It is the middle of summer, and in the UK, that of course means barbecue season. Families and people across the land will be pulling out their grills from the shed after a year of hibernation to fry tonnes of burgers, chops, sausages, kebabs and other meat and vegetarian products, but not all of them will reach the perfect sizzling conclusion, with a group of researchers claiming that up to 11 million British barbecue parties will be ruined this summer alone.
The main reasons for flaming failures, according to the research by meat trade agency Simply Beef & Lamb, are poorly cooked BBQ foods, followed by unwanted company, drunken guests and snacks or drinks running out. Other al fresco eating experiences could also be derailed by a lack of alcohol and bad taste in music or radio station selection. Burnt or undercooked food was the biggest risk factor for a ruined BBQ, with one in five Britons (22 per cent) complaining about it, according to the study, which surveyed a sample of 2,000 adults.
The massive amount of failed BBQs this year can also be put down to lack of skill in the relevant techniques with the study showing that one in five barbecue organisers struggling with the finer points of well prepared meat and poultry, and almost a quarter (24%) of participants going as far as branding the UK’s collective barbecuing a national disgrace. Twenty seven per cent of the sample claimed to be disgusted by seeing their food cooked on a dirty grill, with another twenty one per cent put off their burgers by guests exhibiting nasty eating habits or ‘table manners’. One in five respondents were annoyed by the British phenomenon of the ‘back-seat BBQer’ – guest who do not cook a single thing themselves but will hover around the person manning the grill, dispensing unwanted advice and criticism of their grilling finesse. Other respondents complained about groups of people huddling around the grill, public displays of affection, a lack of food and drink variety, and controversially, having to cater for vegetarian guests who cannot eat meat.
Simply Beef & Lamb also stated that the average adult will either attend or start up four barbecues in 2017, which adds up to 108 million cookouts among the UK’s 27 million households. The agency’s spokesperson, Nick White, spoke with SWNS news outlet, encouraging British families and friends to keep barbecuing, especially with steak:
“Following our survey, we are launching a campaign to get Brits grilling like Americans, Aussies and Argentinians.
‘We’re asking Brits to banish boring barbecue food and to come together to ‘raise the steaks’.’
‘It’s a misconception that steak is difficult to cook on the barbecue – it’s actually one of the quickest and tastiest meats to prepare on the grill.
‘There are numerous ways to enjoy it, from cutting it into kebabs to marinating it in different flavours.”
TOP 10 SIGNS A BARBECUE HAS FAILED:
People who are too drunk
Not enough food
Poor BBQ skills
Boring and predictable food
TOP 10 BARBECUE BUGBEARS:
Dirty BBQ grill
People with bad eating manners
Criticism and advice from ‘back seat’ BBQ-ers
The amount of smoke from the BBQ
Same old bangers and burgers
Vegetarians being awkward
Couples’ public display of affection
All the men huddling around the BBQ
The fact you spend hours cooking and then everyone is too drunk to eat
Increasing numbers of the United Kingdom’s pre-teens, children under thirteen years of age, are becoming concerned over their physical appearances, with the average child now worrying about how they look for ninety minutes a day, according to a study.
An astonishing 90 per cent of the study participants – sourced from different age groups – said they frequently worried about they look, as influences from media, society, picture-perfect celebrities, and the direct and indirect influences of more ‘popular’ classmates impinge on children’s body confidence at startling younger ages.
One in five surveyed teenagers claimed that they pretended to be ill in order to miss school or work due to low levels of self-confidence stemming from their appearance. The body shame even lasts into adulthood, as 86 per cent of the study’s older participants said they spend an average of one hour and thirteen minutes per day obsessing with what they see in their mirrors. The study found that most teenagers were worried about acne and ‘bad skin’, whereas adults were more concerned with weight. Both age groups were worried equally about bad hair, overall body shape and physique, along with the appearance of their stomachs. Lifestyle magazines for both men and women often devote large numbers of pages to achieving the perfect toned or flab-free stomach and chest.
