Monday, 20 December 2010

Have a Beatley Crimble!

and a Proposterous New Year to all my blogging chums!

The Twelve Days of Christmas Lament

On the twelve days of Christmas my true-love gave to me
some very nice presents but now it’s February
and the twelve drummers drumming are driving me insane
and the neighbours keep complaining and I've got an aching brain
but at least the leaping lords have gone, they leapt over the wall
and my true-love’s presents would be fine if my house was not so small
We've only got two bedrooms and the drummers sleep in one
In the other are the dancing girls which sounds like lots of fun
but I have to share under the stairs with the milkmaids and the hoover
and what with the urns and the cow and all, there’s not much room to manoeuvre
At least they’re up at the crack of dawn and a few winks I can steal
Until the geese start cackling. Goose eggs for every meal?
And we can’t coax the partridge down from the pear tree – Lord, we’ve tried
and the constant drumming upset the doves who commited suicide
and the swans swam off, well who can blame them? Lord what a palava!
The calling birds and hens were freed by a man in a balaclava
The best present was the five gold rings which I sold for quite a lot.
Next year I'd like something useful, please.
Like a holiday somewhere hot.

by Roger Stevens

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Poetry By Inches, Words By a Mile - T.S.Elliot

The Hollow Men
A penny for the old guy


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpeice filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication
of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Walking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
TS Elliot


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Saturday, 6 November 2010


I caught this band on Later With Jools the other night and impressed by their enthusiasm and re-juvinating the UK Folk scene.

Wikipedia says -

"The band debuted at the first Oxford Folk Festival in April 2004, and were an instant success. Festival audiences have destroyed three dance floors such was their enthusiasm. As a result, they independently released a five-track EP of "English World Music" entitled E.P.Onymous, which generated very positive reviews. The following year, after only four gigs, the band won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Live Act 2005 for their live performances at festivals around Britain, including Cambridge Folk Festival and Womad Reading. The band are described as:
"Merging a joyous, uplifting cacophony of sound with a slightly sinister, distorted collision of music hall, Lotte Lenya, Robert Wyatt and pure theatre." Themselves. "Bellowhead are surely the best live act in the country" The Independent.
In 2006 they released their first full-length album, Burlesque, featuring material from the Napoleonic Wars (Rigs of the Time), the American minstrel movement (Jordan) and sea-shanties from Brazil (Across the Line). They also appeared alongside Red Hot Chili Peppers, Keane and Thom Yorke on the BBC TV show Later... with Jools Holland, winning praise from Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis. In the 2007 Folk Awards they won "Best Group" and "Best Live Act", the following year they won Best Live Act once more. Towards the end of the year they became Artists in Residence at the Southbank Centre, making their inaugural appearance with a special Christmas Revels event.
In 2008 Bellowhead released their second album Matachin and performed at the Proms which was broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3. The following year in August the band were approached about recording music for a 20th anniversary episode of The Simpsons. They finished off the year with a nautical themed New Year's Eve party at the Southbank Centre, with silent disco and an ABBA themed céilidh.
Bellowhead were named Best Live Act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2010 for an unparalleled fourth time. On 4 October in the same year, Bellowhead released their third studio album, Hedonism. In honour of the new album, the band developed a new ale named after the album. Band members were involved with the taste testing of the beverage."

Friday, 22 October 2010

For the latest C.J. Duffy essay...go here: The Wayward Ways of C.J. Duffy


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Chuck Berry

Found this amongst the collection the other day. A great double LP which only cost 3 quid back in the 80's . Some fantastic tracks here for anybody who likes rock 'n' roll and blues. Chuck was a big influence on lots of people including the Beatles and the Stones and one can see why - these tunes are so catchy. If you are not tapping your feet you must have something wrong with you!

Wikipedia says -

"Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (born October 18, 1926) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Chuck Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Born into a middle class family in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School. While still a high school student he served a prison sentence for armed robbery between 1944 and 1947. On his release, Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. By early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of blues player T-Bone Walker, he was performing in the evenings with the Johnnie Johnson Trio. His break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955, and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess of Chess Records. With Chess he recorded "Maybellene"—Berry's adaptation of the country song "Ida Red"—which sold over a million copies, reaching #1 on Billboard's Rhythm and Blues chart. By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star with several hit records and film appearances to his name, as well as a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis-based nightclub, called Berry's Club Bandstand. But in January 1962 Berry was sentenced to three years in prison for offenses under the Mann Act—he had transported a 14-year-old girl across state lines.

