scribbles tagged ‘sign’

white lines

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |
Dropping curb and adding house number and name sign

Dropping curb, adding house number and name sign

This year I discovered that cars could legally park in-front of my driveway entrance. I discovered when a person on vacation in the USA left her car across my drive blocking my car in.

I took the bus to work, £25 per week bus fare seemed very expensive, a lot more than the £10 diesel costs. Not knowing when, and if, I’d be able to use my car was very disheartening.

It was also disheartening that a person would choose to block my car in, it seems such a mean spirited thing to do. When I’d knocked on my neighbours doors to see if they knew the car owner, could contact her and ask her to move, they were all wonderfully outraged on my behalf. Some had seen her before, none knew how to contact her. One neighbour offered to park her car so close to the offending car that it would be unable to get out without knocking on neighbours doors. We decided against this potential emotional escalation path, and giggled.

The council wouldn’t put their white lines “Access Protection Lines” (APL) outside my drive until I’d dropped the curb. This is when I discovered that every time I drove in and out of my drive I was breaking the law by driving over the public pathway. Oops. Myself and rather a lot of my neighbours were all breaking the law.

To avoid breaking the law I needed to arrange to drop the curb. To be able to ask the police to remove people parked in front of my drive I needed APL. I gave the council a cheque and some sweet-talk – you know so much, you’re so good at your job, I’m just so ignorant of all these things etc.  The road workers were at my place before the cheque had even cleared, 2 days later, at the weekend! Sweet!

  • 4 road workers including  “Mr. Reading” a local looker. He did compare favourably with Brad Pitt.
  • A compact digger
  •  A truck
  •  Pick axes, spades and all sorts….

It took them a day to rip-up the pavement, half a day to lay the concrete foundation and half a day to lay the surface tarmac. Less than an hour to paint the APL

Hooray! Confident, legal and easy access to my driveway has been established. Peace of mind

Then, I added a house sign to the mix. The name and number of my home with an arrow to help people see which way to go to find the Wendy House. My neighbour used his cable-less drill to fix it. As he fixed the sign he told me stuff I didn’t know:

  • People deliver mail for my house to their house and they then bring it round to my home and post it through my door.
  • People knock on their (3B) door to ask where 3A is because it’s clearly not between 3 and 3B.

He’d been suffering without telling me, so English, he was thrilled that I’d decided to put this sign up.

Front of house access sorted.

white lines
5 votes rating 5

3 bits of fabulous banter »

don’t start

Sunday, December 15th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

Road Crossing InstructionsUsing a pedestrian crossing in the USA is a complicated process that requires the pedestrian to be English literate. I suspect I’ve been doing something wrong because I’m prone to not reading instructions until after something has gone wrong….

don’t start
2 votes rating 5

what do you think of that »

follow the breadcrumbs

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

Urgent CareWendy: Which ward is he in?

Hospital receptionist (HR):ACCU

Wendy: Does ACCU mean something?

HR: Adult Critical Care Unit

Wendy: So I should come to the hospital and ask for the ACCU?


Wendy: Does 4F mean something?

HR: Floor 4

Wendy: OK, I think I can remember that, any other advice for a visitor?

HR: follow the signs for ‘Lift Core 5’

Wendy: Does lift core 5 mean…


The signage at the hospital was new and thorough. I found this hospital sign interesting because it has an ecclectic structure which makes scan-reading it quickly more difficult. If it had a clear structure I could anticipate the approximate locations of the labels that I am looking for – find them quickly

My guess is that the

  • top item is arranged by ‘importance’ – put there to be found quickly, including the sticky-tape apparant afterthought of the ‘Urgent Care Centre’
  • the next 2 items are arranged by ‘Frequency of use’ – most people want to get out and use the underground at the end of their stay or visit.
  • Below the top items they are arranged alphabetically, with the exception of the sticky-taped “GP out of Hours” which may have originally been something else.  The main problem with Alphabetically ordered lists is that the reader has to know the name of what they are looking for. For example, that “Day Unit” comes before “Haemetology” and “Reception” comes after “Transport”