Skin conditions tend to be the gripe of many people, the study found. Sixty-nine per cent of adults have been afflicted by common skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and conditions causing spots and similar. Ninety-one per cent of them had experienced breakouts of acne even in their post-teenage years.
More disturbingly, it was found that social media is increasingly harming people’s body positivity, with 71 per cent of teenagers and 53 per cent of adults feeling uncomfortable around the sharing of selfies and group photos of themselves on social media sites. Thirty-two per cent of teenagers have used filters and apps to perform virtual plastic surgery on their photos before releasing them to social media, and another 37 per cent have tried to excuse themselves from being photographed.
Outside of social media and the web, the study said that 30 per cent of adults have skipped social events due to fears about how they looked, with 17 per cent resorting to excessive amounts of make-up, 31 per cent covering up their figures with baggy clothing. Four per cent even cancelled dates over their lack of confidence in their looks
The research study was commissioned by the skincare brand Proactiv+, which surveyed 1,000 adults and 1,000 children via online survey service OnePoll. A company spokesperson told SWNS digital: “Almost everyone has concerns about their appearance at one time or another, but it’s staggering to see how young these concerns start.
“And it appears that this is a problem which doesn’t go away with age – the worries we have just change slightly instead.
“Teenagers have a lot to adjust to with puberty, a testing time at school as they approach exams and dealing with peer pressure, so the spot breakouts and acne can really affect their confidence.
“But for many these worries will also continue into adulthood leaving people really struggling with their self-esteem – especially as spots and acne are something most people only associate with the teenage years.”
The average British commuter will spend around GBP £48,000 (USD $60211) of the course of a lifetime, just on travelling to their workplace, a recent survey of 2,000 commuters in the U.K. has discovered.
The figure is not surprising to many observers. Britain has some of the highest transport fares in Europe, with many tickets around ten times their European equivalent. In addition, the average Briton will also spend up to a year of their life on the commute, assuming they work for 47 years of their lifespan. The survey showed that 68 per cent drive to work, 11 per cent take the train and eight per cent get to the workplace via bicycle or motorcycle.
Interestingly, the survey also picked up the fact that a third of the £48,000 figure will be spent on snacks, refreshments and other items consumed or used during the journey, especially for those on long commutes.
The research was commissioned by the motorcycle insurance company Lexham. The firm’s head of sales and marketing, Andy Goodson, commented: “While many commuters think their journeys to and from work are barely worth considering, the amount of time we spend on them shows we should give them a bit more thought.
“With an average commute time of almost an hour a day, for many Brits this is wasted time as they’re stuck behind the wheel in traffic.
“Some of the happiest respondents in our survey were ones who were able to walk to work – giving themselves the shortest commute possible.”
The average journey on a commute is seven miles (eleven kilometres) long, which means over a working life, commuters will have clocked up 171,080 miles (275,327 km) going to and fro from the office or work site – the equivalent of circumnavigating the Earth more than six times. Those who drive to work suffered the highest stress levels, according to the Lexham research, with biking the least likely to leave people grumpy when they arrive at their desks. Sixty-two per cent of commuters told researchers that a bad journey to work would wreck the rest of their day.
Over the course of their working life, the average commuter will read 67 books, 2248 newspapers and listen to 3617 albums.
They will also send 1710 work emails, consume 977 bananas and play 2,077 gaming sessions on their phones.
Andy Goodson said: “One of the best ways to make your commute happier is to cut down how long it is.
“Motorbikes and scooters are a convenient way to bring down your commuting time, as they can beat traffic so easily.
“Nobody wants to have their day made any more stressful than it needs to be – and sitting in traffic, other commuters’ personal hygiene and constantly late trains definitely don’t help.”
