Friday, December 26, 2008

"I'd just like to thank my cleaner..."


There we are then.* That was 2008. Innit.

And so, before I quit these shores** for my hollibobs, it's time to look back and reflect on the twelvemonth just gone in the blogosphere. The highs. The lows. The spelling errors.

And there's no reason not to do that with a posh dress and champagne.

I don't mean literally in champagne, of course. There is not better thing to do with bubbly stuff other than drink it. And from a glass. Drinking it from someone's shoe is gross. Oh, it's all fun and laughter to start with, but then there are verucas and athlete's foot...

Likewise, I'm not in a dress. I'm not going to tell you what I'm wearing. It's really not that sort of blog.

And obviously I couldn't afford Stephen Fry slash Jonathan Ross slash Angus Deayton to compere, so you is left with me.

So. Let's all just pretend we're at BAFTA or somewhere, glass in hand, nibbles circulating in a rotary fashion, and here we go...

(Paps flash! Cars pull up! Red carpets are walked over! Laptops are opened!)


(or, The 2008 BBA's. I've not found sponsorship yet.)

Blog most likely to have its own theme tune - Betty's Utility Room
Special mention has to go to Betty for her nomination in the category of Keeping Upper-Middle Class Twits Firmly In Check. The judges also felt BUR deserved a special commendation for the creative use of pictures. "WELL DONE DEAR!" is the kind of thing we really would not be allowed to get away with.

The 'Andrew's Marred' Best Political Commentator Award - As ever a much-contested category, but our special panel of crack judges (insert your own here, matron) felt this really had to go to the sensitive and democratic musings at Kaliyuga Kronicles.
Rarely has one slightly deranged man shown such dedication to the cause of political balance, while still also keeping up on cultural shenanigans in late night posts. Like napalm, an acquired taste, but with devastating results.

Blogger Who Was Lost But Now We've Found - Well it's JulaBerry. Because she went for a bit. Then she came back. Then she was on Facebook. And she reminds me to floss my teeth. A blogger of many talents. AND she was a CHAMPION of the Great 2008 Adopt-A-Word thingy. Hooray! Like a whirling, skirring thing she storms up the 'sphere with wit and humour and large amounts of lovely booze. Yay!

Blog most likely to contain the word 'dentist' - (Contains Mild Peril). While the 'one award per blog' rule alas means that Our Geoff - one of the great domestic and cultural commentators of our time - once AGAIN misses out in the 'Best Use Of Parenthesis' We Have Ever Seen' category, we are sure it is only a matter of time before this blog diversifies into other mediums. We can only wait with baited (but nice smelling) breath for the one-off special 'dental years' collection in book form; cruelly entitled 'The Cavity'. Dame rumour also reaches us with word that this will be hotly followed by a a spin-off series literally blowing the lid on UK office life...

Blog whose name I most like typing in Google - Quinquireme.
Go on. Do it now. Do it. Just type in 'quinquireme' in your Google box. Doesn't it feel good? Doesn't it feel right? Doesn't it make you feel that the internet just got a bit more orderly and professional? Just for a moment? Well then. That's what our team of judges felt too. And this award is all the more meaningful in the year that saw this blog falter briefly while the writer procreated. But standards were maintained and it is still the place you're least likely to find typo or grammer error, even in Pictish. Actually, especially in Pictish. Well they needed tidying up anyway..

Best new blog I've tripped across that still feels shiny and lovely and newwwwww - Really Quite Useful.
The judges deliberated long and and hard (ie, over more than one biscuit) about this one. Eventually they felt that the thing about this one is actually the startling honestly found in a few funny lines. For this blog is genuinely about this blogger's life and we applaud this...
(applause please).

The "We Are Most Concerned" Endangered Blog - The glorious Stately Moans. Doris - thy blogosphere needs you. And if there was any justice in the world, you would be being sponsored by your employers. Le Sigh.

Blog with the best profile picture and accompanying explanation of all time - Why, of course, it's RealDoc. This blogger has legendarily also mastered making people hoot with laughter without even getting to the blog posts, which is damn clever.

