Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Chasing after rainbows I may never find again





Very sad news - "the beauteous one" David Cassidy is dead.

We will never forget him...



RIP, David Bruce Cassidy (12th April 1950 – 21st November 2017)

Read my previous tributes to David here and here.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

BastAid


Former Smiths frontman Morrissey has released a charity single raising funds for utter bastards.

Morrissey confirmed that all the money he makes from his new single Utterly Miserable Pretentious Christmas will go to BastAid, a charity that helps bastards, twats and arseholes.

He said: “Often bastards, especially older rich white bastards, don’t have anyone to speak up for them.

“All the money I make from my new single, which isn’t that good to be fair, will go towards helping these poor men.

“Perhaps it will help build a shelter for falsely accused Hollywood moguls or maybe it will fund further education courses for predatory actors.”


UKIP member and bloke who used to say The Smiths were for ‘fruits’ Wayne Hayes said: “As long as he doesn’t sing or wave any leeks around then Morrissey might just be our Christ figure.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

[The "real" story]

Monday, 20 November 2017

Down in Mehico


Love the "Queen of Hearts" 'do

Another week opens, dank and dark - and I feel completely unrefreshed, and in need of a long sleep.

Hey ho - this Tacky Music Monday also happens to be the birthday of the eternally lovely June Christy, so let's shake ourselves out of the "slough of despond" and get going, with this sickeningly cheerful faux-Mexican number featuring the great lady, in the company of the estimable Stan Kenton Orchestra:


Have a good week, dear reader!

June Christy (born Shirley Luster, 20th November 1925 – 21st June 1990)

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Suffer little children



I was jolted from my slumber this morning by the cacophonous noise of screaming, crashing and banging from the "demon spawn" upstairs. It turns out there were visitors up there (on a Sunday morning??); three children in total. I am in a foul mood...

Now that they have finally gone out, I am in need of a little peace and quiet.

What better than the music of one genius (Beethoven) played by another master (Barenboim) to soothe the mood?


Oh, that's better...

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Days may be cloudy or sunny



It's turned wet and downright miserable here in London, which did put a damper on Mother's visit today somewhat. I think she enjoyed it, nonetheless.

It also happens to be the birthday of a prodigious lyricist - the man who wrote [among well over 1400 other songs in the Great American Songbook] One for My Baby, Moon River, I Remember You, Jeepers Creepers, P.S. I Love You, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Hooray for Hollywood, Something's Gotta Give, Girlfriend Of The Whirling Dervish, Blues in the Night, Fools Rush In, Autumn Leaves, The Waiter And The Porter And The Upstairs Maid, How Long Has This Been Going On?, Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive, Tangerine, Strip Polka, And the Angels Sing, That Old Black Magic, I'm Old Fashioned, Lazy Bones, Too Marvellous For Words, Goody Goody, You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, Day In Day Out, Skylark...

...and this one!


Very appropriate.



The birthday boy in question is, of course, Mr Johnny Mercer (born John Herndon Mercer, 18th November 1909 – 25th June 1976)

Friday, 17 November 2017

Blonde Friday?



The weekend looms at last, after a particularly long and tiresome week...

Mother's in town tomorrow, so there'll be no rest for the wicked. That's not going to stop the party, however! - not when we have a right pair of slappers those awesomely talented party animals, former "Page 3" topless models Miss Nina Carter and (birthday girl) Miss Jilly Johnson, aka Blonde on Blonde - to start the celebrations:


Thank Disco It's Friday!

Read more about the - ahem - musical career of Blonde on Blonde, courtesy of Dangerous Minds

Thursday, 16 November 2017

O come all ye pastries


The bakery chain Greggs has apologised for offending Christians with a nativity scene advert that replaces Jesus with a sausage roll.

Greggs released the image to promote its £24 advent calendar, which goes on sale next Monday. Its decision...sparked criticism from Twitter users and religious groups.
Remarkably, this story is actually true.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

A word from our sponsor



"Tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally coarse in their nervous sensibilities, will always be the favourite beverage of the intellectual." - Thomas de Quincey

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Hello, Princess





Heavens to Betsy - Den and Angie's "Little Princess" Sharon (Letitia Dean) is 50 years old!

