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What is Cheltenham Problems?

As seen in Gloucestershire Live (what the Echo are calling themselves these days):

I know you want to remain anonymous but tell me as much about yourself as you can. Male or female? Age? Occupation? Interests? Where are you from?

It sounds like you’re setting me up for a date. Is that Dominatrix available? Only kidding. I am a male human from Cheltenham – I have lived here nearly all my life. I grew up in Prestbury, so I’m quite hardened – it’s like the ghetto; edgy once you look past the sea of purple rinse.

How would you describe yourself?


What inspired Cheltenham Problems?

We’re quite a funny bunch, us Cheltonians. There’s lots of cute little idiosyncrasies about our town and I want to highlight some of the more amusing observations.  They’re not really problems, but @FunnyThingsI’veNoticedAboutCheltenham wasn’t as catchy.

I think we’re quite good at laughing at ourselves too – @VeryBritishProblems demonstrates this well. I’m bringing a local angle. You’re welcome.

How do you feel about the response it’s had? It’s obviously struck a chord with residents – why do you think that is?

Delighted to the point of near-arousal, if I’m honest.  I had no idea there was an angry lynch-mob in-waiting for the scrap metal collectors, or a Burger King Billy fan club. So I suppose they’re relateable, especially with them millennial lot who comment with things like “crying” and “PMSL”, which sounds like way too many fluids for my liking.

Sometimes I write a post that I’m genuinely doubled-over laughing at for a good half an hour, but it gets about 12 Likes. Other times I poke fun at our neighbours in Tewkesbury and it goes through the roof. I guess the lesson there is to always poke fun at Tewkesbury.

How do you come up with the tweets? Do you ever struggle to think of them?

Inspiration strikes me wherever I go in Cheltenham, Giulia. I write down stupid observations wherever I am; whether that’s gleefully swinging on the new apparatus in Pittville Park with just a sock on, chilling with my main man Mr Minotaur on the Prom, or parking my garish sports car in the mayor’s spot. One particularly inspired evening, I jotted a load of ideas on the back of a KFC packet, but unfortunately I tripped and fell. Luckily I think it went unnoticed.

What do you think about the Gloucestershire Echo?

I’ll tell you after you’ve taken a quick survey.

How would you describe Cheltenham and the people who live here?

When you get past the potholes and the traffic lights and explore Cheltenham, you realise it’s a fantastic place. There’s an eclectic mixture of the salmon-trousered (found in Montpellier), young (found outside Lower High Street McDonalds), old (found in Fever) and everything else in-between. Plus some of us sound like farmers.

What’s your favourite thing about Cheltenham?

I have a few. The bubble clock in the Regent Arcade is spectacular and I want a puff of whatever its designer was on. Paparrito’s serve up the best Mexican food outside of Mexico. The audacity of the Minotaur to just sit there with it all hanging out.
Above all though, Adrian from Wilkinsons is an absolute treasure and I fully believe he should be commended via knighthood, mayorship or even a statue (just next to Holst, can you imagine? Gustav Holst and Adrian from Wilkinsons cast in stone side-by-side on the Prom).

“Have a nice day, have a nice week, have a nice life” is the deepest advice that’s ever been shared with me whilst paying for kitchen roll and Pick N Mix.  I love him.

What do you not like about Cheltenham?

The super-generous parking space on offer at the Royal Mail depot. The way our Banksy was spoiled by idiots, it just looks like a plasterer’s radio now. The toilets in the Bank House being seven miles underground. Cleeve Link drivers (I use the term ‘drivers’ loosely). Constantly being outperformed on the dancefloor by Dancing Ken.

Oh and I don’t like snobbery. Some places in Cheltenham get an unfair bad rep. Anything I write about Whaddon or Hesters Way is totally tongue-in-cheek – I know many delightful criminals there.

What’s better, Twitter or Facebook, and why?

I’m actually a huge fan of Bebo.

Facebook’s better in that it handily shows you all the maniacs of the town in the comments section below. You folks at the Echo will know that well – the comments on your page are terrifying. Having said that, Dom Joly follows @CheltProblems on Twitter. So. Mingling with the stars there.