Sci Fi and Shopping. Meadowhall and Logan’s Run March 27, 2010

When you were small, did you ever get assigned to write a story about being trapped in a shopping centre overnight? After you finished the one about being shrunk to the size of a fingernail, or washed up on a desert island, it was all set to be your runaway bestseller.

In spidery Berol letters you set forth the horror of the urban shopping centre by sundown. ‘Nightmares In The Shopping Centre!!’ was the proposed title, and it was sure to reel in all the “Good Try” stickers from your teacher’s desk.

Back then, maybe, the English shopping centre was the stuff of nightmares. Good honest nightmares that didn’t pretend to be anything else. A windowless, airless hall of mirrored escalators, where fried food outlets encircled shoppers like vultures, discoloured tiles stuck fast to the surfaces on which they had long been laid, and an overhead hanging bulb or two tarred the whole scene with a nasty yellow light. Read more ⇒


Why Old Travel Guides are More Fun October 8, 2009

There are always inconveniences associated with travelling. For those who are interested in the various ethical issues you can worry about your carbon emissions, environmental damage and blah blah blah blah…we paid to offset our carbon, we hitched everywhere etc.. Other inconveniences include Australians, listening to Australians bonking in hostel dormitories, dealing with Australians telling you how pissed they got in every major European capital and Australians complaining how expensive Europe is. Pseudo-philosophers are another source of annoyance; a friend’s holiday was recently ruined by bumping into Alain de Botton at Heathrow Terminal 5 where he was researching his new book about head in the clouds travel philosophy bullshit-cum-nonsense. Read more ⇒


The Vintage Industry April 1, 2009

No longer hidden away in backstreets, they are now on the front line. Located alongside popular chains, the garish yellow exterior of Sheffield’s newest vintage shop ‘Cow’ looks oddly misplaced. Their notable shopping bags seem to have replaced Primark’s brown-paper effort as the average Sheffield shopper’s must-have accessory. As it seems, vintage is taking over our wardrobes and our high streets and I felt it was about time to try to unravel the threads of the used clothes system. Read more ⇒