Sunday, 27 February 2005

Oscar deprivation

This is rather trivial, but EXTREMELY AGGRAVATING.

For the past several years, the BBC has broadcast the Oscars live.

This year, Sky Movies has the exclusivity. So no trailers, no excerpts, no nothing on *any* terrestrial channels. The BBC is thus depriving me (and millions of others) of the pleasure of watching that fun thing.

Part of the pleasure was going to the Café Board (the only time I used to venture there) and reading the reactions of people watching it at the same time as me.

I can’t believe the BBC chose to spend thousands of pounds to commission more garden or decorating programmes, more silly reality shows. It's not free (we pay over £100 per year). This year, I feel my licence fee has been misused! A big slap to the BBC.

I will go to the Café tonight, but nothing will make sense… :-(

Sunday, 20 February 2005

The colour of deception

On Friday morning I thought, "Wow! I've had a good week: nothing's really bothered me." Then I heard the afternoon news...

I would like to give a huge slap to whomever decided to add Sudan 1 - a cancer-causing dye - to chilli powder, which went into the manufacturing of Worcester sauce, which then went into the making of *hundreds* of products. From cook-chill stuff to sauces, etc.

At first, I thought I was completely ok, because I cannot eat anything spicy, so I couldn't have eaten any of the curries they mentioned in the news. But then I discovered that this dye, which "is used for colouring solvents, oils, waxes, petrol and shoe polish" was also used in all sorts of sauces, and I've been having a particular seafood sauce *every day* for the past four years. I have digestive problems, which I've managed to control for several years by eating the same thing every single day: my lunch is poached fish (mostly trout) with boiled potatoes. I need a dollop of that seafood sauce because it's all so bland.

So I spent an anxious few hours, until they released a list of contaminated products and I also saw for myself that the sauce was still on the shelves of the supermarket (it would have been recalled by then). So mine was not contaminated. The risks are probably small for people who's had the others, but they say that there is no safe level for that dye.

The cost of recalling the products is about £100 million.

I have no doubt that the inclusion of that dye was a criminal act. It's like when they used to add chalk to flour; wood shavings to tea. Anything to save money.

Sunday, 13 February 2005

I will trample you underfoot for a cheap sofa

This week I would like to nominate the people who turned the opening of a new IKEA store in a London suburb into another Hillsborough (remember that horrible disaster where people were crushed to death?) - almost.

What happened? IKEA decided - not too wisely perhaps - to open the new store at midnight and they offered huge discounts (like sofas for £45) with a deadline at 3am. Seven thousand people turned up and when the doors opened the security guards were overwhelmed as the crowds pushed through. Hundreds of people were crushed and guards were attacked by angry shoppers, who then proceeded to attack each other while fighting over items.

The papers showed video footage of those crowds looking like packs of wild animals. It was disgusting. And truly depressing. This is what some British people are like now - they have forgotten how to behave like human beings. They used to queue in an orderly line at bus stops, now this. Disgraceful!

Sunday, 6 February 2005

Hello? Anyone there?

Who on earth thought it would be a good idea to take people from pillar to post when they phone a big company? “Press this if you have a blah blah phone. Press 1 for xxxx; press 2 for yyyy. Press 14 for &%^$*().” I’m so fed up! And then, if you’re lucky you get to talk to someone in a call centre in India, who doesn’t have a clue where you live or how to solve your problem. Aaaargh!

Also I’d like to slap companies that force one to use the Internet to book stuff. The other day I spent 45 minutes trying to book theatre tickets. I used to make a quick phone call, now I have 20 minutes to finalize my booking otherwise the seats go back on the market and I’ve lost them. Twenty minutes sounds quite a long time, but it doesn’t take into account that not everyone has broadband and you can be disconnected at some point and have to try and go back to that page and …. oh, I can’t stand it.