The Season Alcoholism Became Trendy: The High Street at Christmas 2018

Hey, guess what? It’s only blinking Christmas.

(Wait, you’re telling me this wasn’t top of your playlist?)

As we enter into the final furlough of Christmas shopping it felt only right I put fingers to keyboard and compose a seasonal post of what the UK consumer markets are trying to flog this year. And boy, has the High Street really invested a lot this year into our well-being.

Kicking off with that point, designers and retail buyers across the land have made a sterling effort to make us more aware of our health this season. It’s good to see decision makers moving away from chocolate and fast food related puns and products. That’s because this year there’s a new fad in town; alcoholism.

IMG_3845

IMG_3775

IMG_3855.jpg

IMG_3842

IMG_3875

IMG_3895

(You get the idea.)

Course, if gin isn’t your bag there are still a scattering of animal puns to be found in shops, however they haven’t charted so well so have found themselves relegated to the tea towel isles of TK Maxx.

And if tea towels or traditional animal puns aren’t your bag then there’s always toilet paper that features a rabid rabbit that looks like an extra from Watership Down.

IMG_3873.jpg

(All I’m saying is that it’s a couple of Bright Eyes plays from…)

woundwort.jpg

And that’s available all year round folks! (The loo roll, not Woundwart.)

Marketers struggling for new and original way to market often take a step back and return to the basic principles. Red is good, bells are better or if either aren’t possible from a branding perspective just stick a hat on it.

IMG_3860
“Yep Jimmy, that’ll do the trick”

Even better though, you could always put a hat to something that’s already a symbol of Christmas. Because if you stuff up the colouring of a traditionally seasonal bird in the factory, chances are a comical hat (that said bird would never wear), well that will entirely baffle and charm consumers into a needless purchase.

IMG_3874.jpg

I’ll take ten.

Now although a number of High Street stores have been making an active effort to advert public attention from certain political disruption (chiefly a UK event beginning with “Brex” and ending with “It”), unfortunately some shops just couldn’t overlook it. I found one bargain outlet stocking what I can only assume to be the retailer’s prediction of what a Post-Brexit banana will look like.

IMG_3857
I think it’s supplier’s decision to put it in a “Jokes and Gags” box that really does it for me. Brexit will impact you too China!

Speaking of China, I don’t find this assumption that British people only wear one sock funny either.

IMG_3894.jpg

What are we paying our taxes for if not to have Foreign Ministers dispel these ridiculous rumours?

You know what, come to think of it I think Europe and the wider world want done with us. I mean, even Denmark (Denmark!) are flooding our stores with what look like neck crackers.

IMG_3896
This is a very different take the the traditional Nutcracker tale I remember as a kid

 

Ok, ok, enough political stuff. Lets get back to the high quality gift giving, such as these fish slippers.

IMG_3818
You know you’re onto a winner when I don’t have to add any dry wit

 

Or an overpriced toothbrush?

IMG_3897.jpg
Getting that unique taste twice a day? That’s the flavour of bulls**t

Course, many people struggle to buy presents who those who may have been somewhat challenging throughout the year. When it comes to particularly ‘difficult’ presentees then I’d always recommend purchasing something that seeks to improve relations between the two parties. Something to subtly tell the recipient to lighten up or shut up.

IMG_3898

Just be prepared for backlash from the recipient and their crew.

IMG_3844
Why do I feel like I’ve had a dream like this?

You know what, this year I think I’m going to revert back to the basics. It’ll be chocolate gift giving all the way with me. At least with festive chocolates everyone knows where they stand.

IMG_3853.jpg
Is that Father Christmas or a slightly squidgy Christmas pudding?

I’m going to stay in, have a glass of wine and watch a festive classic on TV.

thumbnail.jpg

For Christ’s sake!

Merry Christmas Everyone! With love from Jesus.

IMG_3819

A Lesson in Modern Culture? High Street Fashion (Spring 2015)

With an upcoming holiday to Cyprus on the horizon, a compulsory holiday clothes shop was in order.

As a woman you would think this would be a straight forward enough task. My usual shopping pattern is enter shop, walk around, exit shop, walk to a shop at the far end of town, walk back to the other end of town, walk past Costa half a dozen times before deciding it’s quiet enough to go in, have coffee and read a my book for about an hour. (Intellectual box is ticked, however sophisticated attractive man coming up to me and saying “Hey there, reading Handmaid’s Tale I see. I personally preferred Atwood’s earlier dystopian work, but it’s better than 1984” box will remain unticked). After this I’ll then exit the coffee shop and then my retail habits begin all over again.

Even I don’t understand my walking pattern. Before Christmas I went to Bath and it got to the stage I was holding casual conversation with the big issue guy every time I walked past him in my wolf hat (which was about six times). I was his ‘wolfie’ and he was my ‘big issue man’.

