Hell(o) on Earth

It appears that ever-expanding and actually fairly decent local budget airline FlySafair have recently rebranded, with a pink heart in a pink circle.

Their website favicon has the new logo on it:

…even if you have to look very carefully to see it on the actual pages:

But ok, what do I know about branding and advertising and marketing and so on. I’m just the customer.

But even now knowing about the rebrand, I still don’t think this ad works:

OK, OK. I can see it as “HELLO” now, but the thinner line on (and the heart within) the “O” made my brain think that it wasn’t actually part of the word “HELLO” at all. I simply read “HELL”, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t what they were going for, and which I have heard on very good authority that Victoria Falls isn’t.


Note also the price difference between Livingstone Airport (actually called the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport) in Zambia and the Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe. They’re only 35km apart, but Zim is clearly missing out on some handy extra tax revenue there: although there’s likely to be some sort of R600 passenger processing fee payable in dollars – cash only, thank you – when you get there).

But I digress – often. Branding and Marketing Wizards: please use fonts and logos more carefully in future. Or simply ask me if everything looks ok before you flight it (no pun intended) and I’ll give you a quick yes or no for a very reasonable fee (payable in dollars: cash only, thank you).

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

Ah yes, the 1993 album from The Cranberries, everybody’s second favourite band: Linger, Dreams etc.

But also no. I’m thinking about Spotify Wrapped, which has taken over the internet for the last 24 hours. And while it might be the most important thing happening in the world at the moment, it does make a change from the most important things happening in the world at the moment.

Which is great.

Here’s mine:

1,938 songs.
813 artists.
53 genres.

Top Genres: Permanent Wave (I had to look that up):

Permanent Wave Music is a genre of music that has been popular in the United States since the early 1980s. It is characterized by a heavy reliance on synthesizers and drum machines, as well as a strong emphasis on melody and rhythm. It often combines elements of pop, funk, and rock music.

Yeah, ok. Fair enough. Then Chamber Pop(?), Electronica, Art Pop(??) and Manchester indie. Mad for it.

And this:

Muse was a surprise, even given this. But in that post, I did say I’d probably give it a couple of months and then give up on them again, and that’s exactly what happened:

Top song, Turmoil from The Lathums; again surprising (and a bit awkward), given this, where I compared the song to Glenn Medeiros’ 1988 hit Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You.

And the rest of my Top 5 were all from Sigur Rós. That wasn’t surprising at all.

Onward and upward. I listened to more Spotify this year than any previous year, but I still think I listened to more 6Music than Spotify. By a country mile.

I can’t wait for my 6Music Wrapped. When does that happen again?

Rebuilt by drones – but not

Ah… Whitby Abbey. It’s been a while.

With a history dating back to the seventh century, the ruins have overlooked Whitby Harbour since the time of Henry VIII. And it’s a very popular spot for ‘toggers.

You can see why.

But it’s been ruined for centuries, so why not reconstruct it?


It looks amazing. But… it’s not right. It would never have had a steeple. Steeples came around far too late to be on this building. And after a bit of digging, yes: this is just a computer animation as an example of what the company involved says that its drones can do, not what they have done.

Still. Go and have a look at what they have done: here.

Absolutely incredible.

Are you a 6Music Dad?

“6Music Dad”? What’s that, then?

I don’t think it was ever really meant as a slur initially, but it did sort of become one. Coined by Sheffield artist Self Esteem (Rebecca Lucy Taylor to her friends):

It was during this tour that Self Esteem clocked the presence at her gigs of a certain grouping: men of a certain age, music fans all, and informed music fans at that. “6Music dads” quipped Rebecca and laughed.

It’s a stereotype, and those are never good, but they do exist for a reason. Obviously, there has been a lot of chatter about this on the 6Music groups that I subscribe to, but I have to say that it’s a stereotype and a moniker that I – and many others – have absolutely no problem with. If it is meant to be a bit patronising or offensive, it’s really not working – let’s face it, we’re all well past being upset by words.
[sarcastic tone] Oooooh! [/sarcastic tone]


I’m… wait… [checks] Yes, I’m a dad, and I do listen to a lot of 6Music, so is that enough? Well, maybe, but there’s a bit more to it than that, as Tom Dunne explains in his article for the Irish Examiner. In fact, there’s a 11 question quiz in there, with fairly straightforward Yes or No answers.

So how did you get on? I suspect many of you will have gotten many, many Yes answers to the point where trying to pretend you are not a part of this fabulous new club is just pointless. Smells like a duck, and walks like a duck: probably a 6Music Dad.

I scored 10/11, (only because I probably wouldn’t be seen at the back of an Idles concert) (although their new one is annoyingly actually rather good), but that 91% score is definitely enough to drop me very comfortably into the cohort.

And I’d absolutely rather be there than with the rest of the oldies over on Radio 2. I might not enjoy everything I hear on 6, but I like to be challenged. I’m not anywhere near ready for that easy-listening, middle-of-the-road stuff. Well, not all the time anyway. My musical tastes are both incredibly varied and totally binary: I like a load of very different songs and artists, apart from the ones I don’t like. Simple as that.

And I still like a lot of “proper” music that is coming out now: new releases from the likes of New Dad, Sigur Rós, Nitin Sawhney, Baxter Dury, The National and The Lathums have all featured on the blog in the last few months. And it’s no surprise to learn that they’ve all probably featured on 6Music as well.

So yeah, when it comes to being a 6Music Dad, I’m very happy to freely admit that I completely (well, 91%) fit the mould, and I hope to keep fitting it for some time to come.

Not now, mystery outbreak of respiratory illness in China

Lol. It only seems like 4 years ago, we were talking about a mystery outbreak of respiratory illness in China that was alarming the World Health Organisation. And now look at this:

Yep. And if you look back at November 2019, we all thought that we were living in a pretty hectic, messed up world. And we were right.

But wow. Little did we know about what was to come. Suddenly, November 2019 looks a very attractive option destination for my time machine settings. Well, at least compared with November 2023.

But now is not the time to be adding issues to our already overworked, overstressed and overtired lives. So please, China: take your mystery outbreak of respiratory illness and sort it out quickly and efficiently (no! god no! not like that!) so that we can get on with prepping for economic disaster, pre-election violence and the seemingly inevitable outbreak of World War 3.

Happy days!