Q: When is a chip like a bicycle?

February 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You read the thing about Doritos, right? Lady chips?! Eeeesh! Soooooo insulting! Like, is this the 1950s?! I’m a woman, and I like crunchy crisps! What’s so weird about that? And remember that Pinarello e-bike ad? Slow ladies keeping up with their menfolk?! Eeeesh! Soooooo insulting! Like, is this the 1950s?! I’m a woman, and I ride bikes fast! What’s so weird about that?

Are you seeing some kind of pattern, here? Right this minute, all over the place, people are having this meeting:

Sales dude: Damn, we need to shift more chips/ pens/ bicycles!

Design dude: Shall we make the product better? I have some ideas…

Finance dude [cutting him off]: No way, mate. That stuff costs money.

Marketing dude: I know! Let’s do something really obviously offensive, so we get in all the papers! Then when everyone’s talking about how awful we are, we can issue one of those apolothingies, you know, where we say it’s…

Finance dude: …the work of an intern which does not align with our company values?

Marketing dude: Yes! Genius.

Sales dude: And then everyone’s suddenly, like, “oh! So weird, but I really feel like some chips/ pens/ bicycles!”

Marketing dude: I LOVE MY JOB.

I know there’s that stuff about all publicity is good publicity, and the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about, and advertising’s really just being about grabbing every opportunity to go DORITOS! DORITOS! DORITOS! DORITOS! at everyone until we all crack and buy some. But it would be nice if, oh, I dunno, we could do that without the casual, idiotic sexism, without the feeling that we’re being prodded into outraged retaliation while a bunch of bros sit about going, ‘See? I TOLD YOU THAT WOULD HAPPEN! Women, huh!’ and high-fiving each other. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got better things to waste my time on.


Autumn. It’s not all that.

November 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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What barbershop chorus members are really thinking

March 19, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Posted in barbershop, barbershop, music, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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* * Based shamelessly on this post from Classic FM. * *

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* * Based shamelessly on this post from Classic FM. * *

German barbershop phrasebook

March 2, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Posted in barbershop, music, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I’m off to Munich this weekend, with my lovely fabulous barbershop chorus, the White Rosettes. We’re guests at BinG!, the German barbershop convention, and we’ll be singing on stage three times over two days, then finding as many opportunities as possible to sing in stairwells, in corners of the bar and so on. I used to speak fairly good German, so I thought I’d put together a set of useful phrases that my fellow Rosettes could employ over the weekend. In true barbershop style, I’ve provided teach tracks. Mach’s gut!

At the hotel

Do you have room service? Double egg and chips, please.

Haben Sie Zimmerservice? Zweimal Spiegelei mit Pommes, bitte.

I’m having a disco nap and do not wish to be disturbed

Ich mache Schläfchen und möchte nicht gestört werden.

Please could I book an alarm for nine thirty. No, that’s correct. I am English. That’s early.

Ich möchte einen Alarmruf, bitte, um neun Uhr dreissig. Doch, das stimmt. Ich bin Engländerin. Das ist für mich ganz früh.

Making conversation in the audience

They haven’t got enough blusher on

Sie brauchen noch ein bisschen Rouge.

I liked the choreo but the sequins were distracting

Die Choreographie hat mir gefallen. Ich fand die Pailletten verwirrend.

Is that David Wright over there? I’ll be right back

Ist das der David Wright dort drüben? Ich bin gleich wieder da.

At the afterglow

My doctor has expressly forbidden me to drink beer

Mein Arzt hat mir ausdrücklich verboten, Bier zu trinken.

Three gins, please, and easy on the tonic

Dreimal Gin, bitte, und nicht zu viel Tonic.

Shall we sing a tag? Do you know ‘Clouds On Fire’?

Wollen wir einen Tag singen? Kennen Sie ‘Clouds On Fire’?

Are you going to bed already? It’s only four o’clock!

Gehen Sie schon ins Bett? Es ist aber nur vier Uhr!


And a good old-fashioned blooper reel. In case you thought this stuff was easy.

read me something

February 25, 2014 at 11:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We were chatting idly, yesterday, about how we don’t know what anyone sounds like on twitter. Despite my protestations that everyone sounds like Benedict Cumberbatch in my head, and I’m quite happy with this, people started describing their accents to me. A couple of people (including @_BLIXA_) said they would audioboo themselves reading something.