Now, I am the first to admit I am no fan of the eternal grimness that is BBC 1's "blockbuster" soap EastEnders - haven't actually watched it for years, and am inclined to do so even less now that its original round of "tarts'n'matriarchs" [Angie Watts, Pauline Fowler, Ethel Skinner, Pat Butcher, Peggy Mitchell - of the pantheon, only Dot Cotton is left, and she's 90] have all gone. However, the "curvaceous" Sharon - despite two long absences-of-leave - is still very much centre-stage in Albert Square, so at least there is some continuity of "bitch-slapping"...


But never mind all that. Here is the remarkable pairing of Miss Dean with fellow 80s EastEnders actor Paul Medford ("Kelvin Carpenter") - singing!


This really should have been a Tacky Music Monday. But it's Tuesday. Hey ho.

Letitia Jane Dean (born 14th November 1967)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Banana duro, Banana tieso



As the thermometers continue to drop here in London (it was bearable when we were stood by the Thames for Saturday's fireworks, but yesterday's winds were bitter), so we seek some solace in a bit of uber-camp Calypso-style nonsense from somewhere exotic to divert our attention away from the thick coats, fleeces and paraphernalia that could well be our lot for the next few months...

And, on this Tacky Music Monday, I have found just the thing to get another thrilling week in work off to such a start. Lord knows what to make of this one!


And, just in case you can't get enough of this fabulous number (and its filthy lyrics) - here is the official video, replete with semi-naked Hispanic youths in a swimming pool [thought that might get your attention!]:


Banana duro (banana)
Banana tieso (banana)
Banana perverso (banana)
Banana travieso (banana)
Banana chiquito (banana)
Banana sabroso (banana)

Have a fruity week, dear reader.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Her heart was warm and gay; no matter how they changed her, I'll remember her that way



We have a centenary to celebrate today! And it's one very close to our hearts... the eternally lovely Miss Jo Stafford.



With her languid vocal style, her impeccable diction and her hugely varied repertoire of songs, Jo was an integral contributor to the American songbook, working closely with the likes of Johnny Mercer.



The beauty of her voice is perfectly illustrated by the following...




Miss Stafford was never afraid of venturing further afield in her musical choices, however, not least by contributing her vocals as "Cinderella G Stump" to this gem:


Facts:
  • Jo first came to prominence as part of the vocal harmony group the Pied Pipers, who sang backing vocals for Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra and many others.
  • When she finally went solo, it was alongside Margaret Whiting and Peggy Lee at Capitol Records that she cemented her reputation as one of "America's sweethearts", performing concerts for the forces overseas both during and after WW2.
  • Her choices of vocal material ranged from Big Band to American folk, to pop and ballads, to Jazz, before retiring altogether in the mid-1960s.
  • It was also at Capitol that she met and married composer, arranger and bandleader Paul Weston; they worked together professionally throughout her "golden years" in the 50s, and remained together till his death in 1996.
And - of course! - I could not let a tribute to Miss Stafford go by without a mention of her and Mr Weston's ultimate creation - the phenomenon that was Jonathan and Darlene Edwards! Originally a bit of a party-piece for friends, "The Edwards" eventually overtook Jo and Paul's own fame - and indeed won Miss Stafford her only Grammy...


It gets me laughing (and "honking" along) every time...

Jo Elizabeth Stafford (12th November 1917 – 16th July 2008)

Saturday, 11 November 2017

A sparkling debut...



...for London's 690th Lord Mayor Charles Bowman, whose amazing firework display (London's last remaining free one!) our "gang" went to see tonight:


[Camerawork not the author's own, I hasten to add - we were even closer to the action.]

Lord Mayor's Show 2017

Friday, 10 November 2017

Now is the time for you to stride



Another weekend draws nearer and, despite everything, we simply must get ourselves in the mood for a party!

Tomorrow, we have the Lord Mayor's Show fireworks to look forward to, and the weather looks like it will stay dry for the occasion. The autumn/winter season has begun in earnest - and what more joyful way to kick it all off with the eternally chirpy Junior Giscombe?

Thank Disco It's Friday!


