Thursday, 25 November 2010

EOTW #30-ish I gave her a pearl n... ah, there you are!! Sorry for the wait but we had leaves on the line at West Byfleet and heavy fog at Camden Parkway (plus I had to go back for my Thermos).

Anyway, pull up a pew, it's a bumper Twitter-only edition of Euphemisms Of The Week, in honour of the forthcoming Royal Wedding (it says here - personally I'd rather be "watching the cricket"...)

Recently observed on the 'tweet of shame':
  • Loading an antique blunderbuss
  • Fluffing the pillows
  • Having dinner with the Trumps
  • Crying on Putney Bridge
  • Passing a sausage to the Lord Mayor
  • Jogging round the Gherkin
  • Taking a Norwegian teleconference
  • Cleaning the drains with a Turbo Snake
  • Eating scorpions for pudding
  • Proposing in Kenya
More to follow...

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


...following a somewhat drunken discussion the other week, I've been persuaded to donate my upper lip to Movember.

I will therefore be attempting the growth of a (probably hilariously poor) moustache for the entire month of November, as part of the annual campaign to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men; one man dies every hour from the disease in the UK. This is a cause that I feel passionately about - my Opa succumbed to it, 24 years ago this week - and it would be great if you would consider making a donation to The Prostate Cancer Charity.

To help, please click this link to donate online by card or using PayPal.

The Prostate Cancer Charity will use the money raised by Movember for the development of programs related to awareness, public education, advocacy, support of those affected, and research into the prevention, detection, treatment and cure of prostate cancer.

For more details on the impact Movember is having, please visit:

Thank you in advance for your support - I'll be posting pictures on here/Twitter/Flickr so feel free to point & laugh for the next month :)

Monday, 25 October 2010

Overheard #3-cubed

In conversation with a cyclist:
You never see a sweaty sheep. Think on.

Monday, 18 October 2010

EOTW #26½

Where have we been? Don't ask. No, really. Don't. OK, then. Although, actually. No, I can't. Shall I? No.

Suffice it to say that, in our absence, the interwebs haven't stopped generating accidental euphemisms, and that suits us, and the EOTW-loving* readers of Poodle Variety magazine, just fine.

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Booing the Pope
  • Being pelted with ciabatta
  • Petting the peacock
  • Getting a song in your inbox
  • Enjoying the golf
More to follow...

* almost certainly not true

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Overheard #11101011

OK, so this was 'overheard' on Twitter but it made me chuckle anyway:
"No, veg suppliers..."

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

EOTW #Silver Jubilee

Well, look at that. EOTW has made it to 25. Break out the bunting, open some own-brand sparkling wine & warm a few sausage rolls (careful now). And in honour of this landmark, we bring you another generous helping of your Euphemisms Of The Week, as heavily trailed at 33% off on QVC last week*

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Clearing out the cutlery drawer
  • Patting the wig 
  • Camping on the heath
  • Sleeping in the beige caravan
  • Crimping the pasty
More to follow...

* no, not really

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

1, 2, 3, Ceasefire

I think this might be my favourite one to date:

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Behind The Fate Ball

Two weeks. Two coincidences.

1) I was emailed back in April this year by the chap who runs a cricket club called The Quaggies who fancied a game against my club, Gentleman's Relish. As it happened, we found we could fit them in and played a very entertaining game last weekend in Kent. After the match, we were chatting over a beer when the conversation turned to the return fixture, and its possible location. I mentioned that we were nominally South London based but that unfortunately the pitch we used to use in Honor Oak had been redeveloped. After confirming the location, it turns out that our old pitch was also the place they played their very first game back in 1993 and his local pub back then was the Blythe Hill Tavern, which is now my local, due to being at the bottom of my street.

2) I was very kindly taken to see Arsenal v Bolton today as a guest of Thomson Reuters. The hospitality was excellent, the seats superb, the banter consistent and the result correct. After the game, we established that we were all heading back via London Bridge and decided to have a quick last beer at Hay's Galleria before we parted company. One of our number happened to be meeting his cousin who was also heading home from the Arsenal match, via the same station, so he too joined us for a swift one. I immediately recognised him from somewhere, but couldn't place him just yet. It bugged me repeatedly as we chatted amiably for a while until there was mention of our destinations. When I mentioned Blythe Hill, it clicked; he lives round the corner from me and we had both seen each other on Champions League evenings watching Arsenal at - guess where - the Blythe Hill Tavern at the bottom of my street!

Randomness abounds...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Best Email Ever

"I am sure this mail would be coming to you as a surprise, since we have never met before and you would also be asking why I have decided to chose you amongst the numerous internet users in the world; precisely I cannot say why I have chosen you but do not be worried, for I come in peace and something very positive is about to happen to your life right now and to the lives of others through you, if only you can carefully read and digest the message below..."
Unfortunately, that is where it ends.


