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!?


I was going to share a vegetable joke but it’s corny.

Q: Why did the corn leave his field and cross the road?
A: Because he was corn-fused.

Alfa – You have a rye sense of humour.

Lite: the new way to spell “Light,” now with 20% fewer letters!

There is also ‘lyte’. First there was candlelyte, then gaslyte and now electrolyte.

I received two Royal Mail ‘Signed for’ items in the past week. One came with other post and a larger package was handed to me by the postman. What’s the point is using the term ‘Signed for’ if no-one has to sign for what they receive?

It’s possible that the postie signs for it as having been delivered “to the best of their knowledge and belief”. After all there is no requirement for the actual addressee of a ‘signed for’ item to personally sign for it; whoever opens the door can put their signature on the form and in some properties they might not even know the addressee. The previous term for this sort of mail was “Recorded Delivery” and although that itself was open to interpretation, “Signed for” is now meaningless. Our postal delivery officer rings the doorbell, leaves them on the doorstep, and doesn’t even wait to see whether anyone comes to the door. Nothing has gone astray yet however and overall I have no complaints about the service being provided by the Royal Mail.

I suppose that the middle of a coronavirus pandemic is not the best time to mention signing for deliveries. Back in the 1980s I received gramophone records from Britannia Music and these were marked Recorded Delivery, but I was rarely if ever asked to sign for them.

John – Our usual postman is on holiday but I will ask if he signs for items he delivers.

There is a recent Conversation topic about the Which? Awards 2020 Consumer Champion contest inviting us to vote for one of the three nominees. The Conversation has so far attracted no comments. This could be because the Add Your Comments facility has not been activated or because you have to have cast a vote before you can leave a comment and voting only opened yesterday. I wanted to leave a comment on the competition so I shall have to make it here.

I found it impossible to make a choice between the three nominees because, in my view, they are all worthy of the Award so I shall not be voting on this occasion.

There is a further observation I should like to make: the blurb says that “as well as a prestigious Which? Award and £300 voucher, the winner will receive a coaching session with a consumer expert“. That is such a measly prize – the money element, I mean – that I feel Which? should be ashamed of itself. To put it into context, I note that utility TV presenter Steph McGovern, who is the hostess for the awards again this year, is listed as having appearance fees in the £6,000-£10,000 bracket per event. Has Which? done a deal and got a discount? I don’t suppose so.

Best of luck to all three contestants, but the winner is . . . . !!

I was perplexed too, John. Perhaps if the nominees had been invited to discuss on Convo the ways in which they have supported consumers we could be better informed about their contributions and then voted for their efforts. As it stands, I would like to spoil my ballot paper and vote for all of them.

Steph McGovern?

Welcome to World Vegetarian Day, the day in 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to France and the dismal day in 1843 on which the News of the World began publication in London

I gather it’s also National Poetry Day
That’s what I hoped you’d say
Then we’d switch to the Rhyming Room
To share more quips and ease our gloom!

Nat’nal poetry day, indeed, seems only in UK.
I wonder why our poets chose to have it this odd way?
I do remember wond’ring why there seem so many days,
But sure I am if your source claims it’s right, that’s what it says

Sorry I’m late. Traffic is exactly how it’s been every day for the past five years and I wasn’t expecting it.

Energizer bunny arrested; charged with battery.

There is probably a cell waiting.

There are so many scams on the Internet these days…. but for £19.95 I can show you how to avoid them.

I’ve been dealing with kitchens, but will, belatedly put something in the Rhyming Room to celebrate the day. It’s written in rough and needs typing.
Internet really playing up. Now you see it now you don’t. I enquired about tethering and was prepared to spend money on it, but the phone signal is as dire as the Wi Fi so I have to put up with what I’ve got .

Tethering is only viable in areas with a decent mobile signal, in my experience. If you were living on your boat long-term a mobile router with an external aerial might work, but hopefully you will be back home before long. It might be worth asking residents if other networks are better than the one you are using at present. If so, it could be worth switching and it is easy to keep your number.

Keep in touch when you can.

There is a reason why geese honk when they fly.
They know that reason, I don’t know why.

Geese honk when they fly.
It’s long perplexed both you and I.
The way they fly shows synergy.
They do this and honk to save energy.

They have learnt it
From ducks who quack
It helps to keep them
On track.

The interesting thing is that not only do the geese perform synchronised flying but synchronised honking. Ducks seem to quack randomly and independently whereas geese honk in chorus. We see geese flying over our garden at the same sort of time relative to dawn or dusk everyday; the formations are always an odd number. The same could be the case with starlings but there are too many to count. We used to live near a rookery and they were the most interesting birds to observe.

