Tat Trek

I love Rhyl.  Great place.  The amount of stuff I’ve collected there over the years is amazing.  CDs, DVDs, skateboards, Star Wars figures, comics, books, t-shirts – the list goes on and on.  There is, however, one thing about Rhyl that is truly beyond compare.  And that is the phenomenal amount of tat that you can find.

From traditional seaside nik naks to whatever junk is “on trend” at the time, Rhyl is the place to find it.  So back in 2010, me and my buddies Adam, Greeny and (Greeny’s son) Kurt set out on a challenge:

With a budget of just £3, buy the worst tat you can find.  Anything, the choice is yours – but make sure it’s tasteless, useless and practically worthless.  This is what we found.  Most items were a pound each.

Ricki Boy doll

IMG_0258What is this?  Some kind of fashion doll, apparently.  Whatever that is.  Nice shirt and pants combo.  This was found in one of the many glorious pound shop type places.

Little Wizard

IMG_0262Quite often you will find pirate versions of popular toys, cashing in on whatever is popular.  Here we have an example of a Harry Potter cash-in, with a ginger Potter-a-like “lovingly” executed in plastic.

Meerkat mug

IMG_0265See what I mean about cashing in on popularity?  Ages before that financial comparison site figured out it could shift tons of units by flogging meerkats thanks to the popularity of its adverts, Rhyl was already churning out meerkat themed memorabilia of a thousand different varieties.  Here we have a meerkat mug, though we could’ve chosen meerkat figurines, dolls, badges, garden ornaments, pencil tops and any number of other items.  I also love that this says “I love meerkat” and not “meerkats”.  Is that a reference to the advert characters accent or just bad grammar?  You decide.

Poodle Tax Disc holder


Rhyl fridge magnet

IMG_0275I actually like this.  I honestly do love Rhyl.  An ideal souvenir of a trip to the seaside.


IMG_0260A mini ornamental doll.  Again, just a pound.  Apologies to any of my relatives who get this stuff from me for Christmas.

Light-up Crucifix

IMG_0268Pseudo religious stuff is a constant seller in the seaside tat shop.  This is a plastic cross that lights up.  Quite pretty actually.  I also have a Jesus fridge magnet somewhere.

…And the winner is:

“Funny Clowns” doll

IMG_0276This monstrosity was found in the back of an old shop, covered in dust.  Probably been there since 1985.  It’s frightening whether you have a fear of clowns or not.  The price?  Just £1.  We decided that this was the worst piece of tat found on the day.  Let me know if you agree.

It’s been too long since we did our Tat Trek.  Hopefully a return mission will be on the cards very soon.  Either way, I’m sure I’ll be back bargain hunting in Rhyl before long.

Hope you like these items.  There are loads more and I’ll post them in later blogs.  Please leave a comment if you like.  And I apologise if you have nightmares.

Questions #1: Roast Dinner Ingredients

Occasionally, in work, we have Questions.  A question will be posed by one member of the group, the rest of the group take their turn to provide an answer.  This often encourages  stimulating conversation as each individual’s opinion is thrown into the mix, enlightening their colleagues and giving an insight into their mind.  It also distracts people from fiddling about with their phones for five minutes and enables some social interaction.

I won’t pretend that we debate the deepest philosophical topics, but asking a question does give some food for thought.  In this case, literally.  Here’s a question from this week:

Q: What would be your ideal five ingredients for a roast dinner?

You can pick five items, no more.

Now I hate roast dinners with a passion.  A roast dinner (or Sunday Roast, if you will) is bland, boring food for a dull, miserable rainy day.  Tasteless and uninspiring.  Why bother when you could have Mexican, Indian, or Thai food?  There’s just no need in the 21st Century to eat this stuff.

I will return to how much I detest roast dinners in another post.  For now though, I entered into the spirit of things and gave my answer.  It wasn’t easy.  Here are the items picked by my friends for their ideal, yet limited, roast dinner.