After his release in 1963 Berry had several more hits, including "No Particular Place To Go", "You Never Can Tell", and "Nadine", but these did not achieve the same success, or lasting impact, of his 1950s songs, and by the 1970s he was more in demand as a nostalgic live performer, playing his past hits with local backup bands of variable quality.] His insistence on being paid cash led to a jail sentence in 1979—four months and community service for tax evasion.

Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986, with the comment that he "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance." Berry is included in several Rolling Stone "Greatest of All Time" lists, including being ranked sixth on their 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll included three of Chuck Berry's songs: "Johnny B. Goode", "Maybellene", and "Rock and Roll Music". Now in his eighties, Berry continues to play live."

Chuck Berry - Jaguar & The Thunderbird

Chuck Berry - Little Queenie

Chuck Berry - Betty Jean

Chuck Berry - Guitar Boogie

Chuck Berry - Down The Road Apiece

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Art of Jazz

Of all the musical styles that have come out of America it is Jazz which, in my opinion, is the single most original of all. It also produced album sleeves that revolutionised art and design. Here is one of the late and great Billie Holiday LP covers:

...aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Dump The Kit Bag!

Who wants to pack up troubles?
Much less put them in a case.
for then it might be all too easy
to lug 'em all over the place!
Leve 'em behind you, let 'em all go!
You'll be much happier then you know!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Bit Of A Teaser

Though not of the usual kind. This is an example of an etheree - ten lines, each growing by one syllable per line, from one to ten. Not quite as easy as it may appear... Try to write one, if you don't believe me...

snooker balls
cluster tightly
in a triangle.                            
Like ripe, juicy cherries
sitting plump on green baize ground,
they wait for the game to commence.
Cannoning cue ball breaks formation;
one red sphere rolls to meet its destiny.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

THE FLIES CRAWLED UP THE WINDOW by Ray Starita & His Ambassadors

The flies crawled up the window,
It’s all they have to do
They went up by the thousand
And came down two by two.
The flies crawled up the window,
They said we love to roam
So once more up the window,
And then we’ll all go home

(Orchestral interlude)

The flies crawled up the window
They said let’s have a race
We backed a fly called Oswald
To win and for a place
At five to one he started,
He soon got in his stride
He started crawling sideways
And he got disqualified

(Orchestral Interlude)

The flies crawled up the window
In sunshine and in rain
They do not seek for pleasure
They much prefer the “pane”
And if those flies annoy you
Then here’s what I advise
Just don’t have any windows
And then you’ll have no flies

(Jack Hulbert / Douglas Furber / Vivian Ellis)


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Eating Banana's

Alarming sights have recently been seen in the Sutton area as some weeks ago a large organic mass was seen wallowing down the road breathless and weighty. One passer by described the vision as being blond with barrage balloon like breasts that wobbled as if they were two beach balls trapped under canvas. However, in recent days the self same blonde blob has shed amazing amounts of fat turning into, as one male with a large appetite for young females said, a feast of pure sexual beauty.

A photographer from the local newspaper has been dispatched to gather pictorial evidence and is currently camouflaged as a privet hedge outside the young females bathroom with his lens polished and his camera primed.

Snotworthy Littlehampton,
Purveyor of Exquisite Cheese,
OYEAH Design in Pants,
Penal Pint Tomb

.aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Life's Just Not Fair . . .

Paddy and a Polish immigrant were short listed for a job with a Dublin construction firm.  The manager could not separate them on the strength of their CV's, so he asked them to take a written test.  They agreed.
The test consisted of 20 questions, and both had 19 questions correct.  The manager asked to see Paddy in his office and said that, sadly, he had decided to give the job to the Pole.  
Paddy remonstrated' "BeJasus, boss!  How can ye give the job to a foreigner on the strength of both of us giving one incorrect answer"
"Well you see, son," said the manager, "It was question 7.  The Polish candidate wrote 'I do not know the answer to this question'."
"And . .  " said Paddy.
"And you wrote 'Neither do I'."

