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 this, 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



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

Monday 16 October 2017

Time is Tic, Tic, Tac-ing

Oh dear, another weekend is over. Our much-lauded "heatwave" was very pleasant in parts - we were sat outside in short sleeves in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers till long after the sun went down last night - and I managed to get a load more bulb pots planted and a lot more pottering done besides. Unfortunately, the UK is expecting the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia to hit this week (fingers crossed, only in the West - we may not experience its worst here in London), so heaven only knows when the next opportunity may arise - and meanwhile, the foxes are playing merry hell, digging holes all over the place, so there are plenty of battles ahead to try and defeat the vermin before they undo our good work...

Hey ho, as we sense the encroaching darker, mistier mornings enveloping us, to cheer ourselves up on this Tacky Music Monday we're off to Brazil (I wish!) - in the bizarre company of Banda Carrapicho:

Ay Caramba! I wouldn't want to bump into him on a dark night...

Have a great week, dear reader!

Sunday 15 October 2017

“Keeping the British end up, sir.”

Today, the best of all "James Bonds" Sir Roger Moore would have been 90 years old.

By way of a little tribute, here are some of his "best bits" from that long (twelve-year) tenure in the role...

Shaken, not stirred, indeed.

Sir Roger George Moore, KBE (14th October 1927 – 23rd May 2017)

Read my blog on the occasion of Sir Roger's death

Saturday 14 October 2017

Diving into memories, prostitutes and profiteers, gangland jeopardy, a prize, a pansy, a wide Homburg hat and a long blue coat

I made a welcome (and long overdue) return visit to "London's peerless gay literary salon" Polari last night, and I'm so pleased I did - a truly top-class evening of thought-provoking literary gems [right at the start of the London Literature Festival, appropriately], and Sophie Ellis Bexter's mum presenting the prestigious prize pictured above, to boot!

Although the room (our usual 5th floor function suite, rather than the cavernous and character-free Purcell Room where previous Polari First Book Prize ceremonies have been held) was packed out, I was surprised that apart from or hostess-with-the-mostest Paul Burston, some of our readers, plus stalwarts Suzi Feay (at whose table I sat), VG Lee, Anny Knight and sexy Lexi Gregory, I hardly recognised anyone. It could be "the curse of Friday" I suppose; so many people have other plans that probably don't involve gay literature...

...but for those of us who love writing, it was a joy.

Opening the show - admittedly in a rather dark way - was the surprisingly cute Roelof Bakker [I always find Dutch men sexy], who is a regular contributor to the Unthology series of collated short stories, now on volume #9. The review on The Short Story website described it thus:
The last short story in the anthology, Yellow by Roelof Bakker is a touching work exploring loss... the story follows the narrator as he comes to terms with the death of his partner, Marek [who drowned]. Loss is a popular subject, but Bakker offers precise prose that avoids cliché, giving us original lines that bubble up beautifully through the paragraphs and are full of emotive veracity: ‘I’m only happy when I swim. Bits of Marek live on in the water, traces of his DNA remain wherever he’s done the butterfly, the breast-stroke. When I dive in, I delve into the past, back into his arms. Memories bob to the surface.’
Truly beautiful...

An equally tragic theme was to follow - as feminist writer and journalist Julie Bindel (thankfully injecting some of her wry humour into an otherwise alarming subject) gave us an insight into her research findings behind her new book The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth. From a synopsis she wrote for The Spectator:
We’ve become accustomed to thinking of prostitution as a legitimate way of earning a living, even ‘empowering’ for women. We call it ‘sex work’ and look away. We should not.

For the last three years I’ve been investigating prostitution worldwide to test the conventional wisdom of it being a career choice, as valid as any other. I conducted 250 interviews in 40 countries, interviewed 50 survivors of the sex trade, and almost all of them told me the same story: don’t believe the ‘happy hooker’ myth you see on TV. In almost every case it’s actually slavery. The women who work as prostitutes are in hock and in trouble. They’re in need of rescue just as much as any of the more fashionable victims of modern slavery.

One of the most disturbing discoveries I made was that the loudest voices calling for legalisation and normalisation of prostitution are the people who profit from it: pimps, punters and brothel owners. They have succeeded in speaking for the women under their control. The people who know the real story about the sex trade have been gagged by a powerful lobby of deluded ‘liberal’ ideologues and sex-trade profiteers.
She went on to emphasise how those very same "liberal" voices who defend prostitution as a "life choice" - an oppressed form of sexuality which deserves "freedom" from legal restrictions, akin to the struggle for LGBT equality - are actually further repressing and endangering the lives of the very people they appear to represent. Powerful stuff.

