Monday, 16 December 2013

T'was the morning after Christmas

Twas the morning after Christmas
And all through the store,
Some employees barely awake,
We were here at four

The people who don't work retail
Were all snug in their beds
With visions of turkeys, puddings and presents
Going round in their heads.

Admin are here and the prices have gone down,
Some think “thank god” and rush into town,
The store's so quiet with hardly anyone in it,
Do you think Justin would notice if we were to just bin it.

Christmas comes down to get ready for Easter,
It makes New Year sales that little bit sweeter,

The bakers are here putting their buns in the oven,
Before the mad rush happens all of a sudden.
We were closed for one day but people still panic,
They come in for fruit and veg hoping it's still organic

The checkout cashiers have all manned their battle stations,
Coffee's your friend when you're in it for the duration.
The day started slowly for those who were awake,
Our sanity was missing and we started to ache,

And then as one they started to awaken,
Seduced by cheap bargains and a craving for bacon,
They reached in their pocket for a wallet or a purse,
And raced back to seasonal all trying to be first.

Half price decorations, gifts and wrap,
 All we would like is one little nap,
It's been a busy time for those in retail,
As soon as it's finish we'll all hit the ale,

Our journey is over it's time for goodbye,
Working in retail doesn't time fly?

Sunday, 2 June 2013

'Talent' or 'Talent-less' shows

Talent shows. They've been on our screen for decades. First 'major' talent show being Pop Idol way back in 2001. After this brings numerous other series, such as 'Popstars', 'Fame Academy' and more recently 'The X Factor' and 'The Voice'.

Nobody can deny the fact that these tv series arn't worth the money invested. These shows have produced more and more big selling artists, and quite a few of these British acts have 'Broken' America. Just to name a few the likes of Leona Lewis, Will Young, JLS, One Direction and Olly Murs have all had albums and singles at the top of the charts and around the world. They go round the country and other countries in massive sell out tours all becasue they were found on a tv show.

Everyone has heard of The Spice Girls, and Take That. These bands were both formed by an advert in a local newspaper. The format was similar to that of The X Factor, contestants auditioned in front of judges and were whittled down until the band was formed. The only difference being this wasn't broadcast on nation television, and nobody had to pick up the phone and vote. These 2 bands dominated the global charts for years and Take That are still going strong. On the talent shows, artists seem to only last a year or so. I mean who here still hears music from Gareth Gates, Steve Brookstein or Niki Evans. . But to quote 'quality not quantity', this cannot be more true. These reality winners have it all made for them, songs are written for them, the choreography is already there, and most dont play their own instruments. Nowadays, their voice is even put through a synthesizer which matches your voice up to the correct chords, making your song 'pitch perfect'. With all this going on, it seems that all the conglomorete record companies are after, is money. It seems as though, they choose anyone, throw them in a studio with a song already written for them, and release it. They then go back on the same talent show a year after to try and sell their debut album. I do think though that sometimes a big stage like this is all someone needs.

Britains Got Talent is probably my favourite of these shows. It is all about variety, and at the end of it you're not contracted to a record label where you cannot make any decisions on your own. You get to perform at the Royal Variety, and also some money. It is the perfect platform for people who believe they have got a certain talent, and just need the exposure to get where they want to be, without record companies telling you which song to release next, and which cities you're touring.

So tell me what is wrong about the old fashioned way of putting an advert in the papers to find genuine real talent? Or is there such a thing these days?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tibits - A Review

National Vegetarian week is upon us (20th - 26th May) and I have been a non meat eater for around 15 years. Not once have I been to a 100% vegetarian restaurant and for my first I thought I'd go to the finest.

I went to a place called Tibits, ideally located just off Regent Street in London. Tibits has been at this location for nearly 5 years, and originated from Switzerland. I don’t associate the Swiss with veggie food, just cheese and chocolate. But then, perhaps that is their idea of veggie food. The owner of the Tibits chain is also the owner of Hiltl, the worlds oldest vegetarian restaurant dating back to 1898. This small chain consists of a ground-breaking concept, where as the focal point is a 'food boat' containing around 40 hot and cold dishes from around the world. Customers can create their own ideal menu from a selection of dishes, and can choose to eat in or take away. The food is then weighed, so the customer is in complete control of how much food they pay for, bringing alive the quote 'you get what you pay for'. At any other 'buffet' type restauant, it is so very easy to over-inuldge and basically eat until you feel sick, as it has already been paid for. I really like the idea of plating up your food then it being weighed, that way you are less inclined to cram as much as you can onto the plate, thus saving you some money, and some room for that desert.

This large restaurant is on two levels, ground and lower ground. There is flock wallpaper and velour seat covers in greens and deep pinks but it's certainly not hippyish or overly 'vegetarian'; it's a calm, chilled environment with a relaxed vibe. There is outdoor seating in a courtyard dubbed ‘the Regent Street Food Quarter’, and several punters were just treating it as a bar. It’s less pretentious than its neighbours and perhaps that’s what draws in the crowds – the place was buzzing on a midweek afternoon. A warm and friendly welcome greeted us as we were explained the concept and taken to our table. Now whenever I eat out, the vegetarian option is always something around mushrooms or eggs, and I dislike both. Luckily for me, Tibits are a tad more imaginative than that. The food looked really fresh, not like it was a Pizza Hut buffet from the day before. The dishes have Asian, Indian and Mediterranean influences and it's all about offering healthy food: "Food that loves you back" is their slogan. The dishes are being monitored all the time and I saw a chef constantly changing and replenishing the options during my visit. He obviously had high standards and was always checking and wiping up any spillages.

If eating vegetarian generally feels more virtuous than enjoyable, you need to pay a visit to this Heddon Street restaurant. The name tibits may not be that enticing but frankly who cares when the rest of the offering is. The food is fresh and the dishes so diverse that you’ll be hard pressed to ever get bored with the selection, the drinks are reasonably priced and the surroundings stylish. Better yet, you’ll never be hurried off your table because someone else has booked it for a later sitting and there’s no service charge to pay. In fact, all things considered, Tibits may well be the perfect credit crunch restaurant.