Come Fly With Me

110. Airtours International

Having cut your teeth on Caravan Holidays, there inevitably comes a day when the kids are a bit older and you decide you just have to leave this fair isle for 10 days or so for warmer, sunnier, all-inclusive climes.
I don’t mind flying (or being flown) as a rule but it’s the stresser that is the “Airport Experience” that grates me. The ungodly hour you arrive at the terminal, the kranky kids, the heavy suitacases, the passports in your mouth, faffing about with printed boarding passes, the agonising suitcase weigh-in…  You’ve already spent umpteen attempts weighing them at home on bathroom scales and hand-held gadgets costing three quid at B & M, but there’s still the element of agonising doubt as you plonk your case on the scales and see the digital display race up to but settle just before your allotted KG allowance is breached. (phew)
Then you’re on to another snaking queue to be body scanned for metals, liquids or shoe bombs, scissors in pencil cases etc.
Then you are fleeced at an airside Burger King outlet who levy and extra £4 on every menu item just for the privilege of you flying. (Don’t even get me started on Duty Free..)
After about 3 hours of utter stress and mither you finally board the plane and at long last, r-e-l-a-x. Now your holiday has truly begun.

To commemorate Airtours International, we bring you this ripped gun-metal grey on bleu foncé Sparta. I recall Airtours having a huge call centre up in Helmshore,(Twinned with ‘The Land that Time Forgot‘) Lancashire in the nineties. A big employer it was too but they eventually went into liquidation only to be swallowed up by Thomas Cook t/a MyTravel.
All that’s left up Helmshore now is Musberry Fabrics, the Textile Museum and it’s own micro-climate of mist and drizzle. (mizzle)

Chocs away Mugspotters!

Chocs away Mugspotters!

Just The Ticket


This is a real find. Over 80 mugs in and we’ve seen nothing quite like this one courtesy of The design is off the scale. I’ve scoured the web’s darker corners and the closest I can come to a genre is entitled ‘The Milan.’ (handle apart) This beauty sports a generous aperture and low centre of gravity. The over-sized handle ensures maximum grip for a satisfying beverage experience. The reason for its diminutive size is that it will (allegedly) be “..ideal for use with today’s coffee machines which are a regular feature in offices today.”  We call this ‘Small, but perfectly formed’.

My only criticism is the logo is too small. Having worked in Graphic design in a past life, I’m all for the concept of ‘A Nice Use Of White Space’ but you really have to put this under your nose to read the branding, which is not recommended if it is brimming with hot liquid. is a web portal on which students can purchase weekly bus tickets and passes and has absolutely nothing to do with second-hand bikes featuring just one wheel and a saddle. This would be
It’s an easy mistake to make.

Unirider 4

Unirider Slab

Life’s A Beach

46. Beaches Family Resorts

..And the Mugspotters Award for the Most Underwhelming Marrow for 2012 is….Beaches Family Resorts.
The Marrow is one of the larger earthenware vessels but I’m afraid this lame effort does this majestic Mug no justice at all. The print is a not-quite-pink, not-quite-purple hue and just floats in its upper portions. My first impressions were, “Why are Cancer Research charging £1 for this?” quickly followed by “That is one dull trade mug…but I have to have it..”  The livery looks old fashioned and suspect it’s quite a dated piece but the prescence of a web address means it’s can’t be too antiquated. Click on the following link to check out Beaches Luxury Family Resorts site.
It’s a shame a little luxury wasn’t lavished on their mug!

Life's a beach

Beaches 2

Parents: Get Lost!

29: PGL Adventure Holidays

Anyone whose offspring has been on a PGL break will be familiar with this phenomenon.
What does PGL stand for? The official web definition is “PGL Travel Ltd. is a company established in 1957 by Peter Gordon Lawrence and is a provider of school activity courses and summer camps… “
Although folklore and playground defiance have translated it into simply: ‘Parents, Get Lost!”
Typically occurring in Year 6 of Primary school, kids are taken off for a 3 day break to some adventure camp where the order of the day is abseiling, zip-wiring, canoeing and quad biking with discos and talent shows by night.
After your 3 day break (from your child), you’ll collect them from school and invariably they will be in a cranky state due to sleep depravation and present you with an Everest-high bag of rank washing.
However, this mug is a stunner. I just love this mug.
This early example of a Lincoln (although with a sleeker handle) gives you the juxtoposition of a naff 70’s Travel Agents-style logo on one side and a fine line illustration of Boreatton Park, Shrewsbury on the other. You could argue it’s not Trade but 11 year old kids would not buy this even if it was available in their on-site gift shop.
We must assume this mug has been brought into captivity courtesy of a teacher or ex-PGL employee.
And I’m thankful they have as the world and this web site is a better place for it.

Parents: Just Do One

Boreaton Park