The Lobby: Off-topic discussion

Hello and welcome to The Lobby! Your place to discuss subjects that just don’t fit in our other conversations. Make yourself at home!

This Lobby is closed to new comments

Do you want to discuss an issue but can’t find the right place to post it? Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to chat with your community pals? Well, you’ve come to the right place…

As with any community or conversation it can – and does – wander off-topic. This is perfectly natural, but it hasn’t always been possible to do so on some of our posts because of the precisely defined nature of each subject.

So, at the behest of some of our community members, we created this off-topic discussion area – The Lobby.

Any ideas spawned here in The Lobby could generate new posts for debate and discussion on Which? Conversation, so you – our community members – are able to help shape the direction of our community.

What happened to the original Lobby?

Why do we have two Lobbies? Well, like all good franchises, we wanted to experiment with a sequel. But seriously, the original Lobby was so popular (with almost 13,000 comments), it was becoming hard to load the page.

So we’re starting fresh with what we’re affectionately calling “The Lobby 2”.

No comments from first Lobby have been deleted, and you can still link to comments, but you won’t be able to add new comments.


To ensure The Lobby remains a healthy and friendly place for you all to share your thoughts, musings all of our Community Guidelines apply, with the exception of one:

You may go off-topic… that is the purpose of The Lobby.  🙂

Looking for other areas to talk?

• Website feedback: Let us know about any technical issues, and share your ideas on the future of Which? Conversation closure: A discussion about the closure of

Which? Members: Discuss issues related to our organisation, including governance

Welcome to the Lobby!

So without further ado… welcome! What are you waiting for!?

Find the best compost for your gardening task: sowing seeds, raising young plants, growing plants in containers or planting veg in growing bags.

I certainly like peat-based composts far more than peat free which, in my experience, have contained rubbish and probably damaging chemicals. But, quite rightly, we should be stopping the extraction of peat. However, as far as I can see, none of the reviews included what I regard as a more natural growing medium – soil based John Innes composts. It is what I will be using this year and seems to draw on a very plentiful resource that causes no damage.

Welcome to Festival Of Sleep Day, the day in 1977 when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs incorporated Apple Computer, Inc and the day in 1946 on which William Joyce was hanged for treason.

From the jokes below, maybe it’s national bigotry day too.

Extracts permission of the Pan-Misanthrope society 🙂

I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand.

If you think there’s good in everybody, you probably haven’t met everybody.

I’m not prejudiced; I hate everyone equally.

Welcome to World Hypnotism Day, the day in 1961 when the Danish barbers’ assistants ended a 33 year strike and the day in 1981 on which the police arrested Peter Sutcliffe.

Some create happiness wherever they go; some, whenever they go.

Wilde thought for the day.

Frequently misquoted, too.

Those who misquote quotations may not be able to distinguish between learning and knowledge.

What’s the use of happiness? It can’t buy you money.

Happiness: good health and a bad memory.

Welcome to Bird Day, the day in 1971 of the first one-day international, Australia v England and the day in 1975 on which a British freighter rammed a pylon bridge between Derwent & Hobart, killing 14.

If you nail a tool shed closed, how d’you put the hammer away?

Depends which side of the door you are standing on.

I got a self-assembly wardrobe. Didn’t work. I got it out of the pack and it didn’t do a thing.

Perhaps this was a self assembly wardrobe. It’s a nuisance when a small part is missing?

I’ve had the same problem with self-clearing tables in cafes.

I was doing some decorating so I got out my step ladder. I don’t get on with my real ladder.

You got off on the wrong foot then, didn’t you?

Does this forum/convo software allow PMs? If not, is there a “through the chair” route to connect with folk who for whatever reason are no longer regularly contributing?

A couple of us have asked for personal messaging facilities in the past. I expect that a fair number of us have used them on forums.

If you want to email a particular contibutor you could use one of the Convo managers to obtain their consent.

Alternatively if a permanent connection is not appropriate I presume messages could be exchanged via a manager? Would Convo managers support this?

They most certainly did when Patrick was in charge. I’m sure George would be equally obliging.