A LIFETIME OF COMMUTING IN NUMBERS:
Distance travelled: 171,080 miles Amount spent: £48,708.92 Time spent: 10,998 hours Days late to work: 1906 Newspapers read: 2248 Coffees bought: 1759 Games played on phone: 2077 Social events planned: 1710 Albums listened to: 3617 Bananas eaten: 977
A recent survey among UK cinemagoers has revealed that the Seventies musical Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, is the most popular film of all time, SWNS news service reported recently. The romance between high school exchange student Sandy and her beau Danny, set in the 1950s with an iconic soundtrack from the era of fast Harleys and milk bars topped the most popular movie of choice in the poll amongst 2,000 British adults commissioned by www.OnePoll.com. On its release in 1978, Grease blew up the box office, receiving record numbers of cinemagoers thanks to its catchy songs and memorable performances, and it has been lauded by movie critics to this day, with review site Rotten Tomatoes, giving the film a four star rating of 78 per cent.
It’s sequel, Grease 2, as well as its numerous stage show spin-offs still continue to pull in audiences nearly forty years after its initial release.
Second place in the OnePoll survey went to time travelling caper, Back to the Future, closely followed by Eighties kitsch romance Dirty Dancing and Christmas favourites Home Alone and Love Actually.
Remarkably – despite being one of the highest grossing films of all time, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, is far down the list in 24th place – behind the likes of Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz.
A spokesman for www.OnePoll.com, said: “The results suggest Brits have a particular fondness for feel-good movies.
“Interestingly, the most popular films are relatively old – perhaps because evoke a sense of nostalgia, reminding respondents of their childhoods.
“This might explain why movie studios invest so much money in remakes and sequels as seen with the new Star Wars movie and the forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot.”
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark came fifth, followed by Nineties favourite Titanic, which catapulted stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio into the limelight. Jurassic Park, the classic UK-made song and dance ditty Mary Poppins and children’s film series Toy Story completed the top ten of most adored films in UK cinemas.
Other popular films to feature in the top 50 include The Shawshank Redemption (11), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (17), Jaws (21) and The Lion King (25). Finding Nemo (27), Avatar (35) and Mean Girls (48) also made the list.The most popular film among men is Back to the Future, followed by Steven Spielberg’s classic swashbuckling tale, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The Jurassic Park movies and their latest released sequel, Jurassic World, about a prehistoric theme park off the coast of central America, and which were also directed by Spielberg, came third among male cinema fans, with the Star Wars series coming off a respectable seventh.
Grease is solidly first place for women while Dirty Dancing is second. Third place belongs to Richard Curtis’ Christmas romance, Love Actually.
Action and adventure was found to be the most popular genre, followed by comedy and sci-fi. Romance only came sixth.
Despite recent box office misfires Johnny Depp, most famous for starring as the titular character of Edward Scissorhands, and the affable rogue Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, is Britain’s most favourite actor followed by Tom Hanks and western movie legend and archetypal gunslinger, Clint Eastwood.
Dames Helen Mirren and Judy Dench are the most popular actresses among those polled, with multi Oscar winner Meryl Streep in third place.
London, UNITED KINGDOM VIJAY SHAH via SWNS digitalhub
The American commercial tradition of Black Friday has made its presence felt on our shores and high streets these past couple of year. One of the most important days for sales and footfall in the retail calendar, Black Friday is when shops slash the prices of items like white goods, clothes and electricals by as much as 50-70%. While Black Friday is a blessing for bargain hunters, it has also become notorious for scenes of absolute mayhem, with videos surfacing of shoppers tussling with and climbing over each other to hook that last widescreen smart TV. In some cases, stores participating in Black Friday sales had been forced to call police in to quell fights and near riots.
Despite the bad publicity around some incidents on Black Friday, a recent survey of 2,000 adults produced by the Nationwide building society found that one in ten Britons is still prepared to brave the crowds and stand toe-to-toe with fellow shoppers to bag those once-a-year heavily reduced must-haves. The study also found that many shoppers are prepared to tough it for the best bargains, with many survey respondents expecting to awaken their aggressive streaks as they hit the high streets for this year’s Black Friday events on November 27.
The Nationwide survey figures also show that in 2014, one in three adults made a trip to the shopping centre on Black Friday. This year, the average shopper is expected to spend £176. Altogether, customers are predicted to spend £120 million on debit cards alone, more than on December 19th, the last Friday before Christmas, when shopkeepers and retailers expect to recieve the most takings as people scour the shops for last-minute festive gifts.
