The Paul Thax Diary Podcast – 8th Jan

How not to keep your resolutions…

In this weekly podcast, Paul Thax reads a weeks entry from his 2013 diary. Find out what happens when Paul has his recurring terrifying nightmare!

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Moving house

April first, 2015. Me, my father and our friend Tony all moved into a large house together. As I am currently moving out of said house into Tonys new house’s sofa/bed settee/bench in the park…

Source: Moving house

Zizzi’s – it pays to Feedback! Absurd Wait and Apology

@WeAreZizzi how long should I expect to wait for my pizza? Been 45min now, run out of wine 😦 here

Christmas Narrowboat Experience, or Equivalent *3x REPLIES in kind!

Dear Santa,

we were sorry to miss you on the canal this Christmas time but we found your flyer too late (24th Dec) on a pub table. Can we instead book for 2016, to avoid similar disappointment this year?

We noted that on the flyer it says adults get a ‘hot drink and mince pie or equivalent’ and we need to know what could possibly be equivalent to a mince pie for such a festive excursion?

Possibly the only equivalent could be a portion of Christmas pudding, and that has to be served warm (flaming preferably) and with brandy butter so is rather unpractical, for a barge so maybe your equivalent is Christmas cake? Again slightly awkward in the need for it to be cut up, and also not having dedicated unique casings to crumb-catch such as the mince pie (usually) does.

If you were thinking of serving individual apple pies, even if they be of the famous Mr Kipling variety, simply will not do. Apple pies, even Mr Kipling’s, are in no way festive. And I’m sure I do not even need to mention that mere biscuits -even chocolate covered- again are not festive and so would be out of the question.

We are aware that some shops now sell Germanic and Italian traditional Christmas sweet goods but we feel you must surely not employ these as this ride will surely be a very traditionally English ‘Do’? So no gingerbread or raisin or hard bland cakes please.

Yule log! Yes this could potentially be an equivalent -but again unless with individual cases could be too messy, and I’d hate to think of Santa having to sweep up after everyone.

On another point – is the equivalent only actually available if you run out of mince pies? Have you ever run out of them before?

If on the day we attend you’ve run out may we bring our own? Or would you suggest we get Kitty to make a batch we can bring along, and sell to yourselves as a stop gap perhaps? If we do the latter could we get a discount on our ride? If Kitty for some reason (she may not see the year out you know) cannot do the pies could we fetch Supermarkets Own Brand? And again sell them on to yourselves or even direct to fellow trippers?

Or is the equivalent available on every trip, and not just when (and if) mince pies run out?

If so the details of the equivalent could/should perhaps be denoted on the flyer, unless the equivalent differs every trip of course.

Do excuse us if we are barking up the wrong tree here, and the mince pie equivalent is not actually equivalent in terms of it’s festive nature but rather in size or volume or monetary or calorific value?

Or indeed a savoury equivalent, e.g. pork pie (not especially festive).

Would you consider an After Eight mint an equivalent? Weight-wise it obviously isn’t but depending on special offers, or lack thereof, at the shop it might have a monetary equivalence. And on another note an After Eight Mint is eaten rather faster and so people might feel slightly disappointed as the pie-eaters have a longer snack.

For booking purposes there are four of us who would like to attend, including the afore mentioned Kitty but due to her condition we wouldn’t be able to confirm her definite attendance. Beside myself and my husband our Joycie would like to come but she has mobility issues (bunions) so we would like to know about your provisions for the infirm please. Joycie also has a mince intolerance (veganism), so you can see our imperative for the “equivalent” details!

We wanted to send you this enquiry by letter but my grand neice said to save our stamps and she is emailing this instead.

We hope this finds you having a well earnt rest Santa and look forward to hearing from you (or your elves).

Season’s Greetings

Mrs & Mrs Armitage-Senior


santa canal

A Brilliant REPLY (Just over an hour later):

Dear Mr & Mrs Armitage (Senior),

Used Hoover – You’re not Kidding!


thanks for such quick & precise delivery, that’s second to none!

I was so excited to be getting this as I recently broke mine and found this make and model to be excellent!

I was so happy to find it at a reasonable price too.

Now while it’s described for sure as ‘Used’ and there are photos to show some of the ‘used-ness’ I wish Id know just HOW used it was.It must’ve been used to hoover up something wet, or been washed but not left to dry out before its been used-it STANK 😦

I’ve had this model for 2 years myself and it has never smelt so bad, I think the user had pets and so human & pet hair & skin had clogged the filter and coated the inside of the main body, head and 1 tube. As I’m so desperate to get on with hoovering I have spent the last hour thoroughly scrubbing and washing out the stinky coating and thick goop from the filter, I feel so sick now. I just wish you had accurately described how MISused it had been to inform my buying decision fully.


Good Morning
I’m sorry you are unhappy with the condition of the item, we do state it is used, and the pictures do show it is quite dirty.
unfortunately when we test them we are in a large warehouse with shutters open so that may be why the smell wasn’t noted.
If you are unhappy with it, we do have a 14 day returns policy in place should you wish to return it.
Kind Regards

Feedback I left- NEUTRAL – Filthy & v.smelly definitely not just a catalogue return, been used with wet.


Good Afternoon
Regarding your feedback we would like to point out that this item wasn’t just listed as ex catalgoue, but as a used item, in used condition.
If contacted within the first 14 working days of receiving the item we would have accepted the item back as per our 14 day returns policy.
Kind Regards


The fact it would be ‘used’ condition was fine and fully expected but it had been MISused -ie with water – and animal remenants, sticky and foul so who knows what damage that has done to the filters etc This is not supposed to be a washing hoover but a dry one.
On an aside the back filter panel does not fix on and so I have to use it with no back filter.


