Well maybe I was wrong about those white range rovers being predominently a man thing. For yesterday I spotted one on its way to be united with Angie (there were trade plates in the front):
Admittedly it's not quite so pimped up as many others I've seen - but hey, Angie, you're going to need to take out a car wash season ticket if you're going to be driving that thing around Hammersmith on wet January mornings. Mind you, like the men, I bet you've got well trimmed hair in a certain place - perhaps so well trimmed that there's none at all, if you see what I mean :)
I've been seeing a lot of these around lately. Well when I say a lot, that's something of an overstatement. Let's say enough. Yes, I've seen enough of these lately.
And it makes me wonder what sort of man (and I'm guessing that they're invariably men) would choose to purchase something where the reality of ownership can't possibly be at a further remove from its function.
I happened to pass a showroom yesterday which had two of them. I also passed two 'adult' shops in the same street. And, being unfamiliar with the area, I'm sort of guessing that that isn't entirely coincidental.
I was going to post this under the 'god's way of telling you that you've got too much money' category. But that would assume some level of self-awareness on the part of said men. And I suspect that they have none. Perfectly trimmed pubic hair, maybe (what a horrible thought). But no self-awareness.
I'm going to tell you two things about myself that you might or might not already know. The first is that if I listen to the radio (which I mostly do while I'm either driving, cooking or making my morning espresso) it's invariably Radio 4. The second thing is that I am completely disinterested in sport. So much so, that the sport section of my daily Guardian goes straight into the recycling bin without even being unfolded.
Anyway, when I'm making my morning cup of espresso and listening to the radio, it will always be to the Today programme. And if you're familiar with the programme you'll know that there is a three to four-minute sports slot around about the half-hour. So three or four minutes of an hour's worth of listening, in other words. Now I work from home, so I have no set time when I have to be in front of this screen, so consequently I only set an alarm if I have to be somewhere in particular in the morning (and that is probably only once every two or three weeks). Which means that I wake up when I wake up, which is naturally - and that can vary by anything up to (at a guess) 45 minutes either way.
But here's the thing: whatever time I wake up, when I turn on the radio in the morning, nine times out of ten it will be right in the middle of the sports slot. Why is that, I wonder?
I've been lunching with Mike once or twice a week recently. Although, actually, lunching isn't quite the right word. You see, Mike suffers from a degenerative disease which means that he's confined to a wheelchair. But Mike enjoys a pint or two, so I've been taking him out and about to some of his favourite haunts. My task is to take care of the driving back and forth, so I can't join in with the drinking. Which means that I become a bit of an observer. And Mike has introduced me to the world of real ale, which is one of those things in life that I completely fail to understand.
But real ale and microbreweries are enjoying a boom, apparently. And it's a funny old design-free world, it seems to me. Or at least judged on the basis of their branding efforts, which really only consists of the labels on the hand pumps. But these seem to be a source of great fascination and discussion on the part of those who partake. Indeed, Mike himself wants to know the ABV of every brew on offer before deciding upon which he's going to splash out on. Can you really tell the difference between something at 4.3% and 4.7%? Or is the rate at which you become inebriated part of the pull?
Mind you, for all their lack of sophistication, I can't help wondering whether these microbreweries haven't in fact got their target audience completely nailed. For they're always men. And, without wishing to appear to be too judgmental, men who are past their prime. With views and opinions to match. And the beer pump labels that I've seen in the past few months seem to be spot on when it comes to reflecting the thought processes of those who like to down a few pints over a lunchtime.
Here, with the help of the Pump Clip Museum, are a few examples to illustrate my observations. Top of the list is the belief that the barmaid wants, more than anything else, to engage in some form of sexual activity.
But sometimes the barmaid isn't so attractive. Which means that attention has to turn to those who are getting the sort of sex that you can only dream of.
But three pints down and with it comes the onset of brewer's droop. Which means only one thing: thoughts turn to steam trains.
And with steam trains comes nostalgia. And so, inexorably, to our hero - Winston Churchill.
And from Winston, and thoughts of all those unwanted foreigners, there's only one place to retreat to - the safety of the Union Jack.
But I'm still sober, remember. And my mind's beginning to wander. But mine's a designer's mind, so what I want to do is inject a bit of fun into the proceedings, and untilize my skills along the way.
So what am I going to do? Well, I'm going to give that last label a modernist makeover.
I expect you remember that poster thing that was raising money for UNICEF. Well, the other designer called David emailed me to say that so far he's sold over 600 posters and raised more than £4,500 to donate to UNICEF. So now that the whole thing is over he's decided to do some extras. To be honest I'm not really sure what it's all about, so I'll let David explain:
"In response to a number of people asking if I would be designing an updated final scores version of the poster, I have produced 16 new 'Souvenir Scores' poster designs with full time scores and eventual winners included etc. The last 8 teams have their own unique colour poster and scores highlighted of how they progressed to reach the later stages - making it a great 'memento' if you are a fan of the eventual winners or even quarter finalists. And I've even designed an England version!
To raise as much money as possible for UNICEF, I want to encourage people to buy en masse so will be offering the posters in 2 ways:
1) High Res A3 vector based PDF files priced at a bargain £1 per poster PDF or only £5 for all 16 poster PDFs. These will be emailed and can then be printed up by the buyer to A2 / A1 etc;
There have been 830 posts made on this blog (prior to this one) - and never, ever in any of those has the word 'football' ever been mentioned. So this is something of a first, whilst simultaneously being a last. Because football is one of those things in life that I completely fail to understand. Now you could be thinking that I hate football, but that's not really the case. I don't hate it, I just am completely and totally disinterested in it.
Which makes it rather surprising that I'm now showing you this rather spiffing poster, which comes in at an enormous A1 and is double sided to boot, and has something to do with a thing called the World Cup, whatever that is. And it's here because a designer called David emailed me about it, and to tell me that you can get hold of your very own copy for a trifling £10 - and £7 pounds of that will be donated to UNICEF (the other £3 will cover the cost of post and packing). All you have to do is email the other David at firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll sort it all out for you.
And now this blog will revert to the status of an official football-free zone.