The sticky-tape was really facinating, I wanted to peel it off to find out what’s underneath the “GP out of hours”. I resisted the temptation and followed the trail to lift core 5…

rate wendys scribble

5 bits of fabulous banter »

voice of officialdom

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Another quirky Barcelonain passtime is burying cartoon characters in the Beach. Here we see a (cartoon) government official, who has been buried in the beech, still managing to let everyone know where the bins are placed:
Official beach signDon’t you just admire this government official’s dedication to duty?

rate wendys scribble

2 bits of fabulous banter »

no recent strategy

Thursday, July 7th, 2011 | tags: ,  |

Recent PublicationsUK universities participate in 2 quality assessment exercises, one for research quality and one for teaching quality. Research quality is primarily assessed by staff publications, the top 4 publications of each staff member.

Reading University Agricultural department proudly displays it’s recent strategy publications on a cork-board with a box attached to hold the overflow.

A disturbing lack of recent strategy…..

rate wendys scribble

2 bits of fabulous banter »

time-boxed enterpise

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

Visitor ParkingVisitors to the Enterprise centre can only park for 20 mins

20 minutes is their time-box

time-box is trendy business language

Is this a cunning prompt for enterprising visitors to think out of their (time) box to either

find ways to stay longer than 20 minutes


do what normally takes more than 20 minutes in less time

rate wendys scribble

what do you think of that »

Fine art map

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

Fine Art Map LostReading University fine art degree show 2011

Tucked behind a filing cabinet in the corridor, a departmental sign proclaimed “Fine art map”

The map didn’t embody my understanding of ‘fine art’. The skills and interests of departmental academic staff don’t emerge in this creation for public consumption. The title ‘Lost’ was apt not just geographically, but with the pieces displayed in the show. Final pieces were planted without context, no comment on the artists inspiration or journey. This often left me feeling lost and wishing the artists had put more effort into engaging me. Afterall, I am here as a willing participant

Each piece was labelled with a title, the name of the artist, their course. Some large paintings of nude women were labelled “nudes”. Indeed, the title did convey the content in a stripped to the bare essentials way – like the paintings

I managed to find fun in some pieces. Especially when the artist had planned them to engage with action aswell as thought:

  • running through a waterfall
  • putting a post-it note to my friends in Seattle on a map of the world

I kept getting distracted from the show by the wonderful language of the building and social structure. Then labelled-stickytape, provided by one artist, kindly drew me back to the thoughtful work of the students in the building


rate wendys scribble

3 bits of fabulous banter »

green doors

Saturday, June 18th, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

The toilets in the Fine Art department of Reading University are proudly green and probably original features of the one-storey utilitarian style brick building (circa 1930). The subtle differences in styling such as the 3 vertical panels on the womens’ door imply it may be newer (circa 1950) than the more utilitarian design of the mens’.

womenThe addition of a paper sign to the womens’ door is a modern addition, an attempt to change behaviour using strong language “Important, Under no circumstances should…” clear identification  of the people who should attend to this notice “...fine arts students…” and their unacceptable behaviour “…clean their brushes in these toilets

EWE!  I always use the sink to clean my brushes – easier and less whiffy.

green door

green doors
1 vote rating 2

2 bits of fabulous banter »

wendy’s occupying the house

Friday, June 10th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

As we walk into the 1930’s building that houses the Reading Fine Arts degree show we are passed a clip-board with a pen attached on a long string. The

Building Occupants Register

A dedicated labelled plynth proudly holds the list of visitors on a smartly painted brick wall above what was once a modern radiator.

As I leave the building I wonder whether my name should be struck from the list. I’m no longer an occupant. Where does visiting end and occupancy begin? For a firefighter, tackling a blaze, “who’s in the building?” is the key question. A partailly accurate paper list will not help them.

Building Occupants Register

rate wendys scribble

2 bits of fabulous banter »

dangerous boat machinery

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

A quiet sunday morning roam along the Dungeness coastline, interrupted by this sign:

Dungeness - no access

Did I say quiet?

Screeching of Guls, wushing wind, waves rythmically shifting shingle, the humming Nuclear Power stations.

No persons, authorised or otherwise, near the scattered boats. No sign of the silent, dangerous, machinery that is in use at all times. No walls, fences, or barbed wire re-inforced the message of no access.  Just the signed threat.

