I can’t remember exactly when I first decided to buy a mobile phone, but it was probably some time in 1999. I bought a two year package from John Lewis (yes, really) that included an Ericsson T18 with line rental and inclusive calls/SMS messaging from one2one, but no contract. All the line rental paid for up front and the freedom to change networks at the end. It must have been a good deal for the consumer as they had stopped doing these packages by the time I decided that the

The following is from an email sent by a colleague of mine on 25th January 2000, regarding his feelings about my imminent move to Manchester. I printed a copy to keep and, every time I clear out my filing cabinet, it makes me smile all over again. Thought I’d share the best bits… “It was with a deep sense of sorrow that I received the news of your departure. Indeed, I can honestly say that I see this as being on a level with the loss of my dear Nova,

When I returned to the North West of England after following up my three years at a Manchester university with two and a half years back with the parental units in Buckinghamshire, I got a job in Bolton. This is where my education really began. There are many words and phrases that I learnt during my long stay in Manchester, but my time in Bolton was perhaps the most informative. I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few linguistic gems with you in case they may prove useful

First posted on 1st February 2004. Most of the time, I choose to drive rather than drink. This choice stems from a time when I was the only one of my friends who could drive so I would collect them, take us all to the pub and drop them off at the end of the night, making a bit of petrol money and an entire evening’s worth of free soft drinks into the bargain. As the years went on, the idea of hanging around in the cold at the end

And so, on to the 2004 archives! In January I was thrilled at the start of the new breakfast time Chris Moyles show on Radio One, as it freed me from a Sara Cox induced radio hell. I also asked my readers (yes, I had some back then!) to come up some quotes for me to use on my ‘about’ page off the back of a review I received. I’ve no idea which I chose in the end, as that page was binned off years ago, but the end of

From the archives: On Saturday 20th September 2003, as I was preparing to attend the first (as far as I know) Manchester lomomeet, I pondered the joys of meeting people you don’t know off of the internet… “It was then suggested, by someone who shall remain nameless, that these people may not be as entertaining in person as they are online. Could it be true? Is there a chance that Scaryduck is simply an ordinary boring husband and father to Mrs Scary and the scary ducklings? Could Green Fairy in

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