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!

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!?


Being a hypochondriac is going to save my life one of these days

The first step of overcoming hypochondria is to admit that you don’t have a problem.

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

Better than rolling her R’s perhaps.

Oh! At last I have found the origin of my long lost giddy aunt!

House flies appear to buzz around aimlessly in a room. If so it just seems a waste of energy. But is there some purpose to their antics that is beneficial to their existence other than being mildly irritating?

Yes, they want to get out! Windows are where freedom lies but, sadly, the fly doesn’t understand glass. At night the light bulb also beckons for the same reason. The fly may not know it is trapped but it does know that the usual boundaries are smaller than before and thus less space to fly about in. In between this bid for freedom is diversion to any kind of fly food that’s on offer.

Curiously, I’ve noticed that LED lights don’t seem to hold the same sort of attraction for flying things.

Possibly the quality of light or something unpleasant – sound, radiation, flicker,- that deters contact? They fry on the traditional light and don’t know about the heat until it is too late. Ultra violet fly catchers are very attractive too. There is a certain cache about the places where these adorn the walls and glow at the diners.

Welcome to World Calligraphy Day, the day in 1812 when the Duke of Wellington’s troops entered Madrid and the day in 1865 when Lister performed the first antiseptic surgery.

The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall.

Parenting is filled with wonder. Like wondering why your 4 years old raced into the kitchen and quietly grabbed a handful of napkins.

I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said “I’m going to mop the floor with your face.”
I said “You’ll be sorry.”
He said “Oh, yeah? Why?”
I told him “Well, you won’t be able to get into the corners very well.”

”Coronavirus: how to protect your pensions and investments amid stock market panic

Read more: – Which?

I have been seeing this repeated a number of times recently.

I’m not sure why the term “panic” is used. The FTSE, for example, has dropped significantly from its pre-COVID high and that is expected when trade diminishes. But not a panic as far as I can see. It has been bumping along between around 6000 and 6300 fairly consistently.

What is of concern is the reduction in dividends following reduced profits in many companies; dividends that provide the income from pension funds for example. Belt tightening required but as COVID hopefully comes under better control business activity will increase, profits and dividends will return and share prices will rise in many sectors. Travel is one that may lose members.

A good way to start a panic is to broadcast the news that there is panic. Witness the toilet roll pandemic.

Welcome to World Elephant Day, the day in 1642 when Huygens discovered the Martian southern polar cap and the day in 1876 of the first complete performance of Wagner’s Ring.

It would normally take a week to complete a performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. The performers would have lost their voices, the musicians would be exhausted, and their instruments in bad shape if they had tried to cram it all into one day.

August 13, 1876 was a Sunday, so was that when they started or when they finished?

A study of economics usually reveals that the best time to buy anything was last year.

When an employment application asks who is to be notified in case of emergency, I always write, “A very good doctor”.

Be concerned if he undertakes to do his best.

Yes – that’s a good point; many employees don’t seem to understand that their personal best might not be good enough.

I think recruitment of good staff is going to be one of the casualties of working from home. Apart from the practical difficulties of selecting people, the problems with induction and training people into the work requirements, familiarisation with the technical and quality standards and responsibilities, organising effective supervision and management arrangements, and integrating recruits into existing teams, will all pose problems. Over time, the staff of a company could end up hardly knowing each other.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that Fire fighters usually use water.

Welcome to the day in 1590 when the publication of Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great was recorded by Stationers’ Company of London, the day in 1880 when onstruction of Cologne Cathedral was completed after it began in 1248 – largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe and the day in 1893 when France introduced motor vehicle registration and the driving test

For every action, there is a corresponding over-reaction.

They tell you that you’ll lose your mind when you grow older. What they don’t tell you is that you won’t miss it very much.

They also talk about going into decline as you get older. At least it’s not an uphill struggle.

And the view is much better on the other side of the hill.

I saw my dad chopping up onions today and I cried. Onions was a good dog.

That’s shallot I suppose.

Did he run a good hot dog stall?
”Garden shredders have a reputation for getting blocked easily, but how well does this model shred? Find out in our full first look review.

We regularly see Lidl products being promoted in Which? News, before they are put on sale. So we don’t know anything about their quality or performance, nor safety.

Here, there is a link in the News to ”our first full look review”. So Which? examined and tested it then? No. The link took me direct to the Lidl website promoting their shredder.

Given Which?s independence in product testing to give us impartial and considered information this seems a strange way to do it.

Do I want Which? to just advertise new products uncritically? Personally I don’t. Clearly products like this shredder will be physically available before the on -sale day. If Which?, and Lidl, want the product promoted then at the very least a sample should be obtained in advance for examination and testing so consumers know whether to bother going to the Middle of Lidl. Simply pushing cheap stuff that may not work well hardly supports sustainability.

I was curious when W? introduced the ‘first look’ reviews, because to me, anyway, it was unclear what function they were performing. I suspect the link to Lidl was an error, but most of the piece is restricted to describing, briefly, how it functions.

I know I posted in here some time ago about the ‘quick look review’ oddness, and it was defended by one of the team, but I can’t remember when or by whom.

It’s unbelievable, Malcolm. This sort of article would normally be marked as an advertising feature if it appeared in the press. 🙁

It annoys me that Which? product reviews on the website often suggest certain retailers of products that are widely available. I’m capable of using a web browser and I imagine that most people who use the Which? website are too.

Ian – You are right, but I cannot remember the details either.

Talking of shredders, I owned one that was a glorified rotary axe and belted the cuttings round a chamber until the blades had dealt with them. This was very noisy and brutal. My current one from Bosch, is more of a mincer. It jams quite regularly, but when it is free, the product is well shredded and the machine relatively quiet in operation. It has lasted me over ten years and has mashed a mountain of woody bits and pieces as I’ve cleared and tidied. I put up with the feeding problems and have never yet been unable to finish a job off -given time and patience.

I use my Honda rotary mower to run over, mash and collect hedge clippings for the compost heap.

@gmartin, George, is this promotion with links for ”our first look review” being to Lidl’s own publicity a mistake or Which?’s policy?

I, personally, think if Which? are going to announce a product, first looks should be just that. They – Which? – should always get hold of a product and do some basic tests before giving it publicity. Otherwise it is just an advertorial. Can you remind us of Which?’s policy?

Your website says ”Once we’ve selected a product for testing we will buy it anonymously. Sometimes we give it a first look to give you our initial impressions, before sending it to our test labs for full in-depth testing.

I have found the First Look features useful having bought two products in the last few months that turned out to perform very well [as reported] and were also priced very favourably so they were excellent value for money. They would not have shown up in the normal test reviews so I was grateful for the information. However, I realised it was a bit of a gamble in both cases because the full in-depth test results were not available.

I certainly agree that Which? should distance itself from the retailer and not appear to be promoting products that have not competed fairly against other similar products in a standardised testing process. It should cut out the gushing superlatives and possibly allocate more time and space to considering and reporting on new product releases in order to provide more thorough guidance..

I recognise that there is a problem nowadays with products that pop up for limited periods or at special prices, and it is helpful to have information about them, but I wouldn’t want Which? to give the impression that it is being used as a marketing tool.

The shredder does have a 3 year warranty. Depending on the terms that seems reassuring.

Welcome to World Honey Bee Day, the day in 1795 when Haydn left England forever and the day in 1914 when the Panama Canal opened.

Sometimes, I wish life had subtitles.

I would like the option to replay the good bits and skip the boring parts.

I had a neck brace fitted years ago and I haven’t looked back since.

If you do it could be a turn for the worse.