Said a small boy once asked, When will I grow up
When will I see what grownups do see
In his fight to come of age, he would have to know the age
To be recognized is when I'm not unmasked

And mama used to say, Take your time, young man
Mama used to say, Don't you rush to get old
Mama used to say, Take it in your stride
Mama used to say, Live your life

As the years went rushin' by he would cut down on his age
He would tell his girl of how it used to be
How his mommy passed away, but these lines she would say
And at the time he couldn't understand

Mama used to say, Take your time, young man
Mama used to say, Don't you rush to get old
Mama used to say, Take it in your stride
Mama used to say, Live your life

You're young, so young, don't hold on back
Do all you want to do
Now is the time for you to stride
For you to get better in what you are doin', oh

Now is the time for you to stride
For you to get better in what you are doin', oh

A small boy once asked, When will I grow up
When will I see what grownups do see
In his fight to come of age, he would have to know the age
To be recognized is when I'm not unmasked

And mama used to say, Take your time, young man
Mama used to say, Don't you rush to get old
Mama used to say, Take it in your stride
Mama used to say, Live your life, live your life, live your life, oh


Have a good one, peeps!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Everlasting baby



We have a new apprentice in the office starting soon, who was born in... 1999 (!).

With that terrifying news ringing in my ears, I thought it opportune that we should have a little timeslip moment, back to that very year - when Boris Yeltsin handed over to Vladimir Putin, and Bill Clinton was acquitted in his impeachment trial; the year of the Kosovo War, Harold Shipman, The Matrix, Tracey Emin, Bill Gates, the Jonathan Aitken trial, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones' wedding, Jill Dando's murder, Family Guy, the Columbine massacre and the Admiral Duncan gay pub bombing, the deaths of Dusty Springfield, Victor Mature, Stanley Kubrick, Madeline Kahn, Ernie Wise, Oliver Reed and Dirk Bogarde, and the births of East Timor, the Euro, MSN Messenger, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and - ahem - SpongeBob SquarePants.

In the news in November 1999: Gary Glitter was jailed for possession of child pornography, Australia voted in favour of retaining HM The Queen as Head of State in a referendum, an inquest began into the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 off the Massachusetts coast (in which 231 people were killed), International Men's Day (November 19th) was launched in the UN, and the (then) largest corporation in the world ExxonMobil was formed; in the ascendant (literally) were the Millennium Wheel (now the London Eye) and China's first Shenzhou space craft; but we bade a fond farewell to Quentin Crisp, who died (while on a tour of his one-man show across the UK) in the inauspicious town of Chorlton-cum-Hardy. In our cinemas: East Is East, The Sixth Sense and Milk. On telly: Walking with Dinosaurs, DIY SOS and MacIntyre Uncovered, and Julie Goodyear returned as Bet Lynch in a Corrie spin-off After Hours.

And in our charts this week eighteen years ago? There was evidently a flurry of new releases, as Savage Garden, Jennifer Lopez and Another Level crashed into the Top Ten to join the likes of Christina Aguilera, Macy Gray, Westlife, R Kelly and Five. Also leaping into the upper echelons were Tin Tin Out featuring Emma Bunton with What I Am at #2, and this slice of loveliness from Our Geri, straight in at the top slot. Where she belonged:


Like the seasons ever changing
Everlasting baby, like you and I
It's going to be alright
But when my sky clouds over

(Lift Me Up) When the day is over
(Take me up) When the sun is going down
(Show me love) I will be your angel now
(Lift Me Up) When the lights are fading
(Talk me down) When I'm flying way up high
(Show me love) And I'll be your angel for life
Your angel for life


Flap, flap.*

[*Additional lyrics added by moi.]

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Shaken, not stirred



There's enough stress in this world - on the news, in our work - and noisy neighbours, to boot.

Time, methinks, for another sojourn into the lives of gorgeous people in exotic locations, and a soothing musical interlude - courtesy of our chums over at Soft Tempo Lounge!. Of course.


[Music: The First Time by Stanley Myers]

I feel much better now...

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Never lived too long to make right



Sharing her celebrations with a bizarre assortment of famous names including Dame Joan Sutherland, Neil Hannon, Marie Curie, Jean Shrimpton, Joni Mitchell, Billy Graham, David Guetta, Rio Ferdinand and Leon Trotsky, today is the [gulp!] 50th birthday of the lovely Miss Sharleen Spiteri - lead singer of one of the most popular UK bands of the 90s, Texas.

