Friday, 13 March 2020
Thursday, 12 March 2020
Thursday, 16 January 2020
- In reference to one of the recently deceased partners of the firm (not the body discovered in the deed box by the way)… “[he died] as I am sure he would have wished to die—in harness. It scarcely seems a month ago that I walked into his room and found him at his desk, his pen grasped in his hand—[.]”
- “It had been on my conscience a bit—but a trust isn’t like a conveyancing or litigation matter that has to be kept marching strictly along—and you know how it is. I was a bit rushed and the least urgent job went to the wall.”
- “A man who hunted down facts with the passionless pleasure of a butterfly collector and pinned them to his board with the same cold precision.”
- Describing a scene in the Law Society eatery: “Their nearest neighbours were two middle-aged solicitors, one of whom was eating spaghetti and reading a law journal, whilst the other appeared to be amending a draft contract on a diet of fish cakes.”
- In reference to a cat: “He had long had his eye on a particularly stupid pigeon which roosted in the plane tree at the south end of the garden. He had noticed that lately it had formed a habit of making its evening toilet perched on the lowest branch of the tree.”
- “I hate the law. I loathe and detest all this pettifogging round with words and figures, and hours and days and weeks spent mangling bumph”
- “He thought of the future. Ahead of him stretched unbroken reefs of trouble. Endless shocks to his nervous system; endless assaults on his gastric fluids; endless nights when fear of insomnia would prove more potent than insomnia itself.”
Monday, 30 September 2019
Tuesday, 19 December 2017
|(Yes - I've really cut this out from the paper and scanned it in.)|
Best. Christmas. Ever. I mean - Christ... where do you go from there?
If Asda are right, future Christmases are going to have scarily big shoes to fill.
There’s enough ‘organic’ pressure exerted on people throughout November and December to enjoy Christmas at all costs without subjecting them to a marketing campaign that’s focused solely on adding to that pressure. Come on, Asda - that’s just cruel!
I’m not particularly anti-consumerist around the festive period. I’m really not. But I really hate the way that after months of build-up and increasingly intense coercion to invest (in every sense) in Christmas and all things Christmassy, from the evening of 25 December onwards, it’s dropped like a scalding-hot turkey that everyone ought to be ashamed of. Before people have barely had time to whip off their tacky paper hats or locate the Alka-Seltzer to ease their indigestion from gluttonous helpings of Christmas lunch, the message comes down from on high that Christmas is over, it’s time to move on and focus on stampeding out of the house to the Boxing Day sales as a remedy for being cooped up with loved ones for, what, a WHOLE fricking day. Hours later, we’re then directed to shift our minds to New Year’s stuff, detoxing and gym memberships.
So, after months of being subjected to shedloads of Christmassy shit, we’re then, in an instant, to pretend it never even happened?!? Well – I’m sorry. I’m just not playing that game anymore.
I honestly believe that enjoying the entire festive period is much better for our collective mental health. Why the constant search for the next big thing? How about celebrating the present for a bit?
So, Asda, I’m going to enjoy Christmas, but I’m not going to try to inflate it into something bigger that it can never live up to. And I’m not going to venture into one of your cheap and nasty stores in any event.
Try to come up with something a bit more sensible for next year’s Christmas campaign, eh?
Monday, 6 November 2017
Since 2010, November has always brought with it the first opportunity since the previous December to wrap my chubby little chops around a Christmas-themed sandwich during my lunch hour. As you can tell, I'm something of a lunchtime gourmet when I venture into the office.
Imagine my delight when today, after two weeks of eagerly looking, I finally spotted the Christmas butties
neatly haphazardly displayed on the chiller shelf in Sainsbury's Local. There was just one Turkey Feast left which I quickly discounted; I never fancy the 'last turkey' of anything in a shop. Thankfully, my greedy little eyes spotted a few boxes of turkey with pigs under blankets left, so I practically shoulder-barged out of the way the dithering shopper in front of me and made a grab for one.
