Thursday 31 January 2019

Gossip Queens

Oh dear, this #adecadeago "meme-y thingie" that the lovely Miss Scarlet has taken to her heart is becoming addictive...

Ten years ago (again - see here and here), I find that we at Dolores Delargo Towers were counting down to our [rather early, methinks - this year's escapade is not for another few weeks yet] annual winter break in Spain, in the company of Señoritas Naranjo and Pantoja - both of whom have appeared here, and no doubt will appear again, quite regularly ever since.

However, a more local "fad" I was also following at that time was the [ill-fated, as hindsight reveals - the site closed not long after I featured it] "Tube Gossip" blog, which highlighted the sheer oddness of overheard conversations on public transport. Nowadays, the venerable journal Time Out has taken up the baton where that particular topic is concerned, with its own weekly "Overheard in London: #wordonthestreet" feature.

So, in keeping with this "Let's party like it's [ahem] 2009" theme meme at the moment, let's update things with some choice highlights from recent columns - to see what nonsense people are on about today, and whether it is in any way particularly different to that of ten years ago:
  • ‘You know what ginger face is. It’s the face that ginger people have.’
  • ‘I never smell. I don't think I’ve got any hormones.’
  • ‘I just need a kebab and someone to go down on me.’
  • ‘She’s so fucking middle-class, she farts Jo Malone.’
  • ‘I refuse to talk about Beverley’s nipples.’
  • ‘My dominatrix was spanking someone so I thought it’d be impolite to leave.’
  • ‘I got a divorce and a new roof. It’s been a good week.’
  • ‘What do you mean “Is it organic?” It’s cooked!’
  • ‘I just can't believe he has lived his whole life without a spatula.’
And my favourite...
  • ‘A guy on Tinder wanted to sniff my bum. I feel quite flattered that a guy wants to stick his nose there.’

Same twaddle, different decade...

Wednesday 30 January 2019

You know you're getting old when... find out that the pixie-like, spiky-haired little cutie from Kajagoogoo Limahl is sixty years of age!

But how did this sudden revelation come to pass? It's not the former pin-up's birthday (that was in December). He's not been in the news. No, indeed, but I think I may have unleashed a bit of a monster - the lovely Miss Scarlet, hip'n'happening sistah that she is, has taken to calling it a "meme" (whatever that is) and given it a hashtag-thingie #adecadeago - as I have recently been exploring the things I was chuntering on about ten years ago on this very blog.

Just yesterday I "rediscovered" those slapping sissies. Returning today to January 2009, I also found a post I did about Mr Hamill's 50th.

So, by way of a (rather belated) celebration, here are a few clips of the man himself in his prime...

Oh! The fantasies I had about that boy...

Felicitations, Christopher Hamill aka Limahl (born 19th December 1958)!

Tuesday 29 January 2019

Oh, those sissies!

I rather shocked myself in my own "timeslip moment" blog post the other day, by recalling the fact that the first time I featured Mr Christie's bitchy collaboration with the All-Seeing Eye was almost a decade ago... This blog has certainly been around for a long time (it'll be twelve years this March)!

And indeed, it prompted me to go trawling through the archives to exactly a decade ago, just to see what drivel I was wittering on about at the time. Business as usual, in the main, but then...

...there was THIS!

Ah, happy memories.

Monday 28 January 2019

A bit of oral

Today marks the start of National Storytelling Week, apparently. According to the website:
Oral storytelling is one of the most ancient art forms, continuing to this day as a vibrant part of culture throughout the world and so many of these old tales have their roots in the wonders of the outside world - possibly the most mystical place of all!
What better way to kick off a week about storytelling than with a work by one of the greatest exponents of the genre (in musical form, of course) Mr Stephen Sondheim, who reinterpreted the ideas of two others with sublime powers of imagination the Brothers Grimm for Into The Woods:

And, as a special bonus this Tacky Music Monday, how about the hilarious "who has the worst Princess-in-peril dilemma" duet Agony - featuring Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen as the "Handsome Princes"?

Have a great week, peeps - and try and live happily ever after...

