Hello there

Hello there

There are billions of webpages on the internet. Thank you for clicking on mine.

Sometimes, usually when I'm standing in a queue at the Post Office, I have a flash of inspiration of something I might want to write about. I like writing about what I see. I like the ridiculous, the sublime, and the utterly banal. I've been to just about every motorway service station in England. I can review them on request.

Occasionally, I can be serious too. I'm a mouldable freelance presenter and writer who loves sound and text when it tells a story. If you'd like to find out more, please use the contact link on the left. If you'd like to leave aggressive and threatening feedback, there is a section for you too at the end of most articles.

Main Stories

  • Ireland's €38m solution to my mum finding my houseDate: February 2017My favourite fact about Ireland is that it doesn't have any post codes. Except that it does, it just tries to pretend they don't exist.

  • How Facebook comments workDate: May 2016The Dunning–Kruger cognitive bias effect is demonstrated perfectly in the Facebook comments section (spotted during the EU referendum campaign).

  • They are likely to discard requests they deem to be trivialDate: March 2016According to The News we might be about to bail out the M6 Toll. If that happens, we'll all own a bit more of it. I decided to find out exactly what I could do with my bit of it, such as, for instance, practising my acrobatic skills.

  • Hindhead Tunnel 'backs Brexit'Date: March 2016Everyone's political opinion must be reported. The Hindhead Tunnel supports Britain's exit from the EU. European tunnels don't close every other weekend for spurious safety reasons - these could come to the UK, the tunnel fears.

  • Petrol Pump ConspiracyDate: January 2016Inanimate objects often conspire against me. I will never forget my first forced use of pay-at-pump technology at an Asda just outside Stoke-on-Trent on a cold and lonely night. This was the worst possible outcome. I can't even cope with the TV on an odd number.

  • The New Year SyndromeDate: January 2016I realise January 2015 wasn't just a little bit last year, it was very last year. I've already managed to miss my train, because the ticket I have just paid for is for last year. Please help me.

  • 10 Places I Don't LikeDate: December 2015December is a month for reflection, and it is a time to remind yourself what mistakes you won't make in the new year.

Other things

  • Who's going to tell them?Date: September 2016Signs are not permitted in this area.

  • This map could not have helped me lessDate: March 2016When I got lost in Bridgwater I knew where I wanted to end up, but didn't know which way to turn. This map could not have been any less helpful.

  • New Dartford Crossing needs more cool stuffDate: February 2016I never use the Dartford Crossing because it is home to my two nemeses: queues and toll booths. But after I'd used it for the first time, and I had so much fun. There's so much to look at!

  • Robert Smith's CalendarDate: December 2015Big decision but I've finally chosen my celebrity calendar for 2016. I've gone for Robert Smith's. I looked up all the lyrics.

  • The most expensive car park in the worldDate: October 2015When my friend was looking for someone to meet him at Stansted, I had to pretend I don't get really excited in airports. Instead I found the most expensive car park in the world.

  • I Think I'm In WalesDate: August 2015This is my favourite Facebook check-in I've ever done. For the next few hours, everyone's phones were broken by the horizontal stretch on the location bar. That's proper trolling.

  • Philosophical RoadworksDate: July 2015When I was on the A40, in a stationary queue caused by new road signs being erected, I found that the signs suddenly started speaking to me.

  • Southern Train StationsDate: October 2014Nowhere beyond Birmingham is worth mentioning. It's cold and dark, with border controls you'll struggle to pass. This isn't actually true: the boundary is at Banbury.

  • The world's worst tour bookDate: January 2014I love old maps and books; you never know what you're going to find. Like this. I have no idea why this would be produced, or why it deserves such a bold print.

  • Inflation Bites In WalesDate: October 2013We're all aware of pound shops and 99p stores. Well in Wales, economic advantages put them a higher class than that.

  • Some ironic shop spot shotsDate: August 2012I-rony.

  • Stop the salt!Date: December 2010Unlike most people, I happily take orders from electronic signs. When the template message "GRITTING IN PROGRESS" was first changed to "SALT SPREADING", a predictable message became much more intimidating.

  • My dental laboratoryDate: November 2010It is really, absolutely, not a shed.