Blogger Most Lifting The Lid On Life At The CREATIVE EDGE - James And The Blue Cat. Although he's not really real, you know. That cat is really controlling him from behind the scenes. It doesn't want the other cats to know it has a writing career. The human is just his pen human...

Best use of anger award - Dear and delightful The Deleted Scenes. Because I firmly believe anger genuinely IS funny, and all people cursed by Travelodge deserve awards for survival. Plus, the blog is good too. Judges brought to our attention the improbably daring use of banner art.

So all that is left for me to do is offer deep and warm thanks to all the people above and also not above who have made me chuckle, exclaim out loud or suffer blog-envy this year. You have enlightened my life online this year - so bloody Cheers!! Here's to further interesting adventures on the intermawebs in 2009! (Down with the dreaded ennui!)

I don't usually do resolutions, as it always starts the year with failure, but instead of 'I won'ts', in 2009 BOZ WILL:

...use more pictures
...finally learn how to make the text go tiny wee and crossed out because that makes me laugh
...write better

See you in a few weeks!

* One of the best revelations of 2008 was a mate's dad pointing out that this was an acronym.
** Peeeeeeenis...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Well then.

The presents are bought, sellotape has been wrestled with, the booze is purchased, the batteries have been remembered, the tree is up and still alive, and Poems on the Underground is still providing some festive spirit for furtive last-minute shopping trips:

Well. Quite.

Thank you, Mister Graves.

All I want now is to relax, watch some telly, open presents and play some games. Although in our house they are not going to be as classy as this (mmmm. tasty.).*

Oh. And eat my bodyweight in chocolate, of course.

Have a splendiferous Christmas, bloggers!

* C/O Be Bop Boy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Secret Society

I have not read the books, but I'm sure it's a jolly good film. Obviously I'm not exactly 'in touch' with the the average contemporary young lady, but most mainstream films don't really offer them the chance to swoon, feel moved and go down the slightly alternative and gothy path, so this is to be applauded. I mean, anything is better than Lindsay Lohan being perky, right?

While teenage and pre-teenage girls are endlessly marketed things, it's not often there a bit, well, dark. If it's the undead it's all Kate Beckinsale in tight catsuits or pub jokes about zombies. All good stuff, but probably not speaking to the heart of your average fifteen year old girl in Surrey, who secretly wants to run away and get bitten by werewolves.*

So, yes. While this film isn't going to be quite my cup of roibosh, I think it is a good thing it is out there in the universe. Maybe it'll even help some 'young uns'** get into some of the classic gothic literature, like Dracula, The Monk or the doorstop that is The Mysteries of Udolpho.***

It's just that every time I see this: my head I hear this:

Oh dear.

I did a course on the gothic novel at Uni. I can't help feeling I've let the lovely tutor down, somehow..

* Because don't we all?
** Shoot me now. Seriously.
*** Which in the case of the latter would at the very least help young ladies rejoice in the fact that they are not expected to wander around drafty grade one listed buildings in nighties, gasping and fainting a lot. Because that's tragically dull, wussy and unfullfilling.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This Christmas, give your loved one the smell of meat...

Can they be serious?? Is this real? Or am I once again being duped by 21st century marketing practices.

The person who came up with this at BK should be knighted, on the basis of just taking the mick and reinforcing every stereotype the rest of the world has about the US.

Although actually, I should be grateful for any gift ideas, as I'm starting to panic just slightly.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A4 is M?

Here's fun, japers.

The School of Life are running an aphorism competition.

I think my favourite from the submitted entries so far is:

"Now is the winter of our dishcloth tent." (Elliott Cooper)

None of them are quite as good as some of the stuff that gets bandied around the office though:

“I like the flipchart. It’s like the gateway to creativity.”

“How do you play badminton if you’re blind..?”

“Does anyone know of any kitten looking for a home, that might have mentioned that it would like to come and live with me?”

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

"There's fancy bread then.."

Oh no.

A small piece of my childhood (a warm and happy place*) has drawn to a close.

How wonderful to spend your life giving so much delight - and narrative structure - to small people's lives?