I've loved the band, and the brassy, potty-mouthed, no-nonsense Sharleen, for many years (I've seen her/them live three times!) - from their breakthrough hit I Don't Want A Lover to the all-time classic album White on Blonde, from whence came a slew if hits including Halo, Black Eyed Boy, Summer Son... and this one!


Twenty seconds on the back time
I feel you're on the run
Never lived too long to make right
I see you're doing fine

And when I get that feeling
I can no longer slide
I can no longer run
Ah no no
And when I get that feeling
I can no longer hide
For it's no longer fun
Ah no no

Well, you can say what you want
But it won't change my mind
I'll feel the same
About you
And you can tell me your reasons
But it won't change my feelings
I'll feel the same
About you

What I am is what you want of me
Yeh, now that I'm not there
I took the tables away from you
It's turned that I don't care

And when I get that feeling
I can no longer slide
I can no longer run
Ah no no
And when I get that feeling
I can no longer hide
For it's no longer fun
Ah no no

Well, you can say what you want
But it won't change my mind
I'll feel the same
About you
And you can tell me your reasons
But it won't change my feelings
I'll feel the same
About you

I've said goodnight
Try to sleep tight
Ah just dream of me
Go close your eyes
Cause I've closed mine
The sun will shine from time to time
Oh, when you dream of me, yeh

Well, you can say what you want
But it won't change my mind
I'll feel the same
About you
And you can tell me your reasons
But it won't change my feelings
I'll feel the same
About you


One of my favourite songs, ever.

Texas official website

Monday, 6 November 2017

Slipper or cake?



Despite the lovely weather, winter has started to make itself felt in London - slightly sparkly roofs this morning, and the single-figure night-time temperatures mean that the central heating is now on all the time. To add insult to injury, we have acquired new upstairs neighbours... who have small children! It's only been one day of the incessant running up-and-down across our ceiling, but I am already wound up to the "Nth degree". If it keeps up, we may have to start planning to move. Oh dear.

Never mind, eh? With another lovely and - ahem - rewarding week in work to come, we are definitely in need of some cheering up. What better distraction on this Tacky Music Monday than Miss Leslie Caron and Mr Michael Wilding camping it up performing a lovely bit of ballet, in this glittering scene from The Glass Slipper?


Have a good week, folks!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

I'm the bitch you hated, filth infatuated


Burning Guy Fawkes on your bonfire is so 1600s, but which of 2017’s many hate figures should you burn instead?

Check out our Mash guide:

Donald Trump
The obvious choice, effigies of Trump are easy to make at home because he already looks like clothes irregularly stuffed with newspaper, child’s gloves and a badly-sculpted papier-maché face. However the large amount of hay required to craft his hair could blow away once ignited and prove a fire risk.

Hillary Clinton
Could be considered passé, but still deserves ire for expecting to stroll into the White House like it was the family greengrocery business and then writing a whining, buck-passing book about it.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Much as you should always check bonfires to ensure that children or hedgehogs are not hiding in them before lighting, always check any effigies of Jacob Rees-Mogg to ensure you are not inadvertently burning the genuine article.

Kim Jong-un
The man who threatens to turn the world into ashes deserves to be burned, despite the high probability that it’s all his dad’s fault for spoiling him. Fun and simple to construct: just pop a pair of glasses and poor man’s Elvis wig on an over-inflated balloon and you’re good to go.

A woman
If you’re holding a bonfire in an area of mixed political views, it can be difficult to choose an effigy that everyone agrees with. But whether you’re far-left or alt-right, everybody blames the ills of the world on women. One side can think it’s Angela Merkel, the other Laura Kuenssberg and everybody’s happy.

Harvey Weinstein
The Hollywood producer turned international sex abuse exposure catalyst should have been sitting atop bonfires for decades. A popular choice, but good luck getting it to the top of your bonfire without it being kicked to bits.

Adele
Has a £132 million fortune even though she is only 29. Burn the witch.
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Happy Bonfire Night, everyone!

There is really only one song to play now...

