King’s Lynn, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via TANVEER MANN and Metro.co.uk
A British man has probably set the world record for quickest time in flunking a driving test after failing it five seconds in, reported the Metro newspaper yesterday.
Craig Barraza, aged 33, originally from Portlethen in Aberdeenshire but now living in Norfolk, crashed out of his driving test after pulling out of the centre of the wrong side of the road, according to Metro. The hapless learner told the paper he had a ‘complete mind blank’ once he got behind the wheel and largely forgot everything the driving instructor had taught him over his lengthy and expensive preparation lessons.
Barraza, who appeared for his exam at the King’s Lynn test centre, immediately pulled out and began driving down the wrong side of the road. Vehicles in the UK drive on the left. His error was so obvious that even the examiner who was in the front passenger seat with him at the time exclaimed “You do realise you’re on the wrong side of the road?”.
Despite immediately failing his test, Barraza still had to continue driving for another forty minutes, where it is alleged he actually drove so well that he would have passed had it not been for the ghastly error he made at first. The examiner, and Barraza’s driving instructor, Steve Fletcher, said that it was the worst blunder they had seen in 50 years of instruction.
Barraza, who is employed as an operative on a wind energy farm, is said to have spent £1,000 in total on forty lessons with Fletcher, as well as the multiple-choice question ‘theory test’ that all new British drivers are required to sit in addition to the practical.
He said: “I was only just leaving the centre to get out. We were literally just five seconds into it. I was approaching the junction to exit it and I had an absolute mind blank, questioning in my head: ‘What side of the road do we drive on?”
‘I had a 50/50 chance, and I chose to exit it in the right lane. Instant fail. Had I not been so stupid I’d have breezed through.’
‘My examiner with 20 years experience, and my instructor with 30 years both said they have never witnessed anything like it in their careers. I hadn’t even left the test centre car park.”
He added: “I’ve avoided driving because when I was 17 I stalled at a roundabout which just completely put me off. But I was more confident now.
‘I think it’s when you get older you get a bit wiser but that’s rich coming from me after failing like that. I’ve lived in the UK my whole life so there’s no excuse for not driving on the left.
‘Honestly, who fails a test quicker than that? I didn’t even get to the junction.”
Despite his huge messup, Barraza has received supportive messages from his friends after posting about the calamity on social media, however it is not mentioned if he will retake his test.
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
“Guy fails driving test in just five seconds after pulling out of centre on wrong side of road” – Tanveer Mann, Metro – News – UK/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 February 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/04/guy-fails-driving-test-in-just-five-seconds-after-pulling-out-of-centre-on-wrong-side-of-road-6426532/?ito=facebook
“Jan 9 : The Driving Lesson” – Dawn Sajn, Flickr (9 January 2012) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dawnps/6664634135/
Bad Münstereifel, GERMANY
The website Gemstars reports today the story of a man in Germany who lost his wedding ring, only to find it in a place he never expected to discover it in.
The 82-year-old, a keen gardener, was said to have been in his yard in the small town of Bad Münstereifel a few years ago, when he found to his horror that his wedding band had slipped from his finger and gone missing. Fearful for any possible impact losing the jewellery would have on his marriage, he searched everywhere for it, but to no avail. He eventually gave up the search, and assumed his ring was gone for good.
Three years later, the man pulled up some carrots he had been growing for his kitchen. One of the carrots was found to have something shiny and golden wrapped around it, in the manner of a corset, causing the carrot to be deformed. It was the exact same wedding ring the gardener lost all those years ago. Though his wife had passed away some time after he lost the ring, she told him that one day he would find it again. Six months after her death, he struck gold, rediscovering a lost memento of his many happy years of marriage.
The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
Londoners, Wind Smoke, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/windsmoke_uk/lists/londoners
WWF, The Tweeted Times http://tweetedtimes.com/WWF
“82-Year-Old Man Loses Wedding Ring, Finds it In Carrot From His Garden” – Gemstars http://gemmstars.com/06e9f0033df9
“Möhre bringt verschollenen Ehering zurück” – Kristina Schlömer, WDR 1/WDR (4 November 2016) http://www1.wdr.de/nachrichten/rheinland/ehering-trifft-moehrchen-100.html
“File:Wedding rings.jpg” – Jeff Belmonte, Flickr via Wikimedia Commons (20 May 2005) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wedding_rings.jpg
Vijay Shah via Mel Ramsay and The LADbible
If you are a massive been fan, know your Tyskie from your Tennant’s and just happen to be in Singapore, a world-famous Danish brewery will pay you for the privilege of drinking the amber nectar for four hours.