Monday, 6 September 2010

EOTW #24

Yes, EOTW is back from its summer holidays, and boy is it hungry. Handily enough, this week sees some tasty treats featured in your much-loved, all-beef, special-sauce, quarter-pound Euphemisms Of The Week, which received critical accolades in this month's Saveur magazine*

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Unfolding the tortilla
  • Rubbing the garlic
  • Warming a triple marshmallow
  • Flying to mango-land
  • Cradling the peanut
More to follow...

* no, not really

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Touch My Phone

Visiting from an iPhone*? Things should look a bit clearer now, thanks to Blogger Touch (a port of WP-Touch, apparently) which can 'automatically' create a mobile-friendly version of your blog.

The website logs you in, creates the code and walks you through adding it to your sidebar with a suitable link, couldn't be easier (although I decided to tweak that and copy the script into the HTML header, which means the redirect happens much quicker). Commenting works well (give or take the odd bug to do with updating the comment count) and frankly it's an absolute disgrace that Blogger hasn't done this itself by now.

Anyway, all this means that, after sorting the kerfuffle with moving a self-hosted Blogger site away from FTP publishing, I now don't have to up sticks to Wordpress just to make it work better on the iPhone.


* other mobile devices are available :)

Monday, 23 August 2010


Random factor, like a tractor, be a love and throw us another batch of totally unrelated Euphemisms Of The Week, as possibly featured in last month's Reader's Digest*

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Spinning the Rolodex
  • Buying a sieve
  • Sandpapering the plinth
  • Skirting around the zoo
  • Chalking the sidewalk with Katy Perry**
More to follow...

* no, not really
** I have no idea

Overheard #1974-77

A member of our sales team, in full flow minutes ago:
"Look, I'm not President Gerald Ford..."

Monday, 9 August 2010

Overheard #0.2718+E

Minutes ago:
"Yes, but where am I going to find a midget at short notice?"
Yes, short notice. You couldn't make it up...

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

EOTW #0b10110

Fire up your V.22 modem and untangle that IEEE-1284 DB25M cable; yes, it's a newly-compiled Euphemisms Of The Week, as featured in this month's COBOL Magazine*

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Opening a back channel
  • Grabbing a Yahoo pipe
  • Cooling down the router
  • Tweeting a hard return
  • Yanking the Tardis
More to follow...

* no, not really

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


I'm having a muck about with Blogger templates.

Don't be alarmed.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

EOTW #21

A fresh batch of lovely, warm Euphemisms Of The Week as cooked at Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes by Pastry & Baking North America* (can you imagine the size of the tin?)

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Microwaving a muffin
  • Unwrapping a Tunnocks
  • Boxing up the cupcakes
  • Forking the profiteroles
  • Riding a Dutch bike**
More to follow...

* no, not really
** just for Mel :)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Overheard #2,411,333

Every good anecdote should start this way:
"So I nearly got killed by a Walls sausage lorry this morning..."

Monday, 12 July 2010

EOTW #20

Blimey, it's been hot. And what do we need to cool us all down? That's right; a new batch of freeze-dried, fan-assisted, ice-cold Euphemisms Of The Week as recommended by the Missouri Valley Ice Manufacturer's Association*.

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Owning a Canadian
  • Bathing the horse
  • Buying a snorkel
  • Eating a frozen samosa
  • Shooting the octopus**
More to follow...

* no, not really
** you can probably guess which one

Monday, 5 July 2010

Overheard #1,325,877 (ish)

This, just now, in the office:
" yes, just put it under your arm for a while; these are much better gooey..."
I have a sneaking suspicion they were talking about some kind of chewy sweet but, like, WTF?

Monday, 28 June 2010

EOTW #19

Anyone go to Glastonbury? No, me either. Shame, I bet there were some wonderful Euphemisms Of The Week to be had there. Ah well, as ever the internet is our saviour.

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Succumbing to the elk
  • Loving the mint
  • Filling in the wallchart
  • Dusting off the bagpipes
  • Racing supercars in Belgium
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Just Listen Tar-dis

This is was just too cool, until the BBC took it down. Boring bastards.

I don't really watch Doctor Who, but that theme tune sends shivers down my spine, especially the major key resolution (into what might be loosely termed the middle eight) and with Orbital's crunching breakbeat and Matt Smith having the time of his life, this looks like the awesomest way to close Glastonbury 2010.

