No no no, after you…

22 12 2011

I had a little rant earlier about public services.

There’s still more to come, another time.

This time it’s the public’s turn.

Whatever happened to the simple “excuse me”?

I’m getting sick to death of being bashed to one side without even a mutter of an apology, especially at this time of year.

When did it become acceptable to do this?

Did I miss the memo entitled “Manners Amnesty”?

Oh and by the way, im not a mind reader.

Don’t just stand there in silence expecting me to move out of the way.

I can’t translate your grotesque facial movements into English.

Say something.


Grunt if you have to.

It’s the season of good will apparently.

But I suppose it’s easy to forget when you get wrapped up in a world of selfishness.



Third time lucky…

21 12 2011

Abi is 26 weeks and three days.

For only the third time, I felt the little wriggle monkey move last night.

I hope I don’t grow bored of feeling him move.

It’s an amazing sensation.

Apparently he can now hear a lot more noise from the outside.

So it’s time to start briefing him on what’s going on in this crazy world.

Let me clear my throat…

19 12 2011

I went for a little walk into town on Saturday.

It was a really nice, quiet and chilly day.

I felt happy.

That is, until I heard a noise that can only be described as a fighter jet’s afterburners.

Which was worrying, considering it was near me and there is no local air force base.

As I rounded the corner to my street as I was confronted with a chap with a contorted and pained face.

He had been clearing his throat over a period of about 10 seconds.

Like a fine wine, he then seemed to roll whatever came up from the depths of Hell before spitting it out on the pavement in front of me with alarming accuracy.

The putrid slime that landed with an audible splat made me think back to Ghostbusters.

If I was 5 seconds earlier...

I just don’t understand how he could, without embarrassment, do that without apologising for his actions.

Since when did it become acceptable to do that in the first place?

But what could I do about it?

Insist that he bends down on his hands and knees and picks it up (before it rolled down the hill)?

I’d probably just get stabbed for my troubles.

The art of photo bombing…

16 12 2011

<big post warning>

I love photo bombing.

It’s not meant to be a malicious activity, well most of the time.

I hope it brings a smile to the unsuspecting recipient.

And adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

For those that don’t know what a photo bomb is, The Urban Dictionary defines it as:

“The fine art of ruining other people’s photos. Usually by running in the background or making a silly face in the background. It’s usually done to strangers, but shit man, you better run if they notice at the moment, because you might get your ass kicked.”

I’ve partaken in a my fair share.

In the good old days of camera film, you knew that the surprise was guaranteed.

With the unfortunate invention of digital cameras, it has killed a degree of this surprise.

But don’t let this stop you.

So here’s my guide to “The art of photo bombing” with a few examples from theChive.

1. It’s all about the face
Ugly? Deranged? Blank? Intensely happy? Fist in mouth? There are lots of faces that you could pull and sometimes it ends up being a spur of the moment decision. Again, think about the location – what would be the most out-of-place face to pull? Don’t ruin a perfectly good photo bomb with a half-cocked face. Stand in front of a mirror and practice, practice, practice. And do it without laughing at yourself.

Good face...

2. Opportunity
The opportunity must present itself, and I don’t mean someone just taking a photo (see below points). Ideally, the person taking the photo must not suspect a thing. A staged photo bomb is simply not as funny. Think “You’ve been framed” when you know the video was staged. Disappointing.

Hello Kitty snaps...

3. Location
As with opportunity, location can present itself. Think about the environment of the photo – will it result in a close up or a landscape. Do you need to be up close and personal in the background or could you hang out of a tree?

Say treeeeeees

4. Subtlety
Any good photo bomber knows that a true masterpiece lies in the subtlety of the bomb. To be able to creep in and out of the background without anyone realising a thing until the photographer sees the result and you are nowhere to be seen. Think like a ninja.

But sometimes you just need to dive on in there kamikaze style.

If the wind blows, she might be in for a shock

5. Timing

Too early or too late and you miss the chance. If there is an obvious countdown or gathering of people, this can help give a clear indication of timing. Otherwise just get prepared and if you can, pull a face throughout – chances are and if you have prepared the person taking the photo will be looking at their friends, not the background. Don’t believe me? Watch this.

