Tag Archives: iPad

Oh my giddy aunt

Hats off to Barcelona and my favourite player, Xavi – you may remember I raved about him during the World Cup and once again he made me giddy watching his magicianship (made up word!).  I could see what was going on but I still struggled to understand how a very good team was made to look like a bunch of primary school kids chasing a ball that never stood still.  Nobody in the Man U team came even close to matching the skill and passing ability of every single player wearing the Barcelona shirt.  The only Englishman who can compete at this level is Paul Scholes but unfortunately he’s right at the end of his career.  Giggs and Carrick were no match for the Spanish masters and I very much doubt a fully fit Fletcher could have made a difference.  Even Keane, Robson and Nobby Stiles in their prime would have struggled.  Perhaps the biggest disappointment is Man U featured only three English players while Barcelona were jam-packed with Spanish geniuses.  All of this might lead you to conclude that England over achieve at international level.


Is anyone who goes for a Super Injunction a twit?

It really didn’t need a bunch of twitterers to expose Ryan Giggs, it was common knowledge already.  As a public figure you have got to expect to be exposed if you misbehave although Edwina Currie and John Major did manage to get away with a sneaky affair (probably my favourite affair of all time) until Edwina exposed herself!  Apparently Twitter are willing to give up the details of people who break the law so my advice to anyone planning to dish the dirt is to use made up personal details when they sign up from an internet café a long way from where they live.

One good thing to come out of the whole thing is this chuckler.

Ryan Giggs

Where did she get that hat, where did she get that hat?

All girls called Beatrice are great and this pic proves it.  Together with the cart-wheeling verger, Beatrice’s hat was the star of the royal wedding and even better she raised £80,000 for charity by selling it in an online auction.  Respect.

Princess Beatrice

Boom or bust?

Strange one this, everyone I speak to has diametrically opposed views.  Their cup is over-flowing or barely contains a drop.  I have Arabian Business delivered to my inbox twice a day and everyday there are major contradictions; someone bringing another 100 restaurant chains to the UAE (Landmark and Bin Hendi) while elsewhere restaurants like Tang at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi are closing.  My instinct is that the market is over-saturated and there will continue to be deals a plenty.

Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes upon the road

I studiously avoid getting involved in any hand gesturing when driving but given recent events I am nervous of being falsely accused in a game of my word against theirs.  I’m from the sticks and stones camp so if the mood takes you please free to make a rude gesture at me rather than trying to run me off the road.  The only self-preservation tactic I can think of is to get my retaliation in first and complain about everyone driving Nissan Patrols just in case they make a complaint against me.

Why are pirates called pirates?

I took the girls to see the new Pirates of the whatever the latest one is called movie the other day.  Opportunity knocked when the projector broke down during the ads.  I desperately wanted to keep my fellow movie goers entertained with my very funny pirate joke but was forcibly restrained by Florence and Beatrice.  Shame, I could have made a lot of friends and kick started my career as a comedian.

Quick review, dull, dull and thrice dull.  My girls however gave it a big juicy 8 while persuading me to add an extra 1 to my mark . . . so it’s a 1 from me.

The one good thing to come out of my Mall of the Emirates expedition was the purchase of a shiny, brand new iPad2 – I happened to show up in Virgin 12 seconds after a new batch of iPads arrived and got the last one.  It’s a serious bit of kit, very sexy, however if I had seen the BBC programme on Super Brands before I bought it there is no way anything Apple would have made an impact on my credit card.  The programme showed a huge queue of people caught up in an evangelical fever waiting for a new Apple store to open.  I concluded Apple is an extremely creepy company who want to control the world – or as one very astute student said, Apple is the sort of person who invites you to their birthday party and then controls what you are allowed to see and do.

More RIPs

Very sadly more heroes have died in the last week.  Firstly Gil Scott-Heron passed away, he was widely acknowledged as the godfather of rap and as a poet and songster he was right up there with the best of the best.  Most Famous for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Check out Me and the devil, absolutely spell binding.

Gil Scott Heron

I also read a really sad piece about Tom Daley’s father dying of cancer at the ridiculously young age of 40.  What made me especially sad was that father of Tom was not one of those obnoxious, pushy dads, he was simply Tom’s biggest supporter.  Come on Tom, win a gold for your dad (and Plymouth!).