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Gotta love kids...

This one is for everyone who...
a) has kids
b) had kids
c) was a kid
d) knows a kid
e) is going to have kids.


I was packing for my business trip and my three year old daughter was having a wonderful time playing on the bed. At one point she said, 'Daddy, look at this' , and stuck out two of her fingers.

Trying to keep her entertained, I reached out and stuck her tiny fingers in my mouth and said ,
'Daddy's gonna eat your fingers,'
pretending to eat them..

I went back to packing, looked up again and my daughter was standing on the bed staring at her fingers with a devastated look on her face.

I said, 'What's wrong, honey?'

She replied,
'What happened to my bogey?

...aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Toothpaste Revenge

Kath's preceding title has prompted me to add this snippet of useless information. It demonstrates the kind of weekend I'm having...

I had toothpaste take it's revenge on me this morning, for all those times I'd sqeedged its tube's belly to get a blob of dentifrice from its orifice to polish my gnashers. I was being a good girl, you see, brushing my teeth after eating breakfast, thus giving it the opportunity to retaliate. It waited until it reached its foamiest, most dribblesome consistency, whereupon it leaped through my brush-ambushed lips, and drolloped half a dozen elongated, oval splodges on my nice, clean sweater. Shall I wear them with pride, as proof of oral hygiene, or shall I discard the jumper, virtually unworn, and use up more water and soap powder than our struggling planet might like? What would you do?

Monday, 24 May 2010

Women's revenge

'Cash, cheque or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.
As she fumbled for her wallet , I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse.
'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked.
'No,' she replied, 'but my husband refused to come shopping with me,
and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.'

...aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

SEX at 82!

SEX AT 82!

I just took a leaflet out of my mailbox, informing me that I can have sex at 82!

I'm sooooo happy, because I live at 102... so it's not too far to walk home afterwards!

fabulous photo from Geekphilosopher

...aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Monday, 26 April 2010


Two female potatoes went to their Father with a request to marry the potato of their dreams. The Father potato asked the first potato who did she wish to marry. "Oh I intend to marry a King Edward" she replied. " Of course you can marry that potato" said the father. " A very good pedigree to join with".

He turned to the other daughter " Who do you wish to marry then my dear." " I have promised to marry Des Lynham " she answered. The father looked at her in horror.

You can't marry him my dear he is just a common tator.

...aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Smile! it's Sunday

I challenge you NOT to be smiling when you are watching this :D


Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Great Days Out No. 1 - The Land Of Lost Content

A terrific little museum in Shropshire we visited recently on the way to Knighton in Powys. Absolutely crammed full of stuff from old gas masks to phtos of Ken Dodd, ancient cereal packets and a jacket worn by Charlton Heston. It reminded me of the art installations of Bruce Lacey and Jeff Nuttall in the basement of Better Books in London in the 60's.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Sharing in Marriage

He unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half, placing one half in front of his wife.
He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.

He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them . As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them were looking over and whispering.
Obviously they were thinking, 'That poor old couple - all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.'

As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table and politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple.. The old man said, they were just fine - they were used to sharing everything.

People closer to the table noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.
Again, the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them.

This time the o ld woman said 'No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything.'
Finally, as the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked

'What is it you are waiting for?'

She answered

(Continue below - This is great)



Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Financial Planning

Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.
When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died,
he decided he needed a wife with which to share his fortune. One evening at an
investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary man,"
he said to her, but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit $200 million."

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card and three days later,
she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at financial planning than men.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Nervous Norvus

Another oddball singer who never really made much of an impression in the 50's. His biggest hit "Transfusion" is a bit of a cult classic. I love the mixture of rockabilly/skiffle with the cracked vocals and the sound effects.

Wikipedia says-

"Nervous Norvus was the performing name of Jimmy Drake (1912 in the Oakwood district of Los Angeles, California – July 24, 1968). His novelty song "Transfusion" was a major hit in 1956, as was a second song, "Ape Call," released later that year.