Completing our "triumvirate of terror", the erudite Veronica "V.A" Fearon took to the stage with her customary swagger and her disarming smile, to read from her newest novel featuring the "fearless" gangs negotiator Dani, The Thirsty Stranger. She opened with a suitably "in-character" extract in which our "anti-hero" attempts to seduce an equally sassy woman, a photographer who has no time for her smooth-talking chat-up lines. In the second we were given an insight into a side of Dani that might be less expected; as the maelstrom of dangerous situations she has got herself into bring her an unfamiliar sensation: fear.

As ever, Veronica's work is completely engrossing, and I was very glad to be able to take a breath when "half-time" arrived. After a nip to the bar and a fag, it was time for part two - ding ding!

Without further ado, it was time for our Suzi to take the stage to introduce the Sixth Annual Polari First Book Prize. She read a synopsis of each of the titles on this year’s shortlist "which brings together three male and three female writers hailing from Kuwait to Cardiff, whose eclectic body of work offers a range of perspectives on the LGBT experience":
  • Expecting – Chitra Ramaswamy (Saraband)
  • Guapa – Saleem Haddad (Europa Editions UK)
  • We Go Around In The Night And Are Consumed By Fire - Jules Grant (Myriad)
  • Straight Jacket - Matthew Todd (Bantam)
  • The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise – Crystal Jeans (Honno)
  • Jerusalem Ablaze – Orlando Ortega-Medina (Cloud Lodge)
Then she handed over to the adorable Miss Janet Ellis to announce the prize winner. After some encouraging and apposite words of support and encouragement for everyone who took part she opened the envelope and welcomed the rather buff Saleem Haddad to accept the prize.

He looked thrilled!

Our next reader Paul Harfleet simply exudes charm. The pioneering campaigner [he was one of the keynote speakers at 2010's "Say No To Hate" rally that I attended] behind The Pansy Project - which encourages victims of homophobia to plant a pansy at the site of their abuse, photos of which he collates along with a description of the incident on the website - he has latterly turned his estimable talents to education, by way of a semi-autobiographical (and beautifully illustrated by the author) children's book Pansy Boy. And here is a video introduction to it (which, last night, he narrated for us):


And finally, it was time for our "star turn", Diana Souhami - the masterful researcher and biographer of many a famous lesbian, and dryly witty reader - to entertain us with a faboo audio-visual overview of the life, loves and work of the artist Gluck ["Gluck: no prefix, suffix or quotes."], who was the subject of Ms Souhami's earliest published work, and who was celebrated most recently in a retrospective exhibition at The Fine Arts Society during LGBT History Month in February 2017 (with another exhibition to come this autumn in Brighton). Here is a little snippet:
Throughout her adult life she dressed in men’s clothes, pulled the wine corks and held the door for true ladies to pass first. An acquaintance seeing her dining alone remarked that she looked like "The Ninth Earl", a description that she liked. She had a last for her shoes at John Lobb’s the Royal bootmakers, got her shirts from Jermyn Street, had her hair cut at Truefitt gentlemen’s hairdressers in Old Bond Street and blew her nose on large linen handkerchiefs monogrammed with a G. In the early decades of the twentieth century, when men alone wore the trousers, her appearance made heads turn. Her father, a conservative and conventional man was utterly dismayed by her ‘outré clobber’, her mother referred to a ‘kink in the brain’ which she hoped would pass, and both were uneasy at going to the theatre in 1918 with Gluck wearing a wide Homburg hat and long blue coat, her hair cut short and a dagger hanging at her belt.

She did several self-portraits, all of them mannish. There was a jaunty and defiant one in beret and braces – stolen in 1981 – and another, now in the National Portrait Gallery, which shows her as arrogant and disdainful. She painted it when suffering acutely from the tribulations of love. A couple of others she destroyed when depressed about her life.

She dressed as she did not simply to make her sexual orientation public, though that of course she achieved. By her appearance she set herself apart from society, alone with what she called the ‘ghost’ of her artistic ambition. And at a stroke she distanced herself from her family’s expectations, which were that she should be educated and cultured but pledged to hearth and home. They would have liked her to marry well, which meant a man from a similar Jewish background to hers – preferably one of her cousins – and to live, as wife and mother, a normal happy life. By her ‘outré clobber’ Gluck said no to all that; for who in his right mind would court a woman in a man’s suit? Her rebelliousness cut her father to the quick and he thought it a pose. But however provocative her behaviour there was no way he would cease to provide for her, his concept of family loyalty and obligation was too strong.