Anyway, I was going clothes shopping which would normally be simple enough, however this Spring the shops seemed flooded with a lot of WTF (what the fudge) clothing. It’s like the High Street has become the embodiment of the human version of the super-hipster. While some things do look kinda cool if you’re into that thing (or ‘rocking that look’ as the hip kids say), other things are just all types of no.

At this stage I’m going to stop typing so much and post a selection of photos from the wonderfully awful camera on my Nokia Lumia 635 from recent shopping trips…

This long sleeved top in H&M:

WP_20150321_14_55_17_Pro

…Because daddy/childhood issues is sooo in this season.

This bikini top in New Look that features an insect ladder at the back:

WP_20150321_14_43_48_Pro

WP_20150321_14_43_34_Pro

It’s either to ensure insects can climb to safety should they get stuck in the pool, or so they can slide down you as part of their insect pool parties. It’s a two in one.

This sheep skin, long sleeve outfit, perfect for pagan ceremonies:

WP_20150321_14_46_38_Pro

You’ll by the hippiest hipster in this outfit. Darn you New Look for beating my organisation into stocking this! For an added hippy look, add flowers in your hair and skip down the main High Street. You’ll soon be pulling in the instagram followers and trending across Wiltshire.

Clothing that features puns:

WP_20150321_14_45_23_Pro

Ok, I’ll admit this is a good pun or something I’d buy just to get this reaction from friends initially:

There were a few of these around town. This one was borderline:

WP_20150321_12_27_57_Pro

Clearly all the good puns were taken though when H&M designed their Spring 2015 clothes range. They’re currently stocking this…

WP_20150321_14_56_43_Pro

Little Mer-Kitty? What on Earthhh? On the upside it’s a conversation starter. (“Hey, where did you get that top and where is the nearest petrol canister and matches?”)

Clothing which features food:

For goodness sake High Street, I thought I’d covered this in my recent blog post from when I was in Cardiff (http://wp.me/p5kuli-2I). Having food on your clothing is just weird and it encourages either obesity or cannibalism!

WP_20150321_14_55_05_Pro

WP_20150321_12_28_39_Pro

WP_20150321_12_28_11_Pro

WP_20150207_16_22_13_Pro

WP_20150321_14_57_36_Pro

WP_20150321_14_57_07_ProWho decided that this year would be the year of the junk? (The type of food on the clothing is also unhealthy). Surely this clothing breaks EU regulations on food offering? I mean where is the salad skirt or the veggie vest?

This rebellious jewellery range:

WP_20150321_15_03_11_Pro

The photo speaks for itself.

This cool cat:

WP_20150207_16_36_53_Pro

Oh sorry, this photo shouldn’t be here. I forgot this post was about awful fashion choices…

This outfit that was designed for management:

WP_20141018_13_50_39_ProYou’ll never need a name tag again! Your team will entirely respect your decision and reasons for buying this outfit.

Finally, this long sleeved crop top that is still trying to ‘find itself’:

WP_20150321_14_54_40_ProI mean is it a crop top or is it a long sleeved top? Is it French or is it English? It is probably best not to ask, the person who chooses to wear this top is probably just as confused.

The only products I did have time for were at Paperchase:

WP_20150321_15_11_37_Pro

It’s tough cookies! Because they’re cookie cutters with tattoos that traditionally tough people had. Hah!

So…

These photos came from a selection of outfits from a selection of shops. There were plenty more varying degrees of what I’d consider to be crimes against fashion, however shop assistants don’t tend to take too kindly to people who just photo products and don’t try anything on.

Overall, I have wasted a good deal of time recently gaping at hideous clothes when I should be buying my fifth dress that I really don’t need. I mean who is designed and signed these outfits off? Who is buying these clothes? Most importantly though, WHO SAT THERE AND TOLD THE HIGH STREET STORES THAT THIS IS FASHIONABLE??!!

I want to start a petition, tell the world to boycott some of these products, but then I really, really, hope that the world has an ounce of common sense to avoid awful fashion when they see it. I’m certain I’ll do another similar post to this again in the future. A mouse can’t halt a bull and I can’t halt the wrath of the fashion industry. Has anyone ever dared to tell the fashion world that perhaps they might occasionally get it wrong? Just because the emperor says something looks amazing it shouldn’t follow we accept it at face value. That said, since typing this I would love to see photos of super skinny models wearing clothing with cake designs. Two polar opposites, just like a sad clown. Now there’s something I’d like to see. Do that fashion industry and then we can talk.

Right, on the subject of fashion and being cool I’m off to eat dinner in a pair of jogging bottoms, an oversized university hoodie with my hair scrapped back into a pony tail. It doesn’t matter how fabulous I look this evening because I’ve got a box of chocolate fingers and a night in with this man…

uktv-aidan-turner-ross-poldark

Aka Poldark, aka Aiden Turner, aka the only person I’d ever wear a mer-kitty top for.

Yum.