Tuesday, March 15, 2016


I recently read in The Economist about an app where you make financial pledges to lose weight, gain fitness, etc and if you cannot prove that you have reached your targets, you forfeit your money.

I have to get serious about losing this belly so I have set myself a rule that I need to lose 1kg between each time that I go clubbing.

So before I go to Tobacco Dock on 2nd April I need to be 88kg.  For clubbing in Bucharest at the end of April, I need to be 87kg.  For tINI and the gang in May, I need to be 86kg.  And so on.

This seemed quite straight forwards a couple of weeks ago when I had got my weight back down to 89kg.

Today I am 92kg, which along with being very tired and rather grumpy means I will continue to scoff my face tonight.  Another large pile of gravy is likely.  Or maybe chip shop.  And chocolate.  And booze.  Comfort food.  So I’ll be around 93kg tonight.

The theory is that by threatening to deprive myself of some super fun times, this will result in me going the extra mile to shift the belly.  I can do the healthy eating, two salads a day, yadda yadda, but combining that with exercise is the only real answer to properly shifting the weight and it is the exercise bit that I consistently put off.

I do now seriously doubt whether I can reach the 88kg required by 2nd April.  On the bright side I have the dentist tomorrow so I won’t be able to eat much.

By the way, the app I mentioned has lots of 1 star ratings with people’s money not returned to them.  Hmmmm.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Complaint: Sainsburys - Low Alcohol Wine Issues

Another complaint from 2014 that I thought I'd share:

Dearest Sainsburys

I would firstly like to apologise for the delay in sending you this complaint - you will probably notice that I am normally quite quick to complain however I have been spending a lot of time caressing my mullet recently.

I received some trout on 23rd August and thought nothing more about it until 25th when it came to making trout and dill fishcakes - it had a best before date of 23rd August.

I am not happy with this.

Further to that, I purchased some rose wine last week and drank it before my upcoming DJ set.  I was a little curious that I was not feeling drunk until I read the label - 5.5% volume!  What the heck?

This should not exist.  Now I accept it is my fault for not looking into this more clearly so do not expect a refund for the wine, but please would you consider labelling this clearly on the website - as a suggestion, perhaps "Under 14's Only".

By the way only about 5 people turned up to watch me DJ.  I am playing again on 4th October if you would like to come.  I am playing minimal techno, though your records should state that anyway.

Finally, may I suggest to you to never buy an MP3 player from  My blood is boiling as they are refusing to repair or replace a broken MP3 player that cost me £150, under the Sale Of Goods Act.  I will be taking them to the Small Claims Court.  I probably wouldn't have complained to you about the trout if it weren't for them.  Perhaps you could send the bill for the trout to them?

I wanted to make you aware to help you out in return for listening to me.

I am not lonely.  I do have friends.

Have a good weekend


Dear Mr Winfield

Thank you for your email about your order. I am sorry that your trout had such a short shelf life and you are unhappy with the wine you received. I can appreciate the disappointment this has caused you.

Our fresh produce is frequently replenished with the latest deliveries to our stores, giving our colleagues access to the freshest items. They are trained to select the products with the longest shelf life.

We expect our colleagues to take care when selecting your shopping and to pick items they would be happy to receive themselves. I realise we let you down on this occasion however. I have passed your comments on to the online manager, who will speak with our colleagues that shopped your order and instruct them to take better care with future online deliveries.

I do agree with you and think that wine should not be sold with less than an alcohol volume of 12%. I have however in the past made the catastrophic mistake of purchasing your said wine to my horror.

Thank you for the invite to watch you on set but I will be in Benidorm enjoying the sangria but I do hope that more than 5 people come to watch you DJ.

I have sent an evoucher for £9.50 to your email address to cover the cost of your trout and wine. The voucher code is xxxxxx. Enter this code next time you check out and the amount will be deducted from the cost of your order.

If you need any further assistance, please reply to this email or call us on 0800 328 1700, option 1, option 1 again and we will be happy to help.

We are grateful for the time you have taken to contact us and hope to see you online soon.

