Posted on November 17, 2010 in Life, the Universe and Everything, Oddities by Jay15 Comments »


There. Look at that! You’ll remember, perhaps, that my theme for this round of ABC Wednesday is shops and shopping, and during the course of these past weeks, while taking pictures for the letter of the week I have become sharply aware of just how many businesses are going under in this recession of ours. And now that we have reachedR‘, I have another failed business for you. Rampage. How sad.


And here’s another shop undergoing refurbishment. I wonder what happened to the previous occupant? Did they retire? Were the rent or the rates too high?

If you look closely at the ‘filler’ posters in that shop window you will see various words which describe our city and the things which go on here. One of them is ‘recycling‘ because our city has gained a bit of a reputation for itself for good recycling initiatives and practices.



You will find these big recycling bins in most of the large supermarket car parks, in pub gardens, and just sitting at the end of roads, waiting for people to toss their rubbish into – in the right slots, of course – to be taken away and reprocessed.

Another way to recycle your unwanted goods is to take them to a charity shop.


The Red Cross is a very worthwhile charity which does far, far more than the average person ever realises. For example, we used to borrow the equipment we needed when we had my mother-in-law to stay with us over Christmas. She was disabled, and therefore she required ‘monkey bars’ to help her sit up in bed, not to mention a commode in her room, and some special flower-pot shaped thingies to raise her bed to a comfortable level. The Red Cross loaned them to us rent-free , though we always gave them a donation, of course.

And while we’re on the subject of recycling


Yes, it’s the Retired Greyhound Trust! You see, when you adopt a retired greyhound, you are basically recycling an ex-racer. This is a big ‘selling point’ with some of the adoption groups because with recycling being such a popular and ‘green’ thing to do, they’ve jumped on the bandwagon and now produce all kinds of merchandise endorsing this message. Click here if you need proof of this, or here to see a fun T shirt with the same message.

To finish, here’s something which is nothing to do with recycling at all …


… though it’s remarkably funny! Do you see the ‘odd one out’ there? Nestling among the gossip rags, the women’s mags, and the wedding and food and home style magazines (did you know that the Italian word for magazine is ‘rivista‘, by the way?) nestling among these ordinary fripperies, you might spot something which looks a tiny bit out of place. I refer, of course, to Reptile Monthly!

I looked, by the way, and it’s a whole stack of them. It didn’t get put there by a raffish customer, hoping to raise a laugh. For some reason, the staff seemed to think that all of us ladies were riveted by the idea of owning a reptile.

Well, I’m sure some of us are!

Posted on November 15, 2010 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay20 Comments »


Are you getting tired of the Macro Monday puzzles yet? I’m beginning to wonder if they’ve outrun their time here on The Depp Effect … let me know your thoughts!

Anyway, here’s today’s little poser for you. I’m not even going to make a guess as to whether this is easy or difficult. Just take a look and tell me what you think …

While this is something which is pretty good at what it does, there are other ways to achieve the same thing. It’s such a common object, though, that I’m pretty sure all of you will have seen or used one yourselves at some time. The design hasn’t changed much since I first remember seeing one, and that was in the 1950’s.

Made to be useful, this one, and though you can get some which are more aesthetically pleasing, the decorative aspect is purely incidental to what you do with them.

Not much more I can tell you about this, I think, so off you go and add your guess in the comments below. The answer will be added to the bottom of this post tomorrow (Tuesday) evening, UK time, in the form of the usual picture link, so do pop back then and take a peek.

Oh, and I’m expecting at least half of you to get this one right!

And you didn’t disappoint me, did you, my preciousssses? Well done! I’m not going to split hairs on this one so I’m going to pronounce DMB, Mother Theresa, Camilla (Lillagul), Bom, Jabblog, Mara, Babs, and Granny Grimble the winners this week, although strictly speaking, only Granny and Jabblog got it perfectly right. Especially well done, you two! Everyone else, go here for the picture! And thanks for playing!

Posted on November 10, 2010 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay22 Comments »


How fortunate I am!  Having chosen the theme of ‘shops’ for this round of ABC Wednesday, I have a ready-made location for the letter ‘Q‘ – one of the most difficult in the alphabet for this meme!

This is one of the entrances to our local mall.  As you can see, it’s called ‘Queensgate‘, but I simply can’t remember if it’s named after one of the original gates of the city.  We have a Midgate, a Cowgate, a Westgate and so on, so it’s possible.  Anyway, the mall is big, and contains a lot of the ‘usual suspects’ in the way of shops, and the automatic doors they have installed make it quite easy for disabled people to enter.