Courtesy of her private income she lived in style with staff – a housekeeper, cook and maids – to look after her. She always kept a studio in Cornwall. In the 1920s and 30s she lived in Bolton House, a large Georgian house in Hampstead village. After the war she settled in the Chantry House Steyning with Edith Shackleton Heald, journalist, essayist and lover of the poet W.B.Yeats in his twilight years. Both residences had elegantly designed detached studios...

...Mercurial, maddening, conspicuous and rebellious, she inspired great love and profound dislike. Perhaps what she most feared was indifference – the coldest death. Her dedication to work was total, even through her fallow years. Her severance from gender, family and religion, her resistance to influence from any particular artist or school of painting, her refusal to exhibit her work except in ‘one-man’ shows were all ways of protecting her artistic integrity. She desired to earn her death through the quality of her work: "I do want to reach that haven having a prize in my hand… Something of the trust that was reposed in me when I was sent out…" In reaching her destination with her paintings as her prize she took a circuitous path – unmapped, thorny and entirely her own.
Gluck's romantic entanglements were many and varied, including Romaine Brooks, society florist Constance Spry, and "the love of her life" the American socialite Nesta Obermer, with whom she appeared in her most famous portrait in the Art Deco era, Medallion (which she referred to as the "YouWe" picture):

Utterly, absolutely brilliant.

Thus, with the resounding applause for our assembled readers ringing in our ears, it was sadly the end of another great evening.

Next month's outing (on Friday 24th November, and part of the "Being a Man" festival season) will be the official Tenth Birthday(!) celebration of Polari, and promises to be another corker - with Jonathan Harvey, Topher Campbell, J Fergus Evans, Alexis Gregory and Carey Wood all announced. I can't wait!

I love Polari.

Friday 13 October 2017

Hold it

We're cruising gently towards another weekend, and - starting with my first visit in a while to "London's peerless gay literary salon" Polari (in its tenth birthday season) tonight - there's lots to celebrate!

Leading the way in that department, to get the party started with a bang is an old fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers - Miss Celi Bee and her incredibly energetic safety gays.

Thank Disco It's Friday (the thirteenth)!!

Keep on twirling, daaahlings!

Thursday 12 October 2017


We're getting up in the dark, and soon it'll be dark as we head home from work. I hate Autumn.

I think we need to indulge ourselves once more in the impossibly glamorous Jet-Set world of Soft Tempo Lounge...

[...even if the featured movie is yet another of the soft-porn variety, Emanuelle in America...]

Ah, that's better.

[Music: Pascal Auriat - Trumpet on a Beach]

Wednesday 11 October 2017

I personally like the adventure of difference

“That’s the key, you know, confidence. I know for a fact that if you genuinely like your body, so can others. It doesn’t really matter if it’s short, tall, fat or thin, it just matters that you can find some things to like about it. Even if that means having a good laugh at the bits of it that wobble independently, occasionally, that’s all right. It might take you a while to believe me on this one, lots of people don’t because they seem to suffer from self-hatred that precludes them from imagining that a big woman could ever love herself because they don’t. But I do. I know what I’ve got is a bit strange and difficult to love but those are the very aspects that I love the most! It’s a bit like people. I’ve never been particularly attracted to the uniform of conventional beauty. I’m always a bit suspicious of people who feel compelled to conform. I personally like the adventure of difference. And what’s beauty, anyway?”
Happy - gulp - 60th birthday today to one of our favourite comediennes, Miss Dawn French!

With or without her thirty-years-in-the-spotlight comedy partner Jennifer Saunders, Miss French is a remarkable woman [and, indeed an accomplished actress - I vividly recall her unexpected role as a homicidal nurse in Tender Loving Care]. A semi-permanent foil for the tabloids with her flick-flacking weight, her difficult interracial marriage to another comedy darling Lenny Henry [they received death threats and intimidation throughout their 25 years together] and their subsequent split, and her various degrees of solo success [The Vicar of Dibley] and not-so-much [Wild West], she seems to survive it all with a smile on her face.

On Jen being successful first, away from their partnership, she recently said:
“It can be hard when a friend, especially one you’ve never done any work separately from, suddenly has a huge success without you.

Ab Fab was such a massive hit. Until then Jennifer and I had been utterly linked in everything we did. I was made very aware that, in comedy terms, she was a completely individual, separate person. With her own powers.