The lyrics in his song called "Transfusion" concern careless drivers who (cheerfully) receive blood transfusions after each accident. Graphic sounds of a car crash are included after each verse. Each stanza concludes with the refrain "Never never never gonna speed again" followed by lines such as "Slip the blood to me, Bud" or "Pour the crimson in me, Jimson." The song was banned on many radio stations of the '50s. The song was later played on the radio by DJ Barry Hansen, which reportedly led to Hansen's eventual nickname of Dr. Demento. A car crash sound effect from this song can be heard on "Dead Man's Curve" by Jan and Dean.

The song received a review from an unlikely source — personal-injury lawyer Melvin Belli — in his 1956 book Ready for the Plaintiff!, in which he says: "The ghoulish lyrics hiccup hysterically" but "wind up with a gem of jive-y wisdom that is strictly in the groove: 'Oh, barnyard drivers are found in two classes / Line-crowding hogs and speeding jackasses / So remember to slow down today!'" There was irony too, as Drake was employed as a truck driver, prior to his recording fame arising.

Nervous Norvus was born before World War I started, and was over 40 by the time he had his two hit singles in 1956. His records were made with input from radio personality Red Blanchard, to whom he was sending demos in the hope of finding an artist to record them. Blanchard had been an influence, particularly with the "jive" language employed in the lyrics.

After his brief time of glory, which amounted to less than six months, he concentrated on his demo service, providing music for other people's songs. He would charge around seven dollars to make these demos, some of which led to publishing contracts for the songwriters.

Contrary to popular belief, Drake was never a member of the Four Jokers. He was very shy and even turned down a chance to perform "Transfusion" on the Ed Sullivan Show. After a final single on the Dot record label ("The Fang" b/w "Bullfrog Hop"), the artist had his contract dropped. He only recorded sporadically thereafter for a series of independent labels like Embee ("Stoneage Woo" b/w "I Like Girls") and Big Ben, up to 1960. Nervous Norvus died in 1968 of cirrhosis of the liver, aged 56. A CD including hits and rare tracks, Stone Age Woo, was released by Norton Records in 2004. "Transfusion" also appears on Kenny Everetts' "The World's Worst record Show" (K-Tel label 1978)."

Nervous Norvus - Transfusion

Nervous Norvus - Kibble Kibble

Nervous Norvus - The Lean Green Vegetable Fiend

Nervous Norvus - I Hate Bugs

Friday, 26 March 2010

Barely Credible . . .

A Park Ranger was warning a group of tourists to Beware of the Bears in the Park.

"There are three types of bear hereabouts. The brown bear. The black bear. And the grizzly. You will not come across them very often. They are all quite secretive, and if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. If you meet one, remember, they can outrun you. Stand still. Make yourself look as big as possible. Do not . . repeat DO NOT . . make eye contact. The bear will usually turn away. To be on the safe side, however, buy a pepper spray, availablle at the kiosk. Four dollars fifty. A good faceful of pepper sees them off"
One tourist asked "How can we tell if there are bears about?"

"Look out for their dropping on the trails." the Ranger replied.  "The brown bear's dropping are very like horse droppings.  The black bear's dropping are looser, and quite black, like he is. HaHa!  The grizzly is different.  He's a carnivore.  So his dropping may contain fragments of bone.  And smell strongly of pepper!"

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. -

Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests itself:

I decide to check my email.

I look out of the window and the lawn looks dry.
So I decide to water my garden.

As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I head towards the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I picked up from the post man earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the recycling box under the table, and notice that the recycling box is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the recycling first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the postbox when I take out the recycling paper anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my cheque book off the table, and notice that there is only one cheque left.

My extra cheques are in my desk in the study,
so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the cup of coffee I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my cheques, but first I need to push the coffee asideso that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The coffee is getting cold, and I decide to make another cup.

As I head toward the kitchen with the cold coffee, a vase of flowers on the worktop catches my eye - the flowers need water.

I put the coffee on the worktop and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I put the glasses back down on the worktop, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote control. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realise that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I put the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

The car isn't washed

The bills aren't paid

There is a cold cup of coffee sitting on the counter

The flowers don't have enough water,

There is still only 1 cheque in my cheque book,

I can't find the remote,

I can't find my glasses,

And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all damn day,and I'm really tired.

