Olympic Kebabs

Easas, Wilbraham Road, Chorlton. New kebab shop making some early running in the race to find the most shameless rip-off of the London 2012 logo.


Tough, Tough Guy

Got my Tough Guy medal. Finished faster than some, slower than plenty, but I finished. Just in front of a guy wearing a bra & suspenders; spent the next hour shivering, delirious and close to tears.

The first two hours was fine, but the last half hour – from the electric shocks in the pitch-black tunnels, and getting dramatically worse after the ice water dunking – was hell. Could barely stop shaking. I will never do Tough Guy again.

Brilliant day, though. Chapeau to the organisers and everyone that helped on the day; major respect to the two guys dressed as gimps, the Stormtrooper, Tigger, Girl off Kick Ass, the 5 Apaches, various Spartans and the two blokes dressed in their Sunday best. Early pictures can be found here, here and here.

For latecomers, donations to my Just Giving page can be made here.

Journos Gone Bad







Not sure if we’ll ever get the full details of phone tapping at the News of the World; how widespread it was, and whether management gave it the nod. It would have to be one stupid manager to leave evidence instructing the practise.

What I do know from being a journalist, knowing journalists, and having managed news journalists, is that journalists want as much information as possible. It is their currency, whether it’s published or not. They compete with one another (not just rival titles) and will be as sneaky as possible in gathering information if it means winning an edge. Impersonating  dumb customers, copying notes, badgering junior staff, peddling false stories to illicit a genuine response – these are the stock in trade. It is understood that good stories don’t just come in through the window, you have to use a degree of cunning. Things have only got faster and riskier with online news, rolling deadlines and more competition.

Management encourages this – how could it not, editors come from the same background. They set the tone for the news desk, even if they make clear that no laws are to be broken. Trouble is, there is often a lax attitude towards man-management: bad behaviour is tolerated; you can be late, drunk and foul-mouthed as long as you hit deadline and the story stacks up. The upside is that this slack atmosphere can provide the right work environment for dynamic individuals; the down, is that some run out of control.

What makes me suspect the NotW management knew something of the phone tapping, even if they didn’t authorise or condone it, is that journalists are gobby. They like to brag about how smart they are. They might just about accept not going to press with a story, but would find it very hard not to gossip. They may protect their sources, but would readily boast of how smart their investigations were.

You can bet some are prepping the inside scoop on phone tapping and tabloid journalists gone mad.

Cockney Banker

A friend shot this ATM in London (near Spitalfields, in the near East). Some of the language is a bit clunky, but full marks for trying to add some levity to bank transactions, via a greatly underused piece of real estate.

More good images at Jonny’s Flickr stream, here.

Caught, Sacked

Andy Gray sacked for getting caught. He must have felt comfortable discussing with colleagues his opinions of women in football, believing himself to be a) right b) untouchable c) off-air. He wasn’t.

His employer drops him, sharpish; now what will they do about their corporate culture?

With most smart phones having a voice recorder, camera and video, do people not think bad stuff will ever come out? It will, particularly if someone wants to stitch you up. Doubly so if you’re working in an environment surrounded by ambitious rivals and awash with AV equipment.


Watch, Read, Hear, Experience: Tips


Watch: Six Minutes of Madness, Istanbul, May 2005

Read: A Fraction of the Whole, by Steve Toltz.

Hear: I’m Losing You, The Faces. Loud, turn the knob to 11, etc.

Experience: A drive over Corney Fell (above) to the coast, midsummer, with the sun setting over the Isle of Man.

As seen at Awesome4some. Nice clean site. Will this follow you around like your LinkedIn profile, Twitter stream and Quora answers? And any plans to link to purchase mechanisms?