ASHURE 55s UNIDYNE MICROPHONE nd I thought, what a lovely idea. You record yourself reading a short text you love – a poem, a bit from a play, a chunk of a novel, a tech article from Cycling Weekly, whatever floats your boat – and I’ll put it on my new blog, and we all get to hear it. So not only do we know what you sound like, we get a little insight into something that’s special for you.

So here’s the newest of my bizarre side projects: text to speech. I’ve uploaded something, and so has @spandelles; I hope you’ll feel inspired to dig your favourite book out, and submit* something too.


* instructions on how to submit your recording are on the new blog

I start to suspect the internet is against me

February 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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How not to spend your morning:
1. Idly think ‘Oh, so much STUFF. I’m drowning in STUFF. How can I organise it all?’
2. Someone tweets about wonderful new online stuff-organisey thing (WNOSOT) that has changed their actual LIFE.
3. Google it. Wow! Looks cool.
4. Watch cheeky, peppy, ‘How it works! Look! So easy!’ video with jolly whistling on soundtrack.
5. Realise that, despite featuring woman on a bike and several dogs, cheeky, peppy, ‘How it works! Look! So easy!’ video doesn’t actually tell you how WNOSOT works at all.Woman on Bike
6. Oh well! Sign up anyway.
7. Sign-up attempts send you straight back to ‘Sign up for WNOSOT right now! So easy!’ page.
8. Try different browser. Same problem.
9. Try different password. Aha!
10. Think crossly that they could TELL you they don’t like passwords with alphanumeric characters, even though the WHOLE of the rest of the internet requires these, even tweetadailypictureofanotter.com .
11. Rejoice! You have WNOSOT account. Wonder what to do now.
12. Download browser extension. Looks like it worked, but you have to restart to see.
13. Restart computer. Make cup of tea while it considers shutting down.
14. Computer boots up. It worked! Add some random stuff to your WNOSOT account. Hehee!
15. Think ‘Ah! But most of the time I need to add things from my phone.’ Peruse list of apps.
16. Find third-party app that looks like it might work with Windows phone.
17. Search for it on Marketplace. Doesn’t exist.
18. Try another three. Find one that exists.
19. Click ‘install’. Windows Live! login fail.
20. Log in from computer. Get five captchas wrong while Windows Live! makes ‘DUH!’ faces at you.Valium Packaging
21. Finally get captcha right. Windows Live! promises confirmation code.
22. Another cup of tea while you wait.
23. Carrier pigeon delivers confirmation code! Reset password.
24. Log in on phone. App installs! Do happy dance!
25. Open app. Cryptic set of functions. No instructions. Hmm.
26. Open random webpage, hoping list of options has miraculously changed to include ‘Add this page to WNOSOT!’ Nope.
27. Check top of page. Little icon or something? Nope.
28. Try desktop version. Nope.
29. Search online for app instructions. Nope.
30. Email from WNOSOT. ‘We’re so excited you’ve signed up for WNOSOT! It’s so easy!’ Realise with sinking heart that the only way you can use WNOSOT is to cut and paste URLs and email them to your account.
31. Find yourself whistling jolly tune from cheeky, peppy, ‘How it works! Look! So easy!’ video.
32. Locate large pair of wire cutters and sever internet connection. Go and read book.Rock, Paper, Scissors

Winter skincare for real women. Probably

January 30, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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According to a free health ‘n’ beauty mag I picked up in a well-known chemist’s, my winter skincare routine depends on what kind of a chick I am. The choices on offer are:

  1. Office Girl
  2. Night Owl
  3. Fresh Air Fanatic
  4. Busy Mum*

I spent some time wondering whether my post-midnight twitter addiction qualifies me as a Night Owl, or whether running down the hill to school at the last minute having lingered over Just One More Chapter makes me a Busy Mum. I’m in the study right now, writing this: am I an Office Girl? I quite like riding my bike, but it’s a bit cold at the moment, so maybe not Fresh Air Fanatic. Modern life! So complicated!

Eventually I decided to write my own advice, instead.

skincare* I swear I’m not making this up

Here we go then…

February 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve started this blog as a place to put the occasional knitting pattern so I can link to it from Ravelry. God, I wish I could remember some HTML… Feeling a bit dim.

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