Well, according to this:
”When geese fly in formation, they create their own unique form of teamwork. … By flying in their ‘V’, the whole flock adds at least 71% more flying range than if each bird flew on its own. Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
The Story of the Goose | The Canadian CED Network
and, to add
”Ducks are among the most vocal of bird groups-particularly those that fit into the category of “puddle ducks.” These are the ducks, like mallards, black ducks, and related species that tend to congregate communally, but I often split into smaller groups, tend to be dabblers by feeding habit, and take off in flight essentially by bursting straight up from the water rather than running along the surface for a distance. They are wary birds and take flight at the least provocation.

This group of ducks just “talks” all the time. Ask any birder or duck hunter which birds never seem to cease talking and it will be the puddle ducks. They quack at each other in flight. They chatter, quack, and squawk as they feed. They call back and forth across lake inlets or across flooded fields in spring. They quack and squawk as they land and in angry alarm as they take off.

Some ducks are simply noisy birds. Some of the noise is, in fact, intraspecific communication—letting each other know one’s location or mood, but some is more like letting EVERYONE (interspecific communications) know what conditions are or to stay out of their way because this is their spot.

Well, it’s gratifying to have one’s casual observations more scientifically confirmed. Thanks, Malcolm.

I like ducks. We used to have a group of mallards living on a small pond that formed in our front lawn whenever it rained. Their usual habitat was a mere in the town centre but they were always on the look out for a better billet; we gave them nicer food as well since their usual diet was lumps of bread thrown at them by children.

One of the more common birds where we live now is the magpie. Opinions are strongly divided on whether we should encourage them as they are aggressive and attack other birds but I rather like them.

The 3m x 2m lake I dug in my garden in the winter was designed to attract wildlife. So far only water skaters – don’t know how they arrived, possibly in the pond plants. I have put up a “to let” sign but no viewings so far.

Thanks for shedding light on this. I now know why motorists honk too!

We put a largish pre-formed plastic pond in the back garden and within days, before I had even finished the landscaping and planting, frogs and other creatures were in it. Unfortunately a heron spotted it as well. In the next house we put in a smaller pond in a much more sheltered position and that one attracted frogs. We get frogs in our present garden, which doesn’t have a pond, even though there are no other bodies of water nearby. They seem to co-exist happily with the hedgehogs and they stay at the edge of the lawn when I am mowing – I sometimes have to wait until they jump up onto the flower bed.

Welcome to the International Day of Non-Violence, the day in 1492 when Henry VII invaded France and the day in 1836 when Darwin returned to England aboard the Beagle

I’m really pleased with my new fridge magnet. So far I’ve got twelve fridges.

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re probably running for President

Secret: something which is told to one person at a time.

Secret: the best way of making sure that people listen to what you have to say.

The threading in here has been broken since 22nd September. It’s now the 2nd Of October. Lest we forget, the problem was caused by an over-zealous admin or mod deleting an utterly inoffensive parent joke, leaving the remaining child comments homeless.

There are several points I could make about this but the basic one is that it’s surely time those charged with removing inoffensive jokes learn about parent-child comments and how they work.

In the event that parents comments do ever need to be completely removed, it would be tidier to either promote any replies into being parent comments in their own right or alternatively just delete the entire set of parent and child comments.

From time to time, I do post on social media pages where some page owners are known to delete comments that they don’t like and/or ban folk whose comments they don’t like.

The same problem can occur when a spam comment has attracted replies asking for it to be removed. Simply clicking on ‘Report’ avoids creating a problem.

Beryl’s post has been reported – she also wants it removed – simply because it is no longer relevant. But nothing has happened.

I know. I have also reported your post in another Convo as the first of three posts that are stuck at the bottom because the original post was deleted. This is a long-established problem with the system, so it’s best to use the Report button rather than comment on a dodgy post.

I have reported. No result. Hopefully George will deal with it 🙂 Beryl’s post seems to be stalking me.

True I have reported it!

Welcome to Virus Appreciation Day, the day in 1990 of the Reunification of East and West Germany. when the West German flag was raised above the Brandenburg Gate on the stroke of midnight and the day in 1888 when explorer Fridtjof Nansen and his team completed the first known crossing of Greenland.

Never give yourself a haircut after three vodkas.

Are we on haircut or half-cut?

I might drive you crazy, but at least I’ll take the scenic route.

With my luck I’ll probably be reincarnated as me.

Just to avoid this issue getting lost:

The threading in here has been broken since 22nd September. It’s now the 3rd Of October. Lest we forget, the problem was caused by an over-zealous admin or mod deleting an utterly inoffensive parent joke, leaving the remaining child comments homeless.

There are several points I could make about this but the basic one is that it’s surely time those charged with removing inoffensive jokes learn about parent-child comments and how they work.