For me, part of the mystique of this site is that one can express an opinion, put forward an argument or chat without feeling personally vulnerable. One is free to attach something to what has already been said, or to initiate something; the choice to participate, or not, remains with the contributor. He/she might also wish to exit from a conversation. Talking rubbish here will soon get noticed and commented on, but at least one can bow out gracefully to the anonymity of an off-line shelter. A direct e.mail requires the correspondent to respond to matters not under his/her control. He/she is now in direct contact with a person and not this site.
In “real” life, our life styles, our background, our preferences and our academic prowess (or lack of it!) would very soon filter the Which? Conversation regulars into those who are articulate and converse on like minded topics and those who might be a little more diffident in public. We would not actually find ourselves in the same room anyway unless placed there. Here on this site, our differences don’t matter so much. We don’t have to prove who we are or make a case for ourselves. Actually, we have done that already by our contributions over the years, and that is a common bond, but an anonymous common bond. In real life there would be no opportunity to share thoughts as we do here, the site makes it possible. This is why I have been reluctant to share my e. mail address with others. It is possible to ask the “management” to forward things. They have been obliging in the past.

I’m sure none of them would give out anyone’s email without asking both parties. But I’d also add that anonymous email services – the best seems to be Proton mail – do exist and would obviate any concerns folk might have. I’ve long thought that we ought to have the facility to display email addresses to those we wished. It’s easily done with most forums, using permissions. Thus, your profile might have your email on, but would only be visible to those whom you specifically wished to see it.

Vynor – Personal messaging (PM) would allow users of this site to send messages to each other without disclosure of email addresses. Through PM we could exchange contact details if we wished to but there is no need. As Ian says, there are alternatives.

Keeping track of one e mail can be problematic at times, two would be another layer of things to get lost or forgotten. I am probably being over protective of my space, but the thought of crossing polemics with Ian, fills me with fear! Well, a little disquiet perhaps. However, he does appear to put up with my ramblings, as do you all. I have no objection to anyone interlinking in any way they wish. I have no hang up about setting up a (PM) system here since the results won’t appear on this page and no one will know. Please feel free to chat among yourselves, I don’t have anything public to say that I won’t write here. Maybe, one day I might stray there too…but I need more persuasion.

It’s entirely understandable, Vynor; I can be much the same in philosophical terms, but running forums involves having to share – to an extent. That’s probably why I started using things like Proton Mail.

@jon-stricklin-coutinho. Happy New Year Jon. Waste discussions – whether food, clothing, plastic packaging or whatever – seem to have fallen by the wayside. Lots said, nothing done I’d suggest. I’m just watching the programs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall made a few years ago covering all these topics. If Which? really want to make an impact perhaps they should get together with Hugh and drive this problem back into the headlines and start to pursue results?

Agree, Malcolm. It does seem that when ever we broch the subject nationally, something pokes its beak in and we are diverted yet again. Parliament will be concerned with Middle Eastern issues and Brexit for a while, yet, we still drift and various councils do their own thing in an uncoordinated way that confuses the public. Which? should examine ways in which they pursue their campaigns. They will know when they are making a difference because things will start to happen. Where are the Government green working parties, when do we get an environment bill for parliament to scrutinise?

Thanks Wavechange. I haven’t been doing my homework reading. Let’s hope this translates into something useful, soon.

Have a look at this earlier document, Vynor:

Some of the points under ‘Government responses to consultations’ are relevant to topics that we have discussed in Convos.

More encouraging reading that suggests that things are happening in the background. People are working on these problems even though they admit they are not considering the practicalities of their recommendations. I look forward to further debate in parliament and a few bills on the statute to follow.

Me too. Our society faces some interesting challenges.

With illegal levels of pollution in some of our cities tackling air pollution is long overdue. If different different solutions are adopted, this may show what is most practical for widespread adoption.

It’s encouraging to see more people carrying around reusable bottles but I’ve noticed that they usually look new. If these are used a few times and then go in the bin with non-recyclable material we have tackled one problem and created another. Some supermarkets are offering reusable paper carriers but from an environmental point of view they are not necessarily a good option.

Welcome to Bean Day, the day in 1986 on which Michael Heseltine resigned and the day in 1649 when the English Rump Parliament voted to put Charles I on trial for treason and other “high crimes”.

I waited six weeks for an appointment with my GP. When I saw her, she said “I wish you’d come to see me sooner…”

I imagine you would agree, and it’s always good to respect the views of your GP.

I’ve no faith in my GP; all of her patients are ill.