6. Friend or Stranger
It’s easy to photo bomb your mates, but if you really want to push things and earn the respect of fellow bombers, get into a stranger’s photo. With only 6 degrees of separation, chances are you could see it again and you’ll well up with pride at your creation.

Moments later, this chap was attacked. I wonder who did it...

7. Accidental versus intent
Closely linked to point 2, most photo bombs are designed with full intent. Some of the classics will always be the accidental photo bomb.

Look Ma I can fly

8. Commit
Most of the time, there is only one opportunity so you need to nail it. It takes practice but if you know what face you are pulling and can anticipate when the photo will be taken, just commit and worry about the consequences later.

You know this is going to sting...

9. Excuses
Sometimes it can get ugly and I don’t mean your face. Some people simply don’t see the funny side of your beautiful addition to their photo, so have a few excuses lined up. Failing that, just run away!

10. Execution
No, not gangland execution (although if you photo bomb the wrong people, you may as well dig your own grave) but taking into consideration all of the above points. Get out there and make it happen rain or shine!

It came from the sea...

With Christmas fast approaching plenty of opportunities will present themselves. Get stuck in.

Once you refine your skills, you could become infamous.

43 floors up and using my mouth as suction, I scaled the Empire State Building.

Like a ninja, seize the moment.

My last Christmas…

15 12 2011

Christmas is about to change forever.

This will be my last Christmas of having nothing to worry about.

Eat what I want.

Drink what I want.

Do what I want (very little), when I want.

It will be the last time I can do this for a long, long time.

Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly I will undergo my own metamorphosis.

2012 sees Paul Mellor turn into a Daddy.

It’s going to be incredibly strange to then think of myself taking on that role.

But it’s one I welcome with open arms.

So here’s to my last Christmas as Paul Mellor.

It’s been fun.

The best is yet to come…

It'll be 13 more weeks until we can see what's inside this present (no that's not my wife!).

Hate the public? Work in the service industry…

13 12 2011

Grumpy old me again.

Rant time needed.

One of life’s important skills appears to be disappearing, especially in the service industry.


Restaurants, supermarkets, trains, they are all getting as bad as each other.

I know I’m generalising but bear with me.

If I get up from my table in a restaurant to go to the toilet, waiters should not push through and expect me to move out of their way.

They should invite me through first.

With a smile.

It’s a sign of good service that is just as important as the food.

Staff at my local supermarket run around forcing me out of their way with trolleys (yes, they can see me) or block my path even though they see me coming so they can stack a shelf.

Most of the time, I don’t mind moving out of the way, but they don’t even say thanks.

Call centres.

Don’t even get me started.

I know they have a job to do.

And it’s busy and frustrating dealing with the public.

Especially when they invade your work space.

But manners and even a (forced) smile cost nothing.

After all, these people who get in your way ultimately pay your salaries.

So, I suggest a new approach.


If people appear lacking in manners, they should have a sellotaped smile put into place.

It would serve as a reminder to remember their manners.

Plus it would give us an idea of which people to avoid and a laugh in the process.

It’s either that or do what my Granny used to do.

Give me a smack across the back of the head.

Like me, like my orange elephant…

12 12 2011

“Capture amazing food lookalikes”

That’s the Nokia Amazing Collective mission and I’ve put a couple of photos up on facebook already.

I admit, the Nandos chicken and chips face didn’t quite work out as expected.

But I like my orange elephant complete with pith tusks.

Stop taking the pith.

There was a weekend update from the Amazing Collective.

They have introduced a medal table so you get:

  • a bronze medal for completing the mission
  • a silver medal for achieving 10 likes
  • a gold medal for having one of your images featured on their facebook page

Somehow I’m top of the table at the moment with one bronze and two golds!

So guess what I’m going to ask next.

When you see the images pop up on facebook, hit like!

I want to stay at the top.



My Nandos chicken and chips man has made the facebook page.

Poor orange elephant 😦