Signs of the times, Redux!

This is just a nonsense post to keep the pages ticking over or people will think I have run out of ideas. Well I have but lets keep up the illusion I have something worth saying on a reasonably frequent basis. If you knew me in person you would know that the gaps in my chatter are less noticeable than my consistent expression of points of view. I am still coming to terms with the fact that I am the person most interested in my opinions.

However I do move about a lot and since I have got one of those smart phones with the ability to post straight to Facebook, email and satnav as well as making phone calls. I have come over all observant. I have always had an eye for the ridiculous but now I can record it as I go.

The following is just a wee selection of signage and the like I have happened by, this year alone, when I happened to have some image recording ability to hand.

First up, in a Portuguese superette, I spied the sort of loo roll label that makes you wonder if the Portuguese do things with toilet paper that they aren’t telling us about?

Frotto anyone?

While we were on this little break in the Western Algarve, we had a supper at a very rustic but well-loved restaurant in the town of Lagos where we were staying. It was called Mullens and the menu was easily the best menu I have ever encountered at any dining establishment, anywhere in the world. But the excellence was not in the food but the descriptions of it. Beef Mozambique was far more tasty than it sounds. Be warned though, the toilet is a toilet.

Check out the description of the egg salad

Not long after we returned from our long weekend I had to drive to a business meeting in Cardiff. There is a suburb or area of Cardiff called Splott, Splott has some ‘sleeping policemen’ road calming measures or as we call them in New Zealand, judder bars. It seems in Splott they are called ‘Road humps’ and all good things must come to an end.


As we like to do each year we decided to have a clean out of the cupboards. We found some shoes that no longer fit, are out of fashion or just in a state. We being good citizens will try to recycle things when we can so I took the shoes down to the local recycling bin. I was confronted with this warning and couldn’t help thinking, “Isn’t that one for natural selection?” If someone needs a warning of that, is it really someone we need in the gene pool? I say let nature take its course frankly.

Is this warning really necessary? Really?

While on holiday this year we, as always, spent much time wandering up and down the wonderful cobbled lanes and alleys of the French towns and villages. The French are very concerned about looking fabulous all the time, well some are, and every town has a number of hairdressers. When I get my hair cut, Jenny uses a pair of clippers set to number 3. But I appreciate some chaps like a nicely fashioned Barnett and no more so than in France. However I cant help but think that the translation let them down a little here and masculine (in French) may not be the best word to accompany this picture from a French hairdressers window.

I beg to differ!

We had some fabulous drives to admire the local villages and one or two of the places we stumbled upon were clearly on the tourist trail for visitors from further afield. Like Danes for example. I know it is childish but I believe a great many Danes speak English so do they not feel the slightest bit silly moving about, in bulk, in this coach?

Excellent, now that's a tour bus!

I was in a town in Kent recently and had to do a u-turn. I also did a double take. People live in this street.

What's in a name

Another business trip found me at the foot of a tall office building. Much is made in the UK of the importance of local policing and I was pleased to see a local police station right beside the high street in this busy part of South London. It was  fairly rough-looking area to be frank so I am sure the local people take much comfort from the efforts of the constabulary in the vicinity.


Nearly there, I was telling someone about the 3 Tenors, you know, Carreras, Domingo & the other one, Pavlova or something like that. I got fed up with trying to think of the name of the song I was describing so I thought I would grab the CD and look it up and something struck me as odd about the cover. Can you guess what?


We took a trip to Lille one weekend and spent some quality time people watching from wicker chairs. In the evening we had a splendid supper and retired to our hotel. I was quite taken with the duty manager sign at reception though, when I say quite taken, this has to be the best name for a duty manager ever? “I’ve a problem with my accomodation! Who do I see?”


I love old-fashioned advertising. Someone we visited was an ad man before he retired and he has a few quality examples stashed about his place. This is a cracker. Best non pc advertisement of all time, surely?

OK, best inappropriate 'smoking is great' ad ever!

Speaking of advertising, leads on to branding and as far as branding goes, this is a great name for a French beer that wouldn’t really work in Britain. Can I have a Ch’Ti Beer please?



As I like to keep my posts somewhere around 1000 words or you will lose the will to live, this is nearly the end. I had a few beers after our last meeting of the year in London before Christmas and caught the tube back to London Waterloo station for the night journey home. While waiting for my tube train to arrive though my gaze was drawn to this. Which in my view is, by some margin, the most useless piece of public service warning health & safety bollocks ever paid for by a government department. Please help to figure out who this sign is helpful to. Please draw my attention to anyone who would look at this and think, yes, of course. I must be more careful.

Has anyone ever seen a more useless warning sign?

I’m a glass half full kind of person but sometimes you just cannot deny that the chips are down!



I was out driving and could not quite believe this one. On the fence outside an old peoples, or nursing home in other words. This is a special offer? What next? 2 for 1 Dignitas vouchers?

Old folks

Seeing as we are talking about driving about. Have a couple of quality road signs to actual places

























One more from France. There are some refurbishments taking place at the Mercure in Lille. Apologise for the inconvenience would you?


Finally, As it is my blog I can do what I like. This is not a sign, it’s a poster. But in my humble opinion, the coolest poster of the coolest guy, being cool,  R.I.P Steve McQueen.



19 replies »

  1. Yes, Happy Birthday Sandy.

    My ‘much better half’ has hers this week as well. It wasn’t going to be a problem until the really useful people at the EU decided it needs to ban her favourite perfume ( which she has been using for decades without ill effect, possibly because she only wears the Eau de T ) because it is so dangerous. Having priced up buying a stock for the future I’ve decided I may have identified a better investment than the yellow stuff.

    In my view if they go ahead with this, it could be the single thing that kicks off the descent into anarchy and a good thing too. Do they have any idea who they are messing with here? Women for heaven’s sake, How stupid is that?

  2. Thanks Jon, You are quite right, Take away a women right to wear the scent of her choice because it is deemed too dangerous? Is it something DSK is partial to? That would be dangerous indeed!

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