Author: James McConachie

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Trace Elements: Weakending

As the week draws to its close, that trusty old question “What are you getting up to this weekend?” will doubtless be asked in workplaces across the land. Weekends are the pay-off after...

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Trace Elements: Happy?

Throughout jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald’s extraordinary career, awards and applause acclaimed her talent. What Ella really wanted to hear though – was that she was beautiful. Problem was,...

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Trace Elements: Scribble

The Gershwins served up “poe-tah-toe” in their pronunciation-divide ditty Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off for a roller-skating Fred and Ginger to deliver in the movie Shall We Dance...

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Trace Elements: Together

A few years back, a female friend of mine married a man who was/is bisexual. I remember she told me – that if they walked along the street together and a hot woman passed by who caught his eye,...

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Trace Elements: Humour

I was hissed at once in a comedy club (I was performing stand-up) for telling a gag that went something along the lines of “My neighbour’s finding it difficult to come out of the closet....

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Trace Elements: The Others

I caught the closing minutes of a TV property show last night. A couple had chosen (for couple, read girlfriend) the new home they were going to move into, with the main criteria being she wanted a...

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Trace Elements: iLove

Neuroscience reveals the brain’s love pleasure chemicals are usually released for 1½ to 3 years max. In other words, being in love should last you roughly as long as your next mobile...

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Trace Elements: Mars & Venus, Mum or Dad?

There are countries where little boys and little girls grow up to marry their mums and dads. The UK is one of them. It may sound wrong, very wrong, but it’s human nature. So that includes you....

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Trace Elements: Romance

When writing fictional characters, a basic rule is females say it, males show it. In the real world this reveals itself most dramatically when men and woman date, then stop. He’ll often just...

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Trace Elements: Trying it on

Picture a clothes shop: A customer walks in, eyes a garment, tries it on, says they love it, tells the assistant they’ll definitely be back tomorrow to buy. They’re never seen again....

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Trace Elements: Can I Have A Word?

Several months back at an advertising agency I won’t mention (coughs Billington Cartmell) I was pitching potential straplines for a Panasonic camera campaign. Its artwork featured a suited City...

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Trace Elements: Catch My Pitch

Picture this: An Oscar-winning super producer, a TV network super suit, their brand new Central London indie offices, and me in the hot seat (it’s still warm from the legendary actor...

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Trace Elements: Namedropping

Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Robert Pattinson Name-drop a celebrity in a digital headline and extra clicks are guaranteed. They’re like the sugar that tempts mouse-holders to nibble at your...

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Trace Elements: Marketing Copy

“How old are you? And are you married with children?” I was asked by a potential client last week in Canary Wharf. My top of the range anti-wrinkle cream allowed me to subtract vainly for...

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Trace Elements: Off Course

I used to live across the street from Hamburger University, where McDonalds teach staff the innermost secrets of the McMuffin, Happy Meals and Going Large. Unusually for a seat of learning, it was...

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Trace Elements: Commercial Breakdown

A commercial break on Pick TV has just made me question the way that I’m living life. And not in a “It’s Saturday night and I’m sitting here on my own watching Pick TV”...

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Trace Elements: Screamer

Back in the sixties, teenage girls in their thousands would cram into concerts given by The Beatles and scream hysterically from first note to last. The songs were seldom heard. Those teens could...

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Trace Elements: Workaholic

During a party thrown to celebrate my 2nd birthday, apparently, my Grandma asked me the big question “Where’s Daddy?” I’m told my response was to point over to a framed photo...

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Trace Elements: Taboo

So it’s Tuesday morning and I’m writing copy from home for a tobacco firm. What makes it worse ethically and karmically is they’re global. Plus I’ve just noticed the words...

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Trace Elements: Twister

I’ve never been to Mumbai, but if their train journeys into work are less overcrowded than London’s, I may outsource myself soon. Plus a mutant insect flew into my mouth I guess I’d...

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