Good Afternoon
You have made reference to wet, was there visible water in the item?
or could it have been wiped out and then not had time to dry before use? causing what is shown in the pictures in the listing?
Kind Regards


The solidified smelly reddish gloop was all the way down the hose tube as well as throughout the head and as you saw in the body so no, not just ‘wiped’ it was a thick reddy gloop, nothing had been wiped away at all!



Good Morning
So it could be that a sweet was hoovered up an has melted. thank you.
Kind Regards


This is ludicrous, it has nothing to do with sweets, moreover what does it matter what you are guessing at and why are you even guessing?
I’m the customer here and the one who’s manhandled and cleaned the thing out. It stank of pets and was dried liquid coated throughout the machine.

I’m not sure what you are trying to achieve by arguing the toss here, certainly not a good PR job nor good reputation for your company from me or my friends and family.
I’ve used hoovers for years and years, I am not stupid. Ive even hoovered up water myself years ago and learnt what an error that is!
I find it very odd that you are even messaging to and fro about this.

Is this some sort of joke and actually the Managers children bored of school holidays?
I think eBay will agree it’s strange behaviour for a seller.


So I left Follw up feedback’ to clarify – Expected ‘used’ but not MISused.Odd msgs from seller trying to villify

Hopefully others will check the feedback scores before buying unlike I did

Human Ages


The Human Ages

By Susan P Lampwick

There are 4 known ‘ages’ in history, they are

  • Stone
  • Iron
  • Dark
  • Old

There are more ages but for the purpose of this report I shall only claim there are 4. Though most of these ages break down in to sub sets of lesser ages, which in themselves have wide and varied ages inside them, these are also known as periods. These periods are often times of great upheaval or struggle. Which more often than not caused widespread panic, upset, violence and frequent moping about being a bit weepy.

An ‘age’ is any period in history where one specific item or way of living is more prevalent than anything else. For example we are currently living in the ‘playing on your phone or computer when you should be listening to me trying to talk to you, Thomas you bastard!’ age.

I shall now…

View original post 1,573 more words

Relax and enjoy your journey. It’s as easy as that !??

Dear Cross Country Trains,

I am a frequent customer of your services between various cities.  I am usually satisfied with my trips with you, even though I find the latest price hike not entirely value.

I’m typing today as forced to by a rather upsetting journey yesterday.  I booked a seat in 1st class as a treat to myself after a hard weekend, I travelled this way before and it was most relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable (I like the single seats especially, free WiFi and friendly service).  However yesterday was severely distressing.

As I boarded the train I did so at a further carriage and thought I would make my way up to A internally.  Well, that was the worst thinking I could have had.

I squeezed past about 2 carriages of people stood should to shoulder, most of whom were understanding and kind enough to allow me past, though others stood blank faced and rigid despite my polite yet assertive requests for movement.  But I digress, on reaching the join between the last coach and coach A I reached a stand still. The euro backpackers were friendly enough and tried to move aside but apart from these, and other people whom I can only imagine had not booked any seats –unlike myself who so carefully had and does – there was the catering trolley –wedged between carriages.  It was actually the catering rather than non reserved passengers who created the blockage and forbade my first class seat, well in fact the having of any seat!

After this long haul with my heavy baggage (almost wrenching my wrists from their sockets when hoisting it above heads to get past people) I had to give up.  Perspiring and frustrated I was left standing the whole way from one city to another, almost falling over as I was stood central carriage with nothing to hold onto.  I have never had such a terrible journey.

Finally I was left with the only option to jump out at a stop and run (with said very heavy baggage) up the platform into Coach A.  Imagine if I had not run and missed getting on? Or had put my wrists or shoulders out,  and not been able to lift my bag or get help?

I spent the last about 10 minutes in my correct seat (whom a gentleman had sat himself in, understandably as he thought the rightful person was clearly not getting on!).

In standard class I have noticed many non- reserved passengers having to stand but as a permanently reserved person I always book a seat, and successfully get to that seat.

As a 1st class passenger this was a total let down, and feel deterred from trying to book 1st again.  What was supposed to be a real treat and relaxed journey turned into a nightmare.

I hope you can see that your tag line of “Relax and Enjoy your journey.  It’s as easy as that” is totally untrue and unfitting, in this case at least!

Sad Salutations,

Miss S

Subject: Case Reference: XC141013BBH9

Ref: XC141013BBH9
Dear Ms S

Thank you for your email, received here on 13th October 2014.
I am sorry to hear about your experience on board on 12th October 2014.

It’s fair to say that we expected a more even spread of customers using trains throughout the day. We even planned our trains and carriages to accommodate this spread of customers. However, on this occasion we got it wrong and I am sorry that your train was so busy and uncomfortable.
I understand that this caused you to be unable to take your seat in the First Class Carriage. I know how important it is when you reserve a seat and it must have been particularly frustrating as you had planned ahead when you booked the treat for yourself.
As you were unable to sit in First Class for the majority of your journey I would like to offer you some compensation in rail travel vouchers for the difference in cost between a First Class and Standard Class ticket. Please can I request that you send me your postal address in reply to this email and I will get these vouchers to you.

Please be assured that I have recorded the details about your journey and will ensure they are passed to our train planning department. They will do all they can to make sure we get it right next time to prevent issues like this happening again.
Once again please do accept our sincerest apologies for this disappointing experience and I will await your contact details.

Yours sincerely
Rahimah Ali
Customer Relations Consultant
Phone: 03447 369 123
Fax: 0121 200 6004
Rate my response at

My Reply:
Hello there Rahimah,

thank you for the gesture of the price between standard and first class, although its true to say I didn’t have even a standard seat, rather only standing on my feet for that journey. Thanks none the less!

and I’ll be travelling this same way again on Sunday so I pray for smooth passage!
best wishes,
Ms S