I realise this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail....


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A gal's gotta do...


Four friends spend weeks planning the perfect girls getaway trip - Shopping, casinos, massages, facials.

Two days before the group is to leave Mary's husband puts his foot down and tells her she isn't going.

Mary's friends are very upset that she can't go, but what can they do.

Two days later the three get to the hotel only to find Mary sitting in the bar drinking a glass of wine.

"Wow, how long you been here and how did you talk your husband into letting you go?"

"Well, I've been here since last night........... Yesterday evening I was sitting on the couch and my husband came up behind me and put his hands over my eyes and said 'Guess who'?"

I pulled his hands off to find him in the nude. He took my hand and lead me to our bedroom. The room was scented with perfume, had two dozen candles and rose petals all over.............
On the bed, he had handcuffs and ropes! He told me to tie and cuff him to the bed, so I did. And then he said, "Now, you can do whatever you want."

"So here I am!"

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Four worms and a lesson learned

The Church of Ireland minister Rev. Paul Hewitt decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.

The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Rev. Hewitt reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol- Dead

The second worm in cigarette smoke - Dead

Third worm in chocolate syrup - Dead

Fourth worm in good clean soil - Alive.

So the Rev Paul Hewitt asked the congregation -

What did you learn from this demonstration???

Maxine sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said,

'As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!'

That pretty much ended the service.


Friday, 12 March 2010

Wittgenstein's Grave

Find more videos like this on OPEN Fluxus

Inspired by Hazel's trip to Glossop with some students to celebrate Wittgensteins' kite flying trips. She takes some 1st years every Spring to make kites and fly them on the Moors. They go to the pub for lunch where Wittengenstein used to drink and do poetry readings and performance much to the alarm of the natives.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Doctor's receptionist

.There's nothing worse than a doctor's receptionist who insists you tell her what is wrong with you in a room full of other patients. I know most of us have experienced this, and I love the way this old guy handled it:

A 65-year-old man walked into a crowded waiting room and approached the desk.

The receptionist said, "Yes, sir, what are you seeing the doctor for today?"

He replied, "There's something wrong with my d!ck."

The receptionist became irritated and said, "You shouldn't come into a crowded waiting room and say things like that."

"Why not? You asked me what was wrong, and I told you."

The receptionist replied, "Now you' ve caused some embarrassment in this room full of people. You should have said there is something wrong with your ear and then discussed the problem further with the doctor in private."

"You shouldn't ask people questions in a room full of strangers if the answer could embarrass anyone," the man said. ! Then he walked out and waited several minutes before re-entering.

The receptionist smiled smugly and said, "Yes?"

"There's something wrong with my ear."

The receptionist nodded approvingly and smiled, knowing he had taken her advice. "And what is wrong with your ear, sir?"

"I can't pi$$ out of it."

The waiting room erupted in laughter.

The lesson: Mess with seniors, and you're going to lose

Sunday, 7 March 2010

What would the neighbours think?

'It's just too hot to wear clothes today,' Jack said to his wife, as he stepped out of the shower, 'honey, what do you think the neighbors would think if I mowed the lawn like this?'
'Probably that I married you for your money,' she replied.


Thursday, 4 March 2010

Jimmy James

Another great old English comedian from the days of music hall and variety. Doing his famous "What Have You Got In That Box" routine. I have vague memories of it on TV in the 60's when Roy Castle was the barmy chap with the box.

Wikipedia says-

"Jimmy James was born James Casey on 20 May 1892 the eldest of four sons of Jeremiah Casey an iron puddler or steelmaker and Polly Gartland.[1] Many sources state he was born in Portrack, Stockton-on-Tees although other sources consider that he was born in South Bank, Middlesbrough and moved to Stockton-on-Tees at the age of seven in 1899. At the age of ten he won a boy soprano contest at the Stockton Hippodrome and shortly afterwards ran away, hitching a ride to Darlington to join a travelling show.The police located him a few years later at the age of twelve by which time he had become a seasoned performer. His father, an amateur clog dancer himself, encouraged his son's showbusiness talents.

