Category Archives: MUSES

No veneer in ‘ere?


Oak Furniture Land just got their TV advert banned for spouting blatant untruths – well, one, the one about veneer.

A bit CRUCIAL though – like: This car has wheels – oh no, sorry, it doesn’t.

To be fair I don’t mind this company’s adverts – they’re jolly, and don’t employ any mind-bending techniques or aspirational music.
Truth is, I was going to give them a quick blast – as we noticed last night their BIG WINTER SALE is on (hot on the heels of Xmas sale, boxing day blah blah) – so we’ve started noting just how many SALES they’ll manage this year.

Any guesses?

Motorway Services – prices to die for . .

We spent a lot of time on the road this past weekend, travelling almost the length of the country one day, then back the next.

This meant about every two hours stopping for coffee (for me) at one of those rip-off centres along the Motorways. “Services” they call them.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re handy – necessary even, to combat fatigue, ease aches, use the loo, re-caffeine yourself!

and then there’s the prices . . . . at one time ‘excepted’ as one of life’s little buggers (need fuel – 20p extra a litre please) – the rip-offs are so blatant it’s a shock.  It’s the –
‘If you have to get it now, here – where no rules of normality seem to apply – then I’m gonna charge you what the bloody hell I like, matey”

Not nice is it?

Age of the SHTRIG

shtrigPulling a few loose strings together . . . . . .

Lendita and her Nieces have a habit of telling each other off if one or the other doesn’t ‘pick-up’ when they call.  Part of this telling off includes the word (I thought) – ‘Schtreek’.

I asked about this, and apparently it’s Albanian for ‘Witch’ – I was heartily amused, because to my ears ‘shriek’ is exactly the sound Witches make as they hurtle down out of the clouds on their broomsticks (as you’ll be aware, if you leave bedroom windows open at night).

So, I Googled the word – as you do, and the best match appeared to be SCH (I was happy with this, I can do that sound) – SCHIERKE – which (ha) is sort of shriek – I thought.

  • Schierke (derived from a word in local dialect meaning ‘unspoilt wood’ ) is the name of a village located in the Harz Mountain range of Northern Germany. In present day it is part of the state of Saxony-Anhalt and is now considered part of the town of Wernigerode. Schierke lies below the highest mountain in the region, the Brocken, which for uncounted centuries has been connected to legends and fairy tales concerning witches, devils and other supernatural beings. The summit of the Brocken is held as the traditional place of revelry for witches on Walpurgisnacht (April 30) (Notably this was used in a scene of Faust by Goethe) Modern-day Schierke is host to a festival every year on Walpurgisnacht.
  • Or:   (the German word schier means, in the Harz area, an utterly, unspoilt wood

Ok, so far, so fluffy.   Excited at this present-day link with a past area I once lived in and enjoyed so much, I thought I’d better find out what the word actually was.

SHTRIG – she scribbles – phone in the other hand.  Eh?  I hadn’t heard the “G” at the end – and Googling again only suggests:






OH, OK – (google can only do so much, can’t it?)





Bloody Hell!  I wish I hadn’t found out now.

Forget El Nino – it’s now La Nina


On a lighter note – here in Bournemouth, UK it’s bloody cold for the last week of April.  I guess I’m hoping it’s heralding a bright (warm) Summer ahead – but who knows?

Certainly the UK Met office doesn’t – their 30 day forecast is, em . . . about as good as I could do, without the use of their £97,000,000, 000 super-computer (no, really) .
Have a quick read – it really is a laugh –

We, as a planet are moving out of the 2015/16 El Nino ( – and they’re (Christ! there’s always a “they” isn’t there?)  talking about possibilities for a La Nina (I’m not making this up, I swear) – though surf as I might, nothing is mentioned about ramifications of an La Nina for Northern Hemisphere.

Need a more expensive computer, perhaps?

Branding, blanding

Here is a snippet from Alex Proud’s piece in The Telegraph UK newspaper.

The entire piece is <<here>> it’s a long piece (1767 words) but give it a go, if you’ve a mind to.

“However, brands are addictive, so as time went on, I spent more and more time thinking about the brand and less and less time thinking about photographers and art. People would ask, “How are things going?” and I’d say, “Great. The brand got some really good exposure this week. In Dazed, which is right where our values are.” I’m still not sure what I meant by our values. But I guarantee you conversations like this are taking place in a thousand architect-designed offices around the country right now. And the people involved will be talking in that weird super-serious tone which is only ever used by those whose jobs are totally unserious. It’s a tone you never hear doctors or structural engineers use.”

Nearing the mainstream

aldi et al - tune into the mainstream, and become weaker for it
aldi et al – tune into the mainstream, and become weaker for it

Such a shame.  It wasn’t long ago I really enjoyed being an Aldi or Lidl shopper.  I felt on the verge of great discoveries.  Truly kicking aside the fake-friendly, bargain-lying, pack-your-bags-for-you-sir? Utter crap that I felt constituted the UK supermarket scene.

Fast forward to 2016 and you can hardly tell them apart.  And with that the prices, once about half or a third of comparable goods in Sainsburys, or Tescos – are now edging-up as market share gains, and habits are re-set.

Witness their Social media pages, their TV adverts, music style borrowed from the established players, chatty-batty commenting, so obviously tuned to the mainstream – not a German mis-quote, or misunderstanding of a slogan in site, sight, site, either will do in this case – and all the worse for it.

It was good while it lasted.