I don’t have many photos of the interior (you tend to get some quizzical looks from Security if you take pictures), but here are some I managed to sneak one Christmas.


I’m afraid that like everywhere else, Queensgate is very quick to put up Christmas decorations. They’re there already this year, but I’m afraid that I’m a bit of a Scrooge – or maybe I’m just quirky – and won’t go in again now, not until December.


John Lewis is the biggest shop there. You saw the quiet back entrance in that first picture, didn’t you?  Well, apparently the first floor is large enough to land a light aircraft*, except there’s no way for one to get in, and if it did, there’s always quantities of stuff in the way! And one of the smallest shops is Quickstitch, an alterations company.

Queensgate is pretty good at self-promotion, too.  Here’s a sign advertising it and quoting the opening and closing times, and it’s only about five hundred yards away from the place!


Even inside Queensgate, they just never stop. Here’s a section of the floor – well, at least it has a map of the city on it …


However, it’s true to say that you can find a lot of good stuff inside, there’s an information stand in case you have any questions, and of course, if you park in one of Queensgate’s own car parks, you don’t even need to bring your umbrella like those poor souls up there on the High Street!

Two of my favourite supermarkets are in Queensgate: Waitrose and Marks & Spencer’s.  And of course, they do sell a lot of stuff beginning with ‘Q‘. For instance, you can buy quinces (in season) and quince jelly, quesadilla seasoning, ‘Q‘ magazine, quick meals, quinoia … and this


A nice white wine, conveniently named ‘Quincy‘, and if I remember correctly, there were five bottles of it on the shelf, which makes it a quintet, does it not?

However, there are certain establishments that you will not find within Queensgate’s walls. There are no estate agents.  For those, you will need to wander outside, where you might come across one of our local names –


Sharman Quinney have been around this area at least as long as we have.  Their boards are so familiar that I almost didn’t remember them!

In case you’re not English, and you’re wondering why anyone would block up two perfectly good windows, it was almost certainly done because of the iniQuitous window tax of the 18th and 19th centuries.


* Possibly a Questair Venture or something like it.


There – solve that!  Mwahahahaha!!

Didn’t I tell you it would be a difficult Macro Monday puzzle this week?  I think I did, and personally, I think it is – what do you think?  Is there anyone out there who has taken one look at this photo and knew the answer, just like that?  Oh please say yes!   You see, while I delight in trying to fox you, I also delight in the flashes of brilliance you lot show in guessing some of the puzzles which I think are really, really difficult!  Yep, contrary, aren’t I?  Comfort yourselves with the thought that at least you don’t have to live with me.

Right .. clues?

This is something that most homes in Britain probably have.  I certainly don’t know of anyone who doesn’t (or did) have one.  I also know they’re fairly common in the US. Other countries?  Well, I confess, I just don’t know.  New Zealand, yes.  Italy, yes.  Belgium, France, Germany, and the rest of Europe … most probably.  Japan?  Haven’t got a clue, sorry about that.

We have several (which isn’t actually necessary), and they get used regularly.  Mostly they’re used in the house, but somebody I know actually takes them outside to use them, which may or may not help you – I’m sure most people don’t do that.

This example is actually almost brand new, so it’s all shiny and bright, but after a while they do get chips and dings and start to rust, which is when we like to replace them.

Is it essential?  No, but if you are the proud owner of a (Macro Monday 41) it makes a certain task quicker and easier.

Is it an expensive item?  No, although all things are relative.

Size?  Well, bear in mind that this is Macro Monday, so this photograph shows the object at several times bigger than life-size. Um. Well, part of it, anyway.

Well, off you go, then, and give it your best shot.  Answers (as usual) in the comments please, and I’ll be back (as usual) on Tuesday evening, UK time, to add the answer to the bottom of this post in the form of a picture link.

For more Macro Monday entries, please visit Lisa’s Chaos – this meme is going from strength to strength and there are some talented (and kinder) people out there!


Aaaah – perfect! We have but one single winner this week; congratulations to Bom!! Well done indeed, you beat the rest to flinders with your incisive, straight-to-the-point (and more to the point, correct) guess! It is indeed … um .. what you said. For the rest of you, go here to see exactly what it was that Bom said. You’ll kick yourselves! Mwahahahaha!!!

Thanks for playing, everyone! Come back next week – who knows, I may feel kinder!