Monday, 29 October 2012


I received a press release recently for Vendease, a company promoting the use of vending machines which it seems have sparked a “new era of convenience shopping”
 “Fifteen years ago, few of us would have considered buying a pair of jeans online or ordering the weekly shop, let alone booking a holiday or virtually viewing a house.
 “These days the world of online consumerism is an essential element of our 24-hour, instant-
access lifestyle.
 “Doubters said it would never catch on – people wanted to touch products before they decided to buy, they wanted a personal service and a tailored customer experience. Clearly
not. Deloitte’s Store of the Future report (March 2012) predicts that four out of ten shops will close down in the next five years as shoppers turn their backs on the high street in favour of the online marketplace.
 “Part of the success of online shopping is down to technological advances and retailers’ response to what customers demand. 360 degree views, super zooms, interactive tours and even no quibble returns policies have helped make online shopping a viable alternative to the real world high street.
“A similar revolution is happening in the vending industry where the days of clunky, coin-rejecting drinks machines that needed a well aimed thump are well and truly behind us.
 “In Japan, where there is one vending machine for every 23 people, you can buy anything
from music to live crabs. Following the earthquake of March 2011 when the country was crippled by blackouts, some even said vending machines offered a lifeline to residents.
 “Here in the UK, we’re starting to see the advantages too. Each year, 7 billion products arevended in the UK and the range and variety of what’s on offer is staggering – swimming goggles in leisure centres, protective clothing on the factory floor, toiletries in hotel lobbies and SIM cards at airports. Don’t worry, you can still buy a hot drink, but instead of coffee flavoured water in a flimsy cup, you’ll get a frothy cappuccino from a machine that can grind its own beans.
 “Dave Berman, director of VendEase, said: “Vending machines offer instant, 24 hour access in an age where convenience is King. Today’s machines are sophisticated and secure and businesses are switching on to the benefits for their customers and their staff.”
Okay I get the message. Forget my nicely decorated office, the comfortable chairs, cups of coffee and piped music; clients would rather I squeezed myself into a little machine in the middle of the Cornmill Shopping Precinct and handed out legal advice in return for coins pushed at me through a slot. Let’s just hope there really is no longer any need for that well-aimed thump referred to in the release!

Friday, 26 October 2012


Last weekend, one couple married at a Star Trek Convention in London. They were apparently Klingons, although press reports suggest they had actually flown in from Sweden. They had full ceremonial dress and, of course, all the Trekkie props and paraphernalia. It did set me wondering though as to what Klingons do to divorce.
After undertaking Internet research to establish that Klingons are fight- loving creatures who mate through something akin to a domestic battlefield, I learned that they usually mate for life.  Well, that solved the divorce conundrum anyway and also explained their name: “cling on!”

Friday, 19 October 2012


Many marriages breakdown when a couple discover that they simply aren’t compatible. Compatibility doesn’t, of course, mean that you both have to like the same things; sometimes it can be a question of complementing each other.

For instance Outdoor Man loves cooking and I enjoy eating; you get the picture? Moreover when he cooks chicken, I get to eat the dry but tender breast, he loves the juicy and, so he believes, tastier drumsticks.

When you can’t share food as we do, differences can cause real wedges (and we’re not talking potatoes here). Take the case reported by Nehanda Radio this week of Zimbabwean, Mr Ncube, who became enraged when his wife ate the whole of the chicken breast, back and a thigh. He delivered her a beating but rather than finding himself in trouble with the law, it was his wife who appeared before the tribal court. Apparently local tradition requires that the tastiest parts of the chicken must be eaten by the man of the house. Sadly for Mrs Ncube she had eaten her husband's portion; hers was the entrails.

Both she and her grandmother, who had failed to teach her granddaughter how to properly share chicken with her husband, were fined a whole chicken apiece and now Mr Ncube is allegedly threatening divorce should his wife try the same trick again.

Monday, 15 October 2012


The results of two health studies were given publicity today. So much so that, as a result of the report that concluded sitting down is bad for you and of a second that found happier people live longer, I am bringing this blog to you standing up as well as with a chuckle or two.

Of course the results are a potential double blow for separating couples, who inevitably end up divorcing sitting down and, understandably, are rarely at their most happy.

Perhaps divorce is time for that exercise class or gym membership after all. Also if in receipt of maintenance and feeling embittered, remember that being fit, healthy and living longer means your spouse pays maintenance for longer too!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


According to various reports, Katy Perry, who separated from Russell Brand last year and was divorced in July, is planning to celebrate her forthcoming birthday with a divorce party. It’s not a course I would recommend. Believe me, whilst it may avoid the need for you to blow out a multitude of candles atop a heavily decorated cake, the presents aren’t nearly as good!

Thursday, 4 October 2012


The problem for many people going through divorce or separation can be how to let friends and family know. For others it can be how to quell the rumours, gossip and pure speculation. It seems that one innovative Japanese company may have come up with the answer: The Divorce Newspaper . Yes Rikonshiki will take all the details; put them into newspaper format for approval and then undertake a print run ready for distribution.

Just one shortcoming: will anyone believe anything written in a newspaper?