around the walls and sticking out on a peninsula.

While the new kitchen will be far better built than the old one, incorporating improvements such as the upper cupboards not leaning precariously off the walls and the worktops not soaking up colourful patches of everything we’ve ever placed on them, the clever 3D render is not that detailed.

When we got home with our print-out, we excitedly stood in the dining room and held it up at the appropriate angle in front of the old kitchen. It appeared for all the world to be a picture of our existing kitchen.

We have put the picture away.

Avatar Gull guile

Last week I was shocked to discover a seagull shopping for carpets

The agony of choice…

I watched for a while but eventually had to return to work. By the time I left he still hadn’t decided which shade of grey he wanted. Who knows how long he was stood there.

Avatar Superhero sale

Good afternoon, sir. You must be here for our big sale. Yes, it’s been running for the last month or so and it has been very successful especially considering the downward turn in brick and mortar shop sales. I’ve barely had a moment’s rest these last few weeks, the staff have been rushed off their feet.

I feel as though I must admit that the majority of the shall we say more desirable super powers have already sold out. If you were hoping for the top tier stuff then you should have come on Black Friday. I still think we have a plethora of decent enough skills that you can wow your family, friends and work colleagues with should the case may be. Let me check out the back and I’ll be back in a moment.

Jeremy has picked out the three best of what is left for you, sir. There’s something for everyone. Let me see…

Flaming Onion Man

Feel the rage of a thousand suns. Feel the heat of a million barbecues. With this power you can generate onions from your hands, set them on fire and throw them at least six feet into the distance. Villains with quiver in fear at the sheer ferocity of the burning vegetables you can produce. They won’t know what hit them. They literally won’t know what hit them, you’ll throw them so fast. You’ll be pitching flaming onions as though they’re going out of fashion because, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known a flaming onion to not be the hottest topic on the menu.

Here’s a Pen Man

Isn’t it annoying when you’re trying to look for something to write with and there’s nothing within reach? Here’s a Pen Man has two pockets in his trousers that will produce an infinite amount of pens. They’ll never run out. They will also never bleed from the temperature being too warm and will work upside-down in water in space for up to 500 feet. You will be everyone’s best friend in the bank, post office or whatever other environment has an obtuse lust for the use of pens.

Smell Time Man

What’s that smell? Can you smell it? No, right now you can’t because you don’t have the newest thing in town; the ability to smell time. Haven’t you always wondered what the past smelt of? Now you don’t need to wonder because for every photo and ye olde time show reel of people from the “before you” times you will be able to take in the smells of that era. Even better, you can smell time before it’s happened. You’ll always know when tomorrow is coming and when the day is coming to an end. The alluring scent of a new hour. It will all be at your fingertips or nostrils or something like that.

Avatar Jousting update

Yesterday we went to an actual castle to watch an actual jousting tournament. Not a display for tourists where everything is choreographed, but actual real jousting, with proper spears, and people in real armour competing for actual prizes.

Norway were the winners. I will not be taking questions. Thank you.