Dangerous, invisible, mysterious boat machinery? Maybe, here, boat booms live up to their name. When you come too close, the booms burst your eardrums, induce heart attacks. Maybe Jibs can jab like knives.  Forwarned, I turned inland, pulled down my hat, and braced myself for a hike to the lighthouse. Exchanging an uncertain threat for the draw of machinery designed to protect

rate wendys scribble

what do you think of that »

intergalactic hazards

Thursday, December 9th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Recently the on-site health and safety police visited our work premises. They highlighted some of the more dangerous areas of our everyday practices. This device was cited as a potential risk due to an inadequate warning label.

They helped out by producing a temporary label, a post-it note:
Worm hole generator device

rate wendys scribble

4 bits of fabulous banter »

Large print

Friday, November 12th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

In the Reading town central library, they demonstrate their signage literally. I was left wishing that all signs were large print because my spectacles were not up to standard for the standard print signage.

Large Print

Large print
2 votes rating 4.5

1 wonderful musing »

sell by retail

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Sell by retailPainted above the door of many old English pubs is a sign indicating that they are licenced to sell liquors. The licensing system was introduced in the mid 16th century.  Licensing for Beer and Wine was distinct from Liquor licensing. Normally coaching Inns, places attracting wealthier customers than the beer and ale houses, were licensed to sell Liquor.

I liked this sign because it specified that the selling was by retail, pressumably as opposed to wholesale. With the ability to take the Liquor off the premisis purchasers might be tempted to purchase for illegal resale or big parties, effectively wholesale.

rate wendys scribble

5 bits of fabulous banter »

no hangers for cloaks

Friday, October 22nd, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

Toilets!In these cloak rooms

My secondary school used to have a cloak room, rows of hooks for coats, jackets and gym bags. No cloaks. But if we wore cloaks we would have been able to hang them there. Unlike the cloak room signed here. In these cloakrooms  there is a sink, toilet, towell and one of those plastic-bag lined bins.

A TOILET! I’m gradualy getting acclimated to the UK where toilet is not a naughty word. Love it!

rate wendys scribble

4 bits of fabulous banter »

BEFORE entering the nurses

Friday, October 15th, 2010 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

roll your right sleeve up!

I was slightly shocked by the services provided by a local General Practice (GP) in Reading town. It reminded me of 1975 when I won a copy of  ‘ It shouldn’t happen to a vet’ in a school competition. I was also a bit shocked to realise that a vet would have to stick thier arm up the backside of a bovine. Vets roll up their sleeves before doing this

BEFORE entering the nurses

BEFORE entering the nurses
1 vote rating 5

1 wonderful musing »

said chattels herein

Monday, August 23rd, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

said chattels hereinA paper printed sign in the groundfloor window of a small redbrick terraced house who’s door opens directly onto the street. The house has probably beeen reposessed, the people who lived there evicted. The notice probably fulfills a legal requirement. 

The notice says that there are things in the house that will be chucked out if their owners don’t pick them up within 7 days of the date on the notice.   It says this in a language that is no longer spoken by lay people in England – using words like chattels and herein. If I suspect that the people evicted from this house have a literacy level below average then the wording is difficult, if not impossible, to understand. Almost as if the ‘Agent’ doesn’t care whether the person who’s belonging are in the house understands that they need to promptly pick-up their stuff.


rate wendys scribble

what do you think of that »

turn off tap

Thursday, June 10th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Every visit to my parents’ home brings new suprises

Each suprise like a crumb on a trail leading into a the blackest forest.  

My parents are gently walking into thier story of old age, fumbling into darkness and deafness.  Holding each others hands, quibbling like children, I watch them waddle away. 

rate wendys scribble

1 wonderful musing »

high pressure

Sunday, February 28th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Please turn on the taps with care as the pressure is quite high

high pressure:   lots of complicated concepts in this message. Do children have a concept of ‘water pressure’ do they know what ‘high’ and ‘low’ water pressure are?   By contrast a message like “Water comes out of the tap fast” is much more descriptive of the experience of turning the tap.  

with care:   what does it mean to turn on a tap with care?   should I use a cloth incase the handle falls off?    Do they mean that the tap is greased up and turns really fast?   Because  I know what high water pressure can do from experience and from physics classes  I know that the best strategy is to ‘turn the tap slowly’.   Maybe they mean that if you turn the tap on using normal torque the water will spray all over you and the bathroom floor.   What fun!