According to a report by online men’s magazine The LADbible, Carlsberg, famous for its “If Carlsberg did..” advertising campaign, is now recruiting for what is probably the best job in the world, if you are not teetotal or watching the pounds. As part of an advertising promotion, Carlsberg’s Singapore branch is offering one lucky person the chance to earn SGD $200,000 (£11,241), which will include drinking as much Carlsberg beer as you want (or can handle) while working as a ‘Carlsberg Ambassador’.
An advert by the brewery states that in addition to drinking copious amounts of alcohol, the job candidate should also entertain their friends for drinks (Carlsberg beer only) and need only put in four hours a day, plus be 18 years of age or over. Other perks of the position include a chauffeur, as clearly you won’t be in much fit state to be behind the wheel, no experience required whatsoever and a chance to quaff as much Carlsberg beer as you want, a good thing if that is your favourite tipple.
General manager of Carlsberg Singapore, Jimmy Toh, told Today Online: “Whatever Carlsberg does, we strive to do better. While the exhilarating job of a beer taster remains the same this year, the successful applicant will earn S$20,000, which is double the salary offered last year – simply to enjoy ‘Probably the best beer in the world’.
“We are looking for the best candidate that exemplifies this spirit, and demonstrates passion for the Carlsberg brand to bag this unique job opportunity.”
Candidates for interview will need to submit creative and witty answers to three questions posed by the beer company, and must tender their applications in by the 4th December 2016.
The LAD Bible, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/LADbible/
“Carlsberg Is Advertising Probably The Best Job In The World” – Mel Ramsay, TheLADbible/TheLADbible Group (25 November 2016) http://www.theladbible.com/more/awesome-carlsberg-is-advertising-probably-the-best-job-in-the-world-20161125
“Carlsberg Journey – Making Of” – locosoho, Vimeo/Vimeo, Inc. https://vimeo.com/55270799
London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via JIMMY NSUBUGA & Metro
As London’s housing crisis spirals out of control, and both house prices and rents became more and more painful for the city’s 8 million inhabitants, one enterprising worker has taken a peculiar, if somewhat desperate, solution to keeping a roof over his head, the newspaper Metro reported yesterday.
Alex Hill, aged 24, is an IT worker who emigrated to the UK’s capital from the small town of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire county, England. Upon arriving in the big city, he found the price of renting beyond a joke, with single bedrooms in flatshares and houseshares now costing an average £550-750 per month. Buying a house would have also been just a dream, with the average London house now selling for around £500,000. There was no way, even in his relatively well-paid career, that Alex would have been able to purchase outright.
Instead he set up home….in a large blue commercial van. Hill uses the van as a place to sleep, parking it in side streets. While this seems makeshift, the IT employee, who works in the City, is able to save £1,000 per month on rent and utilities. Unfortunately the van has no running water or WC facilities, so Hill is forced to avoid drinking fluids after 7:00 pm to avoid having to use the toilet in a city where public urination is illegal.
He installed a bed in the vehicle, which also comes equipped with a solar powered generator for electricity and a small heater to keep Hill warm during this month’s cold winter nights.
“I was planning to cycle around Europe for a few months last summer and had already handed in the notice for my flat,” he told student newspaper The Tab.
“The plan was to stay with friends until I got another flat, but I decided to try out living in my car for a few weeks and showering at work.”
He often parks his unusual mobile home in hip places like Clapham, Brixton or anywhere in Islington where he can visit friends and camp outside after, and surprisingly with such a large van in a city notorious for its scarcity and expense of parking places, Alex Hill says he has no trouble with parking.
He added: “I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.
‘The most important thing for me was that I could still shower every day at the office, but it depends what you feel you need.”
It is not illegal in the UK to sleep or even live in your vehicle. Many homeless people often live in their cars in preference to being on the streets, and thousands of British holidaymakers often go on camping holidays in caravans, but Alex’s situation is also a sad example of the difficulties in finding safe and affordable accommodation in the capital, even for those in well-paid jobs.
Hill has been sleeping in his van since September 2015. The Metro article does not say whether he has any plans to move into a des res less mobile and four-wheeled.
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/?fref=nf
“IT worker saves £1k each month by living in a van in London” – Jimmy Nsubuga, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 March 2016) http://metro.co.uk/2016/03/04/it-worker-saves-1k-each-month-by-living-in-a-van-in-london-5734100/
“File:Boscombe, blue van – geograph.org.uk – 1277393.jpg” – Mike Faherty, geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons (29 April 2009) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boscombe,_blue_van_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1277393.jpg