Monday, 21 June 2010

EOTW #18

Football. The beautiful game. It's everywhere at the moment - so why should your favourite MOTD-analysed* Euphemisms Of The Week be any different, eh? Commentators are a rich seam of euphemistic possibility; in fact, I'm convinced some of the pundits try to shoehorn them in deliberately (yes, you, Robbie Savage). Anyway, recently observed on the TV & Radio coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2010:
  • Dropping back into the hole
  • Testing the keeper's handling
  • Closely marking the big pair up front
  • Jostling for position in the box
  • Letting fly from distance
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Friday, 18 June 2010

At The Group Stage

Loads of people have been asking whether goal difference, goals scored or head-to-head results will be used to decide who goes through from the group stages in the 2010 World Cup. It is in fact all three, in that order!

From the FIFA Tournament Regulations, page 47:
5. The ranking of each team in each group will be determined as follows:

a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
b) goal difference in all group matches;
c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their
rankings will be determined as follows:

d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the
teams concerned;
e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams
f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams
g) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.
So there you are. Not too many draws please England, or we might end up in a hat...

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Double Genius

This is astonishing. From the distance run to the number of players passed, to the jinks, the turns and the finish, it is pretty much identical:

Spooked, anyone?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Testing BlogPress on the iPhone

Will this work?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Inevitable World Cup Post

In case you hadn't noticed, there's a World Cup on soon.

Vast swathes of newsprint and gazillions of bytes have spewed forth with statistics, predictions, fixtures, teamsheets, injuries, clinical analysis of the debilitating effects of altitude at each of the the ten venues and every other trivial piece of information you could possibly wish to have to hand for the duration of the tournament. But ultimately, at the end of the day, Brian, it's all about the game: 11 versus 11 for 90 minutes in pursuit of the ultimate prize in international football. I can hardly wait.

Still, after stocking the fridge and putting up the wallchart there still appears to be nigh on four days to go, so I've entered* this Predictor game, in which you choose the outcome (win/lose/draw) of every game in the tournament, hoping to get 45+ out of the 48 correct and win a share of one meeeeeeeeellion pounds in cash.

And thanks to the eagle-eyed @arseblog on Twitter, here is a Fantasy Cheaters League competition in which you select the XI players most likely to bend the rules during the tournament. Points are awarded for a variety of transgressions including diving, feigning injury, waving invisible cards at referees and stealing yards at free-kicks and throw-ins but players lose points for actual yellow/red cards, as they were clearly not good enough at cheating to get away with it! Brilliant idea, so I've entered that too :)

Oh, and The Guardian has updated its Pick The Score game to cover the 2010 World Cup so I'd better have a stab at that as well...

...right, those small diversions should pass the time until 3pm on Friday; other than that, come on England!

* amusingly, the sole bet I had to place to enter the Predictor came in first at 9/1 each way, so I'm £50 up already :)

Monday, 7 June 2010

EOTW #17

Hauling ourselves out of a warm, comfortable bed and lurching folornly down the road into the start of another working week, we stumble past the prostrate form of The Publican-championed* Euphemisms Of The Week, as it recovers from the after-effects of one too many cider slammers.

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Going up to Hampstead for a wander
  • Drinking prosecco in Estonia
  • Collecting the oboe
  • Sitting on the giant pink sofa
  • Losing the percussion egg
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Monday, 31 May 2010

EOTW #16: Eurovision Special

Yes, with the recent Bank Holiday weekend came the by-now-traditional 'mixed' weather but also the Eurovision Song Contest; a televisual feast that divides opinion even more than Israel's nautical stop-and-search policy..., in the interest of harmonious cross-border relations, this week's EU-funded* Euphemisms Of The Week focuses on the wonderfully translated foreign-language entries to the aforementioned cultural event. All of these appeared live on screen for those of you following the competition via the BBC's 'red button' interactive service which helpfully scrolls the lyrics across the bottom of the screen for each act. And I'm calling them 'Europhemisms', before any bugger else does :)
  • Leaving the porch light on
  • Wiping the dust off your love
  • Hiding the apricot stone
  • Seeing the end at your window
  • Scratching the fallen ceiling
  • Arranging the books
  • Mending the shabby gown
And a special EOTW mention to our friends at Watch With Mothers for their 'as-heard' translation of Portugal's entry, which can be seen and chuckled at here. Fear the potatoes indeed...

* no, not really.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Overheard (Slight Return)

This gem was too good not to share, from cricket last night:
"So when's the baby due?"
"3rd of August"
"And do you know what it is?"
"Yes, it's a Tuesday"

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


Today we find ourselves on the receiving end of a wonderful collaboration between Major Lazer (aka Diplo & Switch) and high-flying chanteuse of this parish(ish), La Roux.

Now that, ladies & gentlemen, is the sound of Summer 2010, right there. Mash ups & remixes, dancehall & dubstep, the whole nine yards - all featuring Elly's distinctive vocals and Mad Decent's full-on production nous. Fire up the Quattro [surely 'beemer' - South London Ed.] and get the subs warmed up. Standard.

