Sunday, May 15, 2016

Leeds - in the Dock

I visited Leeds Dock this afternoon.  What a depressing place.  I don’t know how long it’s been there but it’s already showing signs of falling apart.  Compared to what it might have been the Leeds waterfront / river area is a bit rubbish.  It has the distinct look of a 2000s property boom gone wrong.  You just know they will have talked a lot about 'exciting spaces' and ‘regeneration’ – which many people have now spotted was short-hand for property speculation / expensive flats.  Cheaply built expensive flats by the looks of it.  I think all the cool young people earning a fortune in ‘digital industries’ are supposed to live in them when not out jogging to the office, eating sushi, playing ping-pong outside cafes and riding bikes with no gears to Tesco Metro.  But I think the word ‘faux’ applies to a lot of it – faux public spaces, faux community, faux cool, faux bleeding edge…For people who have ‘lifestyles’ but oddly find that they don’t always feel as great as they should.

I don’t know when it was all built but it was clearly quite recently.  But now we see the stains on the buildings, the cracks, the weeds, the plastic coating peeling off posts and railings, plants and green algae growing where they’re clearly not supposed to, rusty bits on vents and fittings and maintenance budgets (if they have them) presumably not up to the task.  Like a smart City trader after a weekend in the cells it doesn’t look so smart any more.  It looks a bit abandoned really.  

And basically it’s a pile of tower-blocks.  I don’t know if anyone estimated how long they’d last when they built them, my guess is that was a question dodged, but I predict that it’ll be less than 20 years before the first one comes down and the questions start getting asked as to how they got away with so many shoddy buildings that no-one really wanted or needed.

I just Googled ‘Leeds Dock’ and it seems it has a website – “Leeds Dock is a thriving public space featuring the best the city has to offer, from flexible contemporary workspace to quirky caf├ęs and outdoor dining”.

It doesn’t look like it’s thriving (if it was maybe they wouldn’t have to insist it was) and I suspect that most of the space is actually private.  Quirky cafes – oh Lord save us!  Look at the News section for a list of Tweets about how brilliant it seems to be desperately trying to be.  

Am I just being harsh and cynical?  Probably.  Are these people really having a wonderful time?  Perhaps so and I should embrace 'independent food' and 'agility workshops 'to improve your run' (for only £12.50!) and waterside yoga and...well, perhaps it's just not for the likes of me...   

Friday, May 13, 2016

NISA local

There’s a new ‘NISA’ shop opened near me.  Just down the road from a little Tescos and a Co-op.  It opened in April.  I give it until Christmas.  Which is sad.  Presumably someone does viability projections on these things and maybe they ask a few local people – though probably not is my guess.  If they’d have asked me I’d have said it’d close by Christmas…

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The World's First Treat-Tossing Dog Camera

The world's first treat-tossing dog camera is here ladies and gentlemen!

Just in case you thought that human striving and endeavour was a bit of a waste of time sometimes...

For some reason I got signed up to one of those crowd-finding websites.  That's how I know about this  This groundbreaking idea is 302% funded.  So I don't have to.  Luckily.  Even though it has barking alerts and night vision.  

Maybe if I'm quick I can invent the dog-tossing treat camera?  Or the camera tossing treat dogger?

Barking alert seems appropriate I suppose... 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

I is the NME / mighty fallen

I remember when you’d get the likes of Bogshed on the front cover of the NME - and that was back in the days when the NME was a big deal and competing with Sounds and Melody Maker.  But this week it has a lad in a suit on the front with the headline ‘this is suiting’ (whatever that might mean) – it’s an advert for Topman.

How are the might fallen eh?

Given the way the modern world is mind, I can just hear someone claiming that the lad in the suit is not actually on the cover but on the ‘wraparound’ or some-such logic-defying made up ad-speak.  Call me out of touch but to me the front cover is the thing that’s on the actual front of the magazine, the bit that you see without having to open it.  You know, the front.  The cover.  The front cover.  And not what's hidden inside.

I’m not blaming the NME for this state of affairs by the way but it’s still sad to see.  I doubt whether the old NME would have had a full-page advert for DFS settees in it either (or cars) but there you go…

The cover does tell me that it’s now OK again to wear white socks.  About time, I never had a problem with them.  Mind you the suits are too skinny and the trousers too short even for a 20 year old.  So there.

Who’s on page 3?  Jimmy Clitheroe.  My name for Biffy Clitheroe.  Or Clyro.  I bet their publicity people tell the world that they're on the cover of the NME this week.  Unfortunately they're not.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Weather what they tell you is true or not...

I'm not particularly comfortable moaning about the weather forecast but well, today...

Today I heard them saying on Radio 4 at about 8.30am that the weather 'in the North of England' was grey and cloudy and showery and would stay that way.  In fact it was bright and sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky.  People were remarking about what brilliant weather it was.  At a couple of points during the morning I checked various on-line weather sites including the BBC.  Many of the forecasts had those graphs divided into hours - and all of them said that in Leeds it was cloudy and raining.  WTF? (Oh that's 'Want That Fashion' according to a hoarding I passed today - they're just so darned clever those advertising types y'know?!)

Did none of them have a single intern or anyone at all who could look out of the window and work out that they were completely wrong?

In the end the weather did turn bad (some time in the afternoon) but it's a really surreal experience to be told by authoritative voices on the radio and usually reliable on-line sources like the BBC that black is actually white, or rather bright blue skies are actually grey rainy skies.

Maybe it was a glitch in the Matrix or tax haven money being re-shovelled about that caused the world to shift off its axis slightly...Shows that our super duper ever so modern 24 hour rolling weather world is not as advertised though...

Comfort Essentials

There exists in the world such a thing as Moisturising Gel Reflexology Socks.

“Comfort Essentials” apparently…I thought it essential that I tell you this fact.  I expect the UN will add this to the list of things a person needs that are essential along with drinkable water, shelter etc.

Monday, April 04, 2016

One for apostrophe fans'

There you go apostrophe fans, pick the bones out of this one - Cleethorpes sea front btw...

Big night in planned...

I caught a glimpse of a TV listings magazine this week.  I think I may have to stay in on Thursday.  Channel 5 have "Botched Up Bodies - Big Boobs Gone Bad" followed immediately (actually after 10 minutes of adverts I imagine) by "Baby Faced Binge Eaters".

And they say that television is shite nowadays...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Little Mix

For reasons I won't go in to (intriguing eh?!) I saw Little Mix perform last night.  I was trying to sum it up in a sentence.  That sentence is 'an S&M show for 9 year olds'...Gosh I'm full of myself - but can't help being proud of my journalistic brevity.

Btw, I was suggesting to someone that the name Little Mix was a pun on 'Little Minx' but they said no, it wasn't.  But surely I'm right.  I must be right!  I must be!

Actually the show was very like the sort of thing you see on the pier end in Skeggie, just marketed and monetised to the max.  A sexy one, a spooky one, a sing-long, a wave your phones in the air, a sit on the face of the backing dancers in your scarlet waspie.  But that's where I came in...