Yours sincerely

xxxx xxxxxxxxx
Customer Manager
Sainsbury's Online


Advanced MP3 players did fix my MP3 player for free.  It is currently back with them again for repair.  And they are charging me this time.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Complaint: Tesco Scratchcard

From 2014:

Dear Sir

I went to your Tesco Express branch on Monday evening just gone to purchase two scratchcards.

However when I got to the till, I was advised that they were already locked up for the evening.

I could perhaps understand if it were 10:55pm however it was 8:30pm.

The store was open for another 2 and a half hours.

I appreciate the efforts of your store to refrain me from gambling, however these were gifts for my housemate and my sister for their birthdays.

Thankfully President Mubarrak at the M&S garage across the road was very keen to serve me and wished me good luck with them.

However one has already lost and if the one for my sister loses, I would like to know how you are going to recompense the forced misfortune upon my housemate and sister, not to mention the inconvenience of having to cross the road an extra occasion.

I await your response.

Good luck.  Or not.


Dear Mr Winfield,

Thank you for contacting us.

I am very sorry that you were unable to purchase the two scratch cards at our Tilehurst Road Express as you had hoped, I understand how frustrated you must have been when you had to purchase them from another store instead.

I have been in touch with *****, the Deputy Manager of the store and she has explained that the scratch cards should be available to purchase up until just before closing time so they often start packing away around 10:40 pm.

As ***** was not working on Monday she is unsure why you were advised that the scratch cards were locked away and unavailable for sale but she has assured me that she will investigate this and the staff who were working on Monday and do everything in her power to stop it from happening again.

Once again I am very sorry that you couldn’t buy your housemate and sister’s birthday presents due to them being locked away but I am confident that this shouldn’t happen again. I hope that your sister’s scratch card is a winner though so good luck!
Thanks again for contacting us and if there is anything else I can do for you, please reply to this email.  Alternatively, you could call us on 0800 505555/0330 123 4055, quoting reference number: 17456488, where my colleagues will also be more than happy to assist.

Kind regards

abc xyz
Tesco Customer Service

Thursday, March 03, 2016


It's over!

I woke up this morning and considered whether I should do a shot of absinthe or not.  In the end, I declined and had some milk and weetabix instead.

36 days have gone with no beer, cider, chorizo, vodka, wine, crack, ecstasy, quaaludes, LSD, cannabis, whiskey, brandy, gin, lager, ale, ketamine, barbiturates, cigarettes, bacon, sausages, MDMA, cocaine, GHB, speed, 2Ci and sex.

Yes I have been ever so boring over the last month.

It works.  I feel less tired, my body feels better, I have been having 7-8 hours of sleep EVERY single night, I have lost weight, I have my web development portfolio half-completed and saved up enough money to buy some vinyl decks at last.

Life hasn't been totally dull either - I have been to the pub a few times, been out for non-alcoholic cocktails, I was DJing, went to Hull for my Dad's birthday meal.

I don't mind being sober.  If the doctor ever told me to give up drinking, I wouldn't be that bothered.

But I do miss a few things.  Last Sunday I had a nice two hour walk to a country pub and it would have been so nice to have had a pint of cider when I arrived.  A couple of times I've had a really, really good steak and it would have been wonderful to have accompanied that with a nice glass of red.  I did also really quite fancy a beer when I was on the train to Hull.

In fact, it is always quite remarkable how such influences pervade all areas of life - even the Economist had a front cover the other week saying "How to do drugs right".  Granted, they were talking about drug policy, not getting high.

But there are so many occasions where alcohol just seems appropriate.

Caffeine is what I really want to knock on the head.  I do think it makes me more tired by stealing energy reserves in advance.  I feel a lot less tired than I was - although I know part of the answer is doing more exercise, annoyingly the outside cupboard with my bike in has had a broken lock for almost all of my detox.

Anyway.  Fun James is back.  I'm going out from Friday night until Sunday.  Bring on the retox with a weekend in London.  Some of you might even be joining me as I attempt to re-create Withnail & I, Trainspotting and Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, all in one night, bookended with family meals.

No discipline.  No morality.  No respect.

Where to start?