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Strange, indeed



The latest tabloid TV obsession in the UK - with acres of coverage - is yet another of those niche, "kooky", American wannabee-cult shows [cf Twin Peaks, Buffy, Game of Thrones, Twilight, and so on] called Stranger Things. I have never seen it, nor are we ever going to as it requires a subscription to something called Netflix [a members-only club, M'lud]. However, nosey swine that I am, I did go onto the interwebs to find out if I was missing anything...

...and up popped this, courtesy of Miss Vicky Boofont!


*Apparently Barb is a character in the aforementioned Stranger Things - although I never heard anyone mention that Carol Channing or Liza Minnelli were in it!

Stranger Things on Wikipedia

Friday, 3 November 2017

Champagne for Lulu!



Eddie Monsoon: "Lulu! What would you like, Lulu?"
Lulu: "Three courses and a pudding, and don't talk to me."
Eddie: "Champagne for Lulu! Fantastic, isn't it? Like a reunion.
...You know what you need? You need a really good publicity machine. Who does your PR?"


Lulu: "You do."

And here - fresh from The "Edina Monsoon PR agency", sweetie! - is the birthday girl herself:


Many happy returns, Miss Lulu Kennedy-Cairns OBE (born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, 3rd November 1948) - and Thank Disco It's Friday!!!!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Quiz Time!



What links these otherwise disparate tracks?






...the awesome talents of the recently-departed Mr George Young, who was behind them all! [He wrote all of the songs above with the exception of the AC/DC track, which he produced; Angus and Malcolm Young being his brothers - coincidentally, John-Paul was no relation]



RIP George Redburn Young (6th November 1946 – 22nd October 2017)

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The first man's name was Kiki, he wore such little pants



Just because... I had two intensive days studying the dreaded "management-speak-bollocks", and then straight back in today to a tedious day at work, I felt I needed some cheering up.

Then - along came this!!


Oh, that's better.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

It's traditional...



Mrs. Nelson: "Where are your fangs?"
Count Yorga: "Where are your manners?"


Happy Hallowe'en, everyone! (Especially my dear sister, who I know simply adores this clip...)

[Laughs maniacally.]

The Return of Count Yorga

Monday, 30 October 2017

Wonderful you



I have been deep in concentration all day today, at home on study leave - studying the esoteric end of the "leadership and management theory" spectrum, if you really need to know; lord knows I wish I didn't!

Despite the steam that has been rising from my brain-cells since 9am, I have not forgotten that today is a Tacky Music Monday, dear reader; our traditional "opening number" of the week from the glitzy world of showtunes - however, the epithet "tacky" is somewhat of a misnomer when it comes down to the array of talent I have in store...

On Saturday, our beloved Dame Cleo Laine (she of the estimable, and still clear as a bell, jazz tonsils) turned 90 years old. Just this July, she was up and performing at her annual "Dankworth Family Festival" alongside daughter Jacqui, guitarist John Williams, musician Earl Okin and vocalist Lorna Dallas. I couldn't imagine being that energetic if I were her age. Nor even at my age.

And here is the great lady herself - alongside Margaret Whiting, Maureen McGovern, Dionne Warwick, Jack Jones and John Raitt!


Imagine being in that audience...

Many happy returns, Dame Cleo Laine (Lady Dankworth DBE, born Clementine Dinah Bullock, 28th October 1927).

Have a good week, peeps!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Mood music in a jugular vein



Hallowe'en's not even for another two days yet you'd hardly guess it, what with all the spooky costumes, animated spiders, skulls and fake blood that've been around all weekend. The shops look like a set from Rentaghost, and all radio programmes are doing "Hallowe'en Specials" - not least the ever-faboo Retro Cocktail Hour...

And here is a little promo for that very programme, as put together by the geniuses at another online favourite - Soft Tempo Lounge:

[Music: Morticia's Theme by Combustible Edison]

Eagle-eyed viewers will have noted a selection of "spooky" record sleeves pop-up during the video. And, because I love you, I have found them - so here they are, for your delectation!





Hope you're having a spooky Sunday!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

London derriere



Just in time for Hallowe'en, as always, comes the birthday of our Patron Saint, the Bride of Frankenstein herself, Miss Elsa Lanchester...





