Posts Tagged ‘news’

I’ve recently been lamenting the lack of any decent blogging fodder so I cheered up no end when presented with a little gift this morning courtesy of breakfast news: the urge to share proved irresistible.

Steve Bloom, an independent second-hand bookseller from Hawes, a tiny village in the Yorkshire Dales, hit national headlines this week because he dares to charge people 50p to browse in his shop, Bloomindales. (Get it? Bloom–in–Dales? The story gets better).

Steve generously offers to refund the browsing fee should a purchase ensue but the local parish council are up in arms because, according to various media reports, they have had twenty complaints in four years (good grief, how do they cope?) about Mr Bloom’s rudeness when customers refuse to cough up. He even called one man ‘a pain in the arse.’ Amazingly, opinion on this earth shattering news is divided. Some folk seem outraged that a nominal fee is required – haven’t they ever been to a craft fair? Here in Surrey it’s quite usual for a £10 entry fee to be charged – and there’s no refund under any circumstances, not even if you clear the knitted animal stall right out.

Now dubbed the Basil Fawlty of booksellers and the rudest shopkeeper in Britain, Mr Bloom can probably look forward to celebrity status and a long line of customers just waiting to be insulted. After all, there are now Fawlty Towers themed events which command top dollar. Why not Bloomin’ Bad-tempered Books?

Should we be expected to pay-to-browse? Mr Bloom has conceded to a sign on his door detailing his 50p eccentricity. Is it eccentric? Perhaps he’s just brilliant at marketing and all this adverse publicity will get the punters pouring in.  I do hope so.

So – what do you think? While you’re making up your mind, here’s a bit of vintage Basil to remind us all of what it is to be British. Enjoy!





Read Full Post »

Thought I’d share a couple of this morning’s news items with you.

The first concerns James Bond and a team of medical researchers from Nottingham University. During six months of intensive study, two medics have had to read all Ian Fleming’s novels about the British agent and record every time 007 takes a swig from a cocktail glass. I’m sure we have been waiting for this evidence for decades: James Bond is a drunkard. And what’s more, his drinking habits are so out of control that, conclude our intrepid researchers, in no way would he be able to perform the feats of heroism outlined in each and every story. This could have serious consequences for MI6’s recruitment drive. Hopeful young wannabe spies will be disappointed to learn it’s not all about swanning around in tuxedos quaffing a never ending supply of martini and green olives.

Picture: Daily Mail archive

Picture: Daily Mail archive

What I’d like to know is this. Who paid for this crucial research and when will they be ruining the fantasy further by analysing 007’s ability to stand upright on a fast moving express train? Perhaps when they have finished with 007 they could turn their attention to Superman. I have always wondered how Clark Kent manages to change so quickly within the confines of a telephone box. Every sane person knows it is impossible to put on a pair of tights in an upright position.

To be honest I’m shaken and visibly stirred.

The second news item that caught my attention (and which, I might add, made me late for work) was the notion that all contact sports (including football, rugby and hockey) should be banned for children under the age of fourteen. In case they become concussed. Now, while I am well aware that any head injury is potentially dangerous how can anyone in their right mind (or possibly concussed one?) think that a complete ban is the answer? As long as correct emergency procedures are followed in the event of an accident, are we no longer covered in this overly cautious society we are living in?

Tell you what, why don’t we all just keep our infants strapped into their car seats, stick them in front of a screen, supply them with a handset, wire them up to a pure oxygen supply and leave them there till they’re teenagers. It’s what they’ll be doing from thereon in anyway.

Might as well give them a head start.

Read Full Post »