Monday, 24 May 2010

EOTW #15

The sun is out, the sky is blue, it must be time, for the Sony Award nominated* Euphemisms Of The Week [scansion needs work - Ed.]

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Viewing the rear terrace
  • Meeting Ewan McGregor in the canteen
  • Shunting trucks for Daisy
  • Flying from Southampton
  • Walking past the butchers
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Font Preview

"The Google Font Directory lets you browse all the fonts available via the Google Font API. All fonts in the directory are available for use on your website under an open source license and served by Google servers."

Online real-time controls for font family, typeface, decoration, size, shadow and spacing. When you like the look of it, copy the code and you're done. Aces.

A is for Agnew

If you're a bit cricket mad, like what I am, you should definitely check out the Alternative Cricket Dictionary from The Wisden Cricketer website. Collated from reader suggestions via email and Twitter, it's a somewhat irreverent alphabetical look at the names and events that have shaped the great game.

So far we're up to 'G' but recent highlights include:
  • Ball-tampering -- Emotive and complicated grey area, the seriousness of which depends on whether the accused is from Pakistan or not.
  • Cricket, Mr -- Nickname of Michael Hussey. The brilliance of the moniker hangs on the fact that the subject plays cricket.
  • Engineer, Farokh -- Lancs and India wicketkeeping legend who recently saw his most-prized record “Most Brilliantly Named Indian Cricketer Whose Name Begins With ‘E’” come under threat from the new generation. See Einstein, Napoleon.
  • Gripper, Trevor -- Hardest-sounding man in cricket ever.
Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Kate Bash

OK, so this made me proper chortle today and it'll be all over the blogs like a rash, so here:

Arguably a minute or so too long - the middle eight? - but the idea is splendid ("Wuvverin' wuvverin' wuvverin' haits") and a quick punt around YouTube unearthed this little gem as well:

Yes, we like.

Monday, 17 May 2010

EOTW #14

... so I said to Bono, well if that's what you think you can shove your Joshua Tree up your ... oh, there you are, do come in - is it that time already? Right, here we go with the NME-approved* Euphemisms Of The Week:

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Riding on the tiger-shaped suitcase
  • Taking delivery of the neighbour's package
  • Stealing the bananas
  • Pruning the wisteria at number ten
  • Sourcing a railway sleeper
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Friday, 14 May 2010

A Little Pizza Italy

Alex brought me a present back from Naples.

I think it might actually be the best thing ever.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Lovely infographic from SectionDesign in Wired attempting to predict the winner of this summer's World Cup through the use of linear regression on population, GDP, experience and home advantage. They claim it is effective 72% of the time...

...and whilst I'm sure a few would agree with the winner, some of the earlier rounds leave me scratching my head! Still, get your tenner on Serbia, by the looks of it :)

(via the always wonderful Information Is Beautiful blog)

Monday, 10 May 2010

EOTW #13

The electorate has spoken! Yes, we must press on with the Economist-recommended* Euphemisms Of The Week - it is the will of the people, and that:

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Giving Freddie a pat
  • Browning the mince
  • Following Joanna Lumley down the Nile
  • Transfixed by the quivering bangles.
  • Skimming the scum off the lentils
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Monday, 3 May 2010

EOTW #12

I am return! Volcano, schmolcano - the New Yorker-endorsed* Euphemisms Of The Week must go on, thusly:

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Rigging Brundle's chopper with cameras
  • Compressing the trombone
  • Living next door to Louis Walsh
  • Putting the carpet back properly
  • Riding the pink bike**
More to follow...

* no, not really.

** a celebrity submission, from Mr Simon Pegg!

Friday, 30 April 2010


If you're not on Twitter, you're missing out on a plethora of stand-ups and comedy writers testing out material on a willing and discerning audience - for nothing! Graham Linehan, Armando Iannucci, Chris Addison, Richard Herring (to name but a tiny few) all regularly lob out 140-character morsels of mirth. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't; sometimes they're topical, sometimes they're utterly random, but on a good day it's like a free, endless, online Comedy Store open mike night.

One who I hadn't even heard of until earlier this year is Gary Delaney; master of the throwaway one-liner and with a show at Edinburgh later this year. Here's some of his recent tweets which have grabbed me; YMMV :)
  • I could tell it was a Monopoly board from the word go.
  • Should depressed gravediggers just throw themselves into their work?
  • Tried to get a refund on my Arctic Animals playset; they refused as I'd already broken the seal.
  • I like to think I'm the best at wasting paper, by quite a large margin.
  • Currently watching 'V'. Will it still make sense if i haven't see I to IV?
  • If anybody steals my identity, at least I’ll know who to look for.
And so on. Worth a 'follow' if you like a mid-morning chuckle with your coffee...

