This morning I bought a prawn sandwich from Asda (I've now tried prawn sandwiches from all the main supermarkets - Sainsbury's is the clear winner, but Asda's wasn't too bad. Tesco's has a shameful prawn to mayonnaise ratio.) and then walked to the bus stop. I like getting buses when you don't quite know where you are. I always have to fight the urge to jump off as soon as I see a recognisable landmark.
  I walked through town in the vague direction of The Royal Standard and noticed the usual things: empty shop fronts next to hyper branded commercial 'spaces', metal studs on street furniture to stop skaters re-interpreting its use, desperate, windswept for-sale banners hanging forlornly from new build apartments ("Bright, Modern Two Bed Apartment on this Popular Waterfront!").

I like the Radiocity tower that looms over St. John's Garden.

It reminds me a bit of the clock in Alexanderplatz, Berlin.

The communist government always claimed it was an atomic clock, but it was actually just a regular clock with some fancy detailing...

I strolled through the museum quarter and saw these meaty flowers installed in the balconies of the World Museum.

Apparently, at night their air-pumps are turned off and they slowly deflate.

I'm staying with Penny Whitehead and Daniel Simpkins (where I'm sleeping in a bed on stilts - incredibly comfortable until you smack your head off the ceiling), and Penny was talking about how the local council assigns a theme to each year, so 2010 is 'Year of Health and Wellbeing'

I noticed these flags in various places, maybe I'll try and search out as many as I can.

I don't know if you can read the text, but it says, "Connect... Be Active... Take Notice... Keep Learning... Give..."

It even has its own annoying website where you can meaninglessly pledge your support to "acknowledge the importance of the health and wellbeing of our communities".

The only other example of time being branded of which I can think is in the book Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Most of the action takes place in "subsidized time", where each year is known by its corporate sponsor - here is a list I stole from the wiki page on Infinite Jest.

  1. Year of the Whopper
  2. Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad
  3. Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar
  4. Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken
  5. Year of the Whisper-Quiet Maytag Dishmaster
  6. Year of the Yushityu 2007 Mimetic-Resolution-Cartridge-View-Motherboard-Easy-To-Install-Upgrade For Infernatron/InterLace TP Systems For Home, Office Or Mobile [sic]
  7. Year of Dairy Products from the American Heartland
  8. Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment
  9. Year of Glad
Maybe if the recession really starts to bite up here, Ringo Starr could subsidize a year or two. It might make up for the comments he made about Liverpool in 2008, where he claimed he missed nothing about the city and was glad to have left. Ouch.

If he paid enough they might even put his head back on...