Sunday 27 January 2019

All the seasons and the times of your days

Another legendary composer has departed for Fabulon - the sublimely talented Michel Legrand, Oscar-winning composer of the music for The Thomas Crown Affair, Yentl and Summer of 42, and the genius whose scores made such French-language films as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort huge international hits.

Jacques Demy, Agnès Varda, Michel Legrand, and Catherine Deneuve on the set of The Young Girls Of Rochefort

Over the years he collaborated with a glittering array of stars including Sacha Distel, Caterina Valente, Petula Clark, Miles Davis, Catherine Deneuve, Dame Shirl, Yves Montand, Edith Piaf, Nana Mouskouri, Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. Along the way, he wrote numerous songs that became cherished standards, performed by a wide range of singers. Here's just a few of them:

Michel Legrand working with Barbara Streisand and the Bergmans on Yentl in 1983

Alongside writers Alan and Marilyn Bergman, he had a particular and long-standing affinity with Barbra Streisand.

What are you doing the rest of your life?
North and south and east and west of your life
I have only one request of your life
That you spend it all with me

All the seasons and the times of your days
All the nickels and the dimes of your days
Let the reasons and the rhymes of your days
All begin and end with me

I want to see your face
In every kind of light
In fields of dawn
And forests of the night

And when you stand before the candles on the cake
Oh, let me be the one to hear the silent wish you make

Those tomorrow's waiting deep in your eyes
And the world of love you keep in your eyes
I'll awaken what's asleep in your eyes
It may take a kiss or two

He will be sadly missed.

RIP Michel Jean Legrand (24th February 1932 – 26th January 2019)

Saturday 26 January 2019

Skip a beat and move with my body

It's Australia Day today, apparently. With the vile grey dankness that has descended over the UK of late, we could do with a dose of their sunshine...

And who better to bring some sunshine into our lives on this day of celebration than the Antipodes' very own superstar, our beloved Princess Kylie!?

Knew you'd be here tonight
So I put my best dress on
Boy I was so right

Our eyes connected
Now nothing's how it used to be
No second guesses

Track in on this feeling
Pull focus close up you and me
Nobody's leaving

Got me affected
Spun me 180 degrees
It's so electric

Slow down and dance with me
Yeah, slow
Skip a beat and move with my body
Yeah, slow
Come on and dance with me
Yeah, slow
Skip a beat and move with my body
Yeah, slow

Don't wanna rush it
Let the rhythm pull you in
It's here so touch it

You know what I'm saying
And I haven't said a thing
Keep the record playing

Slow down and dance with me
Yeah, slow
Skip a beat and move with my body
Yeah, slow
Come on and dance with me
Yeah, slow
Skip a beat and move with my body
Yeah, slow

Read my body language
Take it down, down

Slow down and dance with me
Yeah, slow
Skip a beat and move with my body
Yeah, slow
Come on and dance with me
Yeah, slow
Skip a beat and move with my body
Yeah, slow

Skip a beat and move with my body
Skip a beat and move with my body
Skip a beat and move with my body

Enjoy the party, Cobbers!!

Friday 25 January 2019

A little Ceilidh

It's Burns Night - the night when it it is traditional to get a lump of Scottish meat into your mouth and wash it down with whisky...

It also happens to be the start of the weekend, so let us combine the two celebrations in the capable hands of Glasgow's finest, Miss Mary Kiani - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a faboo time, dear reader, and don't choke on yer haggis!

Thursday 24 January 2019

Party like it's...


Yes, it's another timeslip moment - our first of 2019 - and our rogue Starfighter has jettisoned us back twenty years, into the last knockings of the 20th century: the year of [whisper it] "I see dead people,", Bill Clinton's aquittal, Ricky Martin, Notting Hill, the end of the Kosovo War, "Jar-Jar Binks", the trial of the world's most prolific serial killer Harold Shipman, the Columbine Massacre, Vladimir Putin, the Ladbroke Grove rail crash, American Beauty, Thabo Mbeki, the murder of Jill Dando, "Flat Eric", war in Chechnya, and the transfer of the Panama Canal back to Panama; the births of Napster, Mamma Mia! (on the West End stage), the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales; and the deaths of Dusty Springfield, Ernie Wise, Dirk Bogarde, Quentin Crisp, John F. Kennedy Jr., Oliver Reed, Lena Zavaroni and Madeline Kahn.

