Category General thoughts

Squirrel anyone?

There’s a particular Guardian columnist worth reading occasionally. Intelligent and articulate whilst often pretentious and sometimes misguided, George Monbiot is keen on making contentious comment in order to keep his political and environmental views in the public eye. Well, just recently, his column caught my eye and, after wading through some fairly flowery prose, it […]

A hidden gem of a restaurant at the Fringe

I spent a week at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe just recently. I’ve been a few times now, and if you’ve never been, you’re missing a wonderful yet daunting experience. Nowhere in the world is there collected so much talent in one small space. In less than a month there are more than 3,000 shows with […]

Summer in the City

Everyone’s an expert. Just listen to any of the phone-ins on local radio or maybe Jeremy Vine’s show on Radio Two, especially following some big news item, and you’ll hear incredible levels of knowledge about almost everything. Last week’s budget was a good example where it was a surprise to find there were so many […]

Are you being served?

We all know there are things that irritate us about waiting staff. It’s a particularly subjective and personal matter but, in a recent unscientific survey carried out by yours truly, there appears to be some common complaints. Over all, it doesn’t seem to matter how competent the waiter is, whether he can carry six plates […]

He who shouts loudest

Being the middle one of five children, I learned, very quickly, that I had to be loud, very loud, just to get myself noticed. Well, maybe I didn’t actually have to be be loud. But it was the only way it occurred to my simple self to get listened to when pitched against my two elder, […]

Saving your reputation

I’ve written before about the necessity of good promotion and marketing to make a restaurant successful. When most people think of marketing they think of advertising but that’s only an element of a wider marketing plan and, for many independent small businesses such as a single restaurant, advertising can be beyond their budget; at least […]

Are you getting my message?

There are many reasons as to why restaurants are such risky businesses and so many fail but one of the biggest is that they’re not very good at telling people that they’re there. As part of my ‘apprenticeship’ where I spent a number of months working voluntarily in a number of different establishments, I was […]

Planning without permission

Driving back from London late one Sunday evening a few weeks ago, I found the A1 closed for maintenance somewhere in the depths of Northamptonshire or Nottinghamshire or some other such sounding place. Annoying. You somehow think that because you’ve chosen a quiet time to travel, you can control the long journey and arrive home […]

Don’t be fooled by processed food

It’s like a war out there. Who would you trust? After all, it’s down to you. You’re the one who’s going to determine whether you survive and ultimately succeed. It’s apparent, just by the fact that you’re reading this newspaper, that you’ve got what it takes; that you’re intelligent enough. So, who do you believe? […]

Weighty matters

So, it’s official. Clothes are now to be sold in four sizes: small, medium large and normal. It appears that along with 60 being the new 40, fat is now the new normal. What next: uneducated being the new clever? But, weird as it may sound, uneducated is promoted as clever and, dare I say, […]