At the Sunderland Empire Jimmy met Isabelle Darby a music hall dancer. Although Jimmy appeared on stage as a convincing drunk, often with a cigar or cigarette in his mouth, he was teetotal and did not smoke off stage. His weaknesses were gambling and his famed generosity which may account for his declared bankruptcies in 1936, 1955 and 1963. Jimmy was last on stage in 1964, retiring that year. He died in Blackpool of pulmonary congestion on 4 August 1965 following a heart attack and is buried in Oxbridge Cemetery, Stockton-on-Tees."

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Rules is rules!

Rules is Rules! ... HSE eat your ass out.....

Good news: It was normal day in Sharon Springs , KS, when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded coal train for the long trek to Salina .

The Bad news: Just a few miles into the trip a wheel bearing became overheated and melted, letting a metal support drop down and grind on the rail, creating white hot molten metal droppings spewing down to the rail.

The Good news: A very alert crew noticed smoke about halfway back in the train and immediately stopped the train in compliance with the rules.

The Bad news: The train stopped with the hot wheel over a wooden bridge with creosote ties and trusses.

The crew tried to explain to higher-ups but were instructed not to move the train!

They were instructed The Rules prohibit moving the train when a part is defective!


(Don't let common sense get in the way of a good disaster!)

*I am since advised by a reliable source that " The bridge will not be built of wooden bridge timbers this time around. It will be constructed of steel girders and cement and the span will be shortened considerably."

So it ends in mid-air this time round? BUT AT LEAST IT'S FIREPROOF!

Thanks Doc!


Monday, 8 February 2010

John Inman

Back to the serious stuff now and your token gay for today - John Inman - him off "Are You Being Served" and a song from an LP found at a boot sale or somewhere.

"Tandem Song" from "John Inman - With A Bit Of Brass" . Found vinyl on the Webb Ivory label 1978. Here John Inman is accompanied by the Webb Ivory Newall Band and the West Midlands Police Male Voice Choir. So there.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Ask Jinksy About This!

"Overtone" singing!   It's just . . . . it's just
Jinksy has met this artist, Christian Bollmann, and heard his astonishing talent. The "high notes" are produced by resonances in the mouth cavity. Only the continuous bass note is "sung", in the conventinal sense, in the voice box. Jinks is hiding a lotta lights under her bushel, so she is!

Many other examples on YouTube, along with Mongolian throat singing. You'll need Jinksy to explain the differences. Christian Bollmann struck me as far and away the best of the YouTube selection of "overtone" singers.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Poetry by Inches, Words by a Mile - Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

William Burroughs

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Krazy Kut Up King reads from "Towers Open Fire" via the magic of Crazy Talk software.

"William Seward Burroughs II was born in St. Louis, Missouri on February 5, 1914. Educated at public schools, he went on to study at Harvard. He had the same name as his grandfather, the inventor of the famous Burroughs adding machine. He traveled and studied in Europe after graduation, then worked for an advertising agency in New York City. Later, he joined the army, and took odd jobs in Chicago.

Late in his 20s, he returned to New York and got married. Through his wife, he met the writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. The three friends launched the Beat Generation, a group of prominent American writers in the 1950s, later called "beatniks." He died from heart failure, August 2, 1997, aged 83."

Thursday, 28 January 2010

"Alexandra Leaving"/Leonard Cohen

How many songs can boast a genesis like this!

1.  Roman general Mark Antony, of "Friends, Romans and Countrymen" fame, falls for the glam, manipulative Egyptian queen Cleopatra, breaks with Rome (and his wife) and becomes "the bellows and the fan to cool a gypsy's lust" ("Anthony and Cleopatra", Act 1, Sc.1, Wm. Shakespeare,)

2.  Antony and Cleopatra take on Octavius in the sea battle of Actium, which they lose. It's the beginning of the end, and leads eventually to Antony's suicide and the famous asp in Cleo's bosom.

3. The Greek historian Plutarch (very anti-Rome, and most likely one of Shakespeare's sources), writes it all up in his "Life of Antony" including a detail that Shakespeare misses out, (p279 of the previous link) -  "And now Antony forsook the city (Alexandria) and the society of his friends, and built for himself a dwelling in the sea at Pharos . . . " He chucks his hand in!