Phil Smith, head of current accounts at Nationwide, which commissioned the study, said: “For many, Black Friday coincides with the last payday before Christmas, so they use it to kick-start and supplement their Christmas shopping.
“And with only a limited number of the best deals available, tensions can spill over, resulting in arguments over goods usually associated with panic buying.
‘’This means that in the cold light of day, what seemed to be a good bargain could end up being a waste of money.
“Customers should consider doing a little bit of research and planning beforehand, as many stores will advertise offers ahead of time.
‘’In doing so, we can ensure we’re buying the goods we actually want at a discounted price rather than being tempted by the lure of a bargain on something we don’t particularly need.”
The Nationwide survey also predicted the most popular Black Friday items shoppers will want on their lists include home appliances such as microwaves, coffee machines, and blenders, laptops, computer and video games and televisions.
However reduced items often quickly run out of stock, leading to customers duking it out in the aisles and jackets and hair being pulled. The Nationwide’s shopping poll discovered that men are nearly twice as likely to clash over stuff on the shelf as women. One in eight (13%) were prepared to get into an argument with another shopper, compared with 7% of surveyed female respondents. Ironically for the arguments over the last television or CD player that will be occurring in stores up and down the British Isles, the poll also discovered that one in eight adults (13%) will end up returning goods for refunds.
In fact, Black Friday could result in thousands of returned items, as more than half confessed to surrendering to impulse purchases on the day.
Nationwide’s Phil Smith added: “This Black Friday, people should consider putting money aside for something they actually want rather than simply buying something because it is listed as a bargain.
‘’The benefits of impulse saving can have a positive impact on our finances. And for those who make big home appliance purchases, consider extending your warranty to cover all eventualities.’’
Several leading high street names including Curry’s, Argos, GAME and John Lewis are already gearing up with in-store Black Friday linked promotions and figures for online shopping too are expected to reach stellar proportions. Last year, £810 million was spend online alone by UK shoppers.
Wander past the reception into any office inthe United Kingdomor indeed anywhere else you fancy, and just asSir David Attenboroughmight steathily and subtly observe different species of wildlife on the African savannah, you will soon notice from being hidden surreptitiously behind that large pot plant that just like animals, there are different species ofoffice worker; the busybody, with an ‘in’ tray as high asMount Everest; the chatterboxes, constantly talking on the phone or to anyone within earshot (and lack of an escape route) and the quiet ones; who wish their wage packet was as golden as their silence. Others cling to the boss’ every word, eager for that golden hello and promotion. While others drone on and on about this and that. From accounts to sales and marketing, every office and department is bound to have a motley crew of differentpersonality types, some more beneficial than others, especially when it comes to those all-important office preserves, teamwork, training new starters and the handling of big projects.
Flexioffices, an expert agency which prides itself on offeringserviced officespaces to companies across the UK, has recently commissioned a fun, tongue-in-cheek nationwide survey of over 1,500 people to find out which kind of personality people most hate being stuck with when it is their turn at thewater cooler. If you are curious as to what kind of office worker is most likely to induce lethal cubicle rage in their long-suffering colleagues, then the results are now in.
Around 35% of thesurveyedpeople named the Office Know-it-all as their most hated personality, making it indeed the most hated type of office worker in the United Kingdom. This is the kind of person who (thinks) they know everything about everything. They might be useful if you have trouble getting the scanner/photocopier/printer thingamabob to work, but they also are blatant brown-nosers and have to jump into every conversation going with their not exactly needed or wanted opinions. Their fellow office workers soon rapidly tire of their useless encyclopaedic knowledge and their inflated sense of self-superiority. The ‘Know-it-all’ particularly irks people nearing retirement age and workers from Wales. If you are one of these people, it is advised to either shut up or jump out.
