Fun in the Dip … but Stockton-on-Tees’ tree is pitiful!

Image: Rutters

Image: Rutters

There’s a lot going on at this time of the year. In just about every corner of the land there are twinkling lights, decorations, Christmassy music … and in The Dip, street markets, dancing and the opportunity to make your own mincemeat. Rutters pushed their spreadsheets and calculators aside for a day to join in the community effort to support their neighbourhood. And by all accounts it was a roaring success!

And while the good folk of Hollingdean were having fun and enjoying themselves, bear a thought for the residents in Stockton-on-Tees whose Council did away with the town’s 40-foot spruce and replaced it with a pathetic cone that has earned it the dubious description of being “the worst tree in England!” Shame, the townsfolk are understandably feeling a bit bleak and Alex Moore’s article that included a few photos illustrates why. Ebenezer Scrooge must have moved the 250 miles from his counting house in London.

Even further away than Scrooge from his old stamping grounds of the darkrooms and newspaper offices in London, Darryn (Mr Paparazzi) Lyons was snapped recently in the mayoral regalia of Geelong, Australia where he has been elected mayor of his birthplace. He even dyed his trademark Mohawk white in order to blend in with and match the outfit. Someone unkindly suggested that at a cursory glance he could easily be mistaken for a large badger with a gold chain.

Another, possibly more respected photographer, Arthur Edwards, has been reflecting on some the more memorable images that he has taken over the years, many of them of the Royal Family. Who can forget his photo of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge dancing in carefree manner in Tuvalu after their own paparazzi incident in France (pics that Arthur didn’t take, incidentally), or the one of the Queen looking very happy at Epsom? It seems that this type of thing happens at this time of the year – the pulling out of old albums, sorting the best pics and then reflecting on the whys, whens, and wheres of each one (and if Uncle Dick is due to visit for Christmas Day and he hasn’t been around for a while, best to dig out an old snap so it’s easier to recognize him).

Following on from Rutters blog from October 23rd when the Fighting Talk issue was raised over food wastage from the major supermarkets and who was to blame, well it’s reared its head again. Tesco are now firmly laying the blame on the consumers as to the reason that they, Tesco, chuck so much produce away! Yes, it’s the consumer’s fault for being so fussy. Mr Simister of Tesco said that they would try to persuade customers to buy misshapen fruits and vegetables. That’s a comforting tactic. So when you pop off to the supermarket to buy your Brussels sprouts or carrots or potatoes for Christmas dinner, listen carefully to the shop assistants who will be doing their very best to convince you to buy the oval sprouts and the crooked carrots. Maybe they’ll convince you that there is more flavour trapped in the curves than there is in the straight ones.

It’s reassuring to know that Tesco is placing the responsibility on each consumer to be less fussy in the build-up to Christmas.

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