  • My Printer Hates MeDate: November 2010Anyone who has worked in a supposed 'modern office' will be familiar with the unnecessary evil that is printing credit. Printing credit hates you. This is proof of that in action.

I forgot this was heading still here

  • Food Hacks and Food WinsDate: March 2017I know nothing about cooking but I am an expert in supermarket shopping. Follow my genuine guide to get the best biscuits, ice cream and cake.

  • The Crystal MazeDate: February 2017I endured the waiting list and finding the anonymous building within Central London to play the Crystal Maze - and won (kind-of). Now I'll try to debunk a few myths.

  • Visiting the UK's ArchivesDate: March 2016Archives can be intimidating if you don't know what you're doing. They can also be good fun, so I created this guide to explain exactly where you begin.

  • Bicycle HandDate: February 2016This translation really does not help.

  • The aggressiveness of the German languageDate: February 2016I love this translation.

  • If I were a rich manDate: February 2016For me though the charity of choice is a simple one. Having spent many afternoons stuck in stationary traffic on the M6 in the West Midlands, I read with delight this week that the M6 Toll motorway is going up for sale. If I were rich enough, I'd buy the road like a shot.

  • Four languages in as many daysDate: February 2016Returning from a short wander around Europe, I thought I should write up what happened to remind myself in future. That's all this is.

  • Never Have I Ever Used A Sat NavDate: September 2015Sometimes in life, you get lost. Pretty much every amazing thing I've seen has been while I was going in the wrong direction. Getting lost should be scary. But why? It's only a small country.

  • A Couple Of Places I've Been ToDate: July 2015I like to visit new places and I like to stop and take photographs of them. I am not a photographer. Well I am, because I own an iPhone, but I am not professionally accredited. In my head I am though.

  • What is an entertainment carriage?Date: November 2014I had a bit of a shock when I sat down on this First Great Western/Great Western Railway train. It had an entertainment carriage. With films on it! Like from planes in the future.

  • This forecourt is not dedicated to the publicDate: May 2014Are you dedicated to the public? Sadly this sign isn't.

  • Precise Opening hoursDate: May 2014Why open on the hour or on the half-hour when you can open at the precise minute?

  • I lost the gameDate: May 2011Nintendo DS made me lose the game. Please don't hate me for this.

  • That time I got tickets for Have I Got News For YouDate: May 2011As a testament to my fine planning skills, the whole thing was a bit of a rush because you no-one will tell you how early you need to get there to actually get a (decent) seat. It's still not clear, it's a bit chaotic and random. Still, I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon skiving in London, watching a recording of Have I Got News For You.

  • Boscombe's £3m artificial surf reefDate: March 2011In 2011 I was lucky enough to visit Boscombe, which had just invested £3m in an artificial surf reef to create large waves to attract surfers. The result was perhaps not what they were expecting.

  • Visit to The Mount HospitalDate: February 2011I very rarely venture my way around an abandoned building, but when I do, I pretend I'm a photographer.

  • Things Only Customers Say
    I created a website to serve as stress release anyone who has been paid to say "how can I help you". Within minutes you will find yourself banging your head against the desk. Relive some of the worst moments here.

  • YouTube - People Being A Bit Of A Tit
    I am the owner of the world's worst YouTube series. There is too much action on YouTube; kids are going to grow up believing that there is a crazy Russian driver waiting to cut you up at every intersection. Mine add a bit of mundane reality to the mix. One time I did witness an actual accident, but I had forgotten to plug my camera in, prevented any hard-earned riches from coming my way.

  • 20th Century Fareham
    I did some research about the history of my hometown and a fairly large website grew out of it. It is like Wikipedia with detail turned up by a factor of 100.

© 2017 Johnathan Randall.

Any similarities with real-life events or wealthy international firms is probably coincidental. No products endorsed. I'm powered by Monster Munch.

Tedious about the author bit

I love music, media, news, travelling, old TV shows, lists, driving, trains, planes. Have a fear of boats. Humour is weak at best.

I present radio, I write, I'll be whoever you want to be. I'm not wearing that.

Legally bland

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Any similarities with real-life events or wealthy international firms is probably coincidental. No products endorsed. I'm powered by Monster Munch.

© 2017 Johnathan Randall.