What Hildie didn't see last weekend...
In this blogposting…
* The Rev Dogposture writes…
* Fenwick’s Window
* Laws of the Universe
* Lumiere at Durham City
* Kev
Help yourself…

This is the time of year when the National Register of People Who Change Their Names (NROPWCTN) releases its annual catalogue of drongos who, for reasons not within the purview of ordinary folk, change their names from perfectly innocuous things like Pete Smith or Julie Jones to Hamish Hoover McTavish or Exotica Fiji Sexbubble.

Naturally, this results in all the uproariously funny stories carried by The Daily Mail - stories far too tiresome and predictable to parrot here.

My attention was, however drawn to a letter in The Guardian (where else?).  It went something like this….

'All this talk of people changing their names reminds me of a friend I used to know at school called Steve Stinks.  Needless to say, this caused him to be bullied and ridiculed mercilessly so that, as soon as he was 18 and had the right to do so, he changed his name.

He is now called Phil Stinks.'

The last time I mentioned this subject, I mused upon the possibility of changing my name to the Rev Unseemly Dogposture.  And now, I wish I had.

In 1971, Fenwick’s in Newcastle decided to do something that no other department store in England had ever done before.  While other shops - then as now - understandably stuffed their street window displays with Christmas goodies, Fenwick’s cleared their long window onto Northumberland Street to make way for a fantastical seasonal display that didn’t feature any goods for sale at all.

The theme of this first Fenwick’s Christmas window was Camberwick Green - and the considerable gamble paid off.  Crowds came from all over the north-east to see it and sales naturally increased dramatically.

And they’ve been doing it every year since then.  This year's is typically lovely.
Some years ago, Paul and I recorded an item about the Christmas window on-site.  We were allowed to take a peek behind the display and, to this day, it remains one of the nicest and most rewarding features we ever recorded for our programme.

Anyone who has ever seen a Fenwick’s Christmas window will easily be able to imagine the hard work that goes into its design and construction.  Paul and I discovered that the entire staff of the store take it very seriously indeed and take great pride in the results of their efforts.
And they are quite right to do so.  We live in money-grubbing times and it frankly astonishes me that - at the busiest spending time of the year - Fenwick’s still chooses not to entice us inside with displays of washing machines, perfumes, handbags and three-piece suites but instead devotes itself to its hugely expensive Christmas extravaganza which onlookers love so much - whether they actually go inside the store or not.
This is what Wikipedia says about Fenwick’s….
'In 2008, the Sunday Times Rich List revealed that Fenwick's in Newcastle was the single most profitable branch of any department store chain in the United Kingdom with assets totaling an excess of £330 million.

It is widely viewed as one of the most luxurious department stores in the UK, specializing in a wide range of luxury products which are not available in other British shops.  There’s also its famous Wine Shop which has probably the largest selection of wines and spirits in the north-east.

Furthermore, its food court enjoys a reputation as a seller of some of the finest foods available on the high street, a selection of which is served in the store's six restaurants. It remains a tourist attraction in Newcastle upon Tyne, its green bags being iconic and arguably something of a status symbol in the city….’

So something else to be proud of in the north-east:  a successful business that actually seems to deserve its success.

A big seasonal Thankyou to Fenwick’s.
(This item was not paid for by Fenwick’s - seriously.)

Sent to me by Eric and Jean...

Law of Mechanical Repair
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.

Law of Gravity
Any tool, nut, bolt or screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place on Earth.

Law of Probability
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of whatever it is you are doing.

Law of Random Numbers
If you dial a wrong number, you never get the ‘engaged’ tone - and someone always answers.

Variation Law
If you change queues (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

Law of the Bath
When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want them to see you with.

Law of the Result
When you try to prove to someone that a machine doesn’t work, it works.

Law of Biomechanics
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to your reach.

The Coffee Law
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Law of Physical Surfaces
The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

Law of Logical Argument
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Law of Physical Appearance
If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy
As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

If you’d like to add to this list, send me your suggestions.

Thanks to Hildie for her description of the visit she made last weekend to Durham City’s Lumiere.

It sounds awful.

I’ve spoken to her about it and it seems to me that the City Council should perhaps get its act together by…

….spreading the Lumiere over more nights, so as to give the multitudes of people who want to visit it a wider choice of evenings; and…

….improving public transport from surrounding areas - perhaps running buses and trains beyond midnight; it is, after all, an event to be attended at night.

If I ruled the world...

In an act of indictable treason, Kev is now actively contributing to Serge’s blog as well.  Take a look - it’s a very funny video.

The final AGM of 2011 will take place at 1100 on Tuesday 13 December.

If you have any venue suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them.

Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com


Hildie said...

One for 'The Nightshift Newsreel' .....
BBC News today ...
Derby student, trapped in clothes-horse, rescued by firefighters!

Be back in a bit .... I just had to pass this on. Gotta go make the tea now! Been out in that wind, to see the dentist and give her lots of money. She didn't actually do anything, you understand, apart from look in my mouth, and it cost me £17.

Eeee.... that student'll be a graduate one day soon. :-)

Sid said...

You can't just leave it like that Hildie, sort of trapped in a Clothes Horse. What are the details, what was actually trapped.
As a youngster I often made a tent with a sheet and the clothes horse in our back yard. I was often marooned on a desert island where no one could reach me cos of the sharks.
My younger sister used to risk her life jumping over the shark infested water, just to share my jam and bread sandwiches.
Never, ever, did I think I'd have to get mam to ring the fire brigade because I was trapped.
Golly, I was much braver than I ever thought possible.

Kev said...

Just trying to do my bit for the entente cordiale.
Indictable treason, indeed!

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks!

Well a clothes horse once saved my mother's life! She was walking down stairs at home when her shoe heel stuck in the stair carpet. She lost her balance and went head first down the stairs, straight towards a closed cupboard door immediately at the foot of the stairs. For some odd reason she'd left the clothes horse there, and as she headed towards both the clothes horse and cupboard, the clothes horse closed around her head, trapping her head inches from the cupboard door. She was then well and truly stuck... lying down the stairs on her front with her head trapped. Thankfully my dad was at hand to hear her cries, 'Get me out of here!' I think her guardian angel was helping her that day, as she could have easily broken her neck if she'd crashed into the door.

I'm sorry I can't make Tuesday AGMs, as I still volunteer at Gibside every Tuesday. I hope you all enjoy your day. It was lovely to see Maureen plus Christine & Mick and Maureen's brother-in law at our last Farmers' Market. Sadly, I only had time for a brief chat. xxx

Ian Robinson said...

Kev...just make sure the entente isn't TOO cordiale...

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Hildie said...