Thursday, 15 April 2010

What A Pa-Lava

Well would you look at that. Volcano blows its top in Iceland, we end up stuck in Dubai. Butterfly wings and tidal waves and all that.

Flights grounded for the forseeable future; more camels* to the front-of-house area please. And poor Theo might suffer the indignity of missing his own second birthday party!

Watch this space...

* or cocktails, whichever...

Monday, 12 April 2010

Fourstar Is Away

This post is warmly dedicated to Alex :)

Monday, 29 March 2010

EOTW #11

Been a bit busy pretending to be a bachelor again this week, but Week 11 of the BAFTA-nominated* Euphemisms Of The Week is suddenly upon us, so here we jolly well go.

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Pocketing the penny chews
  • Getting the celery from downstairs**
  • Up all night with the Crayolas
  • Polishing the horse brasses
  • Touching the hedge
More to follow...

* no, not really.

** actually this was overheard in a tea-room in St Martin's Lane but was too good to leave out :)

Monday, 22 March 2010

EOTW #10

So roughly 20% of the way through 2010 and we gallop headlong into Week 10 of the Richard & Judy-featured* Euphemisms Of The Week.

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Playing with your Uncle’s space Lego
  • Reordering the banana stripes
  • Reaching downstairs for a biscuit
  • On first name terms with the FedEx lady
  • Popping up for a gasp
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Monday, 15 March 2010


Brought to you via the wastelands of the frozen North, here we go with Week 9 of the TIME-endorsed* Euphemisms Of The Week. Included for the first time is one of mine; loyal reader, I leave you to guess...

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Looking for eels in a box
  • Tapping the salamander
  • Going upstairs to visit the bone.
  • Reaching for the chocolate weasel
  • Poisoning the lion
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Twapps Updated

In case anyone was wondering, or even cared, the iPhone Twitter apps testing period has been extended by a couple of weeks due to a small Angry Birds addiction issue.

Mighty Hoax 4-6 and counting...

Thanks :)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


We bought a DVD the other day.

Solveig was in Sainsbury's and saw Thomas And The Magic Railroad* was on offer for four quid, so she picked one up for the kids. Upon arrival, she (or more probably Theo) popped it into the DVD player and pressed PLAY. Nothing happened. She ejected it, blew off any dust and had another go. Nowt. Just the dreaded "Loading..." icon in the top right corner of the screen. Cue disappointed kids and the return of Peppa Pig to our screens.

We took it back and exchanged it, assuming the disc was faulty in some way. But the replacement was exactly the same, refusing even to load the disc, let alone actually play. Short of believing there was a batch of discs with a manufacturing defect, I was curious to see if the disc would work in a computer drive, rather than our standard domestic DVD player. So I popped it into a laptop and it worked fine. No other DVDs have ever failed to work in the normal player. Weird.

Figuring that making a copy of something that doesn't actually work wouldn't really be breaking any laws, I set to with ripping it. Obviously it has the latest copy protection; not a massive problem, there are ways and means. Less than an hour later, we have a working copy of the film which runs perfectly in the DVD player and the kids are happy.

But what kind of industry cripples its media so much that a standard domestic player cannot even read it? And isn't that now the opposite of the problem we used to have with CDs, whereby copy-protected discs wouldn't play in PC data drives but were fine in regular audio CD players?

Somebody somewhere needs to have a damned good think...

* dreadful Americanised 'Polar Express'-lite set on Sodor - don't bother :)

What To Watch?

I need your help.

My wife is going away for a while with the kids shortly (don't worry, they're coming back!) and I shall have around two weeks on my own in the house. Now one thing I am very bad at, apart from putting my socks in the laundry basket, is watching films. So this is a perfect opportunity to catch up - but of the hundreds of possibilities out there, where to start?

In my forthcoming 'man-time', allowing for football matches & beer consumption as well as still actually having to go to work, I reckon a target of half a dozen good films is not unreasonable. They're probably going to be ones that Solveig won't be bothered about and I'll save any animated films to watch with the kids but other than that I have free rein. I think I'd like to see 'Inglourious Basterds' and I'm fairly sure I don't want to bother with 'The Road' but after that I'm open to suggestions.

What would you watch on your own in the house? Suggest away!

Monday, 8 March 2010


Like a rat up an aqueduct, here's Week 8 of the Grazia-endorsed* Euphemisms Of The Week, and it's been a bumper one (or perhaps I've been on Twitter more than usual, if that's possible within the confines of the existing laws of space and time...)