We adore her - not just for her unconventional eccentricities, nor for the fact that (even after catching him with a rent boy on the couch, which prompted her to throw not just the interloper and errant hubbie out of the house, but also the sofa itself!) she and Charles Laughton remained Hollywood's (somewhat tainted) "golden couple" for so many years, but for her humorous and unique ventures into the wonderful world of Music Hall, with all its innuendo.

Not least in these three tracks from one of our most treasured albums Songs for a Smoke-filled Room!


Linda and her Londonderry Air,
Linda and her Londonderry Air,
As a vehicle for Linda,
It fitted like a glove,
And if sometimes she exploited it,
Well, heavens above!...




Elsa Sullivan Lanchester (28th October 1902 – 26th December 1986)

Read my previous tributes to Miss Lanchester here, here, and particularly here.

Friday, 27 October 2017

She'd always find out



After some beautiful sunny days this week (while I was in work), the murk has returned, just in time for the weekend...

Hey Ho. A weekend is a weekend is a weekend after all - and here to lead the party are the assembled talents of Linx (eye-wateringly tight white jeans and all). Thank Disco It's Friday!


As a boy my family thought that I'd be the ruin
But when I was back my mum knew what I was doing

While I try my best not to leave any clues,
She always find out and she say that she use

Intuition


Indeed.

Let the party commence...

Have a good one, dear reader!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Judgement call...



"You can judge a man by his boots."

I think the verdict is in.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

"At fifteen, I was a pony in burlesque..."



Today would have marked the 90th birthday of the immortal Barbara Cook, song stylist supreme.

And, my honeys, to mark this prestigious occasion, I have a real treat in store! A breathtaking and poignant snapshot of a sadly lost world - that of gay life in 1970s New York, and in particular its legendary gay cabaret club Reno Sweeney's (here focusing on its latest guest star performer Miss Cook). How optimistic everyone seemed in those heady days of the late 70s...


I adore everything about this featurette - from the cute Emerald TV presenter Frank O'Dowd, to the camp-as-tits ads for long-gone resorts, bars and book-stores, to Miss Cook's adorable presence. This a gem of gay history, Manhattan Cable-stylee!

Read an equally fascinating insight into the 70s resurgence of cabaret among largely gay audiences from The Advocate, October 1977.

Barbara Cook (25th October 1927 – 8th August 2017)

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Gonna make you sweat


“I don’t know if my voice was very bad and that’s why I got the ticket, but I was very shocked,” Taoufik Moalla said. “I understand if they are doing their job, they are allowed to check if everything’s okay, if I kidnapped someone or if there’s danger inside but I would never expect they would give me a ticket for that.”
A Canadian man is contesting a C$149 (£90) ticket for "screaming in a public place" after being caught singing in his car.

And the song he was screaming singing along to at the time of his arrest..?


Worth "screaming" along with, in my opinion!

However, the final word goes to Mr Moalla's wife, who apparently said: "If it was for singing, I’d have given you a ticket for $300.”

Read the story on the BBC

Monday, 23 October 2017

Fluck-ing Monday



Oh, dear. Monday again.

It is, however, the birthday today of our adored and sadly missed Diana Mary Fluck - better known, of course, as Diana Dors!

What better way to cheer ourselves up on this Tacky Music Monday, that with one of the lady's most glittering musical moments...?


Diana Dors (23rd October 1931 – 4th May 1984)

Sunday, 22 October 2017

A word from our sponsor



Your physician recommends it.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

This is no Basil Brush



According to ancient Dogon mythology in Mali:
He is the Pale Fox, known locally as the Jackal, a creature despised by all. There are many foxy trickster deities, but none of them are quite so mouthwateringly awful.

Ogo’s conception and birth is a horrific tale of attempted rape inside an egg. The story includes sacrifice, stolen semen, fellatio, biting the end off a very private part, circumcision, mutilation and practices so unsavoury it would be enough to put a cannibal off his food.

Needless to say, his upbringing left much to be desired and the tortured twisted creature became the embodiment of Chaos. Seeking the power of speech, he tried an incestuous union with moist Mother Earth which brought impurity and barrenness to the world.
...and we are currently under siege from our very own version of Ogo, as I awoke today to find one of the "twisted creatures" had laid waste to a swathe of one of our beds, completely destroying a large clump of yellow Coreopsis (chewed right through) and red Monarda (Bergamot), and there was mud everywhere from its digging efforts.