Number 2 – ‘The Office Slacker’
This is the man or woman whom you can say without a doubt spends their evenings sprawled in their underclothes among tonnes of pizza boxes and polystyrene containers that still smell of last month’s ‘kebab-athon’. They barely seem to have the will to even lift said pizza into their mouth at times. While what people do at home generally does not follow them to the workplace, the Office Slacker is laziness personified, 24/7, day in, day out, come rain or shine. The Slacker is that annoying type that sits back and lets everyone else, well, pick up the slack. They generally make little headway in team projects and are content to do minimal work, while still taking the credit. According to the survey it seems no-one likes a lazy colleague, most notablyLondoners, who rank ‘The Office Slacker’ as thepersonality typethey dislike working with the most. With 32% of the votes, here’s a message for work-shy individuals across the nation – it’s either time to change your attitude, or cross London off your ‘ideal places to work’ list.
Number 3 – ‘The Office Suck-up’
This is the worker who is practically the manager’s second shadow. Abrown-noserof sheer excellence, they are the manager’s dream yes-man or yes-woman. No matter how diabolical the manager’s pipedream, they always agree with every little detail. The ‘Office Suck-Up’ is not the most trustworthy of colleagues. Do one thing wrong, no matter how insignificant and the Suck-Up will memorise every little detail of all your little transgressions and regurgitate it straight into the crop of the Big Boss. This is the grown-up, corporate version of the playground tittle-tattle. The walls have ears. The Flexioffices survey results suggest ‘The Office Suck-up’ received 17% of the overall votes, with the good people of the North East andScotlandparticularly unimpressed with colleagues who try to worm their way to the top.
Number 4 – ‘The Office Tight-arse’
Anal retentivenessis a sport that should be entered into the Olympics. Why? Because if it did, the ‘Office Tight-arse’ would win every gold medal going forTeam GB. This is the sort of person who turns into theIncredible Hulkthe moment you help yourself to one measly paper clip from their desk’s bits-and-bobs. They scrupulously note down the quantity of every pack of Belvita or box of Earl Grey teabags they buy in their lunch break. Do not under any circumstance even think to ask for a spare croissant, you will feel the Fury! Nevertheless, in these belt-tightening times of austerity, it seems people have some sympathy for the ‘Office Tight-arse’, as this was the most hated office personality of a paltry 8% of surveyed participants. So maybe being a little bit of a Scrooge is not so bad. Either way, if you happen to be a corporate butt-clencher, it’s probably best to steer clear of people in theWest Midlands, who expect their colleagues to display the utmost generosity and goodwill at all times. Sharing is caring.
Number 5 – ‘The Office Joker’
This is the cheeky chap/chapette that has a chuckle about anything. They love hiding your favourite mug when you run off to the bathroom. They offer you a panini for a snack, only you find it has been laced with extra hot tabasco sauce. Always grinning like the Cheshire Cat of old folklore, they fill the air with their colleagues laughter, but sometimes they can seriously reduce the seriousness of a nine-to-five and there comes a point where you really need to file that sales report for the first quarter of 2014, and you cannot concentrate because the officeMichael McIntyrehas made you giggle yourself into a painful cramp all around your sides. Offices can be dreary and stressful places though, and people do appreciate a laugh every now and then, which is why the Flexioffices survey found that only 7% of people find the Office Joker a joke too far. Being the office joker can help to raise morale in the team, however we all know that one person who can take their Chuckle Brothers re-enactment a tad too far. If you’re looking for an audience for your pranks and jokes, then 35-44 year old men in London are not a good place to start!
Flexioffices are also offering a quiz that office workers can answer to see which type of personality they are. We have reproduced it here, so now Brainiacs can find out whether they are an office legend or a pain in the orifice.
Now it’s your turn – take our quick scenario quiz below and find out what type of office personality you are!