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Buying turmeric in Brussels
  • Unblocking the Hoover hose
  • Advertising Anne Widdicombe’s pasta
  • Coming across John Craven in the video shop
  • Naming the Bay City Rollers
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


What's the best euphemism for nasty stomach bug? Ach. Erp. Ick. Oof. Ugh.

Anyway, here we go for Week 7 of the Vogue-championed* Euphemisms Of The Week, and they're still rolling in like the mist from the sea on the Mull Of Kintyre, or something equally tenuous.

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Tolerating the Bismarck
  • Sniffing the bud of the caper bush
  • Drinking from the Spanish cup
  • Re-hanging the girlfriend's washing
  • Playing a tune on the mango banjo
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Department Stored

Following a random conversation on Twitter, Chris Addison mentioned that his excellent Radio 4 comedy show from 2004-06 'The Department' wasn't available to buy on CD/MP3 anywhere. Which seemed ridiculous, but following intensive research shockingly turns out to be true.

Now, given that we are heading inexorably towards a General Election, I reckon this would be the perfect time to broadcast it again, given the splendidly targeted political ridicule, cutting-edge satire and healthy dose of the absurd (Peter Beardsley and Slobodan MiloŇ°evic drawing the next round of inter-continental wars out of a bag, anyone?) contained therein.

With co-writers/performers the brilliant (and Bugle-producing) John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman, you should definitely give it a(nother) listen.

Although as they're not available any more, I guess you'd have to do that 'illegally' by downloading a torrent of the shows from somewhere. Ahem.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Bunch Of Twapps

Having recently bitten the Apple and got an iPhone, I thought I'd bung any old Twitter app (twapp?) on it and be up and running, happily advising the world of the exciting cheese & pickle dilemma which might befall me in Pret of a Tuesday lunchtime.

Not so.

You can plump for Twitterrific, TweetDeck, TwitBird, Tweetie, Twittelator, Echofon (which rather surprisingly doesn't begin with T but was previously called TwitterFon, so that's OK) and a whole host of others which don't appear on the first couple of pages of search results.

But which one?

Reviews abound on the interweb declaring their undying love for each, and slagging off the competition. Perhaps most people just get used to the first one they try and can't be bothered to change. But that's boring, so I'm going to try them all.


For a period of two weeks, every time I go to check Twitter on the iPhone, I'm going to use a different one of the above six apps, in strict rotation so they get a similar amount of face time. To be fair, I have installed the free versions of each, so no paid-for functionality can muddy the waters. The settings will be identical and they all support the same photo-sharing and link-shortening services. At the end of the fortnight, I should know which ones I've looked forward to using and been most 'tweetful' (ahem) and to which I've given a little sigh and been as quick as I could.

Maybe there are magic features you can't live without, or perhaps it's all about speed of use and a clean interface, but at the very least I'll have my Twitter app (which I'm sure everyone will then tell me is "the wrong one"...)

Geek out.

Monday, 22 February 2010


On to Week 6 of the TLS-lauded* Euphemisms Of The Week and we're bang up to date now. So it turns out that Twitter is a rich seam of snigger-inducing phraseology. Who knew? Oh, you all did. Right.

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Christening the muffin pan
  • Buying specialist table sauces
  • Falling over in George Michael's back garden
  • Springing a leak in the cafetiere
  • Getting coronation chicken all over the desk
More to follow...

* no, not really.

Friday, 19 February 2010


Genuinely laughed-out-loud on the 0633 to London Bridge today, at this from one of the 'Adam & Joe' Twelve Podacsts Of Christmas:
Joe: "So, 'Nil By Mouth' - a real tour de force."
Adam (as Ray Winstone*): "Yeah, well I've always liked cycling, the bikes and all that, love it..."
I may have woken some people up with my guffawing. Sorry about that.

* because he had a cold, obviously

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Font Of All Knowledge

That nice Mr Andronov pointed me at typekit just now.

Bit of javascript in the of the template, pick a font (or two) and which tags you want to use it and blam! New look for blog (in compatible browsers, obviously, but if you're not using one you should be :) and you can tweak it - live - to your heart's content.

Love it.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Overheard #104

I even know who this was about. Scary.
"Did you see her office? Could you smell her?"

Monday, 15 February 2010


Week 5 of Euphemisms Of The Week is upon us with some beauties this time round (must have been the influence of Valentine's Day :)

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Receiving a haggis in the post
  • Folding a Kemp
  • Taking helicopter shots of The Gherkin
  • Playing cricket in Surbiton
  • Getting cheese on the Korg
More to follow...

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Dry It (You Might Like It)

They do not call me 'Mr Fashion'; this much I know.

