Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too

It's been a horrible couple of days, with the slaughter of innocents in Manchester, the savage return of Mediaevalism in Indonesia - and the death of my favourite James Bond too.

RIP Sir Roger Moore.

The Saint:

The Persuaders:

James Bond:

However, there is always some good news among the sadness. In Taiwan, they are celebrating the fact that their nation is the first in the whole of Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. Birthday boy (and comedy drag icon) Stanley Baxter is still with us (91 today). Chocolate is good for you, after all. The weather is gorgeous at the moment, and looks likely to stay that way through the Bank Holiday weekend. The Chelsea Flower Show has provided a beautiful diversion.

And speaking of birthdays, here's another of today's celebrants Miss Patti LaBelle, with an appropriate song of hope, written by another musical genius John Lennon:

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

We can but hope.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Monday, 22 May 2017

Aller jusqu'au bout du reve

Groan. As the glorious weather continues, so we have to head to the stuffy office for another five days of unbridled joy.

On this Tacky Music Monday, I think we should let our Patron Saint of Gallic Glamour Dalida (and her safety gays) provide a shimmering respite from all such thoughts!

Laissez-moi danser, laissez-moi
Laissez-moi danser chanter en liberte tout l'ete
Laissez-moi danser, laissez-moi
Aller jusqu'au bout du reve

Indeed. Have a good week, folks...

Sunday, 21 May 2017

From Geraniums to Genevieve

Delphiniums, foxgloves and Nicotiana mutabilis in the background - delightful!

Woken early by the upstairs neighbours, who appear to wear hobnail boots while walking around their flat (bastards!), I could not get back to sleep once I caught a glimpse of the blazing sunshine this morning.

So, I've had a helluva long, fruitful, sunny day spent entirely in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers! I moved a vast Knautia [it has only just bloomed - and although we bought it for the red border, it turns out to have pinky-mauve flowers; so now it's next to the Salvias where it won't clash].

In its place I planted out every one of our [two varieties of] red snapdragons (Antirrhinum) [dozens of the buggers; all in little pots, grown from seed] and Salvia coccina [a fairly unusual red variety - not that horrid little one so often seen as part of a municipal bedding display, incidentally - again, at least fifteen of them], Ammi majus and some of the Cleomes. I potted up some Nicotiana "Cuba", another mixed pot of fuchsias and petunias, and split up every last tray of seedlings to move the strongest on into pots. I was at it for at least eight hours! No wonder I am knackered. In between bouts of gardening, however, I did take the opportunity to just sit and "absorb" how stunning we have made it all look...

Speaking of stunning lookers [very dodgy link - again], today would have been the 90th birthday of the delightful Miss Kay Kendall (Mrs Rex Harrison), another of those ladies who lit up every screen upon which she appeared, but was taken away from us far too prematurely at just 32 (of leukaemia).

As is befitting of a day whose musical accompaniment has been most definitely of the "easy listening" variety, here she is in her crowning movie moment - shaking the audience with her jazz trumpet skills in Genevieve:

Kay Kendall (born Justine Kay Kendall McCarthy, 21st May 1927 – 6th September 1959)

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Like takin' candy from a baby

Despite thunder, torrential rain and gales I have still been pottering in the garden all day (in the greenhouse when it got really bad) - and despite everything the weather can throw at it, I have to admit our beds, pots, troughs and baskets are all looking very lovely indeed!

A particular stunner at the moment is a relatively recent acquisition - the wonderfully exotic Scilla peruviana [pictured above]. Also known as the Portuguese squill, this lovely multi-flowered fire-cracker of blue stars is actually a Mediterranean native, and is closely related to the humble bluebell and to several early Spring bulbs such as hyacinths and our fave Chionodoxa.

And speaking of "Cilla", here is the lady herself (who would have been 74 next week), with a venture into Motown territory...

"It's a lorra, lorra laughs!"

Hope tomorrow's weather is a bit better.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Il est entré dans mon coeur

Dahhlings! We are winding-down to the end of the week, and... it's the birthday today of Miss Grace Jones. All hail!

I dare not end the week with anything else, really, than her formidable take on the "Little Sparrow"'s greatest number - it's La Vie En Rose (of course)...

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Grace Jones (born 19 May 1948)

Have a good one...

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hi ho, Quicksilver - away!

Timeslip moment again...

It's raining, it's miserable today, but our trusty TARDIS has whisked us away from all that, back to the naïvely optimistic world of 1997 - the year of Geri Halliwell's Union Jack dress, "Cool Britannia", Tony Blair, Dolly the Sheep, the Teletubbies, Comet Hale–Bopp and (sadly) the death of Princess Diana.

In the news in May twenty years ago: the Labour Party won a massive landslide in the General Election, ousting John Major and many of his cabinet colleagues and hoisting Tony Blair (Britain's youngest Prime Minister since 1812) to power; the Russian–Chechen Peace Treaty was signed; the Bank of England became independently responsible for UK monetary policy; in the ascendant were Katrina and the Waves (who won that year's Eurovision Song Contest with Love Shine a Light, which received a record-breaking 78.82% of the votes), Mohammad Khatami (elected Iran's first ever "Reformist" president) and IBM's Deep Blue computer (which defeated World chess champion Garry Kasparov), but there were military coups in Zaire and Sierra Leone; and we bade a fond farewell to Laurie Lee, author of Cider With Rosie. In our cinemas: Donnie Brasco, Anaconda and Liar Liar. On telly: Stars in Their Eyes, Jonathan Creek and the 2000th edition of Channel 4's weekday evening quiz show Countdown.

And in our charts this week in 1997? Leading the pack was the utterly sublime Olive and You're Not Alone [one of my favourite songs ever]. They were accompanied in the upper echelons by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, (the aforementioned) Katrina and the Waves, No Mercy, the faboo Cardigans [with Lovefool, another fave!], Damage, R Kelly, Shola Ama and Toni Braxton.

But holding on in there was this choon - a true dance classic that I really cannot believe is two decades old - DJ Quicksilver and Bellissima!

My, how we danced to that one...