Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This is England

Typical English signage

This is England

Designer shopping villages are peculiar places, rows of strange, expensive shops, coffee bars ready to refuel the exhausted shoppers and strangely huge amounts of non-English speaking clients. Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, Eastern European and from almost everywhere else. Each group of wandering shoppers chatting happily in their mother tongue and burdened down with numerous huge designer bags containing their afternoon’s worth of purchases. So where are the locals, at this village near Oxford there were none, apart from me and I’m err…not local.

World Cup Fever Pitch

Meanwhile English supermarkets are gearing up for the World Cup bonanza. Cheap nationalistic and jingoistic tat abounds; flags, plastic banners, collection cards and mountains of beer boxes are all on offer and no doubt sales will rocket over the coming weeks. By July they’ll be landfill. Events like the World Cup seem to produce some kind of strange mass national masturbation or self abuse effect, building hope, excitement, pleasure, confusion and then if it all goes the way we’d expect, disgust and that horrid empty feeling. Sometimes I’m glad we’re not there to experience that peculiar misery.

Handy Hints # Scribbling on your head at meetings

Every so often meetings drag and you may absentmindedly play with your Biro. If you do, never do it with the action end against your temple. If you do you may find that you’ve given yourself an abstract tattoo all over your face, not the best way to enhance your gravitas or credibility. So be warned, do not fiddle with loaded pens or any other permanent writing implement.

The sun goes down on a village where no one lives but everyone shops.

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