Friday, 18 August 2017

Nice to see you; to see you...



...Nice!





And so, farewell to Sir Bruce Forsyth; yet another mainstay of British light entertainment, a man beloved of generations - his career spanned more than 75 years, a rival to Betty White! - not least for his remarkably successful turns in shows such as Sunday Night at the London Palladium, The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and Strictly Come Dancing.

A former strong-man and teenage Music Hall star, a trained dancer, singer, comedian and genial host, Bruce Forsyth epitomised that (unfortunately fading) genre known as "variety". He was - or so it seemed - always "there"; always a pivotal persona on our television screens, always prime-time, never off-beat or in the sidelines.

He was indeed "Mister Entertainment" [and it is no surprise, really, that the other bearer of that title Sammy Davis Junior was a very close friend}. Here he is, performing with another of the all-time great all-rounders, Miss Cilla Black...


RIP Sir Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson CBE (22nd February 1928 – 18th August 2017)

Tijd voor een feestje



It may be the continuation of our holiday, albeit in London - getting the place ready for guests, and shopping for our grand Summer Picnic in Regent's Park tomorrow - but it is still the end of another week, so we need something a bit special to get us in the party mood.

I always like to annoy entertain you, dear reader, with a little "something" from our travels - so let's enjoy the "talents" of Den Haag's finest, a band [somewhat confusingly, given the success of a certain similarly-titled US funk band] called Earth & Fire...

They're celebrating the Weekend, and so are we - Thank Disco(?) It's Friday!


Have a good one, mijn vrienden!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Thin ice






Once upon a time I could get my legs that high, too

Lordy. Olympic gold-medal-winning ice skater Robin Cousins is sixty years old today!

Why the interest, I hear you ask?

In my youthful heyday, many people thought I looked like Mr Cousins (no bad thing, I must admit) - even to the point where I signed a little girl's autograph book "Best Wishes, Robin Cousins"..!

Nowadays, I look more like Bea Arthur.

Hey ho - let's have a bit of ice skating madness to celebrate!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

While you were away...



And so, we're back, from outer space Amsterdam - and suffice to say, we had a marvellous time! From night-time sleaze-pits to daytime botanical gardens, from promenades along the grachten to schlager sing-a-longs, from FEBO to "happy hour" drinkies and back again...



But what did we miss while we were whooping it up, Netherlands-style?

We waved a sad goodbye to the marvellous Glen Campbell (who I blogged about, in a roundabout way, nine years ago), and also to the divine Miss Barbara Cook (who we saw in her one-woman show Mostly Sondheim way back in 2002):


In the news it was mainly "business as usual", with the continuing battle about the terms for Britain leaving the EU, and the to-be-expected "willy-waving" threats and counter-threats between North Korea and the US. Meanwhile, anarchic race-hate thuggery re-emerged in the USA (and Trump, as ever, couldn't bring himself to take sides); neither Usain Bolt nor Sir Mo Farah retired on a high in the World Athletics Championships; rumours abounded (well, in the Daily Star, anyway) about a possible engagement announcement for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle; and controversy raged over Health Minister Jeremy Hunt's £44,000 toilet.



We missed the centenary of the cartoonist Dik Browne, creator of Hagar the Horrible, and what would have been the 65th of iconic photographer Herb Ritts...



...we missed the 70th birthday of glamour-pulp novelist Danielle Steel (and the 105th of her predecessor in the multi-million-selling romantic novel stakes, Georgette Heyer), and that of Steeleye Span singer Maddy Prior. And, of course, today is Our Glorious Leader Madonna's birthday - and we daren't forget that - so here's a classic of hers that still remains on the playlist at many a bar in the 'Dam [but probably not in Charlottesville, Virginia at the moment]:


Is it good to be back? No.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Mijn Mokums paradijs



By the time you read this, dear reader, we should already be in the most beautiful city of them all - and singing along with Johnny Jordaan, no doubt...


"Normal" service will resume next Tuesday...

Thursday, 10 August 2017

This is me



On this day in..
1678 – France and the Dutch Republic signed the first Treaty of Nijmegen, ending war between the two countries - and in celebration, Marc-Antoine Charpentier wrote his Te Deum, the prelude of which is better known as the Eurovision Song Contest theme:


1787 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed his chamber piece Eine kleine Nachtmusik:


1897 - Jack Haley, the "Tin Man" in The Wizard of Oz was born:


1923 - The birth of Rhonda Fleming:


1950 - The premiere of Sunset Boulevard starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson took place in New York:


1963 - I was born.

Oh, and...

1970 - Jim Morrison went on trial for “lewd & lascivious behaviour” in public by exposing his private parts and by simulating masturbation and oral copulation.

How appropriate.

As is this, dear reader!


Funny how a lonely day can make a person say:
What good is my life?
Funny how a breaking heart can make me start to say:
What good is my life?
Funny how I often seem, to think I'll never find a dream
In my life
Till I look around and see, this great big world is part of me
And my life

This is my life
Today, tomorrow, love will come and find me
But that's the way that I was born to be
This is me
This is me

This is my life
And I don't give a damn for lost emotions
I've such a lot of love I've got to give
Let me live
Let me live

Sometime when I feel afraid, I think of what a mess I've made
Of my life
Crying over my mistakes, forgetting all the breaks I've had
In my life
I was put on earth to be, a part of this great world is me
And my life
Guess I'll just add up the score, and count the things I'm grateful for
In my life

This is my life
Today, tomorrow, love will come and find me
But that's the way that I was born to be
This is me
This is me

This is my life
And I don't give a damn for lost emotions
I've such a lot of love I've got to give
Let me live
Let me live

This is my life
This is my life
This is my life


Roll on Amsterdam!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Niet in mijn oren prikke*



I know I only kicked off the countdown this morning, but here's something that's not merely in the true spirit of our favourite city, but also has the added benefit of a "totty of the day" as well!

It's doubtful many people would pay much attention to a song about pigeons - but with its singer Waldemar Torenstra, this is a sight for sore eyes...


I do hope we encounter something like that on our travels.

["Do not peck my ears" in Dutch. Apparently.]