This means war!

I have already purchased some rather medieval-looking prickle strips for the tops of the fences, more "Dig-Stopper" roll, and some deterrent spray. But by far the most imaginative solution was one that Madam Arcati stumbled upon in an online forum - a load of that nasty plastic picnic cutlery from Poundland, embedded, spiky sides upwards, in the ground where the beast has been trying to create its den...

Time will tell.

Otherwise I am going to buy that shotgun!

Here's an appropriate tune to suit the mood:

Friday, 20 October 2017

Oh, l'amour



It's "Le weekend" once more, dear reader!

I'm heading for a lonnnng meeting in the delightful environs of Hackney Town Hall today, followed by what will hopefully be a much more pleasing evening in the company of an old friend and colleague on a flying visit from his native Albania tonight.

Meanwhile, we need to get our very best dance moves in order, to prepare ourselves for any eventuality - and who better than the rather rubber-legged bizarrely-clad dancers in this "instructional video" to lead the way..?!

Thank Disco(?) It's Friday!


Have a good one!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Thought for the Day

Today is apparently National Baking Week.

Hope your dough rises!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

I'd like to put you in a trance



Timeslip moment again...

We've beamed down in this week 25 years ago, in 1992: HM the Queen's annus horribilis (with the divorce of Ann and Cap'n Mark, the scandalous split of Andy'n'Fergie, the separation of Charles and Di and the near-destruction of parts of the historic Windsor Castle, her favourite palace); the year of Boris Yeltsin, the BCCI banking scandal, Steffi Graf, the Barcelona Olympics, Damien Hirst's "shark", PM John Major (who won the general election), the Maastricht Treaty, Betty Boothroyd, Euro Disney, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Nigel Mansell, the dismantling of Yugoslavia, the Los Angeles riots, the election of President Bill Clinton, and the births of Miley Cyrus, Cara Delevingne - and Ab Fab.

In the news in October 1992: the fallout from so-called "Black Wednesday" (the UK's withdrawal from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism) continued, fuelling a continuing recession; protest rallies were held in Washington to challenge the Bush administration's lack of action on AIDS (and the AIDS Memorial Quilt was born); there were protests, too, in the UK about the planned closure of a string of coal mines and over 30,000 job losses; the Mozambique civil war finally ended after sixteen years; a huge earthquake in Cairo killed 543 people and injured more than 6,500; in the ascendant were Lithuania (which held a referendum on its first democratic constitution since it seceded from the former Soviet Union), the Cartoon Network (the world's first TV channel devoted to animation) and Sinéad O'Connor (who ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live); but we bade our sad farewells to the multi-talented actor Denholm Elliott. In our cinemas: Patriot Games, Beauty and the Beast and Strictly Ballroom. On telly: Later... with Jools Holland, Gladiators and The Big Breakfast.

And in the UK charts? At the top of the heap at #1 was "one-hit wonder" Tamsin Archer with Sleeping Satellite; also present and correct in the Top Ten were Bizarre Inc, Boyz II Men, The Shamen, Dr Alban, Simple Minds, Prince, Take That, Undercover and Doctor Spin (whooo?). But, just landed - and about to cause a media shit-storm - was Our Glorious Leader Queen Madge, with this all-time smutty classic...


Can it really be a quarter of a century since we first met "Dita"...?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Michael Rennie was ill the day the earth stood still, but he told us where we stand



Yesterday's weird weather over London and much of the UK - the skies turned an eerie yellow early afternoon, it went quite dark for several hours, and the sun was fetching shade of vermilion - was apparently due to a load of dirt, smoke and Saharan sand being sucked up into the atmosphere by the actions of Hurricane Ophelia.



Of course, that isn't quite how some people wanted to interpret it, and the inevitable "social meejah frenzy" was whipped up by the press - phrases such as "apocalypse", "the end of the world" and "Nibiru" were being bandied about, just about overtaking the words "me", "Taylor Swift in a kebab shop" and "Trump" as topics of conversation by teatime.

Well, if you want an apocalyptic vision, what could be better than that 1950s Cold War-Sci-Fi mastwerwork of paranoia The Day The Earth Stood Still? And who better to present this classic than the "Tired Old Queen" himself, Steve Hayes?


Red skies over London