To prompt the desired user behaviour the sign could become

Please turn the tap on slowly

With the possible explanation of the consequence.   Though addition of this is an invitation to people who like splasshing, YAY, to turn the tap fast for fun. Hoorah!   Can you guess what I did?

to stop water from splashing outside the sink


rate wendys scribble

2 bits of fabulous banter »


Thursday, February 18th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

Before the Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) their was nuisance.  

Along with murder, marriage and adultary (not necessarily in that order) people would commit nuisance.   They still do.  

commit no nuisance.

rate wendys scribble

1 wonderful musing »

rogue buggy

Sunday, October 11th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Buggy ParkHamptop Court Palace has the most modern visitor facilities, including a buggy park.  

I noticed this rogue buggy parking to the right of the official buggy park.

rate wendys scribble

2 bits of fabulous banter »

this way to no parking

Thursday, October 1st, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

this way to no parkingI didn’t know which way to turn.

rate wendys scribble

2 bits of fabulous banter »

the BBC are sorry

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

BBC are sorryDue to temporary failure of satelite connections the BBC announced that they were sorry for the interuption in our reception of thier programming.

In my day the BBC used a collection of strangely engaging short media clips to entertain viewers during program interruption,   called ‘interludes’, accompanied by classical music.   These media clips included watching a potter potting,   a spinner spinning (wool,   not exercise) and the slightly more cute kitten-playing:

rate wendys scribble

3 bits of fabulous banter »

cyclist queue

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 | tags: ,  |

Cyclist QNo traffic jams for cyclists  on  Brighton train station.   Its systematic and cyclistically focussed,   its Queuing!   Hoorah,   I do love a good queue.    Unfortunately I’d come-over all pedestrian so wasn’t eligible for participation.   Pooeeeey

rate wendys scribble

1 wonderful musing »


Thursday, May 7th, 2009 | tags: ,  |

Stop Cock 2"6

I was taken completely by suprise.   What is a girl to do?


rate wendys scribble

5 bits of fabulous banter »

Street closed for Mop

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Road Closed for MopYou can take the Wendy out of Chipping Sodbury…  


When the roads are closed for the Sodbury Mop

I’ll be back

rate wendys scribble

2 bits of fabulous banter »

castle induced kyphosis

Saturday, February 28th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

low doorway warningA small sign above an arch in Chepstow castle warns visitors of the back curvature required for navigating the doorways originally designed for the short people of medieval times,   in this particular case,   the French.

rate wendys scribble

1 wonderful musing »

diagnosis: foreign object

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

foreign objectsJust how do you diagnose something as a foreign object without the aide of well-labeled packaging?

words used include:

  • bin
  • toilet (3 times)
  • Please (3 times)
  • Thank You
  • ‘foreign objects’
  • ‘Sanitary towels’

Arranged in what look like sentences including full-stops do help to make this sign wonderfully British.

I attempted to comply but it is possible that a foreign foodstuff did make a sort-of appearance. I’m hoping no-one checks¦

rate wendys scribble

what do you think of that »

wreckless street smirking

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 | tags: ,  |

What does Gascoigne do?On occasions I can be found behaving with wreckless abandon and inconsideration to all kinds of minority and differently-challenged individuals and subcultures.

For example, while wandering the streets of Teddington, without any warning or the aid of safety equipment, I started smirking at this shop name. Any sign that is declaring the bodily activities of people potentially originating from Gascony  can prompt me to display potentially confusing or offensive behaviours.

rate wendys scribble

what do you think of that »

water sensitive firealarm

Monday, January 19th, 2009 | tags: ,  |

steam activated fire-alarmLet’s get this absolutely clear; steam generated by a bath in one room can set-off a fire-alarm in another room.

rate wendys scribble

what do you think of that »

back to front

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Rear EntranceThanks to Mrs. Pouncer for pointing out this entertaining sign on the front door of a Reading nightclub targetting clientelle of a gay disposition who will benefit from some illustrated suggestions  on courtship techniques.

rate wendys scribble

what do you think of that »