I thought it would be a good choice with which to open my Christmas sandwich account for 2017. Turkey with pigs under blankets has been one of my go-to Christmas sandwiches for the last two or three years and it's always a safe(ish) bet (to the extent that any of them are).
I noticed that the box design has received an overhaul for this year; it now sports a bright pink exterior with a few seasonal stars (of Bethlehem perhaps?) which, I thought at the time, gave it a hint of cheeky sophistication and sass. (Incidentally - I've always been a sucker for nicely-presented tat.) So, as I mooched my way towards the self-service checkouts -- I mean, why interact with another human if you can possibly avoid it? -- I thought: “oooooh – this is going to be a belter of a sandwich”. Or, as I saw on a pub sign in the run-up to Christmas last year, "It's [going to be] like Christmas in your mouth!!". Whatever that means.
Note: this box is last year’s get-up. I couldn’t find a picture of the new one and I didn’t have the presence of mind to take a photo of the box myself.
However, my excitement was short-lived. Once I got back to the office and finally made a start on my eagerly-anticipated lunch, I was disappointed. The sandwich wasn't sassy. It was stale.
The disappointment that hit me when I finally wrapped my chops around what turned out to be a miserable excuse for a sandwich is hard to convey. It's a truly galling experience when, after a fortnight of excited anticipation, you realise after the first gobfull that your supposed Christmassy sandwich is utter shite.
So, what was wrong exactly? Well - the sausages weren't flavoursome, the cranberry sauce was insipid being neither sweet nor sharp, the turkey was largely absent and to the extent it was there, was dry, the bacon was rubbery and un-bacon-like and the bread might have been fresh sometime last week, but it certainly wasn't today. Put frankly, it was wrong in just about every way a turkey, bacon and sausage sandwich could be wrong. And, to add insult to injury, I was left with a few pence of the tawdry excuse for meat stuck in my lower left third molar for the rest of the afternoon.
Trying to force that sandwich down was somewhat akin to, I should imagine, eating a curious assortment of flavourless cardboard pieces squidged lazily between two slices of stale bread. And it cost me £2.35.
Let's hope things improve when I try a 2017 version of the Turkey Feast. Because one thing's for sure: I won't be giving the pigs under blankets a second chance this year.
Friday, 31 March 2017
For a while now, I’ve been increasingly conscious that the design of Law Actually has become a bit long in the tooth. I’ve occasionally tinkered with the look and feel of my blog over the last few years, but there’s been no escaping the fact it was based on a (now pretty primitive) blogger design from six or seven years ago. The last major refresh I’d made to the design was in 2012. Yikes.
I made a few minor changes earlier this year when I suddenly remembered I used to do (and quite enjoy) something called blogging. Don’t look at me like that: apparently, blogging simply isn’t such a big thing any more. Despite, the need for a visual change, I rather sadly recognised that it was well beyond my web design skills to produce something half-decent myself. Although blogger templates are available from third parties, they tend to be infested with problems – including advert placements and other awkward elements which are difficult to remove or modify. After a few very disappointing attempts to find a free blogger template from elsewhere, I gave up.
Given that Google hadn’t released a new blogger template since 2011, I figured something new might be coming before long. Despite a bit of digging on the blogger blog – that’s almost mind-bendingly recursive, isn’t it – I didn’t find any indication of when this might be.
I was truly delighted, therefore, when, earlier today, I visited blogger to check out my recent visitor stats and saw that Google had made a range of stunning new themes available.
The new theme categories – called Contempo, Soho, Emporio and Notable – are all stunning, modern and functional. I’ve tried a bunch on Law Actually and I had a really tough time deciding which to pick. That really speaks to the quality of options to choose from – all for what is, let’s not forget, a service that Google makes available for free. I’m no Google fanboi – heck, I use Bing in some sort or perverse act of contrarianism (or is it self-harm?) – but there’s no denying they do some good stuff from time to time.
In the end, I went with a slightly modified version of the white Soho design. The acid test was my wife’s reaction when I first showed her the new theme: “wow, that a looks a bit more modern”, she said.
Enough said, I think.