Brilliant Christmas Present.

One of the great things I got for Christmas was a series of cycle manufacturers' adverts from a 1920s cycling magazine.  Enjoy them.

(If you click on them they become bigger)


Christmas Cracker Joke Fail

Merry Christmas everyone.


Christmas Wish List

I'm not greedy when it comes to Christmas.  In fact, my Christmas list has only one item on it.

It's a five foot long model of a prehistoric amphibian.  He's called John.  The Yorkshire Museum are selling him on ebay.  If you don't live near enough to collect John, don't worry, because I do.  I've measured the upstairs landing and there's room for him there.

I promise that I won't play with him until Christmas Day, and will write you a nice thank-you letter on Boxing Day.  Thanks in advance for your generosity, and for enabling me to give John a home.

What John might look like on the upstairs landing.


Pink. Not always a good colour.


A Guest Post by Hester Made (up)*

When Marc invited me to write for his blog, five days ago, I was intrigued by the invitation.  I’ve never appeared on the internet proper.  Of course I’ve appeared on the website of the newspaper I write for, The Late-Afternoon Push, but I’ve never appeared on a blog before, I had to ask my daughters what they were.  “What the hell,” I thought, “you only live once.”

I agreed to write a guest piece and began to consider the numerous subtle and important differences between writing for a blog and writing my regular column for The Push.  Having brainstormed for an hour, and having disregarded many spurious and silly notions, I realised that I had two main areas of concern.

Firstly, the blog’s logo is large, contains pseudo-Soviet imagery and is red.  Would it clash with my hair?  I soon realised that this was beyond my control.

Secondly, the page colour is grey.  On Loose Women this week they stated that grey is unflattering so I knew that I would have to choose my writing-outfit carefully.  I went through my wardrobe.  Disregarding a pink floral dress, a blue trouser suit, a green wizard’s-hat and a bust of W.G. Grace, I settled on an old pair of  jeans.

Now these jeans have seen better days.  Push readers will know that they’re a bit frayed, but their fit is like no other jean.  I was concerned that they might not last for the five days until I began writing and knew I would have to take measures to ensure that they would.

I put my best foot forward and began to pace up and down in the garden.  It was then that I had a flash of inspiration.  I knew, having considered frozen food at great length – I may even have written about it – that freezing things preserves them, so I headed off to the garage.

As regular readers of my Late-Afternoon Push column will recall, our freezer is kept in the garage.  This does not cause any problems though, as the car is kept on the patio, the garden furniture in the attic, the random loft-boxes in the dining room, the dining table in the conservatory, the hat-stand, pot plant and welcome-mat in the living room and my husband in the shed, which is locked (from the inside).

I put the jeans in a watertight plastic bag (not daft, me) and placed them in the freezer on top of the frozen broccoli, between the Findus Crispy Pancakes and Arctic Roll.

It was there that they lay, until five minutes ago, when the time came to write my 400-500 word post.  I went into the garage, opened the freezer, and there they were.  It took a couple of minutes to put them on and they feel a bit chilly, but I’m sure you’ll agree they’re lovely.  Same time next week?

*Hester Made (up) is a fictional character and in no way represents any columnist from the York Evening Press, especially not Julian Cole, as he is quite good.



One of the things I've learned about recently, while building a website, is advertising.  I've learned that a lot of internet advertising (ads by Google, for example) is contextual.   Google use the words that are on the page to determine which advert to place there.  Today, I wrote about dancing, and dancing related adverts appeared on that page within seconds.  Another popular form of advertising is behavioural targeting, as used by Facebook, in which contextual advertising is further refined by using data from the user's past click-stream (ads that they have clicked on).

These are all adverts that have been targeted specifically at me.  I am perplexed.  Does anyone else have an advert profile as strange as mine?

To see the picture in its full size, click on it.


I'm in Australia

Not content with being here on this page, not in Australia, I'm there on this page, in Australia.  A jolly nice place it is too.  Thanks Splex and Alpii.