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01 October 2007 @ 09:56 am
Playing At Trains  
Well, I've made it. The big Three Six. 36 today. I must remember to be careful this year, as notable deaths at the age of 36 include Princess Diana, Phil Lynott, Bob Marley, and Sparky, Britain's oldest deep pit pony. The only notable deaths at the age of 35 that I can find are Marilyn Monroe and Ol' Dirty Bastard. I'm quite interested in this whole "age people died" thing. I think there's a gap in the market for a website that would take months of research to construct and offer little in the way of financial reward.

I have a truckload of work to do today, annoyingly. It's particularly annoying as England are once AGAIN playing cricket today, and I could quite happily sit in front of Sky Sports all day while Jenny fetches and carries stuff backwards and forwards. I had to go to Daventry on Friday and go up and down a track in a driverless car, so I have to write that experience up in 1500 words. I also have to review one of those late-night dating channels – you know, where people leave voice messages which are then replayed on TV to a backdrop of hideous, grainy photos of the people in question, saying stuff like "I'm 18 and I'm looking for an experienced older woman of between 30 and 40" – what, to tidy your room? Jesus.

I also have to speak at a music industry seminar this evening about The Schema. When they asked me, I pointed out that it was my birthday, and I should probably be spending it bathing in asses milk, or something, at which point they offered me the next best thing to bathing in asses milk, which is sending me and Jenny out for a free meal afterwards, so I said yes.

I must crack on, really, but before I do I'd just like to ask Marks and Spencer what the hell they think they're doing with their new instore signposting system. For example:

This is no one-off, no bizarre scheme dreamt up by a train-obsessed local store manager to brighten up his day. I've been in three different M&S stores in the past fortnight, and they all have them. It just defies all sense. It's almost worse than the UKTVG2 channel rebranding itself as "Dave". A range of these signposts has been stationed throughout supermarkets across the UK, and they must have been discussed for hundreds if not thousands of man hours, dreaming up the concept, getting the design right, commissioning the manufacture, planning where they would be stationed – and at NO POINT did anyone say "listen, right, but Marks and Spencer, it's not a railway station. It just isn't. Not even a little bit." It wouldn't be so bad if "ticket hall" meant "cashiers", and "waiting room" somehow – god knows how – translated as fitting rooms. But f*ck knows what Platforms 1-5 could possibly mean. It's just insanity.

EDIT: Oh, and last night I did my first gig with Keith John Adams, playing phat bass keyboards and twiddly organ alongside Keith's hopping-on-one-leg guitar playing, and Tom's drumming. It was terrific.
Linz: weddingk425 on October 1st, 2007 09:25 am (UTC)
You've not seen the new M&S ads, then? With Twiggy et al catching a train and poncing about in their underwear?

Oh, happy birthday. Callow youth.
Rhodri Marsdenrhodri on October 1st, 2007 09:31 am (UTC)
I have seen those ads. Quite how anyone would link them with some shite signposts sitting in the dairy aisle I've no idea. I certainly didn't.

(thank you!)
mzdt on October 1st, 2007 09:31 am (UTC)
Ah, yes, I was supposed to issue annuity greetings last night, wasn't I? Fun evening, anyway, despite the north London line's laughable idea of a sensible time to run a last train.

I never did work out why you weren't just playing the bass parts on a bass, but I must admit I wasn't actually in front of the speakers and therefore possibly missed all the Rick Wakeman impersonations...
Rhodri Marsdenrhodri on October 1st, 2007 09:33 am (UTC)
Oh, it wasn't that twiddly. Just, you know, filling out the sound, adding delicate shades of colour. You'd have missed them if they weren't there, be-f*cking-lieve me.
Doetjadoetja on October 1st, 2007 09:32 am (UTC)
Happy birthday!

Does that M&S pictured have five floors? Maybe "PLATFORMS 1-5 ->" just means "the stairs are that way", then.
Rhodri Marsdenrhodri on October 1st, 2007 09:33 am (UTC)
Nope. Two floors.
What time is clock?: euroal2strictlytrue on October 1st, 2007 09:32 am (UTC)
Happy birthday Rhodri! You are now almost exactly one year younger than me. Use it wisely.
Rhodri Marsdenrhodri on October 1st, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
I've made no plans for the year as yet. I'm just going to take it as it comes.
a woman, not a test mouse: party mangooffensive_mango on October 1st, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
HB, R!
Rhodri Marsdenrhodri on October 1st, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
TY, A.
Shereen: baboshereenb on October 1st, 2007 09:41 am (UTC)
Happy birthday youngster!
How dare you assume I wanna Parlez Vous with you?giro_playgirl on October 1st, 2007 09:43 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday sir. I was in Marks and Spencers on Saturday and they appeared to have a fashion show going on based around the fact that they were in a train station. It was all very confusing, and me and the man ended up getting lost in a row of crumpled Italian style prints.
whizzerandchipswhizzerandchips on October 1st, 2007 09:44 am (UTC)
Many Happy Returns. Perhaps this year will get you that elusive 'Top of the Hit Parade' placing.
Spoon Refuterspoonrefuter on October 1st, 2007 09:44 am (UTC)
I'd forgotten about the cricket - thanks!

Happy Birthday.
one of thoseoneofthose on October 1st, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday. We are now the same age. Let's try and keep it that way.

I too had puzzled over the M&S signs.
I can only hope the boss of the company came into a board meeting one day, with the words: "Look what I just found in a skip! The things people throw away..."
_moggy__moggy_ on October 1st, 2007 10:08 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday Rhodri. Those signs are completely pathetic.
Rhodri Marsdenrhodri on October 1st, 2007 10:15 am (UTC)
Maybe we can start a campaign of vandalism.
(Deleted comment)
oldbloke: sully headoldbloke on October 1st, 2007 10:24 am (UTC)
Bloody kids.
(no subject) - jiggery_pokery on October 2nd, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
internetsdairyinternetsdairy on October 1st, 2007 10:27 am (UTC)
Happy birthday! To you!
Owen Massey McKnight: sadboyaddedentry on October 1st, 2007 10:28 am (UTC)
Happy birthday! Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age is in fact more depressing than death.

Even M&S in Dublin had the railway signs, but that was a comforting touch of home on a foreign holiday.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - besskeloid on October 2nd, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shereenb on October 1st, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Toniusgillyg on October 1st, 2007 10:43 am (UTC)
Happy birthday!