4. The Greek poet C.P.Cavafy writing at the end of the 19th. Century, publishes (in Greek) the poem "The God Abandons Antony" The poem picks up on Plutarch's detail but reverses the abandonment, imagining that Antony, during one of his many drunken revelries, feels himself forsaken by the God of Merrymaking - Dionysus - and quits the city as indicated in 3. The link here takes you to a translation  of Cavafy's poem, which is "scholarly" and about as poetic as a recipe for mixing concrete.

5.  The novelist and (woefully neglected) poet, Lawrence Durrell, great fan of Alexandria, admirer of Cavafy and all things Hellenic, makes a free but much more moving translation of the poem, which can be found amongst the workpoints and notes in his astonishing four-volume  "Alexandria Quartet" (Can't find Durrell's translation on www!)

6. Leonard Cohen's lyric reworks these ideas. "Alexandria" is transmuted into a lover, Aleaxandra, who is leaving, perhaps dying.  But all the ideas and sentiments in Cavafy's poem and Durrell's translation are retained.

(The image in the clip is pure autocue. No apologies!  YouTube has many other version of the song, some with images which are inappropriate, even unpleasant, and some are merely silly.)

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Howard Morrison Quartet

Not sure where this audio came from- possibly a 45 I picked up somewhere. The Howard Morrison Quartet were a skiffle group from New Zealand and I imagine this was a concert recorded there in the 50's in front of an enthusiastic audience.
They remind me a bit of the Barron Knights who did that combination of terrible song parody and imitation so well back in the 60's over here. I can't quite work out if they are singing Granada for laughs or not!

New Zealand is not renowned for its comic exports and this is no exception. They redeemed themselves recently though with the fabulously talented duo Flight Of The Conchords.

Friday, 22 January 2010

There's a LUVERLY moment towards the end . . .

. . when she flicks her hair back over her shoulder! Notice she is perched 
up on a cushion. What a wee sweetie! (Or am I just an old softie?  
And no . . she's no relation.)

You can hear on YouTube how practise made perfect for Evgeny Kissin.

(Beethoven's Rondo "Rage Over A Lost Penny" carries the (late) 
Opus No.129. But not "late" Beethoven at all. Published posthumously. 
Written c1795, 3 years before the groundbreaking "Pathetique" Sonata, 

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Jessie Mathews - For Kippers Dickie and Doc F -

Until I had seen these photos I have to confess that I didn't know what a cracker Jessie was. Of course, when you are ten fantasising (not that I did) over someone older than your mother was probably frowned upon by 1950's English society. Now, having seen the lady, I wish she had been born circa 1956 as she certainly could have parked her slippers 'neath my bed.

The following is from Screenonline:

Jessie Matthews was a gamine, graceful dancer, with a sweet, pure-toned singing voice, and waif-like sex appeal, who embodied 1930s style.

One of 11 children of a Soho costermonger, Matthews enjoyed dancing from an early age, and elocution lessons created her distinctive "plummy" accent. In a chorus line at 16, she also had fleeting dancing roles in silent films.

In London, 1930, she was in Ever Green, featuring hit song "Dancing on the Ceiling", costarring with Sonnie Hale (then husband of Evelyn Laye) which led to a scandalous divorce action, Matthews cited as the "other woman".

Her breakthrough film performance was as Susie Dean, dancing with airy grace and fluidity, in The Good Companions (1933), for Victor Saville, her most sympathetic director. The dual-role film version of Evergreen (d. Saville, 1934) opened at Radio City Music Hall, New York, and she was labelled "The Dancing Divinity", although attempts to costar her and Fred Astaire in a film never materialised.

Next came the gender-swapping musical comedy First A Girl (d. Saville, 1935), produced, like all of her major 1930s films, by Gaumont-British, which surrounded her with the best available talent: Americans, choreographer Buddy Bradley, cinematographer Glen MacWilliams and songwriter Harry Woods; art director Alfred Junge; and musical director Louis Levy.