However, I would like to share an excellent brand of clothing and stuff - which I'm sure all the cool kids gave up in 2007 - which I have suddenly found to be 'most excellent':

So I've been looking for a lightweight coat, sort-of waterproof and with a hood, but not too 'mountaineer' because altitude-wise I don't venture much higher than Blythe Hill Park. Oh, look?

Also, I really could do with a new winter coat, definitely wool but perhaps some kind of pea-coat style but not too long or grey. What's that you say?

And actually I'm probably in need of a new sweatshirt with a bit of colour but no crazy-ass logos all over the shop. Really?

It's simply great. And, presumably, dry. Although quite what this chap has got to look so grumpy about, I have no idea.

Er, right, sorry about that. Advertorial over, your regular programming will continue shortly :)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Happy Hour

I think I may have invented a new cocktail.
Double Moskovskaya vodka + shot of Calpol + cube of ice + twist of flamed orange.
I'm calling it a 'cBeebies'.

Remember: please drink responshiblzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Monday, 8 February 2010


And onwards we march with Week 4 of Euphemisms Of The Week

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Spotting a pea in the wine
  • Tucking into a melon basket
  • Warming up the butter in a pocket
  • Finding a chocolate under the expenses pile
  • Rationing the spiced apple Febreeze
More to follow...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Danny Boy

If you don't already, I urge you to listen to the Danny Baker show on Five Live. Obviously 9-11 on a Saturday morning might not be amenable to most people, but the podcast doesn't half light up a grey drizzly February commute. Currently loving the Roman numeral footballers feature (VIDIC!) and of course the ever present 'Sausage Sandwich Game'. A couple of hours of irreverent fun of a vaguely sporting nature, all held together with Danny's infectious enthusiasm for the absurd. Worth checking out.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Pressing Question

Looks like Blogger has got a bit bored with supporting externally-hosted blogs (like mine) over FTP. According to the press release:
"FTP remains a significant drain on our ability to improve Blogger: only 0.5% of active blogs are published via FTP — yet the percentage of our engineering resources devoted to supporting FTP vastly exceeds that."
Understandable I suppose, but which way forward? Probably a good opportunity to have a look at Wordpress publishing (I've also got a Tumblr thing running with a feed from here but that's a whole different kettle of ballgames).

However, Solveig's used to the Blogger way so I guess we will port hers to be a Google-hosted 'Custom Domain' - she'll also then get access to the fancy sidebar widgets which might be a boon.

Anyway, between now and mid-March, expect to see some changes around here, not least with the RSS feed, the commenting system and probably the design.

Ah well, any excuse for a tinker :)

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


I blipped this, but it's worth pushing again.

Uffie + Starkey = Massssssssssive tune.


Blimey, Week 3 of Euphemisms Of The Week rolled round so fast, I missed it yesterday...

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Tucking a Bentley behind the Range Rover
  • Getting out the Euro Disney brochure
  • Eating a jazz apple
  • Riding the drama llama
  • Overestimating the size of the wheelhouse
More to follow...

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Red Hot Poker Face

Played real live poker with real live people last night for the first time in years. Six of us round at Paul's house, proper green baize with casino-standard chips & cards plus beer & pizza galore, football on in the background and men being men. It was brilliant, not least because I came away with a tidy profit and didn't have to pawn one of the children :)

Hopefully we can do it again soon but for the moment, here's Nick "Crafty Butcher" Hughes, who cleaned out at least two of the others in some tense 'all-in' action, in full-on WSOP mode:

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Thank You For The Days

Just back from a wonderful weekend away; a birthday treat from my excellent wife Solveig (in conjunction with the as-per-usual top-notch babysitting services provided by mum & dad, for which much thanks are due).

Having nipped off early on Friday afternoon and taken the appropriate exit off the M4 (indeed, we had to Turn After Reading*), we headed for the picturesque Goring-on-Thames in which nestles The Miller Of Mansfield, as recommended on Mr & Mrs Smith. Really nice little 'boutique' pub hotel with a fantastic restaurant (do try the shin of beef, it was as melty as it gets) as well as a snug bar with a log fire and a decent selection of gins. We realised when we arrived that we had somehow forgotten how to relax; indeed, it took a while for us to stop wondering where on earth the kids were. But unwind we did and with some walks along the (thin end of the) Thames and a trip up to Bicester on the Saturday, it was a properly brilliant break from the Smoke.

