Makeup Shopping – A Mans Minefield

It was recently the birthday of She-Who-Steals-The-Duvet, and like any dutiful boyfriend, I trudged off into town full of good intentions… I would come back with The Perfect Gifts… I sought out the usual outlets, bath products from Lush… jewellery from Argento… A quick look through HMV and Waterstones to no avail….and then the obligatory mission to Debenhams & House of Fraser… This. Is. Terrifying. I have no experience or expertise in this area. I had luckily been given some guidance from Her on what she might like…however even the vernacular is daunting! Approaching a be-lab-coated shop assistant and asking “I’m looking for what I think is called a Chubby…however if that’s wrong, please don’t have me forcibly removed from the store…?” I went into Boots and knowing that She writes this blog, I thought it might be nice to get her a brand leader product to review…so I asked a woman who I presumed was an air stewardess for Emirates although turned out to be a salesperson for Clarins… I was sold L’Oreal Million Volume Lashes, it is relatively expensive compared to other mascaras that I could see, at over £10, but I was clueless… She told me it was the best selling in the UK and that it was perfect for everyone, I bought the sales pitch because I know nothing on the subject. I don’t know if it is the plethora of different products that one person could apply to their face or the multitude of different brands all claiming to be different that scares me most…. Perhaps it’s the House-Of-Wax appearance of the sales staff,...
Is This What A United Ireland Would Be?

Is This What A United Ireland Would Be?

I regularly wonder what “a united ireland” would be. Many people call for it, but would the reality be what they expected? Very few people indeed are alive today that remember a united ireland… and the world of 2014 is far removed from the world of 1916…So what would happen?   ————————————————– The year is 2038 and Northern Ireland, as it was known to you and I, is a very different place indeed. The political campaign on behalf of the nationalist parties at Stormont escalated their reunification rhetoric prior to 2020, with Sinn Fein even taking up its seats at Westminster for 2 years immediately prior to the collapse of the union. Some political commentators saw this as grandstanding in front of their british adversaries, conveying the message “We are here now…and we’re getting what we want.” The rise to dominance of Sinn Fein was brought about by the Great Unionist Schism of 2016, where constant in-fighting and scandals had ripped apart the old guard of the Democratic Unionist Party, leaving a wake of political devastation in its path. Alternative Unionist parties fought like rabid dogs to poach those left untouched from the self-destruction of the DUP. The TUV and the UUP leaders, Jim Allister & Mike Nesbitt famously coming to blows on the now defunct TV channel “BBC Northern Ireland,” with host Stephen Nolan infamously having his collar bone broken by a chair thrown by Allister. Eventually the dust settled and where half a dozen unionist parties once were, now stood over 30. Every corner of the land had a self appointed “local community leader” forming a political...
Abort me? Why not…

Abort me? Why not…

First let me say this, men exert too much control over the female reproductive system. We are entitled to an opinion of course, but ultimately nobody knows what is best for the health, well being and future of a pregnant woman except the woman herself. I have a specific viewpoint, because I was nearly aborted and to be honest, I am completely ok with that. It seems of late there have been too-many poster women in Ireland for the Pro-Choice lobby. Unfortunately you don’t become a poster woman by standing in the Dàil or Stormont and speaking in favour of women’s rights. It is a position attained only through oppression & subjugation. Women like Savita Halappanavar. Women like the unnamed victim of the state who we have learned of in recent days, who have had their rights cast aside by the patriarchal society that I live in and that women live through. According to the British Pregnany Advisory Service, last year almost 4,500 women travelled to England from Ireland & Northern Ireland for abortion treatment. This current situation benefits no-one. Actually that is incorrect, it benefits the tourism industry…. That local women must travel from their home, stay in a hotel alone, or if they are lucky, perhaps with a friend or their partner, whilst enduring an incredibly traumatic personal medical procedure… All because this island does not consider human rights to extend to both parties in a pregnancy. My mother was 20 when she became pregnant. She was raped at a party and tried to hide that it had happened to her from her family out of shame....

Why Not Be Lazy When Trying To Promote

There is one phrase that pisses me off more than any other… “can I get an expresso?” No….no, no no…not that one…the other one… “Why not try our…..” I hear it most often at Makro Cash & Carry. Or I should say that’s where I first realised it bugged the fuck out of me…. “Why not try our fresh baked bread” “Why not try some fish from our fishmongers” “Why not try our coffee, on offer this week” It is just abject laziness. The promoter can’t come up with a way to encourage you or I to purchase a product or indulge in an offer. They cannot formulate a reason or method to persuade the consumer to take a chance on something they hadn’t intended to purchase….someone somewhere has said “we need to push the [insert product close to sell-by date here]” and their Tannoy announcer/social media pusher has decided “erm…why should the customer not try this….ooooh, that’s it! Why SHOULDN’T THEY!!!!!! “Why not give up on creative promotion and just trot out the same old bollocks” It you’re going to actively try to sell a product, try to sell a product. Don’t ask the customer to wrack their brains for a reason not to. Anyway….perpetrators: if you aren’t media trained our PR savvy! take heed. If you are a big company with a lot of rich people in converses in charge of your marketing, get them a thesaurus before they start to refer to your products as “really...

#BlameNelson – FOI Request response #1

As I previously blogged about, I sent a freedom of information request to the DSD social policy unit with multiple questions, I received the following response:         Dear Mr [REDACTED]   Date: 4 August 2014       Freedom of Information Act 2000   I refer to your request under the above legislation for information held by this Department about proposed changes to liquor licensing law in Northern Ireland.   I have considered your request and have dealt with the following section of your email under the Freedom of Information Act 2000:   What research has the minister and his department undertaken to ascertain the financial impact of:   A: Increasing the Thursday of Easter closing time from midnight until 1am on Friday morning   B: Increasing the Saturday of Easter closing time from midnight until 1am on Sunday morning   C: What would be the expected increase in HMRC revenue (through National Insurance & Income Tax, and keeping part time workers above the line required to claim income support) by standardizing Good Friday in line with any other Friday of the year(highlighting reduced trade in restaurants for lunch, bars closing at 11pm and nightclubs not opening at all)   D: What would be the expected increase in HMRC revenue (through National Insurance & Income Tax, and keeping part time workers above the line required to claim income support) by standardizing Easter Sunday in line with any other Sunday of the year (highlighting the ban upon alcohol being sold through off-sales and subsequently off sales remaining closed for the entire day)   I am writing to...