Category Archives: I hate

Wallpaper

I thought the whole point of evolution was that things get better with every generation – but it seems that’s not so when it comes to wallpaper.

For some time now, design magazines have been trying to foist wallpaper on us all. Not just bland, background paper that your granny might have had to hide dodgy plaster-work either but lary, blah-type wallpaper that would have you reaching for your sunny-g’s if you saw it actually pasted up on the walls.

I can’t help but wonder if anyone is buying this stuff. It might look fine in a weeny little magazine photo where there’s nothing else in the scene except a couple of artificially arranged bits of pointlessness but why would anyone want a giant patterned wall to compete with all the other clutter in their house?

Charity crisps

Last night, I unwittingly bought a packet of Walkers Stephen Fry-up crisps (the colour of the packet duped me into thinking they were Cheese & Onion).

Today I ate them and soon wished I hadn’t. They were grim and tasted more like a burnt pan after the fry-up had been removed from it. Probably.

On one hand you could say that these charity donating crisps are a good thing, with 5p from each bag going to Comic Relief, but my cynical hand sticks two fingers up to that and reckons it’s more likely that Walkers are just doing this as an excuse for some blatant self-promotion – they’ll most likely make more from this latest bit of marketing than they’ll actually be donating.

So, to avoid any kind of crisp-related moral dilemma this charity marketing may be giving you, I recommend that you simply stick to your favourite flavour non-Walkers crisps (or a compromise flavour, now that Tomato Ketchup and Savoury Vinegar seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth) and stick a few quid in the Comic Relief collection bucket when it comes around.

Besides, if the Stephen Fry-up flavour is anything to go by, you can probably expect the other flavours to taste like something along the lines of the remnants of yesterday’s cat-food bowl, a serial marathon-runner’s trainers and the flakey variety of goldfish food.

January

January seems to start the day after Boxing Day, in everything but name, and go on for a near-eternity, sucking the life out of me as it passes and filling me with Grey Despair (about the only shade of grey I don’t like).

In the past couple of years, nature has given us snow in January as some sort of compensation but this winter December got all the goodies. Now this endless January gloom is really getting to me and I can’t help wishing that nature would chuck some more of the white stuff down to brighten the place up a bit.

I even bought a bunch of daffodils to try to inject some colour into my world but they’re refusing to open properly – their trumpets are out but the petals are clutching tightly around them like they’re trying to keep warm and they’re not even using up any water from the vase. I guess they’re suffering from the January’s too and would rather be back in the bulb.

Still, there’s only six days until February now – although in January time, it’ll probably feel more like six weeks.

Inappropriate footwear

Despite the fact that it’s January and cold and wet, there’s an astounding number of people wandering around town in the poorest choice of footwear.

Last week I saw a man in flip-flops and yesterday, when there was almost a river (well, a small stream maybe) running down Regent’s Street, I saw numerous girls wearing flimsy little ballet pumps.

It got me thinking about all the things I hate most about feet and the ridiculous things people put on them.

The worst crime is probably the most common – people who insist on wearing shoes at least one size too small.

Why would anyone do that to their feet? It’s just mean and is also thoroughly unpleasant for those of us who might unwittingly catch sight of their foot-pudge squelching out over the top.

This lack of size-sense shows up most in summer when all the badly-fitting sandals come out.

If you’re one of these people – please stop it!

I don’t want to see your toes hanging over the edge of your sandals so they touch the pavement. I don’t want to see your toes if you are not wearing sandals. And if you have manky toes, please keep them covered and don’t inflict them on the rest of us.

Oh, and when it snows – don’t slither around in stilettos like a numpty. Get yourself some appropriate footwear.

VAT

Until today, I never really thought much about this extra 2.5%. It’s just £2.50 in £100 which doesn’t look that much on paper. But now I am thinking about it, maybe I should really love the VAT rise because it’s opened my eyes to something I’d previously not noticed – that Pret (and presumably other sandwich bars) add on 20% to the price of sandwiches if you eat them in. Before today, I’d naively just thought it was cake-type foods that were VAT’d.

This is all a bit crap really. I don’t mind paying extra to sit in if I get service but when you have to queue up to buy your food and are expected to clean your table afterwards, an extra 50p on top of the price of a sandwich just isn’t worth it. It’s worth even less if you know it’s going to the government.

Guess I’ll be joining all the people who lunch in the park from now on. Although don’t tell the authorities or they might start charging us.

Carrot-danglers

Now Christmas is all about the leftovers – or if you’re missing the five-month build-up to Christmas – you’ll be pleased to hear that the shops are already preparing for Easter and have already started stocking up with Creme Eggs and hot cross buns.

With Easter falling on April 24th this year, that means a whole four months of targeted chocolate and cake bombardment.

Is it any wonder we’re a nation of fatties?

New Year’s Eve

If I was living in the opposite hemisphere, where the New Year starts in the middle of summer, I might feel differently but here in London, New Year’s Eve pretty much always sucks.

There’s been the odd year when it’s been just about bearable but if you’re thinking I’m a miserable Grinch (which, admittedly, I am sometimes), here’s just a few examples of previous New Year’s Eves I have survived:

The night that we went late and happy to a house party, only to find everyone sitting around in dead silence watching a supremely depressing late night episode of Eastenders. Out of politeness and a whole heap of optimism, I stuck it out for about half an hour but when midnight came and still no-one said anything, I faked a trip to the loo and ran out the front door only to see another freaked-out party-goer had had the same idea and was running down the street screaming an endless ’Aaaaaaaaggggh!’ Couldn’t have put it better myself.

There was the time that I went with a crowd of friends to Parliament Square to hear Big Ben ring in the new year – only the bell didn’t ring at 11pm (a few in our gang were from Germany so we were celebrating an hour early too), nor did it ring it midnight. Everyone stood around the square, kettled in by police, debating whether the clock was broken or whether we all had the wrong time. At about four minutes past, someone declared it the New Year and a few corks popped. Yip! Those Big Ben bongs which you hear on the TV or radio are not live my friend, it’s just pre-recorded fakery.

There was the time we queued for over an hour to be squished so fire-hazardly tightly into a club that there was condensation dripping all over us from the low ceiling above – only to have the bar shut at 12.30 and the staff couldn’t get us out of the door quick enough. That very crap night, followed by the endless wait in cold drizzle for a bus/cab/donkey home, was almost the final straw for me and New Year’s Eve, but not quite.

The millennium NYE was fairly crap. About 3am I left a stupefyingly drunken boyfriend in west London and crushed onto the tube to Highgate with my flatmate and his girlfriend, who bickered with each other all the very long way home, each trying to get me to side with them in the argument.

A year later, I was so miserable that on New Year’s Eve I drank everything in sight and copped off with someone so young he was barely legal. Then I proceeded to throw up for the next 12 hours before recovering on the sofa with chocolate milk and Mary Poppins.

Since then, I’ve eschewed NYE and in previous years have even volunteered to work the night shift. Actually, those were some of the better ones. At least we got to go up on the roof and watch the fireworks over the Thames at midnight – unlike half the poor punters at ground level who were stopped by the police from going onto the bridge to watch for ‘overcrowding’ reasons.

So this year, before the ghastly televisual crapfest that is Jools’ Annual Hootenanny starts, I will be burying my head under the duvet and dreaming of snow. It’s definitely one of the better ways to start a new year.