Friday, 12 February 2010

The Sound of Tomtoms

K passed her test recently, and we set off on Tuesday to collect her 'new' car from my sister in Wedmore. The idea was that we would return in convoy, me hunched in the passenger seat with my fingers crossed, navigating K; the Social Secretary following behind. Expecting that we would separate en route (one way or another), she borrowed a TomTom navigator.

Being an old school cartophile/mapini (lover of maps) I've disdained these things, so the journey down to Somerset became a war of wills. I admit the irritatingly know-all TomTom rattled me, especially on the motorways. On the smaller roads it became a bit hyperactive, getting over-excited miles ahead about junctions where we just had to go straight on anyway, and imperiously demanding that we turn left at sharp bends where there was no other way to go. By the time we arrived, having bred successfully (in the past, not on the M4), I had begun to feel redundant. Navigation was about the only remaining thing I'd been useful for.

An evening in the pub and a takeaway curry were probably not the best preparation for the journey home. Not wanting to rouse the household by fetching a glass of water meant that I kept waking up with the sensation that someone had sneaked up and welded my tongue to my palate with a glue gun. When we departed next morning I left my dressing-gown behind; not a tragedy except it was an old one of the SS's, with pink ribbons below the bust. I may not own up to it.

Coming home, on the outskirts of Frome the TomTom and the SS over-rode my intention of turning right by way of flashing headlights and wild gesticulation, and we became lost. The TomTom lost its head completely, bleating about recalculating. Later, when we began ignoring the motorways for the A303 and A25, it became petulant and complained about losing its satellite. Haha, TT nil, BT one. And it can't mow a lawn.

The SS wants one anyway. Says it doesn't snore.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Paperchase Sucks?

Paperchase describes itself as "the undisputed retail brand leader in design led and innovative stationery in the UK". Any Twitterers may already have learnt of this company's alleged (and I for one am convinced) unscrupulous and unrepentant plagiarism of an indie artist's work, for incorporation in its products.

Hidden Eloise is an independent artist whose work appears to have been stolen by Paperchase. A former employee of the company has said that the company's design team has a long history of ripping artists off in this way. Unfortunately, unless you have a corporate bank balance, the courts provide no answer.

Here, perhaps, is another opportunity for users of the Web to flex their muscles and shame the company into a more moral code of conduct. I've emailed Paperchase here to say what I think, anyway.

Monday, 8 February 2010

A Glimpse of the Future?

I don't know what made me dream last night. For some of it I was back at Lily Farm. There were some trespassers, and an unpleasant spell scrambling up rocks to escape a flooded river. I'll spare you most of it, because other people's dreams are very boring. But the end seemed worryingly plausible.

I was being led by a nurse into what I knew to be some sort of mental institution. Coming to some double doors there was a woman cleaner coming the other way, and I stepped back to let her through. Someone behind remarked, "Would you believe that?"

It got me thinking, and I asked the nurse, "When I'm away, do I attack people or expose myself or do anything unpleasant like that?"

She replied, "No. You're just a bit out of it." Another nurse added, "Yesterday you called a ladder a rabbit."

I replied wittily, "Those rabbits can be damn slippery," and everyone laughed.

If this was really a peep into the future, I'm slightly reassured that I may be more or less behaving myself, even if I am with the fairies. And that I might have the odd cogent moment.

Albeit with the emphasis on odd.