Friday, 9 January 2009

The Bulb Backlash (and the Enduring Mystery of Lush)

Yesterday I bought what seemed to be the last ten 60watt light bulbs (incandescent , bayonet fitting) in Kensington. Panic buying has cleared the shelves as the implications of the EU's insane forced switch to 'low energy' bulbs - eagerly complied with by our green-mad government - become apparent. Supermarkets are no longer restocking with 100W or 75W bulbs - a 'phasing out' ahead of their complete withdrawal in September. The 60W bulb will be next in the firing line, then 40W and so on downwards. So naturally, as the prospect of a future without proper lighting in our homes draws nearer, rational people are buying up all the bulbs they can get and stockpiling them (my ten are, I assure you, only the beginning - I look forward to having a shedful of the incandescent beauties by the time the ban kicks in fully). By doing so we resisters are of course being thoroughly green by helping to put off the environmental catastrophe that will be unleashed when people have to dispose of all those mercury-rich 'low energy' bulbs. I shan't rehearse all the other arguments against these ludicrous pseudo-bulbs - suffice to say the government was crazy to comply with this EU nonsense, and most of the population will, happily, thwart it anyway with their personal bulb mountains.
Another thing that seems to be disappearing from the shelves is soap - as in actual bars of soap. There used to be shelves of the stuff in any decent supermarket or chemist's (or even Boots) - but now there is little choice and the vast majority of what's on offer is in liquid form, in plastic dispenser bottles. How very ungreen - and how very unlike real soap. Meanwhile, mystifyingly and nauseatingly, Lush - the chain of shops flogging garishly coloured, foul-smelling hunks of soap in bizarre shapes and sizes - continues to thrive. I live in hope that one of the beneficial side effects of the recession will be the collapse of Lush.
And, in the longer term, the collapse of the entire edifice of dangerous nonsense known as the 'green agenda'. Recycling is, it seems, already in collapse, as all the stuff we carefully separate out of our rubbish by council diktat (via the EU again, of course) is now piling up promiscuously in expensively rented warehouses. What's going to happen if it continues piling up for a few more months? It will be interesting to see...


  1. I hate those low-energy bulbs - they emit a dirty, greasy light that instantly depresses.

    As for Lush, it is futile to comment on the place if you are male. It is a feminine mystery, like the movie 'Beaches'.

  2. For twelve months now, at the insistence of Malty towers green faction, aka Frau Malty we have been lurching around the house after dark, bumping into stuff, ending up in the wrong rooms, knocking over the Ming (I jest) unable to read or find the remote, losing dogs etc.
    The reason for this discord, Phillips low energy, zero light output, bulbs.
    Enough of this nonsense I say, candles give off more light.
    If lush goes bust we once again will be able to walk along Princess St without respirators.

  3. Joey Joe Joe Jr.9 January 2009 at 12:32

    Even by todays advertising standards soapmongers seem to hold the public in utter contempt, insulting the intelligence with pseudoscientific biobabble or extolling the virtues of faux-natural ingredients. Annoyingly, alcohol based aftershave seems to have gone the same way as bars of soap, replaced by tubes of gunk. All that's left now are countless greasy greasy balms so that after a shave it feels one has just eaten an entire KFC thrift bucket blindfolded.

  4. Actually JJJJ I don't see that as an either/or - I use the balms (being prone to razor rash etc) and a cologne. L'Occitane's Quatre Voleurs is my favourite, or the more straightforward Givenchy Gentleman (or Guerlain's Héritage - Aargh what's happened to this blog? Enough with the male scents...

  5. Quite possibly the most unpleasant place in London to stand is between Lush and the cheese shop in Victoria Station. It brings tears to your eyes.

  6. Ay, a cold grey day, the air hangs freezing in, er, the air. It's goodbye to "sunshine of your love" and hello to "weak rays of low-energy light-bulb relationships". I've no more old-style bulbs in the house and most of the lamps won't take the new-style bulbs because they are taller. Darn. Time to show Gordon and co the harsh sunshine of some flamethrower lurv. That's a good point from Joe. I wonder if anyone has tried rubbing their face with cheese after shaving? The milk and oils in it would surely act as an emollient. Just think of the profits. Cheese repositioned as a cosmetic could be sold for five or ten times more.

  7. The original Cologne business in Koln smells like an Algerian brothel, I am reliably informed. Incidentally 4711 derives from the street number of the shop (still there today) which is the result of the French occupation during the Franco whatsit war when the froggies gave all of the houses numbers instead of names, lacking in soul the cheese scoffers. Best scent of all, wood smoke from beech.

  8. Excellent idea Mark - and JJ I have often stood in that very spot and wondered what on earth their cheese must taste like after prolonged exposure to those fumes from nextdoor...