In the headlines in January 1999: the Euro currency was born (although it was three years before any coins or notes went into circulation), China began a crackdown on Internet use, the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander was launched, and a remodelled Vauxhall Vectra arrived (to replace a model that had been criticised for its poor quality); in the ascendant was Britney Spears (who released her debut album, which ended up selling 32 million copies worldwide), but Glen Hoddle was sacked as England football manager (after making some wild and discriminatory comments about disabled people). In our cinemas: Hilary and Jackie, Little Voice and Shakespeare in Love. On telly: The League of Gentlemen, Holby City and Gimme Gimme Gimme; and long-standing Corrie character "Alf Roberts" died in his armchair, just a month before the actor who played him died in real life.

But what of our charts two decades ago this week? Boy-bands predominated, with 911 at #1 and Another Level as runners-up; and much of the rest of the Top Ten was taken up by dance acts including Fat Boy Slim, Emmie, Cassius and Blockster. Also present and correct were Bryan Adams feat. Melanie C, South Park's Chef and camp house faves Steps' Tragedy. But arriving into the #10 slot was the debut of one of my all-time favourite songs, and one that I haven't featured here for a long time (since I was in the midst of being made redundant over ten years ago, in fact; the lyrics being most apt in such circumstances) - take it away, Mr Tony Christie!

Marie has set up home
With a man who's half my age
A halfwit in a leotard stands on my stage
The standards have fallen
My value has dropped
But don't shed a tear
Some walk like they own the place
Whilst others creep in fear
Try if you can to walk like a man
But you don't come near

You've got to fly like an eagle
Prowl like a lion in Africa
Leap like a salmon home from the sea
To keep up with me
You've got to walk like a panther tonight
Walk like a panther tonight

The old home town just looks the same
Like a derelict man who had died out of shame
Like a jumble sale left out in the rain
It's not good, Its not right
The standards have fallen
My value has dropped
But don't shed a tear
Some walk like they own the place
Whilst others creep in fear
Try if you can to walk like a man
But you don't come near

You've got to fly like an eagle
Prowl like a lion in Africa
Leap like a salmon home from the sea
To keep up with me
You've got to walk like a panther tonight
Walk like a panther tonight

Where did you leave all self respect
You look like a reptile; your house is a wreck
Your existence an insult
Stains that are suspect cover your clothes
The standards have fallen
My value has dropped
But don't shed a tear
Some walk like they own the place
Whilst others creep in fear
Try if you can to walk like a man
But you don't come near

You've got to fly like an eagle
Prowl like a lion in Africa
Leap like a salmon home from the sea
To keep up with me
You've got to walk like a panther tonight
Walk like a panther tonight
Walk like a panther tonight

I still sing this to myself in the office on occasions.


Wednesday 23 January 2019

Caput Mundi - the musical

Our friend Mark and I had privileged access to the launch of a new exhibition on Monday, hosted at our beloved Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology - Sounds of Roman Egypt. It was fascinating! From the Petrie website:
The UCL Petrie Museum has one of the largest and best-documented collections of Roman artefacts in the UK, including musical instruments that are too fragile to be played today.

For this exhibition, researchers used laser scanning and computer modelling to create 3D printed replicas of the original objects in the Petrie collection, and made recordings of the instruments to reveal sounds not heard for hundreds of years.
And we even got to play some of them! - who knew that a donkey's jawbone was used as a rhythmic percussion instrument in Roman times?

Of course, despite the extensive research and transcription of papyrus and other fragmentary musical annotations and the subsequent recordings by modern musicians in the exhibition, nobody really knows how their music would have sounded - I rather hope it might sound something like this...

...or maybe not.