“That really shocked me. Not only was she able to do it without me, she could do it really well. So that was really annoying. But however jealous I was, I love her and I was proud of her. I dealt with it by being open and honest about my jealousy. I sent her a bunch of flowers when she won a BAFTA saying, ‘Congratulations you cunt.’"

Last week, we caught her one-woman show 30 Million Minutes on the BBC, and - like the live audience - we were captivated by Dawn's candid exploration of her real life story and those people closest to her who have played such an important role in it so far. Hilarious at times, and utterly tragic at others [her father committed suicide when she was 18], it single-handedly confirmed just why - of all the clichéd epithets - Our Dawn is, indeed, a "national treasure".

Here are some very brief clips (but if ever you can get to see it, I recommend it - here in the UK it is still available on the BBC iPlayer for the next few weeks):

And by way of an extra bonus, here's the opening part of her magnum opus documentary Dawn French on Big Women (co-starring, among others, Alison Moyet and Jo Brand):

[parts 2 to 5 are also available from the same YouTube channel]

Many happy returns, Dawn Roma French (born 11th October 1957).

Read my previous "birthday blog" about Our Dawn.

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Party, party, party

Getting ready for a night out is infinitely more fun than going out, scientists have confirmed.

Research from the Institute of Studies found that choosing what to wear while listening to music and drinking booze is a lot more fun than a cramped bar with music so loud you cannot speak to the person next to you.

Night out-goer Emma Bradford said: “I love going out.

“And by that I mean the time between half six and half nine when me and my friends are drinking vodka, listening to our favourite songs, doing our hair and being able to catch up on what’s being going on in each others lives.

“The bit where we’re queueing up for the club in the pissing rain, before waiting half an hour to get served and then have to pay a fiver for a bottle of room temperature lager is the bit where it’s not as fun.

“But how else are we going to get pictures of us looking like we’re having a good time?”

However Tom Booker said: “I have a shave, get dressed, neck a bottle of Brandy and fall asleep on the couch.

“Then I wake up in the morning £100 better off with pretty much the same hangover. Win, win.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Here's something apposite, methinks:

Monday 9 October 2017

You'd be Paradise

It has been a fabulous weekend! With the current warm weather, it was mostly spent pottering in the garden (together, for a change). The damned greenhouse cover, perforated in a zillion places by a combination of weather and foxes, is gone, to be replaced at some stage by a new one; loads of spring bulbs and wallflowers are in; the lawn is mown; and the compost bins are full to brimming with faded summer detritus).

Yet it was all over too quickly, as usual, and here we are faced with the prospect of another delightful week's drudgery ahead...

I think the only remedy in such a situation on a Tacky Music Monday is a bit - nay, a lot! - of the delightful Dolores Gray (and her safety gays)!

Have a good week, dear reader.

Sunday 8 October 2017

Thought for the day

How life should be...

Saturday 7 October 2017

Baby I'd like to reiterate, tomorrow's gonna be much too late

“Women identify with me... while men desire Cyd Charisse, they’d take me home to meet Mom.”

Darlings! Another centenary to celebrate today - that of the lovely June Allyson, star of many a Van Johnson or James Stewart vehicle in the 40s and 50s, inevitably in the part of "doting girlfriend or wife".

To the end, Miss Allyson was described as "the screen embodiment of sweetness and light" - yet she showed a good deal of feistiness when she openly defied the omnipotent studio boss Louis B Mayer by marrying the much older, twice-divorced Dick Powell (he argued that it would ruin her image), and went on to carve for herself a fair-to-middling career in a series of Technicolor remakes of black and white classics such as Little Women, My Man Godfrey, and (of course) the musical "update" of every queen's favourite The Women.

And by way of a tribute to the lady I have rediscovered this extravagant number of hers, replete with a whole army of athletic safety gays, from that very musical - The Opposite Sex:


June Allyson (born Eleanor Geisman, 7th October 1917 – 8th July 2006)

Friday 6 October 2017

Ole, Ole!

Yesterday, it was Mrs Miller's "moment in the spotlight". Today, as we welcome with open arms the prospect of the looming weekend (and, fingers crossed, a chance to get into the garden and start clearing some space among the drooping vestiges of summer to plant some stuff for Spring), it's the turn of another artiste who was always "in with the joke". Señorita María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza to bring some cheer into our lives...

Charo (for it is she) always knows how to start a party - so let's set her loose, and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good one, peeps!