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past and present


For those who like their biographies a tad eccentric, the strange tale of Lord Timothy Dexter:

In the late winter months of 1748, several miles outside of Boston, Timothy Dexter was born. From his birth, he fancied himself a legend — “I was to be one grat [sic] man,” he later wrote — though initially, destiny was not on his side.

He came from a family of farm laborers who, in the times of British colonialism, saw little financial stability. Nonetheless, by the age of 16, Dexter secured himself an apprenticeship with a Boston leather dresser and began working toward a career as a craftsman. Though the profession was generally considered “lower class,” the money was good: by the 1760s, Dexter’s Boston teachers had monopolized the art of crafting “Moroccan leather,” a material that was in high demand by colonial fashionistas.

At the age of 21, Dexter completed his apprenticeship, and decided to go into business for himself, producing leather gloves and moosehide breeches.


It’s official – the nation’s teenagers will study Russell Brand at A Level from September

I have nothing whatever to say to this – nuffink.

Sheep in New Zealand now outnumber people by six to one

New Zealand farmer in his sleep: “205, 206, 207, ullo darling, 209 …”

Thought this from Chuckles was wisdom beyond his own lunchtime:

Clueless journalist cannot understand the simple fact that no new antibiotics have been developed because there’s no money in it, not because it’s difficult to do. Drug companies want drugs to alleviate chronic symptoms, not cures. The lifetime palliatives are much more lucrative:…

The Great Escape


There are not going to be many who’d begrudge Bernard Jordan and it’s fabulous of those girls to flood him with hugs and kisses.  I don’t know a man alive who would say no to all that – pulling the birds like that, the old b***er.

Can’t see a negative in this one – even the care home staff smiled [later].  Can’t imagine a better last year of his life.…

Always the bridesmaid?

Was going to run some carols and thought nah, there’s such a thing as overkill.

Nice to see the cheesy dancing in the Ike and Tina number- wonder who arranged that. The Spector touch though couldn’t be duplicated and she was the real thing with that voice. By the way, unless these old eyes deceive me, that’s PP Arnold as one of the dancers:

PP Arnold again?…

Lily Cole

vampiraThe only reason I’m doing this post is that there’s been a lot coming to notice on some person called Lily Cole. Hadn’t a clue who she was until I googled her.

First impression, looking at the pic – a bit ugly but that’s not her fault, seems the kid next door type – what is she?  Some actress in East Enders or whatever?  X Factor?

So I scrolled down the page and went to page two and am still nonplussed.  OK, she’s like anyone’s son or daughter, pity how she looks but then again, pity how I look so that proves nothing.  Why … er … is she getting publicity?

I mean, what has she actually done to deserve attention beyond the average kid up and down the country?

OK, I have it – she wants to give people gifts through her social network.  Presumably they contact her and she buys them a gift.…

Nanette Fabray

The other day we had Cyd Charisse. Last evening, I watched a bit more of What’s my Line and this lady was on it:

Thought she was a bit too “butter wouldn’t melt”, which was borne out when she virtually controlled the segment and then I saw this performance below, which she totally controlled after starting with the demure ingenue. Seems to have been her stock in trade.…

Cyd Charisse

Dedicating myself to a most important issue – Cyd Charisse – this late afternoon, realized there was no music for 18:00, also the last hour spent preparing dinner so it’s 19:00 anyway.

So, there’s only one thing for it. The puzzle to me is how someone who danced aggressively like this:

… and raunchily like this:

… could be so soft and elegant in this:




Malukah of Kermandie and the old values

This is a post about two things – the girl I’m in love with and then my comment on old age.

Amfortas informs me that the former is currently in the lead on handicap, I’ve checked and she was down last evening but is now back up again and I’m right behind her. If I could puff a bit of wind down there behind her sails, I would.  She is like no other boat in that fleet – one of the old kind, a day with different values, different design considerations.

Will anyone say a little prayer for her?


Onto that other topic – old age.…

One’s Mortality Takes Centre Stage

[Note from JH:  this was meant to go up before this evening’s music, so the chronology has got itself reversed.  It was a technical matter – the way the text came would not display on my computer – there are some current issues at this end.  However, Wiggia has re-sent it and here it is, possibly it is good that it is the final post of the evening.]

Reading JD’s take on reaching three score and ten years was a reminder of the way one accepts these later years in life.

My own birthday is today (no, it has not been mentioned to illicit extra calls of happy birthday to add to the dwindling amount of cards one receives at this age) but it does, depending on how you “take” birthdays at this stage of life make you take stock to a degree.

Anyone who has a birthday at this time of the year will remember when young how one was “short changed” when the birthday arrived with those words – here is your b’day AND Christmas present, it always as a child made you think it would have been better to have been born a month later.…

Boxing Day [1]

Wow, talk about hidden gems on YouTube. Not only does this touch on the other stories further down in this post but there are so many aspects of this YouTube clip itself to discuss, it reaffirms something I’ve been going on about for a very long time, there’s also something very personal about the lady herself, there are issues about what women could and couldn’t do in that day and commenters on the clip threw themselves into it later in a big way.

Not only that, I’ve not often seen two grown men [the panellists] so smitten that they were barely able to function, which brings up all sorts of things about attraction, classiness which disarms, manners, sexism and all sorts of things.

And just before I looked at this clip, I’d rewritten one chapter in my book in which a woman was in total control of a man simply from her sheer class.…

Happy birthday to me – again!

There are milestones which mark the passing of the years and we are supposed to celebrate them and pause to reflect on the past and wonder about what may lie ahead.

I don’t remember my 21st birthday, but there again does anyone? :)

They say that life begins at 40 but mine started long before that and didn’t end there either. Fifty came and went with barely a flicker of recognition on my part. When I turned 60 I noticed it because I qualified for my bus pass. Best birthday present I’ve ever received.

Now another milestone has arrived and I have reached the ‘finishing line’ – my allotted span of three score years and ten is now complete. It did not come as a shock because over the past year there has been a slow awakening to the idea that I have more years behind me than in front of me.…


Wonder if Joe is:

Vale.  Had to smile the way the French reported it:

Joe Cocker, rauque ‘n’ roll [zho kokaire, roak ai royl]

Spiked [via Chuckles]:

If there was an award for Most Brazen Exercise of Double Standards, Britain’s chattering class would win it every year. These are people who take to the streets to yell and scream if Israel so much as sneezes in the direction of Gaza, yet who will then head off for a fabulous lunch with some former Labour minister whose government destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia when it was in power.

These are people who stand outside the embassies of foreign nations to protest against the undermining of press freedom in said nations, yet who cheered and even conspired with a British lord’s war on the UK tabloids and his proposal for state-backed regulation of the press. And now, to top it all, these folk have ended 2014 slamming North Korea for using online intimidation to crush culture — having themselves spent much of 2014 using online intimidation to crush culture!

André Rieu

Possibly the comparison would horrify him but André Rieu seems to me to be the Farage of the classical music world. Skilled in his own right, he brings the populist pieces to the people and indulges in much showmanship.

Supporters would call it refreshing, making classical music live for people again, sweeping away the crustiness. Detractors – and there’ll be those reading this now and clicking out – consider him not serious, not pure, not playing the more difficult works but sticking to the classic repertoire.…