Sounds of Roman Egypt is on at the Petrie Museum until 22nd April 2019 - read more about the project on the blog page of the University of Kent, which contributed to the research.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

The Liberace of the food world

"When I was a child, the Galloping Gourmet was one of the high points of my television-watching life: it wasn’t merely a programme but an event, family viewing just as much as Morecambe and Wise. Those of my vintage and above will know exactly what I’m talking about. It was such a good-natured cookery programme, flamboyant, full of bonhomie, a lot of butter and wine and it all led up to the drama of the final moments, when Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet himself, would pluck someone out of the audience (inevitably female, I seem to remember) to come up and eat the meal he’d cooked with him. I’ve never forgotten the excitement, and yet I have never remembered a thing he cooked, apart from a hazy memory of sauce pans bubbling with cream or foaming with butter." - Nigella Lawson
Many happy returns to one of the great entertainers of 1970s daytime BBC telly, Mr Graham Kerr - who [happily; I didn't realist he was still with us] celebrates his 85th birthday today!

By way of a little celebration, here's the man himself in full "gallop":

Graham Kerr (born 22nd January 1934)

Monday 21 January 2019

Bread and chocolate

It's bloody freezing out there - winter has arrived, it seems, just in time for us to return to the office. Groan.

Never mind, eh? It's only three weeks on Saturday till we jet off for our annual pilgrimage to Spain - and in keeping with that thought on this Tacky Music Monday, who better than today's birthday girl Señorita Lola Flores to warm us up a bit?

And she's brought her whole family along, too!

Have a good week, folks.

Sunday 20 January 2019

WTF Sunday

There are no words to describe this one...

And I say, hey yeah yeah, hey yeah yeah
I said hey, what's going on?


Saturday 19 January 2019

"Right, you lovely boys!"

Another little piece of childhood ebbs away...

Windsor Davies - the archetypal Welshman, always called upon to play bombastic authoritarian figures in such prime-time favourite telly comedies as It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Never The Twain, who was actually born in Canning Town in London's East End - is dead.

A real-life veteran of National Service, he was ideally placed to play the overbearing Battery Sergeant-Major Williams in It Ain't Half Hot Mum, whose entire premise was the misadventures of a troupe of conscripted soldiers-turned-entertainers in the British peace-keeping mission in the jungles of Malaya in the 50s. Contrary to his "big-bad-bully" image however, just about everyone who worked with him praised his gentle and generous nature.

His comedic talents were second-to-none - not least when someone discovered the fact that the show's diminutive character "Lofty" aka Don Estelle had, in fact, the most beautiful singing voice and he and Mr Davies were teamed up (in character) to produce this memorable duet; which was a million-selling Number 1 hit in our charts in 1975!

RIP, Windsor Davies (28th August 1930 – 17th January 2019)

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Everything dismissed

Limbo by Hieronymous Bosch (or a follower)
The UK’s political leaders have ruled out the Brexit deal, a no-deal Brexit, a second referendum, a general election, remaining in the EU and continuing the current situation.

The prime minister and the leader of the opposition have agreed that none of the options available to them are tenable and must all be dismissed before any progress can be made.

Jeremy Corbyn said: “The British people are sick of their humdrum range of limited choices.

“Nobody wants a second referendum. Nobody wants a no-deal exit. The only deal on the table has been resoundingly rejected, and though I claim to want a general election I’d actually rather just take over but there’s not the support.

“But I can say categorically that we reject all the options so far raised, and indeed anything confined by the arbitrary limits of the merely possible.

“Perhaps we could exist in a quantum state both in and out of the EU. Perhaps Britain splits into a thousand warring factions. Perhaps we wink out of reality to return for one day every hundred years.

“Either way, we’re resolutely opposed to doing anything that we could actually do. Your move, universe.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Footnote: I will be out of circulation for a few days. "Normal" service should resume on Saturday.

Tuesday 15 January 2019

Call all you want but there's no one home

And so, farewell, then to our beloved Miss Carol Channing...

[see my tribute over at the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp]

She was lauded by a devoted audience in so many ways - awards galore, tribute shows (and most recently a whole biographical film documentary), and of course, impressions. Drag queens, comedians, voice-over artists, you name it, Carol's trademark drawl was always a favourite...

And, of course, who could forget her famous duet with "Liza-with-a-zee" on a GaGa and Beyoncé number?

