March 26, 2006

Size Is Important!

This piece of modern art can be found around the urinals in the 5-star Sofitel Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand. Whereas 5-star hotels are normally better known for their opulence, their design or their cuisine this particular Sofitel is gaining notoriety for their men’s room!

The design plays on our fears of being watched in the loo – and for the men who use this particular restroom not only are they being observed, but the girls seem to have no qualms about measuring, photographing or just having a laugh at one of the most ‘sensitive’ parts of the male anatomy (and ego!)

Apparently, apart from being the most popular room in the hotel, it’s also attracted a couple of complaints from Churchgoers and a few hundred people who just want to have a look!

Hotel Manager – Mark Wilkinson, says that the idea behind them was just to ‘put a little levity into a posh hotel’

March 20, 2006

Odiham's War

Someone told me a while ago that it pays to whinge! I can't say I'm going to argue with that, as a nation it's something that most of us Brits are quite good at, and in a world where customer service should be the backbone of any successful business (in my view) if you're not happy about something you should speak up. As someone who is trying to run their own business it seems obvious - whereas we are always looking for new customers what's the point if you can't hang on to them when you find them? So we do everything we can to make our customers feel good about giving us their money and when we do mess up, because lets be honest, everyone does at some time or another, we do everything we can to fix it and make that customer come back to us again, even if sometimes that means going the extra mile or two!

Business is hard at the moment for a million and one reasons, but as a consequence I find that I'm turning into a right miserable old cow! The upshot of that is complaining about things comes so much easier, and has a certain therapeutic effect! I can't fix the things that I need to fix overnight; so making a mountain out of a molehill over things I can do something about makes me feel better.

The latest victim was the location manager of the Foyles War film crew that visited our sleepy little village recently. We were given a few days notice of their intention to spend around half a dozen days/nights over a two week period filming in our village and very close to our home. So close in fact that we had a huge klieg light hanging over our garden wall, bouncers outside our front door, a myriad of cables to navigate our way around every time we wanted to leave our house and numerous, very inconvenient, requests to turn various lights on or off in the house depending on the shot that they were after.

If I was in a happier place right now I may have got a little excited at the thought of a film crew at our front door, and our house (and business) making it onto the small screen but on another of many bad days they seemed like fair game for a complaint.

I wrote a very sternly worded letter to the location manager and enquired about compensation for the business's affected by their disruption (they closed off just about every public parking space in the village in the process of filming so we may as well of not opened our little gift shop on the days they were there for the amount of customers there were!) So he came to visit to say sorry, which I had to admire, and it was worth it for them because for the sake of letting me have a ten-minute rant and presenting me with a free Foyles War DVDand a signed photo of the star of the show my anger was sated. Which just goes to show how easily people can be pleased. I have a DVD of a TV series that I've never shown any interest in before (and I'm sorry to say but beyond the episode that features our house I probably never will again) and a signed photo of someone I had barely heard of before but I'm happy now. I guess complaining isn't so much about what you get from it as what you get out of it. Sometimes all you need to do to make someone happy is to listen to them.

So look out for an episode called 'Bleak Midwinter' due to be shown in the UK in September, featuring the sleepy little village of Odiham and the back of our house! Fame at last?

March 09, 2006

New Icon I Have

Adium meets Star Wars, meet Yoda Duck.

March 06, 2006

The Return Of The Flickr Monthly Scavenger Hunt.

I bombed on the February hunt, I only managed 1 item, which had a lot to do with a general air of apathy for anything creative in February which was bought on by the combination of dark depressing days and nights, a prolonged and alcohol fuelled celebration of my birthday and a deeply ingrained cynicism towards anything romantic!

However with spring just around the corner, the mornings and the evenings are getting lighter and a little more optimism than of late for life in general I'm back on track again.

Here is the list for this months challenge -

1. A Lion
2. People Dancing
3. Empty
4. Something you made (can't be the same item as #19)
5. An animal doing something funny
6. Someone playing a guitar
7. Pink Flamingos
8. A spelling mistake on a sign
9. "I know, it's bigger than the last one."
10. A mural (like on a wall or the side of a building)
11. Far far away
12. A boat that won't float
13. A public toilet
14. A picture of yourself as a teenager (or younger if you are a child)
15. A delivery person
16. Something with a for sale sign
17. Someone blowing a bubble
18. Multi-colored graffiti
19. A hand-drawn sketch (you draw it! Can't be the same as item #4)
20. A lamb

Good luck to everyone who's playing the game and if you like taking photographs and fancy a bit of fun check out flickr and the monthly scavenger hunts, but I warn you, it's addictive.

March 01, 2006