I perfectly understand why people want to flick through a magazine before deciding to buy it. What I less easy to fathom was the man I saw last week in WHSmith flicking through a luxury travel magazine taking smartphone photos of articles he wanted to read later. Part of the enjoyment of going on a good holiday is researching it – and I can’t think it’s much fun reading photos of magazines, rather than the real thing. Of course, the man’s tactic is a discourtesy to the journalists who are supplying their intellectual property – and, let’s face it, if he can’t afford the magazine, he can’t afford the holiday.
♦ Politicians frequently attempt “solve” a problem by targeting the wrong things. A restaurant group emailed me to offer a complimentary glass of Prosecco to celebrate Andy Murray’s victory at Wimbledon. The email ended, however, with: “Due to strict licensing laws our Scottish restaurants can only offer a complimentary soft drink”. Who knew that Prosecco-drinking Scottish diners were a problem?
♦ Talking of restaurants, some of the best waiter service I’ve ever received was in the restaurant car of the (sadly government-destroyed) Great North Eastern Railway. On one particular visit, its service was utterly flawless and the waiter was pampering and perfect in every way. I looked at his name badge. It read “Christopher Garnett, Chief Executive, GNER”.