Other, weaker films were directed by Hale, and Climbing High (1938) was directed by Carol Reed, with whom she had a brief affair, and her career at the top was over by the end of the decade.

Often temperamental and unstable, she suffered from problems originating in her difficult upbringing, with many personal tragedies and nervous breakdowns, including generally loveless marriages which ended in divorce. Hale (1931-44) was her second of three husbands.

Her only US film role was a cameo in the all-star fundraiser Forever and a Day (US, d. René Clair, 1943), and her song in tom thumb (d. George Pal, 1958) was dubbed. However, she became a celebrity again in the long-running radio soap Mrs Dale's Diary, and continued to work in regional theatre in the UK and abroad, including a triumphant one-woman show in Los Angeles in 1979, and was perfectly cast as Aunt Bessie in TV's Edward and Mrs. Simpson (Thames, 1978).

For most of the 1930s, Matthews was the most popular female film star in England: the image of her in Sailing Along (d. Hale, 1938), in a white evening gown, with a gentleman's black top hat and walking cane, performing "Souvenir of Love" in Lime Grove's art deco luxury sets, indelibly incarnates 1930s style. She was awarded the OBE in 1970.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Monday, 4 January 2010

Cassette Tape Revival

Heart warming story on North West Tonight on the BBC earlier about a Stockport firm who almost went bust with thier cassette making company and considered sending their machines to a scrap yard but recently sales have started improving due to demand from silver haired technophobes who have no truck with CD's or MP3's. Great clip of some old dear saying she was given an MP3 player but has no idea what to do with it - "I cant even open the box!"
Ive always loved cassettes and mix tapes and have hundreds stashed away in boxes all round the house and in the garden shed. Something very practical and endearing about those slack tapes that need a pencil to wind them back into the case when they get too baggy!

The Lamp Of Blob

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father Paddy Green recites a poem from the infamous Curios Thing Anthology.

Roy Hudd

Another great British comic steeped in the music hall and variety tradition. I have several of his books about the days of music hall and variety and very entertaining they are too.
Firat aware of him back in the 60's when he was part of the satirical TV show "That Was The Week That Was" and for the "News Huddlines" on the radio during the 80's and 90's.
Here he is doing a famous monologue about Albert & The Lion first made famous by Stanley Holloway.

"Roy Hudd has been an entertainer for most of his life. He is best known as a comedian but is a variety artist, accomplished actor, playwright and a leading authority on Music Hall. He was born in 1936 and attended Croydon Technical College. But when he finished his National Service he became a Butlin's redcoat.

In the early '60s Roy lived in Tankerton Terrace off Mitcham Road, Thornton Heath. He worked on stage in variety shows before making his television debut in 1965 in 'Not so much a Programme, More a Way of Life'. This was followed by 'The Illustrated Weekly Hudd' and in 1969 he was given his own show 'The Roy Hudd Show. These shows proved just what a versatile entertainer Roy Hudd was.

Roy's love of radio brought the satirical show 'The News Huddlines' to the airwaves in 1975. This show, with its mixture of comedy and current affairs, was such a success that is only came to an end in 2001.
Turning his talent to serious acting he really impressed Dennis Potter the writer of 'Lipstick on Your Collar' when he appeared on our screens as the seedy cinema organist. Potter told Roy that he had wanted him to play the part of Arthur in 'Pennies from Heaven' but the part eventually when to Bob Hoskins.

1994 saw Roy teamed up with Edward Woodward. They played a couple of Manchester dustmen in the series 'Common as Muck' and in 1995 Roy played the part of Lord Emsworth's butler in 'Heavy Weather' by PG Wodehouse. He had his work cut out as Peter O'Toole took the part of Lord Emsworth and continually ad-libbed meaning Roy's cues were never the same from one performance to another. For this part Roy actually took lessons from a real toastmaster. The following year saw Roy in his second Dennis Potter part, this time written especially for him, called Karaoke/Cold Lazarus and this time with Albert Finney. Roy's latest appearance in 2002-03 has been in Coronation Street as Archie the Undertaker - another successful spell.

Roy Hudd was delighted to be made an OBE in the 2004 New Year's Honours List commenting 'that it was nice to be thought of'. He was openly critical of those who had refused the honour."