[Well... almost. :-)]

  • Miss Channing was the first celebrity to perform at a Super Bowl half-time show.
  • One of her earliest parts, at age 19, was understudy for Miss Eve Arden (who was 13 years older than her).
  • Her name was on Nixon's "enemies list"; to which she responded that it was her greatest honour of all.
  • She made her television debut on The Red Skelton Show in 1957, and her last was a cameo on RuPaul's Drag Race in 2016.
  • Surprisingly, she was not naturally blonde; every hairdo she sported was a wig because she had an allergy to hair bleach.
  • At age 92, in the gay resort of Fire Island in 2013, she made probably her final singing appearance - later stage events, including with Justin Vivian Bond and with Tommy Tune were just "in conversation".
Gawd, we're going to miss her!

RIP, Carol Channing! There will never be another.

Monday 14 January 2019

Fighting vainly the old ennui

According to a new report, older people are the fastest-growing group of cannabis users (in the USA, at least). I might need to start...

Making a spurious connection (as is my wont) this Tacky Music Monday, here's not one, but two glorious versions of a most appropriate song:

My story is much to sad to be told
But practically everything leaves me totally cold
The only exception I know is the case
When I'm out on a quiet spree, fighting vainly the old ennui
And I suddenly turn and see
Your fabulous face

I get no kick from champagne
Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all
So tell me why should it be true
That I get a kick out of you

Some get a kick from cocaine
I'm sure that if I took even one sniff
That would bore me terrifically too
But I get a kick out of you
I get a kick every time I see you standing there before me
I get a kick though it's clear to me, you obviously don't adore me
I get no kick in a plane
Flying too high with some guy in the sky
Is my idea of nothing to do
Yet I get a kick out of you

That makes Monday feel so much better.

Sunday 13 January 2019


One tries one's best, but sometime a song or three sneaks itself into one's brain, and takes some shaking out again. Such as...

...this one. I really ought to loathe it - a) because it features the tasteless trash that is Miley Cyrus; and b) because it's Country'n'Western - but actually, this "Dolly-lite" number is inescapably catchy:

Then there's this, which, if you disregard the chuntering rap in the middle that unnecessarily disturbs the flow, is obviously a tribute to Carlos Jobim...

This one was everywhere in the late summer and autumn last year, and has yet to go away from either the Radio 2 playlist or my head. [But is he really singing "I can't do golden rain"?]:

And, of course, the Take That boys have an unerring ability to keep one humming their songs for days after one first hears them - it's their - ahem - everlasting appeal, I suppose:


Saturday 12 January 2019

Friday 11 January 2019


This week has been ridiculous. Out of the relative freedom of lounging around eating Quality Street, into a tediously quiet short week after the Festering Season, to...

...the first full week back; when everyone suddenly remembers they were supposed to do shitloads before Xmas, and didn't, so it all comes flooding in at once (for "urgent attention" - as if) to moi to plough through!

And all the while, internally, I scream.

Never mind, eh? The weekend is finally upon us, and we need to somehow try and squeeze into that peach slacks'n'boob-tube-with-matching-kimono number - just like the faboo former backing vocalist for Donna Summer, Miss Patti Brooks and her boys of Arpeggio. Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a sparkly one, dears.

Thursday 10 January 2019


A 24-year-old living in London cannot wait to meet her 32 new rodent housemates, she has confirmed.

Emma Bradford moves into the Dulwich one-bed studio apartment, in which she will co-habit with the large mouse brood, this week and thinks it will be fantastic.

She said: “My last houseshare was with an aspiring investment banker, a failing stand-up comic and a weed dealer. This is a real step-up.

“Apparently they do eat all your food, run about all night and shit everywhere but that’s no big deal to me because I’ve lived with students.

“Admittedly I do feel like the odd one out sometimes. There’s a WhatsApp group for house chores and who’s in and whatever and it’s all just squeaks and photos of cheese. And I shouldn’t say it but they’re hard to tell apart.

“It’s not ideal to be honest, but it’s close to the tube. And luckily the heating’s gone off again so they’ll probably all be dead within the week.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Any excuse, really, for a "mouse-based song" - such as this old fave. Definitely one of the most addictive songs ever...

Ram pampalam
Bambalam palam balam


Wednesday 9 January 2019

If you can smile through the whirl of a busy day...

I'm not smiling.

I'm with Bette...