Due to good planning, we also squeezed in an extra treat on the way back, in the form of a visit to Heston Blumenthal's pub in Bray, the Hind's Head (in fact, as we were a bit early, we went looking for the Fat Duck, but somehow never found it!) and what a treat it was. We were tempted by the Sunday roast, but both decided on pies, having been advised by a few people that they were worth the journey. We did start with a Scotch (quail's) egg each, though, and these were splendid - by turns crispy, meaty and perfectly soft:

Hinds Head Scotch EggHinds Head Scotch Egg

For our mains we had Shepherds Pie (with lamb leg, breast and sweetbreads topped with mustard mash) and Spinach & Mushroom Pie (served with a Jerusalem artichoke sauce). They were both outstanding and tasted as good as they look:

Hinds Head Shepherds PieHinds Head Shepherds Pie

Hinds Head Spinach & Mushroom PieHinds Head Spinach & Mushroom Pie

After a full weekend of indulgence, we simply couldn't face dessert, so we'll just have to go back and try the rest of the menu at some point. Right, dear?

Anyway, what a brilliant weekend - almost enough to make me forget that next year is THAT ONE :)

* I'm truly sorry, I really am

Overheard #103

Unsurprisingly, at work, just now:
"Yes, but presumably Edgar Allan Poe never had to try and put a pie chart in his manuscript."

Monday, 25 January 2010


Time for Week 2 of Euphemisms Of The Week already? OK, let it roll.

Recently observed on the web of shame:
  • Eating the prawn spoon
  • Playing ping-pong out the back
  • Hiding in the Wendy house
  • Stealing the lunch-box
  • Buffing the laptop
More to follow...

Thursday, 21 January 2010


...would be to overdo last night's result, but a picture paints a thousand words:

However, as Rowan, a Chelsea fan for whom I have the utmost respect, said (on Twitter):
Get back to me in May and we'll talk
Nuff said.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

At Home With Fourstar

My good friend Alex recently posted the following question over at his blog:

and it led me to think about the nonsense I spout on a semi-daily basis. Now I have distinctly different "at home" and "at work" phrases (as should everyone...) but for the purposes of this exercise, there is one Pharaoh of phrases, an Excalibur of exclamations, the Prince of proclamations, which is:
"Everyone's a winner, petit dejeuner"
Back in the heady days when I used to play sax in a touring soul covers band, we shared the stage with two of the most hilarious guys I have ever met. Tony (trombone) and Shaun (guitar) had known each other for years and had such a natural rapport they could easily have been working the clubs as a double act. They would have the tour bus in stitches at their tales of derring do and natural affinity for the absurd, which lifted the spirits of those humour-sapping drives across, say, for example, to pick somewhere totally at random, Lincolnshire.

However, whenever something went particularly well (which could be anything ranging from a well-paid gig in Dublin to a delicious sausage roll from a Sunderland truckstop), without fail Shaun would exclaim "Everyone's a winner!" always followed closely by Tony's rejoinder of "Petit dejeuner!".

Now quite why a French breakfast should be the epitome of delight for two jobbing musicians from York, I have no idea - and I'm not sure they did either. However, it stuck with me and to this day, when something goes well at work or at home, this is the line I come out with.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Overheard #102

One of our field operatives phoned this one in:
" is it coming out a greeney colour?"
I think we'd rather not know.

Monday, 18 January 2010


As promised, here we go with Week 1.

In no particular order, then, and all genuinely witnessed online by my good (bad?) self online recently:
  • Holding the baby reindeer.
  • Varnishing the banister.
  • Giving potatoes to the Scandinavians.
  • Popping into Waterstones.
  • Startling the hamster.
I'm going to enjoy this...

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Euphemisms Of The Week (coming soon)

As I traverse the internet, stumbling from comments thread to twitter feed to forum post, I find myself inexorably drawn to those random phrases which, taken out of context, force a chuckle of childish delight upon me at the somewhat euphemistic nature of their very existence.

So, gentle reader, for 2010 I will be starting a fresh theme based on a weekly round-up of five of the best on offer out there on the intertubes, as witnessed by my very own eyes/ears.

Now I'll come clean from the off and admit I have a bit of a lengthy backlog, so the first few may contain bits and bobs from the tail end of 2009 - hey, you may even see your choice epithet in lights...

Childish? Silly? Mind like a Welsh railway? Guilty as charged, m'lud. Bring it on...

Friday, 15 January 2010

No More Cotton Wool

I love the idea of this book:

Full of stuff that we and our parents maybe used to try with a healthy disregard for health & safety and/or social services (licking batteries, playing in hailstorms, supergluing two fingers together...) plus the rejuvenation of the seemingly long-lost idea that the best way to find out whether you should be doing something is to try it, once.

And it's got whittling in it...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Overheard #101

This might be one of my favourites, one end of a telephone call just now:
"Your brother's birthday?"
"Oh, both brothers!"
"What do you mean, semi-identical?"

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Overheard #100

My goodness, we've reached a ton of Overheards in a shade under two years. Which is approximately one a week, by sheer coincidence. Anyway, just now:
"Oh God, I'm so not bothered about Celebrity Big Brother."
"So, who's on it?"