Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The 5 types

I work as a part-time sales assistant in a department store and as an avid people-watcher this seems to suit me quite nicely as I just stare at everybody going past or visiting my little concession.
For the past year I have watched in particular the men coming shopping with their wives/girlfriends and have devised that there are 5 types:

1. The Ghost
This man just glides behind his wife/girlfriend while she is shopping without saying anything or making any sort of conversation with her. Only his presence is felt. He is not interested or disinterested with what the wife/girlfriend is looking at, and gives that vacant expression look that he would much rather be at home playing on his XBOX. He can sometimes be found to just wander behind the woman on his mobile phone.

2. The Enthusiast
This type of man is more excited than his wife/girlfriend about shopping. As they walk past rails of clothes he will pick out things that he thinks she would like (a.k.a things he secretly likes and wants her to wear) and make comments about their flattering shape and colour. He thinks he is the next Gok Wan and that he alone can dress his wife/girlfriend in the most stylish attire. He is the type of man who makes his wife come out of the changing room to model her look and then remarks openly on whether he likes or dislikes her outfit!

3. The Hopeless Romantic
This type of man is my favourite to people watch as it is so cute! This man will walk hand-in-hand with the girl to any shops she wants to look at. He looks interested in what she picks out and carries her shopping. When she goes into the fitting rooms he just waits patiently outside and will say "that looks lovely" if she decides to model her outfit. When they get to the counter to pay for the purchases he sneakily pays for whatever she wants and gives her a little smile which totally means he loves her!

(This type of man should not be confused with a man who is forced into carrying the girl's shopping, paying for all her clothes etc. That man is a push-over. The type of man I'm describing is one who treats his girl to these sort of things just to make her feel special).

4. The Moaner
This type of man just moans and whines throughout the entire shopping experience. He moans about spending money, about looking at clothes, about the price of clothes, about how long his lady spent in the changing room, about how it is a complete waste of time and about how she already has enough clothes at home. He will hassle his wife to leave the shop and try and rally the sales assistants to be on his side by trying to come off as a bit of a joker. This is not the man who want to go shopping with.

5. The Drowning Man
This man is out of his depth as soon as he walks into a clothing store. He has the expression of a deer caught in headlights and seems awkwardly out of place the entire time. Yet, there is something so lovable about this man as it is clear that he does not like shopping and does not feel 100% comfortable but he will go into these clothing shops because of the love he has for his girl. He will even try and compliment her when she is trying on clothes and even though it is an awkward, mumbled reply, it is sincere. He will try to make her shopping trip as nice as possible and will never complain that he has had enough or he wants to leave.

Diet Coke: launch of themed brand campaign timed to coincide with London Fashion Week
There you have it! My 5 types of men who accompany their wives/girlfriends shopping. This data has been collected over a large period of people-watching time and is both accurate and educational. Where do you think your man falls in this category? I had a think about this and think my fiancé is the drowning man. I think a lot of men probably fall into that category as they are not shopping fans!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Five a day

Today on my lunch break I got a meal deal from Boots. (As a side note, it is disappointing that they have raised their meal deal prices...yes it is only by 30p but £2.99 looked so much more justifiable than £3.29. Psychological pricing and all!) Anyway, I got the free July/August Boots magazine to keep me company on my lunch break and in the magazine I read this interesting fact: 5,000 lives could be saved in the UK every year if people just ate their five portions of fruit or veg a day. When I first read this I thought (1) I am definitely going to try and be better at eating fruit because I don't want to die young. (2) This is a very sweeping statistic, who even made up these figures? Oh, the British Heart Foundation and Oxford University? That makes it more plausible, and that it was researched on 15 December 2010. (3) I will have to further research this when I get home.

I've found that it was a bit of a sweeping statement to make as the research done was on a computer model which had dietary impacts placed upon it in relation to diseases to see whether factors such as eating more healthy, exercising, reducing salt intake and not smoking contributed to whether people would get a disease or die. Because this research was just done using a model it involved 'a considerable degree of estimation of the effect that an intervention (in this case dietary change) will have on the overall level of disease in a population.' (source)

I feel somewhat disappointed that the interesting fact that shocked me proved to not be as interesting as I thought. Yes, the research done by BHF and Oxford University is very intricate and with good intentions but it just seems to be something that people should already understand, as surely they know that by living a healthier lifestyle they are going to increase their chances at living for longer? 'Overall, this study supports current dietary recommendations and even though it cannot predict how diet influences risk for individuals, it does indicate that keeping to dietary recommendations reduces the risk of disease.'(source)

However, this interesting fact did not stop me from eating a satsuma when I got home and feel mighty proud of myself that I had just somehow decreased my chances of dying young. One of the things that emerged from the study was probably that eating five portions of fruit and veg a day is actually fairly important to our wellbeing. I know that I am probably one of the worse eaters of fruit (not veg though, I love my veg!) and do need to improve on this. This seems to be a problem nationally though as 'Our statistics show that only around a third of UK adults consume the recommended amount of fruit and veg each day.' (source)

Fruit for Double Rainbow Pancakes

Friday, 22 July 2011

Keep calm and...

In my opinion one of the biggest crazes around at the minute is with the keep calm and carry on posters that have suddenly become iconic throughout the country (and abroad!) and used in so many forms of advertising, promoting and marketing! I love the original KC&CO poster and how is was used in 1939 at the beginning of world war II to strengthen morale and give people courage in the face of a war-threatened country. When it was first released it didn't get much publication as it was only distributed in limited numbers, but it resurfaced again in 2000 and now it is everywhere! The sad thing is that no one knows who the original designer of the poster was!
I know that John Lewis have taken this iconic poster and used it for their summer merchandising. Their window display in the John Lewis store in my city has a big summer scene set out with the KC&CO style printed on mugs, bags, notebooks and even plasters!

The craze isn't just for the keep calm and carry on wording on the poster but all the word-substitution posters in a similar style. Below are some of my favourites:
I like this design craze. Yes, it may be a little bit overdone now and is losing it's uniqueness but there is something so fresh, quirky and very British about it. I feel that the history associated with it's design only heightens peoples' love of it! Let us all keep calm and carry on no matter what may come our way!

(via pinterest)