o tempora

Small pet peeve

There’s a villa being converted into luxury service apartments that I pass several times a week, and the sign advertising the fact is starting to grate on me. It mentions “exclusive living”. I see things being called exclusive to mean especially good or luxurious or delectable more and more. [1] What irks me is that

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Well, that was that

I like surveys and questionnaires, and I’m on the mailing list of a couple of survey institutions. One of these asked “do you want to be part of a scientific survey for the department of psychology of the University of Groningen?” Yes, of course, especially as I have a daughter studying there (not in that

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Church tourists

Two women, mother (about my age) and daughter (late twenties). They’re standing with their noses practically pressed to the glass door when I step out for an errand. Me: Do you want in? I’ve got the keys. Women: Ooh, can we? Really? Me: Sure, one moment. (They almost crowd in behind me when I take

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Reasons to take my business elsewhere

You don’t list prices on your website, so I have to fill in a “please give me a quote” form, and you assume that gives you licence to spam me rather than just giving me a quote. I fill in my name on your “please give me a quote” form and you spell it wrong

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Creepy

Warning: crappy phone picture. I didn’t have enough charge to take another one; it crashed when I tried. If I remember to put the camera in my pocket tomorrow I’ll take a better one. I’m a good swimmer but the idea of flailing around in a bottle of sticky sweet ice tea gives me instant

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Baking parchment marketing fail

Earlier, I wrote this, bewailing marketing people’s claims that they know what I like, and how they really really don’t. It’s getting worse. It’s now impossible, at least in a normal supermarket, to buy baking parchment on the roll. It’s all separate sheets. Okay, a roll of separate sheets, though there are also packages of

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Unfortunate lunch

Dear marketing people who claim to know what I want: you don’t. Really. Trust me. Anyway, I bought some supermarket falafel balls to eat as a snack which we happened not to eat as a snack, so we thought we’d have them for lunch today. We didn’t have any pitta bread so I went to

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So where did I put my fowling-piece?

Tourist season continues unabated. Today I was behind a small group of people of both sexes and various ages in what is arguably the most interesting shopping street in town, every single shop something unusual. One youngish man was commenting on the shops in ascathing tone, “a cookery bookshop? Yoga clothes? Another second-hand bookshop?” Apparently

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Day of the Elderly

I didn’t go swimming this morning. It’s “dag van de ouderen”, “day of older people”. When another swimmer and I (both in our mid-fifties) asked how old one should be to be invited, Warm Water Man assured us that we were in the target demographic. Both of us said we didn’t feel called. The day

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Shaken

I went to the swimming pool this morning with my eyes already hurting (from the paint fumes, I suppose; it gives Secunda a headache and my other half full-blown hay fever) and found it a noisy place, because someone in a cherry-picker was demolishing a tree with a chainsaw and another person was putting fallen

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