It has been a wet and blustery weekend and a question I received on Twitter on Friday highlights one of the issues for modern umbrellas. Someone called Peter Kyle (which I suspect is a pseudonym my deputy, Hector Rule, uses to make mischief and keep me on my toes) wanted guidance on how to prevent his umbrella turning itself inside out in the wind. I said what I always say to such questions. Stay inside. Or buy a better brolly.
To put it bluntly, the quality of a lot of gamps on the market is appalling, they simply aren't good enough to withstand even the merest of breezes. So I have spent some time this weekend brainstorming with myself (a process I call mindBoggling) and my grey sky thinking and thinking outside the spokes, to use two further examples of Boggspeak, have resulted in my latest brainwave.
What we need is a quality standard to which all umbrellas must conform. And I propose this be called the Bogg Standard. It would need to be rigorously implemented but at least the public could be assured that anything carrying the requisite kitemark (perhaps a picture of a Robin, or a bog) wasn't going to collapse just because a dog three streets away farted the week before.
No doubt someone will point out that a quality assurance scheme for brollies etc already exists, and yes it is true that Canopies Evaluation Services have been promoting its MUGRETE (Maintaining Umbrella and Gamp Reliability, Excellence, Trustworthiness and Efficiency) initiative for almost 11 years. But never let it be said that Robin Bogg is afraid of reinventing the wheel. Plagiarism, copying and repeating are three qualities much undervalued in this country. Not my words but those of some bloke I overheard at Lidl, who I have knicked them from to pass off as my own.