Sunday, 19 June 2011

Juneathon Days 18 + 19: Google it!

Sometimes Google can't give you all the answers; which is a shame because I like to think that there is nothing I can't Google and find out the answer to these days. In fact, I love the fact that 'Google' is even a verb. But then 'Googling' is a true technological testament to the modern world in which we live; and of course with the rise of the smart phone, it is on very rare occasion that my brain is called on to identify an answer to something for me as, without even a second's thought, my hand has whipped out my iPhone and is 'Googling' before my brain has even had time to notice.

Alas, yesterday I discovered that you cannot Google everything and as a consequence I have been haunted by my brain's own inability to search out the answer I require.

As part of yesterday's Juneathoning (another excellent noun-verb transition!) I walked into Manchester city centre for a spot of shopping (I also count walking around as, although I didn't GPS this part, I know I walked a very long way because my feet hurt by the end of it!) Whilst shopping in Manchester, I popped into Paperchase and was leisurely perusing the card section, when I noticed a couple of teenage girls next to me becoming quite excited. Taking a closer look at the girls, I ruled out that the excitement wasn't from seeing their teacher shopping in Manchester (the excitement of the day for some teenagers, who naturally believe that teachers live in the stock cupboard of their classroom and only venture out for the odd cuppa tea and to buy those brown leather patches we all have on our favourite tweed jackets) but that instead their focus was on a very tall man who was wearing sunglasses indoors and those oversized headphone thingys off-of the 80's that everyone's wearing these days. Stalking him around the collections of cards,  eventually they built up the courage to ask him if they could have their photo taken with him, to which he kindly obliged.

'Oh.' I thought to myself as they stood there posing next to the quirky 'you won't find this in Clinton's' brithday card selection. 'He must be famous.'
I sneaked a little look. Glancing askew, he didn't look in the slightest bit familiar, and not wanting to look like a sad 30-something woman who gets excited over seeing someone 'famous' in Paperchase, I quickly retreated behind the Father's Day section with a definite air of innocuous browsing about me.
However, a few minutes later, glancing over towards the till from my new position within the collection of completely useless but 'oh isn't that cute' stationery that had cunningly distracted me on my way out, I caught a glance of the tall, dark haired, possibly famous person again, and realised that he very definitely was (and still is I imagine) famous and I very definitely did know who he was.

But who?

And this is the question I have been unable to answer. I couldn't bring myself to go over and ask him; even if we take into account my apparent ability to constantly embarrass myself in most situations without trying, and therefore that I am generally the sort of person who is not easily embarrassed, that would have been highly humiliating even for me; I couldn't ask the giggly teenage girls as they'd already left the shop, no longer speaking to each other but hastily sharing their treasured image on every social networking site that ever existed. I stared for as long as was reasonably possible, and then a little longer, hoping that my brain would drag the name out of the darker recesses of my mind; but no, it wasn't to be. I left Paperchase still pondering.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is not a question that I have been agonising over for the past 24 hours or so (except I clearly have!), but it's irritating me; like a song you've forgotten the artist of, or a place you've been on holiday that you can't remember the name of.

Last night, whilst sat with my friends in the pub, I attempted to describe the man to them to see if they had any idea who he might be. With a very accurate description: 'Quite tall, dark hair, wearing sunglasses and those big, silly, oversized headphones like off-of the 80's that everyone's wearing, average looking, no - not as famous as Colin Farrell'; you'd think that at least one of them would have given me a name that rang a bell.

'That's a great description Maggie' was the sarcastic offering I was given as a reply, 'tall and dark haired! 'cos there's not many of those around!'. I quickly forgave them for the sarcasm, realising at once that it was due to a realisation in their own brains that they were going to struggle without the support of Google on this one - a survival reflex, we could call it!
'He may be on Coronation Street.' I offered, but then realised very quickly that I don't watch Corrie, so all the people that my friend was now suggesting, were not going to be him, because I didn't know who they were, but I DO know who he is... kind of'.
'Is he a footballer?' Someone else suggested.
'I don't think so, as I only think I'd recognise someone like Wayne Rooney and it wasn't him, he was much taller and his hair was much darker.
'Was it Julian Clary?' my friend persued.
'What? Julian Clary?'

So, at the end of our discussion, we had managed to establish two things:
1. He was not Julian Clary and...
2. Unlike the boy in the Sixth Sense who does see dead people, I - don't- see- famous people! (Although I do see dead squirrels, but that's a story for another day!)

So, sitting here now thinking about it, I realised that the one thing I hadn't tried, that usually comes so naturally to me when I need an answer, was 'Googling'. However, it seems even Old-faithful can't give me the answer to the question: 'Who was the tall, famous man I saw in Paperchase Manchester yesterday?'

I think you'd agree with me that the first option that question pulled up was highly unexpected and a little disturbing considering what I asked!!

I'll be honest, I feel a little let down by Google; I'm used to this sort of disappointment from my own brain - it's common knowledge amongst my friends that I don't see famous people - but, in the past, Google has always been there to pick up the pieces and fill in the gaps. Sigh.

Anyway, to take my mind off it, today I went over to Bradford and paid a visit to Murgatroyds: 'Britain's Best Fish and Chip Restaurant'. One HUMOUNGOUS plate of fish and chips later and I feel a lot better. For my Juneathoning today, I have counted eating the enormous place of fish and chips, accompanied with bread and butter, curry sauce and a good ol' cuppa tea... really, it counts, look how enormous it was...

... that took effort! However, for those 'purists' of you out there, I have also counted taking Doris on our favourite route down Boggart Hole Clough. All of which has successfully taken my mind off random famous people and my inability to 'see' them... although maybe I typed the wrong words, maybe if I just tried Googling... ... ...

Juneathon Day 19
Activity: Walking 3 miles to town, then shopping. (I should also point out here that due to time constraints, I had to get a bus back; as a self-confessed complete and utter snob, this was a highly distressing situation and consequently caused me to consume copious amounts of alcohol to recover from the ordeal later that night!)
Distance: 3 miles + at least another 2 I reckon!
Time: 45 minutes
Feeling: happy, obviously - I was shopping!!

Juneathon Day 20
Activity: Eating an enormous plate of fish and chips and walking Doris (Who asked me to say how very grateful she is for all the lovely comments and should anyone wish to Dognap her for a while she is a very sociably animal and will be more than happy to offer equal levels of excitement on any run!)
Distance: A whole plate full then 2.3 miles
Time: An hour of so in the restaurant followed by 35 minutes walking!
Feeling: Completely stuffed. And a little let down by Google.


  1. Gah - I wasn't feeling hungry til I read your post - now I'm STARVING!!! AND i NEED to know who you saw!!!! And I loved the droids/stormtroopers piccy x

  2. It was tasty as... and it is KILLING me! Seriously killing me!!! :-)

  3. There is no noun that can't be verbed.

  4. Please let us know who you saw if you ever find out. Last Christmas I saw someone famous in London, I know they were famous as I went to say hello to them and I dont know anyone in London. It was someone offthe TV still aiting to see them on there again so I can say I have seen them! Sad very sad

  5. those fish and chips look so yummy!! hope you find out who he was, how old do you reckon he was??

  6. It is so upsetting when Google lets you down isn't it?! I hope you have worked it out - I find the kids quite useful in situations like these.


Thanks for reading... feel free to leave me a message. Maggiee x