1. For you, the office water cooler is an opportunity to
A) Switch the hot and cold taps around and watch the chaos unfold
B) Tell everyone else in the office who’ll listen that they shouldn’t drink from it due to the dangers of bacteria in the water caused by gradual decomposition of the plastic container
C) Keep the boss hydrated to boost your chances of a promotion
D) Drink 10 glasses at a time. All those toilet breaks shave minutes off the working week
E) Decant the water into your own containers and take it home
2. A new bar opens near the office and a work night out has been arranged, do you?
A) Tell a couple of your colleagues that they have to wear a tuxedo to the night out and they must have missed the memo
B) Attend to humour others, but you’ve already been twice yourself and read all the reviews. You know it’s terrible and can’t believe your colleagues would want to go there
C) Get to the bar before everyone else and buy the boss a drink. A little alcoholic lubrication goes a long way to earning that promotion
D) Use it as an opportunity to leave work early under the pretense of ‘saving everyone a stool at the bar’
E) Peek through the window outside the bar until you see the first round has been bought… then make your entrance
3. A new photocopier-printer has just been bought and installed in your office. Which of the following are you most likely to do?
A) Photocopy your backside
B) Comment that from your extensive research you know it isn’t the most robust model on the market and it’s only a matter of time before it breaks down
C) Tell the boss you’d be happy to monitor and report back on anyone using the photocopier-printer inappropriately. That promotion must be close now
D) Constantly open up the photocopier-printer to check on cartridge and paper levels. It’ll be home time before you know it!
E) Print your personal files and paperwork out at every opportunity
4. A young student is in the office on a week’s work experience, do you?
A) Tell them you’re all out of checkered paint and to go to the hardware shop and ask for a long weight
B) Walk up to them and say “You think youth is on your side, but experience counts for everything in this business. You’ve a lot to learn”
C) Tell the boss you’re happy to spend the whole week closely mentoring the work experience employee, even if it means doing your own work when you get home. You’re that dedicated! Anything to help that promotion along
D) Take the whole week off sick to get out of the training you were meant to prepare for them
E) Offer to take them out for lunch… then tell them you forgot your wallet and make them pay for it
5. You’re asked to go out and buy some doughnuts for an important meeting. What do you do?
A) Buy some plain doughnuts then fill them with mayonnaise. “‘Custard’ doughnut anyone?”
B) Write a 15 page email on the negative health effects of eating fatty foods, including links to medical reports and statistics on doughnut related deaths
C) First, buy everyone a plain sugar doughnut. Next, drive 37 miles to Krispy Kreme to get the most expensive, glorious looking doughnut known to man. Then it’s back to the office to present it to your boss on a silver platter. If this doesn’t get you promoted, what will?
D) Walk the two miles to the shops instead of driving there. After all, it’s a nice day outside and it would be rude not to take your time. That’s shaved a few hours off the working day nicely
E) Refuse. Even though you’ll be given the money back in a few days, there is no way on earth you’re missing out on the 0.001% interest you will earn from keeping your cash in the bank
So, which office personality are you? Find out below:
I answered A to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Joker’. Always quick to make light of any situation and never miss the opportunity to play a practical joke on your colleagues. You’re the centre of attention at office parties and people look to you to cheer them up. On the other hand, you can be a nightmare in meeting scenarios where you have been known to struggle to contain your energy.
I answered B to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Know-it-all’. Never short of an opinion or two, you’ve got all the answers and probably even know the question before it has been asked. Keeping up to date with the latest piece of technology or industry news is no problem for you, as you more than likely had something to do with creating it (in your head at least).
I answered C to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Suck-up’. Always keen to let everyone know you’re working on a Saturday, or fetch your boss a drink, you may not be the most popular figure in the office but your sucking up tactics might just help you to go all the way to the top.
I answered D to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Slacker’. Working 9-5 is no way to make a living, not in your eyes anyway. You’ll stretch out any opportunity to be away from your desk – from prolonged visits to the water cooler, through to volunteering to go and buy the milk for the tea round. Oh and you’re good at delegating tasks to other people too – very good at it in fact.
I answered E to the majority of questions:
You’re ‘The Office Tight-arse’. Stealing paperclips, taking toilet paper from work to use at home and even refusing to contribute to the company’s charitable cause, you’re the embodiment of the phrase ‘short arms, deep pockets’.
We recommend taking your results with a pinch of salt, as we are aware that no one truly falls into any one category and a healthy mix of behaviours is what makes the world go around.
Once you have your results, feel free to share them for fun with your friends and colleagues on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook, or tweet us directly @Flexioffices using #FlexiPersonality.