Tuesday 8 January 2019

Clutches of sad remains

From an article on the ever-wonderful Dangerous Minds site:
According to his parents David Bowie was a smart kid. He was rolling paper into a typewriter and tapping keys writing gobble-de-gook lines and even using a phone - the old-fashioned rotary kind - by the time he was three. His parents thought he was special, just like every parent does, but they were right. They never talked to him as a child, no baby talk, no goo-goo, ga-ga, they treated him as a mini-adult because they thought him smart, intelligent, someone who had chutzpah, someone who just might do something. Not that his teachers thought the same. He was an average student who could always do better. One former school friend Trevor Blythe said of him:
"He was a very bright guy, but he never applied himself. He was fairly good at art, but overall he tended to wander through. He was a butterfly. I was old-fashioned and could knuckle down and do the job. He was the opposite to that. There was a creative spirit, but no-one could’ve guessed where it was headed."
I imagine not...

Today, that "creative spirit" would have celebrated his 72nd birthday.

Who'll love Aladdin Sane
Battle cries and champagne just in time for sunrise
Who'll love Aladdin Sane

Motor sensational, Paris or maybe hell (I'm waiting)
Clutches of sad remains
Waits for Aladdin Sane you'll make it

Who'll love Aladdin Sane
Millions weep a fountain, just in case of sunrise
Who'll love Aladdin Sane

We'll love Aladdin Sane
Love Aladdin Sane

And we do.

David Bowie (8th January 1947 – 10th January 2016)

Monday 7 January 2019

Kala Christougena

For some in the Greek Orthodox Church, today is actually Xmas Day - so, by way of a nod to our Julian-calendar-adhering-chums, on this Tacky Music Monday we're cheering ourselves up on our way to work with a glass of Ouzo and...

...Nan Mouskouri, of course!

Don't try this at home, folks, unless you've moved all the furniture.

Have a good week, dear reader!

Sunday 6 January 2019

All my sisters

Golly. Little Kathy, the youngest sister of the Sledge clan and lead singer on most of their biggest hits, is 60 years old today!

I feel old.

Never mind, eh? Here's a very special reunion performance by all four sisters back in 2011 - also featuring the assembled talents of Oprah Winfrey, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Pat Benatar, Salt-N-Pepa, Avril Lavigne and Miley Cyrus, no less!

That's one hell of a gathering...

Kathy Sledge (born 6th January 1959)

Saturday 5 January 2019

The more you’ve got, the cleverer you are

People who believe they are intolerant to certain foods have been advised to stop going on about it.

Researchers at the Institute for Studies found that those who claim to be unable to eat things could very easily just not fucking eat them without repeatedly going into tedious monologues about how serious it all is.

Professor Henry Brubaker said: “Because I’m not one of those utter freaks who became a gastroenterologist I have no interest in anyone’s digestive system but my own.

“And yet somehow Britain is now filled with millions people who can’t open a jam jar without turning it into yet another story about them.

“For a certain type of person, food intolerances are like A Levels. The more you’ve got, the cleverer you are.

“They even had to invent a thing called ‘gluten’, just so that they could be unable to eat it.

“I think it’s something to do with wanting attention. Perhaps saying that wheat makes your eyeballs sweat is like a British middle-class version of alien abduction.”

He added: “One solution to these trumped-up dietary woes is to visit a ‘naturopath’, basically a gimlet-eyed snake oil vendor who wears flannel trousers and writes bad poetry about the Earth having a fanny.”

Naturopath Tom Logan said: “Gluten is a thing and the Earth does have a very beautiful vagina.

“That’ll be ninety quid please.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

The "real" story.

Friday 4 January 2019

Imagine how the world could be, so very fine

It may be a short week, but - after all the fun and japes and excesses of the party season, I feel like these past couple of days back in the office have sucked the very soul out of me.

Still, let's forget about that. It'll all be over in a few hours, and we need to get ourselves ready for the weekend! Who better to provide our entertainment but the recently departed Daryl Dragon - "The Captain" of Captain and Tennille? [RIP]

Charge your glasses, darlings, and let's raise a toast to the eternal cheesiness he and Toni brought into our lives... and (of course), Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a faboo weekend, dear reader.