Tom Daley and his Dad

Top 5 most inspirational Olympic performances in athletics

In the week my Olympic tickets didn’t materialise here is my top 5 seen-on-TV (some were films!) performances on the track.

  • Usain Bolt – 100m, jaw dropping
  • Cathy Freeman – Aussie Aborigine who lit up Sydney
  • Tommie Smith – 1968 200m gold medallist and black power salute man
  • Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams – Chariots of Fire
  • Jessie Owen – won loads and made the Nazis look stupid

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How to make friends and influence people

It’s a bit off-kilter for me but I’ve decided to dedicate a good chunk of this blog to advertising and in particular the billboard posters political parties use to convince people to vote for them.  I’m going to start my thesis with the best poster of all time.  It was produced for Maggie by Saatchi & Saatchi, an agency headed by two brothers who were doing quite well before being catapulted into the stratosphere when they landed the Conservative account for the 1979 election.  Unleashed on an unsuspecting public 30 years ago the poster helped propel Maggie into power for the next too-many years and turned the Saatchi brothers into advertising geniuses.  Maggie went on to destroy British industry (sorry Camla) and Charles went on to marry Nigella Lawson; enough said.  Hats off to Saatchi and Saatchi, they managed to persuade my dad and millions like him to vote for a woman.  To be fair to my dad’s political allegiances he was a little put off the Liberals at the time by Jeremy Thorpe’s dodgy behaviour.

Labour isn't working poster

This time we have got some great posters to enjoy.  An air brushed representation of a not very old-looking old Etonian trying to talk to the common man and a Scot doing what they do best.  By the way did anyone see the Sky News interview with Sir Alex after his horse won at Aintree?  He couldn’t string one word together!

Conservative political poster

Step outside posh boy poster

Going back to my friend Cam of Essex fame, he wants to vote for the Conservatives but is now in a total quandary.  He didn’t go to public school and he quite likes the idea of someone giving the posh Tory git a friendly slap.  As some of our Indian friends are so fond of saying: ‘What to do?  For all of you wondering how to go about voting as an overseas resident it’s very easy, just click on the link below and download the form:


To finish my poster story here is my favourite for worst-ever poster.  Incredibly it won a prestigious award for Poster of the Year.  You’re having a laugh springs to mind.

New labour, new danger poster

I suspect the advertising agency responsible for this shocking effort were all secret Labour supporters.  Which brings me nicely to my observation about advertising – do you need to believe in what you are advertising?  For example if you are the agency for HSBC do you need to believe they are the best bank in the world?  At this point I’m going to take the Fifth Amendment and move swiftly on except to say I love the fact that Atom have just picked up Air Miles who last week helped turn our everyday shopping into a new Sony digital camera that was going to cost me AED 1,500.

My favourite local ad campaign of the week was for the Dusit Thani Dubai hotel.  A couple of years we did a ‘pay what you want’ campaign for Grand Hyatt ; you went to Andiamo, had a meal and then paid whatever you felt it was worth.  Partying Scots put paid to that great idea.  This time the Dusit has gone for a different approach.  The hotel has launched a quick-bite campaign whereby you pay AED 2 (0.5 USD) for every minute you are in the restaurant.  They have obviously never seen the Prosser family demolish Spag Bol in 39 seconds flat.  In fact we could take our two Border Terriers along and collectively demolish the buffet for a total cost of AED 12.

Goodness me I’ve just come across the worst, most inappropriate TV ad of all time and it’s brand spanking new.  Nike has dug up Tiger’s dad to help sell more trainers – it’s a real shocker.

Finally to finish off here is some very sound advice.  If you are thinking of buying an iPad don’t whatever you do buy it in the UAE.  The price for the 16GB version quoted in Arabian Business is $1,225.  On the Apple US website the same iPad is selling for $629.  Quoted, the reseller said the price difference is down to import duties (4%) and delivery costs.  They must be flying them in first class with each iPad having its own seat!

Sorry, said finally but I had forgotten about my top fives – best British Prime Ministers ever (I’ve even left one in for Cam).  Maggie probably deserves a spot for being the first female PM and being tough enough to face up to the unions, but on the flip side she championed the greed society that led to rich people getting richer and poor people getting poorer.

  • Lloyd George
  • Winston Churchill
  • Clement Attlee
  • Benjamin Disraeli
  • William Gladstone

By the way for all of you who loved the Gordon Brown poster it was an April Fool in The Guardian!

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