  1. Lamb
  2. Roast potatoes
  3. Minted gravy
  4. Carrots
  5. Cauliflower cheese


  1. Beef (with fat on it – WTF?)
  2. Roast potatoes
  3. Green runner beans
  4. Yorkshire pudding
  5. Gravy

Mark D

  1. Parsnips crisps
  2. Pigs in blankets
  3. Stilton stuffing
  4. Belly pork
  5. Extra crackling

Brian (Veggie – this is getting worse…)

  1. Yorkshire pudding
  2. Roast potatoes
  3. Stuffing
  4. Honey glazed carrots
  5. Nut roast


  1. Lamb
  2. Roast potatoes
  3. Carrots
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Gravy


  1. Yorkshire pudding
  2. Gravy
  3. Roast potatoes
  4. Gammon
  5. Chicken


  1. Lamb
  2. Yorkshire pudding
  3. Sprouts
  4. Cheese cauliflower (?!)
  5. Gravy


  1. Lamb
  2. Yorkshire pudding
  3. Roast potatoes
  4. Pigs in blankets
  5. Gravy


  1. Chicken
  2. Lamb
  3. Stuffing
  4. Sausage
  5. Gravy

I ignored the vegetable options.  They’re the worst bit.

It’s Sunday today.  If you’re having roast dinner, I hope you enjoy it.  Me, I’m off for a nice curry.

What five items would you pick?  Leave a comment below!

Random Bike Ride Playlist

First bike ride of the year this afternoon.  Just a short one to check the gear still works.  Whilst out on my bicycle, I hit shuffle on the ipod and this is what I got:

  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Police Station”
  2. The Damned – “She”
  3. Deep Purple – “Hey Joe”
  4. Johnny Cash – “Send a Picture of Mother”
  5. Zombina & the Skeletones – “The Fragile Heart”
  6. Tommy James & the Shondells – “I Think We’re Alone Now”
  7. UK Subs – “Teenage”
  8. Nashville Pussy – “Nutbush City Limits”
  9. DJ Format – “2,3.. scrape”
  10. Iggy Pop – “Starry Night”
  11. The Cult – “Tiger in the Sun”
  12. Flogging Molly – “The Rare Ould Times”
  13. Nirvana – “Been a Son”

With apologies to Matt Barnes – ripping you off a bit here, but I did warn you.

Bike riding t-shirt option for today – Motorhead

Surf Rider

Surf Rider cocktail

Surf Rider cocktail

We’re back at Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub, following a short break due to technical problems.  And it’s time for another cocktail recipe straight from the Virtual Tiki Bar.  This is one I discovered recently and has become a firm favourite.

Surf Rider

  • 3 measures vodka
  • 1 measure vermouth 
  • Lemon juice 
  • Orange juice
  • Grenadine 
  • Ice

Start with four or five ice cubes in your cocktail shaker.  Add the vodka, then add a liberal dash of lemon juice.  Pour in your grenadine – the recipe recommends 1/2 teaspoon but I would go for more.  Be a devil.  Then top off with fresh orange juice and shake.

The result is a refreshing summer drink, not too dissimilar to a Love on the Rocks, but not as sickly sweet.

Soundtrack: The Ventures, the Beach Boys

Drink responsibly.

Back to Work Blues

Enjoying the Bank Holiday?  Sorry to mention it, but for most of us it’s back to work tomorrow.  Now I don’t have any optimistic advice, any philosophical thoughts to get you through this.  No “without the work, the rest wouldn’t be the same” message.  Not even an inspiring “get out there and be the best you can be” cliche.

But I can offer you a playlist that will help you get through it all.  Music that sticks two fingers up at working life and slides back under the duvet.  Enjoy these prime tunes and be free!

  1. “The Job That Ate My Brain” – The Ramones
  2. “Take This Job and Shove it” – Dead Kennedys
  3. “We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place” – The Animals
  4. “9 to 5” – Dolly Parton
  5. Workin‘ For A Livin‘ (Live)” – Huey Lewis and the News
  6. “Working for the Yankee Dollar” – The Skids
  7. “Work Song” – Tito Puente
  8. “Working for the Man” – Roy Orbison
  9. “Worker Bee” – D.R.I.
  10. Workin‘ Man Blues” – Merle Haggard
  11. “At My Job” – Dead Kennedys
  12. “It’s Not My Place (In the 9 to 5 World)” – The Ramones
  13. “Finest Worksong” – R.E.M.
  14. “The Weekend” – Michael Gray
  15. “Work” – The Saturdays
  16. Powertrip” – Monster Magnet

The final song, by the mighty Monster Magnet, features the classic line “I’m never gonna work another day in my life”.  If only.

My thanks to Nicky Carr for the inspiration for this post!