I'm not going to get all gushy, because I'm sure other bloggers will do grater justice to the subject than I can, and saying 'they don't make 'em like that any more' makes me sound like a bit of a old fool.**

But it's fair to say, I think, that his genius rests in a time when telly for younger people was peaceful, a bit homespun and lacking in high-tech special effects - and was still totally engrossing.***

So, in tribute, here is a wee bit of my personal favourite, Ivor the Engine:

I expect Lucy Mangan will need to be heavily sedated before she can talk about this.

UPDATE: Tim and Annie are leading the tributes.

* Mostly. Apart from the GIANT ALIEN SPIDERS.
** They don't though. Although obviously In The Night Garden and Space Pirates have their own amazing merits.
*** Although it also fair to say that Tottie: The Story of a Dolls' House freaked the shiz out of me - in a healthy and life-forming way. Does anyone else remember THE ONE WHERE THEY CAUGHT FIRE??

Monday, December 08, 2008

Solid Cold Easy Action

Typically, the office heating has decided to splutter its last and shuffle off its gas-powered coil.

It's really cold in the office. Really cold. It's actually quite difficult to type.*

We have contacted the landlord and the official line has come back on the situation:

LANDLORD: "The thermostat must not be working."

WORK: "Yes. We were wondering about that."

LANDLORD: "It must be a ghost."


I'm not entirely happy with this explanation, as it seems to come from the fact they don't understand the heating system, rather than any kind of spiritual belief or evidence of traumatic past event.**

We have tried to remain stoic, but questions have already been asked about 'being allowed to go home because we're so cold'. The answer appears to be that this only occurs at school. Dammit. I had one of those childhoods*** where I was made to go to school in blizzards anyway (Paging Lucy Mangan, Paging Lucy Mangan). Days when there only about thirty people in the entire school were fun. Sort of a Blitz spirit but with Bunsen Burners.

Ohhh, the things you can do with a Bunsen Burner... Turn it on. Turn it off. Change the flame colour. Hours of fun.

I'm starting to wonder if boiling the kettle might help heat the room, if not very efficiently. I'm beginning to miss the faint warmth CRT monitors used to give off...

UPDATE: We have a more expert opinion in; the nice engineer man says we have a low water pressure problem. Essentially when the water pressure gets too low the heating system gets a bit depressed and gives up. As we speak, one of my colleagues is being instructed in the Dark Arts of reinvigorating it. The mind boggles - a stern pep talk? A playful prod of its valves? Some soft words of encouragement? Bleeding the radiators until a quick jet of dirty water gushes out...?

This ties in well with my recent showering experiences at home; it's great, so long as most of South London has already buggered off to work.

UPDATE AGAIN: The heating is fixed! And I have just typed out the the phrase 'deeper penetration into key global accounts' in a client document and giggled to myself.

YES, STILL HERE: We can't work out how to turn it down.. it's getting quite hot..

* Although not check Facebook.
** The Incident With The Laminator and The Great Headed Paper Shortage of 2007 notwithstanding. I mean, no one actually died..
*** Concentrate, here comes the middle-classness.

Friday, December 05, 2008

YOO-HOO! I can SEE you!

Well, I can't really. But I have finally re-installed my Google Anal-Itics thingy after upgrading my template on Blogger (I sound like a cyber-prat). Hurrah! For I have missed finding out that people are discovering my blog with such enthralling search terms as "fridge glass shelf replacement manchester uk".


Although big shout out to whoever got here via "coventry train station is shit".

And at least three people in the last few weeks have made good use of this post, so I'm all about public service.

The Bloggers I CAN see are the ones from the Blue Cat Blog Meet 2008. Which was huge fun. And slightly silly. And definitely resulted in all parties having slightly fewer brain cells. Ho-dear.

Attentive bloggers will note that I am not attempting another marathon Further Advents posting marathon. This is because I'm close enough to necking cooking sherry already, and need no further encouragement. Else you shall find me in a disheveled mess in a corner of the blogosphere by 15th December.

This may happen anyway, of course. No promises.